Hard Start After Fuel Pump Replacement

I have a 1999 Chrysler T&C Limited w 3.8L engine. It has just under 140K mi les and has served our family well in the 15+ years we have owned it. It wa
s starting and running great up until a week ago when it died without warni ng while traveling at about 50MPH. There were no warning lights and no diag nostic codes. I pulled it off the roadway and it would start, then die imme idately. Eventually after 5 or 6 such starts, it failed to start any more. A check of the fuel rail showed no pressure and a check of the fuel pump sh owed it was getting power. In additon, the car would not start at all, but I found that it would start and run as long as I pounded on the fuel tank w ith my hand. The conclusion was that the fuel pump was defective, so I drai ned and dropped the tank and then replaced the integrated pickup/pump/regul ator/gauge float unit. After replacing the fuel pump and the fuel line filter, the vehicle took a while to crank over, but eventually started and ran well. I put a fuel gaug e on the schrader valve on the front top fuel line and it read 50 PSI while it was running which I believe is the proper pressure specification. Now that I have explained the background, here is the current issue and why I am asking for advice here in this group. The vehicle continues to be ext emely difficult to start (cranks for about 30 seconds., then catches and ru ns great) when it sits for even very short periods of time. My understandin g is that the fuel rail is supposed to stay pressurized between starts, but when I check it it shows 0 PSI. So why is it behaving this way? Is the new integrated pump assmebly or the fuel filter I installed somehow defective? (If so, exactly how does it work sicne there are two lines running from th e filter to the fuel pump assembly? Any theories?) By the way, there are no fuel leaks anywhere. All of the pressure clip fit tings seem to be good. Also the ASD relay and fuel pump relays are working correctly as well. I am certain that I got the large O-ring on the retain ing ring installed correctly and tightened down securely. I also believe th at I correctly re-connected the fuel tank connections (2 evaporative emissi ons lines and the filler tube).
Lastly, here is the procedure I have come up with to make the car start pro perly till I can get this fixerd permananently. I cycle the ignition key f rom off to the on (no start) position about 10X. I can hear the fuel pump run for about 1/2 second each time and eventually can determine the fuel li ne is actually pressurized from the slight change in how it sounds. I thne turn the key to start and it fires right up like it should normally.
My theory is that the replacement fuel pump assembly is defective in that t he back flow valve (assuming it has one) is not working correctly. Any tho ughts on what I could also check or a specific diagnoistic procedure that m ight identify the culprit here? I hate to think about draining and dropping the tank again unless I can confirm that is the problem. Thanks in advanc e for your thoughts. Bob
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
put your gauge on the Schrader valve, and then turn key on one time and leave for about 30 seconds. while it is still on, and you're getting proper pressure, turn key off and watch the gauge. if the pressure drops, your fuel pressure regulator on the fuel rail is possibly bad. if it has a vacuum line on it, check for cracks and splits.
if you find none of this then you might have a bad valve in the pump. But more than likely is as simple as a leak at the regulator vacuum hose.
I have a 1999 Chrysler T&C Limited w 3.8L engine. It has just under 140K miles and has served our family well in the 15+ years we have owned it. It was starting and running great up until a week ago when it died without warning while traveling at about 50MPH. There were no warning lights and no diagnostic codes. I pulled it off the roadway and it would start, then die immeidately. Eventually after 5 or 6 such starts, it failed to start any more. A check of the fuel rail showed no pressure and a check of the fuel pump showed it was getting power. In additon, the car would not start at all, but I found that it would start and run as long as I pounded on the fuel tank with my hand. The conclusion was that the fuel pump was defective, so I drained and dropped the tank and then replaced the integrated pickup/pump/regulator/gauge float unit.
After replacing the fuel pump and the fuel line filter, the vehicle took a while to crank over, but eventually started and ran well. I put a fuel gauge on the schrader valve on the front top fuel line and it read 50 PSI while it was running which I believe is the proper pressure specification.
Now that I have explained the background, here is the current issue and why I am asking for advice here in this group. The vehicle continues to be extemely difficult to start (cranks for about 30 seconds., then catches and runs great) when it sits for even very short periods of time. My understanding is that the fuel rail is supposed to stay pressurized between starts, but when I check it it shows 0 PSI. So why is it behaving this way? Is the new integrated pump assmebly or the fuel filter I installed somehow defective? (If so, exactly how does it work sicne there are two lines running from the filter to the fuel pump assembly? Any theories?)
By the way, there are no fuel leaks anywhere. All of the pressure clip fittings seem to be good. Also the ASD relay and fuel pump relays are working correctly as well. I am certain that I got the large O-ring on the retaining ring installed correctly and tightened down securely. I also believe that I correctly re-connected the fuel tank connections (2 evaporative emissions lines and the filler tube).
Lastly, here is the procedure I have come up with to make the car start properly till I can get this fixerd permananently. I cycle the ignition key from off to the on (no start) position about 10X. I can hear the fuel pump run for about 1/2 second each time and eventually can determine the fuel line is actually pressurized from the slight change in how it sounds. I thne turn the key to start and it fires right up like it should normally.
My theory is that the replacement fuel pump assembly is defective in that the back flow valve (assuming it has one) is not working correctly. Any thoughts on what I could also check or a specific diagnoistic procedure that might identify the culprit here? I hate to think about draining and dropping the tank again unless I can confirm that is the problem. Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
Bob
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Here is some aditional diagnostic information obtained this morning. After the vehicle has been running, when the ignition key is turned to the off p osition, the measured fuel pressure drops as follows:
Running: 50 PSI 5 seconds: 30 PSI 10 seconds: 20 PSI 15 seconds: 15 PSI 30 seconds: 10 PSI 45 seconds: 5 PSI 60 seconds: 3 PSI 90 seconds: 1 PSI 120 seconds: 0 PSI
The bottom line here is that the new pump (and the fuel gauge sender which are integrated into the replaced assembly) appears to be working as designe d, but the fuel line quickly loses its pressure (it should stay at or very near 50PSI) immediately upon fuel pump shut down. Since there are no fuel leaks, the only place the fuel can be going is either into the engine cyli nders via faulty fuel injectors, or back into the fuel tank. I believe tha t in my case if this was due to a leaking fuel injector(s), then I would h ave observed this prior to replacing the fuel pump. Additionally, I would think that it would take several hours (vs. seconds) to fully depressurize the fuel rail and the engine would shake/shudder upon starting due to the a mount of raw gasoline that would have been leaked into the combustion chamb ers. What I see is that once I fully pressurize the fuel system by cycling the ignition key on and off about 10-15 times (not actually starting the v ehicle, just letting the fuel pump run each time for the fraction of a seco nd before it stops) the engine starts instantly and runs smoothly. This is why I am of the opinion that the most likely cause here is a defective b ackflow valve or regulator in the fuel pump assembly.
Does anybody know exactly how the fuel pump assembly is supposed to work? Am I correct in assuming that it should not allow the fuel to drain back in to the tank? Thanks in advance. Where is this vacuum line going to the fue l rail? Does it attach to the tank itself since that is all that I had rem oved and all was working fine with the old pump.
Thanks for your thoughts.
Bob
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
your regulator might be on the pump
https://www.rockauto.com/catalog/moreinfo.php?pk 5620&cc53877
https://www.rockauto.com/catalog/moreinfo.php?pk 7711&cc53877
note the little shiny vacuum pot.. did you reuse your old one? if not then the new one is most likely bad. surprised its not on the fuel rail but it differs from year to year.
Here is some aditional diagnostic information obtained this morning. After the vehicle has been running, when the ignition key is turned to the off position, the measured fuel pressure drops as follows:
Running: 50 PSI 5 seconds: 30 PSI 10 seconds: 20 PSI 15 seconds: 15 PSI 30 seconds: 10 PSI 45 seconds: 5 PSI 60 seconds: 3 PSI 90 seconds: 1 PSI 120 seconds: 0 PSI
The bottom line here is that the new pump (and the fuel gauge sender which are integrated into the replaced assembly) appears to be working as designed, but the fuel line quickly loses its pressure (it should stay at or very near 50PSI) immediately upon fuel pump shut down. Since there are no fuel leaks, the only place the fuel can be going is either into the engine cylinders via faulty fuel injectors, or back into the fuel tank. I believe that in my case if this was due to a leaking fuel injector(s), then I would have observed this prior to replacing the fuel pump. Additionally, I would think that it would take several hours (vs. seconds) to fully depressurize the fuel rail and the engine would shake/shudder upon starting due to the amount of raw gasoline that would have been leaked into the combustion chambers. What I see is that once I fully pressurize the fuel system by cycling the ignition key on and off about 10-15 times (not actually starting the vehicle, just letting the fuel pump run each time for the fraction of a second before it stops) the engine starts instantly and runs smoothly. This is why I am of the opinion that the most likely cause here is a defective backflow valve or regulator in the fuel pump assembly.
Does anybody know exactly how the fuel pump assembly is supposed to work? Am I correct in assuming that it should not allow the fuel to drain back into the tank? Thanks in advance. Where is this vacuum line going to the fuel rail? Does it attach to the tank itself since that is all that I had removed and all was working fine with the old pump.
Thanks for your thoughts.
Bob
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks Rob. I replaced the entire module. Like you, I suspect the regulator on he new pump module is defective.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
its odd on this model since many of the regulators are on the fuel rail. it sucks to have to pull the pump again.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I am re-posting a reply I received on the Minivan forum from dmccrea:
Is your fuel pump an Airtex?
On another Dodge Caravan related forum, it was shared with me by several me mbers with similar symptoms that their problem was their fuel pump they had recently replaced. They had used Airtex fuel pumps and Airtex as of late h as had quality issues. They replaced their Airtex pumps with an alternate p ump manufacturer and their problems were solved. I am going back to vender who sold me the Airtex fuel pump back in December (they no longer sell Airt ex) and get a Delphi under the same warrantee.
Anyone have any comments on this statement regarding Airtex fuel pumps? I do believe this is the manufacturer of the reppacement I had used and seems to support what I am seeing.
Bob
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@sbcglobal.net wrote:

Why didn't you mention that in the subject line?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
This is my last post to this thread. I wanted to let everyoine know that a s suspected, the replacement fuel pump module I purchased was indeed defect ive. I convinced the Internet supplier from whom I had purchased it, to se nd me a replacement pump. I installed it and now all is well again on the family minivan!
The new pump generates 51 PSI when running. When I shut down the engine, t he pressure dropped immediately to 45 PSI. An hour after the engine was sh ut down, it still read 44 PSI. This seems to be working as intended. Whil e it was a PITA to drain and drop the tank twice, I was much faster the sec ond time around and I am glad it fixed the problem!
Thanks to all for their feedback and assistance.
Bob
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
yeah holding 44 sounds great, and when you turn the key on now makes it pressure back up to the 50s.
Great to here its working
This is my last post to this thread. I wanted to let everyoine know that as suspected, the replacement fuel pump module I purchased was indeed defective. I convinced the Internet supplier from whom I had purchased it, to send me a replacement pump. I installed it and now all is well again on the family minivan!
The new pump generates 51 PSI when running. When I shut down the engine, the pressure dropped immediately to 45 PSI. An hour after the engine was shut down, it still read 44 PSI. This seems to be working as intended. While it was a PITA to drain and drop the tank twice, I was much faster the second time around and I am glad it fixed the problem!
Thanks to all for their feedback and assistance.
Bob
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 11:13:34 AM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@sbcglobal.net wrot e:

miles and has served our family well in the 15+ years we have owned it. It was starting and running great up until a week ago when it died without war ning while traveling at about 50MPH. There were no warning lights and no di agnostic codes. I pulled it off the roadway and it would start, then die im meidately. Eventually after 5 or 6 such starts, it failed to start any more . A check of the fuel rail showed no pressure and a check of the fuel pump showed it was getting power. In additon, the car would not start at all, bu t I found that it would start and run as long as I pounded on the fuel tank with my hand. The conclusion was that the fuel pump was defective, so I dr ained and dropped the tank and then replaced the integrated pickup/pump/reg ulator/gauge float unit.

a while to crank over, but eventually started and ran well. I put a fuel ga uge on the schrader valve on the front top fuel line and it read 50 PSI whi le it was running which I believe is the proper pressure specification.

hy I am asking for advice here in this group. The vehicle continues to be e xtemely difficult to start (cranks for about 30 seconds., then catches and runs great) when it sits for even very short periods of time. My understand ing is that the fuel rail is supposed to stay pressurized between starts, b ut when I check it it shows 0 PSI. So why is it behaving this way? Is the n ew integrated pump assmebly or the fuel filter I installed somehow defectiv e? (If so, exactly how does it work sicne there are two lines running from the filter to the fuel pump assembly? Any theories?)

ittings seem to be good. Also the ASD relay and fuel pump relays are worki ng correctly as well. I am certain that I got the large O-ring on the reta ining ring installed correctly and tightened down securely. I also believe that I correctly re-connected the fuel tank connections (2 evaporative emis sions lines and the filler tube).

roperly till I can get this fixerd permananently. I cycle the ignition key from off to the on (no start) position about 10X. I can hear the fuel pum p run for about 1/2 second each time and eventually can determine the fuel line is actually pressurized from the slight change in how it sounds. I th ne turn the key to start and it fires right up like it should normally.

the back flow valve (assuming it has one) is not working correctly. Any t houghts on what I could also check or a specific diagnoistic procedure that might identify the culprit here? I hate to think about draining and droppi ng the tank again unless I can confirm that is the problem. Thanks in adva nce for your thoughts.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.