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Thursday, January 29, 2015

38 mile journey



Tuesday we never made to the campground. 38 miles down the road the fuel pump failed . . . again. I had been fine since July so I thought that problem was in the past.

We pulled off to the side of the highway. Fortunately, we were towing a boat and qualified for assistance from Boat US. I've always had great service from them. This time was no exception. The tow truck loaded up the van and hitched up the boat trailer. I had them bring us back to my dad's place.

Once back at my dad's I had the tow truck drop the van where there were fewer fire ants. I spread a tarp, crawled under the van and removed the fuel pump.

Wednesday morning I called a local Ford garage. They said they could have a replacement pump by 1:30 but it was going to be over $600. My garage back home confirmed that the pump was still on warranty and faxed the info to the Ford garage in FL. That worked out really well and I was able replace the pump before dark.

My lovely wife and I are heading down south once more. We couldn't get all our campground fees refunded, but my wife got a good chunk of it back. Even better, we are actually going camping again.

Something will have to be done about the van always blowing fuel pumps. I lay awake in bed thinking over our vehicle options. It ran for many many miles without destroying fuel pumps. The only thing that's different is that my main veggie supplier switched to a heavier hydrogenated oil. Maybe that's causing just enough stress to drastically reduce the life of the pumps.

Maybe it's time to drop my supplier and limit the van to vacation and tow vehicle duty instead of being a daily driver. My lovely wife's car died and that gives us the opportunity to replace it with something else -or maybe just get a bigger boat and spend our winters on that.

-Sixbears

21 comments:

  1. I've always heard of the dangers of hydrogenated oils, I just didn't realize that it applied to vehicle "hearts" too! lol

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  2. A bigger boat would be a good solution. Would running 80% wvo and 20% diesel be a short term fix or is the heat to volatile.

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    1. I'm told it would help. I'm going to try it. No danger using diesel in a hot tank. Very high flash point. That's why diesel tanks in WWII were much safer than the gas ones.

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  3. Have been following your fuel pump challenge for months on your blog. You are seriously brave to deal with the breakdowns thought warranty and tow insurance for each event. Free fuel seems to still be worth the risk for you with inconvenience. Would keeping a spare, and swapping them every two months be a strategy?

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    1. I'd carry a spare pump but they go for over $600. I'm not brave, just stubborn.

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  4. THicker oil DOES make a difference. I used to get peanut oil, then Canola, the hydrogenated corn. I never killed fuel pumps until the hydrogenated corn oil.

    You can offset this to some extend by adding a bit of diesel (15-20% by volume) to thin the oil.

    Adding an additional pump in series will also help.

    YMMV

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    1. Thanks. The easiest thing for me to do in the short term is to add some diesel.

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  5. What a dilemma - new car or bigger boat.......

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  6. At least you are not in sub-zero weather. So much easier to work on a vehicle in warm, dry weather, although no time is a good time.

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    1. When I think how this could have happened somewhere on the road up north I shiver.

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  7. One of the downsides of traveling is having to cope with unexpected vehicles issues far from home, and away from the shops and mechanics you know. I'm glad it worked out ok in the end.

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    1. Yes it did. Travel is an adventure, and sometimes not the adventure you planned. It's all good in the end.

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  8. Do the 20% diesel mix thing. Cheap insurance.

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    1. Thanks William. It's an easy enough fix.

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  9. Isn't a fuel pump like your heart.Put Hydrogenated oil in body clogs your heart.Same with fuel pump.

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    1. I know I certainly do all I can to avoid putting it in my body.

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  10. spin/degas/filter oil in a spin vortex wall filter/separator to separate heavy sections of fuel away from usable lighter oils

    Wildflower

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    1. and to add to what Wildflower says, get an electronic fuel pump to completely bypass the main pump that keeps failing. That is what others seem to do when the mechanical pump design gets to be really stupidly expensive.
      http://www.amazon.com/Airtex-E8251-Universal-Electric-Applications/dp/B0027I88VQ/ref=sr_1_2?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1422631073&sr=1-2&keywords=universal+electric+fuel+pump&pebp=1422631092872&peasin=B0027I88VQ#customerReviews

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    2. I'll look into it when get home. Thanks!

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