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.

SCARR – Day One (Post #477) 4/3/2014

The South Central Area Rover Rally was finally upon us. Leading in to it, I have had the worst two weeks professionally in my career. My wife has been my rock through it all and wanted me to get away for a trip. Mr. Fisher’s life recently has not been a cake walk either and Mrs. Fisher was also happy to see him out of the house doing something fun.

I’m going to stop here and thank both of them. You two are the best wives any two guys could possibly have. Your support to us is never-ending and we are very appreciative. Thank you.

wp-1395932045690Thursday started cold and blustery in Norman. Mr. Fisher and I organized our kit and got it loaded on to the Range Rover. It seemed like a lot of kit for a three-day event but we wanted to be comfortable. Even with all the kit we managed to forget several items: Continue reading “SCARR – Day One (Post #477) 4/3/2014”

Bad fuel? Seriously? (Post #272) 11/18/2011

This is a real shirt!

Radiator project completed.
So I’m putting the radiator back in last Saturday. I get her all fitted and buttoned back up and the battery is dead. So it was late and I stuck the trickle charger on it and decided I would test drive her the next day.

The next day rolled around and I was taking a break from my studies and thought I’d give the old girl a spin around the block. Around the block lead to me visiting our first house on Quanah Parker. I was keen to know if the deck I built was still in the back yard. You can see it if you wander into the Chisholm Trail Park in Northeast Norman.

I turned her around and headed for home. I pulled in the ‘hood and was pretty proud of myself. I rounded the traffic calming circle and she died. Dead. No sputter, no cough, dead.

I started on my diagnosis…

  • Checked spark. CHECK.
  • Checked air. CHECK.
  • Checked fuel. CHECK.
  • Injectors firing. Stethoscope confirmed clicking sound. CHECK.

What the hell? I was stumped. So I called the wife and she pulled me down to the house. I posted a few messages on the and sites. A few days went by with no responses. I figured I’d probably really done it now.

I called JagGuy and after talking to him he told me a story of two weekends ago when a similar thing happened to him. He tore his Jag apart and never found the problem. It wasn’t until he checked the fuel. It didn’t have that overwhelming gasoline smell when he opened the fuel rail. I mentioned to him neither did mine.

Well, there you have it. Bad Gas. Lets look at the evidence now that we have the culprit. Range Rover sitting for weeks at a time without being driven.

  • Using Ethanol fuel.
  • Would not run.
  • Fuel didn’t smell like fuel.

JagGuy said he couldn’t even get his gas to ignite unless he put the torch directly on the fuel. JagGuy does some funny experiments some times. He was being safe, trust me.

So with this as a suggestion, I went down and got 4 gallons of fresh fuel and with RovErica holding the funnel, I poured the fuel all over the side of the Range Rover and on to the ground into the tank. After it was all in, I attempted to start her up. The battery was not charged enough for a proper attempt so we hooked the jumper cables up. A few attempts, she finally coughed and sputtered. And then she started and ran.

I called JagGuy and told him he was a Supra-Genius*. He declined the title because he had torn his Jaguar all the way down to find bad fuel, I hadn’t. I got the Range Rover ready for a trip down to the Conoco/Phillips petrol vendor. I went in to tell my wife I was heading out and would be right back. She said, “Take your phone. If you are stranded this time, call me before you sit there for 2 hours.”
I think she still loves me…I know her confidence in the Range Rover is waning.

I went out to the Range Rover and touched the door to get in and she died.
I won’t bore you any further with a long story laced with lots of expletives. I was unable to get her started again. The bad news was I thought I had less than a quarter of a tank of bad fuel…I have nearly three quarters of a tank of bad fuel. My hypothesis is that as I was pouring in the petrol it stirred the tank. As it sat the fuel and water separated out again.

SO I either have to drain the tank or try to add more fuel to try and get her started again to burn out the bad fuel. Either way I’m probably going to replace my fuel filter and will have a mess to sort out.

So we can say this without doubt, “Don’t use ethanol in a vehicle you don’t drive frequently.” I think I will start driving the Range Rover on Fridays. Most people drive their classic cars on Fridays in Oklahoma. You can see all the guys that have car hobbies because they drive them on Fridays.

I still have a CODE 14, Throttle Position Sensor problem. I will sort that out as soon as I can get the Range Rover running again. I’m proud I haven’t had to replace it yet. 190,000 miles. I am also contemplating replacing the fuel temp sensor (running rich), and possibly the O2 sensors again.

I have serious questions now about how to get the Range Rover in a condition that I am confident she would make a multi-day trip to Moab or Colorado or even to work three days in a row.