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Cummins 5.9 #4 Injector Tube Failure - Could of been Bad Day


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I am not trying to start a bash on Dodge/Cummins but am only trying to warn others of a recent problem I had with my Dodge that turned out to be a fairly common problem. I am sure a lot of you are already aware of the issue, but until a few days ago, I was not and if I can help even one person out there I feel this thread is worth it.

I have a 2007 Dodge 3500 4 door pickup with the Cummins 5.9. It has under 70k miles. My wife and I were driving home from our annual Christmas break trip to Arizona. (she works at a local primary school) We were pulling a car trailer that had our Suzuki Sidekick 4X4 on it that we had used to explore around the desert with on our trip. It was before sunrise on the 2nd of January and were were approaching Jackpot NV near the Idaho/Nevada boarder (middle of no where.) The outside temp was 7 below according to the trucks temp gauge. The driving tracks on the road were basically bare but there was lots of packed snow and ice along the edges of the road and in some places in the center of the driving lanes. The first indication of a problem was the check engine light came on but the truck continued to appear to run okay. A few miles later while approaching Jackpot, the truck died just like you had shut if off. I coasted to the edge of the road the best I could but was still blocking much of the north bound side of the highway. The truck would not restart and I could smell diesel. Got out for a quick look and could see lots of diesel under the front of the truck. I had to get the truck out of the road so we unloaded the little Sidekick as quickly as possible and hooked it to the front of the truck with a tow strap. Using low range and first gear in the sidekick, my wife was able to pull the truck and trailer into the town and into a safe parking place along the highway. After taking a break in a nearby casino to warm up and let the sun rise I begin to look for the source of the fuel leak. I was soon able to figure out that the source as the tube that runs between the common rail and the #4 injector. There appeared to be a crack in the tube very near the fitting on the injector. I really wanted to get everything home that day so I removed the tube from the common rail as that fitting was very easy to reach and get loose with an adjustable wrench. I didn't have to undo the harder to get to injector fitting as the tube broke off without effort. My plan was to crimp off the end of the tube and drive home on 5 cylinders. I figured that there was fairly high pressure on the tube but didn't at the time realize how high the pressure was. I could see the tube was very thick walled and would not crimp over with the basic tools I had. I ended up using part of the trailer hitch as an anvil and hammering the end of the tube shut. Put the modified tube back on the common rail fitting and gave it a try. The engine started right up and there was only a small drip out of the end of the tube. The engine ran a little rough, but not as bad as i thought it might. My next fear was that the computer would know that one cylinder was not firing and either put me into a limp mode or worse, shut the engine down and not allow it to run. With that concern in mind I had my wife follow me in the Sidekick rather than loading it back on the trailer in case the truck died in the middle of the road again and I needed a two to get to a safe parking place. I drove to the next real town (Twin Falls ID) with her following. The truck actually ran pretty well. At Twin Falls I stopped in a large parking lot and found the tube was leaking fuel at a rate more than I wanted to let it continue. There was a factory bend in the tube near the broken off end and I hammered that bend down in an attempt to kink the tube. It appeared to work so we loaded the sidekick on the trailer and got on the nearby freeway for the couple hundred mile trip for home. About 40 miles down the road I could tell the tube was leaking a lot again from the smell and white smoke trail I was leaving. Pulled over at the next exit and really went to town on the tube with the hammer. This time I smashed it enough to hold for the rest of the trip. Got home without further incident.

Was so glad to be home I took this picture:




Did some research online and found that the #4 injector tube breaking/leaking is a fairly common issue with this generation of 5.9 engine. It appears that the clamp that hold the tube between the two fittings and keeps it from vibrating is know to become loose and allow the tube to slowly destroy itself. If caught early and kept tight then the tube failure is normally prevented. There are a few forums that discuss the problem. One of them is:


The first I ever heard about it was after my problem. If you have a 3rd generation 5.9 (approximately 2003 to 2007) and you have not yet had a #4 injector tube failure, I suggest you look into this further. There is an updated replacement tube available for about $30 from cummins and it is fairly easy to install so at least it will be cheap and easy to fix. I ordered my tube online as there is not a cummins shop nearby my home. I also found out the pressure in the tube can be as high as 26,000 pounds (yes that is thousands) so I can see why I had such a difficult time getting the tube to quit leaking. Also learned that a cummins will run okay on 5 if needed.

Picture of the problem area


You can see the rail fitting for the broke tube to the left of the orange sticker. It is the fitting with the nick in it. To the left of that is the loose blue clamping block. It is the block that needs to be checked and kept tight, along with the other nearby blue clamping blocks. Further to the left you can see the #4 injector fitting with the short section of tube sticking out. Near the lower right of the picture you can see the end of the #4 tube where I kinked it and smashed the end of it to seal it off enough to drive home. The end of the tube is above the top of the fuel filter housing.

A few days later the new tube arrived.



Checked the other injector tube clamps. Found all of them loose. #3 was very loose. All tight now. Got new tube installed without issue.


Old tube. You can see where I smashed it closed.


Took truck out for a test drive and no leaks.

Used my cheap scan tool to reset/clear the check engine light.

All is well that ends well. smile.gif

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Our late 2007 5.9 with 110k on it when we sold it and never had an issue. Maybe ours was fixed at manufacture. It was one of the very last to come off the line in the fall of 2006 just before change over to the new engine.

Ron & Linda

Class of 2007
2000 Monaco Diplomat

2005 Honda Element

"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are" Theodore Roosevelt

"We can't control the wind, but we can adjust our sail"

"When man gave up his freedom to roam the earth, he gave up his soul for a conditioned ego that is bound by time and the fear of losing its attachments."

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Very interesting story and nice write up! We have been looking at a very nice 2003 Dodge/Cummins that has just under 100K so it sounds like this would apply to it. The truck is owned by a widow neighbor who is still thinking about letting it go, so I may not get it but I'll sure check that out if we do.

Good travelin !...............Kirk

Full-time 11+ years...... Now seasonal travelers.
Kirk & Pam's Great RV Adventure



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