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Old 07-04-2019, 11:14 AM   #1 (permalink)
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P306 Cummins code...

So the family and I were coming back from our yearly camping vacation, and on the last day of our travels, the truck started to idle very rough, and misfire with no cel. Then about halfway home, CEL came on and it threw a P306 code. It drove perfectly fine if it was above idle, however, and I noticed no loss of power while driving, and didn't see any white smoke. I got it over to our local trusted diesel shop, and got a call from them yesterday. They are saying that it looks like cylinder #6 has possibly lost compression, and they were going to do a compression test on the truck, and I would know more on Friday. So, worst case scenario, if I have a dead hole in cylinder #6, will that call for an engine rebuild, or does it make sense to replace the piston and hone the cylinder walls in just that cylinder? They are also going to be bench testing the injectors to see if they are the issue. Any help is appreciated. this is on a 2004.5 Dodge 2500 Cummins, with around 128,000 miles on it.
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Old 07-08-2019, 10:43 AM   #2 (permalink)
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You won't know if it's rebuild time or just a slug and hone until they figure out why it lost compression. If the cylinder looks good, I'd just throw a new piston in. Might not have anything to do with the piston, could be a hung valve or bad seat.
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Old 07-12-2019, 05:52 AM   #3 (permalink)
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You won't know if it's rebuild time or just a slug and hone until they figure out why it lost compression. If the cylinder looks good, I'd just throw a new piston in. Might not have anything to do with the piston, could be a hung valve or bad seat.
Well I asked the shop that it's at to do a bleed down test to check for a leaking valve, because they want to put a reman engine in the truck. Yesterday I got a call from the shop and they asked what I wanted to do with the truck. I asked if they had done a bleed down test, and the reply was no, that there is no point because it needs an engine, and they know it needs one. At that point, I told them to put it back together, and I'd come get it. Working in the big rig diesel repair industry, I have a good relationship with our local Cummins dealer. As soon as I get back in time, I will be picking up the truck and taking it elsewhere for a 2nd opinion.

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Old 07-12-2019, 06:52 AM   #4 (permalink)
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So the family and I were coming back from our yearly camping vacation, and on the last day of our travels, the truck started to idle very rough, and misfire with no cel. Then about halfway home, CEL came on and it threw a P306 code. It drove perfectly fine if it was above idle, however, and I noticed no loss of power while driving, and didn't see any white smoke. I got it over to our local trusted diesel shop, and got a call from them yesterday. They are saying that it looks like cylinder #6 has possibly lost compression, and they were going to do a compression test on the truck, and I would know more on Friday. So, worst case scenario, if I have a dead hole in cylinder #6, will that call for an engine rebuild, or does it make sense to replace the piston and hone the cylinder walls in just that cylinder? They are also going to be bench testing the injectors to see if they are the issue. Any help is appreciated. this is on a 2004.5 Dodge 2500 Cummins, with around 128,000 miles on it.
Did they check the injectors? or wiring to the injectors?
i find it hard to believe it needs a motor.
Check the harness for injectors.
check each injector.
report back what you find.
i have had trucks come in with issues like this and told it needs this and that and it just needed a new valve cover harness.
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Old 07-12-2019, 07:17 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Did they check the injectors? or wiring to the injectors?

i find it hard to believe it needs a motor.

Check the harness for injectors.

check each injector.

report back what you find.

i have had trucks come in with issues like this and told it needs this and that and it just needed a new valve cover harness.
That's the thing that irritates me about this shop. All they wanted to do was pull the #6 injector and compression test that cylinder because "it sounds like #6 cylinder loss compression" since they flat out refuse to do any more tests and just want to put an engine in it, I told them to put it together, I'll pay them for thier "diagnosis" and I'll take it somewhere else for a second opinion before I give up.

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Old 07-12-2019, 07:50 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Replace it don't fix it mentality. Did they tell you the compression test numbers? or is all this just from the code it threw. If it's just the code, look at the sensors.
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Old 07-12-2019, 12:31 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Replace it don't fix it mentality. Did they tell you the compression test numbers? or is all this just from the code it threw. If it's just the code, look at the sensors.
They told me cylinder 6 was at 200 psi, the rest were between 350 and 400.. but this wall all done without removing the valve cover... so they couldnt have checked the valves and they went straight to it needing a motor. Unless my thinking is wrong, a bad/stuck valve would cause the same issue...

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Old 07-14-2019, 11:45 AM   #8 (permalink)
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They told me cylinder 6 was at 200 psi, the rest were between 350 and 400.. but this wall all done without removing the valve cover... so they couldnt have checked the valves and they went straight to it needing a motor. Unless my thinking is wrong, a bad/stuck valve would cause the same issue...

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Wait, this is a common rail engine, right? If so, how did they do a compression check with out pulling the valve cover?
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Old 07-15-2019, 05:36 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Wait, this is a common rail engine, right? If so, how did they do a compression check with out pulling the valve cover?
They didn't that's what he's saying. Hacks.
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Old 07-15-2019, 09:42 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Wait, this is a common rail engine, right? If so, how did they do a compression check with out pulling the valve cover?
Per them, they pulled an injector and ran the compression test through the injector hole. I'm going over there tomorrow to pick up the truck. I'm not letting them touch it anymore, and I'll be asking for a printout of the compression test results...

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Old 07-15-2019, 09:38 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Per them, they pulled an injector and ran the compression test through the injector hole. I'm going over there tomorrow to pick up the truck. I'm not letting them touch it anymore, and I'll be asking for a printout of the compression test results...

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If it is a common rail engine, you can't pull an injector without pulling the valve cover and rockers and bridges, at least on the 6.7l. I would assume it is the same on a 5.9L common rail.
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Old 07-15-2019, 11:37 PM   #12 (permalink)
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If it is a common rail engine, you can't pull an injector without pulling the valve cover and rockers and bridges, at least on the 6.7l. I would assume it is the same on a 5.9L common rail.
That's my thinking too, which is why I'm taking it elsewhere. The fact they went straight to a compression test without checking valves while it was off pissed me off. Then I asked them to do a bleed down test to see if there was an issue and they didnt do it. So I told them to fuck off and put it back together. I'll take it somewhere else and get a 2nd opinion. If the local Cummins dealer says it needs an engine, then I'll make a decision.

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Old 08-07-2019, 12:48 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Update to this. After telling the first shop to shove it, I got the truck back from them because i was not going to pay 18k for a reman motor and a new clutch using my stock factory injectors. Once i got it back, i did some inspecting and it didnt look like they even bothered to take anything apart. It didn't look like they touched a single bolt. Glad i yanked it from there. I took it to another local shop that had good reviews. This new shop diagnosed it in about 3 hours, then they called me, had me come down and showed me that the rings in cylinder 6 were killed. I mentioned that I heard my throw out bearing making noise too. Today, I sat down with the owner and we went over my quote. The truck will need a full engine rebuild to do it right.
New rod bearings, main bearings, head gasket kit, lower gasket kit, oil cooler, Mahle piston .020 bore kit, arp head studs (the shop owner says he refuses to use factory head bolts on a rebuild), factory Bosch injectors, a valair single disc clutch rated to 600 hp, and an edge cts2 and pyrometer probe. Grand total with all of it, $9038.00. Honestly, I feel like with all the stuff I have them doing, this is not a bad price. I had them add the edge cts2 because my a pillar gauges weren't working correctly and they are about 12 years old so I wanted to do something different.

I can tell this shop is different. He is not charging me any labor on the clutch because the engine will be out anyway, and hes not charging me any labor on the injector replacement or on the edge cts2 install. So, what's your thoughts.. for all I'm getting I feel like this is a fair deal.

Scott

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Old 08-07-2019, 06:47 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Cost seems correct to me. I had about 5k into my basic reman. I melted the ring seats on #1 due to a bad injector so similar amount of work. All the shop did was assemble the bottom of the motor. I did the rest including removal and install. U may want to make sure they have the valve seats on the work order for the head. They are know to drop and make a mess of the cylinder.
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Old 08-07-2019, 07:39 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Seems about right to me too.
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Old 08-07-2019, 09:05 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Cost seems correct to me. I had about 5k into my basic reman. I melted the ring seats on #1 due to a bad injector so similar amount of work. All the shop did was assemble the bottom of the motor. I did the rest including removal and install. U may want to make sure they have the valve seats on the work order for the head. They are know to drop and make a mess of the cylinder.
Thanks. I will get in touch with them today to make sure they have valve seats on there, but it was talked about yesterday when going over the estimate.

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Old 08-07-2019, 09:06 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Seems about right to me too.
Seemed pretty decent to me as well. It sounds like a lot of money but these motors arent cheap to rebuild from what I'm seeing, and I'm getting some upgrades as well.

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Old 08-08-2019, 09:14 PM   #18 (permalink)
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While I can't comment on the price as I work in a fleet environment, his refusal to use the OEM head bolts is spot on. Every Cummins I have pulled the head on had TTY bolt specs. They call for measuring the bolt length and replacing the ones that have stretched. Screw that, I am not chancing it with used hardware that might be a couple hundred versus a blown head gasket or worse.
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Old 08-08-2019, 09:59 PM   #19 (permalink)
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While I can't comment on the price as I work in a fleet environment, his refusal to use the OEM head bolts is spot on. Every Cummins I have pulled the head on had TTY bolt specs. They call for measuring the bolt length and replacing the ones that have stretched. Screw that, I am not chancing it with used hardware that might be a couple hundred versus a blown head gasket or worse.
I was happy to see he refused to use factory head bolts, even if they were new factory head bolts. I'd gladly pay extra for arp studs to prevent issues down the road

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Old 08-09-2019, 11:06 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I'd consider using the more efficient 03/04 HO piston
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Old 08-09-2019, 12:30 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I'd consider using the more efficient 03/04 HO piston
Not sure but i dont think he can without matching the injectors and event cycles. I thought the piston top shape changed based on the spray pattern of the injector. Again not sure but u should check if u decide to go this was.
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Old 08-09-2019, 10:25 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Not sure but i dont think he can without matching the injectors and event cycles. I thought the piston top shape changed based on the spray pattern of the injector. Again not sure but u should check if u decide to go this was.
I'm not going that route. We are going with Mahle pistons. This shop swears by them from what he says. I would think if I went to 03-04 pistons I'd have to match injectors too.

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Old 08-12-2019, 03:45 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Sorry to hear of your troubles, Scott. Your situation scares me because I have about 20k more on my truck. Any idea what caused it?


P.S. Good to see you and the family doing well. I had to get off the mountain myself. I have to wait 10yrs to get out of Cali.
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Old 08-12-2019, 04:52 PM   #24 (permalink)
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2003-2004 trucks have an 8 hole nozzles

2004.5+ trucks have a 5 hole nozzle

Both trucks use a different piston bowl design also.....

555 motors (2003 and early 2004): 5.9 and 6.7 injector nozzles have a wide spray angle due to a reentrant bowl design.

600/610 motors (2004.5+) 5.9 injector nozzles have a narrow spray angle due to the open non-reentrant bowl design.

555 motor: 143* injector spray impacts annular region of 113* piston bowl, concentrating combustion towards the piston dome. 8 hole nozzles with two injection events

600/610-series: 124* injector spray impacts central region of 140* piston dome, propagating combustion towards the cylinder wall. 5 hole nozzles with three injection events

The 2004.5 trucks have a odd piston bowl design, 5 hole nozzles with a less efficient spray pattern..............all this, when coupled with the 3 injection events makes the motors MUCH MORE prone to piston melt downs.

In 2007.5, Cummins went back to the old 2003/20-04 piston bowl design for the 6.7L CTD motors
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Old 08-12-2019, 09:23 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Sorry to hear of your troubles, Scott. Your situation scares me because I have about 20k more on my truck. Any idea what caused it?





P.S. Good to see you and the family doing well. I had to get off the mountain myself. I have to wait 10yrs to get out of Cali.
Honestly Jed,
I think I know how it happened. I was towing my 4k lb travel trailer up highway 50 in Nevada, and it gets very steep.. and my egt gauge had failed about halfway through my trip, so I had no way of measuring what my egts were doing. Based on the damage I saw, it looks like my egts got very hot and fried my piston rings causing the damage. Since this happened, i am having them do all new injectors, a new 600 hp valair clutch, an engine rebuild, and an edge cts2 monitor to prevent this issue again. This was an expensive lesson for sure.

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