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Chris
Chris, Shop Foreman
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 12729
Experience:  Dodge/Cummins and Chrysler Certified Master Tech
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This question is, Shop Forman & Cummins Master Tech. My 2004

Customer Question

This question is for Chris, Shop Forman & Cummins Master Tech. My 2004 Dodge Ram 2500 with Cummins turbo diesel is stalling and losing power. I have replaced many parts but it is still acting up. Can you tell me the steps to diagnose and fix the issue?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dodge
Expert:  Chris replied 1 year ago.

Hello, this is Chris. Have you checked the trouble codes yet?

Chris

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Here is the history of this issue. I've got a 2004 (early production) Ram 2500 diesel with regular cab, 4x4 and auto trans. It's got 236k on it. I got it a year ago with 220k and it has been trouble free. The prior owner said he did injectors, CP3 pump and fuel pump at 200k. The truck is bone stock except for a MBRP exhaust and K&N drop in filter. No tuner.
A few weeks ago it started stalling and losing power. I limped it home and checked for DTCs and got P0088 Fuel Rail/System Pressure - Too High. I read up on it and found that the usual culprit was the FCA. I replaced it and it ran fine for 5 miles and then started stalling, losing power and idling loudly again. I took it to a shop and they to the p0088 code and one for the FCA as well. They replaced the FCA again which didn't fix it. Then they replaced the fuel rail, fuel pressure sensor and overflow valve. That didn't fix it. They tested the alternator, looked for chaffed wires, crimped fuel lines, tested fuel flow, replaced and inspected fuel filter all to no avail. Then they replaced the CP3 pump and it ran fine for them. They gave it back to me and 50 miles later, the exact same issue came back.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I did some more reading and suggested that the shop ripple test the alternator which they did and said it was fine. They load tested the batteries which were low (500-550 CCAs) so they swapped in a known good set of batteries but that didn't fix anything. They swapped my older batteries back in which still start the truck easily. They also replaced the connector to the FCA, soldered the new one on and heatshrinked the wires.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I started a thread on a cummins forum to document the whole thing here: http://www.cumminsforum.com/forum/3rd-gen-powertrain/1809289-stalling-loss-power.html
Expert:  Chris replied 1 year ago.

Ok, good one. Let me research this and get back to you.

Chris

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Just had a tow truck pick it up to bring it back to Lisi's Automotive in Brewster, NY. There was no CEL on but I flipped the key three times and the gauge cluster gave me a p0234 code - turbo overboost condition.
Expert:  Chris replied 1 year ago.

Ok, let me see what I can find.

Chris

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hey Chris,
Find anything yet?
Thanks
Expert:  Chris replied 1 year ago.

No I have not. Is that P0234 code the only one you are getting now?

Chris

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Current code: P0088 - this is the recurring main code. It also had a solenoid control code (not sure of the number) but I believe it was the code that says the computer was unable to regulate the FCA. This only happened at the shop when they swapped in the 2nd new FCA. I got the P0234 code after driving about 15 miles while it started acting up again and by the time I limped it home, was barely driveable at all. That has not come back but nobody has tried to drive it while it's running like crap since I did.Just talked to the guy at the shop and he's still baffled. He's still got a "known good" used FCA that he can run the truck on and it runs fine. He's worried that FCA is going to go bad soon though because it appears that the truck is fouling FCAs quickly. I asked him if there's any way to bench test the FCA to see if they are really going bad or if they are getting a bad signal. He did not know of a way but he is going to call the guy that the gets his diesel parts from (same guy he got the new CP3 pump which came with a new FCA) and see if he can bench test the old FCAs to see if they're truly gone bad.The shop's next steps are to remove the fuel filter and cut it open to see if there is any contamination in there. I seriously doubt there will be as the filter only has 50 miles on it. He has already flow and pressure tested the lift pump and it was good but he said that maybe the lift pump isn't performing under normal driving conditions. I doubt this as well because I can't see how a weak lift pump would cause FCAs to fail over and over again.
Expert:  Chris replied 1 year ago.

If no fuel contamination is found, then suspect a problem with the ECM. But make sure that the fuel is good.

Chris

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If the fuel turns out to be good, is there a way to test the ECM's ability to control fuel pressure before replacing it? It's a very expensive part and I'd hate to throw more money and parts at this problem without confirming a diagnosis of the problem first.
Expert:  Chris replied 1 year ago.

Well I can send you the diagnostic procedure for the P0088, and that should lead the tech to the cause.

Chris

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I think they've already gone through all that but yes please, send it over.
Expert:  Chris replied 1 year ago.

Ok. Not much to this Diag from what I see. Copy and paste that link below into your browser's address bar and hit enter to see it.

Chris

https://www.dropbox.com/s/kpgthxli1j5xc2j/P0088.doc?dl=0

.

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
We're currently dropping the fuel tank to see if there is any contamination in there. The truck's problems occurred while the fuel was very low so we suspect it may be sucking up junk in the bottom of the tank. I'll keep you posted as to the results.
Expert:  Chris replied 12 months ago.

That could very well be the problem. I have seen this before.

Chris

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Found contamination in the fuel filter that seemed to only get sucked up when the tank was very low. They dropped the tank and said that the screen on the pickup was torn and there was gunk in the tank. They sent the tank to a radiator shop to be flushed and then reinstalled it. The fuel pickup is no longer available from Dodge because they did away with that style and replaced it with an in-tank pump unit. My lift pump is on the fuel filter unit under the hood. So, we put an in-line filter just before the lift pump. After all that the FCA is still bad. They tried to clean it out but it is not working so we are awaiting a replacement. Hopefully, with the new FCA, a clean tank and a pre-lift pump filter, the problem will be solved.
Expert:  Chris replied 11 months ago.

Ahha!

' That has to be it. Let me know if the new FCA takes care of this once and for all. Note: If your originjal lift pump ever fails, then get the in tank pump kit. It is a much better setup.

Chris