Continued Success or service intervals and EGR cleanings…

The success of continued maintenance this past year with return customers has been something else.  We push to keep these trucks running and our efforts to inform customers about the abuse they are putting their rigs through on a daily basis, is truly paying off.  Or 30k service here is an A list scheduled service and is not for everyone and most times we work with customers that are pushing their trucks as hard as some of our traditional blue color customers.  It’s the conversation about the customers workload that is making the difference.  The weekend warrior hauling a travel trailer once a month just isn’t under the same workload that the general contractor hauling the company dump trailer is under and we factor that into what services a truck may need.  

The newer generation turbos and emissions equipment require much more finesse as well as attention when it comes to operations.  These components are finicky at best and need to be addressed often especially when CEL (check engine lights) appear.  These lights are not just a warning, they are indicators that the computer has gather thousands of way points to say that there is in fact an issue.  This means, do not put it off until limp mode occurs.  This can lead to even more costly repairs than just replacing a simple sensor or component.  

Left Coast Diesel carries all the fluids, filters and consumables your diesel truck needs to stay maintained.

It never fails but the first time we see a customer is on a tow truck, they had a CEL on and didn’t have the time or money to worry about it until the truck was in full limp mode.  When these exhaust systems get to that point, it’s a 50/50 shot at best that a repair is as simple as a sensor, manual regen or EGR cleaning.

We have seen the success in this service plan with our fleet accounts, regular customers and new customers that are just leaving the dealer and have never been told that a transmission service, diff service or even that the oil and fuel change algorithms are NOT what you should look at.  Keep the services coming guys, IT WILL PAY OFF.

New Year, New Deals!! Check Out Our Accessory Offerings!

Fresh for 2019, Left Coast Diesel is offering some killer deals on popular accessories.  For the first time ever, we are offering these accessories with bundled labor pricing to save you money!  Our great customers have asked for more accessory offerings and we are finally listening.

Through the end of February we are offering AMP retracting steps for $1700+tax, INSTALLED!!  Train horns from Klein and Hornblasters starting at $800+tax, INSTALLED! and custom grilles from RBP, T-Rex and Putco starting at $600+tax INSTALLED!
Call us to schedule and discuss options today!!

Does Your Duramax Smoke At Idle? You Probably Need Injectors

This is a customer’s 2002 that he brought in because he thought it might need injectors.  Let us know what you think! (THIS IS AN EXTREME EXAMPLE!!)
LB7 powered (through 2004 Duramax) Chevys and GMCs all suffer from injector failure at some point in their service life.  Many fail as early as 50k miles.  GM recognized this issue and actually had to extend the warranty to 7-years/200k miles.  Bosch redesigned the injector internals a few years ago and essentially corrected the problem; newer injector installations are seeing 150k+ mileage with no issues.

If you drive one, or see one on the road, you can easily spot a truck with injector issues.  At an idle (and worse in gear) these early Duramaxes will haze smoke at idle.  Lots of folks think this is a normal deal for a diesel.  Its not!  That haze is letting you know that one or more injectors are dribbling fuel into the combustion chamber.  Its always a good idea to keep an eye on your oil level.  Failing injectors will often leak fuel into the crankcase, resulting in elevated oil levels and even leaks that appear to be from the rear main seal.

LB7 injectors are also prone to leak on the return side.  This is something you might not see or notice unless you are towing alot.  Owners who experience this problem will have their trucks go into Limp-Home mode when pulling a hill.  The codes will indicate a lack of fuel pressure during enrichment as the fuel is all returning to the tank instead of going into your engine.

GM’s Tech Bulletins basically indicate that if one is bad, replace all 8.  Of course, GM filed for bankruptcy, so dealers were routinely replacing only the injectors that were weak on an injector balance test.  That means that TONS of used Duramaxes are running around with old, leaky injectors in them.  And all of them are out of warranty now.

The LB7 injector job is pretty significant.  The injectors are buried below two layers of valve covers, each with a gasket that is both expensive and generally not saveable.   Each injector also has a return washer that must be replaced.  All of the FICM seals and water seals must also be replaced when performing this job.  Gaskets and seals alone can be as much as $400!  Add 8 injectors at $359 each (dealer price) and this job is pricey.

Left Coast Diesel can knock these difficult jobs out in a couple of days, with significant savings over the dealer.  We use the updated injectors (beware of discount “rebuilds”) and we replace all the seals and gaskets that many other folks might skip.  This means your truck comes back to you more bulletproof than it was when it left the factory!

Dodge Ram DEATH WOBBLE?? What’s that??

Since the release of the 1994 Dodge Ram through the current generation of Rams, there have always been concerns with the dreaded Death Wobble.

WHAT IS DEATH WOBBLE?  It is basically a violent shaking of the front that can only be stopped by literally slowing the vehicle down to a stop.  The most frequent situation in which Death Wobble occurs is driving between 40 and 60 mph, hitting a bump.  Then all hell breaks loose.

Now, if you drive a Second Gen Dodge (1994-2002) then you have several possible causes. Most likely, it’s a track bar issue.  The bushing ends wear out and cause excessive play and this alone can lead to death wobble.  But, its also likely that you have other problems.  Tie rod ends tend to wear at 60-80k, sooner if you are offroad a lot.  Then, of course there is the steering box.  They are basically junk when new, so if yours doesn’t have play, you can consider yourself lucky.  There are great aftermarket boxes available from AGR and REDHEAD, or you can go with a fresh rebuild and use an aftermarket steering box stabilizer from BD or Source.  These stabilizing braces prevent the sector shaft in the steering box from being able to side-load, thereby preventing the box from failing.

If you drive a Third Gen Dodge (2003+) you have a slightly better steering box, although they still wear.  The steering design is pretty much the same until 2008, when Dodge finally changed the linkage design to one that prevents the pivoting motion that allows the Death Wobble to start.  Although Dodge never admitted to a problem, you may find it interesting that you can no longer buy individual tie rod ends for the 2002-2007 old-style steering.  They only thing they sell is a complete linkage kit to convert the older Third Gens to the newer style steering.  This is a marked upgrade and highly recommended.

For all Dodges, balljoints are an issue.  The geometry of the front end tends to beat up the upper balljoints, when those fail the lowers are sure to fail soon after.  There are some outstanding balljoints available from Carli and XRF.  Both are forged construction, no-plastic units and either one is an incredible upgrade from stock.

Death Wobble is scary, its unsafe and it kills tires.  If you have a whole lotta shakin goin on, then we recommend you give us a call to check out the front end in your rig and get you back on the road safely!

In the SF Bay Area, Norcal, North or East Bay, San Francisco, Oakland, or Concord and looking for diesel truck service? Give Left Coast Diesel a call.