2001 Sport Hard Start | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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2001 Sport Hard Start


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October 27, 2013
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Year, Model & Trim Level
2001 Explorer Sport
I previously posted this under TCHEXPLORER, but for some reason I couldn't log back in to that account. Sorry for the repeat, but still looking for some input.

I just got a 2001 Sport for my sons first car and I am having hard start problems just like several threads I have seen. Once, the truck starts, it runs great. If you turn the truck off after it has started running smoothly, it will start right away for about the first 2-3 minutes. After that, it goes back to the hard start condition. I have checked the fuel pressure and get about 62psi when running. the instant I turn off the vehicle, pressure drops to zero within 10 to 20 seconds. My guess is that the check valve in the fuel tank is bad. If it was an injector leaking I don't think it would drop that quickly, and you would probably see smoke when it did start. I forgot to mention that the check engine light stays off most of the time. Has anyone tried putting a check valve in the line outside the tank? I really don't want to drop the tank and replace the whole fuel pump if I can avoid it.

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external check valve

I agree that the pressure drop is probably not due to a leaking fuel injector. I think the check valve is part of the fuel pump assembly and may be unserviceable.

However, it could be part of the intank fuel pressure regulator. The hose above the fuel pressure regulator could be split allowing the fuel to leak back into the tank. For many older Volvo models with low pressure fuel injection the entire fuel pump assembly must be purchased to fix a bad check valve. Because of the expense and trouble some Volvo owners install an external check valve which is easy to do since there are accessible hose fuel lines at the engine. The only external hose fuel line I'm aware of on my 2000 Sport is the one between the fuel tank and the rigid fuel tube mounted to the frame rail.

It is not easily accessible and not a good location for a check valve.

The fuel tank must be lowered to access the fuel hose.
I'm not aware of any posting on the forum about installing an external check valve on an Explorer.

Spent the day replacing my fuel pump today hoping it would help the hard start condition. No difference in the way it starts. Same exact issues as my first post. I haven't checked if the pressure is still bleeding down rapidly after I turn the key off. I will try that tomorrow

why the pump?

I don't understand why you replaced the fuel pump since the old one was building normal pressure when running. Did you think the check valve might be in the fuel pump? Did you check the hose between the fuel pressure regulator and the metal output tube for splits? The check valve may be in the fuel pressure regulator. I could not find an intank fuel pressure regulator listed for purchase online. The Motorcraft fuel pump assembly costs $308 on ebay. Maybe you can find one in a salvage yard and install your new fuel pump in it. I think any 1999 thru 2001 Explorer should have the same fuel pump assembly.

Edit: I found an after market one on ebay for $146 of unknown quality: New Fuel Pump Assy

as far as i know, the check valve and fpr are one in the same and are part of the in-tank fuel pump assembly (the round black thing with the silver cylinder sticking out of it in streetrod's picture). it is not available separately. it only comes with the fp assembly. you should have bought the hole fp assembly and not just a new pump, as your pump seemed to be working as designed. if you don't want to spend the $150 now, i suggest you get an assembly from the salvage yard and hope it's a good one.

I know this is an old thread, but was this situation rectified? If so, how? Thanks!