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Old February 11th, 2018, 07:55   #1
bmwilson55
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Default Injection Pump Problem

Hello, first post on here so go easy on me. 1.9L VW TDI 2003 Jetta Manual 187k. Was driving in terribly cold weather a few weeks back and the car seemed to be sluggish when trying to accelerate. A minute later, when I left off the gas to go through a roundabout it died. Hasn't started since. Engine turns over at the normal rate, no smokey/smelly exhaust out the back like it usually has when trying to start. So, all that said, fairly certain I am not getting fuel to the chambers.

1. Waited for a warm day, still no start.
2. Replaced fuel filter (and filled it with fuel), still no start.
3. Bought a mightyvac, pull fuel through the filter from the tank, still no start.
Pull off the return line to the IP and was able to remove some air, but it eventually pulled a fairly strong vacuum and stopped extracting fuel. Held at about 23 and slowly bled off if I let it set there for a few minutes. Still no start.
4. Pulled a vacuum on the return line coming out of the IP leading to the filter and still got about 23 on the vacuum, and it held that vacuum with a slow bleed. Turned over the engine, tried the same vacuum again, still held, still no start.
5. Checked the voltage going to the fuel shutoff solenoid and am getting the 11/12 volt. Hooked the battery directly to the solenoid and tried to start, no start. I can hear a clicking in the solenoid when I apply 12v, so it sounds like it is good, but not sure.
6. Removed the fuel shutoff solenoid to look for any damage, didnt see anything wrong.
7. I have not pulled the lines leading to the cylinders as I am fairly sure they aren't getting fuel. I see no smoke and don't smell any combustion when trying to start it.
8. Made sure the IP was in fact turning over by checking and marking the belt position on the sprocket and seeing that it moves when turning over the engine.
9. Codes are P0128, P0252, but i am using a generic basic scanner, so no deep dive.
10.? Really Really Really trying to avoid buying a new IP, but running out of things to try. One question I have, why am I pulling a vacuum on the return line from the IP? Shouldn't I get fuel flow through it? No fuel leaks anywhere on the pump, all looks fine. Thanks!

Last edited by bmwilson55; February 11th, 2018 at 07:58.
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Old February 11th, 2018, 08:21   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwilson55 View Post
Hello, first post on here so go easy on me. 1.9L VW TDI 2003 Jetta Manual 187k. Was driving in terribly cold weather a few weeks back and the car seemed to be sluggish when trying to accelerate. A minute later, when I left off the gas to go through a roundabout it died. Hasn't started since. Engine turns over at the normal rate, no smokey/smelly exhaust out the back like it usually has when trying to start. So, all that said, fairly certain I am not getting fuel to the chambers.

1. Waited for a warm day, still no start.
2. Replaced fuel filter (and filled it with fuel), still no start.
3. Bought a mightyvac, pull fuel through the filter from the tank, still no start.
Pull off the return line to the IP and was able to remove some air, but it eventually pulled a fairly strong vacuum and stopped extracting fuel. Held at about 23 and slowly bled off if I let it set there for a few minutes. Still no start.
4. Pulled a vacuum on the return line coming out of the IP leading to the filter and still got about 23 on the vacuum, and it held that vacuum with a slow bleed. Turned over the engine, tried the same vacuum again, still held, still no start.
5. Checked the voltage going to the fuel shutoff solenoid and am getting the 11/12 volt. Hooked the battery directly to the solenoid and tried to start, no start. I can hear a clicking in the solenoid when I apply 12v, so it sounds like it is good, but not sure.
6. Removed the fuel shutoff solenoid to look for any damage, didnt see anything wrong.
7. I have not pulled the lines leading to the cylinders as I am fairly sure they aren't getting fuel. I see no smoke and don't smell any combustion when trying to start it.
8. Made sure the IP was in fact turning over by checking and marking the belt position on the sprocket and seeing that it moves when turning over the engine.
9. Codes are P0128, P0252, but i am using a generic basic scanner, so no deep dive.
10.? Really Really Really trying to avoid buying a new IP, but running out of things to try. One question I have, why am I pulling a vacuum on the return line from the IP? Shouldn't I get fuel flow through it? No fuel leaks anywhere on the pump, all looks fine. Thanks!

Do #7. You primed the pump, but loosening one of the hard line nuts and cranking will allow you to see if fuel is appearing and prime those lines. Close nut and repeat for another line. It should definitely try to start up by the second line. You need to purge the air from those lines if the fuel source had dried up through gelling or whatever reason.
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Last edited by jokila; February 11th, 2018 at 08:25.
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Old February 11th, 2018, 08:58   #3
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Might be worthwhile to verify that you're readily able to pull fuel from the tank. If there's an issue there you might end up chasing your tail for a while (concentrating on the IP output side of things).
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Old February 11th, 2018, 09:02   #4
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Originally Posted by UhOh View Post
Might be worthwhile to verify that you're readily able to pull fuel from the tank. If there's an issue there you might end up chasing your tail for a while (concentrating on the IP output side of things).

He said he was able to pull fuel to the filter with a miteyvac.
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Old February 11th, 2018, 09:08   #5
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Actually, might not be getting fuel to pump when I reread his step #3.

OP - Keep doing what you were doing with priming the IP with fuel. If you see the vacuum dropping that slowly, it means fuel is moving to the IP. Just keep doing that until fuel outflows from pump. Only then do what i recommended on the hard lines.
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Old February 11th, 2018, 09:44   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jokila View Post
He said he was able to pull fuel to the filter with a miteyvac.
From my post:

readily able to pull fuel from the tank.

Operative word being "readily." It's like the issue where one can get fuel at the injectors but it's not sufficient (a trickle). A battery may supply voltage but does it supply enough? Function/operation needs to be qualified/quantified.
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Old February 11th, 2018, 11:14   #7
bmwilson55
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Hey thanks for all the good reply's. So, it sounds like i need to keep pulling a vacuum on the return line coming from the IP, to make sure fuel is pulling from tank, to filter, to IP, and back out of the IP. Sounds right? I did this, but was getting about 23 on my mightyvac. Does this sound right to anyone who has done this? A fairly strong vacuum needed to pull all the way through? Also, I will crack open the cylinder lines to bleed the air from them. Thanks,
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Old February 11th, 2018, 11:36   #8
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The clearance in the lift pump inside the IP are tight so once there is fuel in it it doesn't flow well. When I've done it I got it to where there was fuel at the pump outlet but it didn't want to keep flowing. I was using a venturi type pump so it kept a constant suck on it and I didn't have to keep squeezing a hand pump.

I've read that the outlet fitting on the pump restricts flow but I've never removed it to verify this.

What UhOh was wondering was whether you got free flow through the filter when you were sucking on the supply line to the pump.

I was wondering why the thing quit in the first place. Maybe he is too.
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Last edited by KLXD; February 11th, 2018 at 11:39.
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Old February 11th, 2018, 12:24   #9
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^^^ Yes, thank you KLXD.

Although it can sometimes be a big pain to bleed out trapped air, it really isn't all that hard. Just have to keep the battery charged up, allow starter to cool down (don't over-work) and keep an injector line loosened up. Usually, however, if you fill up the fuel filter before trying to crank you're not going to struggle much, if at all.
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Old February 11th, 2018, 13:05   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwilson55 View Post
Hey thanks for all the good reply's. So, it sounds like i need to keep pulling a vacuum on the return line coming from the IP, to make sure fuel is pulling from tank, to filter, to IP, and back out of the IP. Sounds right? I did this, but was getting about 23 on my mightyvac. Does this sound right to anyone who has done this? A fairly strong vacuum needed to pull all the way through? Also, I will crack open the cylinder lines to bleed the air from them. Thanks,
Until you get fuel flowing into your miteyvac line from the IP to the filter, no reason to try the hard lines.

You should get a good vacuum on it (unless the seals are failing) but the vacuum ever so slowly falls as the fuel flows to the pump and back to your vac pump. The IP should fill with fuel and then flow past. In some cases it does get really slow but i've not had it fail to come through to the return line for the most part. In one experience I had it seem like it didn't want to pull through, but i then tapped on the starter to get the pump to move a tad and continued attempting to prime and that worked for me.

The odd thing is that this failed in the first place. I could see this happening in super cold weather where the fuel gels up.
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Old February 11th, 2018, 13:07   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UhOh View Post
From my post:

readily able to pull fuel from the tank.

Operative word being "readily." It's like the issue where one can get fuel at the injectors but it's not sufficient (a trickle). A battery may supply voltage but does it supply enough? Function/operation needs to be qualified/quantified.
We can all quibble over what that means. He said he got fuel to appear so that seemed enough to prove he had fuel showing up. Maybe it was a temporary condition that it worked in the first place.
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Old February 11th, 2018, 13:41   #12
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Yeah, well,,, as you put it, whatever...
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Old February 12th, 2018, 07:23   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwilson55 View Post
Hey thanks for all the good reply's. So, it sounds like i need to keep pulling a vacuum on the return line coming from the IP, to make sure fuel is pulling from tank, to filter, to IP, and back out of the IP. Sounds right? I did this, but was getting about 23 on my mightyvac. Does this sound right to anyone who has done this? A fairly strong vacuum needed to pull all the way through? Also, I will crack open the cylinder lines to bleed the air from them. Thanks,
I've done this, and your method sounds ok EXCEPT: when you are pulling the vacuum on the pump did you plug the little return line barb that is on the return line output from the pump? This is where the return lines from the injectors plugs into the return line. And don't bother to crack the injection lines until after you've done this to completely purge the pump.

If you do this, the vacuum will successfully pull the air out of the injection pump. If you don't, then you get an air bleed from the return lines of the injectors. Air will actually leak up through the nozzles, the injector body, and then through the return lines to the injection pump return line. It will make it impossible to completely purge the pump.

So to recap: plug that little barb when you apply vacuum to the injection pump to purge it, then connect everything back (return line to the filter/tank, and the small injector return line), then loosen at least 2 injector hard lines at the injectors, crank until you get fuel at the injectors, then tighten and go.

BTDT: I had months of frustration trying to revive my wife's NB after 6 months of sitting one winter due to this. I ended up playing with that pump after replacing it with a known good spare, and it wasn't until I figured out this little trick that the pump purged and started right up.

Good luck!

PH
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Old February 13th, 2018, 06:51   #14
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Originally Posted by Powder Hound View Post
I've done this, and your method sounds ok EXCEPT: when you are pulling the vacuum on the pump did you plug the little return line barb that is on the return line output from the pump? This is where the return lines from the injectors plugs into the return line. And don't bother to crack the injection lines until after you've done this to completely purge the pump.

If you do this, the vacuum will successfully pull the air out of the injection pump. If you don't, then you get an air bleed from the return lines of the injectors. Air will actually leak up through the nozzles, the injector body, and then through the return lines to the injection pump return line. It will make it impossible to completely purge the pump.

So to recap: plug that little barb when you apply vacuum to the injection pump to purge it, then connect everything back (return line to the filter/tank, and the small injector return line), then loosen at least 2 injector hard lines at the injectors, crank until you get fuel at the injectors, then tighten and go.

BTDT: I had months of frustration trying to revive my wife's NB after 6 months of sitting one winter due to this. I ended up playing with that pump after replacing it with a known good spare, and it wasn't until I figured out this little trick that the pump purged and started right up.

Good luck!

PH
Good catch on his return line manipulation. I personally would never, ever disconnect those lines for any reason other than replacing them completely. It could leak after putting the hose back on. More importantly, it's not even necessary as the return line from the pump to the filter is more than adequate to pull the fuel through the pump.
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Old February 18th, 2018, 11:05   #15
bmwilson55
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Default Got it!

Hi all. So, I purged the air from all the hard lines, and, sure enough it fired up. I am blaming the cold and the fact that I had not changed the fuel filter or drained it in awhile. It was below zero F. I thought I had driven my diesel in temps that cold before but maybe then i didnt have water in the lines? Odd. I also thought they added antigel to the diesel fuel in this region (midwest -Indiana). Problems Solved. Thanks everyone for the pointers.
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