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Old 11-23-2021, 09:30 PM   #1
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8.1 Reduced Engine Power

Hello all, I have a 2008 Fleetwood Fiesta 34B with the Workhorse 8.1 and Allison trans. It has the Ultra Power tune, iridium plugs, high temp plug wires, and new Mangaflow RV mufflers, all done last year, except plug wires, I did these recently. On our last trip three weeks ago we went to Glamis North for a family desert camping trip. Keep in mind I tow a 24í enclosed trailer, with. Four seat razor, a mini razor, and two guards, plus fuel etc. Just to let everyone know, my rear hitch has been gusseted and boxed it, I tow using a load distribution sway control system, and the coach has a rear track bar, front steering stabilizer, and Koni shocks all from Ultra Power RV. About 3/4 of the way there the engine started feeling like it was miss firing, or not running all on cylinders, but we made it to our destination. The next morning I checked plug wires, and didnít see anything that jumped out at me, I started the engine and it purred like it always has, brought it up to 3000 RPM in park, super smooth, so I figured maybe a fluke. Then on our way home it did it again about 3/4 of the way home, seemed to not have the power it should, seemed to again be miss firing, so I babied it, and would need to downshift using the 5-6 gear dash switch, and from time to time manually downshift from fourth to third. Then all of a sudden it went into ďreduced engine modeĒ, I was able to get off the freeway and pull into a McDonaldís parking lot. Again I checked plug wires, and did notice the radiator overflow was basically empty. I then disconnected the battery, waited, then reattached it. It cleared the reduced engine power message, but still wasnít running right. When I got home and un loaded I backed the RV into our parking, while idling I could here what seemed like miss firing. Since then I cleaned the MAF, no change, cleaned the Throttle body, no change, put the AC Delco plug wires back on it, no change, checked fuel pressure, constant 62 PSI. I blew out the air filter, and ordered a stick replacement, which I havenít put in yet. I can say it seems to be running better, but I can feel a slight roughness/vibration in the steering wheel and gas pedal 2000-3000 RPM. I did plug a code reader in the OBD port, but nothing showed up. I then took it to the shop I always use, they said they would be able see what cylinder was miss firing, but their system showed no miss fires or anything. We are s he dukes to go camping to Ocotillo for the new year, but Iím scared to drive it and tow, since I donít really know what happened. Will it do it again while itís under load towing? This is what Iím freaked out about. Any thoughts or input would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
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Old 11-23-2021, 10:13 PM   #2
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This will be a tough problem to track down.. get a scanner that can capture live data.. take it with you and see if you can record live event ..
Also.. big issue with grounds.. you need to clean and check every ground.. boy.. there are too many to list.. while at it.. when is last time you cleaned are pos.. really clean even the disconnects..
I would pull the ecm connections and grounds and clean those..
Good luck and let us know what you did and maybe better members then me will help you
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Old 11-23-2021, 10:27 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by donr103 View Post
This will be a tough problem to track down.. get a scanner that can capture live data.. take it with you and see if you can record live event ..
Also.. big issue with grounds.. you need to clean and check every ground.. boy.. there are too many to list.. while at it.. when is last time you cleaned are pos.. really clean even the disconnects..
I would pull the ecm connections and grounds and clean those..
Good luck and let us know what you did and maybe better members then me will help you
Thanks for the response, what do you mean by cleaning the pos?
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Old 11-23-2021, 10:54 PM   #4
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Have you checked fuel pressure under load? Have you checked the fuel filter?
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Old 11-23-2021, 11:19 PM   #5
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Cracked plug

Pull the spark plugs and look VERY CAREFULLY for a cracked insulator. I have had at least 5 or 6 crack in my 8.1L. Sounded just like yours except mine never went into limp mode.

I finally replaced all the plugs and installed cooling air ducts to direct cool air to the plugs (to fix the burning wire problem) and no problems since.

A lot of times you can let it idle and you will hear the cracked plug "ticking" as it arcs to ground.
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Old 11-23-2021, 11:30 PM   #6
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You need to go back out and drive it until the code comes up again. Then see what shows.

Also, get a ScanGauge II that gives loads of information in real time.

Good luck.
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Old 11-24-2021, 09:18 AM   #7
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Replace the spark plugs and take it for a test drive.
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Old 11-24-2021, 03:47 PM   #8
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Thanks all, good advice! Think I’ll do new ones plugs, put the new air filter in I just got, check the grounds, and keep the scan gauge tool plugged into the OBD port, that way if it happens again the code is captured
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Old 11-24-2021, 05:21 PM   #9
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Neg= negative... pos=positive.. great advice on spark plugs change out.. cheap.. good luck and keep us posted
P.S. bought my coach 4yrs ago.. still finding and cleaning grounds.. 4yrs to clean most positive side..
If happens again.. you can try a trick.. if you can't capture as to way there is a hiccup..
Use your jumper cables and connect to battery neg.. then to eng.. see if goes away..
Then neg battery to trans.. use all safety precautions.. your not jumping.. you are searching for a missing ground..
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Old 11-25-2021, 12:39 PM   #10
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How many grounds are we talking, at least that would affect the e gone? The battery pos and neg are clean, I do have a quick disconnect on the neg battery terminal, but it’s been in there for I think two years.
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Old 11-25-2021, 01:13 PM   #11
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On other chevy/ gm forums.. there is talk about eng to frame.. trans to frame.. ecm.. to frame.. ignition to ground.. so many more.. just a big mess that goes over many forums..
Good luck and keep us posted.. oh .. d ont forget at gen grounds.. too
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Old 11-25-2021, 08:02 PM   #12
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Might want to check Fuel Trims. They can tell you a lot if you know how to read them.
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Old 11-25-2021, 08:05 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deputydog View Post
Pull the spark plugs and look VERY CAREFULLY for a cracked insulator. I have had at least 5 or 6 crack in my 8.1L. Sounded just like yours except mine never went into limp mode.

I finally replaced all the plugs and installed cooling air ducts to direct cool air to the plugs (to fix the burning wire problem) and no problems since.

A lot of times you can let it idle and you will hear the cracked plug "ticking" as it arcs to ground.
Donít want to hijack the OPís thread, but would love to hear about your cooling air ducts. Iíve been thinking of doing something like that to hopefully keep the doghouse and floor from getting as hot.
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Old 11-25-2021, 08:29 PM   #14
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Check the engine at night no lights . Look for spark grounding out from plug wires.
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