Fuel issues in a 1985 Southwind

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Walt Jarrell

New member
Apr 3, 2019
So, as a mechanic you'd think I could figure this out, but anyway my friend has a 1985 Southwind, gas, carbureted 7.3 (454) ford. It doesn't seem to be getting fuel to the carb. If I spray starting fluid it will fire and burn off the fuel.
I pulled off the fuel pump, had gas up to the line going in, just not making it up to the carb from there.
Any links or advice would be great. Also unable to find any fuel diagrams online.

Thanks friends Walt J


Well-known member
Sep 14, 2009
Cedar City, UT
If it's a 7.3, then it's not a 454.. If it's a 454 it's not a Ford. If it's a Ford it's a 460 Look for a filter at the entry of the carb. bowl>>>Dan
                                        (1 liter=61 cubic inches X 7.3 =445.3..)
                                          That vintage ford big block =460 CI
                                          That vintage Chevy big block = 454 CI

Are carburetors and fuel pumps before your time??

Henry J Fate

Well-known member
Jun 14, 2018
If you have fuel pumping out of the fuel line at the carburetor and the engine is firing with starting fluid sprayed into the carburetor, the carburetor should be removed and cleaned making sure all passages are clear and clean and the float and needle are working. There are products the will clear gummy carbs but it's best to remove it and thoroughly clean it.


Well-known member
Jul 17, 2017
Didn't they go to an in tank pump around 1983?

Anyway you say you took the pump off so that sounds like it's mounted on the block.

Run a line from pump suction to a fuel supply such as a small engine fuel tank or even a bottle or something. That eliminates the suction side of the pump.

At that age the fuel lines could be an issue if they have never been replaced.
Is the pump in good condition?

If the pump is older, replace it, the very bad thing about block mounted pumps is that they can leak into the crankcase yet still provide enough fuel to run. You then have oil dilution and rapid engine wear.

If it runs with a remote tank you can get adapters for a fuel pressure gauge. You can have fuel pressure but you also have to have volume. With low volume it may run just fine untill it's put under heavy load.

The slightest air leak from a brittle hose connection or pinhole may let fuel get up to the pump but the final lift from the pump up to the carb. Plugged filter will reduce volume but not necessarily pressure.

Pressure is useless without volume.

Broke Boater

Well-known member
Nov 16, 2017
Brentwood, Northern Kookafonia
Carb'd motor needs 4-5lbs of pressure out of the fuel pump to the carb, too low of pressure wont get pass the floats in the carb. There may have been fuel coming out if the fuel line with a bad pump, you need to check for that rated pressure before any thing else. You can go to any parts store and get a pressure gauge cheap. If you have pressure, get a new or a rebuilt carb from a reputable shop,,,gregg

House Husband

Well-known member
Jan 26, 2019
The 4 brl carb should be a Q jet with a screw in fuel filter in the front of the carb. That filter is problematic. Check it.
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