Starting Issue | TruckMount Forums #1 Carpet Cleaning Forums

Starting Issue

Steven8262

Member
Aug 28, 2019
41
8
8
Real Name
Steven Schafer
Well, I'm at the tail end of the van update (although it's almost a new van). I've change pump oil, vacuum pump oil, engine oil, redid all the connections with flash cuffs, drilled a hole in the top lid and made it a 4 to the door. So no it won't start. I still need to change the fuel filter but I wasn't in a rush to climb under the van. I only see one fuel filter and it's under the van. I do not see any others near the engine. I am not sure where the waste tank kill switch but the tank was pretty dirty so now tomorrow I will spray it down. I will double check the new oil level. It looks to me like the vacuum pump oil needs to be topped off now that I fired up the engine.
---So when I start it, it barely starts and then chokes out. Feels like a fuel/air problem but I want to be sure I'm not missing anything. If I pull and hold the choke out All the way it runs a few seconds longer but still stalls. It was running without issue before all the fluid changes.
 

wandwizard

Randy Dockins
Premium VIP
Nov 12, 2008
8,701
3,431
113
Real Name
Randy Dockins
Business Location
United States
It sounds like the very first thing I would do is verify fuel delivery to the machine and YES CHANGE YOUR FUEL FILTER if it's been a while. They don't last forever and they do clog. You will need to take the fuel line off your engine and put it into a container and see if it's delivering fuel to the machine. The fuel pump itself can also go out, but in my experience, they normally last a number of years so I don't fool with mine unless I know it's out. If it's out you won't get a drop of fuel and it doesn't sound like that's what's happening. If it appears to be delivering fuel properly then I doubt it's a fuel delivery problem. Still, it's not difficult to replace that fuel filter and if it's been a long time I'd still do that regardless. You should be able to pick one up locally. I am planning on changing mine this week too.

It would help if you tell us what your machine is. On my Boxxer all the kill switches are wired into a yellow wire that is simply attached to the side of the engine. Removing that wire disables the kill switches including the float switch from the waste tank. If I'm having a starting issue that is the very first thing I check. I disconnect that wire and try to start it. You should check your manual and see if a similar wire is on yours. It takes about a minute to disconnect so it's not a big deal. Also, on many machines, there is a kill switch to detect low oil pressure and they can go bad. It will be near your oil filter most likely. I believe it is connected in with the other kill mechanisms on the machine so that yellow wire should disable it too, but it is easily disabled by pulling the wire from the oil sensor. If that makes the engine start you know that's your problem. I would check this separately w/o disconnecting the kill wire mentioned earlier.

This could be an engine issue and on occasion, I've gotten help from a good small engine mechanic rather than make the 300 miles round trip to Jondon. Sometimes though you need someone who knows your machine to get help.
 
Last edited:

PistolPete

Well-Known Member
Sep 28, 2014
1,997
1,269
113
Real Name
Peter Dymond
Sounds like fuel delivery to me.
If its a float switch or other safety switch then it wouldn't start at all because there would be no spark.
The fact it starts, sputters and then quits means fuel.
Is there an external auxiliary fuel pump?

My machine does this when the aux fuel pump dies
 

Jimbo Williams

Active Member
May 11, 2009
308
99
28
51
NC
precisionsteamcleaning.com
Real Name
Jim Williams
Business Location
United States
I would go ahead and replace the fuel pump. If you have a NAPA near you they sell Facet which tends to last awhile. A Mr. Gasket will work too. Also check for cracks in the fuel line where it comes through the floor of the van. They get pinched there sometimes.
 

mrotto

Well-Known Member
Sep 1, 2009
2,306
1,486
113
Wisconsin
Real Name
Paul Ottensmann
Business Location
United States
The fuel pump itself can also go out, but in my experience, they normally last a number of years so I don't fool with mine unless I know it's out.
not knocking what you do, but I have a different outlook. I change my fuel pump and filter every 3 years. The way I look at it is that by replacing it before it goes out, I never have to worry that it might go out while Im on a job. Just compare the cost of the pump and filter to what it would cost if the machine breaks down on a job.

its being Proactive, not reactive.
 

AffordableCarpetCare

Active Member
Aug 30, 2013
229
107
43
34
Lebanon TN
Real Name
Matthew Patterson
Business Location
United States
IMO the facet and Mr. Gasket pumps are trash. Never had one last more than 6 months some less than a week. I always kept an extra in truck so could change out during job when needed.Put a Carter on 5 years ago and never t an issue since. Costs more but definitely worth it. Actually ordered one for my backup machine that is coming in today about $60 on Amazon
 

Steven8262

Member
Aug 28, 2019
41
8
8
Real Name
Steven Schafer
Hey everyone, let me add some more details. I bought this truck as a repo last fall but it has never quite performed as it should. Not that things were broken, just not taken care of albeit the truck had 14,000 miles and the unit had 84 hours. None the less I don't know how long it sat for. There was a ton of water coming out of the radiator overflow so I put a new radiator cap on and also adjusted the water inflow inlet pressure regulator and that was behind me. I pretty much new from some help in the forum that I would need to by the pressure relief retrofit kit from SS for my 370SS but kept putting it off. I decided now was the time to learn my truck and go through everything myself rather than drive to Langhorn PA. I love Jon Don and all but I figure if I don't know my truck better than they do, life will kick me in the ass on everyday I run the truck. I had a bad gasket at the outlet filter and or the pressure outlet so I replace those gaskets and a few others, changed the oil, oil filter, pump oil, vacuum oil, redid all the hose connections ordered a 2 hose inline filter so I could go 4 to the door and cut a hole in the top of the lid. I'm feeling pretty good but then....it won't start.
While I don't think it's the fuel pump or fuel filter I have to admit the fuel filter was on the list to change but I have done it yet. Tomorrow seems like a good day to change the fuel filter. .....
Here's the update as of Saturday at 5:00 p.m....I was concerned that its a kill switch and still leaning in that direction. I topped off the oil, the pump oil and the vacuum pump oil. When I tried to start it the other day I was on the slope of the driveway and in hindsight if any fluids weren't perfect I may have triggered a kill switch. Today I put it on a flat surface and hooked a direct water supply. The unit fired right up and pump pressure went right up no problem. I didn't have any hoses connected so I really don't know what the vacuum pressure is but it was pretty darn strong before my update routine. After about 90 seconds the unit stalled out.
.....Here's my big question. I filled the pump oil until the sight glass was completely full but when I looked at them today they seemed to be below the little pinhole that you see when looking in the sight glass. I topped them off. Now when I look at the sight glass on the left (it has 2), it seems to be lower again. I'm wondering how much oil is pulled into a non visible reservoir and that topping the pump oil is a fill and start and fill process?? And question 2 does the vacuum pump have a kill switch?
 

mrotto

Well-Known Member
Sep 1, 2009
2,306
1,486
113
Wisconsin
Real Name
Paul Ottensmann
Business Location
United States
IDK but all the TMs Ive had you need to fill the oil to the middle of the sight glass. Whats it going to cost you before you take it to Jon Don and get it right?
 

Steven8262

Member
Aug 28, 2019
41
8
8
Real Name
Steven Schafer
I am almost at that point. It's a true PIA to get to Langhorn. It's Sunday and I'm going to change the fuel filter and then if it doesn't work I'm going to call Jon Don in the morning to set an appointment. The one thing I've learned in purchasing a truck mount is the vast numbers of methods and chemistry that various owner operators use to clean carpet. My goal is to find the method I'm most proud to employ and that includes understanding every mechanical aspect of the truck. There have been some great advisors on the site.
 

Luky

Well-Known Member
Nov 29, 2013
1,952
1,154
113
61
Chicagoland
Real Name
Marian Lukacisin
Business Location
United States
Well, I'm at the tail end of the van update (although it's almost a new van). I've change pump oil, vacuum pump oil, engine oil, redid all the connections with flash cuffs, drilled a hole in the top lid and made it a 4 to the door. So no it won't start. I still need to change the fuel filter but I wasn't in a rush to climb under the van. I only see one fuel filter and it's under the van. I do not see any others near the engine. I am not sure where the waste tank kill switch but the tank was pretty dirty so now tomorrow I will spray it down. I will double check the new oil level. It looks to me like the vacuum pump oil needs to be topped off now that I fired up the engine.
---So when I start it, it barely starts and then chokes out. Feels like a fuel/air problem but I want to be sure I'm not missing anything. If I pull and hold the choke out All the way it runs a few seconds longer but still stalls. It was running without issue before all the fluid changes.
My fuel pump got busted after 18 months and I had faulty kill switch in waste tank after a year. You wouldn't have to be able to start engine at all if kill switch is the problem. Fuel pump can work intermittently , so it gets tricky
Fuel filter before carburetor or clogged air filter would be least of your problem.
 

Attachments

Steven8262

Member
Aug 28, 2019
41
8
8
Real Name
Steven Schafer
Truck is now running like a champ. Great pressure, hot water. I'm leaking a little air in the new 4 to the filter line. I cut a 2" hole in the top of the waste and put a threaded flash cuff connector on it. It doesn't screw tight so I'm going to get 1 or 2 rubber washers and that should be the last of the van update. Next job is booked for Wednesday. Putting an email out today to my client base. Could use some recoup on the investment.
 

PistolPete

Well-Known Member
Sep 28, 2014
1,997
1,269
113
Real Name
Peter Dymond
Truck is now running like a champ. Great pressure, hot water. I'm leaking a little air in the new 4 to the filter line. I cut a 2" hole in the top of the waste and put a threaded flash cuff connector on it. It doesn't screw tight so I'm going to get 1 or 2 rubber washers and that should be the last of the van update. Next job is booked for Wednesday. Putting an email out today to my client base. Could use some recoup on the investment.
So it was a bad fuel filter?
 

Steven8262

Member
Aug 28, 2019
41
8
8
Real Name
Steven Schafer
I am embarrassed to say to I let it out, but since I really don't wan't anyone else to go through that same event here it is. One or two people suggest that it might be the fuel pump so I went and looked up fuel pumps and their installation. I had run the gas tank down to a little less than a 1/4 of a tank in anticipation of changing the fuel filter. When researching I thought, I'll bet the line is not reaching down the bottom. I went and filled the van and that fixed everything. I might get the dumb ass award for 2020, although it's 2020 and a lot of people vying for the award this year. In summary, I understand my van much better and have much more confidence it what it can accomplish.
 
  • Like
Reactions: AussieCarpetBloke

PistolPete

Well-Known Member
Sep 28, 2014
1,997
1,269
113
Real Name
Peter Dymond
I am embarrassed to say to I let it out, but since I really don't wan't anyone else to go through that same event here it is. One or two people suggest that it might be the fuel pump so I went and looked up fuel pumps and their installation. I had run the gas tank down to a little less than a 1/4 of a tank in anticipation of changing the fuel filter. When researching I thought, I'll bet the line is not reaching down the bottom. I went and filled the van and that fixed everything. I might get the dumb ass award for 2020, although it's 2020 and a lot of people vying for the award this year. In summary, I understand my van much better and have much more confidence it what it can accomplish.
Hey, we've all won the dumbass award.
I was shredding belts on my blower until I learned about vacuum relief
Using a spinner on smooth concrete with zero vacuum relief.
Smoke started pouring out of the van and then bang, no vacuum.
I was like WTF?
Black shredded rubber all over the inside of the van, dashboard, windshield...and the smell lol.

Thanks for sharing, its helpful when you're troubleshooting to not forget the basics!