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Mx 15 ditch witch won't start

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That's the flow chart I use working on Tanks. (M60 chassis, not Abrams M1A2)

Make sure the filter for fuel is clean, and there is no water. Make sure pickup tube/device to fuel pump is not restricted, and there are no cracks in tubing, etc, that can cause cavitation. (Air instead of fuel is being drawn in) In other words make sure the fuel pump is getting fuel.

Fuel pump line removed from fuel injector pump, run the pump, fill a clean jar. Measure amount based on time. How long to fill, how much.

(Look at your watch second hand. It is so much fuel per minute. Amount is what we're looking for here. Fuel Injector takes care of the pressure. You just want to see if the fuel pump is drawing fuel, and delivering it to the fuel injector pump )

Fuel pressure from fuel pump, could be bleeding down. Valves in fuel pump are no good. If fuel pump is not re-buildable, fuel pump is no good.

After fuel pump line is re-attached back to the injector pump, it is attached loosely. A half turn loose, or so. This is so you can bleed the air out. Allow the fuel pump to run for a few seconds, or a minute, and bleed the air out here. OR, you will be cracking each injector line loose, and bleeding air out. (No fun)

You can 'crack' an injector line loose, and check it's pressure. It is HIGH pressure now, so be forewarned. Use safety measures, and at least use a pair of safety glasses, and have a fire extinguisher CLOSE.

Shouldn't be any fires if no flames, or sparks are not present, but ALWAYS be prepared for the worse.
(Cigarette dropped in Diesel won't set it on fire. Spark near the fumes WILL)

I have seen a pickup sump line break, and drop the pickup sump for the fuel pump, down in the fuel tank. No fuel can be drawn by the fuel pump. Your fuel pump may be submerged in the fuel tank. Just offering hands on experience.
I have seen a lot of 'weird' things concerning military vehicles, and diesel engines. lol!

There is also a fuel pump (Diesel) pressure gauge you may be able to rent. Meter the fuel pressure from the fuel pump.

Fuel pump checks out the problem is the fuel injector pump, just as you have surmised.
Many have rebuild kits. They are no fun to rebuild. However cost of rebuild kit, is probably not much more than cost of rebuilt injector pump.

The military has equipment like the ditch witch. Civilian contractors use a Ditch Witch also. I do not work on them. Close as I get is a 1K Forklift. (Then 4k Forklifts, 10K, and 20K, plus all the wheeled vehicles, and track vehicles, Up To the Abrams, but Not Abrams)

Don't know if I have done any good. You seem to have your 'eye on the ball'.


[When you get everything back together, bleed the air out. Crack the fuel pump to fuel injector pump line, first. Air bled out here, then crack each injector line, ONE AT A TIME, and bleed the air out.
We 'cheat' sometimes. We have a fuel cap with an air valve mounted in it. Car tire air valve. Air is pressurized in fuel tank, of around 20 lbs, (Usually a 'guess-timate'), and forces air through the fuel system, and out. Takes a while, but I usually don't have to crack any lines to bleed air out.


Posted on Nov 30, 2012

  • Brian Richards Dec 02, 2012

    Thank you very much for your in depth reply.

  • joecoolvette
    joecoolvette Dec 02, 2012

    Thank you for the rating!



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