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300TD4x4 02-27-2003 11:27 AM

300TD runs out of fuel too soon
My 300TD hybrid runs out of fuel when there is only room for 13 gallons. The owner's manual says the tank holds 18+ gallons. I checked to make sure the feed and return lines are correct and it looks like they are. i.e. the feed line comes out of the lower fitting on the tank. Despite the extensive modifications to this vehicle the fuel system is stock. Any ideas? Could it be a simple fuel filter issue? I haven't ever changed them.

leathermang 02-27-2003 12:08 PM

LOL... this is one of those deals the Factory shop manual says " Do on Principle " ..... change all your fuel filters... particularly the one inside the tank...this could easily cause the problem you are describing...


Have you posted pictures of this vehicle ?

Joe Blowe 02-27-2003 12:58 PM

Check your tank screen.

leathermang 02-27-2003 01:36 PM

Joe, did you wind up pulling and cleaning your tank ?

300TD4x4 02-27-2003 01:52 PM

I'm looking in my exploded view manual and it looks like the screen either comes out of the bottom of the tank or the top. Does anyone know which one it is? If it comes out the top, there's not an access hole in the floor by chance, is there? Trying to figure out if I need to drop the tank.

Joe Blowe 02-27-2003 02:54 PM


Originally posted by leathermang
Joe, did you wind up pulling and cleaning your tank ?
no, it's on "The List." :rolleyes:

the main reason i haven't done it yet: my wagon is my sole means of transport. until i can line up a friend to haul me and my tank somewhere, i just keep the fuel above a 1/4 tank...

leathermang 02-27-2003 03:03 PM

Joe, :D I was not trying to bust your chops.. :D Will just be interested in your feedback when you do clean it out....

Joe Blowe 02-27-2003 03:15 PM

oh no offense taken at all, leathermang. i was just expressing exasperation at my ever-growing List.

i definitely will take pictures of the crud when i get around to doing it.


as i understand it, a fuel screen/strainer is at the bottom of the tank. it's job is to catch sediment, via gravity, before sending fuel along to the other filters.

think of it as a "top hat" made out of screen material - as the crud coats the "hat" from brim to top, you're only left with the very top of the hat doing any filtering. that's why you gotta keep the fuel level up...

300TD4x4 02-27-2003 03:40 PM

Do you know if the screen comes out the bottom or the top. There is a plug looking thing on the underside of the tank. I hope that is it.

HGV 02-27-2003 03:50 PM

The plug comes out the bottom and the screen is attached. I am having very similiar symptoms with my 87 300TD, 2 wheel drive wagon. I did everything that has been suggested including removing the plug and found nothing in terms of stuff on the inside of the tank. I did find a very nasty dent on the bottom of the tank that has deformed the tank about 1/2 to 1" ddirectly on the drain plug. The net effect is that the bottom of the tank is now higher than the rest. I will attempt to correct this on the weekend. I need to find something to thread into the tank and find a way to pull it down. Let me know what you find.


300TD4x4 02-27-2003 05:58 PM

I have a dent in about the same place which occurred during the car's metamorphisis. Maybe that is my problem. Maybe I'll pour in some gas and throw in a match. Seriously, though, I think I'll check the screen. It doesn't sound that difficult if you let it get low on fuel. My dent sounds about the same size as yours. It is hard to believe that it could keep me from accessing 5 gallons. But if you are experiencing the same symptoms it sounds like the dent could be the problem.

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