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  #1  
Old April 23rd, 2013, 10:36 PM
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fuel pump about to die?

My fuel pump is making a noticeable buzzing sound - I can hear it while standing at the back of the truck while it idles. This sound is new.

A little background: Just drove the truck 1,800 miles over three days from VA to CO. No issues during the drive, except fourth gear felt pretty gutless crossing Kansas. I had the accelerator floored and it was hard to keep it above 2000 RPMs. Its a 97 auto with 80K miles. I've been driving this truck for 15 years and it normally cruises along in the 2500 RPM range. I was initially thinking a re-gear was in order given the topography out here, but I am now wondering whether this might be related. It feels like I need to go deeper into the pedal to get it to respond at highway speeds.

Anyhow, after I arrived I left my ARB fridge running for a few days and it drained the battery. I charged the battery , fired the engine and it coughed and stalled. Fired it up again and took it for a spin, after which I noticed the high-pitched fuel pump whine. Its running fine otherwise.

Thoughts? Should I be ready to swap out the fuel pump?
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  #2  
Old April 23rd, 2013, 10:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jefferson View Post
My fuel pump is making a noticeable buzzing sound - I can hear it while standing at the back of the truck while it idles. This sound is new.

A little background: Just drove the truck 1,800 miles over three days from VA to CO. No issues during the drive, except fourth gear felt pretty gutless crossing Kansas. I had the accelerator floored and it was hard to keep it above 2000 RPMs. Its a 97 auto with 80K miles. I've been driving this truck for 15 years and it normally cruises along in the 2500 RPM range. I was initially thinking a re-gear was in order given the topography out here, but I am now wondering whether this might be related. It feels like I need to go deeper into the pedal to get it to respond at highway speeds.

Anyhow, after I arrived I left my ARB fridge running for a few days and it drained the battery. I charged the battery , fired the engine and it coughed and stalled. Fired it up again and took it for a spin, after which I noticed the high-pitched fuel pump whine. Its running fine otherwise.

Thoughts? Should I be ready to swap out the fuel pump?
Can't speak to the whine, but are you sure it's coming from the tank? With only 80k you'd think it would still have life, but you never know.

Regardless I'll talk you through throwing in a Napa pump for $50 (versus $300 for a Rover pump).
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Old April 23rd, 2013, 10:47 PM
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I was going to ask you about the NAPA pump - I recall you did that recently. Pretty sure its the fuel pump. I got down there and its coming from the top of the tank.
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Old April 23rd, 2013, 10:49 PM
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Actually I wonder if the "whine" and your power issue could be related. There's these clear/accordion fuel lines that run to the pump. They are prone to develop splits/cracks in them, resulting in loss of fuel pressure - and the air escaping could "whine".

Just a thought.

------ Follow up post added April 23rd, 2013 10:52 PM ------

Quote:
Originally Posted by jefferson View Post
I was going to ask you about the NAPA pump - I recall you did that recently. Pretty sure its the fuel pump. I got down there and its coming from the top of the tank.
It's not that bad, and I have all the part numbers. Biggest risk is breaking your cutoff vents at the top of the tank, and I went ahead (since I did break mine) and rebuilt all of my vent tubing using 1/4" vinyl tube, brass quick disconnects, and brass union-Ts (instead of the crappy plastic ones they used at the factory).
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Old April 23rd, 2013, 11:09 PM
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Actually before you do anything, let's start with the basics. I'd pick up a brass fuel pressure rail that screws in where the fuel filter goes (I got mine at Napa, which is a bummer....if you were here we could put it to good use!). Then you can put a pressure gauge on it to see if there's a pressure loss. If there is you know something's up. If not, look elsewhere.

I'll find the part number from Napa for the fuel pressure adapter and post it up.

------ Follow up post added April 23rd, 2013 11:16 PM ------

Here it is, OTC 7665 Fuel Pressure Adapter:
http://www.defendersource.com/forum/...9&postcount=11

Napa has it either in stock or can usually get it within a day.
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  #6  
Old April 23rd, 2013, 11:17 PM
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Good call, Jason. I'll test fuel pressure first. I am going to get the truck out on a good haul tomorrow and see if I have any issues.
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Old April 23rd, 2013, 11:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jefferson View Post
Good call, Jason. I'll test fuel pressure first. I am going to get the truck out on a good haul tomorrow and see if I have any issues.
Actually....do the 97s have a schrader valve already on the fuel rail at the motor? Maybe it's just the 94/95s with the 3.9 that didn't have the schrader valve already on the rail (so you can skip the Napa adapter).
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  #8  
Old April 23rd, 2013, 11:58 PM
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How old is your fuel filter?
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Old April 24th, 2013, 12:29 AM
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Ron it's old enough. I have one in the truck -I'll change it tomorrow.
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Old April 24th, 2013, 12:44 AM
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Worth a shot. Start with cheap and easy.
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Old April 24th, 2013, 06:30 PM
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97s do have a valve on the fuel rail so they are easy to test pressure on.

I had a similar noise with the last pump in my 97. It would get very loud and noticeable. Most of the time the truck would run fine but then it started having intermittent significant loss of power issues. Only happened after running for a while and would last about 30 mins or so then gradually go away until it was running fine again.

I tested the fuel pressure and everything seemed fine. Couldn't get it to show a pressure drop while not under load (be careful over revving a static 97 because of the Auto box). Tried driving with it taped to the window but never got the problem to appear when the gauge was fitted. Changed the fuel filter and checked a bunch of other stuff with no resolution. Finally cured it by changing the pump even though it appeared to be running fine despite making the noise.

I went the NAPA (AutoZone in my case) route and rebuilt the pump housing to accept the aftermarket pump. No issues since. I carry the old pump unit as a spare.
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Old April 25th, 2013, 02:02 PM
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Thanks Ian. I still have not changed the fuel filter. The connectors are corroded, and soaking in PB Blaster at the moment. I am going to pick up a BMW filter (as rec'd on this board) to splice in if I cant get the get things moving with the Blaster. Shame on me - the fuel filter is obviously old and should have been replaced miles ago. But then again, the truck had been running great.
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Old April 25th, 2013, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jefferson View Post
Thanks Ian. I still have not changed the fuel filter. The connectors are corroded, and soaking in PB Blaster at the moment. I am going to pick up a BMW filter (as rec'd on this board) to splice in if I cant get the get things moving with the Blaster. Shame on me - the fuel filter is obviously old and should have been replaced miles ago. But then again, the truck had been running great.
If you can get the connectors undone, then you can just pick up a Napa Gold Fuel Filter #3481 - goes right in using the existing connectors (no splicing needed). $15 if memory serves.
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Old April 25th, 2013, 02:51 PM
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Thanks Jason - Good to know re: the NAPA filter. I have a genuine one that's been under my passengers seat for a while now. Those damn connections are my problem, and I'll be glad to never have to deal with them again. Barbed fittings are so much easier.
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Old April 25th, 2013, 03:05 PM
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Rover sells a kit to hack off the connectors. It is like $50 and comes with fittings.
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Old April 25th, 2013, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nathanwind View Post

Actually....do the 97s have a schrader valve already on the fuel rail at the motor? Maybe it's just the 94/95s with the 3.9 that didn't have the schrader valve already on the rail (so you can skip the Napa adapter).
Just for future reference: '95 V8 3.9 have the schrader valve.
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Old April 25th, 2013, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by MonLand View Post
Just for future reference: '95 V8 3.9 have the schrader valve.
Seriously? So it's just the '94s that they skimped on? Bizarre.
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Old May 6th, 2013, 06:50 PM
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I replaced my fuel filter and the truck is running well. Did about 100 miles roundtrip this weekend, up to about 10,000 feet with no issues. Fuel pump does not seem as loud.

I'd like to have some fuel hose on hand for a future fix (I'll likely need to cut the hard lines and replace the hose w/ band clamps) - what is the diameter of the hose at the fuel filter? I assumed 5/16 but that looks too big. The existing hose looks more like 1/4.

I know AB and Rover have nice little kits for this, but I'd like to assemble my own.
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Old May 6th, 2013, 08:48 PM
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You could hack them off, but I find if you annually change the fuel filter (under $10/Fram), you don't have fitter freezing issues.... Personally, barb fittings aren't any easier for me... Two wrenches takes all of a couple minutes and if you have ever had a hose clamp get finicky, that's a pita too...
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