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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Discussion Starter #1
After about 6 weeks of not moving (due to Corona curfew) last week we started our normal activities. When I start the car in the morning on the very first day, the engine just kept turning as of no fuel. Stopped and retried, after 5-6 turns it just started and stopped instantly. Thinking it may be due to staying long without running, 3rd time I floored the accelerator and 3-4 turns and it stared and stayed running. After that it settled down to idling and all was good.
Then again in the evening, after office very same issue. Came home and checked with Nanocom, no issues shown . I was expecting glow plugs. With switch ON checked the filter input line and saw some air bubbles moving. Checked for fuel leaks at return lines, injectors, inj pump, under the car nothing.Not even the diesel smell.
When running it didn't show any hesitation or coughing.
Only other thing noted is that with AC on in slow traffic, temp needle goes to slightly above 12. Normally it stayed at slightly below 12 with or without AC. No idea whether it's related to the fuel issue.
Filter was replaced in Dec last year and done about 3000 KMs so far. So a blocked filter can be ruled out, I guess. Also, with a blocked filter there will be other symptoms. In tank pump is a genuine one replaced about 3 years ago. Anyway, checked it's connections on top of the tank(I have cut the floor when replaced the pump) but no leaks there too.
Can the filter head connections allow air in without showing any leak?


Your ideas and advise welcome.
 

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1999 P38 vogue
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146 Posts
Did you check pipe from under inlet manifold to diesel filter ? Also check little bit pipe goes to on manifold not blocked ---- hope that helps
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Discussion Starter #3
That's the MAP sensor input hose. Wonder it has anything to do with starting?
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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From what you have described with the air bubbles, it looks like air is being drawn in somewhere.
You could disconnect the clear pipe at the FIP and run it into a jug while someone cranks the engine. Just to see if it shows bubbles coming through.
It would also check out the in tank pump. I think the book says min 180 mls in 12 secs.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Discussion Starter #5
Can see air bubbles (when starting only) in the input line to filter. I have checked the in tank pump connection on top of tank and they are perfectly dry. (I have the under seat cut to reach the pump). No where any diesel leak or the smell.
Can the filter input /output line o-ring, draw air in without a diesel leak? The pump head is the original one came with the car.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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The in tank pump is submerged in the diesel in the tank and when the pump is running the line to the filter will be under positive pressure, so it is hard to see how air could leak into it.
It maybe that the suction from the FIP draws air in? Otherwise I am out of ideas, other than run some diesel into a jug as I previously suggested. You could try unscrewing the filter and filter pipe connections to see if an o-ring is damaged.
 

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For the engine not to start due to lack of fuel, the leak will be very obvious. Ask me how I know... Provided the in-tank pump is running.
Have you tried removing an injector line to see if fuel is reaching the injectors? If not, next thing to check is the stop solenoid on top of the FIP.

Filip
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Removed the filter and also tested the pump out put. Filter is not blocked and pump output is perfect. What I observed is that when the pump initially pumps to the filter no air could be seen but after a moment when it stops (glow plugs going out) then air bubble comes out from filter side towards the tank. Anyway, fitted all back and bleed the system starting as usual.
The sequence; when cold-
first few turns nothing
second few turns starts at the end & stops immediately.
then I re-start with accelerator fully pressed. It starts & stays on even after I let it idle.

when hot follows the above sequence from 2nd step.

Dave, I'm bit scared to remove the filter input/output lines & check the o-ring seals. Those have never being removed before & probably will break the plastic ends. Should buy a filter head & attend to that.

Escape, I doubt it's to do with anything like injectors or stop solenoid as once properly started it stays on without any hiccups.
Thought the accelerator pedal playing up but Nanocom doesn't show such a thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Just tried again after removing innards of stop solenoid & refitting to avoid any mis-behaviour by the solenoid.
No change.
 

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My suggestions for cracking open an injector pipe was to see if the problem could be timing or such, with fuel making it to the engine but not in a way to make it fire. That could explain why it does keep running once you manage to get it started.
You should check the fuel pump relay as well. I had one a while ago that would engage with the glow plugs, but would be intermittent while running. I assume the feed from the alternator (engine running) wasn't enough for consistent engagement of the old relay, perfect with a new one. This also showed air bubbles when trying to start but not while glowing.

Filip
 

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1999 P38 vogue
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Have you tried removing filter and half filling with 2 stroke oil --- maybe pistons in pump are sticking --- 50/50 mix of diesel& 2 stroke oil usually sorts the problem out
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Have you tried removing filter and half filling with 2 stroke oil --- maybe pistons in pump are sticking --- 50/50 mix of diesel& 2 stroke oil usually sorts the problem out
Good point. Yes, could be something is sticking when cold and releases with the heat build up. But 'pistons in pump....' is not clear to me. Mind explaining.? or is it the injection pump plunger?

Escape- your suggestion that fuel reaches the engine but not firing is base timing is out. But I'm certain that it's perfect. Because after change of timing chains(about 2 yrs ago) I didn't touch that side :cautious: and up to this point it was perfect.
The other issues could be;
(A). 2 or more glow plugs are dead. In that case there should be a fault recorded and also engine would try/struggle to start from the 1st turn with little black smoke from exhaust.
(B) Timing out- It will be very difficult to start & once started will be smokey. Even with fully stretched chains (timing modulation at 93) car started on the dot when cold.

I had run this car with a dead in-tank pump for about 2 months(waiting for the new pump). During that period I had to keep the engine turning for about 7-8 turns to get it started when hot or cold. I'm very familiar with this engine's noise (I own it for more than 11 yrs).The sound from the engine is the kind of partially starved, so I knew it would start any moment.

But now the sound is kind of no fuel at all and also no smoke from exhaust. I feel that, If I keep on it will just rotate until the battery is dead.

Anyways, I 'll change the pump relay also n see.
I have a feeling that a big air bubble is forming in the filter when staying without running, for 5-6 hrs. But I don't see or smell any diesel leak.
 

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1999 P38 vogue
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All diesel pumps have pistons/plungers usually made of titanium ---- end up with fine titanium dust - from use ---- causing pistons to stick ---- the oil shifts gunge out ---- simple and cheap
 

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Discussion Starter #14
It's kind of an injector cleaner. Coming Saturday I can try that with 2T oil or ATF.
 

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Yep 2t oil is what I use ---- might help you --- it did on marks DSE rust bucket 👍
 

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I get what you're saying about timing, with new (recent) chains and if running OK once started, base timing is proven. But there is an electronic adjustement, if that is way off during crank, it might prevent the engine from starting. Hence why I would check if you get any fuel at the injectors.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
There is no change even after using 2 full filters of ATF.
On checking leak off pipes , found light wetness in 6th injector. Removed the rubber bung, no visible cracking or hardness. Tightly refitted and waiting till evening to see whether it works.

If this fails, I'll run like this and replace the filter head when possible.
 

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I have had another read through this, Kapila. Check the glow plugs. Did you do this? Make sure they are all working. Off the car with an old car battery.
Test the glowplug relay. Fit a light bulb to one of the glowplug supply wires to see if it lights up when you try to start it.
Try fitting an aftermarket non-return valve in the fuel line from the filter to the FIP.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Guys, it's back to normal. starts fine.
I guess the issue was with the 6th injector leak-off bung.

Dave, I got to disagree with you. If it was glow plugs;
1. it should be shown as a fault
2. if it starts with difficulty, it will remain so with a rough idle initially.

Thanks to you all.
 
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