Ducato 2.8JTD engine hesitancy

Discussion in 'Fiat' started by Jaguarnut, Jul 8, 2009.

  1. Jaguarnut

    Jaguarnut Read Only Funster

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    Hello all.
    I have recently bought a well maintained Ducato Maxi based motorhome (Bessacarr E745 with lots of extras!) which has done 35,000 well maintained miles. The vehicle is a 2001 registered 2.8 JTD (M13 spec i.e. no EGR valve), 232 version which is a pre-facelift model. This heralds my return to Motorhomes, having been sad enough to own four caravans since 1990! It takes some of us a long while to learn:Laughing:
    I have an issue which refuses to be found and I am not sure if it is a fault or a trait with these vehicles. I have nothing to compare my wagon with.
    To describe the issue then. On light throttle openings with the engine thoroughly warm, the issue can only be described as 'hesitancy' where the engine seems unable to make it's mind up whether to accelerate or decelerate. This can range from a 'seat-of-trousers' feeling of something, to noticable surging that a passenger has readily noticed. It is not specific to gear or engine speed, but one can usually induce it in 4th gear easily between 40 - 50 mph. One can also either open throttle further, or release it slightly and the problem goes away. When cold, the engine can seem a bit jumpy.
    Under the warranty that came included with the purchase, the wagon has spent a good amount of time with a Fiat Professional Dealer. Unfortunately, it is a relatively new franchise and by their own admission see few x230 ducatos. They see a lot more x250's. However, they started with the basics. The rear gearbox mount was changed as I pointed out it seemed weak. That improved the general drivability no end. The Fiat diagnostic pc (i have forgotton the name) has revealed no fault codes. The electronic throttle is fine, with the larger of the two voltages reaching about 4.5v on full throttle. I have driven the vehicle with the pc connected and the Technician has taken all sorts of graphs whilst I demonstrated the fault and nothing shows up. Demanded pressure = actual pressure for the fuel rail etc. A new fuel filter & air filter has been fitted (genuine fiat). The coolant temperature seemed low. The thermostat and the temperature sender (for the ECU) were changed and that improved the temperature slightly (average 91/92 degrees). I understand that actual fuel pressure and 'leak-off' checks were performed - all OK. The Fiat fault 'database' suggested checking the part number of the common rail fuel pressure sensor, as some vehicles needed a modified item. The right one is fitted! The Technician started to suspect a problem with either the injectors or the fuel pump. However after contacting Fiat technical (no help apparently!) and the Bosch Injection specialist in Bristol, they said these issues were normal for Common Rail engines and the garage would waste their time sending them for testing.
    After all this though, the engine idles smoothly, picks up well, pulls like a train and otherwise impresses!!! (And I'm used to 3.2 and 4.2 six cylinder petrol Jaguars (My other toys!!!)
    So, do I have an issue or is this simply a trait of the vehicle? I do not know. Talking to a couple of other owners, they seem not to have the problem - or is simply they do not notice it? I would certainly appreciate any guidance either way as both the supplying Motorhome dealer and the Fiat garage are stumped.
     
  2. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    my first thought was dirty/faulty injectors or poor spray pattern.

    dont think that would show on diagnostics:Sad:

    Oh....and welcome to the best forum on the web.
     
  3. Douglas

    Douglas Read Only Funster

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    It does not sound to me to be an injector problem but a lazy turbo for some reason.

    Doug...
     
  4. Jaguarnut

    Jaguarnut Read Only Funster

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    Thanks guys - food for thought!

    I have just spent a long weekend away in the Bessacarr and having driven it a lot more I can now add the following observations.

    The surging/hesitancy occurs whether the engine is hot of cold. It is on part throttle, usually when the engine is doing less than 2500rpm. It is always occuring on mixed "A" road driving.

    I have noticed that when it occurs, the tacho remains steady, so with the absence of any warning lights or management codes, the fault would seem to be mechanical of fuel related, I would guess. given the response so far, this problem does seem to be a fault rather than a trait of the marque. I would have expected numerous "They all do that.." type replies!!!

    Any further thoughts folks? Although I have had the rear gearbox mount changed, it wouldn't be anything so basic as the main engine mounts giving up the ghost would it?

    As an aside, I just checked the fuel consumption, tankful-to-tankful. I obtained just over 26 mpg after about 50 miles motorway running at 70 mph, plenty of mixed "A" road driving with some good steep heills thrown in. I was quite impressed, for a 24' overcab coachbuilt running at about 3.5 tonnes!!!
     
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