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 1997 International 3800 DT466E Running Issues
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surfdudevb
New Member

1 Posts

Posted - 09/24/2012 :  2:13:48 PM  Show Profile  Visit surfdudevb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Alright, so let me start this out by stating I was a real big dummy and let me bus run out of gas the other day while driving. I shouldn't have let the GF talk me out of stopping to get gas when I should have.
Let, me explain what happened and see what people think might be going on. Well we drove about 45miles out to visit with her family, right about the time I get off the highway and stop at a light and start to idle to engine dies. Doesn't sputter out, just cuts off immediately. Well, I run over to the gas station and put about 4 gallons in the bus to get it over the gas station. Well, I get it started get it around the corner, and it dies again at the next light. I put another 4 gallons in, well I get it started up, but when I shift into drive it shuts off. So, I rev it up some switch it into gear and make it into the parking lot. After letting it sit, I get it started later, get it over to the gas station and fill it up. At this point though it doesn't want to turn over, so I give it a little bit of starter fluid. This gets it to turn over and I start for the trip back the 45miles. The whole trip the bus seems to be running fine, but also seems to lag a little when I try to give it gas, like the fuel isn't pumping like it should. Well, again I get off the highway, make a turn and go to turn around, and when it hits idle again it shuts off. I get it started a few times and it keeps shutting off as soon as I try to shift it into gear. I finally decide to use a little starter fluid to get it running, finally get it parked for the night.
So, today I go over to try to figure out what might be going on I can't get it to start up without the use of a little bit of started fluid. It will start at that point and run in nuetral and idles well. I also tried to switch it into gear and it is having no problems there no at all. It doesn't seem to be shutting off like it was last night. I wonder if I just had some air in the fuel line from running it empty yesterday, a fuel filter is clogged and needs to be changed? Any ideas or advice would be awesome!!

RD9000
Senior Member

72 Posts

Posted - 09/24/2012 :  2:37:14 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
As you probably know, anytime you open up a fuel system or run it out of fuel on a diesel, you are opening up a car of worms. From the sounds of your situation, the dying seems like its simply a case of the air finally making it out of the fuel system. As far as the starting issues, you first need to determine if the engine has glowplugs or an intake heater. Starting fluid will ruin your glowplugs. The other culprit could be your batteries. Situations with lots of starting can be a death sentence for batteries. Even if they have power to turn the engine over, they may not have enough to start your engine. It certainly never hurts to change your fuel filters, especially with the poor quality of fuel these days. Keep in mind you may have multiple filters. Running out of fuel can ruin the metering valve and/or fuel and injection pumps on some diesels, so you certainly want to be careful. The older I get, the more I stay on the on the safe side. Fuel guages are undependable at best!
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IBTMech
Top Member

USA
973 Posts

Posted - 09/24/2012 :  4:06:21 PM  Show Profile  Visit IBTMech's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Well, I hope you're not putting gasoline in your tank. That's all bad news.
I am assuming that with a '97 DT466E it is a 3box system.

If you're referring to diesel fuel as 'gas' I guess you are OK.
The 45 mile trip back should have purged any air from the system. A fuel pressure test is in order. 60+-psi is what you should see. A defective rubber check ball on the top of the fuel strainer can cause all sorts of fuel pressure issues. Check it for cracks or chunks missing.

Oh yeah, change that fuel filter if you can't remember the last time it was changed. #1 cause of lack of power.

If it doesn't fit, FORCE it.
If it breaks, well, it needed replacing anyway.
Pullin' wrenches for 45 years.

Edited by - IBTMech on 09/24/2012 4:12:46 PM
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