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Old 06-30-2012, 02:36 AM   #1
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Chevy V8 diesel cutting out.

i everyone, Craig here from the UK.
I have a 2003 Itasca sunrise with a Chevy V8 diesel. Recently, for no apparent reason, the engine cuts out. Sometimes whilst ticking over, and odd times when i am driving.
It may not cut out some days, and yesterday it cut out 3 times when i was moving it in and out of a garage. It starts immediately again afterwards.
Do any of you know where to point the finger please? All dash light stay on when it has cut out.

Many thanks,

Craig
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Old 06-30-2012, 05:55 AM   #2
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I don't think that Winnebago (Itasca) put a diesel in the 2003 Sunrise. All I can find is the Ford V10 310 hp or the Workhorse 8.1L Vortec V8 340 hp powerplant in that year and model of a coach.

Are you sure that it is a diesel?
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Old 06-30-2012, 12:15 PM   #3
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Oh yes, I am sure. I have had it 2 years, and it has never played up before. It is just as if i switch off the key, then starts immediately.

Craig
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Old 07-01-2012, 09:06 AM   #4
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Craig,

You probably have the Chevrolet / GM 6.5 L Turbodiesel, correct? (This is the predecessor to the popular 6.6 L Chevrolet Duramax Diesel). We had a 1995 Safari Trek with this engine, and used if for 137,000 miles. However, the 6.5 has a history of injection pump problems, as well as heat related problems with the PMD (pump driver) module. There are several excellent sites for Diesels, and I highly recommend "The Diesel Page", which has a dedicated forum for the 6.5.TheDieselPage.com Forums - Powered by vBulletin There are also several U.S. parts sources with excellent information. These sources specialize in the smaller Diesels like yours and will be able to provide far more information than on this otherwise excellent forum.

Also, I removed my links to Diesel sites when we bought our newer Trek, but your problem sounds like excessive heat to the PMD. This component is mounted by the factory right over the injection pump, and the easiest fix is to buy a remote mounting wiring harness so it can be mounted in a cooler location. I suggest you investigate this first rather than considering buying a new injection pump. Finally, the 6.5 tends to run hot, and the worst thing you can do is to overheat the engine. Many owners install aftermarket gauges to better monitor the engine functions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by simsy56 View Post
i everyone, Craig here from the UK.
I have a 2003 Itasca sunrise with a Chevy V8 diesel. Recently, for no apparent reason, the engine cuts out. Sometimes whilst ticking over, and odd times when i am driving.
It may not cut out some days, and yesterday it cut out 3 times when i was moving it in and out of a garage. It starts immediately again afterwards.
Do any of you know where to point the finger please? All dash light stay on when it has cut out.

Many thanks,

Craig
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1995 Safari TREK 2630, 1983 Winnebago Chieftain, 1976 Midas Mini
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Old 07-01-2012, 01:28 PM   #5
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Thanks for that. Yes it is a 6.5 TD, I have asked on Diesel page and will see what transpires.

Thanks again,

Craig
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Old 07-01-2012, 02:51 PM   #6
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Craig- You bring back fond memories (sort of). I owned an earlier version of that engine. Been there, done that. You have a fuel delivery problem. (If you find you have a DuraMax, ignore this post & see what you get off DieselPage. I thought 6.5's were phased out after 2001, but that's faded memory for sure.)

I'm sure you have the latest version of the PDM and Injection Pump. If your problem is pre-IP, it is either the Oil Pressure Sending Unit not contacting (its a joint sending unit & switch) its switch parts to complete the Lift Pump circuit to deliver 6psi fuel to the IP. Mine fried the OPSU, which killed the IP over a series of miles. IIWMI'd change the OPSU immediatley regardless, its cheap and they go bad anyway over time (cheap contacts that arc & pit & become worthless). IIRC takes a ~22mm deep socket or special OPSU socket you can get at auto parts stores (at least here in the US) for a coupla pounds. You should be able to hear the LP run for a few seconds when you switch your ignition ON. For the LP to run while driving, you have to have oil pressure to close this switch. If no LP while driving, the IP does not have enough suction to pull fuel thru the LP and starves of fuel. The bad news is the IP needs fuel circulating thru it for lubrication and for heat dissipation. So if the LP circuit is failing, you can "lunch" as we say (meaning make junk out of) your injection pump, a spendy and painful to replace (especially on this engine in a motorhome configuration) piece of hardware. You can test the LP circuit before hand, but results are probably not conclusive unless you find it not working in which case that is conclusive; if the contacts happen to arc effectively during the test & make contact, circuit will test OK & give you a false positive. Best is to replace OPSU w/a fresh one, then test LP for 6psi delivery pressure. If less than 6psi, change LP (also not too spendy but it'll be a few sheckles).

If LP circuit is good, you have a delivery problem at the IP.
IP consists of mechanical side that creates pressure, and electromechanical side that opens a port to release pressure & pop open an injector. On the side of the IP is a small black box w/a 6-wire connector, box is called a PDM for pulse delivery module or something like that. This thing creates a lot of heat, firing up to about 12,000 cycles a minute w/some fat transistors doing the switching work and requiring a lot of heat dissipation. Most owners remote locate the PDM to a heat sink where it will get good fresh air to both make it last longer, and to make the IP last longer which suffers from engine heat in addition to the PDM (IP is in the valley of the V on top of engine, so when you shut down the engine the IP sets there & cooks in what the DieselPage guys (I used to hang out there a bunch when I owned that rig) call "heat soak." I used a 12"x12"x1/4" aluminum plate and relocated the PDM to just behind the front cap of the coach, and lengthened the 6 wires myself; worked perfectly. I'd suggest that as a project regardless. For you i'd suggest buying an aftermarket harness for the run to remote location (I bought a burned up PDM & cut the PDM-side connector out if its housing, a stupid use of time in retrospect).

Mechanical failures (and at least one electromechanical one) are all interior to the IP. You can change the electro-mechanical Optical Sensor, but its probably not going to be the issue (that's interior, mounted on top of IP) and maybe the only interior thing you can do that makes any sense short of a rebuild. You can change the Fuel Solenoid (basically a solenoid valve that opens input fuel port to IP and allows fuel delivery; ignition OFF kills signal from ECU to the FS, thereby shutting off engine; if this gizzmo sticks open engine will continue to run). FS is mounted on top of IP, vertical cylindrical metal object w/two wires.

Most of the failures exclusive to the IP are in the PDM (occasionally you will see or smell the burn from when it started frying, tho in your case it is still working so probably not that level of failure). Next part of the exercise requires reading the engine fault codes you can find in the ECU (takes an OBD-2 code reader capable of getting the diesel codes). Can't remember if you can short two pins & get the codes to blink the MIL (check engine light) on this late model a rig. If you are getting failure signals in the codes alluding to cylinder fire failures, and the LP circuit & flow are working (you'll have to clear codes & do a test drive after your initial engine shut off failures), you have an IP failure. At this point sorry to say its a bunch of hunt & peck guesswork. FS could be intermittently bad; Optical Sensor could be reading timing wrong (there is a code for a nonsense-info failure of the OS but not for incorrect data that could be correct but leads to misfire); rollers inside could be worn & not producing 1700psi pressure reliably; Injection Solenoid on end of IP could be going bad; PDM could be misfiring; probably some other issues I can't recall. You can change out the entire IP w/new or rebuilt one & be fairly sure of curing the problem if you get to this stage (and relocate PDM or not, your choice). If you are very meticulous, you can even do it w/out a Tech2 scantool to reset timing (set by rotation of the IP on the mounting hub on front of engine). I managed to when I changed mine* by very cautious marking of the casing prior to removing the failed IP. If you blow that part, you have to get it retimed by somebody w/the right proprieatary scanner (your local GM dealer has it, and maybe some folks w/Snap-On scanners IIRC, not sure if the OTC scanners caught up fully w/this functionality). You could change the IP, rotate accordingly till it runs OK by sound, and drive to the scantool shop for final setting. However, valve timing is irrespective of IP timing, so you risk dinging a valve on a piston if you are way off, and that's serious stuff. Ain't rocket science getting it back to correct OEM timing, but just saying make sure you get that right. I have a brand new IP that will be going on eBay soon if you wind up needing it, you can PM me.

Because I was running my rig outside the U.S. where parts & labor were unobtainable w/out extreme delays, I always (after the failure left me stranded) carried spare IP, LP, fuel filter cartridge/o-ring set, FS, and the full factory repair manual for the chassis (which I believe is Workhorse still in 2003). Not sure of parts availability in UK, nor local serviceability, YMMV.

*Reason I have this vast font of (now useless to me) info- My IP fried in southern Baja California peninsula, ~600 miles south of San Diego. When I finally got usable feedback from the GM service manager in La Paz (near Cabo San Lucas), it was this: "Meester, we never sell dat electronic chit down here." Then I knew I'd need to resolve the issue myself, or I'd never get my coach back to the United States. Thanks to the DieselPage for the in depth education on that engine.
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:22 AM   #7
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Craig,

What a great post by Engineer Mike. As he said, The Diesel Page is a great resource. I bought their 6.5 trouble shooting manual, but let it go when we sold our Diesel Trek. You might want to order one.

Assuming you may have difficulty finding someone to work on your 6.5 Diesel, this engine is also used in the U.S. Army "Hummer" (HUMMV) utility vehicle. The U.S. repair shops need to be GM/Chevrolet medium duty truck dealers but, if you don't have access to one of these, maybe there might be a facility familiar with the Hummer.

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...*Reason I have this vast font of (now useless to me) info- My IP fried in southern Baja California peninsula, ~600 miles south of San Diego. When I finally got usable feedback from the GM service manager in La Paz (near Cabo San Lucas), it was this: "Meester, we never sell dat electronic chit down here." Then I knew I'd need to resolve the issue myself, or I'd never get my coach back to the United States. Thanks to the DieselPage for the in depth education on that engine.
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Old 07-04-2012, 01:56 AM   #8
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Hi guys,

Thanks Engineer Mike for that detailed breakdown of what could be at fault on this engine. It really is appreciated.
We have GM/Workhorse engineers in England with the appropriate equipment, so i will have to call on them if all else fails.
I will see what I can find.

Many Thanks,

Craig
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