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Discussion Starter #1
Truck is at about 215K miles. Never had any fuel problems before. I usually keep stanadyne performance diesel additive in it.

Of course this is happening when I'm out of town. My teen son is there and is solid with a wrench so I think we should be able to do some good troubleshooting.

Of course..after it died I find out there have likely been problems for a while, but now it's died and won't start. Sigh.

Today my family took the truck on a couple hour (3 hours total) drive that was mostly interstate. They noticed that it wouldn't go over 65mph. The driver pushed the pedal to the floor trying to accelerate more and it actually started slowing down so they backed off trying to accelerate and made the rest of the trip at 65mph (about an hour an a half). One of my younger ones piped up and said "oh yeah, it's been doing that for a while" (it appears that a while is a couple months)

Anyway, today's driver played around with it some and if you keep the acceleration very slow you could inch up to 70 or 75. (they figured this out on the hour and a half back home)

So they are literally minutes from being back home, pull off the highway and start accelerating on a 30mph speed limit road when it totally and suddenly dies. They were going about 25 mph when it died. It would't start so they used a tow rope to get it pulled into a nearby parking lot.

Fuel level at the time was about 1/8 tank. We can normally get it down well below the E on the gauge with no problems so I doubted it was a level issue. For good measure they put in 10 gallons of fresh diesel and did some bleeding at the fuel filter. Unfortunately it still won't start.

Perhaps some relevant history: Back in May we had the truck bed off when replacing brake lines. I don't remember any problems getting the bed back on or around the fuel tank but some of my kids are suggesting that this problem started soon after that.

I and some others have driven the truck since then and not noticed these so perhaps it was an intermittent problem for a while. No sure.



Best,

NH
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I need to start reading and doing research on this problem but these are my ideas on how to go forward.

Tomorrow my teen son is going to try and clear these codes and see if it will start.

(maybe it was stuck in a weird limp mode)

If that doesn't work maybe unhook the batteries and see if it will reset.

So far most of the stuff I've found about this problem seem to indicate that troubleshooting is easier if it will start and then you can try to isolate a bad injector or something like that.

We're also going to verify the status of the fuel filter life. I'd be shocked if it was below 50%.

My records indicate that fuel filter was changed at 205k back in october 2019. In may truck was at 210k miles and I don't think it was changed then (my records don't show it) and my mileage estimate is at 215k now. I'll get exact mileage verified but it may not matter.

Thoughts?

Best,

NH
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Teen son says the fuel filter life remaining was somewhere in the 80s.
 

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The way it progressively got worse sure sounds like a fuel filter plugging up. Have him drain the filter and see if any junk comes out with the fuel.
What style filter did you use? If its a newer style WIX, you can tell by it tapering to a smaller size than the filter head, get rid of it. Many people here have reported problems with them. Only replace it with the original style bigger filter can.
Should probably change it anyway as a first step so you can rule that out as a possibility.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the quick reply.

I typically use the ac delco

TP3018

I would be shocked if anything else is in there.

Does the 65mph limit seem to match up with potentially clogged fuel filter?

I do agree that is a quick and easy thing to check/change...before going on to harder stuff.


I've been doing reading and research and I'm also suspicious of the fuel pressure relief valve. If it kept giving way it would account for the drop in power and then when/if the spring fails totally, that's when the truck shuts off.

Thoughts?

Best,

NH
 
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OK so at least its the better filter on there.
All that it takes is one bad tank of fuel. It doesn't happen often, but it does happen. More so with diesel fuel than gasoline too. Especially since demand at the stations has been weird this year with most travel literally stopping for a while.
The 65 mph is irrelevant, its more the slowing down/rpm drop when you try to demand more power. I think its plugging because mine gelled a little last winter. Fell flat on its face trying to pull out of my street, as in rpms drop and almost dies as you press on the pedal. It recovered enough to not stall when I let off the pedal and I was able to get turned around and idle back home until it warmed up and thawed up a little.

I'm guessing they didn't try to bleed the filter and reprime the system when it died? It could possibly be sucking air from either the filter head or the fuel lines going to it failing.
Also if the engine lost fuel prime, they are going to have to crank it for a while to get it to start again once the filter is bled.
 

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Yeah, so after it died and was a 1/8th of a tank, they put in about 10 gallons of diesel and bleed the system/primed and tried to start. No joy.

The DID NOT try to clear the codes yet, so the computer still might "remember" a fault or "limp" mode.

My teen said there was no evidence of bubbles when he tried to prime. He has done it before so he knows what air looks like.

Still...good suggestion to pull the filter and drain it into something clear..looking for junk.

Best,

NH
 

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oops looks like i was editing while you were responding.
If the engine lost fuel prime, they are going to have to crank it for a while to get it to start again once the filter is bled. I had a problem with the filter head sucking air and causing the engine to die for a while. It takes a long time (15 sec) of cranking to get it to re-start sometimes.
Helps to push the primer a few times after closing the bleed screw to force it towards the pump.
 

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Yeah, so after it died and was a 1/8th of a tank, they put in about 10 gallons of diesel and bleed the system/primed and tried to start. No joy.

The DID NOT try to clear the codes yet, so the computer still might "remember" a fault or "limp" mode.

My teen said there was no evidence of bubbles when he tried to prime. He has done it before so he knows what air looks like.

Still...good suggestion to pull the filter and drain it into something clear..looking for junk.

Best,

NH
Have them prime it and let it sit for 30+ minutes then recheck the primer button to see if it is still hard.
If it has gone soft air is entering the fuel system. Have them inspect all of the fuel hoses to/from the filter and CP3 and I would recommend rebuilding or replacing the filter head
 
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Discussion Starter #11
Thinking ahead a bit. Any tips for using diesel approved starting fluid on the LLY?

Hopefully I can get it started without it, but most of the troubleshooting seems easier with some kind of start (like that bottle test to check the FPRV)
 
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Thinking ahead a bit. Any tips for using diesel approved starting fluid on the LLY?

Hopefully I can get it started without it, but most of the troubleshooting seems easier with some kind of start (like that bottle test to check the FPRV)
Never use Starting fluid in your LLY. If you must use something to help kick it off try using a can of your favorite cooking spray and just give it a quick shot, it is less volatile
 
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Discussion Starter #13
gotcha thanks
 

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OK...he had pumped it up last night with the primer. It was soft this morning. They towed it to a better location and have it on the battery charger. So we are likely 3-4 hours from being able to give it a good starting attempt.

When he primed it again today there were no obviously leaks, but he didn't give it a thorough inspection.

I asked him to run back over and see if the primer was soft again, to pump it back up to hard and start a timer on his phone so we can figure out if it takes 15 min..1 hour..or overnight to go from hard prime/pump to soft.

Hopefully this will give us a better way to go.

I left him with these instructions.

1. Check primer now and do the timer thing.

2. Give it a few more hours of charging. Then try to start with a hard primer and give it 2 or 3 good rounds of a 15 second or more crank. (oh yeah, told him to clear codes before trying)

3. If that doesn't work, think about trying the vegetable oil/cooking oil spray thing.

I haven't discussed hooking up the scanner to monitor the starts. I've got a nice Autel one so maybe the live data will tell us something. Any ideas there.

Thoughts?

NH
 

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OK...he had pumped it up last night with the primer. It was soft this morning. They towed it to a better location and have it on the battery charger. So we are likely 3-4 hours from being able to give it a good starting attempt.

When he primed it again today there were no obviously leaks, but he didn't give it a thorough inspection.

I asked him to run back over and see if the primer was soft again, to pump it back up to hard and start a timer on his phone so we can figure out if it takes 15 min..1 hour..or overnight to go from hard prime/pump to soft.

Hopefully this will give us a better way to go.

I left him with these instructions.

1. Check primer now and do the timer thing.

2. Give it a few more hours of charging. Then try to start with a hard primer and give it 2 or 3 good rounds of a 15 second or more crank. (oh yeah, told him to clear codes before trying)

3. If that doesn't work, think about trying the vegetable oil/cooking oil spray thing.

I haven't discussed hooking up the scanner to monitor the starts. I've got a nice Autel one so maybe the live data will tell us something. Any ideas there.

Thoughts?

NH
You are on the right path.
Have them inspect all of the fuses and look for any kinks in the fuel hoses as well
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I can't believe I didn't have him look for fuses...

Especially since fuses bit me in the rear on my 3500 Express van about a year ago. I put in a brand new trailer wiring harness and when it did't work I assumed I needed to fire the electrician (me)...for bad wiring. Took it all apart..checked this and check that...no joy.

There is a fuse for trailer wiring...of course there was...

Sigh.

NH
 
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Good news (I suppose).

Once the battery charger said everything was full and on "maintain" mode my teen pumped up the primer, cranked it about 20 seconds and it started.

He had cleared the codes first. It's idling now and according to the scanner the requested fuel rail pressure and actual pressure are very close.

He is going to try and look up injector data as well. And look carefully for leaks.

At some point I'm going to have him take a drive and have someone watch fuel rail pressures and see if it goes haywire when he puts his foot in it.

As of yet we haven't changed the filter or drained the filter to inspect it. I figured if he can drive it and right away find a drive-ability issue, then he goes and changes the filter and a few minutes later drives it again and the issue is gone...well..there you go we found it.

Thoughts?

NH
 

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Good news!
(y)
 

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I would just change the filter and then try it. It pulling the low rail pressure code shouldn't have stalled out the truck when they got off the highway so there is obviously a fuel delivery problem.
There is also a slight risk of the filter collapsing if its plugged.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
So...ran it on the highway, hard accelerations and...it ran perfect

Also had someone watching the scanner and the pressures matched.

I told him to make the the primer is good and hard and to check it at 30 min, 1 hr, 2 hr..etc etc to see if it drops off

Then we will check it in the morning.

Then..we'll change the filter as a matter of course and see what if anything comes out of the filter

Then...who knows.

Gotta love these intermittent problems.

I'm all ears for more ideas.

Best,

NH
 
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