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Rain, Delays, and Other Setbacks

It has rained or stormed for the past 4 days, so I haven’t gotten much done to my truck.  I did buy a new wiper pulse board.  Now my wipers/washer work on command again.  It’s nice to see the weather cooperate this weekend so I can get some work done.

I used an AirTek pump in my car out of necessity as that’s all Autozone or Advanced carried in store. Had to have my car up and running immediately, so I went with it.  Since the truck can be off the road indefinitely, I went ahead ordered a Delphi pump for it. Only a bit more than the AirTek, and even got an online 15% off. With shipping, tax, and all, it cost me less than the AirTek would have if I bought it in the store! 😀

Anyway, I thought I’d get everything ready so I could just drop the new pump in when it gets here tomorrow. First thing I decided to do was change out the fuel filter. That turned out to be what I spent the bulk of my weekend doing.

First thing I saw was that the connectors were rusted to crap. I sprayed both ends down with PB Blaster and let them soak for about a half hour. Came back and they still wouldn’t budge. Gave both ends a few taps with the wrench to try to break loose and gave another shot or two of PB Blaster. Came back a few minutes later and the tank side line came loose. Also felt the engine side move too, and it seemed like it came loose. Let the lines drain and then started to remove the connector on the tank side. When I got it off, I noticed that the other side didn’t break free, it twisted and sheared the connector off the pipe. Whoops!
Went to Advance and got a 3/8″ fuel line repair kit and by the time I got back, it was too dark to do anything.

The culprit. Also pictured is the broken pipe fitting.

Slept in today and finally got started working around 12:30. Took a look at the damage to try to get a game plan going. I knew I was going to have to cut out some of the fuel line, but I didn’t have any pipe cutters small enough to work.  Decided to cut it with a reciprocating saw, but that was too big as well. Finally found the Dremel tool. Unfortunately, the cutting discs were about 12 years old and broke apart if you looked at them the wrong way.  I think I went through about 10 or so, some not even touching the pipe before flying apart.

The broken pipe was twisted tight enough to seal the fuel in pretty well, so it took about 2 hours of draining and letting the fuel evaporate before I felt comfortable having sparks near it.  As a precaution, I kept the fire extinguisher within a foot of myself just in case.

Ended up cutting a lot more of the line than I planned to, otherwise the compression fitting would have been in a very awkward bend that I doubt would have sealed well.  I did have to bend the new pipe a bit, but really didn’t know how to do it properly.  I practiced on the extra pipe after I trimmed my patch down.  I just put the pipe in a vice and tapped it gently with a big pair of pliers.  It didn’t take much force, but left a very tiny dent you can see in the pics.  I don’t think that’ll hurt anything, though.

Not great, but not terrible

Another angle

Well, everything seems to be tight. I did forget to put the bracket that holds the lines and filter in position. It doesn’t look too load bearing, and I don’t think it will hurt to leave it off. Besides, I’m pretty sure it needs to be off since the filter has to be able to wiggle to get it on and off in the future (with this fix in place).

The moment of truth.  I turned the key on and off a few times to let the pump prime the empty fuel lines.  I looked under the truck and didn’t see any leaks.  That’s good.  Went ahead and started it up, and the idle sounded a bit off.  Looked underneath again, but didn’t see any leaks.  However, I DID notice that I wasn’t paying attention and accidentally put the fuel filter in backwards.   I couldn’t help but laugh, if for no other reason than to keep from being pissed off.

After a short break, I went back and had it switched around in about 10 minutes.   Idle was much better.  Still no leaks.  I even took the truck off the jackstands and gunned it up the driveway to test it under load.  Parked it and it was dry as a bone.  Still should probably keep an eye on it for a while, though.

If Plan A didn’t work, I had a backup plan consisting of fuel injector clamps, a new fitting, and some stiff rubber hose.  I’ll probably keep these in the truck in case it ever springs a leak. As someone on Ford Forums said once, “I don’t jerry rig, I make custom parts out of alternative materials.”



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