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'99 2500 Ram Diesel Lift Pump Problems?

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Old 08-10-2010, 09:36 AM
Dvoeltz Dvoeltz is offline
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Default '99 2500 Ram Diesel Lift Pump Problems?

Fellow Members, let me throw this fuel pressure concern by you.

I have a 99 2500 RAM with the diesel engine. Two years ago the lift pump on the side of the engine fails which then killed the injector pump. Took it to the dealer and $3800 later, a rebuilt injector pump and a new fuel pump relocated in the fuel tank were installed.

My mechanic friend suggested a that I should install a fuel pressure gauge which I promptly did. He told me if the pressure gets below 5 lbs, something is going wrong.

The pressure usually runs about 7 pounds when the engine is working hard and runs around 9 pounds at idle.

A month ago, I was on the road with the truck and about 3 hours into the trip, the pressure dropped and when the foot feet was pressed down, the pressure would drop down to about 3 lbs. I backed off and nursed it home so the pressure would stay above 5 pounds.

I took it into the shop 4 days later and the pressure was back to 8 to 10 pounds. They plugged in the computer and everything is supposedly OK. I talked the mechanic and he said as long as the pressure is above 0, it is OK. I asked if he would put that in writing with a guarantee to replace the injector at no charge but he declined.

I took it out on the road again this past weekend and once again after 2 hours on the road, the pressure dropped down and if I pushed the engine, the pressure would drop down to 2 to 3 pounds. Once again, I backed off and nursed it home trying to keep the pressure above 5 pounds.

It is going back to the shop on Thursday. Is it possible that the lift pump is shot after 10,000 miles? I don't want to spend another $4000 for a new lift and injector pump. Should I go ahead and have the pump replaced? and is there a better after market pump I should install verses using the standard Dodge pump?

Your assistance is appreciated!

Dave in Pierre, SD
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  #2  
Old 08-10-2010, 11:22 AM
brettj2408 brettj2408 is offline
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whens the last time you replaced your fuel filter?
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Old 08-10-2010, 03:19 PM
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dodgetrucker75 dodgetrucker75 is offline
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like brett said, check the filter, and put on a new one if its been any length of time, if that doesnt change anything, go to a fass or air dig fuel system, probably wont be much of a difference in price over a factory pump, the factory pumps are nothing but problems, and i have seen them fail in way less than 10,000 miles, 3-5psi is about the minimum you want to run, anything less and you will need a new injection pump very fast
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Old 08-11-2010, 11:09 PM
Dvoeltz Dvoeltz is offline
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I change fuel filters every 5,000 miles. This particular filter has 2,000 miles on it and when I change them, there is no discoloration or dirt in them.

I think its the factory pump going to hell already. At least the one that came with the truck that was mounted to the engine lasted 85,000 miles. This one didn't even make it 10,000. Guess I'll see if the shop can verify anything with their computer tomorrow. They tried to blame it on the electric fuel pressure gauge when they looked at it last time.

I'll let you know what they say tomorrow.

Dave in Pierre, SD
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Old 08-12-2010, 05:35 PM
12valveman 12valveman is offline
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would be interesting to know how much volume that puts out in about thirty seconds. think the spec is 750 ml in like 20 seconds ... the intake pump produces pressure but is not diagnosed using pressure but volume. have on on my 99 and when pulling it runs appx 0 but know it still flows so check that and see what happens i know pressure helps fill the chamber fast for more power or full fuel but if there is fuel there the vp44 makes its own if there is fuel there have alot of miles on my current vp and no problems so far
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Old 08-13-2010, 01:50 AM
horatio102 horatio102 is offline
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The lift pump needs to flow more fuel than the injector pump can use, so that the extra is used to cool the injector pump and then gets dumped back into the fuel tank. When the lift pump starts failing, it doesn't flow enough and even when it is still working, the injector pump is starting to get cooked. So theoretically, yeah, you could have 0psi on the low pressure side and still drive the thing (or even vacuum!) but you're going to be damaging the expensive injector pump.

I didn't want to take a chance with the stock in-tank lift pump on mine, so I swapped it out for an Air Dog external filter/pump. It also filters better than the stock setup, so you don't get nearly as much crap through the injector pump.
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Old 08-13-2010, 01:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horatio102 View Post
The lift pump needs to flow more fuel than the injector pump can use, so that the extra is used to cool the injector pump and then gets dumped back into the fuel tank. When the lift pump starts failing, it doesn't flow enough and even when it is still working, the injector pump is starting to get cooked. So theoretically, yeah, you could have 0psi on the low pressure side and still drive the thing (or even vacuum!) but you're going to be damaging the expensive injector pump.

I didn't want to take a chance with the stock in-tank lift pump on mine, so I swapped it out for an Air Dog external filter/pump. It also filters better than the stock setup, so you don't get nearly as much crap through the injector pump.
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Old 08-13-2010, 08:51 AM
Dvoeltz Dvoeltz is offline
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I took the truck to the shop and that was a waste of time. They hooked up the computer and said everything is OK. They also said my electronic fuel gauge may not be accurate and not to trust it. Then he said as long as I have pressure greater than 0, everything would be OK. I asked if the dealership would put that in writing and pay for repairs if that was the case but they would not.

Screw them. I ordered the Air Dog 150 last night and will install it next weekend. I would rather give the after market folks $499 than to give that dealership $900 to replace an inferior pump with the same thing.

I will have to drop the tank since this truck now has the in tank pump and the Air Dog needs its own intake. I also understand that I will need to remove the stock fuel filter since the Air Dog has its own filter. That is fine.

Hopefully this will take care of my fuel pressure issues and I can again drive without worrying about ruining another injector pump. Heck, at 97,000 miles, the truck is just getting broke in.

Thanks

Dave in Pierre, SD





Quote:
Originally Posted by horatio102 View Post
<snip>

I didn't want to take a chance with the stock in-tank lift pump on mine, so I swapped it out for an Air Dog external filter/pump. It also filters better than the stock setup, so you don't get nearly as much crap through the injector pump.
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Old 08-13-2010, 11:55 AM
Dvoeltz Dvoeltz is offline
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I just got a call from the dealership and they claimed to do some research on my fuel pressure issue and found a service bulletin that said that pressure gauges don't work with this 'new' 2006 and later in tank pump. They said the GPH, not pressure is what determines if the pump is working correctly.

She then went on to tell me that the reason the pressure goes down is because the injector is using more fuel capacity than the lift pump is delivering to the fuel filter housing. DUH, that is the problem!!!!! She can't seem to understand this is a problem. She said they would be glad to replace the intake pump with the same in kind, <but not at their expense>.

I'm done with them. The Air Dog was shipped this morning and by next weekend, my fuel supply problems will be history.

Dave in Pierre, SD
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Old 08-13-2010, 01:50 PM
horatio102 horatio102 is offline
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You'll be happy with the air dog. Apparently they (the diesel shop) had to cut my tranny cross member so I can replace the filter without unbolting the cross member, but with an older truck there might be room.

The only thing is that it's loud... you don't hear it much inside with the engine running, but the way mine's wired in it comes on with the key on ACC and doesn't turn off until I open the door with the key off. Plus it's easier to drain the water off than the stock location - no more reaching around dirty tires, just reach under the cab.

My stock filter is still bolted up, it's just completely bypassed. The other thing to note is that since the stock filter is bypassed, you need to check for water instead of relying on the idiot light on the dash.
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Old 10-01-2010, 09:34 AM
Dvoeltz Dvoeltz is offline
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Now for the rest of the story. I did purchase the AirDog150 and spent the weekend puttering around and installing it. I only had about 5 gallons of fuel in the tank so I just put a longer hose on the fuel filter relief valve, opened it up and bumped the engine start to have the intake pump pump the tank dry for me.

I next attached the pump to the outside left frame member as I have an extended cab short box 2500 and there wasn't room for it on the inside of the frame. That part was relatively easy. I then started running the fuel lines. Since I have my fuel pressure sensor on the factory fuel filter canister, I called AirDog and asked if I could hook the fuel line to the canister instead of directly to the IP since I don't plan to trick it out and they said that is fine. I asked if I should remove the fuel filter and he said it is not necessary since the Air Dog will filter the fuel and the existing fuel filter should last a long time. So I decided to to it this way.

I then dropped the tank and the instructions said the new fuel feed could be mounted on about any flat space on the top of the tank. So I put it in the same location they showed on the instructions. This turned out to be a bad decision.

I hooked the fuel line on the feed, installed the return feed adopter and went to reinstalled the tank. I couldn't get the tank to get back up in position like it was before. So I stuck my head up there to see what was blocking the tank and discovered the fuel feed lined up perfectly with the back of the extended cab and was hitting the seam where the bottom and side of the cab mate.

So I had to drop the tank down, get out the sawzall, cut the seam on the bottom of the cab, and then bend the seam flat. Put the tank back up and all was well.

I finished the installation, put 5 gallons of fuel into the tank, fired up the truck, and had great pressure. It showed 15 PSI and didn't budge, even when I punched the throttle.

So I took it out on a 350 mile trip and it worked well. I did notice that I had better power when climbing hills with the cruise control on. Before it would lose power and slow down. Now it holds it speed as it should and holds the pressure right on 15 psi.

So I may now confident that my fuel pressure problems are behind me.

Dave in Pierre, SD
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  #12  
Old 10-02-2010, 10:57 PM
Evolution X Evolution X is offline
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I think that I am having this probelm also but the damn stealership says that they cant find the problem and everything is fine. I know that everything is not fine and I still have an existing extended warranty. I have an 02 2500 with the lifter pump conversion. I told her that it may be the Inj pump and she says to print out where I found the info and bring it in. I would do the upgraded like you did but if I can get the warranty peeps to pay for it then why not. So here is my question............sometimes when I depress the throttle, it does not want to accelerate. I cant hear the turbo spool and it does this for 6-7 blocks or so. Then it kicks in and all is good. If I am towing my trailer, I lose alot of speed up hills. It sounds as though I am having the same problem you did. You guys have any suggestions?
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Old 10-03-2010, 10:11 PM
Dvoeltz Dvoeltz is offline
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Do you have a fuel pressure gauge on your truck? I would see this type of hesitation when my fuel pressure fell below 3 PSI. Can they put a temporary fuel pressure gauge on your truck and see what the pressure is when the problem occurs? My dealer would give me the runaround and try to bullsh#$ her way around the problem. She swore the fuel pressure was fine but I didn't want to shell out $2000 for another injector pump.

Good luck with them. They will not put an after market pump on the truck, just their lousy factory pump.

Dave in Pierre, SD
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Old 10-04-2010, 01:09 AM
Evolution X Evolution X is offline
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Good question. Im going to be talking to them today and Ill ask if they can. It seems that they are ***** footing around the problem with me as well. If it keeps up Ill just see if I can go above her head to her boss to get the problem squared away. The good thing is that, when the did the lift pump for me, it only cost me 100 bucks. Ill update when I find out what they say
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Old 10-20-2010, 06:41 PM
Evolution X Evolution X is offline
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So I was told today that it is the injection pump . Not covered under the warranty that I have. So the dealer wants $2800. I aint givin that much. Ive done a search and can get Hotchkis Performance Fuel Injection Pump for about 1800. My question is, how hard is this install to do? Is there another pump I should go with? what else should I get? Thanks for any of the help that you can provide
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Old 10-20-2010, 06:41 PM
 
 
 
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