While we visit here in Pennsylvania, Nicole is taking advantage of the fact that she can take things apart. Notice, we didn't say... and put them back together again.
Whenever something goes wrong on the van, Nicole's mind wants to know... WHY?
So, despite our limited space, the one thing that there is always room for is old parts from the van. If she has to get rid of clothes to be able to carry that old water pump until she can dissect it then so be it. Priorities in order? Check!
First up was the mechanical fuel pump.
We're just going to say that this baby was not meant to be taken apart. But, with the right tools and enough free time and 'desire', the task can certainly be achieved!
We've heard varying reports that the intake gasket is supposed to be one way so that fuel does not drain back to the tank each time you turn the van off. Both in and out looked pretty darn good though. So, before taking them apart, Nicole filed the lid with water and watched.
Since water was coming out of both holes, it could then be assumed that fuel was draining back to the tank at shutoff which resulted in long cranks (to pump fuel back up to the front of the van) at each start-up. Interesting but not the cause of the noise in the pump and even with this failure you can still drive so long as the pump is actually pumping and you're willing to crank a bit more now and then.
On to the rest of the pump...
Well, that's it. Disassembly complete! The diagnosis? With nothing obvious presented, we were left with an assumption. The only way to repeat the noise we had been hearing was to compress the larger spring to a point where the pump arm rode just a tiny bit loose. So, it appears that the larger spring may have been the culprit in that it had grown very stiff and perhaps was binding a tad.
Either way the noise immediately went away upon installation of the new pump.
Next to go under the scalpel (ahem, the dremel)... Our battery isolator solenoid that we use to charge our house batteries from the alternator on gray days.