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Old 07-01-2019, 08:43 PM   #1
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2003 3126 Cat low power

I have a 2003 Itasca 36LD 3126 cat with 15,000 miles on it. When coming home last weekend from vacation about 200 miles from home I noticed I was losing power when it was in a pull. By the time I got home I was down to 3rd gear at 35MPH going up hill on the interstate which normally I easily maintain 65mph climbing. I saw a old post from 2015 where someone was having a similar issue. If I understood correctly they were talking about testing for air in the fuel line. Is anyone familiar with doing this? or any other thought would be helpful.

Also is there a reader available that I can plug in similar to a turner that will tell me what's going on while traveling? Like fuel pressure, Boost, Transmission temp.
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Old 07-01-2019, 08:58 PM   #2
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You may have a partially cloged fuel filter? This is a DIY, but remember to pre-fil the new filter with clean diesel fuel when installing it. If this does not fix the problem, the next subject is a bad HEUI pump. Could be something else, but these are the most common problems when power is lost.
Take a look at a ScanguageD. It has both the older and newer communications protocal and connector. Go to their website for further info.
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Old 07-02-2019, 08:31 AM   #3
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We are glad you joined us. I believe Dutch Master has given you good advice. Browse the forums that interest you and don't be afraid to ask questions. Enjoy the forums.

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Old 07-02-2019, 09:59 AM   #4
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Hi ! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined the gang!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 07-02-2019, 08:18 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies. I changed the fuel filter and pre filled the new one with clean fuel. I also added shut off valves on each side of the filter to make it easier the next time I need to do a filter change. After installing the new filter I left the fuel line off the post filter side and blew air in the fuel tank to make sure there was fuel to that point with no air in the line. I connected the fuel line from the filter to the engine but wont start. suggestions?
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Old 07-03-2019, 12:04 AM   #6
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Even after you get the filter full it will take awhile cranking to get it to start. If you can loosen the fuel line that goes into the cylinder head and pressurize your tank to get fuel out the loosened line. Be very careful not to overpressure your fuel tank. It does doesn't take much to Balloon a tank. 1psi x times the Sq inches of your tank size adds up to a lot of force.
Many things can cause low power other than a HEUI problem, IAP sensor, boost sensor, atmospheric sensor, air filter restriction sensor, plugged air filter, bad turbo, stuck waste gate actuator, fuel filters😁 So don't panic. Have you checked for diagnostic codes?
Safe travels
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Old 07-03-2019, 10:28 AM   #7
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TMeagher,

I installed the Scanguage D and have used it on one short trip and love it though I am still working on the setup so I have the 4 I want on my main screen.

My C7 manual says after filter change to prime line by multiple 30 second start attempts. My lost one took 4 attempts before she started. Same goes for the generator.

You seem to be a DIYer so check out each recommendation but first I recommend checking your codes and calling FL to see what they reveal to shorten your troubleshooting process.

Good luck - Richard
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Old 07-03-2019, 11:23 AM   #8
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Thanks I am a DIY for most things. I have made several attempts on cranking it. I am worried about frying the starter. I have never taken off the Lids under the bed yet to get to top of the motor. This is the first DP we have owned. It shouldn't be to much of a issue. So the Scanguage D can be displayed as I am Traveling correct. I have a turner in my old Diesel truck and had a reader in my gas Motor home. I like to be able to see what's going on. Thanks for the information.
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Old 07-03-2019, 11:43 AM   #9
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If you haven't had the engine covers off , you may have a second fuel filter that you haven't seen yet . Or in the case of some Freightliner chassis even a third.

The Tale of the $3,668 Hidden and Undocumented Fuel Filter/Strainer

This document may be of some help.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 3126B no start.pdf (130.3 KB, 22 views)
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Old 07-03-2019, 11:56 AM   #10
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Some sites of interest.

www.scangauge.com/products/scangauge-d/

www.silverleafelectronics.com/node?page=2
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Old 07-04-2019, 10:15 AM   #11
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Not to say that air hasn't intruded into the fuel system somehow, but you stated "on the way home". That said, was this issue after a fill up? As member Cat stated, many items could be the cause. One simple test is to unplug the IAP sensor, engine front left side, three pin connector. Not to beat a dead horse but this test requires no parts changing or opening the fuel system to atmosphere or "hunting" for the unknown issue. I have replaced many IAP's that produced similar conditions you have described. IF the IAP fails then the ECM receives bogus data and may not drive to HEUI to appropriate pressure(850-900 psi) to start the engine. This $160.00 dollar sensor may save you thousands in labor and replacing parts that are not defective.
Good luck to you!
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Old 07-04-2019, 01:46 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the replies. I put air the fuel tank the loosened each connection working my way to the fuel pump making sure I was getting fuel at each one. When I got to the pump it took a bit to get fuel flowing at that connection. After that and a bit of cranking the engine started. took it out for a 20 Mile road test seems to be doing fine. I looked for a second fuel filter but did not find one. Thanks to everyone for the advise.
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Old 07-04-2019, 07:48 PM   #13
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Thanks for wrapping up your post , hope that the fuel filter was the only problem ; remember your fuel system returns unused fuel to the tank so by the time you've used a tank of fuel , it's been through the filter 5 to 7 times , so filters can plug up fast if you get bad fuel .
ALWAYS carry a spare or two .
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Old 07-09-2019, 08:44 PM   #14
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I had this EXACT issue last week mid-trip. It was pulling slowly uphill, about 25 mph on the highway with the toad Jeep. Not good. It was slightly pulsing around 2,000 rpm up hill as well. No power. I lifted the bed to find the last exhaust clamp broken, sitting against the bend in the exhaust pipe and a broken muffler clamp, muffler was hanging by one clamp. I thought it odd that a lack of back pressure in the exhaust might cause a low power issue. The next day I picked up a new exhaust clamp (at a NAPA store BTW), and used some plumbing strapping to make a new muffler clamp (bush fix). However, that didn't fix the low power issue. This was strictly a coincidental issue.

After checking the wastegate actuator on the turbo, we found a hole in the actuator 'bulb'. Uh oh. Time to replace the turbo ($1,000 part)? Or at least the waste gate actuator ($50 part)? The thinking was that the wastegate was open, causing no boost. I borrowed my buddy's Scangauge and found that it was making boost, so it wasn't the wastegate.

We decided to replace the fuel filter. BINGO! Problem solved. For now on, I will carry a Scangauge or similar device, and AT LEAST 1 spare fuel filter. Lesson learned. I lost 1 night sleep going over the issues in my head.

Thank you for this forum. I am grateful for this wonderful resource.

Matt

BTW, we patched the hole in the wastegate actuator bulb with some JB Weld, no difference in readings or performance. Still on my list to get this replaced and test that wastegate.
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