Join Date: Feb 2017
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'97 'Shaker with 3406e Shake!
Hello all from Colorado, new guy to the forum here. First of all, thanks to anyone and everyone who takes the time to read my post with my situation, I have spent weeks and weeks searching tirelessly on these forums to find a similar situation to mine with limited luck. I have a 1997 Freightliner with a 5EK 3406e, 475hp, 18 speed trans, Rockwell lockers in the back with 3.91 gears. She’s not much to look at, but this truck is the queen of the job site with those lockers, I do end dump work. Anyway, I’ve owned it for about 6 months, and it’s always had a slight shake at 1200rpm that gets a little worse at 1300, then disappears at 1400 on up.
Having grown up on a farm with all manner of diesel engines, each with their own quirks, I decided that it wasn’t much to worry about. However, it seems like within the last several thousand miles that it has started to be a little worse. I went ahead and took it into Diesel Services of Northern Colorado, and had them replace the vibration damper (original one was still rubber), run the overhead, and check the overall health of the engine while trying to diagnose the shake. The technician did notice the shake, he did bubble test of the coolant, pressure checked my CAC and rest of system after the turbo, hooked up the computer, did cut-out test. Found the overhead to have several tight exhaust valves, and found injector 2 to give what he said was a “weak reading.” Injector wire harness replaced, said injector now reads fine. $1600 shop bill later, truck has more power, runs smoother 1400rpm on up, but still has a shake. Truck now has a pronounced miss when you poke the throttle when it is cold but goes away when warm. Doesn’t miss when you feather the throttle. The funny thing about the shake is, it does it whether you’re on the throttle or coasting foot off the pedal, and whether the clutch is in or out.
No visible blow-by, uses 1 gallon of oil every 9500 miles, I average 6mpg with the truck. I have always thought the power leaves a little to be desired, I am floorboarded even while empty sometimes to maintain my 1550rpm road speed of 68mph when I encounter hills. Doesn’t blow smoke, and the shop says it has the 500 low nox file when they checked the ECM.
Engine was formerly an OTR truck, owner/op for Interstate Distributor. Came from the factory with 24.5” rims and rubber, he had converted to 22.5” to meet a height requirement when he bought the truck new in ’97. Was able to find most receipts for work done over the years from the dealer in Reno where he had the work done, except for the overhaul. Truck has new turbo and exhaust prior to my ownership. Previous owner said the only time the truck had ever left him on the side of the road is when an injector would fail, so over time it’s had 3 new injectors.
The shake seems to me to be something rotational, like an out of balance flywheel or something internally out of balance inside the engine? Coupled of course with likely injector issues? Any suggestions or experience is much, much appreciated! I am also willing to pay if someone can figure this out!