Restarting a Diesel Tractor After It Has Run Out of Fuel

Views: 11975 | Last Update: 2009-04-29
If a diesel engine runs out of fuel, the fuel lines fill with air. These fuel lines must be purged of the air and filled with diesel. Learn how to restart a diesel tractor after it has run out of fuel in this free video on tractor operation. View Video Transcript

About this Author

John Ryan

Video Transcript

One of the most common problems we hear about from our customers involves running out of fuel. And on a diesel tractor the fuel delivery system is really quite simple. However, if you run your tractor out of fuel, that will introduce air into the fuel lines, and try as you might, the tractor will not start again until you get that air out of the fuel lines. And very briefly the way that process works, you want to fill your fuel tank up, so that it's going to push fuel through the lines as quickly as possible, and with that full fuel tank and the throttle wide open, you'll need a friend to help you, so that they can crank the engine while you work your way down stream on the fuel lines and bleed air from them. And you do that in this case by loosening this bolt right here, and while the engine is cranking you're going to get a mix of air bubbles and fuel coming out of there. And you hold that open while your partner cranks the tractor, until the bubbles cease, and you're getting just fuel. At that point the tractor may start right up, and you want to close that bolt back real quickly. Chances are you've gotten fuel past this point and down the lines into the injector pump here, and so the tractor still doesn't want to start you just continue down stream the fuel lines, again with your partner on the tractor, clutch peddle down, transmission in neutral, cranking the tractor with the throttle wide open, you will loosen this bolt on your injector pump. And again, you will get a mix of air bubbles and fuel coming out there, when you don't see any more bubbles and it's just fuel, go ahead and close that bolt back again. If you've gotten all the air out of the system at that point, then your tractor will start right up and run as usual. If the tractor still won't start, you just continue the process and follow the system down stream, these are the fuel lines coming out of the injector pump, and this is a two cylinder tractor, so you have two fuel lines. And they run around to the other side of the engine to the injectors, which inject the fuel into the combustion cylinders. So if you've bled all the air from your injector pump, and you tractor's still not starting, you need to follow your fuel line. In this case you have two fuel lines, one for each cylinder. You'll follow these to the injectors, and you'll want to take them one at a time and again with a partner on the tractor cranking it with a full tank of fuel and a full throttle, you'll want to open this with a wrench. You always want to have protective eye wear on, there's some high pressures involved here, and you're not going to pull it completely out, you're just going to loosen this nut here and as your partner cranks the tractor again you'll see a mix of air bubbles and fuel, and when the air bubbles stop and it's just straight fuel that when the tractor will fire, and you'll close this back real quickly. You're going to want to do that on both cylinders, in some cases the tractor may not be firing on one cylinder. You may have air in this line that's not allowing fuel to be delivered to the cylinder, but the tractor will run off the other cylinder. So you want to be sure that if you got to this point that you have to all the way to the injectors, you want to bleed air at each injector, in this case two. If you still can't get the tractor started at that point, you probably have another issue that you need to address. But for air in the lines that will take care of the problem.