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Old 09-02-2012, 02:20 AM   #1
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On the road assistance--info, ideas?

Hi all,
Branden with Lucinda (1981 bluebird All American, Cummins 555, Alison 545 (I think)) here, on the road home to Seattle from Burning Man. We've made it to Klamath Falls, Oregon and *may* be able to find a truck repair shop on Sunday. Here's the problem:

I'm losing power, and the engine feels like it is skipping, or missing, but I'm not sure that's actually what is happening. Given the dusty environs, I thought clogged air filter, but it's clean. I took off the filter anyhow to remove the air feed system as a potential problem.

I thought that maybe we'd gotten some bad diesel, but others at the same station seemed to not to have problems, but who knows if someone added other fuel from a gas can or something...though it seems unlikely.

I had about half a tank and filled up with fresh diesel a half mile after I removed the filter. That half mile with no filter was no better than when we pulled into Cedarville. On a road I'd normally be going 45-50 in Drive, I was having trouble maintaining 40 in 3rd. With the added fuel and sludge and fuel power treatment additives (as normal), we made it up the pass at 13 mph, usually it'd be about 15. We were in 1st and sputtering all the way up.

Once the demand on the engine diminished, I was able to stutter my way to 45, about the right speed for the roadway--and the sputtering feel is reduced with the less torquey higher gears.

We made it to Klamath like that. It's definitely better than 100 miles ago when we pulled in to Cedarville, but we still lose power dramatically on grades.

I'll put another 10 gallons in to dilute the potentially bad fuel, but I'm wondering what else this could be, and what I should do about it on the Sunday of labor day weekend.

There is no leaking at the fuel filter, and fuel taken from there seemed clean and without water.
The bus was serviced a month ago, all new filters.

Fuel pump? Injector? Can I limp back to Seattle or do I NEED to have this fixed now? With the slightly improved performance, does it sound like a bad fuel problem?

Any suggestions much appreciated, we are headed for bed now but will check back tomorrow. I can also be reached by cell: 206-718-five-seven-six-nine. I'm only slightly mechanical, and probably know just enough to be dangerous

Thanks, all. Also posting in general forum...

Branden
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Old 09-02-2012, 03:01 AM   #2
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Re: On the road assistance--info, ideas?

Are you able to pull off the fuel filter and dump the fuel out into a container to see it there is any water in there?
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Old 09-02-2012, 07:44 AM   #3
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Re: On the road assistance--info, ideas?

I'd try a new fuel filter, if you did get contaminated fuel and it's doing it's job it could be clogged after only a month.
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Old 09-02-2012, 10:42 AM   #4
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Re: On the road assistance--info, ideas?

But before you throw the old filter out, see what's in it.
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Old 09-02-2012, 11:21 AM   #5
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Re: On the road assistance--info, ideas?

I drained out a bit of fuel from the filter--didn't appear to have water in it. If I change the filter--I think I have one with me, but I've never done it--how do I not spill fuel in the exchange? I don't have to drain the tank, do I?

And, I forgot to mention, it idles fine, no sputtering, and doesn't want to kill.

Thanks!
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Old 09-02-2012, 12:18 PM   #6
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Re: On the road assistance--info, ideas?

see your other post..
idleing fine under no load .. but it should rev up ok under no load as well..
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Old 09-02-2012, 08:44 PM   #7
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Solved! Re: On the road assistance--info, ideas?

Thanks for the suggestions, all. And to Frank for his sagacity and time! We pulled the filter, which had rusty looking sludge in it, replaced it with a new filter (always carry three, right?) and problem solved. We are now almost to Portland and the rig is running tip top.

Whee!

Branden
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Old 09-02-2012, 10:37 PM   #8
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sagacity

sagacity - definition of sagacity by the Free Online Dictionary ...
www.thefreedictionary.com/sagacity
sa·gac·i·ty (s -g s -t ). n. The quality of being discerning, sound in judgment, and farsighted; wisdom.
I was not sure if I should be joyful or quietly fade away. Thanks Branden...... Frank
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Old 09-02-2012, 10:52 PM   #9
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Re: sagacity

Quote:
Originally Posted by frank-id
... I was not sure if I should be joyful or quietly fade away....
Just as long as we don't have to call you "Oh Wise One"!
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