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Old 10-29-2012, 06:31 PM   #1
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Back on the wagon!

Or, How I get better Mileage while on a tow truck. Again. Friday morning in Death Valley I was getting ready to go explore some trails. But, the van will not start. Cranks fine, but no firing. I guess it is lucky it happened in the campground instead of 10 miles off a paved road.

3rd time for a flatbed tow:



Towed from Death Valley to Friendly Ford in Las Vegas. 137 miles - again, Thank You AAA! Arrived 6pm on a Friday night. Talked to the Service Advisor (they were just locking up) and they didn't know if they could look at it on Saturday. So, I'm prepared to camp in my van in the dealer's lot for the weekend.

Surprise, surprise, 9am Saturday the tech has hooked a computer up to my van and by 2:30 I'm on the road back to Death Valley to retrieve my trailer. I never realized an EGR valve could stop the van from starting. I know I have had a couple of EGR codes (P0401) in the last week or so. Now I know not to ignore that code.

Head home (450 miles) in time to see game 4 of the Series.

Mike
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Old 10-29-2012, 06:43 PM   #2
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Re: Back on the wagon!

Glad you got back on the road Mike. Your tow count is starting to catch mine. Do you run a additive in your fuel? I want to look into a better EGR setup for sure now. The warranty runs out in December.
Enjoy the rest of your trip and hope all goes well for ya.
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Old 10-29-2012, 06:45 PM   #3
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Re: Back on the wagon!

Well at least you got to see a great game!


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Old 10-29-2012, 06:59 PM   #4
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Re: Back on the wagon!

My last EGR failure shut me down hard. Luckily for me I was only about 1/2 mile from my mechanic. I crippled it in, dropped it off and walked home. I was told the EGR failure causes a massive vacuum leak that pretty much screws the pooch as far getting you down the road.
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Old 10-29-2012, 08:10 PM   #5
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Re: Back on the wagon!

EGR delete kit. If mine ever gives me trouble i'll go with the kit. I do however pull my EGR valve once a year and clean it to prevent it from sticking.
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Old 10-29-2012, 08:40 PM   #6
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Re: Back on the wagon!

Quote:
Originally Posted by saline
EGR delete kit. If mine ever gives me trouble i'll go with the kit. I do however pull my EGR valve once a year and clean it to prevent it from sticking.
How do you get by the smog check?
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Old 10-29-2012, 11:30 PM   #7
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Back on the wagon!

Two options to pass smog:

1. EGR block. Requires a re-program to eliminate the engine fault code. Not detectable by standard smog check. Key is finding someone to "do it right". Apparently there are less-than-optimal options. If I was going to consider something like that, I might consider taking my rig to a shop near SMB West that is familiar with the product. Not that I would ever consider doing anything that might jeopardize my ability to pass a CA smog check. Oh, wait, I don't live there anymore. Never mind...

2. Bullet-proof EGR replace. My understanding is smog legal. No re-programming required. If I still lived in CA and couldn't leave the state, this would be my preferred option to minimize the hassle.
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Old 10-30-2012, 06:50 AM   #8
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Re: Back on the wagon!

3rd option, SCT tuner. My understaning is you can control how much you want the EGR valve to open. Their "economy" tune only allows it to open 5% at full throttle without tripping any codes or interfering with the cooling fan (possible issue if you unplug the EGR valve). The valves natural position is closed. The issue you had Mike was the valve got stuck wide open.


JWINTERSTELLAR told me about this and I'm considering buying one.

http://innovativediesel.com/i-977659...tom-tuned.html
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Old 10-30-2012, 08:09 AM   #9
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Re: Back on the wagon!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoVans
2. Bullet-proof EGR replace. My understanding is smog legal. No re-programming required. If I still lived in CA and couldn't leave the state, this would be my preferred option to minimize the hassle.
I went this route with my SMB, when the original Ford oil cooler started to plug up. I had the oil cooler replaced with a new (improved) Ford oil cooler, and at the same time I had a Bullet Proof EGR installed in place of the Ford EGR. No issues at a smog inspection that happended afterward.

Regarding tuners in Calif, just remember to remove/reprogram back to stock at least a few weeks before inspection so any telltale signs like engine codes are gone. Aggressive tunes can also result in black exhaust on hard accelleration, and Calif does a hard accelleration "snap test" three times in a row. Then the tech makes a purely subjective determination if there is too much soot in your exhaust. Don't count on the tech being compasionate, their job/smog certification could be on the line. Calif does send in known unacceptable vehicles as bait cars for the techs to assess to see if they are being too lenient.


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Old 10-30-2012, 09:47 AM   #10
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Re: Back on the wagon!

Bulletproofing the EGR does not replace the EGR valve. It simply replaces the EGR cooler with a more robust one. As Saline suggested it is still wise to pull the EGR valve periodically and clean it to prevent it from sticking.

Or, delete it (and the cooler) which is what I intend to do but my delta temps between oil and water are still within specs so I'm waiting until the oil cooler starts showing more signs of blockage. In the meantime, I have an SCT X3 flash device and had Eric at Innovative Diesel write a custom economy tune which turns off the EGR, adds 65 rwhp, and better shift transmission shift points. It takes just a couple of minutes to reinstall the stock program if I was to take it to an emissions station or perhaps to the dealer if it was still under warranty. I'm quite happy with it and am getting a bit better mileage as well.
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