The Big White Bus Will Not Start (Post #624) September 18, 2023

Fuel pump

Well, awesome. The Big White Bus won’t start.

I have fired it up once since I parked it in my newly constructed shoppe 5 years ago. I guess I should have expected there would be “issues”. But I wasn’t expecting the issue to be this one.

Mr. Fisher came over and we diagnosed the issue. We started with checking the power at the pump. As you may be aware, when you turn the key over it powers the pump briefly. So if you just “turn on the key” and go back there to check the voltage you won’t find any. That’s why it takes either some seriously creative use of a volt meter or you get one of the bestest friends to come over and turn the key for you. We had voltage all the way through the wiring harness.

We then confirmed we have spark from the ignition system. I pulled the number 1 plug and with a screwdriver I grounded it and watched for spark. You can buy a fancy spark tester, matter of fact I think I own one. I have no idea where it is though. Spark confirmed.

So we have two of the three things (Meatloaf would say that “ain’t bad”) to make the vehicle run. Air and Spark. Now why aren’t we getting fuel.

I pulled the gas line off at the regulator on the back side top of the engine and had Mr. Fisher crank the ignition. We should have had gas squirting out if it worked. It did not. This fit with me NOT hearing the pump run when the ignition was turned over.

The only thing left was to pull the fuel pump and do a visual inspection. What I found was not expected. I said, “Wow.” a lot in the video. There were several parts that were obviously degrading due to being submerged in petrol for so long. There was visible rust on the steel parts as well. Generally the pump was in a terrible state. I was not aware that petrol would do that to those parts. The only gas I ever put in my Classic is 100% real gas, unless I am in Texas where they only sell ethanol (at least the last time I was buying gas there). You would expect ethanol to eventually separate and turn to water. You can read all about that on the Road Guardians website.

I will be replacing the fuel pump and have ordered the part from Atlantic British. I found some that were cheaper on Amazon. But my skepticism and need to have it delivered before next October weighed heavily on my decision where to purchase. The pictures all looked like the pumps were manufactured in the same place. Same white plastic. Same blue plugs.

Fuel pump

If you look on Amazon you’ll see the pumps look like the same ones. If I had unlimited funds or sponsorship, I’d buy one from everyone and do a side-by-side comparison.

All this “BUY IT NEW” has me thinking about what this would cost if we just fixed the pump. All you need to do is replace the pump in the collector can (that bottom part). I’ll do a post about that in the coming weeks.

So…do I drain the tank too? If the gasoline HAS turned to varnish I should probably put some treatment in there. I’m thinking I’m gonna add a silly amount of STP Fuel Injector cleaner in that tank. I can say, WHEN I get it running It will run for quite a while before I shut her down. I want to give the truck plenty of time to dislodge any crap in the fuel lines. I’m also guessing I’ll need to swap the fuel filter too.

If its not one thing, its another. It really, never ends.

Mr. Fisher also brought over his Viair Compressor. We spent some time looking at it and checking out all its features.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

FINALLY!! Some Common Sense from Washington, D.C. (Post #420) 12/12/2013

One of my home state senators, Tom Coburn, has introduced a bill to get rid of the Renewable Fuel Standard ethanol requirement. As stated by the senator,

“This misguided policy has cost taxpayers billions of dollars, increased fuel prices and made our food more expensive. Eliminating this mandate will let market forces, rather than political and parochial forces, determine how to diversify fuel supplies in an ever-changing marketplace. I’m grateful my colleagues on both sides on the aisle are prepared to take this long-overdue step to protect consumers and taxpayers from artificially high fuel and food prices.”

You could not be more right Senator. And to put the cherry on the cake the Left-est of the Left Senator Frankenstine Finklestein Feinstein of California Über Alles is a co-signer! Who said congress was unable to work stuff out?

Of course this is a long way from passing. And the effin’ president will probably kow-tow to the mother trucking-tree-hugging-special-interest-save-the-planet types. But at least they are trying. Who could be against cheaper food and fuel? Idea-logistic morons, that’s who.

Yes, that is a long line of US Marines.

We’ve been on the wrong side of bills before.

Like when this crap legislation was passed the first time.

To say this bill was a HUGE handout to oil and gas companies and the energy sector would be an understatement. It was meant to subsidize their activities and it did. It originally even exempted oil companies from disclosing what chemicals were used in their fracturing fluid and exempted them all from the Clean Water and Clean Air acts. This was later repealed.

One thing this bill did do was increase production and today we are better off than ever due to advances in technology. Unfortunately this bill also had an unintended consequence of causing food prices to go up. Which helped farmers get higher prices for their corn but cost us all with higher food prices.

So let us all hope this bill passes isn’t amended too many times and stuffed full of pork for the states and gets passed. I’ve been against this from the start and dearly hope it passes. Interestingly enough Hilary Clinton was against it and Barrack Obama as a senator from Illinois was FOR IT. Funny how times have changed.

Hopefully the suede-denim secret police will stay away and we can get this legislation passed.
Thanks for reading, contact your representatives, and Happy Ethanol-free Rovering.

Ethanol Woes (Post #356) 6/20/2013

I was visiting the forums and a discussion about Miles Per Gallon came up.

If you follow my Twitter account you’ve seen me rail against ethanol. My main gripe is not alcohol damaging my engine. It is using food for fuel. The cost of food in America is going up. I believe some of that is due to the ethanol mandate. There are starving people in China India Africa America. (did your mom say that to you too?)

Beef prices are up, the price of corn used in cattle feed is to blame. Here in the Great State of Oklahoma we are told “switchgrass” is a good source of ethanol. Lots of research is going into that. I propose this, if switchgrass is a viable alternative would farmers plant that instead of food crops? Wouldn’t that raise the price of food too? I’ve never heard an argument for “alternative fuels” made from FOOD that makes any sense when you consider the costs of food too.

Grass Makes Better Ethanol than Corn Does
This means that switchgrass ethanol delivers 540 percent of the energy used to produce it, compared with just roughly 25 percent more energy returned by corn-based ethanol according to the most optimistic studies.

In short…for one gallon of fuel we get 1.25 gallons of corn ethanol or for one gallon of fuel we get 5.40 gallons of switchgrass ethanol. Does anyone else see a problem here?

We don’t eat any food that is made from OIL or NATURAL GAS. I say just keep making gas out of fossil fuels like oil and natural gas. If the government MUST mandate something make it tax subsidized LPG conversions and diesel conversions and call it good.

I don’t use ethanol any longer. In my tests the added cost of petrol is off-set by the added fuel mileage.
I wrote a spreadsheet that did my calculations.

I ran several tanks of petrol and ethanol. I took the values and compared them. The savings maybe small in some cases, but at least I’m not burning fuel that should have been food or whiskey.

Looking at the problems you will have with ethanol you may want to consider dropping it. I get frequent Code 43 and 44’s when running ethanol. When I switch back to petrol the codes cease. I’m not sure what else ethanol does to our motors. I’ve heard horror stories from my Jaguar friends and other ethanol haters. We may be damaging our engines, then again, maybe we aren’t, I don’t have any hard evidence.

I’ll get off my soapbox now. I encourage you to test a few tanks too. See if my hypothesis holds up.

Thanks for reading, Happy Rovering.

Just Say No To Ethanol, Again (Post #312) 1/12/2013

Like the sign says, don’t pay too much. Apparently this 7-Eleven believes its a huge conspiracy to charge more for gasoline than for ethanol. I couldn’t agree more.

On principle I have a problem with turning anything we can eat into fuel. Especially if it takes more fuel than it nets to get the product. It seems counter productive. I’m also against farm subsidies for giant corporate farms, like the ones that sell their corn to refineries to make ethanol.

I know that might be counter intuitive and all living in a farm state like Oklahoma. But I think more than a hand out our farmers wish they had a level play field and less government control. We’ll see I guess.

The price for straight petrol was just one cent more than the ethanol. And if we review the reduced gas mileage of ethanol and the possible fuel system and engine problems that’s a bargain. I’ve swore off of all ethanol and if more people would, the ethanol production would stop because it wouldn’t be profitable to make it any longer.

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Well, that’s my thoughts on the matter anyway.