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Bigj66

TD5 fuel problem

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Driving home last week and the engine cut out suddenly without any warning. Up until then it had been running fine and just come back from a trip to the garage to get amongst other things, the injector seals replaced and fuel filter changed.

Nice man from the RAC diagnosed a failed fuel pump so I ordered a VDO one and fitted it. New seal and lock ring. After a bit of priming the engine started but I immediately noticed that the pump was quite noisy as it was running as if it was drawing air from somewhere. Checked the pump pipes which are all secure and in good nick so I’m wondering if there could be another source for air getting into the system? The pump will shut off once primed with the ignition on but with the engine running it kicks in again and the noise is very noticeable. 

The car drives okay without any smoke etc but there’s obviously something not quite right so can anyone suggest a place to start looking beyond the connections for the pump, filter etc that were disturbed during the recent work? I can’t see any fuel leaks to point me towards the problem so maybe there’s something else I need to check.

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What state is the fuel filter head in?

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Air bleed value in the filter head? might be shot or in the wrong place. This cuased simialr issues for me, might be worth changing it for the sake of £10 !

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Cheers guys, is that the filter on the rear chassis rail?

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Cheers, the filter has just been changed so I’ll check the housing.

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Well I went to check the housing and remove the bleed valve but the housing bracket decided to part company with its mountings.

5-EA4-BC04-0-CF4-4871-982-C-9270197335-C

Rather than mess about I ordered a new one but whilst I had the time, I decided to strip the valve and see what all the fuss was about. Pulled the insert from the brass fitting and cut it open. Might help others in the future.

Looked a bit gunked up and there was no way I could blow through it.

CC752886-C80-A-4491-994-B-EBE079-D4-DC2-

Whipped the top off with a Stanley knife and revealed the gauze filter, totally blocked.

8426-F418-AE08-49-E0-8-BC6-1-B7-E000-D52

 

Fingers crossed the new housing sorts out the starting problem.

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Bit more help needed with this problem please.

New VDO pump and filter head have now been fitted. However, I can still hear the air in the pump and even after a drive the engine is struggling to start straight away. Whilst driving I can hear the pump noise due to air in the system and so I am wondering if I should be looking elsewhere for this problem?

I’ve checked all the pipe connections etc and all seem in good condition and there are no apparent leaks. I did pull the top cover off the engine yesterday to check under there and everything is dry but it seems that air is getting in rather than fuel getting out.

The injector seals were recently replaced and it seems like the starting problem has only manifested itself after that although the pump failure was probably just a coincidence. I didn’t replace the seals myself but got a garage to do it for me as I’d started to notice the engine taking longer to start and I’ve no reason to doubt that the work has been done but I do wonder if there’s something that may not have been properly tightened up during that process and which he has maybe overlooked?

If so are there any checks that I can do myself on the drive without the need to pull the injectors out? In other words, could something just need nipping up or am I best getting it back to him?

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Posted (edited)

The fuel lines are under pressure would have thought you were more likely to see a leak than suck air in, there is a gauze filter behind the fuel pressure regulator that could be blocked, also worth checking you have enough pressure  through the FPR.

Edited by KenM

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Posted (edited)

Do a couple of "purge-cycles" [turning the ignition on with the throttle-pedal down: precise details depend on the age of your TD5's software] without starting - if you can still hear the in-tank fuel pump screaming or swishy-swooshy-gurgling noises, then you've got air/combustion-gases getting into the fuel system somewhere.

Once you've expelled any 'trapped wind' this should not be a recurrent problem unless there's a fault.

Best-case, it could be a need for another injector-seal-replacement [I get these done every 50,000 miles]. Worst-case your head could be cracking.....

A healthy TD5 should start-and-run-cleanly with half a second of cranking.

Edited by Tanuki

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Posted (edited)

Did you make sure the non return value is in the correct place when you changed your fule filter head?

There is conflicting infomation on the net IMO as to where the air blead value and non return valve should go, some say the non return is not needed at all. I had a very similar issue to you, air blead value was blocked and someone had put the non return value in the wrong pipe, this mean that air in the system could not get out thus the pump working overtime and a lot of cranking to get it started. Once the non return value was move to the correct pipe she started fine.

Like you i change the pump, injector seals, loom etc etc

I hope you have the same problem as its an 5 mins fix!

 

Edited by Dan D90

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Thanks for the replies. I went back and checked over everything that I’d done and made sure all the valves were in the correct position which they are. I haven’t checked the filter on the regulator as the regulator itself looks to have been replaced quite recently by the PO when he did the EGR removal etc.

I did notice that the copper washers that came with the new filter housing seem to be a bit oversized and weren’t sat completely central to the four brass fittings so I slackened the fittings off and tried to re-centre the washers to give a better seal. Then I did a couple of purge cycles and it seems to be a bit better at starting now although a small amount of air can still be heard as the pump primes up. Nothing like as bad as it was though. 

I suppose a loose injector securing bolt might allow some air in but before I start looking into that, I’ll see how it runs for a few days and report back.

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If its not causing you a problem to drive now, I'd get driving her to allow the system to bleed itself after a bit of jiggling about, as you've been doing the diagnostics of fixing you can get a bit hyper sensitive to sounds that could have been there before, but you where just not aware of.

 

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6 hours ago, Maverik said:

If its not causing you a problem to drive now, I'd get driving her to allow the system to bleed itself after a bit of jiggling about, as you've been doing the diagnostics of fixing you can get a bit hyper sensitive to sounds that could have been there before, but you where just not aware of.

 

There’s definitely an issue still there. Having stood overnight I’m basically having to go through the purge cycle each time before I try to start it. Even when warm after a good run the air can still be heard in the pump although not as bad as when cold. I’m going to get it back in to the garage to get the injector seals rechecked as I’m stumped as to what else it could be now.

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Does it do the same with a full tank? I remember reading that for some reason similar starting problems can occur when the fuel gets low, something about the pump sucking air out of the tank? Might be worth filling it up just to check.

Dose it start better when facing up or down hill, when I had my issue it was a lot harder to start when facing up hill !??

Have you checked for fuel in the oil as I believe this will occur if you have a cracked head?

Maybe bypass the fuel filter with some long pipe to rule out any issues there or add some clear pipe in the system to see where the air is coming from?

Sorry for the non-technical advice, maybe it will help find the problem without spending money, I wish I had taken mine to a defender expert rather than my local mechanic, as lot of money was wasted changing parts that were not causing the issue.

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Have you checked if the fuel filter is tight enough, maybe the air is getting in there since it has been recnetly channged?

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1 hour ago, Dan D90 said:

Have you checked if the fuel filter is tight enough, maybe the air is getting in there since it has been recnetly channged?

Thanks for the replies. Yes the filter has been checked along with every connection that was disturbed when fitting the new pump and filter head. The tank is about 3/4 full and so the pump is well submerged and it doesn’t seem to make any difference what angle the car is parked at. Once it’s running it pulls as well as it always did. I’ll get those seals checked again and at least eliminate those from the list of possible causes.

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Quick update. Car went back into the garage to get the new injector seals checked and one was showing signs of blow by. All were replaced and the issue has been resolved. Normal starting has resumed.

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