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Dead on the highway


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First break down, and first post here. I think its awesome that there are resources like this site to help others. This is my first diesel and I love it. I have put about 40k on it the past 2 or 2.5 years. Majority Highway miles. it has about 254,000 on it now and had 213,000 a few years ago when i bought it. I really like wrenching and fixing things, but with this being my first diesel, and something new to me i am a little hesitant and nervous to do some stuff, but only because i dont really know exactly what im looking at. Well today on my way home I was passing a semi and then bam, no power(throttle) what so ever. Turned off radio, tried to restart, nothing. Put hazards on and let semi roll past and then pulled off to the side. I had a scan tool with me so i grabbed the codes out of the computer. P0253, P0252 and the dreaded P1688. Had the tow truck take me the rest of the way home. I also have a small red indicator light on my dash, cleverly hidden behind the steering wheel away from view from my vantage point in the seat. I think that its one of those low pressure indicator lights. The light would flicker occasionally, and i could only see it at night. But not really under full throttle, just at random times. After i lost power it was solid red. I do not really understand how the fuel system works, I do know that the VP44 is prone to fail, that there is a low pressure pump pushing fuel to the VP44 and that it provides high pressure to the injectors. Other than that I dont really know. ex, where is it located? I think that my VP44 may have been replaced before i got it, but im not sure how to tell. So i am pretty sure that im going to need a new high pressure pump, wether it be a VP44 or an aftermarket one. There is some info in my sig, and the rest of the truck is stock. Im not sure which model of the edge chip thing i have. it has a 3 position toggle switch. I did the crankcase vent mod and plumed it down underneath, and i have also adjusted my valves. Both of those were done not recently (not the cause of today) Any help or links to info would be greatly appreciated. I leave tomorrow early AM for some field work. No internet access, so ill check when i get home sunday evening. Did i mention this site is awesome? Thanks Zack

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VP44 is toast. But now the cause of the VP44 failure to need to be found. I would investigate the alternator be sure its not producing AC noise because of a bad diode also the fuel pressure need to be tested and be sure its 14-20 PSI at all times. Low pressure lights are worthless because by the time that light comes on the damage is already done. Like I said above fuel pressure should be 14-20 PSI well most low pressure lights are 3-5 PSI and below 10 PSI damage is being done for for sure. So on that shopping list add a $40 dollar fuel pressure gauge to it so you never have this failure again.

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I would have to agree with both of the above. It will be tough on the wallet however. If you can do it your self you will save a good bit. Mike has some good instructions here on the VP and after market lift pumps will come with there own. I did both of mine and had never touched anything like it before. Less than a day for each taking my time.

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Good idea mike, about checking the alt.

I have a suspicion that my 'dead batteries' might not be totally the batteries fault. I'll have it checked (alt) whilst the pump is going in.

local NAPA has a testor, How fancy a machine is needed to pick up on 'noise'?

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ZachN,

Going through almost the exact same deal with our 2000 ram. I had only the 1688 code however.

The factory lift pump has been changed religiously since new, BEFORE it would start getting tired.

Currently have Airdog FRRP (basic stock replacement oem style). I am only pushing the stock horsepower.

I would not try to push that pump any more than a stocker needs.

You will see in recent threads in here that reliability in aftermarket pumps have declined recently. Airdog is one of them. That may have been addressed by now. :shrug:

Mike wants me to check my alternator for 'noise' and output, which may have violated my electronics in my VP.

Right now, I'll have right at 1000 bucks into my new pump, Which I got on order from DAP Diesel auto performance. Basic hand tools is pretty much all you will need to change out... plus a small gear or steering wheel puller. Clean up the area before you start cracking open lines!

Your red light may have come on because the fuel lift pump was shut down due to the injector malfunction.

Don't use that light as a 'filter-minder'.... this is your first diesel, and keep that filter changed!

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Wow that was way quicker than i expected. Now i just need to figure out which parts i want, and where to buy them from.

I would like to stock with stock stuff, except for maybe the low pressure pump. Thats called the lift pump right?

I think that i wold like to get a new VP44, a new lift pump, and at least a fuel pressure gauge. Any other gauges you guys suggest to help monitor the health and longevity of my engine? What what can i tell from EGT? How well its running?

I know that budget will be the limiting factor, but i would rather stretch my wallet a little thin and spend a little more for some better parts, rather than having to re do it later on down the road.

Thanks for all the great quick help! I really appreciate it, and Mike, I like how you spell your last name!

Zack

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Good idea mike, about checking the alt.

Your red light may have come on because the fuel lift pump was shut down due to the injector malfunction.

Don't use that light as a 'filter-minder'.... this is your first diesel, and keep that filter changed!

I have done 2-3 fuel filters in about 40k miles. How often should i change it? Besides when it gets dirty and nasty.

So is it possible to get this code if a lifter pump fails and then cant get fuel to the pressure pump?

I was hoping that might be the problem, but i opened up the filter and there was plenty of fuel in there, so that probably isnt it right?

Also if i try to start it, some sort of motor or pump will run and buzz ( i can hear it) and it seems to be coming from the filter area, i can feel the motor/pump running if i hold my hand on the filter, but i dont know if there is one there. I only did this a few times most of them on accident, but the last one was to find where it was coming from and it only runs for at max 10 sec.

Also, is it possible for me to rebuild my VP44 in order to save a few bucks?

Thanks all for the help, i really appreciate it. Ill check back in on sunday.

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Wow that was way quicker than i expected. Now i just need to figure out which parts i want, and where to buy them from.

I would like to stock with stock stuff, except for maybe the low pressure pump. Thats called the lift pump right?

I think that i wold like to get a new VP44, a new lift pump, and at least a fuel pressure gauge. Any other gauges you guys suggest to help monitor the health and longevity of my engine? What what can i tell from EGT? How well its running?

I know that budget will be the limiting factor, but i would rather stretch my wallet a little thin and spend a little more for some better parts, rather than having to re do it later on down the road.

Thanks for all the great quick help! I really appreciate it, and Mike, I like how you spell your last name!

Zack

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I have done 2-3 fuel filters in about 40k miles. How often should i change it? Besides when it gets dirty and nasty.

So is it possible to get this code if a lifter pump fails and then cant get fuel to the pressure pump?

I was hoping that might be the problem, but i opened up the filter and there was plenty of fuel in there, so that probably isnt it right?

Also if i try to start it, some sort of motor or pump will run and buzz ( i can hear it) and it seems to be coming from the filter area, i can feel the motor/pump running if i hold my hand on the filter, but i dont know if there is one there. I only did this a few times most of them on accident, but the last one was to find where it was coming from and it only runs for at max 10 sec.

Also, is it possible for me to rebuild my VP44 in order to save a few bucks?

Thanks all for the help, i really appreciate it. Ill check back in on sunday.

It sounds like you have the stock lift pump or at least an aftermarket in the stock location. It will be located on the block behind and just to the rear of the fuel filter canister. The stock pumps are notorious for weak pressure, hence the need for a fuel pressure gauge. It will also let you know there is a problem with pressure and or the filter getting dirty. You cant rebuild the VP yourself. It has to be built and tested on a high dollar Bosch test stand. The articles section here has a lot of good info on these matters. Blue Chip diesel is another good source for info. you might want to read up on it some. There is more than one way to do what you need to do to the fuel system and I you have questions, ask them. There will be no shortage of answers.
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Here is what I got...* Stock VP44* AirDog 150 Lift pump* Mechanical Fuel pressure gaugeMy VP44 is just a standard ol' Stock pump nothing fancy. It's not the factory OEM pump that one failed at 48K miles and was replaced. As for the lift pump I ditch the entire system and replace it all with a AirDog 150 with all 1/2 lines. Even installed the DrawStraw I in the tank. Then as I ran fuel lines forward I kept the stock filter and ran through it all the way to the VP44. Then right after the the stock fuel filter I plumbed in my fuel pressure gauge using Air Brake line and a needle valve. This way I base my fuel filter changes on pressure now.

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Zack,

I always throw out the option of the mechanical lift pump, do to the recent high failure rate of the new electronic pumps. I have a right up on my assassin pump here on the board. Good luck to you.

Awesome just checked out that thread and also looked at the DTT pump. I defiantly want to go with a mechanical pump.

I want to upgrade my lift pump. But as of now im a little low on money. I think that i will just stick a stock type one on there to get it up and running. Once summer comes around and I can make some money, I plan on a few different upgrades.

But for now I have a few questions.

1. Can I just grab a lift pump from a local parts supplier? Oreilly just opened up a store in town and they have a reasonable price one one. Or will this one from rockauto work just as well(or bad) as the original?

2. Which VP44 to buy?

DAP seems to have good reviews from people. ($970)

Blue Chip does as well ($1196)

The diesel store ($995 + $95 for new lift pump and filter)

Rock Auto ($1089)

I really like that DAP comes with new electronics.

I may call and place an order tomorrow. What do you guys think?

And i found this in a different VP44 thread...

Ok after thinking about this a little I remembered reading something on Chips website about the HO trucks. According to him, 00, 01, and 02 trucks with a 6 speed and the 8th digit in the vin being a 7 designates an HO truck. Sooooo, take a peek at your vin when ya get a chance :wink:

My 8th digit is a 7, so it appears I have the HO truck.

3. What exactly does this mean? The High Output part?

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Here is what I was referring to. Take a little time when your not busy and read through Chips entire website. Even if you plan on buying through another vendor, its still well worth your time. Hes got very good info on these fuel systems. If you order a pump somewhere else the same info he gives will still apply. http://m.bluechipdiesel.com/site/ording_information.html

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Yep i read through all the info there and just did all the testing tonight.I will be ordering a new VP44 tomorrow along with a new lift pump and filter.There is tons of great info out there, it just takes time to find it sometimes.Thanks all for the help, ill let you guys know what i order and when it comes in.

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Well yesterday I ordered some stuff. I got a VP44, a new stock lift pump, and a gauge set that has fuel pressure, boost pressure and EGT.The guys over at DAP are great, helpful and friendly. And you guys here are awesome! thanks for all the help, im sure that i will be around here for a while.

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Yah, the stock lift pump will only be used until I can save up enough money for an upgraded pump.Talked with my friend who owns a shop here in town. He said to go with a pump that installs in the tank. He said that he has seen lots of the external mount pumps come in to get replaced, but never an internal tank pump after they installed one.Any ideas on this?Im considering an in the tank pump, an airdog style external mount pump and a mechanical pump.Still trying to weigh the pro's and con's of each.Might go and talk with a different shop just to see what they normally do.Thanks for all the help!Zack

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The intank pump is a pain in the ___ to change. If your not keeping it long term don't bother. I also think your mechanic has no idea what he is talking about. All pumps wear out. There are very few shops with the knowledge and expertise people on this forum have. I think you should listen to what Mike and all his friends suggest. They have owned these trucks for a long time and are very well versed in what works. Since you bought a new vp44 the mechanical route is off the table. The mechanical pump replaces the vp44. People call it a P Pump.

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Yah thats why i was running it by you guys, you seem really knowledgeable. The mechanical pump i was talking about is a mechanical lift pump. They seem like the same price as an airdog/fass ect.The two i looked up very quickly were the DTT Assassin pump and the fuel boss pump. They look like the same thing.Its just a different option to consider.

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^^^^^ True and not true. The mechanical pumps are not p pumps. P pumped 24 valve trucks are a whole different conversation all together. One I recommend you not even venture into unless you plan to make huge power out of the truck. We are simply using a mechanical pump driven by the crank shaft to feed the VP 44 as opposed to an electrical pump like an oem or an air dog. The Shop/mechanic did tell you partial truth, the in tank pump lasts longer because it's a pusher not a puller like the block mounted pump, but it still does not provide adequate pressure to keep the VP safe, and will die eventually. The in tank version is what they force you to convert to now for oem standard. Disregard that all together as you want to go aftermarket. Electrical or mechanical is all about preference. As I stated in my review. I have NO issues with air dog/fass etc as i have not ever used one. I have seen a lot more folks talking failure out of them in the last 3-4 years. An electrical pump by nature has a pressure drop in correspondence to more throttle due to amp draw. Where as a mechanical pump increases pressure as throttle is introduced. If a belt starts to slip I know it immediately and can pull over, swap a belt and Continue on in a matter of 3 minutes. Try to diagnose an electrical issue that fast. Not to mention if a fuse blows, you have zero pressure, my belt starts to slip, I have 16 pounds instead of 20, And can limp that a long long way. Lol Hope this helps and by all means simply do your research (as you are lol) and see what fits your peace of mind. It's your truck, it's your choice.

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I didn't know about these pumps. I learned something today. I don't think the argument that the pressure drops when you hit the pedal holds much water. My raptor may drop from 20lbs to 18lbs but there is not a performance loss there. If you are comparing the drop against a stock pump then maybe that argument makes more sense.There is one fuse and one relay on my raptor and they are next to each other so checking them is pretty simple. I also think fuses and relays may be more available than spare belts.As for seeing more pump failures, this is a bit misleading too. How many Assassin pumps are in existence compared to raptor, fass, whatever? Maybe the Assassin pumps will stand the test of time but we won't know that until some time passes.I am interested to know how you bleed the system with these pumps. There would be no bumping of the key to let the pump run for 30 seconds right?The raptor pump I have makes a ton of noise under the truck. Sounds like the assassin maybe be a lot quieter. I also think the assassin looks a lot cooler under the hood!

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