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Old 07-13-2016, 06:28 PM   #1
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Intermittent Low Power Issue.

Just before leaving on July 5th for a (5) week trip through the northeast,(Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont), I had the yearly engine maintenance done on mh which included engine oil change/oil filter, engine fuel filters(2), etc. It ran fine and was very responsive on the first day out. Shortly after continuing on the second day, I stopped and fueled at a Flying J just east of Indianapolis and about 1-2 hrs later I started to notice that the mh seemed to intermittently run with less power when climbing some of the hills on I-70 then felt like it was ok for awhile. I added several bottles of Power Service Fuel Conditioner but long story short, It has continued to do this, at times has absolutely so pick up and does not appear to be getting any better. My thoughts are the following but not necessarily in any order of importance:
1. Fuel filters might be junked with who knows what from "bad fuel" at Flying J?
2. I have had to apply the brakes hard several times en route because of some drives not paying attention, a couple of real quick traffic lights, going down several 5-7% grades using the engine brake and coach brakes together(I have noticed that the coach will "sometimes" not pick up very much speed when going down a long hill and other times will requiring using the engine/coach brakes together.
3. Bad/weak lift pump-new was installed in June 2012 and coach has always running very good before this trip and after beginning.
4. My gut feeling is either fuel filters or sticking caliper.
We're currently in Bar Harbor, Me and have a mobile tech($$$) scheduled to take a look see tomorrow.

Any one with any comments or thoughts would be appreciated.
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Old 07-13-2016, 06:38 PM   #2
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If you pull the fuel filter you will probably find it gunked up with algae. Had that problem once. Do you ever run an algaecide in the fuel tank?? When was last time you used it?
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Old 07-13-2016, 08:04 PM   #3
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If you had a caliper hanging up that hard then you would have seen smoke coming from the wheel that has the caliper stuck. Chances are you got some gunk in the filter and it needs to be changed. The chances of algae are actually somewhat slim.
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Old 07-14-2016, 10:02 AM   #4
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I'd also say fuel filters. Lift pump only primes fuel lines, but if it's leaking you could be pulling air into the fuel system.
I agree with MtTom, calipers wouldn't last long if they were hanging up.

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Old 07-14-2016, 12:57 PM   #5
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I just went through a bad fuel situation...well I'm not in the clear yet. Got mine from a Loves plaza. My ISL would buck violently, I swapped the filters at a CG and it was fine. I added biocide and tested the fuel it had "Diesel Bugs", not bad yet but none the less they were in there. The Cetane was horrible, not even in Diesel range more like bunker oil. I now run an additive to stabilize the fuel at every fill up, it adds lubricant and helps keep my Cetane up, basically a fuel stabilizer. I swapped out both filters 700 miles later and cut them open, the paper was black half way up. So now I will pull them at 1500 miles and see what they look like, if it starts to buck again I know its time to pull over and replace both then. I replaced my lift pump in 2014 and all fuel lines (deteriorated and were leaking, sucking air)but like mentioned above the lift pump only primes the system and shuts off on an ISL, not sure about the ISB and ISC, same lift pump different Injection pump.
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Old 07-14-2016, 06:44 PM   #6
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Just a follow up on the power issue. Mobile tech responded today and also agreed that it most likely was a bad fuel issue. Both filters were changed but we don't leave Bar Harbor, Me until next Monday and start working our way to Essex Junction, Vt for an SKPS rally. Even though my yrly engine maintenance was just done about 2000 miles ago, stuff does happen. My thanks for those that took the time to post your thoughts.
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Old 07-15-2016, 06:09 AM   #7
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I have heard there is a bunch of bad diesel fuel on the streets within the last 3 months. A local fuel polishing place told me they cant keep up with the demand.
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Old 07-15-2016, 06:59 AM   #8
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As an add on to my earlier follow up post, I put about 5oz of a biocide to an almost full tank of fuel. Will find out Monday when we leave if our issue has gone away.
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Old 07-15-2016, 07:48 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JC2 View Post
As an add on to my earlier follow up post, I put about 5oz of a biocide to an almost full tank of fuel. Will find out Monday when we leave if our issue has gone away.
It will kill it, but then you have to deal with sucking up the crud into your filters and more frequent filter changes until its all gone.
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Old 07-20-2016, 06:14 AM   #10
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I'm going to ring-in with a guess of fuel filters (contaminated with algae) also. Had pretty much the same thing happen awhile back, and still fighting the last of it.


On a side-note, my GrandDad was a commercial fisherman and stickler for never doing any maintenance/etc right before a big trip. He'd fix something and then take the boat out close to home to test everything out (that's when I got to ride with him ). He always believed that the newly-introduced gremlins would get him when far away from port. He never had to get towed back, so guess he was right.
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Old 07-30-2016, 04:55 PM   #11
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Additional followup:

New air filter was installed the first of last year and checked during our annual engine service done prior to leaving on 7/5/16.

We have the engine brake which seems to be working as it should. Has a HD truck/rv place in N Monmouth, Me work me in after leaving the cg there and after a pretty comprehensive check from there knowledgeable cummins guy, his opinion: You've got some less than optimal diesel. Per his advice, I've added 1 couple of bottles of a fuel additive(Power Service) to the existing fuel and some to the fuel I added prior to heading towards the SKPS rally in Essex Junction, and it had stated to run like its old self. I think a couple of crappy tanks of diesel and extra long hill climbs were working against me. We left Essex Junction after the rally and are in the Niagra Falls area. Will be leaving Monday and heading to Missouri so this trip should tell.
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