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Old 06-10-2013, 06:07 PM   #1
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Injection pump on 2003 3126B Caterpillar

After many thousands of miles of trouble free running my Cat Diesel has developed a problem. Started it yesterday and it immediatedly started hunting for normal idle speed. Sounds terrible, runs great going down the road and the fuel mileage is normal from my previous experience with the engine. Went to take it in for service this morning and it wouldn't start. Ended up changing the fuel filter and using a shot of thrust it started and ran but the idle was still hunting. Called the Cat people and they said it's probably the HUEI pump. Big bucks I know. Has any one you folks had any experience with this. Any insight would be warmly received. Thanks
I do have an extended warranty but don't know if they will cover all of it..
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Old 06-10-2013, 06:47 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calhyatt View Post
After many thousands of miles of trouble free running my Cat Diesel has developed a problem. Started it yesterday and it immediatedly started hunting for normal idle speed. Sounds terrible, runs great going down the road and the fuel mileage is normal from my previous experience with the engine. Went to take it in for service this morning and it wouldn't start. Ended up changing the fuel filter and using a shot of thrust it started and ran but the idle was still hunting. Called the Cat people and they said it's probably the HUEI pump. Big bucks I know. Has any one you folks had any experience with this. Any insight would be warmly received. Thanks
I do have an extended warranty but don't know if they will cover all of it..
Sounds like you have a leak in the high pressure system, typically if the pump is bad it will run bad all the time or just not run at all. The fact that you got it going by giving it a shot of "thrust" and then it ran normal at high rpms but struggled at an idle is typical of a system leak. Often shops will just throw new pumps in and replace all the parts that seal with these symptoms when all that may be required to fix it is a bad O ring in the system. My experiences with cat have been very possitive in the sense that they fix what is needed and have not taken me to the cleaners with work that was not required to fix the issue.
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Old 06-11-2013, 04:17 PM   #3
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Sounds like you have a leak in the high pressure system, typically if the pump is bad it will run bad all the time or just not run at all. The fact that you got it going by giving it a shot of "thrust" and then it ran normal at high rpms but struggled at an idle is typical of a system leak. Often shops will just throw new pumps in and replace all the parts that seal with these symptoms when all that may be required to fix it is a bad O ring in the system. My experiences with cat have been very possitive in the sense that they fix what is needed and have not taken me to the cleaners with work that was not required to fix the issue.
I had the unit towed today to the Cat center and the service advisor said he thought he knew what it was. Some sort of leak in the high pressure system. He also said it could be a defective pump, Hopefully it is the o ring thing he was talking about and not the pump. I do have an ESP on the unit but really hope its something other than an entire pump assembly. Thanks for your insight. I feel a little bettter hearing about fixes other than replacement of the magic HEUI pump.
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Old 06-12-2013, 02:02 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by calhyatt View Post
After many thousands of miles of trouble free running my Cat Diesel has developed a problem. Started it yesterday and it immediatedly started hunting for normal idle speed. Sounds terrible, runs great going down the road and the fuel mileage is normal from my previous experience with the engine. Went to take it in for service this morning and it wouldn't start. Ended up changing the fuel filter and using a shot of thrust it started and ran but the idle was still hunting. Called the Cat people and they said it's probably the HUEI pump. Big bucks I know. Has any one you folks had any experience with this. Any insight would be warmly received. Thanks
I do have an extended warranty but don't know if they will cover all of it..
Update: Caterpillar engine repair facility confirmed today the Injection pump has failed. Waiting for parts and labor estimate. Really a shame that an engine with 84000 miles suffered such a failure. Always run regularly, always serviced by authorized dealers. Makes me sick that such a fine engine is having this issue at such a low hours of usage. I will keep you all posted.
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Old 06-13-2013, 12:57 PM   #5
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calhyatt, I have a 04 Itasca meridian with a 3126E. While in Homer, Alaska the MH would not start the day before the fourth of July 2012. Called Coach-Net. They found a local diesel shop that had the equipment to tow and repair the MH at their facility in Soldotna, 75 miles away. During the investigation they contacted CAT for trouble shooting info and concluded with them it was the HUEI pump; confirmed by metal fragments. Replacement parts were ordered: HUEI pump, injectors, and oil cooler were the major parts replaced. The engine had 37,000 miles. The MH had prescribed maintenance to that point. I also was very disappointed in the CAT failure. The replacement parts were flown in and we were without the MH for 8 days. We kept in contact with the repair facility ( BUDDY'S GARAGE). They kept us updated daily while we continued or tour of Alaska while the repair was done. From what I have read in the Blogs this is a common problem with this engine. The repair has proven successful. We have put 10K miles since the repair with no problems.


I have to thank Coach-Net for their ability to find a reputable repair facility in that part of Alaska. Also thank Buddy's garage which we found out serviced all the local school bused and county trucks in the area.


Good Luck and remember THE JOY IS IN THE RIDE.
See our blog starting in Alaskan trip 2012. RVGR8escape
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Old 06-13-2013, 01:37 PM   #6
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calhyatt, I have a 04 Itasca meridian with a 3126E. While in Homer, Alaska the MH would not start the day before the fourth of July 2012. Called Coach-Net. They found a local diesel shop that had the equipment to tow and repair the MH at their facility in Soldotna, 75 miles away. During the investigation they contacted CAT for trouble shooting info and concluded with them it was the HUEI pump; confirmed by metal fragments. Replacement parts were ordered: HUEI pump, injectors, and oil cooler were the major parts replaced. The engine had 37,000 miles. The MH had prescribed maintenance to that point. I also was very disappointed in the CAT failure. The replacement parts were flown in and we were without the MH for 8 days. We kept in contact with the repair facility ( BUDDY'S GARAGE). They kept us updated daily while we continued or tour of Alaska while the repair was done. From what I have read in the Blogs this is a common problem with this engine. The repair has proven successful. We have put 10K miles since the repair with no problems.

I have to thank Coach-Net for their ability to find a reputable repair facility in that part of Alaska. Also thank Buddy's garage which we found out serviced all the local school bused and county trucks in the area.

Good Luck and remember THE JOY IS IN THE RIDE.
See our blog starting in Alaskan trip 2012. RVGR8escape
Thanks for telling me about your CAT experience. Good Sam's roadside was great for us. Delivered it to CAT repair facility. I am still waiting for the guys to call and give me the breakdowns on the repairs. Hopefully we will be ready for our July 4 departure.
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Old 06-13-2013, 09:18 PM   #7
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Just curious, as I also have a Cat C7 engine with the much feared HUEI pump. Before diesel fuel was denied the time honored amounts of sulfa for lubrication back around 2007, these failures were not as common as they are today. When the change over occurred, I noticed one of my injectors seemed to be sticking. A diesel supervisor with loads of experience strongly suggested that I use Seafoam on a regular basis, and in fact gave me my first can. I add a can every 25
to 50 gallons of diesel fuel, sometimes two. ATF, Marvel MO, and the like will render lubrication to your fuel. On the HUEI failures he has seen, the owners have not been adding additives to their fuel on a regular basis, but rather "once in a while...or not at all".
Can it be this simple....I doubt it...but could it be part of the solution in preventing premature failure?
All of this...IMHO...???
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Old 06-14-2013, 04:30 PM   #8
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Just curious, as I also have a Cat C7 engine with the much feared HUEI pump. Before diesel fuel was denied the time honored amounts of sulfa for lubrication back around 2007, these failures were not as common as they are today. When the change over occurred, I noticed one of my injectors seemed to be sticking. A diesel supervisor with loads of experience strongly suggested that I use Seafoam on a regular basis, and in fact gave me my first can. I add a can every 25
to 50 gallons of diesel fuel, sometimes two. ATF, Marvel MO, and the like will render lubrication to your fuel. On the HUEI failures he has seen, the owners have not been adding additives to their fuel on a regular basis, but rather "once in a while...or not at all".
Can it be this simple....I doubt it...but could it be part of the solution in preventing premature failure?
All of this...IMHO...???
I use Howes Power service. White bottle in the winter, it has the anti gel, grey bottle in the summer. I have also used Syondyne (spelling) best supplement I ever used. Very hard to come by.

I'll also use regular anti-gel in the winter.
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Old 06-14-2013, 08:24 PM   #9
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I live in Florida...the only gel I need is for my hair! Thanks for the suggestion though...if I ever get up north again!
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Old 06-15-2013, 07:31 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by calhyatt View Post
After many thousands of miles of trouble free running my Cat Diesel has developed a problem. Started it yesterday and it immediatedly started hunting for normal idle speed. Sounds terrible, runs great going down the road and the fuel mileage is normal from my previous experience with the engine. Went to take it in for service this morning and it wouldn't start. Ended up changing the fuel filter and using a shot of thrust it started and ran but the idle was still hunting. Called the Cat people and they said it's probably the HUEI pump. Big bucks I know. Has any one you folks had any experience with this. Any insight would be warmly received. Thanks
I do have an extended warranty but don't know if they will cover all of it..
I heard from the Cat repair shop and it has been confirmed that my HUEI pump has failed. My ESP is going to pay for the repairs although they tried to wiggle out it it by saying my engine oil is dirty. Well my response was the oil in my engine looks dirty 15 minutes after it is changed and the engine has been operated. My F-350 oil looks the same after a few miles. Hopefully I will get my unit back next week sometime. Thanks for all the advise, ideas and good wishes. I will post the final results and prices when the process is finished...
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Old 06-15-2013, 07:36 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Jonnyboy 316 View Post
Just curious, as I also have a Cat C7 engine with the much feared HUEI pump. Before diesel fuel was denied the time honored amounts of sulfa for lubrication back around 2007, these failures were not as common as they are today. When the change over occurred, I noticed one of my injectors seemed to be sticking. A diesel supervisor with loads of experience strongly suggested that I use Seafoam on a regular basis, and in fact gave me my first can. I add a can every 25
to 50 gallons of diesel fuel, sometimes two. ATF, Marvel MO, and the like will render lubrication to your fuel. On the HUEI failures he has seen, the owners have not been adding additives to their fuel on a regular basis, but rather "once in a while...or not at all".
Can it be this simple....I doubt it...but could it be part of the solution in preventing premature failure?
All of this...IMHO...???
I did some reading on the CAT corporate website and the information contained there stated that high sulfur fuel is not recommended for any of their engines with HUEI fuel injections systems. My engine has always had a biocide/injector additive since I have owned it. Engine oil and filters on schedule. I really think that CAT should come clean with all of the C-7 and 3126 series owners and let us know what is causing these premature failures. Lots of data on it. Just no solutions to the problem...
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Old 06-23-2013, 12:04 PM   #12
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No one, including me, suggested that high sulfa fuels were advocated. The point earlier was that keeping your fuel clean for your injectors is paramount. If you do some research, you will find that Cat has been and is having problems with the Heui fuel system. Do understand, the C-7 is not the only victim. The C-9 and almost all of their larger engines, if not all that have the system, have had the complaint. When you read up on the Heui system, you realize why Cat went to it around 1996 (g1). The system compresses your oil to nearly 4,000 psi to open valves and also compresses your fuel to nearly 27, 000 psi to atomize it before burning it!!! All for the sake of fuel economy and the environment. Cat tech confirmed this and says, just keep changing all oil and fuel filters often. AND PRAY!
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Old 06-29-2013, 09:41 PM   #13
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After many thousands of miles of trouble free running my Cat Diesel has developed a problem. Started it yesterday and it immediatedly started hunting for normal idle speed. Sounds terrible, runs great going down the road and the fuel mileage is normal from my previous experience with the engine. Went to take it in for service this morning and it wouldn't start. Ended up changing the fuel filter and using a shot of thrust it started and ran but the idle was still hunting. Called the Cat people and they said it's probably the HUEI pump. Big bucks I know. Has any one you folks had any experience with this. Any insight would be warmly received. Thanks
I do have an extended warranty but don't know if they will cover all of it..
Update 3

Motorhome is fixed. Total cost to replace the HUEI pump, clean the oil lines, clean the injectors, install all new seals on injectors and flush the oil cooler of metal chips and road test is $3560.00 without tax. The pump was 1200.00 and rest was labor and gaskets, O-rings cleaning fluids and such. Work was done be a certified CAT repair station. Add and oil change, transmission service and new belts on entire unit to the total and you will see a bill of $5000.00 plus. All is done and I am leaving on my summer trip. Good night all...
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