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Discussion Starter #1
This morning, after coasting thru a 40mph school speed zone in 5th gear, I stepped on the gas to speed back up to 55 and my Dodge BUCKED and the "check engine" light came on! I pulled over and let it idle for a few minutes and tried to drive off again. I put it in gear and stepped lightly on the gas and could get to about 5mph and then the engine would start fussing. I thought something might be wrong with the transmission, so I shifted to the next gear and got another 5mph of speed before it started fussing. Eventually, I was able to drive 20mph in 4th gear (5spd with granny gear) on level ground. At idle or in any gear, the tach read around 1000 rpm. If I tried to add gas, and increase the rpms, it would fuss. So, I drove 20mph in 4th gear for the last 7 miles to work!

I called my mechanic and had it towed to their garage. They said the computer was showing three codes that point to the fuel injection pump. They want to replace this with a factory part with 5 hrs labor for a whopping $2,800! I have had two coworkers mention similar symptoms in their Dodges that ended up being the catalytic converter, not a fuel system issue. It's hard for me to believe that it's the fuel system when it will idle and purr like a kitten (well, I mean LION...boy is he noisy!) It would seem to me that if there were any fuel issues it would not only fuss when I tried to speed up, but that it would also sputter some while idling. But, in the painfully slow 20mph 7 mile trek to work this morning, the engine never missed a beat as long as I didn't try to push the rpms over 1000.

Any and all suggestions will be greatly appreciated!

Christine
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Oops! Didn't mention any of the specs...

1999 Ram 2500. The mechanic didn't tell me the codes, but stated that all three pointed back to the fuel injection system.

Would it at least be helpful to remove the catalytic converter to rule it out as the culprit? Does the cat come out easily/inexpensively?

Thanks!
 

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You can dicth the cat and get better MPG's. The sound will be different, and its inexpensive to get a whole new exhaust put on. You also might gain some more power by putting on better exhaust. If it is the Injector pump(VP44) you can get a rebuilt one guaranteed to 100,000 miles for about $1200, thats alot better than well over $2000. Ask a diesel shop how much they would charge in labor to put one on if you already had it. Also, while your at it, have them check your lift pump, it could be that as well. They are alot less expensive to fix.
 

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Hate to say it but your mechanic is probably right. Injection pumps are known to fail on the 98-02 trucks without proper fuel pressure. Proper fuel pressure is hard to get even on a stock truck without some fuel supply mods.
 

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Should only take them 4 hours to replace the pump and it sounds like your mechanic is right
 

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it is possible but i would hope that they would test the lift pump before they tell you that it needs a high pressure pump
 

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But if it was at a dealership...there gonna want to make some money...lol No offense! The dealership told me it was the vp44...took it to another shop and it was just the lifter. ran like a top till i sold it. Later i bought a 2004 1-ton, same thing started happening with me pulling my Sundowner on the wat to NM for a Round-up, they also told me it was the pump...low and behold...it was just the lifter!!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
That's part of my worry...I hate to spend nearly $3,000 to rule out the more expensive part only to find the cheaper lift pump is the culprit.

Any clarification on how the engine will run just fine idling? Seems like if there were fuel pump issues, it would at least have sputtered a little even while idling.
 

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Like i was gonna say, shop around. If you get the parts yourself, you will either save some money, or get the most out of it. I would venture to say, that for the price they are quoting you, you could get a lift pump, VP44, and new exhaust!! I would have someone test the lift pump, then go from there. Try shooting a PM to a site sponsor on a price for a lift pump, and exhaust. If the price is right, you can rule out 2 of the 3 possibilities....and like i said, if it is a VP44 that is out, you can get a good one with a warranty for 1/3 the quoted price. I hope im not making anyone mad here...lol
 

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how about the fuel filter have you check that? im betin its the vp44 thow. you,d be better off geting an air dog or fass lift pump with or with out needing a vp44:thumbsup
 

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I completely agree. You can pick up one of those threw a site sponsor for a good deal. The Airdog is a little better on the wallet though. Id get the 150 lift pump to be absolutely sure your getting lottsa juice.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Punchy...you mentioned your issued "started happening" with the 2004. Was this a gradual issue? Mine was just an immediate and seemingly permanent. During that 7 mile drive to work, it never would allow me to get over 1000 rpms. It's virtually undriveable unless the speed limit is 20mph and you don't mind shifting gears every 5mph. I'm just thankful I didn't have my trailer full of horses in tow when it happened!
 

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Just FYI, if it's a 99, then it doesn't have a catalytic converter, it has a resonator, they don't plug up.
Ask them what the codes were.
Did they check the fuel filter??
Did they check the fuel pressure??
If they half way know their stuff, then they probably know if the codes are injection pump related, but for the expense involved in changing a VP, I would want to be darn sure that's what all of the symptoms point to.
 

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Just happened. I was cruising along at around 45 or 50, when i went to accelerate, it started grumbling at me, and i started losing power. I was able to make it to town, but after that it wouldnt start, then when it did, i couldnt give it any pedal or it would die.
 

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Diesel tracks is right on the money to save you money!!! Get a second opinion for sure. Money is tight for everyone right now to be buying stuff like a VP44.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The fuel filter was changed last year in August, I believe. The mechanic asked me the same question and had suggested replacing it during the rest of the repairs. I suppose I could have that changed first to rule it out since it is much less expensive and doesn't require 5 hours of labor.
 
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