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Thread: Fuel gauge not working?

  1. #21
    Administrator timsrv's Avatar
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    Re: Fuel gauge not working?

    I blew out the rear main oil seal in my 86 van (back-up work van) so I pulled an 87 out of the bushes (back-up to my back-up). Since it had been sitting so long I started by draining the old gas out and testing the fuel system. Well darn it, looks like the fuel pump has failed. That's funny because same exact thing had happened to the 86 when I drug it out last year (it had sat for 13 years). So I dropped the tank & pulled the pump. I had reworked the sender just before I parked it so I know it was clean then, well it sure isn't clean now. I was taught to park rigs with full tanks when long term storage is expected. Yes, the gas will go bad after a few years, but it keeps the air and moisture away from the metal parts and protects them from corrosion. Well evidently that's not true anymore. Check out the condition of things (worst of it was submerged under the gas). I'm not sure why, but I think changes to the fuel market must be causing gas to become corrosive when it sits for long periods. I've been resurrecting dead vehicles all my life and have never seen severe corrosion like this on parts submerged in fuel.









    The funny thing is, this is exactly the way my 86 looked when it sat 13 years with the same gas. Next time I store one of these I'll have to fill it with something else.......diesel maybe? The thing is, I never know how long they're going to be stored, so I hate putting something other than gas in there. Maybe I'll just drain and store them dry? Tough call. Suggestions?

    I had a lot of trouble with rust clogging my injectors on the 86 (with rust) after it's long sleep, so I decided to clean this tank. I rinsed the big stuff out with water, then put about 20 rocks inside (ranging from the size of grapes to the size of ping pong balls). My son & I shook the crap out of it (to break up the rust) and I washed it out again. Next I put the rocks back in along with about a cup of phosphoric acid thinned with isopropanol (eats rust). We shook the crap out of it again and left it for the night. Hopefully the acid will take out more rust during the night. In the morning we'll shake it again, remove rocks, rinse, and I'll take some more pics. To be continued. Tim

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    Re: Fuel gauge not working?

    Quote Originally Posted by timsrv View Post
    The funny thing is, this is exactly the way my 86 looked when it sat 13 years with the same gas. Next time I store one of these I'll have to fill it with something else.......diesel maybe? The thing is, I never know how long they're going to be stored, so I hate putting something other than gas in there. Maybe I'll just drain and store them dry? Tough call. Suggestions?
    Been doing research on the web & I think I just answered my own question. Seems that ethanol accelerates corrosion (I always avoided that until it became standard........about 15 years ago). The answer is to use an additive with corrosion inhibitors. Looks like this is a good one: http://www.amazon.com/STA-BIL-22240-...ormula+sta-bil

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    Re: Fuel gauge not working?

    Yeah, I've heard that ethanol attracts water and is prone to corrosion. I think all the newer cars are built for it by using more plastic parts.
    It's like when they took silver out of diesel. We had to start using lubricity additive to not kill injection pumps.
    What is the life expectancy of stabil?

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    Re: Fuel gauge not working?

    Quote Originally Posted by coronan View Post
    What is the life expectancy of stabil?
    I'm not sure, but next time I park something it's getting a dose. I expect to drain gas on anything that sits over 5 years, but didn't expect to see this degree of corrosion. Now I'm worried about my other vans that have been sitting. I hope I don't have to go through this again, but I'm sure I will. Tim

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    Re: Fuel gauge not working?

    Got it all done and was driving the van. Here's some pics of tank and the pump bracket after the acid treatment..........and lots & lots of flushing/rinsing:






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    Re: Fuel gauge not working?

    How long had that van sat with gas?
    Is there an easy way to drain the gas? I'm attempting to replace my fuel pump but I cannot get the gas out of the tank with a siphon. I see a drain plug but wonder what seal I'll have to replace when I do that.

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    Van Enthusiast gushaman's Avatar
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    Re: Fuel gauge not working?

    dont remember a seal at the drain bung, but it has been a bunch of years

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    Re: Fuel gauge not working?

    This one had sat for 10 years. There's a rubber gasket attached to the drain bung. On most of these the bung has a recessed 3/8" square drive hole (a 3/8" ratchet or breaker bar works perfect here). On others I've seen a 17 mm hex plug. I've pulled these drain plugs lots of times and I've never messed up the original rubber gasket. I've always been able to just screw it back in and have it seal (knock on wood).

    After putting this tank back in my 87 I drove it and found it had more problems than I wanted to deal with, so I pulled the tank back out along with the engine. I'm going to put the engine & tank in my 86.

    Update: Here's a thread where I'm documenting this job: http://www.toyotavantech.com/forum/s...ngine-Overhaul

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    Re: Fuel gauge not working?

    Thanks. I just removed the bung, gas, and put it back and no leaks.

  10. #30
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    Re: Fuel gauge not working?

    I thought cleaning the tank would be enough, but the screens on my injectors got clogged AGAIN after only 5k miles. I did just put new injectors in when I cleaned this tank (actually rebuilt ones from Dr Injector) & I did notice the screens they used have less surface area and a finer mesh than the originals, but still figured the factory fuel filter set-up would be good enough to protect them (I figured wrong). These injector screens also have plastic in them (which I don't like). Considering what a PITA it is to remove and clean injectors, I went ahead and purchased new Bosch stainless steel screens for my injectors (but I'm hoping I won't need them). Today I made a mod that will hopefully avert the need to pull injectors again. I removed the factory style fuel filter and replaced it with a hot-rod style canister type. It has a replaceable pleated paper 10 micron cartridge inside. I'm looking forward to easy future filter replacements (and cheap too).

    The big challenge here was finding a suitable place to put this that would also allow access for easy changing of cartridges. After looking around there was only one place (under the power steering reservoir) so I put it there. Here are some pics of the mod.



    I took a piece of 3/16" X 1" steel, drilled holes to match the holes in the reservoir bracket, then welded the filter bracket to it. Here it is after a coat of paint.


    New bracket will fit behind the power steering reservoir bracket like this.


    Next step is to get the old filter & hose out of there. Good riddance!


    I used a clean mason jar to catch drips from the inlet hose of the old filter . No gas left to see what might come out the the other side.


    I dig through my scrounge bucket and find some bolts slightly longer than original bracket bolts & install filter bracket behind PS reservoir bracket.


    Here's some close-ups.




    I cut the banjo fitting off the 8mm metal gas line. Fortunately 8mm is almost identical in size to 5/16" diameter tube. I'm able to use a brass adapter that goes from 5/16" compression to 1/8" FPT and a 5/16" push-on hose end X 1/8" MPT. The hose is Eaton 350psi neoprene (can't be too careful when it comes to fuel).


    On the filter side of this hose I use a 3/8" X 1/8" NPT brass bushing and another push-on hose end.


    I cut the M14 X 1.5 swivel fitting off the 8mm steel line and use a 5/16" compression X 1/8" MPT brass adapter, then a 1/8" FPT brass elbow followed by another push-on hose end. For the other end of this hose (filter side, scroll up to see) I use a 3/8" X 1/4" brass bushing, a 1/4" MPT X 5/16" MFL brass elbow and a 5/16" swivel hose end.


    And here's the best part. With a 1" socket, extension, and ratchet I can remove the bowl from underneath (without jacking) and change the paper cartridge!


    I did a 5 minute leak test & all is fine. With any luck this thing won't clog up right away. I got a couple extra paper cartridges but don't plan on changing them until I hit 10k miles or they clog up. I'll report back with how it works. Tim

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    Re: Fuel gauge not working?

    What micron do you think the stock filter was?

    What is your source and part number for the aftermarket filter???

  12. #32
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    Re: Fuel gauge not working?

    Quote Originally Posted by coronan View Post
    What micron do you think the stock filter was?
    I have no idea, and nobody else seems to either. It also bugs me not being able to see inside of it. In trying to understand my problem I'm envisioning a gap in the pleats or something. I doubt that's the case, but much prefer to see the business end of what I'm installing, especially after having this same issue 4 times over the past 20k miles (dealt with it 3 times before cleaning & installing this tank). Maybe I'll cut open this old filter just for fun. Of all the filter questions I've been asking, this AM filter is the only one with micron info available. Nobody can tell me what micron the injector screens are either (new or old)..........but you'd think the stock filter should have a smaller micron size than the injector screens............right?

    Quote Originally Posted by coronan View Post
    What is your source and part number for the aftermarket filter???
    I got the filter through Jegs. Complete unit is Aeromotive #027-12308. Replacement paper cartridges are Aeromotive #027-12608. There's links hidden in my text that will take you right to the source. Anywhere you see blue text just click and it will take you there. Tim

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    Re: Fuel gauge not working?

    Yeah, thats the problem with OEM. Its good enough but how good was, good enough. Diesel guys filter down to 5 or even 2 micron. But diesel is a totally different animal.

    I'd be curious to see what was plugging the screens.


    You might be able to figure out the micron rating with a wire gauge.
    http://www.filterbag.com/U-S-Mesh-vs-Micron-21.html



    I have had success back flushing my injectors. I hook em up to a pressure bottle filled with injector cleaner and open the solenoid. Its my first stage when cleaning and checking spray pattern.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mnA0cnXckg
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dp-ECEpN52k

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    Re: Fuel gauge not working?

    Yeah, I have no problem flushing them out (once they're out). As you know, the problem is getting them out. No big deal 1 or 2 times, but gets old fast when you're doing it every 4 or 5 months .

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    Re: Fuel gauge not working?

    Okay, so curiosity got the better of me & I opened up the factory style filter. Based on what I found I'm a bit worried now the new one won't be adequate. For the record this isn't Toyota but it's Wix Premium (considered to be top notch). It's actually an impressive design and has a ton of surface area (way, way more than the one I just installed).

    So basically it's 2 long strips of filter media glued together on 3 sides. The fuel enters this "paper envelope" on the open side, passes through the paper walls, then on to the outlet. It's a long envelope (about 5' long & 3" tall) all rolled up with the open end facing the fuel inlet port. There's another ring of glue on the inlet side (where the rolled envelope overlaps) preventing unfiltered fuel from slipping between the layers. Not sure about micron size of the pores, but the real advantage here is free flow and massive surface area (can hold a lot of crap). And that's exactly what mine had in it.........A whole lot of crap! (mostly rust particles). Of course it wasn't catching all the crap (as evidenced by the silty stuff in the outlet tube). The obvious problem with this type filter would be assembly errors. And that's a lot more likely with this design as this one is dependent on accurate and equal amounts of glue used on the seams. If there are any breaches in these seams (and these are significant) then particles can pass. After close inspection it appears there are a few spots where they got sloppy with the glue (too much), and others spots where there wasn't enough.

    It's hard to believe there's still this much crap in my fuel system. I spent some serious time and effort getting this tank clean (check the pics). I suspect some (perhaps most) of it was inside my fuel lines, but these looked pretty clean when I cut and adapted them. So now I have to worry about restricted fuel flow and clogging. Van will be back in service tomorrow so I'll know right away if it's too restrictive. Clogging is another issue, but I'd be happy with 5k miles per cartridge (keeping my fingers crossed). Perhaps a better solution would have been to leave the factory filter as a pre-filter then running it through the AM one. I figured that would likely be too restrictive so I went with just the one. Here's the pics:

    Everything enters here on this end.


    Here's the outlet side (glued bottom of envelope). Note the silty rust junk in the outlet tube.


    Once it exits the envelope it moves to the top and passes through a plastic disc with holes.


    This disc has stand-offs on it which allow fuel to pass to the outlet tube (big hole in the middle).


    I peeled the paper envelope open from the inside to show the crap it caught. There's probably 2 or 3 teaspoons full of "cinnamon" trapped in here. All this in only 5k miles. Hard to imagine my new cartridge catching this much stuff before plugging up. This was the 1st filter since the cleaning of the tank, so hopefully this is the bulk of the leftovers (keeping my fingers crossed).

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    Re: Fuel gauge not working?

    Now Im wondering how the stock toyota fuel filter compares to this wix premium that you took apart...

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    Re: Fuel gauge not working?

    Probably about the same. Perhaps assembled with more care??? I have a used Toyota filter I could take apart, but not too motivated right now (working some long hrs). Good news though, my new filter has been working awesome (no starvation or injector issues) and it's made it over 500 miles so far. Tim

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    Re: Fuel gauge not working?

    Hit almost 1k miles & filter still flowing good enough to keep up with my lead foot. Got my injectors back with my Bosch stainless screens. Hopefully I won't need to install these any time soon, but at least I have them "just in case". Tim






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    Re: Fuel gauge not working?

    Tim curious how thing have ran since you posted last?... Cheers..

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    Re: Fuel gauge not working?

    Thanks for asking. My last post regarding this subject was about 7k miles ago. I was a bit worried the new filter would be restrictive, so I installed a fuel pressure gauge on the output side of it so I could monitor pressure. Here's where I mounted the sending unit:





    I found a neat little mounting pod for the gauge head and mounted it on the right of the instrument hood:





    I used a 6 position quick disconnect for the wire harness so I can still easily remove and reinstall the cluster hood. While I had things apart I also installed an engine coolant temperature gauge on the dash pad.

    So the good news is there was no fuel starvation issues (had constant good pressure on the output side of the filter). Even when pushing the van hard (maximum output on long hills) fuel pressure stays in the 40psi range. I thought about running the filter until I started to see pressure drop, but due to past contamination issues I decided to replace it at 5k miles (at least this time). The filter looks clean inside and out, but there was debris/sediments in the canister housing. Here's a mason jar that I dumped the fuel canister into:



    And here are some pics of the used filter element:





    I was happy to see no sediments inside the filter (last picture) as this is the filtered (output) side. Other evidence that it's doing it's job is the fact my injectors have not clogged up in the last 7k miles (a new record!). Sadly though my fuel pump is not protected by the new filter and the check valve on that failed a couple weeks ago. When I pulled the tank to replace it (last weekend) I noticed new sediments inside (a lot of them). These are very fine sandy/silty sediments that mostly built up in the pump chamber of the tank. This time I dried the tank by hooking it up to my shop vac for a few hrs to evaporate the residual gas, then simply vacuumed it out using various extensions and flexible hoses I rigged up to the vacuum cleaner. I'm thinking these sediments came from the inside of the metal fuel lines, and hopefully this is the worst of it. The new pump is installed and working well. Van is running awesome and starts on 1st crank now. Tim


    Update 12/20/18: #3 injector clogged again (yes, I had to remove injectors and clean them again) . But, it made it 3 years/50k miles this time (prior to filter mod it was 3 - 4 months/5k miles). Because it made it 10X longer, I consider this mod a success. I don't believe the filter element has ever clogged (at least not completely) as output pressure has remained constant since installation of the fuel pressure gauge. That's pretty good considering I ran the last filter element for over 2 years/45k miles)

    I think it's possible I could have avoided (or at least prolonged) repeat injector problems had I changed filter elements on a more regular basis. Since the last episode I've begun replacing that filter element every 10k miles, but it's only been about 15k miles since then, so it will be at least 2 - 3 years before I hit the 50k mark again.

    As you can see in a previous in post (this thread) the tank was cleaned thoroughly. The 1st clogging after that cleaning (5k miles) I attributed to rogue particles left over in the tank. After the next 3 episodes (all at ~5k mile intervals) I started thinking there to be a hard caked-on residue inside my fuel lines. Each few hundred miles of constant flow likely dissolves and releases more particles into the system. There is still ~3 feet of old steel line after the filter, and that could account for the last clogging. Eventually I'm hoping this will clear itself up, but so far it's still been an issue (although much less after the filter mod). Tim

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