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Duramax First Generation: 2001-2004 (LB7) Discuss the first generation (2001-2004 LB7) of the 6.6L Duramax diesel engine & associated components. Engine related discussion ONLY.

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Old 07-18-2017, 10:35 AM   #1 (permalink)
JPW77
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2003 Truck keeps dying - Need Help Diagnosing

My apologies for such a LONG post, but my truck has been dying while running intermittently for roughly 2 years now and I can't figure out the issue. Since it's been doing it for so long I cannot remember exactly when or how it started. It's not my daily driver and only driven when I need a truck. I'll try to lay out the history so bear with me. Unfortunately, my memory sucks so I'll try to recall things the best I can.

Once I was driving down a dirt road while doing some scouting for deer hunting and when I stopped to look at something the truck died and flashed "Service Battery Charging System" or something to that effect. I pumped and pumped and pumped on the fuel primer bulb and cranked and cranked and cranked and never got it started. Had to call my father-in-law to tow me to his house with his 1996 Powerstroke. It sat at his place for a couple of weeks while we messed with it...charging batteries and lots of priming and cranking and pressurizing the fuel tank finally got it started a few times but it would keep dying. Finally it stayed running and I drove it home and it seemed to run fine for a while. Until...

Camping for the 4th of July weekend in 2016. Pulled our boat approximately 40 miles without issue. Launched the boat with no issue. 2 days later loading up the boat my brother-in-law backs my truck and trailer down the ramp, keeps the truck running while I load the boat onto the trailer and the truck suddenly dies. Crank, crank, crank...no start. Pump, pump, pump on the primer...still no start. Finally have to beg a guy at the ramp to pull me up the ramp and off to the side of the road with his, yep you guessed it, Ford Powerstroke. Sister-in-law then drove their truck from the campsite (1500 Silverado so not TOO embarrassing) to meet us and it towed my truck and boat back to the campsite. Truck and boat sat there for a few days while I rounded up a filter head re-build kit. Finally got the filter head re-built and a new filter on there, charged the batteries for a while and she fired right up! Pulled the boat 40 miles back home without issue so I'm thinking I finally have my problem licked!

Not so fast...still having no start issues where I have to manually prime the hell out of the fuel system and batteries are giving me problems so I buy 2 new AGM batteries. Put those puppies in and she fires right up! Sounded like a brand new truck! I actually practically got all through hunting season without any issues except towards the end of the season I was coming back from hunting with a buddy and stopped at a fast food place for lunch. I always shut the truck off while ordering at the drive through since it's so loud. Well she wouldn't crank back up. Got out pump, pump, pump on the primer bulb and it starts back up and I'm on my way. 15 minutes later while driving 60mph with the cruise on it didn't shut off but I lost throttle and was just coasting. Pushing the petal gave me nothing. This lasted maybe 30 seconds then throttle came back and everything was back to normal.

Early last month towed my boat back to the same place as last summer. launched and loaded the boat without issue. I needed to tow the boat to a mechanic truck starts fine I get out to the road and I'm waiting on traffic to pull out and while sitting there truck dies. Pump, pump, pump to prime and can't get it started. Brother-in-law and father-in-law's trucks to the rescue once again as we drop the trailer and hook up to it with brother-in-law's truck and take off to the mechanic. Meanwhile, father-in-law tows my truck back to the campground. After sitting for a while truck starts like it never had a problem and I'm able to drive it back home. A few weeks later I need to go pick the boat up from the mechanic. Hop in the truck and no start. Pump, pump, pump and finally get it started and I'm on my way. 5 miles from the house truck just dies while cruising down the road. I coast to the side and pump, pump, pump and it just won't start. I let it sit for about 20 minutes or so and try again and get it started and just head back home. Next day I borrow brother--in-law's truck and get the boat.

Obviously the filter head re-build and new batteries did not fix my problem so I'll just buy a brand new filter head assembly. Bought the newer version and longer hoses get everything installed and, low and behold, she starts right up! Let it idle for 30 minutes or so and all is well. Take her for a spin around the block and all is well. My nightmare with this truck is FINALLY over! Saturday morning I needed to move the boat to cut grass. Truck starts up, I get turned around and start backing up to the boat and...you guessed it...truck dies! Pump, pump, pump and it starts no problem. Yesterday I needed to move the boat and the truck started fine, got hooked up and moved the boat and left the truck idling. Ran great for 10 minutes then...DIED!

I'm at a loss as to what is causing my problems. Truck does not smoke at all and runs strong when it runs. No visual fuel leaks anywhere. I'm cheap and would rather not have to take my truck to a shop but running out of options. Can anyone suggest what my problem may be?

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Old 07-18-2017, 10:45 AM   #2 (permalink)
JPW77
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Forgot to add the only two codes I pull are P0463 Fuel Level Sensor Circuit High Input since my fuel gauge hasn't worked in ages and P0540 Unknown fault which research shows is related to an intake heater issue. No check engine light has come on at all while having my no-start and dying issues. Also I have deleted the Water In Fuel Sensor with a billet delete plug several months ago so that's not my issue either.

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BLACK 2003 2500HD Duramax/Alli 4x4 Ext. Cab LT
Pacer Magnum wheels with 285/75/16 Toyo Open Country AT's
Stainless Step Bars, Side Door Moldings & 4x4 stickers....GONE!
Silverline 4" Stainless Exhaust
DiabloSport Predator
DuHa underseat storage for all the junk

Last edited by JPW77; 07-18-2017 at 10:49 AM.
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Old 07-18-2017, 03:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
Snapperlicious
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If you can pump and pump and pump the primer and it never get hard you have an air leak somewhere still. You also might have an electrical issue with wires rubbing somewhere. Check your ground on the driver side frame and check for chafed wires on the drivers side fender. I caught one early for my throttle position.
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Old 07-18-2017, 04:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
Aashton1206
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The codes wouldn't not cause these issues, ignore em. This is fuel related, without a doubt. At one point you said you went back to it and it fired up on its own no problem so thenew filterhead is fine. That leaves three things off the top of my head, first and most likely, FPR. Don't guess, get a new fpr and see if that works, if it is running after you install it go to a mechanic. Get the desired and actual fuel rail pressures to see the health of your cp3, that's number two. Finally number three, ficm/ecm. Both are expensive and difficult to diagnose. Now do steps one and two. If you get to three, before anythingtrace all wires from the ficm harness and the ecm harness. If you had injectors done in the last 20k miles you can get a 19mm open ended wrench and see if your injector lines can be tightened. Also check all of your fuel lines, anycracks, replace them all.


2004 Silverado Cali lb7, Airdog ll 165, fresh sticks at 325k, Rick Fletes Dsp 5 on v2, 33x12.5 nitto at on 20 inch American Racing 20x10 wheels, Stage 5 Built Transmission by Mike Cole with triple disc billet low stall converter, 4 inch Injen cold air intake, Profab Intake Horn, Batmo Wheel, Turbo port and polish, Full EGR Removed w/ fed belt, 3.5 inch MBRP Downpipe, Full five inch MBRP Exhaust axle dump, lbz cp3 pump, Dual Yellow Top Optimas, High Output Alternator, Cognito Pittman and idler w/ support kit, Cognito Upper Contol arms, Drilled and Slotted Rotors on all four Corners, FED Y Bridge, Shantz Custom Fab Traction Bars.
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Old 07-18-2017, 04:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
JPW77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snapperlicious View Post
If you can pump and pump and pump the primer and it never get hard you have an air leak somewhere still. You also might have an electrical issue with wires rubbing somewhere. Check your ground on the driver side frame and check for chafed wires on the drivers side fender. I caught one early for my throttle position.
That's what I was thinking but I can't figure out where it could be. I definitely need to clean up all of my grounds. I've always had electrical gremlins here and there.
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BLACK 2003 2500HD Duramax/Alli 4x4 Ext. Cab LT
Pacer Magnum wheels with 285/75/16 Toyo Open Country AT's
Stainless Step Bars, Side Door Moldings & 4x4 stickers....GONE!
Silverline 4" Stainless Exhaust
DiabloSport Predator
DuHa underseat storage for all the junk
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Old 07-18-2017, 04:20 PM   #6 (permalink)
Aashton1206
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Well this might be your sign bud


2004 Silverado Cali lb7, Airdog ll 165, fresh sticks at 325k, Rick Fletes Dsp 5 on v2, 33x12.5 nitto at on 20 inch American Racing 20x10 wheels, Stage 5 Built Transmission by Mike Cole with triple disc billet low stall converter, 4 inch Injen cold air intake, Profab Intake Horn, Batmo Wheel, Turbo port and polish, Full EGR Removed w/ fed belt, 3.5 inch MBRP Downpipe, Full five inch MBRP Exhaust axle dump, lbz cp3 pump, Dual Yellow Top Optimas, High Output Alternator, Cognito Pittman and idler w/ support kit, Cognito Upper Contol arms, Drilled and Slotted Rotors on all four Corners, FED Y Bridge, Shantz Custom Fab Traction Bars.
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Old 07-18-2017, 04:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
JPW77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aashton1206 View Post
The codes wouldn't not cause these issues, ignore em. This is fuel related, without a doubt. At one point you said you went back to it and it fired up on its own no problem so thenew filterhead is fine. That leaves three things off the top of my head, first and most likely, FPR. Don't guess, get a new fpr and see if that works, if it is running after you install it go to a mechanic. Get the desired and actual fuel rail pressures to see the health of your cp3, that's number two. Finally number three, ficm/ecm. Both are expensive and difficult to diagnose. Now do steps one and two. If you get to three, before anythingtrace all wires from the ficm harness and the ecm harness. If you had injectors done in the last 20k miles you can get a 19mm open ended wrench and see if your injector lines can be tightened. Also check all of your fuel lines, anycracks, replace them all.


2004 Silverado Cali lb7, Airdog ll 165, fresh sticks at 325k, Rick Fletes Dsp 5 on v2, 33x12.5 nitto at on 20 inch American Racing 20x10 wheels, Stage 5 Built Transmission by Mike Cole with triple disc billet low stall converter, 4 inch Injen cold air intake, Profab Intake Horn, Batmo Wheel, Turbo port and polish, Full EGR Removed w/ fed belt, 3.5 inch MBRP Downpipe, Full five inch MBRP Exhaust axle dump, lbz cp3 pump, Dual Yellow Top Optimas, High Output Alternator, Cognito Pittman and idler w/ support kit, Cognito Upper Contol arms, Drilled and Slotted Rotors on all four Corners, FED Y Bridge, Shantz Custom Fab Traction Bars.
Thank you! Would a bad FPR give any symptoms? I guess I need to do some research on that. My wife is tired of me throwing money at it and it still not being fixed so if I spent time and money replacing that and still had issues I'd be in trouble! Also, I believe my Predator reads the desired and actual fuel rail pressures but I need to double check on that as well. Injectors are still original...only 140,000ish miles. I did visually inspect the fuel lines but and could not see any signs of a leak but I could probably look better than I did. FICM or ECM are my worst fears...behind having to replace injectors.
__________________
BLACK 2003 2500HD Duramax/Alli 4x4 Ext. Cab LT
Pacer Magnum wheels with 285/75/16 Toyo Open Country AT's
Stainless Step Bars, Side Door Moldings & 4x4 stickers....GONE!
Silverline 4" Stainless Exhaust
DiabloSport Predator
DuHa underseat storage for all the junk
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Old 07-18-2017, 04:51 PM   #8 (permalink)
JPW77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aashton1206 View Post
Well this might be your sign bud


2004 Silverado Cali lb7, Airdog ll 165, fresh sticks at 325k, Rick Fletes Dsp 5 on v2, 33x12.5 nitto at on 20 inch American Racing 20x10 wheels, Stage 5 Built Transmission by Mike Cole with triple disc billet low stall converter, 4 inch Injen cold air intake, Profab Intake Horn, Batmo Wheel, Turbo port and polish, Full EGR Removed w/ fed belt, 3.5 inch MBRP Downpipe, Full five inch MBRP Exhaust axle dump, lbz cp3 pump, Dual Yellow Top Optimas, High Output Alternator, Cognito Pittman and idler w/ support kit, Cognito Upper Contol arms, Drilled and Slotted Rotors on all four Corners, FED Y Bridge, Shantz Custom Fab Traction Bars.
I'd love for that to be my problem!
__________________
BLACK 2003 2500HD Duramax/Alli 4x4 Ext. Cab LT
Pacer Magnum wheels with 285/75/16 Toyo Open Country AT's
Stainless Step Bars, Side Door Moldings & 4x4 stickers....GONE!
Silverline 4" Stainless Exhaust
DiabloSport Predator
DuHa underseat storage for all the junk
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Old 07-18-2017, 04:51 PM   #9 (permalink)
Aashton1206
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I know a guy for parts, injectors should be your concern


2004 Silverado Cali lb7, Airdog ll 165, fresh sticks at 325k, Rick Fletes Dsp 5 on v2, 33x12.5 nitto at on 20 inch American Racing 20x10 wheels, Stage 5 Built Transmission by Mike Cole with triple disc billet low stall converter, 4 inch Injen cold air intake, Profab Intake Horn, Batmo Wheel, Turbo port and polish, Full EGR Removed w/ fed belt, 3.5 inch MBRP Downpipe, Full five inch MBRP Exhaust axle dump, lbz cp3 pump, Dual Yellow Top Optimas, High Output Alternator, Cognito Pittman and idler w/ support kit, Cognito Upper Contol arms, Drilled and Slotted Rotors on all four Corners, FED Y Bridge, Shantz Custom Fab Traction Bars.
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Old 07-18-2017, 04:52 PM   #10 (permalink)
Aashton1206
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Get fuel rail pressure numbers and we will go from there


2004 Silverado Cali lb7, Airdog ll 165, fresh sticks at 325k, Rick Fletes Dsp 5 on v2, 33x12.5 nitto at on 20 inch American Racing 20x10 wheels, Stage 5 Built Transmission by Mike Cole with triple disc billet low stall converter, 4 inch Injen cold air intake, Profab Intake Horn, Batmo Wheel, Turbo port and polish, Full EGR Removed w/ fed belt, 3.5 inch MBRP Downpipe, Full five inch MBRP Exhaust axle dump, lbz cp3 pump, Dual Yellow Top Optimas, High Output Alternator, Cognito Pittman and idler w/ support kit, Cognito Upper Contol arms, Drilled and Slotted Rotors on all four Corners, FED Y Bridge, Shantz Custom Fab Traction Bars.

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