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Old 08-30-2013, 11:45 AM   #1
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2004 Holiday Rambler Neptune Cummins ISB 5.9 check engine light

Hello Everyone,

1st off I really appreicate everyone that is involved in this site and the crazy amounts of useful data I can source. Fantastic and appreciated.

I will try to explain the best I can-

My rig has been running like a top really since I bought it at around 23k on the OD. I have 44k on it now. Of course late at night I stopped and filled my 75 gal tank up. I was about 1/2 tank at the time. 60 miles later, while flat towing a 2007 honda element, I get the check engine light, I lose power and coast to the side of the road. I went back to my water seperator and drained out what did look like some crap and water until I smelled diesel and tighten it back up. The rig started and I limped to a road side stop for the night. Next day I started it and it again begain to buck and hesitate on any hills and the check engine light would come on imtermittently. Then all of sudden it went away the rig was flying again. Up hills -down, whatever, it was perfect. I ordered two new fuel filters anyways. I decided since we were camping and the rig was fine to NOT change the fuel filters.

Fast forward to leaving and back on the road and the same bucking and check engine light comes on while back on the hwy again. I now change the fuel filters, filled them both up with diesel, like I did a year before with no issue at all, and got back on the hwy. It's running perfect, great, pulling perfect, and the dreaded check engine light and bucking every time I try to get on the throttle comes back. So back to the side of the road I went. Nightmare. Each time I had to go the side of the road, regardless of how much fuel I had I would throw some fresh diesel in from a spare can I carry in the bay, and the rig would start and run better, i would top the tank off again and for some reason it would seem to run better on a full tank. This continued about 250 miles until I limped in to my mechanics garage. And still am awaiting what He might find out.

I have heard things like lift pumps or the dreaded injector pumps being the source of the issues, I guess I am asking if anyone has any idea what this could be? I think my model being an 2004 should have the High Pressure Common Rail (HPCR) so does that mean it does not have that VP44 Bosch injector that I read so many bad threads on? Could this be just fuel and it took out my brand new filters or is this something else? History wise - only once about 400 miles before this major issue did the rig ever hesitate or buck when I throttled it. And then it did it once, I backed off and then got right back into to it. No worries again until now- hundreds of miles later.


-last fuel filter change (2 seperate units) was about 10k ago or at 31k.
-air filter changed at 30k - do not drive in any crazy dusty areas
-engine oils changed once a year or around 7-10k miles.
-new radiator installed last year- aluminum junk one cracked- replaced with steel/copper.


Thanks everyone,
Brad in Buffalo, NY
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Old 08-31-2013, 02:19 AM   #2
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Dodge / Cummins , 5.9 went Common Rail in 03, no VF-44 pump. So I THINK , your good there, you do still have an electric lift pump.
But with the sudden problem after fill up , I'd lean towards , very bad fuel and , filters plugged again. If you kept the first set of filters you should cut them open. If you didn't , I'd , pull the water separator and drain the contents into clean bucket to check for contaminants.
These fuel systems return unused fuel to the tank , so for every gallon used by the engine , 3>4 gals goes through the filters, they can plug up fast; and if they plug to the point where the high pressure fuel pump doesn't produce the required pressure the check engine light comes on.
If you get crap out of the separator, cut it open and check for type of contaminant , dirt or algae. You may have to treat the fuel in the tank, and change filters multiple times to be rid of this problem.
If no contaminants , you may have erratic lift pump operation. time to have the pressure checked and see if the check engine light resulted in , any stored codes.
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Old 08-31-2013, 10:03 AM   #3
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Could it be the fuel cap

The running better after adding a little fuel makes me wonder if a vacuum is forming in the tank. I would try running with the fuel cap off to see if that could be the cause.
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Old 08-31-2013, 10:34 AM   #4
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Diagnostic Codes?

Read the owners manual to start and what about the CEL?

Has the position sensor ever been changed, especially if it has never been changed it would be an excellent move.

Note: Power washing the Cummins is not positive.

Ps.
I've owned a 5.9L since 01' and I'll take a guess that the TPS is going away. If that is the issue, go to the Cummins Forum and locate the rebuilt and upgraded version ($'s less than OEM).

I'll stay tuned,
pc
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Old 09-01-2013, 12:19 PM   #5
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Thought of something else. A recurring problem I saw with the common rail systems , before I retired.
The system has an electronic and a manual , maximum fuel pressure, control components. Owners who installed chips or tuners often had issues with the manual pressure control.
The manual control, is on the common rail , and acts like an over pressure valve on a hot water tank, it dumps excess fuel pressure back to the fuel tank.
It is in place, to protect the injectors, over pressurizing can split the injectors and fill the oil pan with diesel fuel.
Repeated cycling of the manual pressure control can cause it to stick open , starving the injectors for fuel ; rough run, even stalling or no run conditions.
Should set a low fuel pressure code , but I have seen this condition with no code set.
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Old 09-01-2013, 08:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pocketchange View Post
Diagnostic Codes?

Read the owners manual to start and what about the CEL?

Has the position sensor ever been changed, especially if it has never been changed it would be an excellent move.

Note: Power washing the Cummins is not positive.

Ps.
I've owned a 5.9L since 01' and I'll take a guess that the TPS is going away. If that is the issue, go to the Cummins Forum and locate the rebuilt and upgraded version ($'s less than OEM).

I'll stay tuned,
pc
Hey PC, thanks for tips. I will pass this info on to my tech and let you ASAP. We will pull the codes and let you know on that too.
Brad
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Old 09-01-2013, 08:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip426 View Post
Dodge / Cummins , 5.9 went Common Rail in 03, no VF-44 pump. So I THINK , your good there, you do still have an electric lift pump.
But with the sudden problem after fill up , I'd lean towards , very bad fuel and , filters plugged again. If you kept the first set of filters you should cut them open. If you didn't , I'd , pull the water separator and drain the contents into clean bucket to check for contaminants.
These fuel systems return unused fuel to the tank , so for every gallon used by the engine , 3>4 gals goes through the filters, they can plug up fast; and if they plug to the point where the high pressure fuel pump doesn't produce the required pressure the check engine light comes on.
If you get crap out of the separator, cut it open and check for type of contaminant , dirt or algae. You may have to treat the fuel in the tank, and change filters multiple times to be rid of this problem.
If no contaminants , you may have erratic lift pump operation. time to have the pressure checked and see if the check engine light resulted in , any stored codes.
Skip426,
Thanks for the insight. I will let you know what the codes come back with. Hopefully hear back this week.
Brad
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Old 09-21-2013, 10:41 PM   #8
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Hello Everyone,
Update- just got the rig back from the shop. It was the lift pump. Cummins # 5260632. We went with the Cummins relocation kit that includes the pump and quick connect lines. About 8 hrs labor. Relocated the new pump on the frame. Total cost was about $1200.00. I have the pump relocation part number if anyone needs. It was a bear to get at and then install the new one as the original pump is buried behind the ECM. The pump relocation kit was about $550.
Thanks
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Old 06-18-2014, 09:22 AM   #9
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Belief it or not, I have had three lift pumps of this model fail in a year and a half while putting on about 10,000 miles. The last time, three different technicians worked on it for about 10 hours doing pretty much every test and even replaced the high pressure pump, but it ended up being the lift pump. They could find no reason for them to fail, other than possibly heat from where it is mounted and this is the first time I have heard that there is a relocation kit. Thanks very much for that piece of info, and I'll try to get a hold of you for the kit number. Thanks very much.
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Old 06-18-2014, 10:09 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by edtgdpr View Post
Thanks very much for that piece of info, and I'll try to get a hold of you for the kit number. Thanks very much.
Good Luck with that. As his post above was the last one he made on these forums over 9 months ago.

Much easier to find one in a google search.
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