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A 96 Freightliner with a 3126 Cat..bad fuel..started running..parked…

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I have a '96 Freightliner...
I have a '96 Freightliner with a 3126 Cat. I got some bad fuel and it started running bad. I got home and parked it. Now it won't start. I changed fuel filters. One had some water in it. It turns over good and fires now and then. It did run for about 5 seconds, but slow rpm. This is a farm use semi and I'm a basic mechanic, vey basic. I don't want to eat up the starter. Any basic suggestions.
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Heavy Equipment
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Answered in 2 minutes by:
6/29/2010
Technician: Cat Man, Caterpillar Engine Expert replied 8 years ago
Cat Man
Cat Man, Caterpillar Engine Expert
Category: Heavy Equipment
Satisfied Customers: 9,460
Experience: 23 Years Caterpillar Engine experience.
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HI. Thanks for using JA! I will try and help you out.

When you say "Bad Fuel", do you mean it has water in it or something else?

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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
It came from my brothers 5 gal can and we suspect that's how the water got in .
Technician: Cat Man, Caterpillar Engine Expert replied 8 years ago

Thanks for the information.

I would first drain the fuel from the tank to get rid of it. Then put some known good fuel in the tank.

Does the engine have a hand primer pump on it? If it does, next I would remove the fuel return line from the rear of the head and then pump the hand primer until the fuel gets out of the cylinder head. Once it is gone, hook up the return line and prime the system up.

 

The good news is that the injectors in this engine are tough. They shouldn't be hurt by the bad fuel.

 

Please let me know if you have any more questions.

 

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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
I looked breifly and didn't see anything that I could identify as a primer plunger. We have filled the filters several times. The one loses about 3/4" from cranking and the other stays full.
Technician: Cat Man, Caterpillar Engine Expert replied 8 years ago

Thanks for the information.

It sounds like your engine may not have one. If it did, it would be located on top of the fuel filter housing like the image below.

graphic

 

Without a hand primer pump, I would try and remove the fuel pressure regulator on the rear of the head and the fuel line that goes into the front of the head. Then try and blow out the bad fuel.

 

Please let me know if you have any more questions.

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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
I'm assuming I have to remove the fuel filter to blow out these 2 lines, correct? It definately does not have a primer pump.
Technician: Cat Man, Caterpillar Engine Expert replied 8 years ago

Yes. There is a metal line that runs from the secondary fuel filter and it connects to the front of the cylinder head. I would remove that line to get the bad fuel out as well as the fuel pressure regulator that screws into the back of the head. Once you get that fuel out of the engine and get good fuel in it, I think you should be good.

Without a hand primer pump, it will still be difficult to prime the engine up. Sometimes guys take shop air (if they have it) and blow some air into the fuel tank to try and assist the fuel through the system. Just be careful not to apply to much air. Excessive air could cause the fuel tank to burst. Good Luck.

 

Please let me know if you have any more questions.

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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
There isn't much clearance at the back of the head and the only thing I found was a plastic fuel line going back to the tank. Do I need to just blow out the lines or the head too? Is there any way for a novice to check the fuel pressure?
Technician: Cat Man, Caterpillar Engine Expert replied 8 years ago

Yes. I would like to blow the head out.

For fuel pressure, there is a plug on the secondary fuel filter base. (9/16) You can install a pressure gauge there. The pressure should range from 65 to 85 PSI when running. During cranking, you should have more than 20 PSI.

Please let me know if you have any more questions.

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Technician: Cat Man, Caterpillar Engine Expert replied 8 years ago

Hey. Did you have any luck?

Please let me know if you have any more questions.

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