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  1. #1
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    2008 Challenger, I think it's a fuel problem. Need a second or third opinion

    About 4 months ago my 2008 developed this odd behavior of starting just fine when cold, but if I take it out for a drive of at least ten minutes, and it sits for just a couple of minutes, it takes significantly longer to crank and start, like 3-4 seconds instead of the ~1 second start. We're taking about really short stops like gassing up, picking your kids up after school, quick grocery runs.

    Let it cool a while and it's back to normal. It will do this on any level of fuel and I don't believe the 2008 had the gas tank warranty issue that early LXs had. Never had a stalling issue, just hard starts on a hot engine. I've also had the battery tested and it comes out fine, and the Noco Genius charger I have didn't recognize any problems with the battery.

    Then, a month or so ago there was the stong smell of gasoline in the cabin after a fill up, that would stay strong until the tank got to about 2/3 full, then it stops smelling like gas in the cabin and is fine until the next fill up.

    I pulled the back seat and the odor was eminating from the passenger side ballast pump so there's definitely something wrong over there, possibly a bad seal or cracked housing. I'm replacing that this week, but I don't know that the ballast pump has anything to do with the hard starting issue. The ballast pump only moves fuel from the pass side saddle tank to the driver's side, correct?

    I'm thinking there is some sort of fuel pressure leak down occurring on the hot engine, but I'm not 100% sure why. I don't know if there is a sensor somewhere that only tells the fuel pump to pressurize the system if it falls below a certain threshold or what might be going on.

    Anybody run into this before or read about something similar here?

    Thanks!
    Last edited by aim4squirrels; 05-13-2019 at 01:48 PM.



  2. #2
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    2008 Challenger, I think it's a fuel problem. Need a second or third opinion

    It could be. That pump is a return per say and it might be bleeding off back to the tank and that is why it is hard starting after for a few minutes.

    There is some you tube videos showing how people changed them out. You will have to unplug it from the main pump to take it out so drain your fuel down less than a 1/4 tank


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  3. #3
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    Yeah, I know you have to pull both pumps to disconnect and reconnect the crossover tubes. I have the lock ring tool handy as well. I was a little too full to tackle it this weekend, plus the wife would have a cow if I worked on the car on Mother's Day.

    I didn't know it was the return as well. That might be why it's emitting odor after being shutdown after a while.

    I'm pretty sure it shouldn't ever smell like gas in the cabin, even if that rubber plug lid is cockeyed on the seat frame.

  4. #4
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    Ya. Other thing I see and have heard is the prints can go bad also. Keep me posted


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  5. #5
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    We have a returnless (single fuel line) system; most likely, its the regulator at the hat
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  6. #6
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    See, that's what I thought as well as I've seen many builds here adding SC, turbos, and nitrous building return systems, but I didn't know if the earlier poster meant pressure from the primary pump returned to the ballast and that might be the issue.

    Is there a regulator on the ballast pump? Just trying to ascertain why the odor was clearly coming from the passenger side...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by aim4squirrels View Post
    See, that's what I thought as well as I've seen many builds here adding SC, turbos, and nitrous building return systems, but I didn't know if the earlier poster meant pressure from the primary pump returned to the ballast and that might be the issue.

    Is there a regulator on the ballast pump? Just trying to ascertain why the odor was clearly coming from the passenger side...
    Define ballast pump?
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  8. #8
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    The pump that moves fuel from the passenger side reservoir to the drivers side where the primary pump is. Is that not the correct terminology?

  9. #9
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    I had the same issue with my 08. No gas smell like yours but the exact same hard start issues when hot and started like a champ when cold. Had the battery and alternator tested and they said both were fine. Finally got tired of it and bought a new battery and that solved the problem


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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by aim4squirrels View Post
    The pump that moves fuel from the passenger side reservoir to the drivers side where the primary pump is. Is that not the correct terminology?
    Just checking you were not be referring to a boost pump. The replaceable fuel regulator assembly is located in the bottom of the passenger side module (held in with a clip).

    Edit: the strong fuel smell is a very very serious issue. Do not drive the car until this has been resolved. The fuel line that heads forward to the fuel rails exits the above module (same fuel line locking mechanism used at the fuel rail I/P). If I were to guess, the Nitrile O-ring inside the locking mechanism is failing and allow pressurized fuel to pool on top of the module / fuel tank area.


    Last edited by Hemissary; 05-15-2019 at 12:44 AM.
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  11. #11
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    Update:

    Got it fixed, but with minor complications. I'm not 100% sure if it was the entire secondary pump or just the regulator in the bottom as I replaced the unit as a whole. It's working and without the hard starts.

    The complication was with the replacement pump. Upon first insertion, the float mechanism that monitors the fuel level came loose from the pump. As I was at about 1/16 of a tank of gas when I did this, this was not immediately evident until I filled the tank up and noticed the gas gauge only read 1/2 even though I had added over 16 gallons at the pump.

    So i had to drive it down for this week until the gas was low enough to crack it all back open and find out what exactly went wrong. That's when I found out the float unit had separated from the pump.

    Got it fixed eventually, just took a bit longer to be sure.

    I still wasn't sure why I smelled gas, so I paid a local mechanic shop I trust to run a smoke test on it to be 100% sure there's no leaks. They couldn't find a leak, so I'm at least a bit more confident there's no immediate danger.

  12. #12
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    Good to hear...
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