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Dr. Hamman
Dr. Hamman, Automotive Engineer
Category: Car
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Experience:  30 years experience, Repairing, building, & designing, automobiles.
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I have a 1985 ford econline rv(the esablihment) with a 351

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I have a 1985 ford econline rv(the esablihment) with a 351 motor. It starts cutting out when I try to go up hill or over 50, replaced the two in-line filters. (in front of the fuel pumps) what is the problem.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Dr. Hamman replied 11 months ago.
It sounds a lot like fuel starvation, have you checked the fuel pressure.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
How do I check fuel pressure
Expert:  Dr. Hamman replied 11 months ago.

Hi, I am a professional certified mechanic, with an engineering background, and 35+ years experience. I will do my best to assist you. Also keep in mind I don't know if you are a pro or a novice, so feel free to add any additional info at any time.



The best way to check the fuel pressure is with a fuel pressure gauge. You can normally get one at most larger auto parts stores on their tool lender programs, this way you don’t have to buy one. Otherwise you can just buy one of the gauges. You can tap into the fuel line after the fuel pump. Sometimes you have to get creative to attach the tester gauge. it will tell you a lot. I would try to hook it up where you could drive it and see if the fuel pressure fades when it starts cutting out and loosing power. If the fuel pressure drops when it cuts out then the fuel pump is a very likely problem. You can also have a restriction in the fuel line. The fuel pump going bad is a lot more common than finding a restriction in the fuel line. Go over all of this and if you have any more questions at all, I am here to help. Good luck with it, have a great day, and Thanks for using Just Answer.


I do not get paid for my work unless you rate at 3 to 5 Smiley Faces or Stars, a bonus is always greatly appreciated. If the answer is not clear, let me know what additional help you need, and I will be happy to assist you further.


Customer: replied 11 months ago.

i was told it is the module for the distributor , early electronic ignitions were famous for cutting out .

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I was told it was the module for the distributor, early electronic ignition were famous for it
Expert:  Dr. Hamman replied 11 months ago.

Hi, I am a professional certified mechanic, with an engineering background, and 35+ years experience. I will do my best to assist you. Also keep in mind I don't know if you are a pro or a novice, so feel free to add any additional info at any time.



I am thinking fuel pressure/delivery. If you can unplug one plug wire, and put a plug in it where you can watch it when it cuts out, that would tell you if the ignition was cutting out. These ignitions were pretty bad about cutting out when they had problems, but the engines normally died, and wouldn’t restart until they cooled. They were not sensitive to loads, like hills, and higher speeds. I cant rule out ignition problems but with your symptoms the problem is almost always fuel delivery. Because if the fuel system can only deliver a certain volume of fuel when you exceed its ability to deliver it will cut out until you slow down, where it can deliver adequate volumes of fuel, think of it as a partially stopped up hose. Anyway the possibility’s are all over the chart, as far as what it can be. I am the guy in the shop all the mechanics run to when they have trouble finding the problem they are trying to fix, I am told I have a thing for finding problems, anyway the fuel pressure is the first thing I would check on this one. It just fits the symptoms so much. If it goes beyond this, I will be here to help. Go over all of this and if you have any more questions at all, let me know I will help. Good luck with it, have a great day, and Thanks for using Just Answer.


I do not get paid for my work unless you rate at 3 to 5 Smiley Faces or Stars, a bonus is always greatly appreciated. If the answer is not clear, let me know what additional help you need, and I will be happy to assist you further.



Customer: replied 11 months ago.

it has 2 fuels one that come out the tank and goes to the carb and one that has two holley fuel pumps with a filter in front of each. those are the filters i replaced, how many more filters are on this thing. do you know where I can find a manual. thanks

Expert:  Dr. Hamman replied 11 months ago.
It sounds like it might be a little custom as far as the fuel system goes. I would still check the fuel pressure, and if that pans out, then look into the ignition. Since it has two fuel pumps it might be a restriction is the fuel system. Can you explain the fuel system a little better, How many tanks, are both pumps electric, let me know.
Expert:  Dr. Hamman replied 11 months ago.
It will be a lot easier to find a manual for the Ford portion of it, what brand of RV is it, I will see if I can find a manual.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

its called the establishment,all I know, the fuel pumps are electric. would the ford part be an econoline van with a 351 motor

Expert:  Dr. Hamman replied 11 months ago.
I am looking for some manuals, and other info I will be back with you before too long.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

thanks for your help and manual would be greatly appreciated tried online but not successful

Expert:  Dr. Hamman replied 11 months ago.

Hi, I am a professional certified mechanic, with an engineering background, and 35+ years experience. I will do my best to assist you. Also keep in mind I don't know if you are a pro or a novice, so feel free to add any additional info at any time.





I did some checking repair manuals for the esablihment, no luck. I am being told they haven’t been sold in 20 years. You can get s Ford manual for the econoline pretty easily. There were two different ignitions used on this year model, one was a TFI system it had a lot of problems, the module mounts the the distributor. The other ignition was the Duraspark II, it is an aluminum box, about 4 times the size of a pack of cigarettes, and it had two plugs on it, mounted near the distributor normally. These were a lot better, but they still bail out sometimes. If you need either one of these look at the link HERE, and HERE, both have free shipping, cheap too.

I would still check the fuel pressure, it sounds so so much like fuel starvation. Try to figure out if the ignition is acting up by plugging an extra spark plug into a spark plug wire, and drive it to see if the spark cuts out. Sometimes you have to drive these with the engine cover off, it is really HOT when you do this, so make it quick, and do it with the engine cool, it will get real hot real fast. I am still digging for a The Establishment manual, it don't look good though. The Ford manual is no problem. Go over all of this and if you have any more questions at all, let me know I will help. Good luck with it, have a great day, and Thanks for using Just Answer.


I do not get paid for my work unless you rate at 3 to 5 Smiley Faces or Stars, a bonus is always greatly appreciated. If the answer is not clear, let me know what additional help you need, and I will be happy to assist you further.



Dr. Hamman, Automotive Engineer
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 5765
Experience: 30 years experience, Repairing, building, & designing, automobiles.
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