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Old 12-13-2014, 07:29 PM   #1
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Possible Fuel Filter Problem

Good evening, I have a 2002 Winnebago Journey 36 DL with a Cat 330 diesel pusher.
We left Michigan today about 10:00 AM ambient temp was about 40 degrees.
We are headed south for the winter. After about 4 hours on the road everything operating fine we stopped at a rest area for lunch, I let the coach idle while we had a sandwich.
When we left the rest area I was having a hard time gaining speed, felt like it was starving for fuel, would run up to 70 on the flat with out much problem, I usually travel at about 62 but I wanted to push it a bit and I could maintain until I would have to go up a hill. Going south out of Cincinnati on I-75 my speed dropped to 35 MPH. it continued this way until we pulled into an RV park north of Lexington. Idles fine, drives ok on the flats however not much pedal power, but starves on hills.
Plugged fuel filter water separator?, Fuel Pump? Contaminated fuel? all the above? need your help.
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Old 12-13-2014, 07:45 PM   #2
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Fuel filter(s) would be my guess. If new filter(s) give you a temporary fix, then you most likely have bad tank of fuel. How old is the fuel, and do you keep your tank topped off? Michigan weather this time of year, with temps above and below freezing, can make for a lot of in tank condensation.
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Old 12-13-2014, 07:51 PM   #3
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I would keep turbocharger in your mind if other fixes such as filters don't work.

Are you at the Kentucky Horse Park?
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Old 12-13-2014, 08:03 PM   #4
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Try the easiest fix first, change out your filters and purchase two extra ,you just might have contaminated fuel.
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Old 12-13-2014, 08:36 PM   #5
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Bigd9,
Just wondering what about the turbo, does someone have to worry about in this situation?
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Old 12-13-2014, 10:54 PM   #6
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My 2006 Horizon did the same thing just north of Chattanooga. Freightliner roadside service changed fuel filters but no change and there are no active or inactive faults codes. Zero Turbo Boost is the only indication that there is something wrong. It is going into my local Freightliner service center Monday morning. They suspect a failed turbo pressure sensor.
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Old 12-14-2014, 06:28 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
Bigd9,
Just wondering what about the turbo, does someone have to worry about in this situation?
I my very limited knowledge about diesel engines, when you have a turbo boosted engine, and the turbo fails, the engine doesn't get much air thus not much power. Turbochargers increase power by pressurizing air before it enters the engine. The greater the turbo boost pressure, the more power the engine makes. A turbo's basic purpose is to create boost pressure, so when an otherwise strong running engine suddenly becomes anemic, it often (but not always) means turbo trouble.

The air filter could also be clogged, but the original poster indicated their problem was sudden, and I just don't see a clogged filter causing this sudden problem.

I'm hoping for their sake it is a simple filter problem.
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Old 12-14-2014, 08:04 AM   #8
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I will get the filters changed today and hope that's it. and not the turbo or injectors or the such.
I did not have my tank topped of while it was sitting in Michigan so could be water.
We are about 20 miles from the Kentucky Horse Park are you thinking of the truck repair shop there BigD9/ If so what is the name of it? Is the Sheriffs office across the street?
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Old 12-14-2014, 09:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charlie2 View Post
I will get the filters changed today and hope that's it. and not the turbo or injectors or the such.
I did not have my tank topped of while it was sitting in Michigan so could be water.
We are about 20 miles from the Kentucky Horse Park are you thinking of the truck repair shop there BigD9/ If so what is the name of it? Is the Sheriffs office across the street?
I'm not familiar with any shops that far North of Lexington. We are about 30 miles East of Lexington and the Horse Park is about 40 minutes away. I just wanted to offer any assistance I could since I didn't know if you have a toad or not.

If it was water in the fuel you should see it in the clear water/fuel separator bowl which on my coach is part of the first fuel filter. I've never seen any water in my coach bowl, but have occasionally seen water in my tractor.
Picture below is from internet so yours will probably look different.
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Old 12-14-2014, 10:28 AM   #10
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BigD9 said:
I my very limited knowledge about diesel engines, when you have a turbo boosted engine, and the turbo fails, the engine doesn't get much air thus not much power. Turbochargers increase power by pressurizing air before it enters the engine. The greater the turbo boost pressure, the more power the engine makes. A turbo's basic purpose is to create boost pressure, so when an otherwise strong running engine suddenly becomes anemic, it often (but not always) means turbo trouble.


I have 40 years of diesel repair service and have seen 2 turbo failures in all of that time.
Walking into a diesel repair shop, suggesting a turbo problem is a good way to get taken for a un-needed repair by a less then honorable shop.


If the turbo was seized, the O/P would not get to 70 MPH. If the bearings failed the seals would leak oil into the intake and exhaust systems, causing noticeable clouds of smoke, out the exhaust pipe.


Until the era of computer controlled, variable pitch turbo, diesel engines, I would say, 95% of the low or no power issues were fuel related. I retired in 2008, so I have little experience in the NEW low pollution engines.
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Old 12-14-2014, 10:44 AM   #11
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If the filters are O.K. I would check the turbo boots. We had few turbo failures but many boot clamps come loose.
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Old 12-20-2014, 07:24 AM   #12
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Possible fuel filter problem

Sorry it took so long to get back to this, I called freightliner and they confirmed there is only one filter on my rig. I had it replaced and drove 400 miles with out a hiccup through the hills of Kentucky , Tennessee, and Georgia down I-75.
There was quite a bit of crud in the filter, I watched the guy change it and will carry a spare and change it myself from now on.
Sitting in Michigan for months on end is apparently not good on the fuel system. I will change filter before trips from now on.
Thanks for all the replies and suggestions, and again sorry for the late follow up. Safe travels to all, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year.
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Old 12-20-2014, 07:29 AM   #13
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Glad you got back to us with the fix! I'm also glad it was something relatively easy to fix and not something else. Have a safe and enjoyable trip!
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Old 12-21-2014, 06:33 AM   #14
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I'm happy for you that it wasn't something major. I posted here earlier with very similar symptoms on my 06 Horizon that started 20 miles after getting fuel. My rig has been in the shop for a week now and they are still not sure what the problem is. They are going replace the Turbo Pressure sensor on Monday. Carrying spare full filters is a good idea and I will do the same. Mine has two filters. Anyway, I am happy you are on the road again. Merry Christmas.
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