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Old 10-19-2015, 11:19 PM   #1
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Diesel engine issue

We just arrived today at a campground about 50 miles from home. My rig is a 2001 with a Cummins 300hp ISB (31,000 miles) and just before we got here it started to "miss" or surge or lunge (not sure what to call it) for only a second but it was doing it about a couple of times a minute at 55mph. The speedo would jump 5 to 10 mph momentarily when this happened. It ran perfectly for the first 40 miles. This issue did not happen when I slowed down and came into the CG.

I have not had the rig on the road since April. I did have the engine serviced this Spring but I'm not sure if the fuel filter was changed. The camp host here did not think it was a major issue (he has a diesel too). Does this sound like something simple or serious? We plan to stay a few days here and then back home 50 miles. We are not towing anything. If we can get home okay, I will address it there, unless it could get us stranded on the road. Any thoughts?
John
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Old 10-19-2015, 11:24 PM   #2
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If it sat since April, please tell me the fuel tank was full.
If not (and actually either way) it sounds to me like water in the fuel.
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Old 10-19-2015, 11:51 PM   #3
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Go for the simple fix first. Change the fuel filters. When you do that, take note of what you see in the filters when you take them off.
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Old 10-20-2015, 09:38 AM   #4
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It was full in April but I have exercised the engine and the generator about 2+ times a month at the storage lot. I was down to 3/4 full when we left.
Will I do any damage if I wait to change the filters until I get a back home?
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Old 10-20-2015, 10:37 AM   #5
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I always try to leave my fuel tank full if I am going to store for a period of time but I also put in a maintenance dose of an Algaecide, I use Biobor. I also occasionally put in a dose of Startron enzyme treatment if parked for a long time, this actually breaks down dead algae so it doesn't clog the filters, you can buy this usually at marine stores as it is used in boats all the time.

My guess is you have a problem with fuel filters, either water or algae or both. Put some algaecide in your tank and change the fuel filters. I would buy a couple extra filters for on the road.
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Old 10-20-2015, 04:48 PM   #6
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It appears that I not only have just one filter but that it is a fuel/water separator filter. I looked all over the rig and found no second filter or fuel/water separator. The fuel filter does have a sensor on the bottom and there is a dash indicator if there is water in the fuel. However that light does not light up except for the start-up sequence.

1. If the fuel/water separator did have water in it, would some of it slip through even if the dash indicator did not come on?

2. I may have some Seafoam with me and someone said they have used it successfully. Should I give it a try for on the way home?

3. Bottom line: will I do any damage or stall out if I travel without doing anything until I get home?
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Old 10-20-2015, 06:07 PM   #7
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Won't probably do any damage, but depending on how plugged the fuel filter is you may have to have it towed or worked on along side the road. There should be the filter you are seeing, and then a spin on canister filter on the pass. side up high on the block. Look there and see if you can see it and also if it looks fairly new so you would know if they were changed. I'm a stickler about fuel filters and have mine changed at every oil change. Also check the air filter gauge, if it hasn't been changed you could be dealing with air starvation instead of fuel. JMO Randy
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Old 10-20-2015, 06:41 PM   #8
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It could be the lift pump going out. Low fuel pressure can damage the vp44. Not good. Like stated the best thing is to change out the fuel filter. Before you do that though open the filter drain into a jar to see if any water shows up. Algae shouldn't be a problem unless you were using bio diesel.
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Old 10-20-2015, 06:51 PM   #9
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Probably not a fuel filter issue or water. Plugged fuel filters lose power gradually and you have a water separator so it's not that. I would look for any wet spots. A cracked line or loose fitting would be more like it. With your problem you are losing pressure at high pressure commands.
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Old 10-20-2015, 07:02 PM   #10
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Water in the fuel, dirty fuel, who knows. The last thing you don't want to do is drop the tank, flush it and blow the lines out. (Money) And if the tank sits above a rail, (more money). Lift pump clogged ? Check the pressure, you might have to replace it. Like others have said, change those filters more than once, hope that's the trick. Always keep that tank full, algae needs air. Seafoam won't hurt, Bio-Blast, Kill'um, all good additives, Double dose the first couple of tank fulls, you won't hurt anything. You shouldn't have a problem getting home unless going up a 7% grade. Play with it and put your foot into it to see if she will buck on you. Maybe a dirty injector, which additives will clean. A dirty air filter will not buck, just loose power. Dirty fuel bucks. What does your exhaust look like, given power? Good luck and post back. This post is not gospel, just my thinking. My SO says I don't know everything and she's right.
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Old 10-20-2015, 07:52 PM   #11
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Before driving home, you might want to also consider whether or not you have emergency roadside assistance that will pay for a tow if it becomes necessary. If you don't you may want to sign up RIGHT NOW before you start the trip back home, just a suggestion.
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Old 10-20-2015, 08:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hit_the_Rhod View Post
Before driving home, you might want to also consider whether or not you have emergency roadside assistance that will pay for a tow if it becomes necessary. If you don't you may want to sign up RIGHT NOW before you start the trip back home, just a suggestion.
I have a good ins policy but have never used it. Hope I don't have to.

Thanks
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Old 10-20-2015, 08:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spsm View Post
Water in the fuel, dirty fuel, who knows. The last thing you don't want to do is drop the tank, flush it and blow the lines out. (Money) And if the tank sits above a rail, (more money). Lift pump clogged ? Check the pressure, you might have to replace it. Like others have said, change those filters more than once, hope that's the trick. Always keep that tank full, algae needs air. Seafoam won't hurt, Bio-Blast, Kill'um, all good additives, Double dose the first couple of tank fulls, you won't hurt anything. You shouldn't have a problem getting home unless going up a 7% grade. Play with it and put your foot into it to see if she will buck on you. Maybe a dirty injector, which additives will clean. A dirty air filter will not buck, just loose power. Dirty fuel bucks. What does your exhaust look like, given power? Good luck and post back. This post is not gospel, just my thinking. My SO says I don't know everything and she's right.
After discussing this with the DW, she said she did not notice the issue at all from the passenger seat. She usually notices stuff like that. I don't think I'm making too much out of this but I really don't like roadside problems.
I think I will use the Seafoam and give it a go for home maybe tomorrow as the rains are coming to SE Texas.

I will post next event. Hope it is uneventful....
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Old 10-20-2015, 08:51 PM   #14
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My unit had a fuel filter inline on the frame rail that got clogged.
We were traveling down the interstate and out of the blue it just started chugging, if i was on the flat with slight acceleration it was fine but the minute I put any pressure on the accelerator it started chugging.
Made it to a Freighliner dealer and they hooked it up to computer and determined low fuel pressure, his guess was lift pump, but we replaced the spin on filter/seperator first and that did not fix the problem, someone mentioned a fuel filter on the frame rail and he found it and removed it and it was pretty clogged, replaced filter and off we went, running like a top.
So there is a possiblitly of a filter along the frame that is painted black and blends in so well we couldn't hardly find it.
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