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Old 09-28-2003, 05:50 PM   #1
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Help, we're stuck in Utah

Not that Utah's a bad place, we just need to get to Los Angeles for a friends wedding this weekend. so . . .

Anyone have a reference on a good mechanic in the Salt Lake City area?
We're stuck @ the KOA. Looks like a fuel system problem, I've replaced the inline filter, checked pressure from my electric pump, cleaned the filter @ the carburetor, still no go. It'll idle for a few minutes then die. Worse when the electric pump isn't on. Done what I can so I think it's time to call in the professionals, trouble is, I don't know any here. Any help is greatly appreciated.

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Old 09-28-2003, 05:58 PM   #2
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Not that it will help, but same thing happened to me years ago. It was a puddle of water in the fuel tank. Dropped the tanks right there at the campsite, suctioned out the water with a turkey baster, and never had the problem since.

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Old 09-28-2003, 06:01 PM   #3
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Try running a plastic line from the carburetor inlet line (disconnect carb filter & push a plastic hose over the line), run the electric pump and discharge into a pail. If no flow, try again at inlet to mechanical fuel pump.

If the inlet line in the fuel tank appears to be clogged (no or little output from electric fuel pump after a minute or so). try to blow air pressure into the inlet of the fuel line just upstream of the electric fuel pump. Be sure to loosen the fuel cap so as to not overpressure the fuel tank.

There may be a filter or screen on the end of the pickup that may be clogged. The '87 has a clean out/drain plug at the rear of the fuel tank -- might try draining a quart or so from it to see what's in the bottom of the tank.

Will need to be cleaned of that's what is the matter, but it may get you home.

Be sure to carry an extra in line fuel filter if the "blowing out" of the fuel tank works.

Good Luck!

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Old 09-28-2003, 06:02 PM   #4
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See if the oils smells like gas. GM mehanical fuel pumps have been known to develope a leak internally and dump fuel into the crank case.

A failed electric choke can exhibit the same symptoms. Take the top off the air cleaner and verify it's opening once it starts. Should be fairly well open by 4 minutes.
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Old 09-28-2003, 06:03 PM   #5
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One more thing you could do to isolate the problem.
Undo fuel line at the rear electr fuel pump and plug it.
Get a few feet of 3/8" fuel line, attach it to electr fuel pump and feed it to a spare fuel canister. If it runs you know its in the tank somewhere.
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Old 09-28-2003, 07:31 PM   #6
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One other thing is the flow valve in the carburetor might be set too low.
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Old 09-28-2003, 07:54 PM   #7
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If it is water in the fuel you could always add couple of bottles of heet to get it out of the system. Tis would save you from having to drop the tank.

You say you cleaned the filter at the carb. There should be a parts store that will have the replacement element in stock. I would be leery of the cleaned element.

Too bad you didn't brak down in Idaho. The people there are Great, I had lots of help from forum members there.

Good luck! Let us know what it turns out to be so we can add the info to the collected wisdom.
Brett G
WBCCI #5501 AIR # 49
1978 Argosy 28 foot Motorhome

Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something. -- Plato

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Old 09-29-2003, 01:08 PM   #8
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Hope you are running now, but, incase you are still there, here are a couple of ideas. The other ideas are right on the mark, too.

A. Don't forget to check the filter in the Q-jet carb. It is built into the front of the carb behind the large fitting where the fuel line goes in. 1/2" dia X 3/4" L, either paper or compressed Brass.

B. My '87 345 has a large filter, soda can size, on the frame rail near the entrance door. remove the fiter and drain it from the "in" side into a container and check for water.

C. Check your spark plugs and change them if they are not a light tanish grey color. Heavy carbon black means too rich, chalky white means too lean or water. If you are taking the time to check them go ahead and replace them. P.S. it's easier through the wheel well as opposed from the top or bottom.

D. Depending where you are in Utah, Altitude could be the issue. If you live at sea level and the carb is set lean, then you will be excessively rich at say 5,000 feet +. The plugs will be very black. this problem would also fit your description of stalling because of the plugs being "fouled". The correct AC plug # is R45TS. You can lean out the carb, but, this should be your last resort.

E. The float in the carb could also be bad giving the same rich symptom and carboned plugs.

F. LUCAS oil products makes a very good product called injector cleaner (works on carbs, too) in a 1 qt squirt bottle. It treats 80 gallons. I used it after purchasing my 345 It sat for over 18 months and ran terrible. After 1 tank, (I have an 80 gal money pit), it ran like knew. This might be helpful if you got some bad gas at your last stop, but, only add it when you fill up to ensure proper mixxing in hte tank, after you solve the problem.

G. Dry gas, gasline antifreeze, or HEET as previously mentioned, will remove water, but not help bad gas, octane booster ie. 104+ will help there. You can add this to the tank now, wiggle the coach back and forth to mix it in the tank.

Good luck, and let us know when you are back on the road.

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Old 09-29-2003, 10:00 PM   #9
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Pinched fuel line!

We're running, matter of fact we're in Vegas tonight. Turns out, whoever installed the fuel filter bent the metal line in the process. I aggravated it when I changed the filter. Cut out the bent section, replaced it with rubber line. Replaced the fuel pump anyway, and she runs better than before.

Thanks for all the advice!!!

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