1. #1

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    Unhappy Pierce/Kenworth problem

    Our dept has a 2004 Pierce/Kenworth tanker that has given us a problem for well over a year now. The problem is it just stops accelerating at random times, in other words, your foot is on the floor and the truck is steady slowing down. The only way to correct the problem is to come to a complete stop and take off again. It normally only happens one or two times during a run and it may not happen every time. It will happen during routine driving as well. The truck has been to the Pierce dealer so many times I can't remember. It has been to the Kenworth dealer four times, it has been to the Allison transmission service center twice. Kenworth and the Allison dealer tell us the computers are not storing any trouble codes. On the last visit to Kenworth, they re-programmed the computer (within the last 45 days) and the problem is still occuring. My question is this, Is anybody else out there having or had a similar problem?? Our Pierce dealer has done everything they know to do, they have been great to work with as well. They haven't charged us for the work they have performed even though the truck is out of warranty, but it's getting old having to deal with the problem, slowing response times and trying to find someone to get it to the service center since we are a vol dept. Does anyone have any ideas?? Do you think it could be an issue with the electronic control panel for the pump?

  2. #2
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    Dolphin,who's engine? While all the operating systems are "genetically"similar each one has a few Idios.We're pretty Cummins fluent but a little info on your end would be helpful. T.C.

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    Default periodic horespower reduction

    I know this may sound simplistic but plugged fuel filters or lose trash floating in the fuel tank that periodically blocks the fuel tank pick up tube. Its amazing what a little candy wrapper will do.

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    It could be the sensor that sends the signal from the accelerator to the engine management system. It's all "fly by wire".

    One of our Engines was having the same problem. Once you shut the motor off, it would automatically reset.

    Tim... it was Cummins motor. A trip to the Cummins dealerand a computer hookup to the scan tool solved the mystery; part replacement solved the problem.
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

  5. #5

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    Default No Way!

    After reading FH Forums for a few years....I thought Pierces NEVER broke!!!!!

    Ok.....just kidding, as I know they do not make the engine, transmission or KW chassis.....come to think of it.....they do not make the pump, the rollup doors, the valves, the governor, the tank, the quick dumps, the gauges, the axles, the seats, the cab, the lights, the pull rods......oh, thats right, they are "sole source"...whoops! I seriously have issues with people toughting this sole source crap is all.....fire truck builders are NOT manufacturers...they are ASSEMBLERS of other people "stuff"!

    Anyways, enough ranting.....I had a unit once that was nearly two years chasing a "ghost"...never would do it with a tech in the cab, never would happen when it was at the service center of Detroit, Allison....ARG!!! Anyways, the unit was eventually diagnosed with a harness that was being crimped in the frame area... the wiring to the governor was smashed and it was impacting the electronics. I might also ask if there is ATC (automatic traction control) option included on your ABS system. If ATC is included, it "possibly" could be inter-related with the "return to idle" you speak of. These are tough ones and can take months to find. I do know of two departments that gave up and told the manufacturer to come get the truck and give them a new one. I am not inscinuating you do that at all, but the bottom line is you bought it from Pierce (unless you supplied the chassis, which I doubt), they were the prime contractor, so they are first line to get it fixed so it works right ALL the time. This can happen to EVERY manufatcurer....so I am not just busting on Pierce....it just gets a little old hearing all the koolaide drinkers posts....thats all.

    Best of luck, but if there are any other significant happenings...every little piece counts in diagnosing these types of issues....so let all of us know.

    Justa

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    It has a Cummins 330HP engine. We have tried changing the fuel filters, but as far as going through the fuel system, we have not. I have a hard time believing it's a fuel line issue since it only happens one or two times, if the filter was plugged or a line, it should do it more frequent in my eyes, maybe not. The throttle position sensor has been replaced by the Kenworth dealer even though the computer didnt show an error code. My thoughts were turning to the "Pierce" side of the equation since no one can come up with any error codes as far as the vehicle electronics go. Our chief called Pierce in hopes of talking to an engineer, but I think he ended up talking to a customer service rep who more or less told him he needed to call his local service center. I know we're not a big city dept that buys a new truck every 5 to 10 years, but you would think Pierce would help the dealer find the problem after a year of trying. This is the only new truck out dept has ever purchased and right now it is the most unreliable. Thanks for the help guys.

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    This may sound dumb but did you have any work done to the radios or have new radios installed just before the problem started? RFI can do some really weird things to all the electronics on the trucks these days.

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    Our 2004 Horton ambulance on an International 4300 chassis had the exact same problem. Also no codes were found in the computer. The fly by wire electronic accelerator pedal assembly was replaced and the problem disappeared.

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    Thumbs up

    No radio work has been done, nothing has been done other than send it to the dealer. As far as the dealer goes, they have done a great job trying to solve the problem and work with us, we couldn't ask for anything more from those guys. I'm not trying to bash anyone, anything can break at any time, I don't care who made it and don't think I haven't thought about telling Pierce to come pick it up, I've had a vehicle returned to the manufacturer before because it was a piece of junk. It's just difficult to deal with when you are trying to respond on a call and the truck won't go. Hopefully we can come up with a solution soon and I can stop worrying the crap out of the dealer.

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    Check to make sure that the code will stay if you shut the truck down. (Turn battery power off) If it clears, then you would have to have it stay on until it gets read at the service center.

    We had a cam sensor on a IH-530 that this occured. The truck would just loose power and idle. Shutdown and restart it would go. We took it to the shop and they read out a code pointing to the cam location sensor and replaced it. It went away. I realize this is not an IH-530 but you may have a couple similar requirements to get the right code out of the Cummings.

    By some of the other posts the fly-by wire sensors for various things will be highly likely suspects in the cause of the problem.

    Don't you think T.C.????

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    The lovely world of electronics you gotta love it. Our 1 truck had to be put on the cpu to get the cpu programed as it was never programed to be a firetruck. It could be something simple hope you get your problem worked out.

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    Trick is to get it to act up when you have the scanner or laptop hooked up.I'm leaning toward a throttle pedal switch or wiring between the pump governor and the ECU but that's just a starting guess. T.C.

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    Default Neutral lockout switch

    Could be the electronics think it has somehow gotten into pump gear and
    shuts itself down. Make sure none of the ok to pump lights come on when
    this happens again. Again "electronics" bugs are hard to fnd. We had an ECU code come up on our 2002 FL_80 turned out it was just because we were leaving the headlight switch on when shutting down the master switch and when it came back on it showed the error code.

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    One odd thought, are the turbo and intercooler hose clamps tight? A loose clamp can cause an intermittent and pretty dramatic loss of power as things flex and move around. Other question would be does it have a fuel/water separator and is it drained regularly? The behavior sounds electrical more than mechanical but those are two oddball causes I've seen. I assume that what is happening is the motor slowing down along with the truck, rather than RPMS holding steady and the truck slowing down (which would point perhaps toward the transmission).

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    Default Crumby Cummins

    Six in a row makes them go!

    Take it to a KW shop and back charge the dealership for the repair.

    Mark

  16. #16
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    7,Reread the post.That truck's BEEN to the KW shop.And the DDA shop.And the Pierce dealers shop.Next guess?The only way to find the gremlin is to have the diagnostics hooked up when the failure is happening.Then you can trace and repair the missing link in the circuit.Gotta love drive by wire. T.C.

  17. #17

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    It's got to be an electrical gremlin. The Pierce dealer has had the problem happen with them while they had the diagnostic tool hooked up and they still can't find the problem. I know they took it to the KW shop as well. It's just like you take your foot off the throttle, the rpm's just drop to idle, you pull off, come to a complete stop, stomp the throttle and away she goes. It's going back to the dealer next week again, thanks for all the suggestions!

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    We had a similar problem with our International/Pierce. I acted like the transmission had gone into neutral and we had to completely stop, put the tranny in neutral, shift back into drive and proceed. After several trips to the shop and attempts to correct it, the problem turned out to be a loose ignition switch and not the alternator, transmission, computer, etc.

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    We had a problem much like this with our Pierce Enforcer. It would work fine sometimes and other times it would loose power and barely go 10mph. We did like you and had Pierce service and Cummins personnel go all thru this truck and could find nothing wrong. Finally we found that the engine retarder was seized up partially closed/open. We assume this was not working correctly from the delivery of this truck. We had a hard time finding this problem as the engine techs do not check this because it is an add-on unit and Pierce techs do not cheack it because technically it is not one of their parts, but one that comes to them installed on the engine assembly. No one would take responsiblity for this retarder that never worked. Since getting this back in working order ourselves, we have not had this happen again for over a year. FYI

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