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 Stumped on low fuel pressure- HELP!!

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FUN-9C1



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Join date : 2009-05-09
Location : lakes region, NH

PostSubject: Stumped on low fuel pressure- HELP!!   Sat Aug 25, 2012 12:26 am

Wife was driving her '96 L99 to work today when she called me- she'd been driving 45-65 or so for about 40 minutes, and doing 65 for the last 15-20 minutes, car running fine the whole time as it has for years, when all of a sudden she lost power and could barely keep it running. So to make a long story short it got towed home, I hooked the fuel pressure gage up to it and had 10-12 psi. I have spent from 8am until now driving her back and forth to and from work, changing the fuel filter, pressure regulator, and fuel pump, and still have 10-12 psi. You can imagine how discouraged I am right now.... Once I get the 10-12 psi it holds it there forever which would tell me there's no leaks.

What would you guys try next? What the heck else IS there?? Any ideas?
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Ironfistdog



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PostSubject: Re: Stumped on low fuel pressure- HELP!!   Sat Aug 25, 2012 7:21 am

Cracked tube inside gas tank?
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toomanytoyz
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PostSubject: Re: Stumped on low fuel pressure- HELP!!   Sat Aug 25, 2012 7:47 am

Hey Rob! Good to see you still hanging around! Smile Tell Kim I said Hi. Very Happy

Sorry to hear about the troubles. Man, that's gotta be frustrating. WTH could it be? Maybe Indigo is onto something, unless there's a restriction somewhere in the lines now. Maybe try blowing them out with air?

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IMPALADAKID
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PostSubject: Re: Stumped on low fuel pressure- HELP!!   Sat Aug 25, 2012 8:16 am

First off. Glad to still see you around Rob. cheers

Now if it is holding 10-12 psi with the car off, then yes, there are probably no leaks. Or if there is a leak, it take 13+psi to cause it. I would if you have not already tried to to make sure your gauge is working by hooking it up to another car just to be sure it is working correctly. I think at this point I might be looking electrical. If it is getting low voltage, it may only be able to push 12psi with a weak current. You may have to drop the tank again, and look at the connections. I know that many people have had to solder the wires inside the tank due to bad connections. Sorry I can't be more help. Good luck, and keep us informed.

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FUN-9C1



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PostSubject: Re: Stumped on low fuel pressure- HELP!!   Sat Aug 25, 2012 11:22 am

Thanks for the help so far. I did check the gage on the RMW and it's good,
Both the low voltage and the leak on the tube in the tank are both good suggestions. Dammit I wish I'd looked at that tube better while it was out. At least this time it won't take me 2 hours to get the !@#$%^& tank strap bolts out.
On the electrical side- I wonder if it would sound obviously different on low voltage? I could definitely hear the pump running and it sounded pretty normal, but I wasn't paying THAT much attention, so maybe...
I don't know. Right now I'm going to dig Ol' Statey out of hibernation. Probably been over a year since he's been on the road. But at least I know what that needs- exhaust and a battery. Gotta have another car by Monday- driving 4 hrs a day to bring Kim to and from work has already gotten old.
I'll keep you posted on the L99.
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sdstick



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PostSubject: Re: Stumped on low fuel pressure- HELP!!   Sat Aug 25, 2012 11:35 am

You didnt replace the sender?
If not THAT's it
Connections get burnt (seen it) inside the tank. Hoses leak (heard of it)
I know its not the most economical method but I always replace it all when I'm in there.
Now that I've done it 2 or 3 times I'm more apt to reuse some parts
(but only if theyre somewhat new)

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FUN-9C1



Posts : 145
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PostSubject: Re: Stumped on low fuel pressure- HELP!!   Sat Aug 25, 2012 9:42 pm

sdstick wrote:
You didnt replace the sender?
If not THAT's it
Connections get burnt (seen it) inside the tank. Hoses leak (heard of it)
I know its not the most economical method but I always replace it all when I'm in there.
Now that I've done it 2 or 3 times I'm more apt to reuse some parts
(but only if theyre somewhat new)

No, I just replaced the pump... IIRC the sender was a ton more money than just the pump (I may not remember correctly, though) and I didn't figure there was anything to go wrong with the sender so I just went for the pump. Now I know better... I guess I'll drop the tank again and put a new sending unit in. That would rule out all of all the possilities above. Thanks guys!
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sdstick



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PostSubject: Re: Stumped on low fuel pressure- HELP!!   Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:19 am

Yes, $160 is alot to throw in if not needed

It's usually a matter of how old the existing one is

Murphys Law applies.

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Steve


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jamsal



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PostSubject: Re: Stumped on low fuel pressure- HELP!!   Sun Aug 26, 2012 12:50 pm

I would check the hose at the top of the pump, they are known to split allowing fuel leak back into the tank but still allow the check valve to hold some pressure. we get alo of GM's at my shop for that problem. I work at a garage and had it happen to me. It is pricey to change the complete unit, but the result will be much better. We have had bad luck the non GM pump kits, just a suggestion. Did you use the test port wire for the pump in the engine compartment to check pump pressure or just use the key?
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FUN-9C1



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PostSubject: Re: Stumped on low fuel pressure- HELP!!   Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:46 pm

jamsal wrote:
I would check the hose at the top of the pump, they are known to split allowing fuel leak back into the tank but still allow the check valve to hold some pressure. we get alo of GM's at my shop for that problem. I work at a garage and had it happen to me. It is pricey to change the complete unit, but the result will be much better. We have had bad luck the non GM pump kits, just a suggestion. Did you use the test port wire for the pump in the engine compartment to check pump pressure or just use the key?

Test port wire? Now that sounds like something I'd like to know about! School me! I just used the key.

Noplace around here had a sending unit in stock but I should have one Tue or Wed, Thur at the latest.

The silver lining to this dark cloud is, it forced me to get Ol' Statey roadworthy again. He's ready to try for a sticker tomorrow morning first thing. (He has one due Dec '11 still on him right now). I changed the oil and filter, bought a new Optima batt, and new driver's side front exh pipe and Thrush turbo muffler. I couldn't get the damn speedometer to work and I have a question on that but I'll start another thread for that.

Looking forward to having three cars again!
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sdstick



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PostSubject: Re: Stumped on low fuel pressure- HELP!!   Mon Aug 27, 2012 6:02 am

Single wire connector coming out of the harness in the area of the main fuse box pass side rear.
Identified by its RED single wire.
Used for direct prime of the pump.

http://shbox.com/1/fuel_pump_prime.jpg

Apply 12V directly to connector & fuel pump gets needed voltage.
Rules out all the ignition BS...doesnt rule out the in tank harness.
All the BS accounts for a voltage drop to the pump under normal circumstances.
Thats why the Racetronics style harnesses go directly from the altenator (added volts)

_________________
Steve


96BBB 28K 3.42 Bolt-ons
95BBB 100K 3.73 383 New DD...already broke fixt the 4L60E twice
95 Black WB4 Hole...ee...grail
96 Black WB4 No holes in this
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FUN-9C1



Posts : 145
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PostSubject: Re: Stumped on low fuel pressure- HELP!!   Sat Sep 01, 2012 12:31 pm

sdstick wrote:
Single wire connector coming out of the harness in the area of the main fuse box pass side rear.
Identified by its RED single wire.
Used for direct prime of the pump.

http://shbox.com/1/fuel_pump_prime.jpg

Apply 12V directly to connector & fuel pump gets needed voltage.
Rules out all the ignition BS...doesnt rule out the in tank harness.
All the BS accounts for a voltage drop to the pump under normal circumstances.
Thats why the Racetronics style harnesses go directly from the altenator (added volts)

The only red single wire I see is the one sticking out of the loom right before it connects to the AC accumulator. Is that the one? If not, what did I just wreck by putting 12V to that? It did not run the pump at all but I did get some good sparks.....

I just finished dropping the tank again and installing a brand new harness and pump and still have 12 psi.
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FUN-9C1



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PostSubject: Re: Stumped on low fuel pressure- HELP!!   Sat Sep 01, 2012 2:32 pm

Well, doesn't matter. I just hooked up my VOM at the pump connecter under the back bumper and got 12V using the key.
So WTF?
It consistently goes to 12psi and stops every single time.
So I have 12 volts and the regulator and filter are good.
I did notice that this one is much slower to come to 12psi than my other two come to 40. Those two hit 40 almost instantly, this one takes about the full 2 seconds to come to 12. It also DEpressurizes alot slower that the others when I hit the relief valve on the pressure gage, and alot of gas comes out (maybe 1/2 cup which takes 15-20 seconds) before it's depressurized. The other two depressurize instantly and almost no gas comes out.
I've run the car for a couple minutes (it will idle) and saw no external leaks.
What does all this tell you?
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FUN-9C1



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PostSubject: Re: Stumped on low fuel pressure- HELP!!   Sat Sep 01, 2012 5:37 pm

Since my last post, I've disconnected every fuel line connection and blown it out with air and they were all unobstructed. I then connected the lines at the regulator and pressurized the line from the filter outlet connection and the regulator regulated perfectly, giving me 47psi on the gage. I put the brand new filter back in and tried again. Still 12 !@#$%^& pounds.
I also pressurized the flex hose on my old sending unit just for grins and there was no leak.

If anybody has any other ideas I'd sure love to hear them.
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Ironfistdog



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PostSubject: Re: Stumped on low fuel pressure- HELP!!   Sat Sep 01, 2012 5:52 pm

So your saying you got pressure from filter forward? How did you pressurize it? With gas tank and sending unit on the ground??
Sounds stupid but is the gas cap faulty?
How about cracks in the return or vent lines?
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Machine-De-Zine



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PostSubject: Re: Stumped on low fuel pressure- HELP!!   Sat Sep 01, 2012 6:10 pm

Racetronix sells a harness kit specifically made to solve the very common problem of the woefully inadequate GM fuel pump harness.
It replaces the entire under-guaged OEM affair with a superior upgraded harness, front to back.
Their site has a fairly comprehensive explanation of the existing problem and a description of how their harness has solved those issues.
http://www.racetronix.biz/customkititems.asp?kc=RFPK%2D004&eq=
Not sure if this is the exact link, but today my computer is typically fubar, so consequently it won't open up that link for me to check.
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Cadet57



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PostSubject: Re: Stumped on low fuel pressure- HELP!!   Sat Sep 01, 2012 6:17 pm

FUN-9C1 wrote:
Since my last post, I've disconnected every fuel line connection and blown it out with air and they were all unobstructed. I then connected the lines at the regulator and pressurized the line from the filter outlet connection and the regulator regulated perfectly, giving me 47psi on the gage. I put the brand new filter back in and tried again. Still 12 !@#$%^& pounds.
I also pressurized the flex hose on my old sending unit just for grins and there was no leak.

If anybody has any other ideas I'd sure love to hear them.

I hate to ask, but... When you replaced the fuel pump you used a 94-96 pump correct? A TBI pump pushes a lower pressure, usually around 12-15 psi.
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toomanytoyz
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PostSubject: Re: Stumped on low fuel pressure- HELP!!   Sat Sep 01, 2012 8:36 pm

Damn dude... That sucks! Maybe Justin's onto something though? Right pump?

_________________
Bill "The Verb" Crovo - Resident Car Slut & Unicorn Hunter

A Toasted Marshmallow, A Long German, A Lame Suburban and expensive dreams...
Missing all my previous B's, D's and V... Sad
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bfurches



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PostSubject: Re: Stumped on low fuel pressure- HELP!!   Sat Sep 01, 2012 8:43 pm

Justin is exactly right, If you are using a tbi pump then you just found your problem....and that is 100% what it sounds like.
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sdstick



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PostSubject: Re: Stumped on low fuel pressure- HELP!!   Sat Sep 01, 2012 9:51 pm

bfurches wrote:
Justin is exactly right, If you are using a tbi pump then you just found your problem....and that is 100% what it sounds like.

Agreed with the 12psi thing going on but.....How do you explain this?

FUN-9C1 wrote:
.....I did notice that this one is much slower to come to 12psi than my other two come to 40. Those two hit 40 almost instantly, this one takes about the full 2 seconds to come to 12. It also DEpressurizes alot slower that the others when I hit the relief valve on the pressure gage, and alot of gas comes out (maybe 1/2 cup which takes 15-20 seconds) before it's depressurized. The other two depressurize instantly and almost no gas comes out...........

12psi or 40, if the regulator & check valve are working right, the line should de-pressurize in one vent of the gauge & I've NEVER got that much gas running into the dump line.

Guess I'm interested in this... how you determined the regulator is good

Ironfistdog wrote:
So your saying you got pressure from filter forward? How did you pressurize it? .......

OBVIOUSLY if you DID get the wrong pump Justin gets the gold star but....
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bfurches



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PostSubject: Re: Stumped on low fuel pressure- HELP!!   Sat Sep 01, 2012 10:03 pm

sdstick wrote:
bfurches wrote:
Justin is exactly right, If you are using a tbi pump then you just found your problem....and that is 100% what it sounds like.

Agreed with the 12psi thing going on but.....How do you explain this?

FUN-9C1 wrote:
.....I did notice that this one is much slower to come to 12psi than my other two come to 40. Those two hit 40 almost instantly, this one takes about the full 2 seconds to come to 12. It also DEpressurizes alot slower that the others when I hit the relief valve on the pressure gage, and alot of gas comes out (maybe 1/2 cup which takes 15-20 seconds) before it's depressurized. The other two depressurize instantly and almost no gas comes out...........

12psi or 40, if the regulator & check valve are working right, the line should de-pressurize in one vent of the gauge & I've NEVER got that much gas running into the dump line.

Guess I'm interested in this... how you determined the regulator is good

Ironfistdog wrote:
So your saying you got pressure from filter forward? How did you pressurize it? .......

OBVIOUSLY if you DID get the wrong pump Justin gets the gold star but....

Steve, the pumps have whats referred to as a stall pressure. Depending what style the pump is (vain/ gearator etc), they do this is different manors. Basically...the pump has a preset maximum pressure, and once it reaches this pressure...regardless of what the regulator is set at the pump can not make any more.

Just as a basic example....\

Take an electric carbureted pump that has a built-in shut-ff at roughly 9psi. This doesn't mean the pump will stop pumping at 9psi, but instead bypass the vains while the pump keeps running to maintain a line pressure of 9psi.

If you have a regulator set at 6.5psi, the output after the regulator will be 6.5, but the pump will maintain a line pressure of 9psi.

Take the same setup, but install a regulator set at 15psi and you will never reach this pressure. The internal bypass in the pump is going to come on at 9psi, the pump will be at full steam, and you will never reach the 15 regardless that the regulator is set here.

Does this make sense?

As for the regulator, I believe Rob tested it with air. (pressure is pressure). I believe if I read his post correctly, he hooked up his gauge, blew compressed air in the line before the regulator and picked up the 47psi at the gauge the regulator was set at give or take.
_______________________________________________________

The only thing I can think of with the line bleeding is you are filling a line with more volume and less pressure. The lower pressure behind the fuel allowing it to slowly bleed through the check valve vs the high pressure quick burst of the additional 30+ psi?


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FUN-9C1



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PostSubject: Re: Stumped on low fuel pressure- HELP!!   Sun Sep 02, 2012 8:34 am

bfurches wrote:
As for the regulator, I believe Rob tested it with air. (pressure is pressure). I believe if I read his post correctly, he hooked up his gauge, blew compressed air in the line before the regulator and picked up the 47psi at the gauge the regulator was set at give or take.

Yup, that's exactly what I did. Plus the second thing I tried after the new filter was to switch regulators with my 9C1 which gets 40+ on either regulator.

Does the TBI pump/sending unit look exactly the same as the MPI one? 'Cause they both look identical.
And remember, wihen this all started, I was getting 12psi on a pump and sending unit that had given me no trouble for 120k miles.

Ironfistdog gave me an idea to try, though. I could disconnect the line at the filter outlet and hook my old pump/sending unit to to it. Stick the pump in a can of gas and put 12 volts to it and see what I get for pressure. Same symptoms would rule out anything upstream of that connection (ruling out anything in the tank), right? Same as what I did with the air, but I'd be doing it with gas just to be 100% sure.
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Cadet57



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PostSubject: Re: Stumped on low fuel pressure- HELP!!   Sun Sep 02, 2012 8:41 am

FUN-9C1 wrote:


Does the TBI pump/sending unit look exactly the same as the MPI one? 'Cause they both look identical.
And remember, wihen this all started, I was getting 12psi on a pump and sending unit that had given me no trouble for 120k miles.

The sending unit is the same 91-96. The pumps also look the same, but as said earlier, they push out different PSI.
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Ironfistdog



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PostSubject: Re: Stumped on low fuel pressure- HELP!!   Sun Sep 02, 2012 1:59 pm

Before dropping the tank again also check the vacuum line to the regulator to make sure it's not cracked or broken.
Also remove the fuel rails while attached to the fuel lines and turn the car to ON and see if you have any leaking injectors.
If everything is ok the.drop the tank and pull as much of the fuel lines down/out from under there and try pressurizing the lines outside. Look for small leaks/cracks in lines and around fittings.
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FUN-9C1



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PostSubject: Re: Stumped on low fuel pressure- HELP!!   Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:18 pm

I have definitely found a good reason why I'm only getting 12 psi. I stopped in at Napa with the box my new fuel pump came in and asked him- Are you SURE that this is the P/N for a '96 Caprice? And he looked on his computer for a minute, then looked at the box and said "now how the hell did I come up with THIS number?? Yup, that's a 12 psi pump." Of course they didn't have one I need but I'll get it tomorrow. I'm just hoping that's not the ONLY issue since it would be quite a coincidence that the old pump went to 12psi suddenly, then I happen to get ta 12 psi pump. But at this point, anything would be a longshot since I've tried all the obvious stuff. I"m afraid I may put in the right pump and still have 12 psi. But one thing's for sure- I'll never get 47psi from a 12psi pump. I'll install the right one and keep you posted.
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MASShole9C1



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PostSubject: Re: Stumped on low fuel pressure- HELP!!   Tue Sep 04, 2012 4:09 pm

There's some gpod news.


I think this means Justin gets that gold star!
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sdstick



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PostSubject: Re: Stumped on low fuel pressure- HELP!!   Tue Sep 04, 2012 4:36 pm

MASShole9C1 wrote:
I think this means Justin gets that gold star!


Circle today on the calendar

_________________
Steve


96BBB 28K 3.42 Bolt-ons
95BBB 100K 3.73 383 New DD...already broke fixt the 4L60E twice
95 Black WB4 Hole...ee...grail
96 Black WB4 No holes in this
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1984twodoor



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PostSubject: Re: Stumped on low fuel pressure- HELP!!   Tue Sep 04, 2012 6:04 pm

sdstick wrote:
MASShole9C1 wrote:
I think this means Justin gets that gold star!


Circle today on the calendar

LOL!
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sdstick



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PostSubject: Re: Stumped on low fuel pressure- HELP!!   Tue Sep 04, 2012 6:27 pm

BTW Rob....sorry for the bad advise.

It appeared the sender was all that was left.

You could always pull the new sender out & save / sell it Crying or Very sad


_________________
Steve


96BBB 28K 3.42 Bolt-ons
95BBB 100K 3.73 383 New DD...already broke fixt the 4L60E twice
95 Black WB4 Hole...ee...grail
96 Black WB4 No holes in this
95BBB 189K 3.08 Old DD Stolen...by Matt. Cool
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FUN-9C1



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PostSubject: Re: Stumped on low fuel pressure- HELP!!   Thu Sep 06, 2012 9:23 pm

sdstick wrote:
BTW Rob....sorry for the bad advise.

It appeared the sender was all that was left.

You could always pull the new sender out & save / sell it Crying or Very sad


Hey no worries! It was good advice. In fact, for all we know, it may have been that. After all, I haven't tried the right pump yet (hope to Sat morning) and maybe it WAS the old sending unit and my NEW sending unit has something wrong with it. Who knows. Regardless, it was sound, logical advice. I hope to be able to let you guys know Sat if it's running again, hopefully with good news!
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bfurches



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PostSubject: Re: Stumped on low fuel pressure- HELP!!   Thu Sep 06, 2012 9:43 pm

gotta love parts guys!

Glad the issue is most likely resolved.
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FUN-9C1



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PostSubject: Re: Stumped on low fuel pressure- HELP!!   Sat Sep 08, 2012 4:38 pm

It's alive! Put the right pump in and son of a gun if it didn't go to 45psi. Took a little longer than I think it should to get there, and the check valve leaks a little as it went down to 30 psi in about 10 minutes of sitting, but WTF it runs.
I'll probably never know what caused it to go to 12 psi in the first place but thanks for all the suggestions. Now hopefully it keeps running till the sticker runs out in July, when we'll retire it after 16 years of faithful service... Sad
But for now, Kim's very happy to get her car back. Smile
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MASShole9C1



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PostSubject: Re: Stumped on low fuel pressure- HELP!!   Sat Sep 08, 2012 4:49 pm

Congrats. Glad to hear the good news!
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Cadet57



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Join date : 2010-03-14
Age : 29
Location : Chicopee, MA

PostSubject: Re: Stumped on low fuel pressure- HELP!!   Sat Sep 08, 2012 5:01 pm

I'm giving myself one.

But seriously, glad you got it running. Having now dropped the tank on the wagon 5x. I know my way around the fuel system on that stupid thing. Arrow




Razz
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Ironfistdog



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Join date : 2011-01-11
Age : 35
Location : Warren, MA

PostSubject: Re: Stumped on low fuel pressure- HELP!!   Sat Sep 08, 2012 5:05 pm

I just touched the screen and now I'm invincible for 20 seconds
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Cadet57



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Location : Chicopee, MA

PostSubject: Re: Stumped on low fuel pressure- HELP!!   Sat Sep 08, 2012 5:05 pm

Ironfistdog wrote:
I just touched the screen and now I'm invincible for 20 seconds

cheers
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sdstick



Posts : 4278
Join date : 2009-03-20
Location : Revere, MA

PostSubject: Re: Stumped on low fuel pressure- HELP!!   Sat Sep 08, 2012 5:59 pm

Due to proper diagnosis....

Justins invisible................

FOREVER!!!!!!... cheers

Or at least until he does his next repair & Ef's something up.

tongue ... Smile


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Steve


96BBB 28K 3.42 Bolt-ons
95BBB 100K 3.73 383 New DD...already broke fixt the 4L60E twice
95 Black WB4 Hole...ee...grail
96 Black WB4 No holes in this
95BBB 189K 3.08 Old DD Stolen...by Matt. Cool
Whine..eee...Silver LS6
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toomanytoyz
Club President


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Age : 40
Location : East Hampstead, NH USA

PostSubject: Re: Stumped on low fuel pressure- HELP!!   Sun Sep 09, 2012 6:48 pm

Good to hear it, Rob. Smile

Now stick around! Very Happy

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Bill "The Verb" Crovo - Resident Car Slut & Unicorn Hunter

A Toasted Marshmallow, A Long German, A Lame Suburban and expensive dreams...
Missing all my previous B's, D's and V... Sad
American Ricer
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"Ooooh! Look! Something shiny!"
NO MORE UNICORNS!!!!!

LOWER IT!!! Wink
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FUN-9C1



Posts : 145
Join date : 2009-05-09
Location : lakes region, NH

PostSubject: Re: Stumped on low fuel pressure- HELP!!   Sun Sep 09, 2012 6:53 pm

I go in phases, Bill. Smile But I really should check in more often (and I should call my mother more often).
BTW, Kim looked at your sig and said, "how come OUR wagon doesn't look like that?!?"
THANKS BILL! Rolling Eyes Laughing
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toomanytoyz
Club President


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Join date : 2009-01-20
Age : 40
Location : East Hampstead, NH USA

PostSubject: Re: Stumped on low fuel pressure- HELP!!   Sun Sep 09, 2012 6:55 pm

Uh... You're welcome! Very Happy

Hi KIM! Very Happy

_________________
Bill "The Verb" Crovo - Resident Car Slut & Unicorn Hunter

A Toasted Marshmallow, A Long German, A Lame Suburban and expensive dreams...
Missing all my previous B's, D's and V... Sad
American Ricer
www.badassofne.net
"Ooooh! Look! Something shiny!"
NO MORE UNICORNS!!!!!

LOWER IT!!! Wink
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http://impalass.uniquekind.net/
Cadet57



Posts : 4476
Join date : 2010-03-14
Age : 29
Location : Chicopee, MA

PostSubject: Re: Stumped on low fuel pressure- HELP!!   Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:15 pm

sdstick wrote:

Or at least until he does his next repair & Ef's something up.

tongue ... Smile


Oh, give it time. Laughing I'll have to do a U joint before winter. Rolling Eyes
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PostSubject: Re: Stumped on low fuel pressure- HELP!!   Today at 6:35 am

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