Smoke Signals

Published in the May 2011 Issue May 2011 Feature

Dear DT,
I truly love your magazine, but I really hate the way it looks by the time I get it! This is ridiculous!! Just how is a person supposed to read a magazine that looks like this?

Gary Beckett
Athol, ID

It looks like your mailman either really loves our magazine and has a hard time getting it back to you in one piece after he's done reading it, or he drives a Toyota Prius Hybrid, thinks diesel trucks are "icky" and this is his way of getting back at you. Either way we're sorry your issue ended up in your mailbox looking so bad; we'll get another copy sent out to you this time (in a sealed envelope, of course).

Dear DT,
I just bought a 1990 Dodge W250 diesel 4X4 with 100,000 miles. It had been a previous farm truck with a few dings in the body, but nothing that can't be fixed. It does need a new in-tank fuel module. We went to the Dodge dealership to get one, but they said that it is not available and that the part has been discontinued since 2001. They didn't know if the 1991 Dodge fuel module would fit and work. I really would like to replace it with a new part rather than a used one. Is there any place that I could purchase a NOS part, aftermarket direct replacement part, or is there a fix from Dodge that my dealership doesn't know about? Great magazine with very informative diesel info.

Greg Pownell
Via Email

I consulted one of our Dodge techs in Utah who deals a lot with first generation trucks. Here's his response:

I assume by module, he's talking about the fuel sending unit.

If the truck's sending unit has gone out and needs replacement and you want to install a new part, you'll need to change the fuel tank so that it will accept the 1991-2002 sending unit that's available from the dealer. It should be fairly easy to find a fuel tank that's in good condition out of a 1991 through 1993 truck from a salvage yard. These model years will fit 1989 through 1990 trucks. Just be sure to get a tank from a truck with dimensions that match your truck (long bed, extended cab, etc).

Dear DT,
This is in regards to your Amsoil article in the October 2010 issue. Synthetic oil solved what I thought was going to be a costly repair. I own a 1997 F250 HD with the 7.3L. About three years ago, I started having problems getting it to start as it got colder (below freezing), even using the block heater. It always started, but took two to six or seven tries before it would catch and I use anti-gel diesel fuel conditioner.

I suspected the glow plugs could be a problem and a local shop told me to try changing my oil. I learned that day that the 7.3L injectors fire by oil pressure. If the oil is thick for below zero temps, dirty or both, it will cause the problem I was having. I change the oil every 5,000 miles and I had been looking for Shell Rotella Synthetic. As luck would have it, I found it the next day. I put the Shell Rotella Synthetic in and it solved my cold start problems right away and soon ran much better than it had for awhile. I could only find Shell Rotella Synthetic in 5W40. A year later, I found a source for Amsoil that has 5W40 for newer motors and 15W40 for older motors. After the first couple of oil changes, the oil got dirty real quick-quicker than regular oil. Then I developed a minor leak, a couple drops when I stop. I'm told the synthetic oil cleaned up all the sludge from the regular Shell Rotella and Ford Motorcraft I'd been using and revealed weaknesses in my oil pan gasket but overall, I'm a happy camper. I did notice about three-quarter miles per gallon increase in fuel mileage from the oil change alone.

Bert Morgan
Via Email

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