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Fuel Pump Relay???
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skdonlan
Flying Brick Rider


Joined: 01 Sep 2004
Posts: 1343
Location: Virginia Beach, VA

PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 8:16 pm    Post subject: Fuel Pump Relay??? Reply with quote

OK, this is becoming far too frequent a scene.



The back story. I'm out for a nice spring day ride trying to grab the ADV photo-rama tag. No luck, I was bruced! (Someone got there before me).

So, I'm winding my back home and am a stop light on a busy boulevard, when, Bam, the engine cuts out. Try to re start, no luck. Fortunately I was in the right hand lane and was able to duck waddle it into an empty parking lot.

Check all the obvious, side stand up, in neutral, plenty of fuel, turn the key on, all the lights come on, but NO FUEL PUMP WHIRR. Try it a couple more times, same thing, no fuel pump whirr. I hit the starter, turns over fine, but won't catch 'cause the fuel pump isn't pumping. Pull of the side covers, check connections, try again, nothing. Check fuses, check connection for fuel pump, side stand, nothing. Bypass side stand switch, cut connectors and twisted the wires together, nothing!!!

Wait a few, try many more times, nothing. Swear at bike, threaten to trade in on newer model, nothing. Call the wife, have her pick me up. Go rent U-haul trailer (only $15! Yea!) Go pick up the bike, try to start again before loading on trailer, nothing. Get her home, unload, try to start again, nothing! Return the trailer.

Do search on K11OG for fuel pump, read through 100+ posts and see about possible fuel pump relay issue and how easy it is to swap out with a different relay to test. Go to garage to swap and try, but before I do that, I turn key and ..... WHIRRRR!!! The damn fuel pump comes to life, the bike fires right up and runs like she always does!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So now I can't even swap a relay to see if that was the real problem!

This is exactly the problem I had in the fall, (the last time it came home on a trailer) and likewise, it just started working again a day or so later and has been fine for the last 6 months.

Needless to say my confidence in long distance riding (or even short distance) is severly shaken. The fuel pump seems fine now, no loud noises, just a nice whirr as it pre-pressurizes and then the bike runs as if nothing is wrong!

Suggestions welcome (before I join Sugarhill in the COG)!
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Steve
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Scott_Anderson
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is that LT sold yet?

Laughing Laughing Laughing
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skdonlan
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hardee-har-har! Evil or Very Mad
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Steve
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Jim
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve - I imagine it could still be the relay - seems like it must be that or an intermittent connection. Didn't someone post here about replacement relays?
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Scott_Anderson
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

skdonlan wrote:
Hardee-har-har! Evil or Very Mad


Sorry Steve, I couldn't resist.

Seriously though, like Jim pointed out I would swap relay's anyway, just to help eliminate that possibility.
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skdonlan
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd be stoked if it was just a relay, but now that it is working fine, I have no idea if that was the issue.

Do fuel pumps ever stop working and then work again just fine? Or do they go and are dead, or work poorly?

Do relays work fine and then don't and then work fine again?

I'm thinking about replacing both pump and relay just to be sure. I'd probably get one of the cheap alternative pumps that Duck references or someone on here also mentioned a fuel pump from a BMW 3 series car that was an exact replacement.

I guess should check the connections to the fuel pump, but I just put all that back in last spring when I had the tank innards coated due to some water corrosion. I guess it's possible to have a loose connection, but I would think that would be a more intermittant problem, cutting of over bumps, etc...

I just want long distance peace of mind!
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Ted
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Code:
Do fuel pumps ever stop working and then work again just fine?


Yes! When they start to go south they often stop working suddenly, then after getting a bump, jostle or two start right back up and work fine until they decide to stop again.

There is a test - next time it cuts out, lift up the back of the tank and give the bottom corner a few good whacks with the flat of your hand (not hard enough to dent it though!) If it then starts right back up and runs fine you have a textbook case of a fuel pump going bad.

Quote:
also mentioned a fuel pump from a BMW 3 series car that was an exact replacement


Haha I actually discovered this in my 325iC. I was stranded in a parking lot in Dayton, Ohio and had it towed to a BMW dealer. They replaced the filter and some other things that didn't need replacing and pronounced it fine. Later that day, it died again as I was getting coffee. I hit the roadfly e30 boards from a nice strangers computer at the Starbucks and someone immediately recommended taking out the back seat and giving the gas tank a firm whallop with something soft, I used a half-empty bottle of washer fluid. I thought it was nuts but the damn thing started right up and ran fine until it happened again, while on the highway I pushed in the clutch, reached back and gave it a whallop, the car started right back up - hardly even slowed down. I replaced the pump (in a hotel parking lot in a rainstorm) with a good used one for $70 and it ran fine until I sold it three years later.

EDIT: For kicks I just went back to Roadfly and checked out the posts, here was my original:


Quote:
Was running OK, stopped for groceries and it wouldn't quite catch. Would start for a second and die. Reminded me of the time I ran out of gas. All lights OK, everything seemed normal, half tank of gas. Any help on diagnosis and recommendations for a good independent in or near Dayton OH very appreciated!


the the one that saved me:

Quote:
try pulling the rear seat up, and crank the car while someone hits the top of the fuel pump (moderate tapping with my fist covered in a towel felt safe enough for me). My pump ('90 325i) is located under the passenger side metal circle, i'm not sure what's under the driver's side one. mine died at the bmw dealer by chance, and i shat my pants when the car magically started while the parts guy tapped it. not the best diagnosis method, but if it does the trick, that's your problem for sure. it's a super easy job to replace yourself, too.

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SugarHillCTD
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 6:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Steve,

I know where you can get a spare set of EVERYTHING- all parts WORK and everything is even the matching color for you. Rolling Eyes

Seriously, your's is a problem that I never experienced. Good luck- intermittant gremlins are the toughest to defeat.

John
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Scott_Anderson
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 6:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

skdonlan wrote:
Do fuel pumps ever stop working and then work again just fine? Or do they go and are dead, or work poorly?


Steve you are describing the exact symptoms of my bad FP on my Silverado 2 yrs ago.

While you are at it if you are changing the pump, I'd recommend a new filter as well. Unless you just changed it w/in the last 6mo or so.

I didn't change mine on my truck Rolling Eyes and I was replacing my pump again a year later.

Like Ted eluded to I could rap the bottom the fuel tank and the pump would run and the truck would start. Of course this had to happen in the dead of winter when I couldn't ride the bike while waiting to repair the truck.
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John Clauss
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had that exact thing happen 7 years ago shortly after buying the bike. Got it running in the parking lot and was barely late for work. Has never happened again. Strange thing!
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old guy old bike
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the flip side, I had a relay for the ABS act the same way. It would work fine then just stop working and then start working sometime later. I found that I could replicate the problem on the bench with some gentle taps on the side of the relay.
Jeff
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Flying Duck
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I"m not being snarky or sarcastic but you might want to get some towing insurance. It costs me $5/year/bike with Progressive.

Also, if you know any ADVers, a post in the regionals might get you some help too.
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skdonlan
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Towing insurance would be a good thing, especially for that price. I wonder how far they'll tow? Like 400 miles from HM to home??

Ok, I'm shopping for a new fuel pump, I've seen Duck's automotive replacement and might go that route, but I saw this in an old post,

Quote:
Anyway, point of all this is that I put in a pump from a BMW 3 series car which, as far as I can tell, is exactly the same. Fits right into the plastic 'holder', and works like a charm. No problem since I put it in. Oh, and it cost me $25 off Fleabay!!!


Someone asked him for a part number, but he never replied.

Does anyone know what pump this might be? I'd rather have a BMW pump (or one made for them) that fits properly rather than one that has to be rigged to work.

I found this, it looks very similar, but the bottom with the hose nipple looks a bit diferent.

http://www.onlinewholesaleparts.com/bwfp-007.html
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lrome48
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 3:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

skdonlan wrote:
I'd be stoked if it was just a relay, but now that it is working fine, I have no idea if that was the issue.

Do fuel pumps ever stop working and then work again just fine? Or do they go and are dead, or work poorly?

Do relays work fine and then don't and then work fine again?

I'm thinking about replacing both pump and relay just to be sure. I'd probably get one of the cheap alternative pumps that Duck references or someone on here also mentioned a fuel pump from a BMW 3 series car that was an exact replacement.

I guess should check the connections to the fuel pump, but I just put all that back in last spring when I had the tank innards coated due to some water corrosion. I guess it's possible to have a loose connection, but I would think that would be a more intermittant problem, cutting of over bumps, etc...

I just want long distance peace of mind!


Have you taken the pump out and tested it with 12 volts? If it runs every time you power it up chances are it is not bad. The major culprit is usually the four pin connector from the harness to the sending unit/fuel pump. The pins wear over time and make intermittent contact in the sockets. I usually cut the connector off and replace it with a 4 pin waterproof one.
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Tim (Midland Section)
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is also common for the wires in the harness between tank & plug to fracture inside the insulation. To test, pull each wire at the plug end away from the tank, if it stretches, it's shagged. Simples.
HTH
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