Sorry in advance for the long post, I thought a little history would help...
2002 2500 quadcab, longbed/Cummins Turbo Diesel/5spd manual/112000 miles.
Bought it used last May with 87000 miles on it.
Have a problem with the truck. When it's cold it has no power and belches
lots of white smoke. Took it to the dealer last fall when it had 95000
miles on it. They replaced the lift pump for insufficient volume, pressure
was OK apparently. Anyway, that didn't really fix the issue completely, it
just didn't happen unless the outside temp was below 40F or so. So, I just
let the truck warm up for about 5 -10 minutes, it usually works fine after
that. Never had the time to take it back to dealer while it was still under
About two weeks ago on a 400 mile trip (empty, no load) the engine "lost
power" at 70 mph (2100RPM), I could keep it at about 55-60 (1900RPM) but
couldn't accelerate. I pushed in the clutch and let it idle for a couple of
seconds at 800RPM and then it would be OK again for awhile. This makes me
suspect the lift pump is bad. On the way home a couple of days later, the
same stuff happened after about 2 hours or so and the coast method didn't
always work so I turned the key to OFF and coasted for a few seconds,
started the engine up again, ran OK for awhile. This happened usually up a
grade, but not always. The last hour or two of the trip it didn't happen
I just finished installing some gauges, pyro/boost/fuel press. Started it
up and drove away with the engine "cold". No problems! So I thought about
it a bit, and figured that the schrader valve on the VP44, which I replaced
with the fuel pressure gauge fitting, maybe had been sucking air into the
injector pump and that was the root of the problem...(makes sense to me).
Fuel pressure was 15psi at idle and dropped to 12-13 while accelerating.
Boost was around 4 or 5 cruising and up to 10 - 12 while accelerating (I
didn't floor the throttle). Pyro was 300-400 at the start, and up to 750 -
800 accelerating, dropped back to 500 - 600 cruising.
Then later that day I wanted to go up the road for something or another and
had the same problem as before, no power, lots of white smoke. I noticed
that there was 0 (zero) boost pressure, fuel pressure was from 12 to 15
depending on my foot, no change to the boost pressure. So I got to thinking
that the turbo was flaky, I shut the engine off, coasted a bit, turned the
key on and popped the clutch to start the engine up again, watched the boost
gauge, it jumped to 3 or so, and pretty much stayed between there and zero
depending on my foot. Acceleration wasn't there, but no noticeable white
smoke. After a bit (maybe two or three minutes) of driving, the truck
suddenly "jumped", the boost pressure went up to about 8psi or so, backed
down to 5, and then seemed to work fine after that. Floored the
accelerator, the boost went up to 20 psi, the fuel pressure went down to
11 - 12 or so, the pyro went up to around 1000, everything was fine again.
Gauges sure are neat! I wish Dodge would put them on every truck they sell
and train the new owners how to read them, it would probably reduce alot of
the service issues they get.
Bottomline, I think the wastegate is not working properly and may be the
root of the startup/cold operation problems I've had. Does that seem to
make sense to everyone else? It doesn't seem to explain the highway speed
power loss issue though...that may be another issue. How can I troubleshoot
the turbo system? Is it an intermittent leak in the intercooler? How do I
check that out? Is it the wastegate? how do I check that out? I can't find
much about it on the web, doesn't seem to be many problems of that nature or
it is not a user serviceable item...
Thanks in advance for your consideration and help....