How to clean out fuel system in a 96 Eldorado sitting for 6 years.
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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, How to clean out fuel system in a 96 Eldorado sitting for 6 years. in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; Hey all, I scored a 97 Eldorado from the In-laws and drug it to my house. It's been off the ...
  1. #1
    NAES is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    How to clean out fuel system in a 97 Eldorado sitting for 6 years. (edited)

    Hey all, I scored a 97 Eldorado from the In-laws and drug it to my house. It's been off the road for around 6 years. I just finished replacing the timing chains and slippers and then tackled the fuel system.

    I drained the tank, changed the fuel filter and put about 3 gallons of fresh fuel in. When you turn the key you can hear the fuel pump prime the system. I turned the engine over with the ignition plug pulled for about 30 seconds to prime the oil system. Reconnected, squirted a bunch of starting fluid in there and she fired up! Of course she stalled right after that but I continued to let it run on starting fluid alone trying to clear the rest of the old fuel in the system. I went through a can and she still won't stay lit. I squirted raw fuel into the intake and it will run as long as I'm feeding it manually. It has around 10 minutes of run time on it now so I figured the old gas would be circulated through at least. Now I'm wondering what else could cause the engine to not get fuel? I'm hoping I don't have to pull the injectors and clean them but if that's what is next then that's that.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks all, NAES

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    Submariner409's Avatar
    Submariner409 is offline If it won't run, chrome it
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    Re: How to clean out fuel system in a 96 Eldorado sitting for 6 years.

    Tedious cleaning - if the pump won't prime the system it could be anything from a totally clogged primary fuel filter (base of pump module, tank drop), secondary fuel filter, to the fuel lines themselves to the injectors, injector timing signal, FPR ..........

    If the engine "runs" with starting fluid then ignition is not the problem.

    If the engine has run on and off for 10 minutes or so (pray that the starting fluid has not broken [yes, broken] anything), use the sticky post "How to pull codes" and its proper section for the car to get any stored trouble codes, then go back and decipher the codes with the link with "obd2" in the address - depending on the build date the DTC's might be a mishmash of OBD-1 and OBD-II codes.

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    RippyPartsDept's Avatar
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    Re: How to clean out fuel system in a 96 Eldorado sitting for 6 years.

    checking the fuel pressure might be a good idea
    there's a service port on the rail, right Sub?
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    Re: How to clean out fuel system in a 96 Eldorado sitting for 6 years.

    Well, you can hear the pump run, but when you try to start it you don't even get a pop or sputter? If you have any sort of pressure at all at the rail, even low pressure, it should at least TRY to start. If it doesn't, I'd focus my attention on the injectors and their circuits... injectors fuses in tact?

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    Re: How to clean out fuel system in a 96 Eldorado sitting for 6 years.

    squirted a bunch of starting fluid in there and she fired up!
    I squirted raw fuel into the intake and it will run as long as I'm feeding it manually.
    Check the fuel pressure. It's obviously not getting fuel. Just because you hear the pump run does not mean it has enough pressure to run.

  7. #6
    NAES is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: How to clean out fuel system in a 96 Eldorado sitting for 6 years.

    OK guys, thanks for the replies. I don't have a gauge to measure fuel pressure so I'll have to figure out a way to see if fuel is making its way to the engine.

    Here's a little more information from when I originally posted. The fuel tank was about 3/4 full when I drained the tank. The gas was definitely yellowed from age but not nearly as crappy as I would have imagined it to look. The fuel filter that I removed on the drivers side body rail drained clean fuel through it. I even ran some cleaner through it and it came out without seeming as though it was clogged. I didn't cut it open to verify though. And up at the fuel metering unit I removed the top and examined the fuel screen. There was no contamination that I could see and the tiny bit of fuel inside the unit looked good. I didn't find any deposits up there.

    Is there a fuel line up inside the engine bay that I could remove and put in a jar or something to see if fuel is at least making it up that far?

    Thanks again everyone for the help. I'll get this little whip on the road soon enough!

    NAES

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    Re: How to clean out fuel system in a 96 Eldorado sitting for 6 years.

    Yes, there is a fuel service port on the fuel rail. It looks and operates just like a tire valve, but be advised that getting fuel out of it is just like getting air out of a tire. You know there's some in there, but you don't know how much. Imagine trying to check your tires by pressing on the tire valve and hearing it hiss. It may only has 5 psi, but it will hiss. Just because you get fuel from the service port doesn't tell you a thing, other than that the fuel pump is not dead.
    JoeTahoe and JoeTahoe like this.

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    NAES is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: How to clean out fuel system in a 96 Eldorado sitting for 6 years.

    Good point. I was just trying to rule out a complete blockage up to the engine. I'll see if I can find a fuel pressure tester to rent like at Autozone or the like.

    Thanks again all. NAES

  10. #9
    NAES is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: How to clean out fuel system in a 96 Eldorado sitting for 6 years.

    Alright. I rented the fuel pressure tester from Autozone and got to work. I depressed the schraeder valve on the fuel rail and nothing. No hiss, no fuel, nada. So I worked my way back to the fuel pressure regulator. I popped the top off of it and removed the screen. There was a little fuel sitting in there. I turned the ignition switch on hoping a big stream of fuel would shoot out of the regulator. Nope. I tried the switch a half dozen times with nothing.

    So, the pump is running and I already changed the frame mounted fuel filter. I think the next step is to start at the source and work my way up front. I'll be going out to drop the tank in a while and then see what I find. I'll report back when I have something new to add.

    Thanks again everyone for the help. NAES

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    Re: How to clean out fuel system in a 96 Eldorado sitting for 6 years.

    i have a feeling you're going to need a new pump/module assembly
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    Re: How to clean out fuel system in a 96 Eldorado sitting for 6 years.

    Yup.
    No fuel = no fuel pressure.
    No fuel pressure = failed pump.

  13. #12
    NAES is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: How to clean out fuel system in a 96 Eldorado sitting for 6 years.

    Dropped the tank today and found an interesting problem. The fuel feed hose had disintegrated above the level of the fuel that remained in the tank years ago. So, the pump was pumping as it should and shooting fuel directly back into the tank.

    So now my question is, can I just replace that piece with standard fuel line and a couple of hose clamps? Will it be alright inside the tank? I don't see why not as it isn't a high pressure line or anything like that.

    Attached are a couple of pics for your enjoyment. You can see how brittle this stuff has become. Hell, it'll be cheaper than a new pump at least!

    NAES




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    Re: How to clean out fuel system in a 96 Eldorado sitting for 6 years.

    It IS a high pressure line and it flexes on installation - your best bet would be to look in RockAuto and replace the entire fuel pump module/level sender/tank pressure sensor.

    Curiously the entire DELPHI/UltraPower/Airtex assembly costs less that the level sender alone - find the best price.

    (That inline fuel pump discharges directly into a 45 psi pressure head - the FPR insures that, and any fuel not burned cycles back to the tank: More fuel goes 'round and 'round than is burned ............)

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    NAES is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: How to clean out fuel system in a 96 Eldorado sitting for 6 years.

    Thanks for that super quick reply. Definitely saved me from screwing something else up!

    I'll look at RockAuto and see what I can find.

    OK, back under the car! NAES

  16. #15
    NAES is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: How to clean out fuel system in a 96 Eldorado sitting for 6 years.

    Found a new pump on Evilbay. Should get here in a week or so. It's an Airtex. That should lop off another to do item.

    Now a million more little things to do....

    NAES

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