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Old 03-12-2018, 04:01 PM   #1
rporzio
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Default 3 sets of fuel pumps failed

I need some help. My 84 242 somehow got water in the tank and after we replaced both pumps, filter and all injectors my main fuel pump would start to whine after a few days and eventually fail. We're now on the 3rd set of both and just yesterday the main has started to whine loudly again although at this point it hasn't failed. I did replace both relays and noticed today that after the car starts the fuel pump relay vibrates slightly, don't know if that's normal. Would really appreciate some tips/help in troubleshooting to find the problem rather than replace the pump(s) again. Thanks, Ralph
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Old 03-12-2018, 04:09 PM   #2
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Have you had a good look inside the tank? My guess is that it is rusty as hell, and the fine rust particles are eating your pumps up in short order. This happened to me before, and I went trough 3 in tank pumps before I noticed. If it is rusty you can remove the tank and take it to a radiator shop to have them coat it.
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Old 03-12-2018, 04:13 PM   #3
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You've replaced both pumps three times? What was wrong with them each time? Was the sock on the intank filled with crap?
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Old 03-12-2018, 04:13 PM   #4
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No, my mechanic wasn't concerned about the tank after we added the new fuel components and 4 cans of HEET. I will bring it up when the car goes back in next week to try and resolve this. Thanks so much for the idea... R.
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Old 03-12-2018, 04:15 PM   #5
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No the sock(s) looked ok but the main external pumps whined louder and louder then eventually stopped working. R.
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Old 03-12-2018, 04:18 PM   #6
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Did you replace the sending unit? Aftermarket units are wired backwards causing the main pump to starve.
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Old 03-12-2018, 04:19 PM   #7
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What????? By sending unit you mean the in tank pump?
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Old 03-12-2018, 04:19 PM   #8
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Confirm the in tank pump is pumping. If it isn't it will make the main pump louder, but I've never actually seen it kill them. Usually when I first get a new to me 240 the in tank is dead, and prob has been for years, who knows... Are you saying the main pump has died 3 times in succession, but the in tank has been fine?
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Old 03-12-2018, 04:20 PM   #9
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The sending unit is the whole deal that fits into the top of the tank with pump attached.
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Old 03-12-2018, 04:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hiperfauto View Post
Did you replace the sending unit? Aftermarket units are wired backwards causing the main pump to starve.
I replaced the sending unit on my '93 240. And while I replaced the fuel pump wiring itself (much bigger single pump in the tank) the untouched fuel gauge wiring was wrong and the gauge didn't work.
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Old 03-12-2018, 04:23 PM   #11
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The safe way to test that the in tank indeed does flow gas(the right way!!!) is to take the hose off the sending unit, and attach a clear vinyl tube to it that is long enough to snake around to the tank filler neck. Energize the pumps by jumping them at the fuse box and confirm that an appropriate volume of gas is flowing out of the tank through the tube and back into the tank. I usually just pull the hose and then energize the pumps and look to see that some gas squirted out... but that prob isn't all that safe...
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Old 03-12-2018, 04:26 PM   #12
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yes we tested the in tank pump by disconnecting the line to the main and visually saw fuel. The in tank pump was actually replaced twice, once because it was dead and the other just to make sure since it was an after market piece and not that expensive. The external has been replaced 3 times all with the whining and then dying symptoms leading to failure. R.
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Old 03-12-2018, 04:29 PM   #13
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The in tank sending unit was replaced during the original build in 2010. I bought it from partsgeek.com 204.00 shipped
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Old 03-12-2018, 04:30 PM   #14
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If the in tank isn't being killed it is prob not rust in the tank... What this is sounding like to me is a fuel pump relay issue... possibly it isn't giving good voltage to the pump? What about wiring? You need to pop the cover of the fuel pump relay and re-flow solder to all the connections. Then I would make a good test light with a incandescent brake light or similar that would pull pretty good amps, and hook it up to the power wire at the pump. See if it lights it up nice and bright... Check the wiring as much as you can for any shorting...
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Old 03-12-2018, 04:31 PM   #15
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Those pumps are kinda crappy... if they lasted 8 years that would prob be pretty good really...
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Old 03-12-2018, 04:37 PM   #16
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Thanks labyrinth, I replaced both relays just to be sure. What voltage should I see at the main pump itself, a solid 12V or will they run with less?
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Old 03-12-2018, 04:38 PM   #17
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What brand of pumps are being installed? Cheap stuff or decent, sourced from chinabay or a reputable vendor?

The relay shouldn't be buzzing at all. I'd look at that as well. Either swap with another, see if the issue remains (if so, check your control circuit to it), of not, then you have a relay issue.

FWIW I've had a brand new Delphi sourced from one of the chain stores that crapped the bead on the test drive, so there is indeed some crap stuff out there, even thru legit channels.
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Old 03-12-2018, 05:03 PM   #18
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Could it be a really clogged fuel filter? Know you replaced it but if a lot of gunk got dislodged it might have clogged up quickly...
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Old 03-12-2018, 05:04 PM   #19
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Two from AutoZone and one from Advance. Is the control circuit the piece under the hood, front passenger side? I've often wondered about it contributing to this mess over the years. What points should be checked on the control unit? The relay is vibrating slightly but consistently, so did the old one. I was under the impression that it was either operated or released. R.
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Old 03-12-2018, 05:06 PM   #20
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good point about the filter but my mechanic checked for pressure at the rail and found it to be good, does 80 something or other sound about right, can't exactly remember what he told me.
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Old 03-12-2018, 09:30 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by intothelabyrinth View Post
If the in tank isn't being killed it is prob not rust in the tank... What this is sounding like to me is a fuel pump relay issue... possibly it isn't giving good voltage to the pump? What about wiring? You need to pop the cover of the fuel pump relay and re-flow solder to all the connections. Then I would make a good test light with a incandescent brake light or similar that would pull pretty good amps, and hook it up to the power wire at the pump. See if it lights it up nice and bright... Check the wiring as much as you can for any shorting...
Pump relay issues such as poor ground connection can cause the relay to rattle like a rattlesnake.
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Old 03-13-2018, 01:34 AM   #22
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Just the name of the place you bought them doesn't say much. Both of those places sell Delphi stuff. Could be junk pumps, could be the relay or wiring to it. There's no specific 'control circuit' component.
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Old 03-13-2018, 05:02 AM   #23
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Airtex E8778 intank and be done. Approved and a proven good pump by cleanflametrap. Now I do have a Delphi inline purchased from RockAuto. While louder than stock, it has worked fine.
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Old 03-13-2018, 06:12 AM   #24
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Thanks lummert. The ground for the relay is under the carpet by the driveshaft tunnel? Centason, good advice for the in tank but hopefully I'll find something wrong before putting any more new components in... Ralph
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Old 03-13-2018, 06:18 AM   #25
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I'm also wondering about my sending unit. Purchased and installed back in 2010 during the original resto we never heard of reversed wiring from the vendor. Would the fuel system have worked so long before starting to fail if the wiring was reversed? R.
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