Out of Gas - dual tanks

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Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 7:07 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest California

Out of Gas - dual tanks

Postby Fabrikator50 » Thu Nov 25, 2010 9:44 pm

I had to share this recent dilemma. Out of gas at full throttle and climbing a hill too, and to make matters worse, it was on the Interstate.....very embarassing. Also, a blow to the ego too. It is rewarding when we can avoid the repair shops, and diagnos our own problems. My problem of late seems to be "brain fade".
I recently had to rebuilt the Holley 3310 4-barrel Holley on my 460. The 3310 is a 750cfm dual-feed single pumper.
Upon completing the rebuild, I took a small can of fuel with a small hose (chainsaw fuel line, yellow hose), and filled the primary float bowl up to the overflow screw. Perfect. Bench checked the accelerator pump and it was squirting fine. Next, hit the starter, and the engine fired right up and idled fine. What a reward. A carb rebuild is a crap-shoot everytime, as it is so easy to make a fatal mistake. All it takes for the mistake is One Distraction.

Next, was the road test. Now, it had been one year since operating this particular '78 460 engine. My son and I decided to stay close to a main road in case of any unsuspecting problems. After about 25 miles, one of the tanks was getting low on fuel, so I decided to run it out of gas on the low tank. Shortly thereafter, the engine started having problems at low idle.

Well, I had forgot, and left the house on a battery that was 7 years old. After the engine stalled numerous times because of the idle issue, the battery was showing signs of sluggish starting. I told my son we had better head for the Barn. On the way home there are several long one-mile plus uphill grades, so I thought I would put my foot into it, and Blow-out-the-Carbon. 3/4's of the way up the first big grade, the engine started starving for fuel. I had to back out of the throttle. Doing the same thing on the third hill, the engine ran out of gas. We didn't have enough battery to crank but twice, and guess what........no tools, as it was a "quickie run", and remember, the carb was working properly when we left the house.

I wound up calling a tow truck as it was nearing dusk.

When at home, I checked all the hoses from both tanks all the way to the engine, they visully appeared good. I filled the float bowl of the carb, gave the engine a primer shot of fuel, and the engine raored to life. It idled until the float bowl ran uot of gas, and then died.

To make a long story short, after alot of head-scratching, I replaced all of the fuel hoses from the tanks to the carb. In 1993, I had replaced all of the hoses, and the electric tank-selector valve.

The culprit wound up being the electric tank-selector valve. What was happening, was that the seal on the tank selector valve had failed, and the engine fuel pump was allowed to suck air from the empty fuel tank. I poured 5 gallons of gas into the empty fuel tank and Voila, fuel problem solved. What a pain in the #@s. Well; at least now I know that I have fresh fuel hoses. The one thing left to do now, is to install a new electric fuel tank selector valve.

What will the next challenge be ? .....brain fade ?

Len (Fabrikator50)

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Jr Mod - Guru
Jr Mod - Guru
Posts: 441
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 7:43 am
Location: Panama City, FL

Re: Out of Gas - dual tanks

Postby robbragiel » Fri Nov 26, 2010 3:15 am

Sorry for the bad luck. Good decisions come from experience and alot of those come from bad ones.
73 F250 CC Shortbed
73 F350 Chassis Cab CC Longbed
02 F350 4x4 CC Longbed Diesel
02 Excursion 4x4 Diesel
08 Fusion (daughters)
13 Focus (sons)
13 Fusion Hybrid
All of them are registered and get driven regularly

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