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Old 06-16-2019, 03:54 PM   #1
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C7 fuel prime

I have a 2006 FLEETWOOD Providence with a CAT C7 , Ran out of fuel. Is there an easy way to prime it?
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Old 06-16-2019, 05:57 PM   #2
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I wrote up an extensive report on here about this very subject. I’m on my phone right now so, I won’t go through all of what happened, just the highlights. In short, I followed the CAT book on changing the one and only fuel filter I have and, in doing it the way I did, and the extenuating circumstances that prevailed, I lost my fuel prime, ALL THE WAY BACK TO THE TANK!!!!
So, Houston, we HAD a problem! After a few phone calls to prominent CAT/FREIGHTLINER folks, it’s was determined that, the ONLY way to prime the C-7 is by pressuring the fuel tank. You do that with a home air compressor with only about a few lbs. pressure. But, you also ha e to make darn sure your fuel filter is already full. And the one thing that you also have to do is, loosen or remove the fuel line at the HEUI pump.
Once that’s done, you have a helper pressurize the fuel tank and watch for fuel flow from that open line at the HEUI pump. When fuel flows from that line, immediately reattach it to the HEUI pump. At that point, it may take only a few seconds of cranking (about 5-10) to have that CAT start to fire up.
Unless you’re particular CAT equipped coach is different than about 99.9% of other CAT equipped coaches, this is theONLY way of priming the C-7. There is no fuel pump in the tank, contrary to what some think. So, turning the key on and off to “cycle” the fuel pump in the tank (as some have suggested) is totally WORTHLESS!
Scott
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Old 06-16-2019, 06:35 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwkelly View Post
I have a 2006 FLEETWOOD Providence with a CAT C7 , Ran out of fuel. Is there an easy way to prime it?
I do not have a Fleetwood. I do have a C7 350HP.

My coach user manual has this: "In the event the engine runs out of fuel, the lift pump on the fuel pump will run for approximately one minute with the ignition ON. The ignition may have to be turned on and off several times before attempting a start."
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Old 06-16-2019, 07:22 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark- View Post
I do not have a Fleetwood. I do have a C7 350HP.

My coach user manual has this: "In the event the engine runs out of fuel, the lift pump on the fuel pump will run for approximately one minute with the ignition ON. The ignition may have to be turned on and off several times before attempting a start."
I do this three times, and have never had a problem changing the fuel filter or water separator. I install them dry.
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Old 06-17-2019, 07:25 AM   #5
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Or you remove the return fuel hose and pull a vacuum on it.

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Old 06-17-2019, 12:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark- View Post
I do not have a Fleetwood. I do have a C7 350HP.

My coach user manual has this: "In the event the engine runs out of fuel, the lift pump on the fuel pump will run for approximately one minute with the ignition ON. The ignition may have to be turned on and off several times before attempting a start."
Your C-7 must be totally different than out '04 C-7. Yes, ours does have the lift pump but, it's attached to the back of the HEUI pump and is driven by the HEUI pump. When I had a no-start condition in ours, I could have cycled that key on and off for the rest of my life and no fuel would have been drawn to the HEUI pump. That is why FREIGHTLINER, CAT and, Brett Wolf (known CAT and Freightliner expert) all agreed that the ONLY WAY I'd get my C-7 to start, when the fuel drained ALL THE WAY BACK INTO THE TANK, was to pressurize the fuel tank. Maybe other models have electric lift pumps on a CAT C-7 engine but, ours sure doesn't.
Scott
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Old 06-17-2019, 07:25 PM   #7
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Hello all, Why not just buy this problem solved! Thanks, Joe

https://www.ebay.com/i/323495288496?chn=ps
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Old 06-17-2019, 07:49 PM   #8
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OK, I'm with Scott on this one , the posts from Safari owners is the first time I've heard of a Cat engine with an electric lift pump , location and picture would be great , because it must be a chassis builder item and not Cat feature.

Luckily my Newmar w/Cat has a manual hand pump on the secondary filter , BUT , because I'm the third owner I can't say if it's OEM.
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Old 06-17-2019, 08:25 PM   #9
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Scott is correct. Unless you have a hand pump attached to the secondary fuel filter you may be SOL.

There is another way, but to tell you the truth, Scott's way is probably easier and safer. Either buy the hand pump as has been described and hope there is room to install it, or go with the pressurized fuel tank idea.
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Old 06-17-2019, 10:13 PM   #10
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Question to the Safari owners .

Was a Cummins engine an option on your coaches , and your manual covers both engines. ?
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Old 12-11-2021, 02:34 AM   #11
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Smile Prime CAT C7 Diesel

Or you remove the return fuel hose and pull a vacuum on it.

[/QUOTE]
I'm posting this even though the thread is old because it keeps popping up when I searched for priming a Cat C7 diesel. I have a Freightliner chassis National Tradewinds motorhome with a 330 HP diesel Cat C7 engine. Pressurizing the fuel tank did not work. The venting system on the tank prevented sufficient pressure to send the fuel even through the fuel filter. The lift pump on my motorhome is not in the tank and is not electric. The only way I could prime the system was to follow instructions from Adept Ape at https://www.youtube.com/c/AdeptApe/videos look for a video titled "Prime a diesel engine without a priming pump" at . The only thing is that the video shows pulling the vacuum from the side of the engine before the fuel pressure regulating valve. On the C7 the return line and pressure regulating valve is in the line leaving the back of the engine. On my motorhome I could access the engine through an access panel in the back room. However, I could not get to the pressure regulating valve. I had to cut another small access through the floor under the bed. It was relatively easy, the floor there is about 1 1/2 inch thick plywood. Once the new access was there I could easily get to the return fuel line and disconnect it at the engine to pull the vacuum. I pulled out about 4 liters total of fuel. The first 3 liters were dirty from crud in the bottom of the fuel tank. By the time the crud was out of the fuel so were the air bubbles. I reconnected the fuel lines and the engine started easily. I purchased a cheap vacuum brake bleeder from Four Uncles off Amazon. You will need to modify the connections to be able to connect to the fuel line leaving the engine. Be sure to connect prior to the pressure regulator. You will also need an air compressor that can supply sufficient pressure and volume of air. To repair the floor I used metal framing plates to put the floor back in place and then sealed with silicon same as the factory penetrations through the floor were sealed.
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Old 12-18-2021, 05:36 PM   #12
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I purchased an extra plastic bowl for the fuel/separator on my FL C7 chassis. I screw the spare bowl onto the new filter, then I have a small plastic Folgers coffee can that I modified to hold the bowl in place while I prefill it. It needs to be filled from the outer holes, so I use a neoprene plug for the center hole. Once, the filter is full, I keep it on the ground next to me and I quickly unscrew the old filter, swap positions on the coffee can and attach the new filter. I always start it immediately to check for leaks. If carry 2-3 of those filter with me at all times.

I keep a one gl gas can(for diesel only) and all the other stuff in a heavy duty plastic ziplock bag so I don't have diesel smell in the compartment I store all that. I don't carry diesel in the gas can as I want fresh diesel when I need it. I can us the toad to find diesel somewhere; it only takes about 1/2 or less of a gl to prefill the filter.

On a trip to the east coast in 15, I had an extra filter, but no gas can(I'm still not sure why not) and I was in IN at one of those truck plazas on the toll portion of I-80. I was parked way in the back and I had no container to get fuel to bring back. At the time I was using Lucas Fuel additive and I had a quart of that. So, I filled the new filter with that which is much thicker than fuel and when I went to start it, the pump could not pull the Lucas stuff through to allow the fuel to flow.

Ran the battery down, so called the "hook". They towed me to Stoops FL and I explained what I did. He grabbed one of his mechanics and they brought out an air compressor and a charger to give the battery a boost. He had me get in, kept the charger on the battery and he held the air hose in the tank with a rag to seal it. He told me to crank it, I did and that ole C7 fired right up. I learned my lesson the hard way.

Scott, FIRE UP, has a unique setup on his filter with 90 degree shutoff valves on each side of the filter, so when he changes the filter, the fuel is doesn't bleed down. Very clever.
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Old 12-19-2021, 08:25 PM   #13
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Hey Barry,
How ya doin' Partner? Hope all is well. I appreciate the nice comment(s) on my fuel valve setup. For those that have not seen it, here's what I did. As I explained earlier, I too had a *no start* situation way back several years ago when I'd finished changing my ONE AND ONLY fuel filter. The conditions were just right to cause my dilemma. The tank was less than 1/2 full. The coach was jacked up but, leaning downhill, towards the front.

When I broke the seal of the fuel filter by beginning to loosen it, that was all she wrote. From that point, because I'd broken the seal, all the fuel in that line simply flowed DOWN HILL all the way back to the tank. And, I'd made a CRIMINAL MISTAKE in reading CAT engine manual. They said to NOT PRE FILL the filter. WRONNNNNNNNNNG.

Annnnyway, after that horrible learning experience, here's my setup. I installed two, 1/4 turn valves, one on the inlet side and one on the outlet side of that filter. Now, when it comes time to change that filter, no matter if the tank is full, 1/2 full or near empty, and that coach can be at a 45 degree angle DOWNHILL, that full WILL NOT flow back to the tank! It stays right there, next to both of those valves. I prefill the filter, in all the outside holes, using a very, very large syringe. It's a fast (or at least somewhat fast) way to prefill it.

I then screw it on and, turn the valves. The engine fires right up without skipping a beat. I've thought about putting a priming hand pump on it but, you can't even fit a feeler gauge between the engine and the passenger side engine compartment wall in my coach. So, there's no way to even think about installing a primer. And, with the install of those valves, I have since not had any no-start conditions.
Scott

P.S. In the pics below, you see the layout of the parts I installed. The two darker colored fittings on the top, are the original inlet and outlet fittings on the fuel filter body. Everything under those two is new.
Scott
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Old 12-20-2021, 12:22 PM   #14
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Scott, thanks for posting the pics, much appreciated, sir. I'm heading to Henderson for xmas with my sisters family, but when I return, I plan on doing the same thing. I dislike being under pressure to hurry up and remove and install a new filter. With your setup, one can remove the old, have a beer, and re-install the new one w/o a worry.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Scott.
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