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Old 08-26-2011, 06:48 PM   #1
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How Low Can You Go?

I wanted to find out far I could drive after the low fuel light came on. Including two or three cold starts, I was only able to go 50 miles until it started missing--I had five gallons with me so I wouldn't be stranded. Sportsmobile told me my rig has a 47 gallon tank, not true. Forty is what it took.

Fun driving for 20+ miles with the gauge below E.


Z
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Old 08-26-2011, 07:31 PM   #2
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Re: How Low Can You Go?

Very bad idea to run a 6.0 down on fuel until it doesn't run right. You could easily kill a fuel injector or two. And that could easily kill a couple thousand dollars.

If you really want to see how much fuel your tank can hold, open the fuel line and run the electric pump until it sputters, then refill.

The lowest I've gotten was 7 chimes past the low fuel warning, 36.63 gallons, 643 miles.

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Old 08-26-2011, 07:46 PM   #3
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Re: How Low Can You Go?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ford_6L_E350
Very bad idea to run a 6.0 down on fuel until it doesn't run right. You could easily kill a fuel injector or two. And that could easily kill a couple thousand dollars.
Why?

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Old 08-26-2011, 10:21 PM   #4
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Re: How Low Can You Go?

Not exactly sure on all the reasons not too, but it isn't a
good idea to run a diesel engine out of fuel. I beleive one
of the problems is getting air out of the system if it's run
dry. I'm sure someone with more knowledge will comment
on your post.
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Old 08-27-2011, 07:22 AM   #5
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Re: How Low Can You Go?

Not a good thing to do with the diesel. The injectors require a minimum of 42 psi or they can be damaged by the lack of pressure. There is even a replacement part (a small spring) now available from Ford to help insure the pressure doesn't drop low during WOT.
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Old 08-27-2011, 07:46 AM   #6
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Re: How Low Can You Go?

I believe injectors pump fuel via a small piston. Removing all the fuel will cause the piston to hammer (potential damage) and the fuel also acts as a lubricant for the injector moving parts (potential scuffing of surfaces). So loosing all fuel results in injectors loosing cushion and lubricant.
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Old 08-27-2011, 08:30 AM   #7
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Re: How Low Can You Go?

SMB told me it was a 46 gallon tank. I've added 42 gallons. You can always measure the dimensions of the tank and then figure the volume, but that won't get you the usable amount.
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Old 08-27-2011, 10:26 AM   #8
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Re: How Low Can You Go?

I wish I fully understood the fuel injectors. But, from diesel specific websites, it is common knowledge that low fuel pressure will (not can, but WILL) damage the fuel injectors on a 6.0 PSD. Other diesel engines can tolerate running out of fuel, but not the 6.0.

It used to be normal practice to run until the engine starts to lose power, then change the fuel filter. A clogged fuel filter restricts the amount of fuel, and the amount of fuel injected determines the power of a diesel. With a 6.0 it is not a good idea to try to run a fuel filter past 15,000 miles. And, many users add a fuel pressure gauge to keep an eye on both the filter and the pump to protect the fuel injectors.

In Canada I had an injector fail - broken ceramic which the tech had never seen before and it cost me 5 days and $1900. Good thing I shut it off quickly when I noticed the vibration and loss of power.

Mike
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Old 08-27-2011, 12:17 PM   #9
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Re: How Low Can You Go?

Some info here:

injectors
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Old 08-27-2011, 12:56 PM   #10
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Re: How Low Can You Go?

Quote:
Originally Posted by daveb
Some info here:

injectors
I think this quote from the above link sums it up nicely....

"Finally, running a 6.0L Powerstroke out of fuel is deadly to injectors! On early trucks, if you run out of fuel, you will usually be buying 8 injectors. If you think you are going to run out of fuel, stop, shut the truck off, and walk. It may save you $2,500. Later trucks have a PCM strategy which limits pressure to prevent injector damage during a low fuel condition, but it is still a situation to be avoided at all costs."
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