Sorry to take so long. Feeling lousy and internet stopped working for a while.
The strainer is available separately. I replaced it on two different Chrysler products I owned in the '90s. Those cost me three bucks each. I replaced it on my '88 Grand Caravan about ten years ago and just three days ago for the second time. I had a fuel pressure gauge tied to the radio antenna for the last year. Normal pressure runs around 50 psi. It has dropped to as low as 20 psi and the engine still ran fine with no symptoms. It sputters at 15 psi. The problems were I couldn't reach 80 mph on a hot day which equated to not being able to drag around a big tandem axle enclosed trailer that's bigger than the van. I figured out that if I just let off the gas pedal a couple of seconds, the pressure would pop back up and I'd be able to pull the trailer another half mile or so before it occurred again.
The symptoms are different between a carbureted engine and a fuel injected one with a return line to the tank. With a carburetor the highest volume of fuel flows when the engine works the hardest, meaning accelerating or pulling a load. During periods of light load the float bowl has time to fill up so it can take a while for symptoms to appear. With fuel injection systems the largest volume of fuel is pumped during coasting. Intake manifold vacuum goes up and pulls the gas through the injectors harder. To prevent a rich mixture the fuel pressure regulator drops the pressure to hold the difference in the two forces steady. That means it's easier for the gas to pass through the regulator and back to the tank, so more volume is pumped. That's usually when the problems show up.
Those strainers can also collapse. That typically occurs after driving ten to fifteen miles, then you sputter to the side of the road for lack of fuel. It will stretch out again in a minute or two, then you can drive a few more miles.
Saturday, June 29th, 2013 AT 11:04 PM