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Old 07-21-2013, 08:57 PM   #1
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WorkHorse problems, on the road, help

I have a 2004 Pace Arrow with a WorkHorse 8.1 with 22,000 miles on it. About a year ago on our way home from Myrtle Beach it got where it would hardly run (spittin and spuddering) and I had to get off I-20 because I did not think I could pull up the hills. I went to a friends house and we put 3 cans of Seafoam in the tank (had about 50 or 60 gal of gas). It ran fine and I thought Seafoam was great stuff. Fast forward to this trip about 3 months ago and it started spittin and spuddering and I pulled over and checked everything I could think of and found nothing. Got back on the road and it ran fine. Now today same trip but 3,500 miles ago and a couple months it started again. Checked everything and found nothing, got back on the road and still there pull over and added 2 cans of Seafoam. Back on the road and about the same thing. First time I had been on the road for about 2 hours and had used about half of a tank of gas. Don't remember the next time, today we had been in Sturgis for 2 weeks with the tank full, used about half of that tank and then had the problem. I was running about 70 MPH most of the day, I was working it hard. But nothing compared to all the mountains we have been thru. My thinking is if it were the fuel filter it would not clear itself up. It could be a heat problem (not running hot), I pulled the oil dip stick and it was so hot that it burned my fingers and I had to drop it on the ground! The first time it was working hard in hot weather also. What was the heat problem with the spark plug wires that they had at one time? If it were that would it run fine and break down when hot and run fine again? Today we had stoped at a rest area for about half of an hour and got back on the road and it started. We are in Mitchell, SD at this time and I think I need to find someone that can read the codes for me. Can any Chevrolet dealer do it? Where is Brazell's, I think they are in this part of the world? Thanks all for any help.
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Old 07-21-2013, 09:06 PM   #2
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Lots of problems with heat and the plug leads , try changing them
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Old 07-21-2013, 09:13 PM   #3
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load to high on the key pulg in the dash hot wiring there see that alot
they all so need really good grounds i see that alot all so

coil and coil wires like to run hot on the 8.1s but i did not see you say if you are getting codes so it may be down to a fuel fliter

if you need it i have the for your RV PDF 8500pages 450MB file i am sure you would want to tell you any thing you want to know but the file is so big its hard to send
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Old 07-21-2013, 09:20 PM   #4
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here is one you can try after driving for 30min give it time to get hot move the key around push and pull if its the plug on the back then it well start cutting out
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Old 07-21-2013, 09:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete & Linda View Post
I have a 2004 Pace Arrow with a WorkHorse 8.1 with 22,000 miles on it...... We are in Mitchell, SD at this time and I think I need to find someone that can read the codes for me. Can any Chevrolet dealer do it? Where is Brazell's, I think they are in this part of the world? Thanks all for any help.
Centrallia, WASHINGTON....... Not close to SD.

I suggest you try changing the plug wires. You should not need new plugs at only 22K, but if you can get them changed along with the wires, that should eliminate both as the source of your intermittent problem. Good luck. Ed
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Old 07-21-2013, 09:54 PM   #6
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1. Unless you have a check engine light, there are no "codes" to check.
2. Sounds like you have a fuel delivery problem, somewhat like the old "vapor lock". Even though vapor lock is not supposed to happen with the high pressure fuel pumps, I would check to see if the fuel line is unusually close to the exhaust system. If you have a fuel pump starting to fail, high temperatures would add to the problem. If you can get to a shop somewhere, I suggest checking for proper pressure at the fuel rail. Search on this site, there has been a lot of discussion on this in the past. Not real common, but the Workhorse fuel pumps do fail, and sometimes not completely at once.

As for Brazels, you are about 3 states too far east!

As for the oil dip stick being too hot to touch, sounds like this is the first time you tried it. That is normal after a hard run.
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Old 07-21-2013, 10:00 PM   #7
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I can tell you exactly what the problem is. It has to do with your fuel pump. When you get to around tank a lot of the pump is exposed (not covered with fuel) and the pump starts to heat up. There was a problem with the fuel pressure return line dumping heated fuel right on the pump. The reason it starts working again is because the pump has time to cool down with the engine off. A temp fix is to not let the fuel tank get to tank or less, this will work until you get it fixed right. A more permanent fix is to remove the pump and direct the return line away from the pump. But the real fix is to replace the pump.
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Old 07-21-2013, 10:52 PM   #8
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I can tell you exactly what the problem is. It has to do with your fuel pump. When you get to around tank a lot of the pump is exposed (not covered with fuel) and the pump starts to heat up. There was a problem with the fuel pressure return line dumping heated fuel right on the pump. The reason it starts working again is because the pump has time to cool down with the engine off. A temp fix is to not let the fuel tank get to tank or less, this will work until you get it fixed right. A more permanent fix is to remove the pump and direct the return line away from the pump. But the real fix is to replace the pump.
Unless the op has an 03 chassis, the returned fuel has not been to a location to heat up. The 04 has the fuel return just in front of the filter, (actually part of the filter on the original) which is just in front of the tank, and behind the rear axle, well back of the exhaust system. Does not mean that the fuel pump is not heating up though, as his problem seems to be summer time heat related. Your suggestion of keeping the tank fuller can only help! ( I hated to suggest that he was going to have drop his tank and put in a new pump, I know the engineers think the in-tank pumps are the way to go, my opinion is that they are too lazy to find a better approach.)
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Old 07-22-2013, 07:10 AM   #9
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pkmesser I can't imagine the dip stick been that hot. It is discolored a few inches from the yellow pull handle!
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Old 07-22-2013, 07:56 AM   #10
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pkmesser I can't imagine the dip stick been that hot. It is discolored a few inches from the yellow pull handle!
The dip stick goes right past the exhaust manifold so it will get real hot.
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Old 07-22-2013, 04:24 PM   #11
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pkmesser I can't imagine the dip stick been that hot. It is discolored a few inches from the yellow pull handle!
My 2003 W-22 built up a hard black "crust" made by burnt oil (film ) on the dipstick where the tube passed closest to the exhaust manifold. You "may" be able to relocate the tube "slightly", but I never bothered doing that. I just used two paper towels to handle the dipstick.

If your chassis is a 2003, then what Full-timers posted is "probably" a likely source of your problem. Since you have to buy gas anyway....why not keep it closer to FULL and see if that helps. You may need to have the fuel rail pressure checked at the engine to determine if the pump is weak when it gets hot, but that is a lot more trouble than filling the tank. Good luck. Ed
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Old 07-22-2013, 08:30 PM   #12
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I've been through 1 fuel pump and it presented pretty much in the way you are describing. You need to get a fuel pressure gauge on the engine and see what your fuel pressure is.

I wound up changing the fuel pump on my (at the time) 8 year old motorhome. Today the machine runs great.

I would not want to recommend that you change the fuel pump unless I knew from experience how it shows its signs and symptoms.

I would loose power for no reason then I would sit there and try to crank the engine over without the engine starting.

I have also seen sputtering if it had a bad wire but I was able to keep running on 7 wires. It wasn't pretty but it ran.

Stop putting Seafoam in the motor ... enough already!

Any Chevrolet or GMC dealer will have a Tech II and they should be able to help you if the problem is obvious. there are 3 dealers in SD:
  1. Inland Truck Parts & Service - 201 N. Harlem Ave., Sioux Falls, SD 57105 (605) 335-3080
  2. Palace Motors - 219 E. First Ave., Mitchell, SD 57301 (605)996-5120
  3. Rapid Chevrolet Co., Inc. - 2090 Deadwood Ave., Rapid City, SD 57702 (605)343-1282
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Old 07-22-2013, 09:05 PM   #13
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A tech can put a fuel pressure gauge on the engine and quickly diagnose this.

I had the same symptoms, am sitting in the parking lot of the Fresno Workhorse service center waiting for a fuel pump.
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Old 07-22-2013, 09:57 PM   #14
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Thanks Mike and bruceh, it has never failed to start and not run. It just cuts out at times some times just like a skip and others the whole motorhome will shake. Will see what I can find out. Mike I am in Iowa now heading to Columbia, MO. Anything there? Again thanks everyone.
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