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Dodge project truck?


GregH's Avatar
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04-28-03, 03:49 PM   #1  
Dodge project truck?

Vehicle: '88 Dodge, 3/4 ton pu, 4x4, 4 speed, 318-tbi fuel injection.

I've just purchased this vehicle as a project truck and will be picking it up from a small town nearby.
Although I havn't had a chance to apply the "basics", I am looking for a generalized opinion on the problem to aid my trip home.

The problem is that a small quantity of fuel has to be dumped in before the vehicle will start. After it is warmed up, the previous owner says it will run all day. The engine runs and idles smoothly and has lots of power and I think he said they changed the mass airflow sensor. Previous owner claims 90k on the odometer is original, but because it only has 5 digits, I will only be sure when I change the timing chain.

Whadya think?

I have lot's of experience with carbs, especially non-electric quads. Every FI vehicle I've owned I had only to put gas in it and turn the key.


GregH.........HVAC/R Tech

 
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04-29-03, 05:42 AM   #2  
Joe_F
Start by checking the fuel pressure. Probably a weak fuel pump.

 
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04-29-03, 08:40 AM   #3  
My Dodge van had the same problem and it drove me crazy for a long time . What I found was a blocked fuel line in a 180 degree bend coming from the carb to the fuel filter. The blockage was something like crude oil. When it was cold it coagulated and would not let fuel past. When fuel was poured into the carb it started fine and ran fine all day long as the blockage was warmed and allowed fuel to flow. What I'd look for is a blocked fuel line. Good luck

 
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04-29-03, 10:47 AM   #4  
Man you guys are busy over here!
Good thing people don't jump into their furnaces and take them around the block!

You are likely right as the mystery I think has been solved.
The rest of the story, now that I have it home is that the previous owner had problems with the fuel pump. He removed the tank replaced the fuel pump and reinstalled the tank and the pump didn't work. He removed the tank again and tried it on the ground and it ran. Reinstalled the tank and it worked ok for a couple of weeks when it wouldn't pump again.
In frustration he cut the wires to the pump and installed an external one!
So right now the pump is fairly loud and I can't even say whether it's even a new one.

What should the fuel pressure be for this vehicle?

I'm gonna try and spend a couple of hours on it tonight with a pressure washer and a scraper to dermine the scope of this project.

Thanks for your interest.

PS: I'm going to wait a couple of weeks 'till i go to the city where I can look at the manuals before buying one so I'll go to the library or bug you guys for now.


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04-29-03, 11:29 AM   #5  
Joe_F
Take out the hokey fuel pump, fix the wiring and put back the original part. Buy an OEM Chrysler part...been updated many times over the original.

The fuel pressure specs should be located in autolibrary.org below.

 
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04-29-03, 08:57 PM   #6  
Just spent a couple of hours with the presure washer on it and have discovered the genius that hooked up the external fuel pump, connected it to a circuit that goes off when the starter is engaged!!!


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04-30-03, 01:58 AM   #7  
You need about 15psi. I hate in-tank pumps as much as the previous owner did. But a hack job will make any set up a pain. I would leave the pump external and buy a Holley, Edelbock, Carter, etc…… pump. Just make sure you get a name brand one. You might have to pick up a fuel regulator to go with it. With and external pump/regulator set up you will be ready to adapt your fuel system to what every your project evolves to. It also makes it quite easy to swap it out in the boonies. I run this setup on all of my trucks. But I put the fuel pump on a in-cab rocker switch so it can be cut off if needed.

 
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04-30-03, 06:22 AM   #8  
Would you need a regulator if the pressure exceeds 15 psi?
Also when you use a remote fuel pump do you just leave the old one in place and use it as the pickup?


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04-30-03, 06:24 AM   #9  
Joe_F
Greg:

Those aftermarket pumps are a pain and are junk for a stocker. Go back to the OEM part.

 
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04-30-03, 02:10 PM   #10  
Yes you do need a regulator if you have more than 15psi, but if your pump supplies 16 you will be ok, the exact spec for your truck is 14.5psi. I don’t know what you have in store for this truck but the in tank pumps will not supply adequate gas for any motor much hotter than stock. I have tried to use a Chevrolet in tank pump to supply a middle of the road 400SB, and it was fuel starved 50% of the time. And if you plan on using the truck off road a lot the pump/regulator is much better. If any thing happens it is very easy to change the pump. Not so with an in tank pump. After you pull the skid plate and tank you have wasted a lot of time you could have been exploring. I have had several in tank pumps fail on me on the trail, I have yet to have to have the Mallory fuel pumps I use fail. But I carry a spare just in case, but that is a good idea in any off road vehicle. I even use this set up on my rock buggy. It is also the set up the just about every one runs in race applications, because of the ease of fix, and how scale-able it is.

 
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04-30-03, 03:47 PM   #11  
Joe_F
Most of those "high performance" pumps are overrated because they show free flow GPH . Never really like that. LOL.

The stock pump should be fine if you use an OEM quality one, Carter was OEM in that year.

 
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04-30-03, 04:03 PM   #12  
Got it running for now.

The wiring hook-up was wrong as I thought.
The aftermarket pump was connected to an accessory fuse that shuts off when cranking. Found a terminal that was live on cranking hooked it to a piggyback fuse adapter and now it starts and runs just fine. The pump is fairly noisy though and I will replace it when I get to that end of the truck.
Right now I just pulled the front wheels and will need a box full of parts to tighten everything up.
Time to sit down with a library Chiltons and plan out the dissassembly.

This truck will be a muti-purpose truck for everything from 7 hour drives to the city to lake and river ice fishin' to loading up with dirt for the garden.
The only thing remotely exotic will be a winch bumper I built, a small box mounted crane/lift and a roof mounted swivel/tilt search light.

I kinda like the idea of a remote fuel pump. The few tanks I have had to drop are more than enough.
If I was to stay with a remote pump what would one do with the in tank one?


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04-30-03, 05:55 PM   #13  
Joe_F
Leave it in there as there is nothing to seal the hole with . It would just be disconnected.

If you get a good quality pump, it will last a long time. It took my friend 156,000 miles to wear out the one on his 1991 Dodge Shadow. Just went last week .

 
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05-01-03, 01:56 AM   #14  
To be fair I have seen a lot of in-tank pumps last quite a while. And if carter made that year’s in-tank pump I would think it a quality part. But it is all ready converted I would not worry about it. Several after market companies make in tank pick ups for stock tanks, but in my opinion they end up being way more trouble than leaving the old pump unit in.

 
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05-01-03, 05:55 AM   #15  
Thanks for all your help.
Now that it's running I can get onto the front end. I wll be eventually dropping the tank to see if I can figure out what caused the pump to fail in the first place. I like the idea of an external pump but original is good too. The fuel rollover shut-off appears to be in the tank and it would be good to get that operating.

Now on to the front end.

Why I like to carefully look through the manuals before I buy them is each one seems to favor a certain topic. Unfortunatly the Chiltons I got from the library is very weak on 4x4 front ends........., so.

I'm hung up on the terminology of some front end parts.
What do you call the u joints that are on the front axles and connected to the front hubs?


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05-01-03, 06:11 AM   #16  
Joe_F
Pick up a Chrysler service manual...see my "The Basics" for the source (Dymet). Best manual for the truck.

 
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05-01-03, 01:08 PM   #17  
They can be called “outer” or “knuckle” u-joints. Some people also call the wheel u-joints.

 
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05-01-03, 04:25 PM   #18  
I'm with Joe on the pump situation. As a long term reliablity goal I would replace the in tank pump module with one from Mopar. Joe is correct that in the real late 80's and into the early 90's the pumps and filters went through alot of change. 5217863 should be the Mopar part number and one of the cheapest places for genuine parts is www.kollerdodgeparts.com and they ship worldwide. As for a manual, the Factory Manual is the one you really need. I usually get all 3, Factory,Haynes and Chilton's and then I have ample info to read while on the throne!

If you want the Factory manual on CD-Rom go to www.moparmanuals.com and use "You can get 10% off if you use coupon code 255727" this coupon code is from www.allpar.com

Dodge
To order Dodge service manuals, contact:
Dyment Distribution Services
P.O. Box 360450
Strongsville, OH 44136
(800) 348-4696
(216) 572-7240
fax: (216) 572-0815

Sometimes Ebay has used manuals and there are others on line like www.books4cars.com

www.alldatadiy.com is also a great site for a 1 year subscription for $25. It includes all the factory wiring,vacuum diagrams and all the Service Bulletins. Hope this helps some. Regards-Stevo

 
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05-01-03, 06:48 PM   #19  
Joe_F
Greg:

Also try Dan Bower at [email protected]; Dan Klein at [email protected], Dave Masirik at [email protected]

I have dealt with Dan #1 and #2, both are excellent. Dan #3 I just bought my 84 Oldsmobile manuals and 1989 Cavalier manuals.

I got four books with shipping from #3 for 65.00. Should be here any day.

 
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