Problems Getting Out of Florida
My husband wrote the below article. It is always a good idea to be prepared while on the road; by having the money available for problems, the extra oil and filters, and the knowledge to seek professionals when needed.
Even though we have a Ford F450 truck, our Engine is International. We are so glad we could go to an International shop and get the work done by professionals.
The total cost for the fix: $636.06 for the first time. The second time was $490.00 for a total of $1,126.06. All of these costs were JUST for Ward International, not for any campground or towing charges.
In Sasha’s Words (and Laura’s Spell Check, Grammar, and Explanations)
Wednesday March 1st: While on the road driving cross country east of Tallahassee FL on I-10, we had some problems with our 1999 F450 diesel truck.. Symptoms were loss of power and surging.
We limped into a truck stop late at night (an abandoned BP station with a Mom & Pop store (also abandoned!) The SCT Tuner and Scan Reader showed a DTC code on it and I researched the issue thinking fresh oil would fix the problem.
Thursday, March 2nd: I did a full oil and filter change on the spot (we travel prepared), cleared the code and she started right up nice and clean!
FRIDAY March 3rd: Relieved, we continued on with a fine running truck…..for about 30 miles and then the symptoms came back and the DTC code is back! Crap!
Pull over at a Flying J. Engine not happy. Call the Ford Dealer. 4 day service backlog! They recommend Ward International Truck Center since our 7.3 Powerstroke engine is an International product.
Ward International took us in on a Friday at 1 PM. Never had to unhitch either as they directed me to an open semi service bay! After much diagnostics and 3 road tests, they determined our injectors $$$$ and fuel system were good, much to my relief. After doing a fuel pressure test WHILE road testing, the tech determined there was a fuel BLOCKAGE at high throttle rates and it was located at the OEM fuel tank feed! Unreal!
So the tech dropped our under rail tank, replaced the feed line and put in a new fuel pump. Now she is running like a brand new truck! The difference is amazing. This is truly something I could have NEVER figured out on my own.
All this late on a Friday afternoon. The entire service department helped out and stayed late just to help us. And then only charged us 4 hours at a reduced rate since they consider our F450 a “pickup”!
This cost us $636.04:
- Four hours Labor @ $99 per hour = $396.00
- One Fuel Pump @ $164.00
- Misc Shop Charges (took our oil from the change too) @ $31.68
- Sales Tax @ 7.5% = $44.38
We are very happy to HIGHLY recommend Ward International Truck Center in Tallahassee FL.
And a tip for those with older diesels: Check your fuel lines and fuel pump if having power issues. Tech said even though the engine fuel filter was clean, years of accumulated crud was in the main feed line upstream from the filters.
So Friday Night we headed back to the Flying J, figuring we would just stay there overnight and get going the next day. Our truck was running great! We normally sleep in.
After All, We ARE The Crack of Noon Club founding members.
Saturday, March 4th, 1 PM: We drove approximately 100 yards out of the Flying J truck stop and we had problems again. We got the surging and lose of power yet again! Sasha pulled over the Truck to the side of the road. While we were idling, the engine died. AHHHHHHHHH
That said, apparently this 2nd filter did have the long term capacity to simultaneously give full flow at high throttle AND do a good job of filtering….the tech said that this was a crappy filter and was pretty much the cause of my tank blockage. That and the fact that our truck spends long periods of time simply parked. We went cross country this year and we won’t break 8,000 miles/year. We tend to use the Moto once we are in place.
It was installed under the rails behind the tranny. Very accessible, better than the KSH one.
Moral of the Story
Make sure you have backups, make sure you have extras, and make sure you are not broke when you are traveling. I can only imagine what it would be like for others.
While we weekended in Ward International outside parking lot, I made this video about what we saw with the roof. In the video I show Sasha fixing the roof and some of the things I was feeling on that Saturday afternoon.
Tuesday, March 7th we are back on the road, and everything is working well. The truck is moving out with authority, and as of this last sentence, we are near Mobile, Alabama. We are out of the woods and back on the highway!
That is it for now. We are in Alabama, having some lunch, as we have crossed over to Central Time Zone.