Jump to content

ISB 5.9 325 HP - Fault Code 325 When driving in Wet Weather


Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

We have found that recently our rig has became a fair weather coach. Anytime we encounter a wet road we are getting a Warning Light indicating an engine fault. We thought it had been fixed back in April on a trip to Texas. This last week on a trip to Wyoming we hit a thunderstorm and within a few miles I felt the engine miss fire. Within another couple miles we had passed through the storm and it started running normally again. Then about 30 miles later we ran into a major down pour. This time the engine began to miss fire and the Warning light came on.

A little history first. We have a 2007 Monaco Cayman with the ISB 5.9 325 HP engine with about 30K miles on it. On a recent trip as we were rolling through Weatherford, TX, I felt the engine miss fire and stutter as I rolled up to a stop light at the giant round about in the center of town. I looked down to see the check engine light come on. When the stop light turned green I stepped on the accelerator and had almost no power. It was pouring rain and we had been driving in rain all morning. I managed to get through the round about and found an empty parking lot a few blocks further down the road.

Thinking I might have water in the fuel I went back and checked the fuel filter and found no water in the bowl. The engine was shaking violently and miss firing and sounded like it was only running on two cylinders. I ended up calling a mobile mechanic that finally showed up some 1-1/2 hours later. He connected his diagnostic computer and it indicated the cylinders 5 & 6 were miss firing. The computer detected a Fault Code 325. See this link for more info:

ISB/ISBe Series Engines - FAULT CODE 325 - Diesel Engine Troubleshooting

His diagnosis was that we had a wiring harness inside of the valve cover that was damaged. He explained that this harness was held in place with plastic tie wraps that would occasionally break and allow the harness to get into the valve train and get chewed up by the motion of the valves.

I was stunned to learn that there were wires that ran internally inside the valve cover and held in place with tie wraps. (The attached photo shows this harness once the valve cover was removed.) He told us that we could drive it with this problem and it wouldn't damage the engine but we would be low in power. He even told us we "might" be able to make it the 600+ miles back home to Colorado but would not recommend it because we might get stalled in Ten Buck Two. Unwilling to take that risk, I had Him get us scheduled into their repair shop 5 days from the day we had our issue. We limped it to a campground a couple miles from the repair shop and waited out the 5 days.

The day of our appointment to get into the repair shop I drove from the campground to the shop and it ran normal. No check engine light or lack of power. When we got to the repair shop the mechanic connected his computer and it had no current code. It showed a previous 325 code indicating a defective injector and/or injector harness. He pulled the valve cover and found no issue with the harness. He measured the resistance of the injector solenoid and it read normal. Unknown to me the newer diesels have a solenoid valve that opens to spray the fuel into the cylinder. Apparently failure of these wire harnesses is a common failure on the ISB 5.9 engines. There are 3 harnesses. Each one controls 2 injectors. Not wanting to experience this again I told them to replace all 3 harnesses. They had to order in the new harnesses overnight.

The next morning the mechanic replaced all 3 harnesses. He found none of the harnesses damaged except the failing one which had a damaged grommet seal where it passed into the valve galley. I asked him if this damage grommet could of allow rain water to get into the wire harness and cause the issue. (Remember, it ran fine driving to the shop 5 days after the incident, having 5 days to dry out.) Unaware our issue started while driving in a rain storm, he acknowledged that that could very well have been the cause of our problem. He commented that because our engine had never been opened up before, this damaged grommet may have been installed improperly at the factory.

With the new harnesses installed he reinstalled the valve cover with new gaskets and started it up. It ran fine and it threw no codes. We took it for a test drive and it seemed to run as good as new. So some $2800 later, $380 for the parts and $2420 for labor and roadside diagnostics we were on our way to Colorado.


Based on the fact that the internal wire harnesses are brand new I am convinced that the problem involves the wire harness between the ECU and the plugs that plug into the valve cover. I am curious if anyone has ran into this issue and if so what was the fix?

I am fairly convinced the issue is on the connector at the ECU. There are 2 plugs (see second and third photos) on the ECU which are a bear to reach. I managed to get a couple of phone photos of the plugs. There is what appears to be a bolt that goes through the center of the plug. I can't tell if it is an allen socket or a small bolt head. I assume that if I can get this unplugged I could remove the plug, inspect and clean it. Has anyone tried to unplug these plugs and if so how did you do it?

Does anyone have a document that tells what the pin out of these connectors is?

 

IMG_2466.jpg

IMG_2576.jpg

IMG_2579.jpg

Edited by johnfr
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Usually the bolts are hex head on the ECMs I had. The Injector leads should be on a 60 pin connector, 10x6 pin configuration, the other should be 10x5. You say there was history for misfire on 5, 6. These are on the same harness pair, possibly flaky mating connector on that harness.

I hate when someone takes advantage of us, it took me an hour to replace the harness on ours. Different engine but it included jake wiring. Harness ~ 100 bucks.

Good luck! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/1/2024 at 9:54 PM, Ivan K said:

Usually the bolts are hex head on the ECMs I had. The Injector leads should be on a 60 pin connector, 10x6 pin configuration, the other should be 10x5. You say there was history for misfire on 5, 6. These are on the same harness pair, possibly flaky mating connector on that harness.

I hate when someone takes advantage of us, it took me an hour to replace the harness on ours. Different engine but it included jake wiring. Harness ~ 100 bucks.

Good luck! 

I had the same issue but with my transmission not shifting past 4th then 3 gear during a wet drive. Removed the I think 5 connector plugs on the trans cleaned them silicon sealed all the wires going into the back of the plugs added di-electric grease to connector/pins. no issues the past 3 years

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Update on the issue. I took the rig to a couple young mechanics (cousins of my son-in-law that live next door to my daughter and son-in-law) that specialize in super tuning Cummins Engines. https://borediesel.com/.  I explained my symptoms to them and they dug into it.  They connected their computer and it showed the same 325 codes we had experienced in TX.

They first followed my lead and checked the connectors to the ECU and found no problems. They then went to the topside of the engine and began to wiggle the wires going to the connectors into the valve galley. Still couldn't induce any issues. Then he grabbed a common spray bottle of water and began spraying water on the top side connector for cylinders 5 & 6. Virtually the instant he sprayed water on the connector the engine began to miss fire. He was also able to get miss fires on 3 & 4 by spraying that connector. I was standing there watching over his shoulder as he sprayed the water. As soon as the water cleared off of the wires and connector it would run normally. (I was unaware at the time, that they had already tried the same water spray test on the ECU connectors a few minutes earlier and had not been able to induce the issue.)  While the connectors and wires didn't show any signs of corrosion or anything he recommended replacing the connectors. He ordered a set of 3 connectors to replace all of them.

Two days later after the parts came in he called me to let me know it was ready to go. I went out to pick it up and chatted with him about what he had found. He showed me the old connectors and the plastic bodies were somewhat deformed from age and heat. He assured me that they had replaced the connectors they sprayed lots of water over the new connectors and were unable to induce any miss fires. They had also revisited the ECU connectors giving them a good spray down and saw no issues. 

So after 1-1/2 hours of diagnostics and  4-1/2 hours labor (@ $158/hr.) to replace the connectors and $150 in parts for a total $1120 I am hopeful that I have finally put this issue behind me. 

In hindsight did the shop in TX miss diagnose the problem or attack it by going after the most expensive fix first? I'm not sure I can fault them too much. I failed to mention to their mechanic before he started his diagnostics that the issue suddenly showed in a rain storm. Had I mentioned it he might have approached his diagnostics differently. I only connected the dots after the issue showed up 6 weeks later the next time we encountered rain while driving. 

Edited by johnfr
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...