Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Tow Rig Tune Up

The NMS South team gets around courtesy of a 2007 Chevy 2500 with the 6.6l Duramax turbo diesel engine. It was purchased from a friend in 2019 and is quickly closing on 260,000 miles. These engines can run 500,000 miles without major engine maintenance, so it is just getting broken in. It does have some signs of its long life that needed some work before the trip to NCCAR.

The truck has been showing two fault codes when towing after a few hours. One is most likely an indicator that the fuel injectors are due to be replaced and the other suggested a clogged EGR valve. I brought the truck down to the local dealer and spoke with their diesel mechanic and got a quote to complete the repairs. At $10,200 it was going to cost as much as the whole truck. No thanks.

I decided to start on the work myself. Step one was addressing a possibly failing EGR cooler and cleaning out the EGR system. For $200 and a couple of cans of brake cleaner, I was already up $10,000! The job looked simple enough, so I got the truck into the shop and started disassembly. Sure enough the system was caked in sludge and restricting air flow. Above is the before, dirty intake housing and below it is clean and the new EGR cooler is attached and awaiting install.

All of the components were cleaned out, the new cooler was installed, and then it all went back together. Hey, no spare parts! Toss in a fresh oil change for about $60 (still $9,940 ahead) and it should be good to go for the weekend. If all goes well, there should be one less light glowing on the dash this trip. If it goes poorly, I'll get to write another article about how to properly fix it. 

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