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Old 10-08-2020, 11:20 PM   #1
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1988 Bounder 31ft 454 Chevy--Fuel Supply

88 bounder 454. Does this motorhome have any other fuel pump besides the mechanical one attached to the engine, is there an electric one in the tank or somewhere else. Has sat for over 2 years. I gave it a shot of starting fluid and it fired up and ran excellent for about a minute and then died and won't restart, ( it will run for about 3 seconds on the starting fluid). Mechanical pump was replaced about 3 years ago and run for about 500 miles at that time. I'm assuming there was a little fuel in the carb bowl that kept it going for the minute. There is no gas smell in the carb, so seems no fuel is getting to it. Thanks

Happy Harold
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Old 10-09-2020, 05:00 AM   #2
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Not unless someone added an elect. inline pump. All pumps do best primed and full/wet. You could try cracking output line on pump or carb to test if needle/float valve is plugged or if you have fuel pressure use a second person .Use a fuel pressure gauge kit. Or try blowing line back to tank. Or carefully feed the carb a little gas over and over when its off to give it enough time to prime dont keep using ether . Keep a wet rag to ready to put out any carb fire. You could make short piece of metal fuel line to fuel hose into a gas can to the pump add some seafoam to it.
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Old 10-09-2020, 05:31 AM   #3
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Not unless someone added an elect. inline pump. All pumps do best primed and full/wet. You could try cracking output line on pump or carb to test if needle/float valve is plugged or if you have fuel pressure use a second person .Use a fuel pressure gauge kit. Or try blowing line back to tank. Or carefully feed the carb a little gas over and over when its off to give it enough time to prime dont keep using ether . Keep a wet rag to ready to put out any carb fire. You could make short piece of metal fuel line to fuel hose into a gas can to the pump add some seafoam to it.
All good advice but I would drain the tank and add a can of fresh gas. You may need to empty the float bowl. From sitting that long there will be condensation in the tank and the pump has brought it to the carb. Check the filters. The carb filter is very small and can clog up very quickly. Under these conditions filters may need changing several times.
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Old 10-09-2020, 11:38 PM   #4
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Thank you for the suggestions. Not sure where to start, but if I can, I want to try and feed the fuel pump from a gas can as suggested to see if the pump is pumping or not. My unit has 2 gas filters in the wall on the passengers side and I ordered them today. There is about 30-40 gallons of gas in the tank and a siphon hose won't work. I'll try to mess with it next week as I have other stuff this weekend. Does anyone have a picture of the oil pressure switch or oil pressure sender and their location. Thanks

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Old 10-10-2020, 08:38 AM   #5
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I think oil sender is on top back of engine. If you Google sender location for your year you will probably find a diagram even a vid. It's a GM truck motor you can find lots of info previously out there without waiting on an answer. I think autozone has lots of diagrams online pretty sure you have to sign up you may have to put in a reg. truck your year and engine size but the engine parts location will be the same .
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Old 10-10-2020, 08:51 AM   #6
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The Chevy P30 RV chassis has an electric fuel pump. It may be in the tank. Add an electric fuel pump to the fuel line near the fuel tank. You may have to replace the rubber fuel line. You need a low pressure pump and put it on the ignition switch so it is off when ignition is off.
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Old 10-10-2020, 09:10 AM   #7
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Good morning Harold,

I am a previous owner of a 1988 Bounder on a Chevy P30 chassis. This chassis does have 2 fuel pumps. There is the obvious mechanical pump on the engine block and another electric pump in the fuel tank. If you look near the right rear wheel where the fuel line exits the tank you should see an adjustable fuel regulator in the fuel line.

There will be one or more fuel filters on the line as well. My Bounder had a little door on the right side behind the wheel that housed two fuel filters. One for the generator and one for the engine. It sounds like yours is the same.

The engine should idle and run at moderate throttle with either pump but needs both for extended high power situations like long grades.

See the attached drawing with the location of the oil pressure safety switch.

Unless there is an obstruction in the fuel line the mechanical pump is enough to start the engine and drive the motorhome.

The idea to get an external fuel can and run a temporary line to the fuel can is a good idea. Be aware that the electric pump might start pumping as soon as you have oil pressure so the fuel line you disconnected in order to connect your temporary gas can might start squirting fuel! If so it is a good way to pump the old fuel out.

See this THREAD for a LONG discussion about P30 fuel system. The original poster has an intermittent fuel starvation problem, not exactly the same as yours but possibly useful information for you.
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Old 10-10-2020, 07:07 PM   #8
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Yeloduster---Thank you for chiming in and the diagram. As you can see there are different opinions as to whether 2 or 1 fuel pumps. Is it correct that if I look at the top of the tank and there are electrical wires there, then a fuel pump must be inside.

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Old 10-10-2020, 08:35 PM   #9
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The fuel gauge sending unit is in the tank. There will be one wire for the fuel gauge, 2 more wires for the fuel pump.

One way to tell is look for the 1/2" fuel line coming out of the tank. It should go to an adjustable fuel pressure regulator near the frame rail just behind the right rear wheel. The output of the regulator goes to the fuel filter in the little compartment you mentioned and then on to mechanical pump on the front right side of the engine block.

I would be VERY surprised if it doesn't have both pumps. As far as I know ALL P30 chassis of that era had them.
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Old 10-11-2020, 08:53 AM   #10
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Yeloduster---Thank you for chiming in and the diagram. As you can see there are different opinions as to whether 2 or 1 fuel pumps. Is it correct that if I look at the top of the tank and there are electrical wires there, then a fuel pump must be inside.

Happy Harold
An inline electric fuel pump is sufficient to supply your carbureted 454 engine. Not necessary to have a submerged pump in the fuel tank. I have owned two 454 powered motor homes in the past, a 1984 and a 1987. I installed inline electric pumps in both to aid the mechanical fuel pump on the engine. The electric pumps were installed under the coach before the mechanical pump. I wired them on a separate toggle switch. Either pump, mechanical or electric is capable of supplying sufficient fuel for the carburetor, or they can be used together as was sometimes necessary to circumvent vapor lock in the mechanical pump.
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Old 10-14-2020, 06:30 PM   #11
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To refill the carb bowl through the vent, which opening in this picture of the carb is correct to use. It appears to be the one in front of the choke, but not sure as have never done this before. Also, how many ounces would be the right amount.
Thanks

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1970-71-72-...-/350747999520
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Old 10-14-2020, 08:59 PM   #12
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To refill the carb bowl through the vent, which opening in this picture of the carb is correct to use. It appears to be the one in front of the choke, but not sure as have never done this before. Also, how many ounces would be the right amount.
Thanks

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1970-71-72-...-/350747999520
That coach WILL most likely have the electric in tank helper pump. If so it WILL have an adjustable regulator on the right frame rail, and it can be rebuilt with holley parts. One thing is the mechanical pump will NOT be able to pull enough full to run through a malfunctioning electric pump. The fuel lines going into the top of the tank probably needs replaced anyways. That pump in the tank will have a part number on it and will be readily available new. Check EBAY.
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Old 10-14-2020, 11:16 PM   #13
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My intent is to fill the bowl through the vent and then remove the inline on the fuel pump and attach a siphon hose from a fuel container, ( with gas and Seafoam ) that will sit higher than the pump, ( to give it some gravity feed also ). The object is to see if the engine will run that way and if the fuel pump is pumping. Anything wrong with that plan? There is no fuel in the tank as I emptied it by way of the filler tube on the tank. Will running the engine from other than the tank cause any problems with the electric pump pumping with no fuel in the tank? Thanks

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Old 10-20-2020, 11:01 PM   #14
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Hi guys---I did as stated in post #13. Got fuel in the bowl through the vent.
Hose to manual fuel pump from a 2 gal. gas can. Hose from disconnected fuel supply line to empty container. It started and ran at high idle for 7-8 minutes and devoured the whole 2 gallons of gas. I shut it down before it ran out. How could it have used that much in 8 minutes? Also before I started I tried to fill the hose to help with gravity feed. I kept pouring gas into it, but it wouldn't fill. Where could all that gas go? I'd fill it up and just watch the level go down.

It did run, so does that mean there was enough oil pressure for the fuel pump to work, or was it because I had gravity feed to it. Anyhow it sucked up 2 gallons in 8 minutes. Should I ty it again and put the gas can on the ground so the fuel pump gets no gravity assistance and has to suck uphill? Thanks

Happy Harold
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