Various Problems -- Ian, Doc Etc. I need your input!

I am having some problems, and am not sure if they are related or not. It is a 1988 S-10 4.3l 4x4 Vin Z TBI. New 4.3l motor roughly 10k ago, new O2 sensor 5k ago, new fuel filter 9k ago. Cap, rotor, wires, plugs new with
motor. 130K or so on vehicle. EGR is fine, PCV valve seems to be fine (new with motor). No Codes in computer.
A week ago, I was driving home from softball down the freeway, and the truck quit running. It bucked once, sputtered, and died, I was going about 65mph. I strong armed it across 4 lanes of traffic, fortunately traffic was light at that moment, and got it stopped. Fuel was at nearly empty, but from years of driving this truck, I knew I had 2.5-3 gallons left in the tank, so no big worry. After cranking a bit, it acted like it was flooding, so I popped the hood and flipped the lid on air cleaner, but it didn't smell strongly of gas as I might have expected. I cranked a bit more, and it started up. I limped it down the freeway (with my lady friend following) to a gas station. I filled it up, and haven't had a problem since.
Other info: In the past few weeks, I have had it stall on me a couple of times at start up -- after running for a second it dies. Fires right back up, but I have found that I have to goose the throttle on the restart or it blubber and dies a second time. Within seconds it evens out and runs fine. This has happened 3 or 4 times, so not with regularity, but never happened before.
I have also noticed that a bit off idle, the truck seems to loose power (not sure if it's leaning out or loading up, I'm inclined it's not excess fuel). I also notice a "flutter" as I go down the freeway at higher speeds. I notice the loss of power after each gear shift (it's auto). This isn't extreme loss of power, but enough to notice it
The battery is due to be replaced this fall, though I don't see that as the problem. I suspect injectors or fuel pump, but don't know enough about the characteristics (nor diagnostics) of fuel pumps to justify that thought. It is not air delivery, and I don't think it is spark related, which leaves me fuel. I ran some Techron Fuel Systems Cleaner through on this current tank of gas (takes a week or two to burn a tank of gas usually), but I have not notice much change (though only 60 miles into it). The visible spray of the TBI seems normal, though I realize that's not a good indicator.
I'm somewhat stumped, and don't want to just start throwing parts at it. I have a 250 mile trip (one way) on Wednesday, and sure don't want to be stranded in the middle-of-nowhere Southwestern Minnesota.
An unrelated note: I tinted the windows of my topper this past weekend. What an amazing temperature difference that makes in the box area. it was pretty easy to do (I removed the windows from the topper) as I tinted the windows in my living room. Not professional quality, but considering the price, and my experience with applying tint (none) I'm pleased with the results, especially on the back window. My main concern was mostly making it difficult to see into the topper at night, to avoid prying eyes (golf clubs, sometimes tool box are back there). The heat reduction was a side benefit.
Big Chris mrclmATyahooDOTcom
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have seen a prob like it in a 88 Dodge I used to own, fuel pump in tank and a flex line to sending unit, dont know why they dont use something besides rubber like fuel line hose..maybe braided flex line

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Something else to consider for the future, a fuel pump that is in the gas tank depends on fuel to keep the pump cool. If you drive with a tank that is half full or more and never let it get down to a quarter tank or less, your pump will last a long time. Those who drive on empty can expect to replace their in-the-tank pump much more frequently. Also allowing your tank to be almost empty opens another can of worms so to speak, with a low tank, you are not only picking up the crap in your tank but creating it as well.
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The pump is not submerged in the fuel but uses the fuel that passes through the pump to keep cool. If you only have a few gallons in your tank, the fuel runs hotter than if you had a half tank. The fuel runs in a loop from your tank to the engine and back under pressure. Consider that when you are down to a quarter tank, that it is time to refuel.
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"Rod Williams" wrote

The fuel pump is submerged in the fuel. At least all GM products that I've seen with an in-tank fuel pump are like this. Older products just had the fuel pump kinda dangling at the end of the sending unit, but the newer product has the fuel pump encased in a plastic module. It still get submerged in the fuel.
Ian
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