Truck died. Ideas?

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by Scag48, Feb 6, 2008.

  1. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    Well, my '94 F150 (I6 300) shut down on me today, first time since I've had it. Coasting along at 40 MPH, thud, lose all RPMS. It cranks like it wants to start, I'm pretty convinced it's fuel related. I've been having this issue for the last 3 or 4 months that when the truck is cold, maybe for the first 10 minutes of driving it, if I take off at a dead stop it'll play like it's not getting enough fuel even though my foot is in it and I'm clutching properly. This issue quits after she's warmed up. The truck has dual tanks and there should be a pump in each, right? I was thinking after I got the truck pulled over to switch over to the front tank and see if that doesn't fix the problem. Front tank doesn't have very much fuel in it, but I figured if the rear tank pump failed the front tank would at least get me started again. No go on that. I had just filled up the tank about 25 minutes before, not the best quality gas but I've never had any issues with it in this truck. After I filled up, I was cleaning the windshield and applying RainX so I let her idle for a good 10 minutes, drove for another 15 and then she quit on me, so I'm thinking if it was the gas I would have known a little quicker than that.

    I'm pretty sure this is a fuel related problem, she cranks but will not start. Didn't check for spark. My buddy is an auto tech, already called him and left him a message. I'm just trying to nail down some ideas for some parking lot mechanic adventures. I wasn't too far from home, thankfully, truck is about 10 blocks away so I just walked back home. I've been thinking that with the issues I've been having, the fuel filter needed to be changed but here's the million dollar question: will a clogged filter actually stop the truck? Ideas guys? Figured I'd do a little brainstorming while I'm stuck here, the truck is my only vehicle at college. I'm about 2.5 months from buying a near new truck, as soon as I'm done with school my career starts and I'll be able to afford something decent. Until then, we'll be wrenching on our backs on cold pavement. :laugh:
  2. hosejockey2002

    hosejockey2002 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,195

    Since you just filled up my best guess would be a clogged fuel filter. If your filter was due to be changed anyway, maybe stirring up debris in the bottom of a nearly empty tank shoved enough crap into the filter to completely clog it.
  3. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,858

    Could be ignition module too... I know it's just a guess, but I had the same thing happen to me several years ago when I had a '93 chevy. Was crusing along on the highway and it just shut down. Would crank, but no spark. Might be an easy place to check, just confirm that you are getting a good spark.

    Yes, it could be many things, and some bad fuel could also be the culprit.
  4. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    Thanks guys. Like I said, my best friend is a tech and works on Fords all day. He'll probably be able to figure it out easy enough, but I couldn't check spark by myself. I left the truck, told the business owner we'll be back tonight to get it running, if I can't get it running I'll have it towed back to my place. I just talked to my buddy, he's leaning toward the fuel filter being clogged. The truck cranks and almost tries to start, I wanted to sit there and keep cranking on it because I felt like it might start, so I think she's getting spark. We'll see though, he doesn't think it's too serious and we'll get everything figured out tonight.

    We changed out the distrubutor, new plug wires and plugs earlier this spring, I'm not ruling out loss of spark due to ignition module, but we'll know in about 10 seconds whether it's spark related or fuel related. Either way, this doesn't seem to be terribly serious and we'll get her back on the road soon enough. Nothing like the last nightmare I had, the timing belt on my '98 Audi A4 snapped prematurely and cost me $6K to reuild the valvetrain, new belt, waterpump, everything. I have since sold that vehicle, but I don't want another nightmare like that. One good thing about Fords, cheap parts.
  5. lawnwizards

    lawnwizards LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,439

    my truck died like that recently. it was the distributor cap.
  6. grass_cuttin_fool

    grass_cuttin_fool LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,526

    I had a 2.8 in an s-10 do that one time....IT would get moisture in it and then as it ran would dry out and run ok.....last time it quit....replaced the dist. cap and ran like a champ....I put up with it for months for a 10 bux fix :nono:

  7. J&R Landscaping

    J&R Landscaping LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,095

    I was thinking distributor issue as well. When you turn the iginition to ON, Can you hear the fuel pumps "cycling". Maybe flip your switch and check both tanks. Could also be a sending unit on the switch. How many miles does the truck have on it?

    It may also be a fuel filter like some others are saying.
  8. B&M

    B&M LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 333

    idle air control just my .02
  9. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    Get some starting fluid give the engine a little snuff if it wants to start on it then the ignition is fine. A scanner will tell you what is wrong if your friend has a portable snap on scanner plug it into the data port it should give you some idea what is wrong.

    It could be flooding itself and yes a fuel injected engine can flood itself if the Nox censor is shot. It is easy to check if you got fuel to the fuel rail by cranking the truck over and pressing the scherador (sp) valve on the fuel rail. It looks like a tire stem it will spray gas in your face if you have good pressure.

    If you have no pressure when cranking it or even with the key on then you got fuel problems.
  10. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    Alright, here's the deal. Truck isn't getting spark, so it's not fuel related like I had thought. My buddy came out, he took a look at it, not getting spark. At this point, I had it towed back to my house so I can work on it here. Gotta ride the bus, I really enjoy that. :hammerhead: We're planning on working on it Saturday. When you turn the key to the on position, everything sounds normal, seems the pumps are cycling and all that. My buddy is thinking cam sensor or something along those lines, but I'm not sure how that would not produce spark. My first thought was ignition module after we determined no spark.

    I will check fuel pressure later today and make sure that she's getting fuel, although I don't think that's the issue, but I'll check it anyway. Thanks everyone.

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