Wednesday, November 2, 2016

What's Ailing Dodge?

When Dodge quit running at the end of our last camping trip, Gary immediately tried to find out why. A quick check to make sure he had fire was done, and there was no problem with that. Gary tells me that in order for an engine to run, it needs two things: fire and fuel. Since Dodge had one of the ingredients, it was obvious that he didn't have the other. With 254,090 miles on him, a fuel pump failure was a likely cause. Good or bad, Gary was going to replace that pump. If it wasn't bad, it could go bad at any time, and we don't need that kind of trouble on the road. It's a major job to replace the pump with it being located inside the fuel tank. To further complicate things, Dodge had around 25 gallons of fuel in him, making the tank more awkward and heavy. With the use of a transmission jack and some scrap 2x6 boards, the fuel tank was lowered enough to access the fuel inlet. The draining process began, and that took time. The fuel was transferred from the tank to a drain pan, then filtered through some cloth before being poured into a 5-gallon can. The contents of the 5-gallon can (several of them) was then poured into some of Dodge's relatives here at Green Acres. With the draining of the fuel tank completed, it was removed from Dodge. The fuel pump was indeed the original, with a Carter (the manufacturer) part number on it, and the factory Chrysler part number on it as well. Gary rigged up a test lead from a battery charger, and supplied power to the pump. It didn't work. The pump was dead for sure. That night, he began to hunt down a replacement online. Although he would have preferred to buy a replacement pump from his favorite local parts store, they would have had to order it. It would have taken three days to get it, and with an upcoming camping trip just three days away, that wasn't going to work. So, he went to another store that had the pump in stock. A couple of parts had to swapped over from the old pump to the new one, but that didn't take long. By the end of the day he purchased the new pump, it was installed into the fuel tank, and the tank was reinstalled into Dodge. Three gallons of fuel was poured in to test the new pump, and Dodge was purring like a kitten just seconds later. The only issue we have with the new pump is that it's VERY noisy. Anytime Dodge is running, the new pump can easily be heard. We doubt if it will last 254,090 miles like the original one, but it should get the job done for a number of years. We certainly hope so. With the hardest working member of "The Three Camp-A-Teers" ready to roll again, it was time to go camping. Where to next, you ask? You'll find out soon.

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