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Thread: Replacing your fuel pulsation damper

  1. #21
    Van Enthusiast brentlehr's Avatar
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    Very Intermittent fuel smell - In cabin only

    Recently I've had a fuel smell in the cabin after driving short distances and letting the van sit for about 10-15 minutes.. I'll run into the store and come out and it smells like fuel inside only. Nothing outside. I've read all the threads about the fuel pulsation damper and it's not leaking. Recently replaced the fuel filter and rechecked all connections and hoses, they look good. Filler hose looks good. No leaks under the van or visible on any fuel lines or components I can see. No drop in fuel economy... city only has been 20-22 mpg.

    The only thing I've noticed out of the ordinary is what sounds like the fuel pump stays running for about 30 seconds or a minute after turning off the van, but this is only intermittent and I'm not sure that it corresponds to the fuel smell.

    I can't find a mechanic in town that knows much more than I do about working on these vans so I'm hoping you all have some suggestions. The van is a 1989 auto with right at 198K miles. I thought maybe the injectors, but again, the van runs great and there's no loss of fuel economy or power. Any help appreciated.

  2. #22
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    Re: Very Intermittent fuel smell - In cabin only

    Check the the fuel pulsation damper again very closely. My 86.5 had the same condition. I checked it and did not nottice that it had a very small leak. The fuel would evaporate before dripping, but would create the fuel smell. When I removed it it was missing a screw that threads into the middle of the damper. My local auto parts store had a new one in stock for around $35.00. The new one was designed with no screw in the damper. I like that design better. I get kind of sketched sometimes thinking about the layout of the fuel rail and how it resides right on top of the exhaust manifold, the hottest part of the van. Nissan had a van out during this same era, that shared a similar design. I believe it was called the Vannette. According to my network contacts, the weakpoint on that van was the fuel delivery system and cooling system. There were many " THERMAL INCIDENTS " I.E. vans burned to the ground. Nissan conducted a total recall in the US and they no longer exist in the US, as far as Im aware? Bottom line, do not drive your van until you find the source of your fuel leak.

    Best regards,

    Blake

  3. #23
    Van Enthusiast brentlehr's Avatar
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    Re: Very Intermittent fuel smell - In cabin only

    I decided just to try replacing the FPD since they are cheap and in stock. Once removed there was very light fuel smell and residue on the bottom of the FPD and the screw missing like most others reported. Before I was looking for leakage at the banjo fitting, not the bottom of the FPD. Hopefully that's all it is. I also inspected the injectors as best I could and don't see any evidence of leakage which is relieving. Don't really want to remove the intake.

    One note, I followed the instructions for reducing fuel pressure by removing the fuse and expected to get a couple of ounces of gas, but it just kept spewing in a steady stream. Eventually I removed the fuel cap and let pressure out of the system and it stopped almost immediately. Had to leave a fan blowing in the engine compartment all night and most of the day to thoroughly dry things out while keeping a fire extinguisher handy.

    As always, thanks for the advice everyone.

  4. #24
    Van Enthusiast brentlehr's Avatar
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    Re: Very Intermittent fuel smell - In cabin only

    I've driven about 300 miles since replacing the FPD and no more fuel smell. I think it's safe to say it was the culprit.

    Mods, you might want to merge this with the other FPD thread. Sorry for creating redundancy.

  5. #25
    Van Enthusiast boogieman's Avatar
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    Re: Gasoline leak

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/172676281896

    gonna give this one a shot, says fpd4 compatible and made is south korea...auto7 is the brand theres multiple listings, seems about half of the standard brand one..

  6. #26
    Van Enthusiast boogieman's Avatar
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    Re: Gasoline leak

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    so....my ebay order from j'ust automotive parts' was a drop ship from rockauto....do a search at rockauto for #401-0204..$9..plus shipping..threads are good, diaphram looks a little smaller...has the screw in the end...havnt actually run the engine, but im sure its fine..

  7. #27
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    Re: Gasoline leak

    Quote Originally Posted by timsrv View Post
    If you're looking to save money, there's an aftermarket alternative. I've been generally happy with the Standard #FPD4 dampers, but have noticed the threads to be a bit rough. As a result, I chase them with an M12 X 1.25 die & then they thread onto the fuel rail easily.
    I acquired a similar aftermarket FPD from Oreilly Auto Parts and noticed the threading was a little off - went in a little bit more rough than I would have hoped but sits snug (I was worried that I was cross-threading it, even after 10 or so attempts to meticulously place the FPD properly, and I have a steady hand).

    Should I be concerned that I stripped the threading in the fuel rail? Or is a little bit of a tight snug when threading no harm?

    Also, you might find this interesting. There was no fuel pulsation damper when I got my van and only realized that it was missing when diagnosing a hard start issue (thanks guys). In its place was a weird screw that had a whole in it, presumably allowing fuel to pass through. I'll post a picture of this later on this thread.

    Don't know how this worked for my 3000+ mile road trip last summer... I will admit that my distributor, spark plugs, and one injector were shot resulting in me finishing my last 600 miles through the Arizona desert in June with only two cylinders firing (that was nerve-wracking to say the least). She lives to see another day though

  8. #28
    Administrator timsrv's Avatar
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    Re: Gasoline leak

    Quote Originally Posted by tennesseetoyota View Post
    Should I be concerned that I stripped the threading in the fuel rail? Or is a little bit of a tight snug when threading no harm?
    It's a steel part threading into an aluminum fuel rail. Yes it's possible to damage the fuel rail threads by forcing one with crummy threads into it. If/when the fuel rail threads strip out it becomes scrap metal. Since you managed to screw it in and tighten it enough to seal, then I'd just leave it alone. If/when you ever need to take it back off I would clean-up the damper threads before putting it back on. Tim

  9. #29
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    Re: Gasoline leak

    Quote Originally Posted by timsrv View Post
    It's a steel part threading into an aluminum fuel rail. Yes it's possible to damage the fuel rail threads by forcing one with crummy threads into it. If/when the fuel rail threads strip out it becomes scrap metal. Since you managed to screw it in and tighten it enough to seal, then I'd just leave it alone. If/when you ever need to take it back off I would clean-up the damper threads before putting it back on. Tim
    Should I be concerned about a fuel leak? I don't smell any fuel but there is some residue on the exterior of the FPD currently.

    Is there any way to test for a fuel leak besides smelling for it?

    Thanks as always Tim!

  10. #30
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    Re: Replacing your fuel pulsation damper

    Wipe it off and if it comes back and smells like gas, fix it-or you'll have the char broiled edition!

  11. #31
    Administrator timsrv's Avatar
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    Re: Replacing your fuel pulsation damper

    Lol, This type of fitting is reliable, but in order for things to work it should be installed with new crush washers and torqued properly. If there's thread interference, depending on how much it can be impossible to know how much of that torque is on the threads vs the crush washers. If there was a lot of torque required to seat it on the washers, then it might be better to remove, chase threads, then reinstall. Since it was forced on before, depending on how much force it took, the fuel rail threads may be damaged. As long as it can be made to thread easily AND if you can achieve torque (22 ft lbs) without the threads pulling out of the rail, then it should be fine. And don't forget to do a leak check before putting it back into service. Tim

  12. #32
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    Re: Gasoline leak

    Quote Originally Posted by timsrv View Post
    If you're looking to save money, there's an aftermarket alternative. I've been generally happy with the Standard #FPD4 dampers, but have noticed the threads to be a bit rough. As a result, I chase them with an M12 X 1.25 die & then they thread onto the fuel rail easily.
    I spent 45 minutes busting my knuckles trying to thread that rockauto FPD thanks for the advice

  13. #33
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    Re: Gasoline leak

    Quote Originally Posted by reclusebrown View Post
    I spent 45 minutes busting my knuckles trying to thread that rockauto FPD thanks for the advice
    Add me to that list! Just spent an hour trying to thread that hunk of crap FPD3 into my fuel rail. Meanwhile, the old one I pulled out goes in like butter. Standard used to be a go-to for me, nice parts made in the States at reasonable prices. Now, between the jank threads on this fuel damper, and the FPR that failed within a thousand miles on my Volvo 240 (both parts most definitely NOT made in the USA!) I think this is the last Standard/Intermotor anything I'm going to buy. Guess I'll chase the threads at work and try again next week.

  14. #34
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    Re: Replacing your fuel pulsation damper

    I had a bad FPD, and I have replaced it. Before I replaced it, I ran the van and pulled the EFI fuse, to lessen the amount of fuel in the fuel rail. When I tried to start it after the fix, I have no power to anything. The battery is charged. Is there an obvious thing this could be, related to pulling the fuse, or just something coincidental?

  15. #35
    Administrator timsrv's Avatar
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    Re: Replacing your fuel pulsation damper

    I can't see how it would be related to anything you did (most likely coincidental). Make sure your battery cables are tight and check the fusible links listed in THIS THREAD.

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