The longer my 1996 Dodge Ram 2500 Diesel sits, the longer I have to crank the engine to get it started. I assume the fuel system is losing pressure over time, but I don't know how to check it or where to look. Any help would be appreciated.
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I'm not familiar with that particular vehicle, but most diesel systems have a primer under the hood. You will need to pump that slowly until you feel some resistance. That will push fuel to the engine. The other pump may not be able to push fuel through until the system is primed.
If that doesn't get you running I would suspect a clogged fuel filter. Most Dodge vehicles have one on the frame. Just follow the fuel lines until you find it. There may also be one attached to the pump primer.
Changing that filter would my next action. Whether the pump is in the tank or added on outside the tank, you may still need to prime the system after the filter is replaced. Air in the line may cause it to stall, just reprime and start again.
It sounds like you are talking about a diesel engine as gas engines are self priming. Lift pump or primer pump may be defective. Check for loose fittings or lines and damaged o-rings at filter housing. Sounds like you are sucking air somewhere.
Either carry a lot of fuel filters or drain the fuel tank after it sits for a full two days, You have water in the fuelor a ton of algae. Confirm the water by pouring out the fuel filter. Any water will be obvious. The water in the tank will separate from the fuel if left standing. Then the water can be drained out the bottom of the tank.Water in the fuel can blow tips off injectors so take heed. and good luck.If you don't have a fuel water seperator, consider having a RACOR separater installed.
Check the fuel pressure at the filter. Odds are the lift pump, located below the filter, is toast. Continual cranking of the motor with a bad LP wil cause the injector pump to heat up and burn out. Replace the LP and fuel filter. Bleed the system by cracking the inlet to the injector pump and bumping the enigine over so the LP will run. Once you have fuel at the injector pump, crack injectors 1,3,and 4. Crank the motor for no more 6 or 7 seconds at a time until it turns over. Give the pump time to cool for a couple of mintues between cranks. This process is easier with two people, one to crank and the other to watch for fuel and tighten the injectors once it starts. If the injector pump is fried at this point from cranking with no fuel, the motor should idle, but will stumble all over itself when the throttle is applied.
You have to loosen your injector lines one at a time and have someone crank the engine. once you get fuel to that injector,tighten it and move onto the next one. This will be a lengthy process and make sure you have good batteries cause this process could drain them. Good luck
just bump the ignition without starting it let sit for 20 seconds oruntill you hear lift pump shut off then shut off ignition and repeat do it 2 or 3 times should start then cummins is a self priming system has been for years even in semi trucks