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Old 09-30-2022, 03:22 PM   #1
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Hard starting 01 8.1

My 2001 8.1 all of a sudden became very hard to start. Have to crank several times before it fires. Put a pressure gauge on schrader valve on fuel rail. Turning on key pressure goes to 58 then dops to 46. Engaging starter it drops to 42 If engine starts it goes to a flikering 47. After shutting engine off it goe to 36 and stays. Just for drill i replace fuel pressure regulator. No change. No engine warning lites. No scan guage errors. What should i be looking at?
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Old 09-30-2022, 03:34 PM   #2
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Any codes set?
I assume it's cranking over full speed?
First change the fuel filter. Then you may have to check the "sock" attached to the in tank fuel pump pickup. I would also install a new pump at that time.
How old are the spark plugs?
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Old 09-30-2022, 03:50 PM   #3
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I had the same issue with our '04 Pace Arrow 8.1 while on our first trip out.
Turned out to be the back flow pressure regulator in the fuel pump.
We had 36 -42 pressure on the rail up front, and that was good enough for an idle, but she would not pull a load. You need 65# at the rail to run down the road.
Unfortunately the pump is in the tank, which you will have to drop. No big deal with a floor jack and a section of 2 x 8 lumber. It's only 8 nuts.
I got my pump from Brazel's RV. They are really nice folks.

Mike in Colorado
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Old 10-01-2022, 09:50 AM   #4
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There are no error codes. I don't think it is a spark plug, fuel pump issue, or dirty filter. Once it fires it runs great. Recently I drove up a long steep grade which would have really tested the fuel pump and the plugs, and it did just fine. My sense is that it is an ignition problem, but where, I don't know.
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Old 10-01-2022, 10:42 AM   #5
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Fuel pressure is a little low and it should not bleed off quickly. I would say based on the symptoms itís either that or the crankshaft position sensor, they are a known issue on the early 8.1Lís.
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Old 10-01-2022, 11:12 AM   #6
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Fuel pressure is a little low and it should not bleed off quickly. I would say based on the symptoms itís either that or the crankshaft position sensor, they are a known issue on the early 8.1Lís.
When you say "it's either that" are you referring to the fuel pump. Are you suggesting that might need replacing? Also, would a failure in the crankshaft position sensor show up as an error code on the Scan Gauge?
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Old 10-03-2022, 02:25 AM   #7
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A bad coolant temp sensor can also cause this. Front side of intake manifold.
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Old 10-03-2022, 09:17 AM   #8
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A bad coolant temp sensor can also cause this. Front side of intake manifold.
Would this show on an OBD2 code?
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Old 10-03-2022, 09:49 PM   #9
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Would this show on an OBD2 code?
it certainly will if the sensor is not working correctly.


When the engine is cold what does it read?


When at operating temp what does it read?
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Old 10-03-2022, 09:51 PM   #10
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Would this show on an OBD2 code?
That depends. Sometimes it takes awhile before a code will flag and set the light off.
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Old 10-04-2022, 10:00 AM   #11
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Fuel pressure is a little low and it should not bleed off quickly. I would say based on the symptoms itís either that or the crankshaft position sensor, they are a known issue on the early 8.1Lís.
Well, I'm stumped, so I am taking it in for service. I will post the results when I get it back from the shop.
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Old 10-04-2022, 10:33 AM   #12
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Well, I'm stumped, so I am taking it in for service. I will post the results when I get it back from the shop.
Re read post #3.
Especially the part about needing 65# to make her run down the road !

Mike in Colorado
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Old 10-05-2022, 10:36 AM   #13
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Re read post #3.
Especially the part about needing 65# to make her run down the road !

Mike in Colorado
As I stated earlier, it ran down the road just fine, including pulling a long steep grade, mpg reading of 3, so a big fuel use for a long time.
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Old 10-05-2022, 11:39 AM   #14
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Any word back?
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