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The Engine In My Motorhome Starves Itself Of Fuel.

by Jim Smith
(West Union Illinois USA)

I replaced the fuel pump, fuel filter, rubber fuel hoses and ECM control module in my 1983 Ford Tioga 27' motorhome. It has a 460 engine in it and still starves itself for fuel especially on inclines (hills).

I have also removed the fuel tank and checked connections for leaks but found nothing. Sometimes when you shut it off and restart it going down the road during one of its' "fits", it will come out of it for awhile and run OK. This is starting to drive me silly. Any info will be greatly appreciated.

ANSWER: Hi Jim thanks for submitting your question on our Ask An RV Question Page.

It sure sounds like you have done a lot of work on your Motorhome to solve this problem. Based on the information that you have provided me there is one thing that you have not mentioned looking at and that is the carburetor. All of the problems you have described can be caused by the carburetor.

If this motorhome has been sitting for any great length of time in the past the inside of carb could be lacquered up causing the problems you described. The stalling while climbing could be caused by sticky floats not allowing the fuel bowl in the carb to fill up properly, problems with the accelerator pump in the carb could also cause some of the problems you are experiencing.

I strongly suggest that you pull the Carburetor off and inspect it and get it rebuilt or if you are comfortable you can rebuild it yourself.

Hope this helps.

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RVing Al

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Comments for The Engine In My Motorhome Starves Itself Of Fuel.

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fixed this way
by: Anonymous

I've fixed several of these by adding an engine mechancial fuel pump in addition to the in tank pump

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Original post person
by: Anonymous

I found out that the electric fuel pump that I had replaced was faulty. After replacement of the fuel pump the thing will pass almost anything going uphill. All this over a faulty electric fuel pump...GO FIGURE!!!

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Starves of fuel
by: Boneidle

Hi mate. I suggest you replace the air intake hose from after the air filter. When the engine is working hard it is drawing a lot of air through the air filter. Over time the ducting or hose can simply crush in wards. Resulting in a sympton that is often thought of as fuel starvation. Its not fuel its air. Fuel needs the air to combust. Loads more air than fuel in fact. Ratios of air to fuel are in the region of 15 / 1. Hope this helps your quest.

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Engine starving for fuel.
by: Al

I had a 1989 Southwind with a similar problem and I did rebuild the carb. but it did not cure the problem, ended up that there were 2 fuel pumps...one was located in the fuel tank and was not functioning so the engine had sufficent fuel under low load but whenever it required more of a fuel flow the demand could not be met therefore it would miss, backfire, and generaly run horribly! Just a thought from my experience!

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starving engine
by: fmfmedic

I have the same motor in a 1979 Roadrunner 23ft RV. The carburetor is a Holley four barrel. I found that this carb needed a valve installed because it backfired once and blew the accelerator pump, and it then acted just like you decribed, no power, no acceleration. You might want to check it out. Also, have you checked the timing? Retarded timing has about the same effect. My other problem was that the thing had California smog control on it that had been disconnected, but not all the vacuum hoses and fittings had been plugged off. I corrected all these and it now out-accelerates some cars going uphill. Stay out of that 4-barrel though, you can watch the gas gauge go down to empty if you have a heavy foot!

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why motorhomes starve for fuel
by: Racesport

I didn't catch where you were located but something we found on our older Winnebago years ago. On hot days the RV would run rough like it was starving for fuel(gas)when pulling grades.
We insulated the fuel lines, installed electric boost pumps nothing helped.

This Chieftan had two fuel tanks, a 60 and a 30 gallon and a 454 Chevy V8.On trips in the summer months when the ambient temp was 90 plus we would put regular gas in the 60 gallon and premium gas in the 30 gallon.

When we were going to pull a grade we would switch to the tank with premium and when we reached the top switch back to the tank with regular. It stopped the surging and fuel starvation.

You are wondering how. Premium fuel has a higher vapor pressure than regular fuel. So it is more resistant to vapor lock. Vapor lock is when the suction on the hot fuel causes the fuel to vaporize and most pumps will not pump vapor. A chemist could explain it better why but that is not as important the results. In the spring and fall or winter no problem.

If you have two fuel tanks this is a easy way to get past this issue if vapor lock is your issue.

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