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Old 04-10-2019, 12:37 PM   #1
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
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Cat 3126 power loss low oil pressure and stall

Welp, had the first bus breakdown today. Last night I went out to the bus at it didn't start. Batteries dead. Weird but didn't think anything of it. Called CAA and got a big tow truck to come out and give me a boost. I noticed that the batteries were about 4 years old. Sucky but not a huge ordeal. Put a note to fix them in my head, clean the terminals, chassis ground and check the batteries and various electrical stuff with a multimeter. Disconnected the batteries, parked the bus and went to bed.

Went out to the bus this morning. Reconnected the batteries and it cranked over... Barely cranked but started up. 14v on the gauge let it idle and charge the batteries. Headed out to the dealer to get the door handle recall done. First half of the drive was fine. No issues at all, bus ran great.

Then I started noticing that when I had the pedal all the way down I was losing power and was slowing down. Weird but I just need to limp to the dealer. I continue on, albeit slowly and very carefully now. Power loss got worse, getting off the gas would fix it briefly but it kept losing power. Now it's really struggling but I'm ridiculously close. As I pull onto a bridge right before the LH turn onto the dealers street I have no power at all. Big cloud of smoke and oil pressure drops to nothing. Immediately hit the hazards and shut the engine off.

Well ****. I call the dealer and check the oil level on the dipstick. Super low. I ask them for bring me a 5L jug of Rotella and a truck that could boost my bus if need be. They send out a tech and a small pickup. We add oil and luckily he brought a diagnostic computer. We scan for codes and nothing. try to start the bus and batteries are dead again. Try to boost the bus with no luck.

Remove the air filter, and prime the engine by hand. It'll crank now or sputter for a few seconds but then die. We bleed the fuel line and prime it by hand again. It turns over. Step off the gas or bring the key to run and it does almost immediately. We repeat the above a few more times with no further progress.

I decided to throw in the towel and have it towed to the dealer. And since it's a big bus and somebody forgot to get CAA RV coverage I have to pay. $250 to go 1.1km to the dealer . It's sitting at the dealer and they need it to be running before they'll do the free recall so I'm on the hook for potentially 2+ hours of diagnostic time (at $159 an hour). No idea what the actual issue might be.

We'll find out tomorrow. How was everyone else's morning?

Also any input on the issue much appreciated
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Old 04-10-2019, 01:00 PM   #2
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I believe that's a HEUI engine, so low oil can turn into fuel injection problems. In theory that problem goes away once you've filled the oil and gotten the HEUI system primed again. Christopher would have a better idea on how long that takes than I do. Seems unlikely that you'd lose fuel prime at the same time but if you cracked it open to bleed it you may underestimate the amount of time it takes to prime it up again.
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Old 04-10-2019, 01:06 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by brokedown View Post
I believe that's a HEUI engine, so low oil can turn into fuel injection problems. In theory that problem goes away once you've filled the oil and gotten the HEUI system primed again. Christopher would have a better idea on how long that takes than I do. Seems unlikely that you'd lose fuel prime at the same time but if you cracked it open to bleed it you may underestimate the amount of time it takes to prime it up again.
It sure is, so that would be the solution but we still need to find the root cause. Otherwise this might happen again
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Old 04-10-2019, 02:08 PM   #4
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Could be a lot of things. I'd personally let the shop do their job because you likely don't have the equipment and know how.

If I had to guess, it sounds like you had plugged fuel filters. Which is why power slowly went away until it went boom. By you running and running and running and trying to make it to the shop, you likely trashed all 6 injectors.

Running a diesel on low fuel pressure is bad, the fuel acts as a lubricant for all the metal parts in the fuel system. Some of those parts have clearances in the microns, so they need fuel pressure to live. On Heui engines, the fuel also stops the plunger from hammering into the nozzle, so it's even more vital.

If I'm right, and your injectors are trashed, that would be why it won't start now. Get ready for a few thousand dollar repair bill, because good injectors are about 500 a piece. I only use injectors sourced from cat, because the reman market is flooded with ones that are sketchy at best. Whoever you use, make sure they have a warranty.

As far as your batteries are concerned. Anytime you slowly drain your batteries for whatever reason, you have to charge them back up with a battery charger. Running them dead converts the acid in the battery to water. If you want to convert it back to acid you have to charge it in a way that your alternator won't do, no matter how long you let it idle. To charge a dead battery back to life, it requires monitoring the specific gravity of the acid in each cell until it gets to the proper level. Even after doing all of this, the battery could still be junk.
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Old 04-10-2019, 02:16 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Ab01ns View Post
It sure is, so that would be the solution but we still need to find the root cause. Otherwise this might happen again
There's an oil line upgrade for the hpop.
Is there oil leaking from your hpop, namely behind it?
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Old 04-10-2019, 03:16 PM   #6
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Did you check the oil level prior to taking off for the dealer? I’m asking because it’s important to know where the missing oil went. Could it have been burned? Or just leaked out? (5 liters!!!) Hopefully it’s as simple as a clogged fuel filter. Or do these engines use cam and crankshaft sensors like the DT466E?
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Old 04-10-2019, 03:21 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by WARGEAR View Post
Did you check the oil level prior to taking off for the dealer? Iím asking because itís important to know where the missing oil went. Could it have been burned? Or just leaked out? (5 liters!!!) Hopefully itís as simple as a clogged fuel filter. Or do these engines use cam and crankshaft sensors like the DT466E?
I checked it when I got the bus and it was totally full. Didn't see any oil on the ground before running this morning
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Old 04-10-2019, 03:38 PM   #8
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Where is the oil going? Does the crankcase smell like fuel? Do you have pressure in the fuel rail? (Should be a Schrader valve somewhere you can poke to check) Is your exhaust pipe super oily feeling instead of sooty/dusty? If that cloud of smoke you saw was bluish that’d be burning oil. If it was gray/white, bad injectors. Black means excessive unburnt fuel. You mentioned it ran if you force fed it through the intake, or while you pumped/primed the fuel system. Perhaps you’ve got a bad electric fuel pump or a bad mechanical lift pump. Did you prime with a hand primer, or by just turning the key until you saw fuel squirt out?
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Old 04-10-2019, 05:06 PM   #9
Skoolie
 
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Originally Posted by WARGEAR View Post
Where is the oil going? Does the crankcase smell like fuel? Do you have pressure in the fuel rail? (Should be a Schrader valve somewhere you can poke to check) Is your exhaust pipe super oily feeling instead of sooty/dusty? If that cloud of smoke you saw was bluish thatíd be burning oil. If it was gray/white, bad injectors. Black means excessive unburnt fuel. You mentioned it ran if you force fed it through the intake, or while you pumped/primed the fuel system. Perhaps youíve got a bad electric fuel pump or a bad mechanical lift pump. Did you prime with a hand primer, or by just turning the key until you saw fuel squirt out?
No idea where the oil is going. After it stopped for the last time there was a small pool under the engine but not more than 1/4 of a cup. I didn't notice oil on the ground before but I got the bus at night/early morning and didn't check specifically for that. When this is all sorted (fingers crossed) that will be another thing I add to my checklist

I don't have the bus but if the dealer can't fix it I will follow through on your questions.
The smoke was more blackish if I remember right. I was more focusing on driving safely and pulling over. Primed with the hand primer until it for very stiff.
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Old 04-10-2019, 05:22 PM   #10
Skoolie
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
There's an oil line upgrade for the hpop.

Is there oil leaking from your hpop, namely behind it?
I don't think so but I'm not sure. Didn't get the chance to really poke around, I was more concerned with getting it off the road
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