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Author Topic: low Fuel question..  (Read 2524 times)
travelingfools
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« on: November 09, 2007, 03:21:50 PM »

Here is my question...Is a bus thats low on fuel able to run until its shut off, then not start again ?

Here's the situation..the bus ran fine when it was backed into my driveway. I replaced the battery's today and now it wont start. I put a stick in the tank and find aprox. 7 inches of fuel in the bottom of it. Just for kicks I sprayed a breath of starting fluid in the air cleaner and it fired. Doing the math with the milage, assuming the tank was full, and what the driver put in it, I cant imagine there being much in the tank. I guess its time to go and search all those "ran out of fuel" threads. I didn't have time to do much else as I need to get ready for work.
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John P, Lewiston NY   1987 MC 9 ...ex NJT
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« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2007, 03:40:13 PM »

Here is my question...Is a bus thats low on fuel able to run until its shut off, then not start again ?



A low fuel level could cause lower fuel pressure, especially if the filters aren't entirely clean. And when the fuel gets low, you are more likely to stir junk up from the bottom. First of all, though, I'd consider the ambient temperature. Anywhere around 40 or lower, you might want to try plugging it in first (assuming you have a block heater). If it's still won't start after an hour or two, consider new filters.

Don

Added: here's a related recent thread, with cold starting tips.
http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php?topic=6263.0

Also, fill the tank asap, to avoid water in the tank. At 7 inches, there's a lot of surface area on the inside for condensation to form.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2007, 03:46:14 PM by lyndon » Logged

Don
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« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2007, 03:43:51 PM »

Let's approach this with a reasonable bit of logic.  It will run (how long) on Starting Fluid?  Is the tank lower than the engine? Let's see....it ran long enough to get it into the driveway...so there was enough fuel for that.

The worst case scenario that I could think of is that you might have to haul some 5 gallons cans of fuel to the bus, replace the filters (after filling them), make sure the air damper is not closed, and after all this is done genuflect and promise to the BusGods that you will NEVER allow your tank to get that low again!

With tongue in cheek..... Wink

Bob
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« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2007, 03:49:13 PM »

If the fuel was so low that you quit getting fuel from the tank while backing in the driveway, then the bus  would run for a little while while sucking the fuel out of the filters. As Bob advises, do not ever let the fuel level get that low. All that empty space can cause condensation in the tank also.
Richard
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« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2007, 03:54:46 PM »

Let's approach this with a reasonable bit of logic.  It will run (how long) on Starting Fluid?  Is the tank lower than the engine? Let's see....it ran long enough to get it into the driveway...so there was enough fuel for that.

The worst case scenario that I could think of is that you might have to haul some 5 gallons cans of fuel to the bus, replace the filters (after filling them), make sure the air damper is not closed, and after all this is done genuflect and promise to the BusGods that you will NEVER allow your tank to get that low again!

With tongue in cheek..... Wink

Bob


Was planning on changing the filters in the am...It fired on starting fluid..ran for a few seconds...I would say that its a pretty safe bet the level of fuel may be lower than the engine...When I try it, Ill be praying not only to the BusGods
but also to anyone that'll listen..

FWIW, I have not driven the bus yet, It was filled up when it left Tenn. and the driver (not me) was supposed to fill it in Erie..he only put in 28 gal's there..hence it being real low here..But Ive already learned a bunch about my bus from the playing around Ive done trying to get it to start. If changing the filters dosen't work, and I did run out of fuel, Ill take this opportunity to install an electric fuel pump for priming. And ordering a fuel guage first thing next week..lol 
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John P, Lewiston NY   1987 MC 9 ...ex NJT
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« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2007, 04:08:11 PM »

Unless you live really close to a fuel station, you might even consider paying a delivery charge for a mobile fill. I'd hate to have to prime it twice by running out on the way to fuel up.

Don
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« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2007, 05:53:00 PM »

If it is an EX- NJT Bus like one of the 87 models, You probably have
a couple of things to watch out for.

DDEC engine computer...

You may already have a priming pump. Many of the NJT's with DDEC had a pump already installed and ready to run. You need to check with the other NJT guys that have the 87's....

Fuel pickup on my 83 will not grab fuel below 30 gallons if there is the slightest incline towards the entry door. I found that out on the way home day-1, I should have stopped and came up 3 miles short of home. I stopped alright right in the middle of a busy intersection in the right lane (tilted to the right!)...

Took 50 gallons of fuel to get back to runable. I never let fuel get that low ever again. I drive 150 to 200 miles and fill... also makes the legs feel better to get out of the seat and walk around a little after 3 to 4 hours.

Dave.....
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« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2007, 06:15:21 PM »

It sounds like you are out of fuel. I have the Identical coach, If you want to give me a ring,I will guide you through getting her going again. Not many folks know these things,they are different.
Email me,and I will give my Phone Number.
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« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2007, 08:43:20 PM »

Yep.  Dr Dave and Trailblazer got it I'll bet. 
First, open the upper engine/blower door and check that water is visible in the tank behind and above the blower gearbox.  If water isn't visible in the sight glass, you may have a low water shutdown.  Add coolant.
If the bus leans to the driver's side, it'll run out of fuel even with a 1/4 tank of fuel. 
DON'T start changing fuel filters at this point.  You are going to add to your misery.
Look in the upper left hand corner of the fuel filler door and you should see a fuel pump and switch.  If it hasn't been removed, that's a primer pump. 
Get 20 or 25 gallons of diesel into the the tank. 
Close the ball valve on the supply line in the fuel fill compartment, hold the primer switch in the run position for a few minutes.  After a bit, you should hear fuel piddling back into the fuel tank.  Keep priming.  Priming a DDEC engine may take 5 minutes.   Get someone to hit the starter button while you are holding the primer switch.  If it starts, give it a lot of throttle.  Open the ball valve and release the primer pump switch.  Your DDEC will take off and accelerate when it starts.  Don't let it die by idling too quickly.  Once it smooths out, let it run on fast idle for a few minutes (switch on LH panel "High Idle").   
Make sure that the rear control box is in the "run" and "front" switch positions. 
Charge your batteries...and don't hold the starter button down more than 10 seconds or so.
Those starters are a PITA to replace.  Unless you have a "Check Engine Light" (CEL) staying on in the dash...forget the DDEC.  The only DDEC thing to consider is the fuses that are in the battery box just to the LH side of the box.  One is marked "EDU" and that fuse, if blown, or just loose, will not set a code, but the bus won't run.  You may see a "Do Not Shift" light if the EDU fuse loses contact.  Checking the fuses for being both tight and clean, and of course not blown, is good DDEC hygiene.  Wink
You are very likely out of fuel.  The bus won't run with 7" of fuel in the tank.  25 gallons is used for ballast....keeps the bus upright or something.  It cannot be run that low.  The driver was almost walking. 
Look at the bright side...you may have been responsible for the tow bill if it had run out of fuel on the road.  Shocked
Let me know if you have a primer pump.  The bus won't self prime without it...
DDEC units can be a little more difficult to bleed than MUI. You cannot purge the injectors unless the bus is running.  So gotta get the fuel flowing. 

JR  704 650 0235
BTW, Trailblazer2 (Bill) has recent knowledge of these things!  Grin



« Last Edit: November 09, 2007, 08:45:45 PM by NJT5047 » Logged

JR Lynch , Charlotte, NC
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« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2007, 08:46:43 PM »

I have an 83 MCI-9, when I ran out of fuel, 100 yards for the pumps. They bled the injectors, filled the fuel filters, then put a little air pressure in the fuel tank to force the fuel to the engine.  

That little lesson cost me a four hour delay and $200.00 service call.  This as the first weekend I had the bus.  Now, I never get past a quarter of tank.

Good Luck, wish I had a prime pump.

Bill
In Tampa for the weekend, without the bus.
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« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2007, 10:55:30 PM »

Personally- I use the 1/4 mark as my empty, and when parking the bus make sure the fuel is very close to full.  If you store the bus with a near empty tank, water can condensate on the inside and drip into the fuel.  Best always to keep the tank as full as possible.  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2007, 04:38:12 AM »

Tom,

I didn't know that.  I will feel my tank this week.  Besides the way fuel is going up, it's a good investment.  In fact, why not change over the 120 gallon water tank to fuel.  By it now, while it's only $3.00 a gallon.  Water is cheaper.

Did you know there has not been a major U.S. refinery built since 1976.  My guess is that demand as grown.  Of course the oil companies claim record breaking sales and give there CEO's huge raises for a job well done.  Is there really a CEO worth $25 million.

Just airing it out.

Bill
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« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2007, 06:09:59 AM »

Just got home from work..There is a pump there...looks like it needs a bit of wiring work..I have to work tonight, but took tommarrow night off..Calling for sunny and 50 Sunday, so Ill jump on the fuel project in the am. JR, is that pump 24 or 12 volt ?
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John P, Lewiston NY   1987 MC 9 ...ex NJT
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« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2007, 07:44:21 AM »

Wow... Uhhh.. I just went yesterday to get some diesel at the store up the road from me was at $3.23 a gallon for Hwy diesel. I guess I should have gone down to the truck stop a couple more miles down the road.

$3.23 a Gallon
So my thoughts of bringing another hundred gallons back and topping the bus off is out of the question. I knew I should have brought that 300 gallons of veggie back from Florida with me...
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« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2007, 09:28:52 AM »

I hear your pain but it could/will be a lot worse.  We've been paying $0.95/litre here for some time now.  When you do all the conversions, based on a $1.05 dollar and converted to US gallons that's $3.76/gallon. 
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« Reply #15 on: November 10, 2007, 09:42:32 AM »

Bob, I was just thinking the same thing. And with our dollar pushing US $1.10, it might be time for a road trip south, sucking fumes all the way, just to load up on cheap US diesel!

Don
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« Reply #16 on: November 10, 2007, 12:11:58 PM »

$3.33 per gal here....
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John P, Lewiston NY   1987 MC 9 ...ex NJT
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« Reply #17 on: November 10, 2007, 12:29:23 PM »

$3.40 in my part of Colorado.

Jay
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« Reply #18 on: November 11, 2007, 01:58:14 PM »

Did you get the coach running yet?
Bill
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« Reply #19 on: November 11, 2007, 04:26:01 PM »

Did you get the coach running yet?
Bill

No, not yet..Had to work the past few nights. Did some chores and hauled 25 gals of fuel today. There is a primer pump, but it appears to not be pushing fuel. Heading to NAPA in the am to get another primer pump..still crossing my fingers. Ill sleep a lot better once I hear it run again. Using this time to start stripping the interior. Got a few buddy's comming over later to help take seats out and get the luggage racks down....

I'm learning a ton about my bus and haven't even scratched the surface..lol.

I just want to hear it run..

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John P, Lewiston NY   1987 MC 9 ...ex NJT
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« Reply #20 on: November 11, 2007, 05:25:12 PM »

Did you close the ball valve off at the filler? It will not build up any pressure otherwise.Once it fires up then you can open up that valve again. I am in my 3rd year of ownership,and still learning these kind of tricks.
Bill
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« Reply #21 on: November 11, 2007, 05:30:35 PM »

Did you close the ball valve off at the filler? It will not build up any pressure otherwise.Once it fires up then you can open up that valve again. I am in my 3rd year of ownership,and still learning these kind of tricks.
Bill

Yep, the valve was closed....JR (aka NJT5047) has been walking me through this problem....
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John P, Lewiston NY   1987 MC 9 ...ex NJT
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« Reply #22 on: November 12, 2007, 03:40:57 PM »

We have ignition !!! Thanks to many phone calls to JR, my bus is up and running..what a relief !
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John P, Lewiston NY   1987 MC 9 ...ex NJT
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« Reply #23 on: November 12, 2007, 04:26:38 PM »

Let the good times begin! That JR knows his suff eh? He has directed my flops more than once, a very dedicated person. JR for vice President!!!!!!!Kyle will allow that for sure!@!
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« Reply #24 on: November 12, 2007, 06:24:07 PM »

I know of these things only because BTDT!  I've screwed up every thing that can be screwed up on my bus...and fixed most of the screwups.  Luke, Gump and Butch Williams (and a lot of other busnuts!) offered 'taylored' help when I was having issues.  I'm only returning the favor. 
Owning a bus is a full-time learning curve...a long curve may I suggest!  Wink
John benefits from our 87 NJT MC9 knowledge base.  I don't know Bo about any other bus model.   However, the repairability of an MC9/DDEC1 is remarkable...as long as one knows what to do.   Easy coach to repair.  Comparatively speaking.   Smiley
John, glad the bus is running!   
JR
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JR Lynch , Charlotte, NC
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