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Old 12-26-2008, 07:11 PM   #1
ShadyRascal OP
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Any Duramax/Allison experts here?

I have a 2003 Chevy Duramax with Allison trans that has given me 100,000 miles of basically trouble free service. Maintained well. I have an Edge Juice programmer that is pretty much left on position 1 all the time.

Now what I have is a shift hesitancy, kinda weird. This just happens under full or mostly full throttle. Sometimes it'll wind out to 3100 rpm or so and just sit there, won't upshift. It did that first actually.

Now, you can stomp on the throttle and it will get to 2500 rpm and stop accelerating, just level out, like it's in a safety fuel shut-down. Won't go beyond. Then you let off the throttle a bit and it'll relax and go through its upshifts.

It will still do the hang-at-3100 thing too. Depends on your speed when you floor the throttle.

Tranny is full of fluid and it's been changed a couple times in the vehicle's life. It does this same thing with the Edge programmer competely unplugged and back to stock.

My first suspicion is a computer brain fart. But I dunno. The truck sure isn't worth at this point to mess with a whole Allison trans replacement.

Anybody have any insight? I'm taking it to a local mechanic who I know and trust next week for an opinion, but there are so many brains here on ADV I figured I'd pick them.

Thanks,
SR
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Old 12-27-2008, 03:48 AM   #2
rick danger
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I have the same drivetrain in an '04 sierra 2500. I just began to have problems with it a couple of days ago. Do you get a check engine icon? I have an appointment to take it in to my mechanic and plug it in to the computer and check the trouble codes. Mine will go to 2000 rpms and thats it. If I push the trottle any further it just shuts off. Let up on it and it goes again. The mechanic suspects the throttle position senser. When I find out whats wrong with mine I;ll let you know. Not that its necessarily going to be your problem. I have about 35000 on mine.
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Old 12-27-2008, 04:35 AM   #3
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I'm assuming you guys have ruled out fuel gelling issues?

I had a duramax at my shop last week, w/exact same symptoms. Turned out it was really cold that day, and the guy hadn't used the truck in a while, so the theory was he still had some summer mix fuel in there.

Red bottle 911 fixed it in 10 minutes.

No engine light in his case. Really ff'd up the shifting though.
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Old 12-27-2008, 07:47 AM   #4
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Mine had some of this occurring when it was 50 degrees outside so fuel gelling is out, good idea though.

TPS sensor does make some sense. No check engine lights or any of that on mine. Keep me informed on yours, I'll do the same.
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Old 12-27-2008, 08:05 AM   #5
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shot in the dark here...

My tdi hesitates and bogs when the fuel filter is dirty.
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Old 12-27-2008, 08:40 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andmoon
shot in the dark here...

My tdi hesitates and bogs when the fuel filter is dirty.
I actually thought of that too, and that's one thing I'll be checking.
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Old 12-28-2008, 10:53 AM   #7
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So I'm suspecting fuel problems more and more as I drove the thing. Had the tank almost empty and filled it up yesterday. Went down to NAPA and bought some fuel additive/de-gel/injector cleaner stuff, kinda like Seafoam but a different brand. Put a large amount of it in the tank. Bought a new fuel filter too.

Couldn't get the old filter off as it's hard to get a grip on it and I don't have the right filter wrench. So anyway I drove it up Lost Trail to pick up the boys from skiing. Stepping on the gas it would hesitate and spit and all the signs of running out of fuel. Did it all the way up and back. I ran the shit out of it too.

Then last night (after we were having very warm mid-40's temps) I drove it, and by garsh it worked itself out. Perfectly normal, gobs of power, shifts right, the whole gamut. I can even click up to #5 on the Edge programmer and boil the tires up through 2nd gear just like it always would.

So the whole deal was just fuel. Some gelling, maybe some plugging in the filter that the cleaner got loosened up. Getting the new filter put on and all's well.

Damn, glad about this.
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Old 12-28-2008, 03:07 PM   #8
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Great. Change out the filter as soon as you can.

You would think the engine management would pick up the poor fuel delivery condition. But nope, really friggs the tranny up.

I've noticed lots of fuel quality problems lately (last year or so) both with LSD and e10 gas which is all we can get around here.

Cheap fix!
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Old 12-28-2008, 05:33 PM   #9
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It's funny how the diesel they sell during winter here says right on the pump, "this blend is good for -40 F."

Sure, we hit 10 below and the whole thing wads up. Come to think of it, I've had this truck for 6 years and this is the first fuel problem. First cold winter temps with the LSD too.
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Old 12-29-2008, 05:08 AM   #10
rick danger
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I have a new filter for mine i'll be putting in. I had the "water in fuel" come on a while ago ,but it went away. I'm thinking TPS for me just because it always stops it at exactly 2000 rpm. And I get the check engine light.
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Old 12-30-2008, 10:05 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick danger
I have a new filter for mine i'll be putting in. I had the "water in fuel" come on a while ago ,but it went away. I'm thinking TPS for me just because it always stops it at exactly 2000 rpm. And I get the check engine light.
AutoZone can pull the codes for ya.
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Old 12-30-2008, 07:26 PM   #12
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duramax

water in fuel. locks out the turbo. won't run and won't shift. change the filter, but the computer still needs to be reset. carry a spare filter and a gallon of fuel conditioner with a long neck funnel so you can get it in the tank. 50mph tops, but you might get home.
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Old 01-01-2009, 04:44 AM   #13
rick danger
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Yeah ,it was the fuel filter. I had the "water in fuel" come on last summer and ignored it cause it was running ok. Mechanic said it puts it in a limp mode after a while. I couldnt figure out why watewr in fuel would have the thing cut out at exactly 2000 rpm. Anyway....problem solved
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Old 01-04-2009, 09:02 PM   #14
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How are they holding up with +100k ??

I'm thinking about buying one this summer and trading in my 08 1/2 ton for the New Camaro.
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Old 01-05-2009, 07:08 AM   #15
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Powertrain-wise, mine's holding up very well actually. It's an '03, and the only real engine problem I've had was around 60,000 miles it would just not start, and it was sticky injectors. Chevrolet warranted it, and put a whole new set in. All trucks that vintage, and '02 as well, have a 7 year 200,000 mile warranty for the injectors, so if you pick one up find out if they've been replaced, if not, I think you can get it done.

Today I'm getting new front bearing/hub assemblies installed. Was developing a rattle in the front at highway speed, and both left & right side bearings were toast. Apparently not uncommon for those trucks. About 800 bucks will be the bill.

I need a new speedometer, mine gave up the ghost about a year and a half ago, and to fix it's a whole new instrument cluster for about 500 bucks. Been dragging my feet and just using the tach as a speedo. Gonna do it now.

My engine problem to begin this thread was just fuel, cold weather, and my lack of changing the fuel filter.

I have 100,000 miles on the truck, probably more like 110,000 as I've been running 285-75 tires since the day it was new (stock ones are short little 245's). I've pulled a 26' 5th wheel with a 16' trailer behind that, loaded with 4 ATV's. With that load, I've put thousands of miles on the truck which includes some nasty high mountain passes. The truck has worked for a living under me and I have no complaints, after 100K yeah I'll spend a few bucks on it, I haven't had a truck payment for 3 years so it's coming out just fine.

With my Edge Juice programmer and 4" exhaust, the thing has just loads of power too. I get over 20 MPG on the highway empty if I go the speed limit. The engine is as smooth and powerful as it ever was.
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