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Rust in Fuel System
In September 1997, Trent Riddle wrote an article titled, “Injection Connection: Installing Mopar Performance's Smog Legal MPI Kit.” I read and loved the article and the idea. In April 1998, I got a Jasper engine and to this day, I am still running that same Jasper motor with the Mopar kit in my off-road rig. Recently, I have developed a problem that I can't seem to solve on my own, and the forums don't seem to be much help. I have been getting rust clogging my injectors. I have replaced everything and still run into problems. The last time I disassembled things, I think I found the culprit. The steel fuel rail is rusting inside and around the injector seats. The Mopar kit came with a parts list and associated part numbers. The rail alone is listed as part #53030435. I have found several websites that list this part appropriately. But $477 for a steel tube that some injectors plug into seems incorrect. Additionally, no one seems to be able to order this part as it's "unavailable." Can you guys help? Thank you.
Owner, Zoe's Off Road
Glenn, the article you mentioned detailed the installation of the MOPAR Jeep 4.2L (258ci) Multipoint Fuel Injection Kit. This is a very popular kit for owners of 4.2L-equipped Jeeps seeking more power and better fuel efficiency. I'm glad that this conversion has worked trouble-free for you for so long; hopefully I can help you keep it working. Rust in the fuel rail is worrisome as it indicates a presence of water in your fuel system. Replacing or cleaning the fuel injectors will solve the problem in the short term, but your problem will persist if you don't remove the rust and its source (the water). I would start by inspecting and/or replacing your fuel filter, looking for any captured debris. After that, check the gas cap; is the seal worn out? Is there rust on the inside of the cap or filler neck? The cap and tank filler neck are often a point of entry for water to get into the fuel system. If the neck and cap are rust-covered, replacement of the whole fuel tank may be next on your list. You also might consider upgrading to stainless-steel fuel lines to guarantee that all of the rust is removed from the system. Classic Tube [(800) 882-3711, www.classictube.com] offers pre-bent fuel lines for various Jeep applications.
Concerning the high-priced, hard-to-find fuel rail, yes, that is the one you will need. The part #53030435 fuel rail used in the MOPAR kit is the same used in '91-to-'96 Jeep Cherokees and Comanches with 2.5L and 4.0L engines. The lowest price I came across for a new rail was around $330 from mopar-wholesale.com. It was also available from moparpartsoverstock.com. I did not find this part available from any of the major auto parts chains, but some dealers do carry it. If the high price is too much to bear, look at buying used. I found a handful of used fuel rails available on www.eBay.com for less than $100. You might find an even better deal at a you-pull-it salvage yard, along with some of the other various parts that you may require. Hope this helps. 'Wheel on.