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Bleeding Diesel Fuel Lines on 3000

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Drew McDonald

01-19-2008 23:14:11




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I purchased a diesel Ford 3000 a year ago and now I am having problems. During last use, it felt like the horsepower was surging up periodically. I added diesel conditioner and new fuel (Canadian winter). Now I can't get it to start. I bled out the lines from the fuel filter to the fuel pump as indicated in manual. I can't get to the injectors to take them out to bleed up top b/c the battery is in the way. Is this correct or can I just bleed the leak-off line just before the injector??
Thanks in advance.

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Old Ford Mechanic

01-20-2008 09:57:57




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 Re: Bleeding Diesel Fuel Lines on 3000 in reply to Drew McDonald, 01-19-2008 23:14:11  
Drew,I would go ahead and install a new filter on the tractor.Then turn the fuel on and and let the fuel purge the air pocket from the new filter.Tighten the bleed valve in the top of the filter and then,loosen the small 1/4" hex screw on the side of the injector pump.Crank the engine over until fuel sprays out.Retighten this screw.Now loosen the stay bolt at the front of the battery tray and swing the tray around for access to the lines at the injectors.Now loosen (BUT DO NOT REMOVE)the 3 lines.Just a turn is enough.Now crank the engine over until fuel appears at each injector.Retighten lines and your tractor should now start.The surging you spoke of is a sign of a dirty filter or a plugged screen in the bottom of the fuel tank.To get at the screen remove the fuel line and loosen the fuel shutoff valve.Have a helper hold his finger with a paper towel over the hole when you remove the valve.Clean it with carb cleaner and reinstall.Work quickly and you will not lose much fuel.As others have said your fuel may have been jelled also.The conditioner should have solved that issue.Most likely the new filter and cleaning the screen will solve the problem.A hot battery and the thermostart will help also in the cold temps.Consult the owners manual on how to use the thermostart feature on your tractor.Good luck.If you battery is low a short tow in road gear should get it started.Good luck.

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Texasmark

01-20-2008 15:32:45




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 Re: Bleeding Diesel Fuel Lines on 3000 in reply to Old Ford Mechanic, 01-20-2008 09:57:57  
I don't care which pump you have. If you install the filter and bleed off fuel from the top (of the filter housing) bleed screw till it's solid fuel, all this other stuff is usually unnecessary. Don't fix it if it ain't broke. Don't go through a lot of stuff when you don't need to. You don't need to swing your battery out and all that guff necessarily.

I'm just an urban cowboy..... .with right at 30 years of farming experience under my belt with 7 tractors at one time and 4 of the 7 were Ford 3 cyl's.

Suit yourself.

Mark

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RodInNS

01-20-2008 18:51:51




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 Re: Bleeding Diesel Fuel Lines on 3000 in reply to Texasmark, 01-20-2008 15:32:45  
I always bleed the entire system for the simple reason that it's quicker, easier, and easier on the starter. As noted, it's -25 there right now... I'd want to minimize the amount of cranking at all costs or it won't be running any time soon. It's not much fun to wind the battery down, and then wear the starter out cranking it when opening the lines would save a lot of misery. I've seen the batteries run down stone dead and ruined and starter armetures burnt up from similar situations. I'd not want to be changing that particular starter in those temperatures. I've done it... and lost the bolts into the opening too because I couldn't feel my fingers. I've blead a lot of engines over the years too. Some people here specialize in driving away on an empty fuel tank... A little dash of ether or WD40 sometimes helps them along to get some fuel into them and make them spin over faster. I've used WD40 for that on lazy days.

Rod

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Old Ford Mechanic

01-20-2008 17:35:09




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 Re: Bleeding Diesel Fuel Lines on 3000 in reply to Texasmark, 01-20-2008 15:32:45  
Mark,I respect your opinion and your experience.But he said his tractor had aready been surging.I have found that sometimes when this symtom shows up that the entire system will need to be bled.Different mechanics sometimes have different approaches at problems.Maybe just bleeding the filter will work,i hope it does.If not he still has the info to bleed the rest of the system.I've worked on Ford tractors for over 35 years and i "ALWAYS" bleed the entire system after having it open for any reason.I'm not saying this always has to be done.That is just the way i prefer to do it.That way i know that the fuel system is purged of any air that is trapped.Again "DIFFERENT STROKES FOR DIFFERENT FOLKS" .

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Texasmark

01-21-2008 07:41:15




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 Re: Bleeding Diesel Fuel Lines on 3000 in reply to Old Ford Mechanic, 01-20-2008 17:35:09  
I'm lazy and over the years I have torn up things by messing with them, hence I start with the easiest and "don't fix it if it ain't broke". Like in bleeding the injectors, I can accidentally break the plastic fuel return tube.

I must have been lucky and have not had to bleed the system due to a clogged filter. But I have learned, when the tractor starts acting funny to shut her down, change the filter and go from there.

On a JD once it wasn't the filter. The pump went south.

Sorry if I sound blunt but I just say what I think; have all my life and sometimes it's not in my best interest.

Good luck,

Mark

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Old Ford Mechanic

01-20-2008 10:07:03




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 Re: Bleeding Diesel Fuel Lines on 3000 in reply to Old Ford Mechanic, 01-20-2008 09:57:57  
Also Drew,I'm not sure which pump your tractor has.It may a CAV or a SIMMS MINNIMEC.The CAV is a rotary style while the SIMMS is an inline style.The bleed screw on the pump is the only variance from the way i described in bleeding the fuel system.This will be outlined in your owners manual.The main thing to remember is "you must have fuel at the pump"to get fuel to the injectors.



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Drew McDonald

01-20-2008 10:34:50




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 Re: Bleeding Diesel Fuel Lines on 3000 in reply to Old Ford Mechanic, 01-20-2008 10:07:03  
Thank you sir, I might get this running yet!
Just one thing. Its -25 with the windchill here so before I get on this.....
The swing out for the battery, I have a bucket on the front and I bet the lifting arms are in the way. Just a thought.
Thanks again.



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RodInNS

01-20-2008 09:01:44




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 Re: Bleeding Diesel Fuel Lines on 3000 in reply to Drew McDonald, 01-19-2008 23:14:11  
It's very seldom that I can change a filter on those tractors with the Simms/Minimec pump and NOT bleed the lines at the injectors. Sometimes I catch them; most times not.
Swing the battery out, open all three lines and crank until you get the fuel. Shouldn't take mroe than a minute of cranking.
If you absolutely can't get the battery to swing out, you can try cracking the lines at the pump instead. That won't get all the air out, but at least it will get the air out of the pump and allow the rest to be injected.
On those pumps I just bleed the filter and then at the injectors. They bleed quickly and easily that way...

Rod

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Drew McDonald

01-20-2008 10:07:46




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 Re: Bleeding Diesel Fuel Lines on 3000 in reply to RodInNS, 01-20-2008 09:01:44  
Wow thanks everyone! I am amazed at the quick responses and generous suggestions. Maybe now this city slicker will actually be able to hear the sound of his tractor running again.
Thanks again.
Drew



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john_bud

01-20-2008 08:11:37




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 Re: Bleeding Diesel Fuel Lines on 3000 in reply to Drew McDonald, 01-19-2008 23:14:11  
It sounds like you have restricted fuel flow. It could be from gelled fuel, a clogged filter, a piece of "stuff" in the tank covering the exit screen or even frozen water in the fuel or ice covering the cap vent.

Here's some options.

1) change the fuel filter (always the first thing to check)
2) Take the line off from the tank and make sure you have unobstructed flow for 1-2 minutes. Catch the fuel in a glass container and look at it. Should not have any floaters, black slime or anything like that. 3) Add a full qt (liter for you metric types) of a diesel rescue product like Diesel 911 or similar. 4) Heat the intake / engine. Block heater or even a hair dryer going across the intake manifold for 15 - 30 minutes.

If you didn't run dry, you shouldn't have to bleed the injectors.

Hope you get it running.

jb

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Texasmark

01-20-2008 08:02:35




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 Re: Bleeding Diesel Fuel Lines on 3000 in reply to Drew McDonald, 01-19-2008 23:14:11  
Agree on bleeding not necessary. What you did was to clean out some crud and it wound up in your filter.

I have had half a dozen Ford diesels over the years and on some, you had a filter clog every 6 months; others they never clogged.

Just be sure and bleed the filter after installation from the top plug till clean diesel flows and you don't have to bleed anything else.....before you start it up.

Depending on the pump, there is a pump bleed plug and of course cracking the fuel nut at the injector while cranking is how you bleed them, if that should become necessary.

On the one(s) that liked filters it was easy to tell when they wanted a new one. The power would immediately fall off and the engine wouldn't respond to any throttle, but would idle ok. Seems like when they clogged, the final amount, it was within a matter of minutes.

I had an old 18 wheeler once that had been sitting for awhile. It would run fine till the filter clogged then it would just crap out. So I'd pull over to the side of the road, change the filter, crank her back up and away I'd go. I went through a case of filters before I got the system cleaned out.

Mark

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vtrwillie

01-20-2008 07:50:51




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 Re: Bleeding Diesel Fuel Lines on 3000 in reply to Drew McDonald, 01-19-2008 23:14:11  
Drew, I used to have the same problem. I ended up changing the filter out several times and it went away. (I think the my tractor had sat for a bit before I bought it).

The battery tray should swing out on your tractor so you can access the injectors..... ..... ...



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Tx Jim

01-20-2008 03:39:18




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 Re: Bleeding Diesel Fuel Lines on 3000 in reply to paul, 01-19-2008 23:14:11  
If you didn't run out of fuel you shouldn't have to bleed inectors for it to run. As for the battery,the 3000 I owned the battery tray was hinged to swing out of way to allow access to inj. lines. My 3000 started very poorly below 40 degrees. Does yours have thermo-start starting aid? Jim



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