That Dreaded Feeling
|pretty day to run out of fuel|
When Push Comes To Shove
For those who don't know that intersection, it is in an area of northwest Beaverton where growth has been exploding. As is the case elsewhere, infrastructure lags construction booms, so these are heavily-traffic'd 2-lane roads. I popped on the flashers, and started pushing. As I started to cut across a lane, I noticed that Hapy was moving much easier than I thought he should be almost like he was rolling downhill and then noted that a fellow motorist had put his car in the dirt and had joined my morning workout. We got Hapy along the curb on Walker facing east just barely outside the white sideline. In typical Oregon fashion, there were no horns sounded nor obscene gestures but there were many dirty looks... until we were off the road then passing motorists returned to smiling and waving at the little microbus.
|in a weird twist, the power grid failed too|
For many cars, getting a car to run after you've run it dry is somewhat obvious: you put fuel in the tank and keep the key turned to run while the fuel pump fills the lines. Or, you just sit on the starter and the mechanical fuel pump plus engine draw get it started. I've actually had success getting Hapy started this way before. Not this time. I could not get the fuel system to prime from the key. For what seems to be far too often an experience, I had to get Hapy towed home. Now, I thought I had already posted the process for how to get your fuel lines re-primed after running dry, but a search didn't bring one up. So... I guess that's today's post. Note that picture of the intersection. It was mid-morning (post-rush) and the powergrid in the surrounding area had gone down too. The signals weren't working and I snapped a picture at a rare moment when there was virtually no one around. For the most part, there were long lines going in every direction, but I digress...
This is obvious, but its still the first step. Grab your yellow oh-shit can. In Oregon, it must be yellow for diesel or the station attendants get wigged. I'm pretty sure its the law, kinda like you're not allowed to pump your own gasoline here, but you can pump diesel. Weird. Anyway, get it filled with a couple gallons of diesel and dump it into the tank. This should be the easy part. In my case, I spilled a bunch down the side of the bus, but that's a "me" issue.
|not my engine. I swiped the image from the 'net|
At this point, you have fuel in the system from the tank through to the IP. In some cases, this could be all you need to do. Have a partner jump behind the wheel and try starting (obey the glow plug idiot light). After about 15 seconds of cranking, if it doesn't start, your hard lines are not priming. Bummer. Grab a spanner (can't remember the size) and crack open the connection between the hard line and each injector while your friend hangs out in your driver seat. In the picture above, I circled the injector -to- hardline connections in blue. When you have them loose, have your partner crank the engine. One by one, each loose injector connection will bubble first air, then fuel. Once you have fuel at your first injector, your partner can stop cranking. Tighten that connection with your spanner and have your partner crank again. Like before, once the second injector connection is bubbling fuel, your partner can stop cranking, you tighten the connection and move on. By your last injector, the engine will be running.
Now make sure you have torqued the lines down according to spec. If you don't, and just tighten them enough to stop the leaking, you will lose prime again and have to do this all over again the next time you come out to start the engine. That's what happened to me....
That's it for today. It's been a busy last few months, so I've got lots of stories to tell. Not many about driving the bus, sadly, with the weather as rough as it's been in the Pacific NorthWest this winter, but there's a bunch going on. Thanks for tuning in-