Q: Cruising steadily, loss of acceleration, and engine cutting out

asked by on November 03, 2016

I was driving down the highway, cruising at about 50 MPH, when I experienced a loss of acceleration. Shortly after, complete loss of power and the engine cut off. I was able to, safely, roll to the side of the road where I sat and tried to diagnose the problem for a few hours but eventually had to call a tow truck. My vehicle is a 1990 Chevy Blue Bird Mini Bird, with a 6.2 diesel engine and a Turbo 400 transmission. It is based on the P30 step-van chassis. I was able to narrow it down to a fuel problem.. every time I try to crank the engine again, it sounds like it's going to start but it just won't. I don't believe there was fuel coming out of the fuel injectors (if there was, very little). One of the first things I checked was the tank (and I had plenty of fuel). My mechanic is telling me the fuel distributor (and the o-ring in it) needs to be rebuilt, probably, however I don't see anything online about a fuel distributor with my vehicle. Any thoughts or, hopefully, good news?

My car has 217000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi there. One of the most common issues with early 90’s diesel engines are the fuel injection pump’s o-ring can dry out or crack overtime causing fuel pressure and delivery issues.

Although it’s possible to rebuild the fuel pump, in most cases, it’s recommended to replace the pump with a new unit, especially if you’re going to keep the Blue Bird bus for a while.

Your Chevy most likely has a P-30 diesel fuel pump. Research that part and see if that’s the unit that matches the one on your vehicle. This type of vehicle is not one traditionally serviced by our professional mechanics, so hopefully your fleet mechanic will do a good job rebuilding or replacing the fuel pump.

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