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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone, I have a 05 6.0 PSD. The other day I had 1/4 tank of fuel and then all of a sudden the fuel hand drops below "E" and fuel light comes on. About 2 miles later the truck acts like it is running out of fuel. I add 5 gallons to the tank and figured that would be enough to register on the Guage and get me a few more miles to a truck stop. I've changed both filters and filled the tank up but it still will not register on the Guage and the truck still cuts out. Please help.
 

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"resident smarty pants"
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Sounds like a batch of bad fuel and it sounds like your tank level sending unit is either stuck or bad.

It is possible that the vacuum-prevention valve fell out of the fuel pickup tube, and that causes air to be sucked in at about 1/4 of a tank. This valve is in the side of the pickup tube, and is designed to open up if the pickup tube screen gets restricted. Another possibility is that the pickup tube itself just broken. There seems to be a lot of them breaking now that the trucks are getting on up there in age.

Questions:
  • Are you driving a van, pickup, or excursion?
  • When you changed the filters, what did the fuel you drained look like?
  • Did you drain the water from the drain plug? If so, what did you find there? Lots of water, a little water, algae, etc?
  • What did the filters look like?
  • Do you have a fuel pressure gauge (it requires an add-on sensor and gauge)?
  • If you remove the cap on the secondary filter and suck out any standing fuel ..... how long does it take for the fuel pump to fill the filter bowl (just turn the key on to turn the pump on)? note - it can fill quickly so be prepared to shut the key off quickly!

You may need to drop the tank to verify the condition of the pickup tube, AND you may need a new sending unit (unfortunately they are expensive). Be aware that it seems that the dealerships are sold out on the pickup tube foot, and the aftermarket ones do not seem to last. Some people are simply installing a sump on the fuel tank and connecting to the fuel pump with a hose. Beans Diesel makes the most commonly installed sump.

If you have a truck, then you can lift the bed (actually just tilt it up on the cab end) to remove the sending unit and pickup tube.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I appreciate the response. I drive a truck and I will probably have to drop the tank. The main filter was disgusting. I didn't think to pop open the water separator at the moment but I will most definitely do that. I was really hoping the main filter was clogged, and it most definitely was dirty, but it didn't change how it was acting. Being that my fuel gauge just quit makes me think it is the sending unit in the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I will have to try that. I was getting the truck ready for a trip to haul my 5er to the Smokey Mountains. Unfortunately I did not get the time to troubleshoot before we left. But just so I understand you right, I take the cap off and turn the key on and watch it fill and turn it off before it over fills correct? What exactly do those results mean? I am assuming we are testing the fuel pump correct? I am not a master mechanic but I feel as if I have a decent mechanical ability.
 

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"resident smarty pants"
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It is testing the "low pressure" pump flow. Doesn't exactly correlate to flow under pressure, but it is a start to troubleshooting the fuel pump. A fuel pressure sensor is the best tool to have.

Oh, if there is any fuel sitting in the bowl when you remove the cap, then suck it out with something like a turkey baster. Then do the test.

Hopefully you didn't take the truck on the trip. Operating it with bad fuel or low fuel pressure is a recipe to ruin $2k worth of injectors.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Oh no I was able to borrow my dad's f250 for the trip thank God. I don't want to do any unnecessary damage. I can see my HPOP on my Torque app. The pressure there seemed to build normal. If I remember correctly at idle cold around 850 psi to 900 psi. If I run it up until about 2k rpm then it builds to like 1200 psi. Do those numbers sound about right? I even unhooked my ICP to see if the truck would change but there was no change.
 
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