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Old 07-31-2005, 05:59 AM   #1
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Will probably turn this over to Freightliner in a few days, but thought I'd throw it out here and see if anybody else has seen this...

RV has been in covered storage about 3 months. Fuel was fresh when it was stored. Has been on shore power with a BatteryMinder on the chassis batteries, so all batteries are fully charged. This morning I took it to the local CAT scales since I'd never weighed it. It's about a 5 mile drive - ran beautifully.

After weighing, I shut down and went inside to pay. Came back out and restarted normally. When I pulled out on the road it felt like I had about 50 horsepower. Took about a mile to get up to 25 mph and absolute top end was 40 mph. Was showing some turbo boost so it's not a failed turbo. Would slowly work up to 5th gear, but couldn't maintain it and would shoft back down to 4th.

Limped back to storage - luckily it was a Sunday morning with almost no traffic.

One real oddity - the turn signals quit blinking at the same time. They will come on solid, but not blink - same for the hazard flasher.

No trouble lights on the panel or messages in the MMDC. Everything LOOKS absolutely normal, except for the turn signals.

Anybody seen such a thing? Thanks for any reponses.
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Old 07-31-2005, 05:59 AM   #2
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Will probably turn this over to Freightliner in a few days, but thought I'd throw it out here and see if anybody else has seen this...

RV has been in covered storage about 3 months. Fuel was fresh when it was stored. Has been on shore power with a BatteryMinder on the chassis batteries, so all batteries are fully charged. This morning I took it to the local CAT scales since I'd never weighed it. It's about a 5 mile drive - ran beautifully.

After weighing, I shut down and went inside to pay. Came back out and restarted normally. When I pulled out on the road it felt like I had about 50 horsepower. Took about a mile to get up to 25 mph and absolute top end was 40 mph. Was showing some turbo boost so it's not a failed turbo. Would slowly work up to 5th gear, but couldn't maintain it and would shoft back down to 4th.

Limped back to storage - luckily it was a Sunday morning with almost no traffic.

One real oddity - the turn signals quit blinking at the same time. They will come on solid, but not blink - same for the hazard flasher.

No trouble lights on the panel or messages in the MMDC. Everything LOOKS absolutely normal, except for the turn signals.

Anybody seen such a thing? Thanks for any reponses.
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Old 08-01-2005, 03:05 AM   #3
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Forgot to report my weights for all you weight-watchers out there. Without DW, ~75 gal. of fuel, 1/3 fresh water and empty holding tanks (the way I normally travel). Pretty much loaded for travel except for food and DW.

Front axle - 7860 GAWR - 10410
Rear axle - 15700 GAWR - 17500
Gross - 23560 GVWR - 27910

Looks like I need to move some weight forward for optimum balance, but I'm at a loss as to how to do that. I've already loaded the heavier stuff in the forward basement compartments. Not much can be moved "upstairs, unless I want to pile all our clothes on the couch.
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Old 08-01-2005, 03:56 AM   #4
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It's highly possible that your exhaust brake has failed in the "ON" position. Best NOT to drive it like you did, and it should be released before driving again. Call Freightliner help and they can walk you through the procedure to get it to release.

There are a variety of reasons for that part to fail, but generally its the pnumatic actuator that fails.

Hope this helps.
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Old 08-01-2005, 04:16 AM   #5
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BucknJeff,

Thanks for the info. I had the bed up and the engine cover off last night looking for loose plugs, harnesses, etc. I remember noticing the exhaust brake, but didn't look to see if it was open. I think there is an external actuator arm that would show if it's open or closed - right?

Have a medical appointment this afternoon (I'm a little bit broke too), but will try to check that this evening.

I had to slow down a couple of times during my drive back to storage and I don't remember an exhaust brake "feeling". Maybe at slower speeds and without the forced downshifts it wouldn't be very noticable.

It certainly would explain the reduced power without diagnostics. That's what was bothering me - if it was a programmed power reduction, why no "check engine" light?
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Old 08-01-2005, 05:22 AM   #6
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As mentioned, it could be the exhaust brake. It could also be a plugged fuel filter. It happened after you refueled. Ii you didn't add any algaecide before storing the coach, it's possible that algae formed on the top of the fuel. Then, when you topped off the tanks recently, it all got stirred up and is now plugging the fuel filter. The algae that forms on the top of the fuel lives off the moisture in the air. You're not apt to get it when in Tucson, Arizona but in a higher humidity location it's a definite possibility. I always add a biocide when parking over the winter. If you want more info about this, visit the PriProducts.com website. Click on Products, then click on Pri-ocide. That'll show you what I use and tell you all about algae in diesel fuel. I've heard that once you have it in your system it can be a bear to get out because it keeps plugging filters until the fuel is gone unless you flush the fuel tank.
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Old 08-01-2005, 12:56 PM   #7
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Cruzer,

Thanks for the response. I must have said something misleading because I didn't add any fuel - just drove to the scales, weighed, and slowly drove back. I suppose if there were algae in the tank, just the sloshing of driving could get it into the filter.

From what I had previously read here, I didn't dream of growing algae in only 3 months. However, Florida would probably be one of the worst places for it and my tank was not totally full. In my defense, I didn't intend for it to sit for 3 months - things just conspired against us getting on the road...

I'm sure hoping it's the exhaust brake!!
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Old 08-01-2005, 02:30 PM   #8
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Well, sorry to say, it's not the exhaust brake. What does algae in fuel look like? Wouldn't it be visable in the bottom of the filter/water separator? The fuel there looks like nice clear diesel fuel.

I already talked to FL today and they are ready to tow it to the nearest FL dealer, but I was hoping to find something simple and avoid a lot of downtime. Have a warranty appointment at Lazydays next week that I've been waiting a month for. Geez!!
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Old 08-01-2005, 05:03 PM   #9
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If your filter bowl is nice and clean, probably not algae. Throttle wire harness get kicked loose getting in and out? Good luck with it and let us know what it turns out to be.
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Old 08-01-2005, 08:07 PM   #10
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.....If you have an aglae problem get to a marina and get a POWERSERVICE algae kit and use it on your Vehicle....it really works and is easy to use....geofkaye
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Old 08-02-2005, 01:57 AM   #11
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Why not just go to a FL shop and let them solve the problem? Looks like you are under warranty. I had a power loss problem last year very similar I had to replace my air cleaner even though the site glass was just starting to rise.
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Old 08-02-2005, 04:18 AM   #12
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GG1,

I agree. That's probably the way this will end up, but as I said in my last post, I'm trying to keep a service appointment for other warranty stuff next week and from previous experience with the local FL shop, I don't think they will turn it around that fast. Soooo, I'm trying to eliminate the simple stuff before I turn it over to the experts...

There's also the fact that "going" to the local FL shop is not that simple. It's about 40 miles away and I don't even want to think about merging on I-75 at 15 mph. That's if I could even climb the entry ramp. It'll have to be towed.
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Old 08-02-2005, 04:56 AM   #13
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I haven't had to look at any algae because I've always kept ahead of the game so I can't tell you exactly what to look for. But my "guesses" are that you may not see it in the fuel bowl.

The fuel sediment bowl is just what it says it is - a bowl to hold "sediment". Sediment is the heavy stuff that settles to the bootom, including water and rusty "slop". Algae, on the other hand, floats and forms on the surface of the diesel fuel in the tank. It requires moisture to grow but it is lightweight. After things get stirred up it is still light but it still has size and will plug up the filter element in a fuel filter due to the fine micron rating.

Now, I'm not saying for positive that you have algae but I'm guessing that you wouldn't see it in the glass bowl so you "may" have it. I'm not familiar with the previously mentioned algae removal stuff, but if it works it would be great.

If it was me, my first course of action would be to slap a new fuel filter on and drive the coach. If it then ran great, I'd order the algae removal kit. If it still didn't have any power, THEN I'd call Freightliner. I'd try to avoid the tow if at all possible.
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Old 08-02-2005, 11:48 AM   #14
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Mark,
Took your advice. Called a local RV service shop and they verified that algae in diesel is a common problem here. Also said that the only noticable thing in the glass bowl is that the fuel would be darker, if it has algae. I think mine is darker. The only thing counter that he told me is that normally you would get some surging of the power with a plugged filter and mine was running smooth.

Anyway, they're going to work me into their schedule over the next few days. Will send a service truck to my storage location, change filter(s), test drive it, and if it runs good, treat the algae.

Keeping my fingers crossed. Will post the results...
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