Saturday, August 31, 2013
Kelly Flats #2 - fuel pump issues

The plan for today was to visit the Kelly Flats trail and then chain over to the Bald Mountain trail. In the end, my fuel pump would put a "change of plans" into the day. Chris and Levi & Maureen would process up Heart Attack Hill at the Kelly Flats trail and then they would come back to me via the bypass route. We ended up leaving the trails and sourcing parts in town to get the jeep home.

I'm quite thankful and appreciative for the help I received.

This is now two fuel pump "outages". The last pump was installed 5/2012 by a dealer (a tad costly). Since then only 8843 miles have been put on. I should check into warranty status for the prior pump. I'll certainly be modifying the back of the jeep to allow quick access to the in-tank fuel pump (and will carry a spare with me - if not have two pumps mounted with wiring & plumbing to switch from "A" to "B" in a moment.

Happening in town this morning is the Tour de Fat for New Belgium Brewing and their Fat Tire beer. A fun bicycle event where folks dress up in costumes and ride a nice route through town. As for the costumes... the crazier the better.

One "bike" making its way to the Tour.

Many fun costumes!

Decent party before the "fat" starts.

Levi & Maureen
(if no video is visible, your web browser likely does not support HTML 5 video)

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Levi & Maureen working up the entry obstacle

The first (of three) obstacles for Heart Attack Hill is processed. We walked up to the second section to inspect it. Looking back at the vehicles.

Turning about and looking up the second obstacle set.

(we would wait out a couple afternoon showers)


Levi & Maureen

Jump forward several hours...

After I turned the motor off after the first (of three) obstacles for Heart Attack Hill it would not re-start. The motor would crank but no fire. I could hear the fuel pump prime and run. I was not able to check for spark as I'd need a second hand for that. While awaiting the group to come around to meet me I opened the fuel supply line - no fuel delivered when the fuel pump would run.

Levi had an extra fuel pump - GREAT!. I carry extra fuel hose (and radiator hoses and V-belts and hose clamps) zip-tied under the two front seats. Pull down the fuel hoses and rig up his spare, electric fuel pump. The motor would start but would only run at an idle. The pump was insufficient to deliver enough fuel (we later found out it was for a carburated motor and I need a pump for fuel injection).

We pulled the jeep down to the trailhead and unloaded. Chris, Levi & Maureen and I headed back to town. Levi & Maureen would give me a lift to the parts store to buy a suitable pump (plus extra fuel line, clamps and assorted bits we might need). A quick stop at my place and we were back on the road to the trailhead (about 36 miles one-way from my door). Decide upon which gas can to use (the in-tank pump would not fit into any of the gas cans so the can's mouth would need to be cut to fit the pump) and cut the opening. Prep the wiring (I wired the pump into the circuit for the onboard air compressor. This would give me in-cabin on/off switching for the motor should I wish to quickly turn it off). Fire extinguishers, added a couple years back, were at the ready but hopefully won't be needed (fuel intake is just above the hot exhaust manifold). Wiring tended, fuel lines connected, "mount" the gas can to the bumper with a bunjee cord - flip the switch for the pump and start the engine.

It runs!

The gas tank holds one gallon of fuel. The jeep gets about 15 miles per gallon. I don't wish to run the tank dry (hard on the pump I'd think) so I stopped every ten miles to fill the one gallon fuel tank from the two gallon spare gas can. I could have siphoned from the near full vehicle fuel tank but I didn't need to.

Now to dig into the "recently replaced" in-tank fuel pump...

It's been a few weeks and the project is complete.

One modification to a jeep is to cut an access hole in the back floor to access the fuel pump. The below photos show the access hole, the removed fuel pump & fuel level sensor along with the problem (it wasn't a bad pump but rather a burst fuel delivery hose).

Should I encounter fuel delivery issues, I can have access to the pump in about five minutes while using only a Phillips screw driver. The two metal bars may be used to spin off the fuel pump assembly's locking ring - no hammer and punch needed.