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wh82

Performance Issues on a CA truck?

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Good afternoon everyone, forum newbie here. Looking for help with an issue on my 2001 5.9 Automatic. I've owned this truck for a couple of years now and had various issues fixed. But one that I can not get fixed is a complete lack of power towing. I have a 27ft 5th wheel thats only ~8000 Lbs. The truck alone with me and my passengers / family weighs 7980. So, I'm just around 16,000. Going down the highway, especially starting up any grades I rapidly loose speed. I've towed as long as I have been driving with other rigs and know that when you loose momentum its likely not coming back. But to the point...

 

Even on flat ground or a 1% grade, around 65MPH, my choices are OD locked out and almost 3000RPM or OD on and 2000RPM, the 2000 though is the MAX, it will not go past that. While doing research I found TSB 18-024-00 which talks about an issue almost identical to what I am experiencing (my engine is in the date and serial number ranges mentioned). Armed with this knowledge I went to the dealer to have them flash the relevant parts to fix this issue. The technician stated the computers were already at the latest software and there was nothing they could do for me. But happily charged me. I didn't believe them so I argued and went back stating "I asked you to flash it, just flash it" he said "Its the latest version so the computer wont let me flash them" The only things that came of this interaction were getting the 3cyl/high idle software enabled.

 

The technician continued to state "This is a California truck, we can sell you an Idaho truck, brand new"... NO!

I've done tons of searching and can't find if there are any differences between CA and Non-CA for 2001, I know all the new trucks are the same due to the new emissions controls.

I know I have the issue mentioned in the TSB, is there somewhere other than a dealer that I can get my computer force-flashed to the latest software to fix the TSB? (Without buying EFI Live or Smarty) ?

 

The other claim by the technician was to just use the Edge Juice w/Attitude CTS2 that I had installed in the truck to override it and that it would not hurt the engine or the transmission. I had originally only installed it for the gauges (best PID coverage for the money at the time), but it came with the tuning features for only $100 difference, I originally had no intention of using them. I want my truck to be able to tow in mode 0 (stock-ish) without pushing it. But yes, surprisingly, changing to even mode 1 immediately breaks the 2000RPM limit. Lift PSI is 5 to 7 at this time.

 

 

Extra info:

Things I've fixed: Torque converter surging due to misplaced ground. Stock replacement fuel pump (bad decision I know)

Things I've upgraded: BHAF. Edge Juice CTS2

Things I'm trying to fix: The Limit noted in this post (Lack of Power), Low boost / excessive black smoke even on stock mode... need to build the tester.

Things I'm wanting to upgrade:

  • Injectors, I read and hear a lot of opinions here +50, +75... I want fuel economy,and power, not trying to hot-rod this, its a tow vehicle.
  • Fuel Pump.. Ive heard good and bad about many brands and am caught up in a brand war here in Boise, one dealer of both FASS and AirDog said they've pulled AirDogs out of the box that didn't work and can't get them warrantied even before install. The other dealer of both says the same about the opposite brand. My friends who's owned these and is a mechanic, but not diesel said just to go with the in-tank conversion and not an expensive setup...
Edited by wh82

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Do you have a fuel pressure gauge? Anything to indicate fuel flow. I know restricted fuel flow equals restricted power. I would never consider an in the tank lift pump. What a problem if it goes out or clogs due to all its screens in there you can't get to anything. Even when clear of clogs/ working properly it doesn't have enough flow to keep the injection pump cool esp. hauling heavy uphills you need to stay above 14 psi. You need to upgrade the fuel system and get rid of all banjo bolts if you haven't done that yet

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Yeah, that's why I got the Edge product, had all the gauges, after my first lift pump failure I got really Paranoid hearing how commonly they go out, and the part that really angers me is that the guys who installed it knew that I planned on upgrades in the future and didn't suggest an upgrade, that $500 could have gone towards an upgrade but still not wanting to spend almost another $1000 without knowing that the pump / warranty are 100% worth it. This stock pump idles at ~13psi and then drops to ~5 under load in stock mode. The pressure sensor is threaded into a banjo bolt (replacement style from edge) Still doing research, but the main problem I don't think a fuel pump will solve at the moment is the 2000RPM limit in this computer, and of course the question of if a CA / Non-CA truck are really any different?

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At 5 psi your damaging the injection pump. At least 2,000 dollar replacement right there ,or living on borrowed time anyways.

 

You might even be starving the injection pump and that right there is power loss or rpm limit whatever you want to call it.

 

You at least need the Vulcan big line kit so you can trash those banjo bolts. Vulcan performance is a good place to deal with. I have dealt with Eric since06 or 07 and he will tell you the same thing, but his prices are the best

 

I just bought an 01 automatic. I ripped out the entire fuel system including the draw straw, put in the big line kit Raptor 150 lift pump with a prefilter, canned the intank pump and screens and the truck is above 14 p.si hauling up hills, I can get on it and stays above 16psi. BTW when I got inside the tank the screens were 50%clogged. Now the miles have been getting better and better for two weeks now

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I have to agree with @JAG1 on upgrading the fuel system. And a big no vote on the intank. That cost me about $900 about 8 years ago and I still ended up buying a full AD system a couple years later. If you are handy with a wrench they are not difficutl to install. It does require dropping the fuel tank or lifting the bed, neither that difficult. I did loose the AD pump a couple years back ad they honored the warranty no questions asked. I am sure Vulcan would share their experience they have had with AD on warranty.

 

Fuel starvation can and will cause a loss of power. Not being able to go past 2k rpm is strange. Will it not go past 2000 rpm when shift out of od? Is this towing and empty or just towing? How is your boost pressure? You mentioned a lot of black smoke, you could have a boost leak. Also have you checked for trouble codes?

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I appreciate the info on the fuel and have read that dozens of times before. But what about the computer. I mean I still have fuel pressure, granted not enough, and I immediately break the 2000 limit in OD when using any mode on the Edge so it really sounds like the issue in the dodge TSB is effecting me or am I wrong? Does anyone know who can program my computers in the Boise area to make sure its solved vs saying 'Well it's solved in this version, and that's the version it says is loaded...' Or does that version not fix it on CA trucks..? which goes back to the question CA/Non-CA are they they same?

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I am not sure what you are using to define as a CA or Non-CA truck, but the ECM is the exact same other then minor programing adjustments that are not related to performance (readiness monitors).

 

My truck was originally delivered to a CA dealer when new and had zero issues of over 2000 rpms in OD when towing although it was rare since that would put me at over 70mph. In stock form these aren't race trucks and towing isn't a race so start with the basics of a good fuel system along with checking for boost leaks/wastegate issues.

 

Power = fuel/air and sounds like you have a fuel & air condition that needs to be reviewed.

 

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8 hours ago, wh82 said:

I appreciate the info on the fuel and have read that dozens of times before. But what about the computer. I mean I still have fuel pressure, granted not enough, and I immediately break the 2000 limit in OD when using any mode on the Edge so it really sounds like the issue in the dodge TSB is effecting me or am I wrong? Does anyone know who can program my computers in the Boise area to make sure its solved vs saying 'Well it's solved in this version, and that's the version it says is loaded...' Or does that version not fix it on CA trucks..? which goes back to the question CA/Non-CA are they they same?

In reading the TSB I would agree it sounds like your problem. Fuel and air will also cause loss of power if starved of either. Short of going to another dealer or renting a Smarty, DAP has them, I dont know what to tell you. As far as CA vs non CA, I would claim ignorance on what the differences are.

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