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Old 01-12-2010, 09:52 AM   #1
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Loss of Power on Steep Grades

I have a 2003 Journey with the 330HP CAT. I have owned the Journey a little over two years. I have taken it to Colorado two years in a row and had no problems climbing the steep grades.

This past week, I came over to Casa Grande, AZ and my Journey slowed down to 35 to 40 MPH. I did not sense that the grade was any larger than those I have previously climbed on my trips to Loveland, Co.

Can anyone point me to potential problem areas that I should check or have checked on my unit that might be responsible fo the Loss of Power?

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Dan Bowman
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Old 01-12-2010, 10:46 AM   #2
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When is the last time you changed fuel filters? That would be the first thing I would check -- Bill Willard
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Old 01-12-2010, 12:15 PM   #3
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Two things come to mind. Both involve the fuel filter.

You most likely have only one fuel filter. It's in the rear and combined with the water separator. It's VERY IMPORTANT that you use the proper (2micron) filter since you probably don't have a secondary filter mounted on the engine, and that it be clean.

Freightline and Cat both have the proper filter available.

Cat # 198-6378 or Freightliner/Alliance # APB-32FRT03

I know of no others that meet the 2 micron spec. Always carry a couple extras "just in case".
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Old 01-12-2010, 01:28 PM   #4
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Since the hill is just loading the unit, it sounds reasonable you're losing power under a load condition. Fuel could be the issue, but it might not be the lack of, it could be the injection system.
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Old 01-12-2010, 02:28 PM   #5
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If it was blowing black smoke climbing the grade, you're short on air. This could be a clogged air filter, a boost leak, etc.

If it wasn't blowing black smoke, you're short on fuel. This could be a clogged fuel filter (as others have mentioned), a bad lift pump (if it were a Cummins), etc.

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Old 01-12-2010, 07:21 PM   #6
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Out of curiosity, where was it having the problem? You mention Casa Grande, but it's pretty flat there.
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Old 01-12-2010, 07:55 PM   #7
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Change both the fuel filter and air filter
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Old 01-12-2010, 09:18 PM   #8
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I had the same problem last year. Check your air hoses on the turbo.
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Old 01-13-2010, 08:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ernieh View Post
Two things come to mind. Both involve the fuel filter.

You most likely have only one fuel filter. It's in the rear and combined with the water separator. It's VERY IMPORTANT that you use the proper (2micron) filter since you probably don't have a secondary filter mounted on the engine, and that it be clean.

Freightline and Cat both have the proper filter available.

Cat # 198-6378 or Freightliner/Alliance # APB-32FRT03

I know of no others that meet the 2 micron spec. Always carry a couple extras "just in case".
I changed out the fuel filter today but it will be a week before I head back to Texas. Hopefully, this will fix the problem. Seems to be the consensus that the fuel filter is the problem.

Thanks for the inputs,
Dan Bowman
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Old 01-13-2010, 08:28 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by GG1 View Post
Change both the fuel filter and air filter
Changed out the air filter in October of last year. Just changed the fuel filter so hopefully this will do the trick.
Thanks for the suggestions.
Dan Bowman
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Old 01-13-2010, 08:31 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RustyJC View Post
If it was blowing black smoke climbing the grade, you're short on air. This could be a clogged air filter, a boost leak, etc.

If it wasn't blowing black smoke, you're short on fuel. This could be a clogged fuel filter (as others have mentioned), a bad lift pump (if it were a Cummins), etc.

Rusty
Rusty,
I didn't see any black smoke so I have gone with the fuel filter. I did change the air filter in October of this past year. Really helped my gas mileage but I had not experience any significance grades until this past week. Florida just doesn't have many hills.

Thanks,
Dan Bowman
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Old 01-13-2010, 08:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudolph View Post
I had the same problem last year. Check your air hoses on the turbo.
Rudolph,
If the fuel filter doesn't fix the problem, I will check the air hoses. I appreciate the input.

Thanks,
Dan Bowman
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Old 01-13-2010, 08:38 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by kjburns View Post
Out of curiosity, where was it having the problem? You mention Casa Grande, but it's pretty flat there.
The problem got worse on I-10 leaving Las Cruces and Demming areas. I recall that there were a few significant grades around Tucson. I was down to 35 miles per hour with cruise control set for 60.

The unit ran just fine on flat grades.

Thanks,
Dan Bowman
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Old 01-13-2010, 09:01 PM   #14
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Just a little more info. I had to change my fuel filter Jan. 2 when it was about 6 degs the high for the day. What I noiced was more of the engine missing (not firing on all 6 clyinders) when pulling a long grade along with the lost of power.
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Old 01-14-2010, 09:28 PM   #15
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Loss of Power on Steep Grades

Quote:
Originally Posted by Batman_777 View Post
Since the hill is just loading the unit, it sounds reasonable you're losing power under a load condition. Fuel could be the issue, but it might not be the lack of, it could be the injection system.
I have changed the fuel filter. If that does not fix it, how do I determine that it is the injection system?

Thanks,
Dan Bowman
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Old 01-15-2010, 08:56 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdanbowman View Post
The problem got worse on I-10 leaving Las Cruces and Demming areas. I recall that there were a few significant grades around Tucson. I was down to 35 miles per hour with cruise control set for 60.

The unit ran just fine on flat grades.

Thanks,
Dan Bowman
The cruise control on my Journey works great on flat land. It won't hold speed on a steep hill by it self. I have to step on the throttle, then it holds it's speed pretty good. There's plenty of pedal left but the cruise just won't pull it far enough. I always have to help it.
Bob
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Old 01-19-2010, 09:39 AM   #17
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Update: Loss of Power on Steep Grades

Just to let you guys know, the change in fuel filter did fix the problem. I took the same route coming back through Az and NM and it never slowed down below 50 even for the 6-7% grades. On most of the hills it maintained the cruise control speed of 60. I appreciate very much the advice from all of you.

Thanks,
Dan Bowman
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Old 01-19-2010, 09:42 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ernieh View Post
Two things come to mind. Both involve the fuel filter.

You most likely have only one fuel filter. It's in the rear and combined with the water separator. It's VERY IMPORTANT that you use the proper (2micron) filter since you probably don't have a secondary filter mounted on the engine, and that it be clean.

Freightline and Cat both have the proper filter available.

Cat # 198-6378 or Freightliner/Alliance # APB-32FRT03

I know of no others that meet the 2 micron spec. Always carry a couple extras "just in case".
Ernie, your information on the proper filter was extremely useful. I could not find the filter numbers in my CAT book or any of my Winnebago manuals. With your numbers, NAPA was able to cross reference it to their parts number and provide me with a 2 micron filter that was perfect replacement.

Thanks,
Dan Bowman
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