1. Thank you for visiting HeavyEquipmentForums.com! Our objective is to provide industry professionals a place to gather to exchange questions, answers and ideas. We welcome you to register using the "Register" icon at the top of the page. We'd appreciate any help you can offer in spreading the word of our new site. The more members that join, the bigger resource for all to enjoy. Thank you!
  2. ALL NEW MEMBERS READ THIS FIRST!! Thank you for joining Heavy Equipment Forums! If you are new to forums we communicate with "Threads", please search our threads to see if your topic may have already been answered and if not then click "Post New Thread" in the appropriate forum. This will allow all of our members to see your question and give you the best chance to be answered. After you've made a number of posts you will graduate to Full Member status where you'll see a few more privileges. Following these guidelines will help make this the best resource for heavy equipment on the net. Thanks for joining us and I hope you enjoy your stay!!

Things you find in fuel tank

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by nowing75, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. nowing75

    nowing75 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Messages:
    796
    Location:
    coatesville indiana
    One of my customers called me to look at their 336d operator was complaining of low power and it would randomly die. Had a code for low fuel psi and had black smoke from the pipe. Had less fuel flow at filter housing then I thought there should be. I took line off the bottom of the fuel tank and found this plastic in the fitting. IMG_3446.jpg
     
  2. willie59

    willie59 Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2008
    Messages:
    12,773
    Occupation:
    Service Manager
    Location:
    Knoxville TN
    Yeah, and that can be tough troubleshooting because it's outside of the norms of the stuff you typically look for. Once you've gone thought the filters, screens in banjo fitting, etc, you end up with a problem in the tank. I had a Deere 750J dozer about drive me crazy until I finally found that Food City plastic shopping bag floating around inside the tank. Most likely a former pissed of (got fired) employee.
     
  3. RZucker

    RZucker Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2013
    Messages:
    4,104
    Occupation:
    Mechanic/welder
    Location:
    Wherever I end up
    On trucks I have found primary filters full of sunflower seed shells, and the little foil discs from fuel treatment jugs seem to be popular line plugs too.
     
  4. thepumpguysc

    thepumpguysc Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    Messages:
    6,179
    Occupation:
    Master Inj.Pump rebuilder
    Location:
    Sunny South Carolina
    I had an electronic injection pump off a Mack truck come back 3x for shutting off randomly..
    There were only 3 electronic devices in the pump that could be the culprit and they all should have thrown a code.. no code.
    ALL 3 were replaced on general principal to get this pump back out the door, at customer request.. pi$$ed to say the least..
    I KNEW it wasn't the pump but whatcha gonna do when the customer is screamin in your ear..
    I got a call shortly after he left the 3rd time, and it was doing the SAME THING.. go figure..
    I went to his shop w/ a long homemade inspection lite I had made up, using a turn signal lite bulb, some flexible plastic conduit, some wire and alligator clips.. I hooked up the inspection lite and dropped it in the tank..
    It took me about 3 seconds to find the red rag floating around in the bottom of fuel tank..
    That .25 cent rag cost him over 5 grand.. in pump overhauls and R&R labor..
     
  5. thepumpguysc

    thepumpguysc Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    Messages:
    6,179
    Occupation:
    Master Inj.Pump rebuilder
    Location:
    Sunny South Carolina
    Another time I was called 200 miles 1 way to check out a factory warranty job.. the machine didn't have 5 hrs on it..
    I had just done a calibration check on the pump on a skid steer and it lasted about 10 minutes and started doing the same thing.. shutting off..
    I got there and the pump wasn't pumping fuel.. I traced it all the way back to the fuel tank.. dropped in my inspection lite & pulled the outlet hose..
    The tank bottom was COVERED w/ plastic curley cue shavings.. from where the holes were drilled for the tank holes..
    Craziest thing I've ever seen.. it must have been a Friday afternoon engine and the blow out guy left early??
    I've never seen another one like it sense..
     
  6. oarwhat

    oarwhat Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Messages:
    563
    Location:
    buffalo,n.y.
    Guys remove fuel gauge senders and want to seal them up good. So they use lots of silicone. It eventually drops into the tank and up the fuel line. Siilcone in diesel it slippery stuff. I've found it 5' up a line PAST an elbow

    Stick and twigs are fun too.
     
  7. Cmark

    Cmark Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    Messages:
    2,836
    Location:
    Australia
    Back in the early 80s I worked for an outfit that had a lot of generators, compressors etc. Lost and stolen fuel caps were a common problem and the boys on site would tie a plastic bag over the filler neck which would end up in the tank. Part of my standard tool kit was a broom handle with nails driven through the end, kind of like a mini medieval mace. A quick fishing expedition could retrieve quite small bits of plastic.
     
  8. oarwhat

    oarwhat Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Messages:
    563
    Location:
    buffalo,n.y.
    We had a backhoe one time with slow hydraulics. Changed filters,cleaned screens,checked pump etc. Looked in the tank all was clean and shinny. Finally figured out the tank baffle had broken off and was laying nice and flat on the bottom.
     
  9. nowing75

    nowing75 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Messages:
    796
    Location:
    coatesville indiana
    When I worked full time on airplanes guys were working in in the wing tank and left a box of rubber gloves. It was a 747 and lost 2 engines with plugged screens of blue goo. Good thing I'm Claustrophobic And can't get in the tanks.
     
  10. DIYDAVE

    DIYDAVE Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2007
    Messages:
    2,162
    Location:
    MD
    Years ago, I learned the hard way, on an AC D-14 gasser, 1957 vintage. Tractor would get to about a quarter tank full, and start randomly dyin, with the carb on high side of the hill at first, then as it got emptier, it was all the time, all conditions, drained the tank, shined a light into it, no rust, no nuthin, clean. Dump gas in till full, repeat process, same sh!t. finally had a friend, had one of them borescope cameras, use it to check, then used a long distance reacher tool, and fished out one of them big carpenter bumble bees, that was floating on top of the gas. When gas would get low enough, the damn thing would get sucked down into the tank outlet. Nobody admits or knows where that bumble bee came from, to this day, but I have my suspicions...:confused:
     
  11. John C.

    John C. Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Messages:
    11,046
    Occupation:
    Machinery & Equipment Appraiser
    Location:
    Northwest
    Found a small kids balloon partially blown up in a tank one time. Real head scratcher for awhile. A year of so later had the same thing happen again on another customer's machine and got suspicious. Asked the customer to check employees applications and see if any had worked at the prior balloon problem. Sure enough a guy got canned two weeks before and left a gift. Never saw the problem around here again.
     
  12. FSERVICE

    FSERVICE Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Messages:
    635
    Location:
    indiana
    I had a "june bug" make me loose a few nights sleep, it got in the fuel tank somehow. it would get sucked up into the fuel line & die.. let it set for a few it would restart!! it FINALLY got sucked in tight enough no fuel would come outa the line!! FOUND IT
     
  13. Steve Frazier

    Steve Frazier Founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2003
    Messages:
    6,261
    Location:
    LaGrangeville, N.Y.
    I had a diesel powered mower that had fuel starving symptoms, changed the filter a couple times and finally realized the problems started as the tank was below half full. Pulled the tank, emptied it and flushed it out with water, out fell a balled up foil gum wrapper. Had a little "pep talk" with my employees the next morning!
     
  14. Slidey

    Slidey Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2012
    Messages:
    133
    Occupation:
    HD fitter
    Location:
    The Pilbara
    Had a Mercedes Sprinter. Would ldle all day long and rev full bore in the no problems. As soon as you would drive out the gate it would cut out. Turn the key, it would fire up straight away.
    Many hours later I dropped the tank to find a plastic shopping bag in there.
     
  15. oarwhat

    oarwhat Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Messages:
    563
    Location:
    buffalo,n.y.
    Almost the same thing. Our local club had a tractor that never ran right. It would run and then quit. Shut it down and it would run again. I finally found it. A grass seed in the carburetor getting sucked into the main jet.
     
  16. HDMRice

    HDMRice Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Messages:
    68
    Occupation:
    Heavy Equipment Tech
    Location:
    Northern Alberta, Canada
    i've had a similar problem in a JD, D series skidsteer - a few times with different machines. The fuel is drawn up from the plastic tank, and through a small 90 elbow, and then to the transfer pump. machine wouldn't run well and wasn't making the pressure it should. Blew out that 90, and out came what I thought was a piece of plastic. I handed it to the mechanic for the company, showing them as they have lots of skid steers and this problem can crop up. As I'm putting things back together, I hear her exclaim something like "Ah, its a bug! Blah". Sure enough, she had unfolded the wings and it was a big ol' horse sized fly.
     
  17. fast_st

    fast_st Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2010
    Messages:
    1,354
    Occupation:
    IT systems admin
    Location:
    Mass
    Bought a generator a while back, pulled it apart to give it a good checkup, change the gas and oil and such. Rattle in the fuel tank... fished out a top from a blitz 5 gallon gas can, how do you loose that and not think about fishing it out! Score, always good to have spares around.
     
  18. IdahoDoug12

    IdahoDoug12 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2017
    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Moscow, ID
    We got in a John Deere 8000 series T-track tractor from another dealer for a regular customer. Went to pull it in the shop to widen the track and it threw a code and shut down. Low Hydraulic pressure. Got it in to the shop and pull filter, had about a full roll of "blue shop towels" packed around the filter.
     
  19. Shimmy1

    Shimmy1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2014
    Messages:
    3,306
    Location:
    North Dakota
    One of our trucks was having problems with fuel equalizing between the tanks. Changed the diverter tee in the return, no change. Fuel lines were original, 1.2 million miles, so we changed them. No change. Pumped out tanks and gave them a thorough inspection. Nothing. Loosened straps so we could rotate them enough to look down pick-up tubes. All clear. To this day, I can't remember if I took a really good look at the elbows in the top of each tank, and at this point decided that the suction pick-up tube in the tank that was filling up must have a crack. Ordered a Arctic Fox tank heater, because it would give us a new pickup in that tank. After installing the new heater/pickup, was putting thread sealer on the elbow and realized that there was something in the elbow. Grabbed a pick and pulled out what appeared to be a piece of the label from a Dasani water bottle that was wadded up and jammed into the very corner of the half-inch elbow. Never have hooked up to that new tank heater......
     
  20. Randy88

    Randy88 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Messages:
    2,112
    Location:
    iowa
    Over the years I've found rocks, marbles and even BB's in fuel and gas tanks on tractors, machines and even trucks. Had a thread on here before about someone before I owned the dozer putting road tar in the fuel tank, worst mess ever.

    Years ago my father in law forgot to put the fuel cap on his four wheel drive tractor one night while doing tillage and ran all night with no fuel cap on, the tractor quit before morning and the fuel filter was plugged with corn stalk debris, mud and sticks, the tanks had to be removed and dumped out, washed out and put back on again, but even years later corn stalk debris would show up in the filters every now and again.

    I've seen a combine fuel tank that had shelled corn in it so bad, no fuel could get out of the tank, corn swells and over time it even puffed out the tank somewhat, turns out over winter the tank cap wasn't on tight and mice had knocked it off and filled the fuel tank with shelled corn off the machine.

    A neighbor had his combine in the shed over winter and come spring, the engine wouldn't turn over, after working for day's, he gave up and called the dealership to come out to fix it, turns out mice had crawled down the exhaust pupe and filled the engine cylinder full that had the valves open and the one cylinder was full of corn and the engine could turn over at all, they also filled the muffler with corn.

    Kids were dinking around one time and took the fuel cap off the tank on a crawler loader sitting in the woods one fall and in about a weeks time squirrels filled the fuel tank full of acorns so when the owner came back to use it and fuel it, the tank was full to the top with acorns and he coulnd't even get the fuel nozzle in the tank, after that ordeal he went to locking the fuel caps with a paddle lock.

    Same guy with the combine engine filled with corn called me one day to ask for help getting his tractor going, turns out his grandkids were playing on it weeks before and took the gas cap off the gas tank, shined a light down inside to see what stunk so badly and found several dead mice floating and some decayed at the bottom and the whole tank had to come off to clean it out.

    Years back when diesel pickups first came out,[god I feel old] walked into the dealership one day needing parts and all the mechanics were working on a brand new pickup in the shop, turns out someone dumped acid in the guys fuel tank and he had started the pickup up not knowing it and it quit about a mile from his house, he ended up that time putting a new fuel tank on, all new lines and a whole new pump if i recall, and warranty didin't cover it, the truck at the time had less than a 1000 miles on it and the discussion was who and how they were going to tell the owner what happened to his new pickup when he came back to get it after his short trip to the coffee shop while waiting for his truck to get fixed.