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Complex problem

In April 2016, I had a well running machine, with a very good fuel consumption – 11.0l/100km with a 850kg trailer in tow and no issues, except for a come and go problem of an engine warning which said that the ECU was “cactus”.

I had replaced #1 injector twice in the previous 4000km, as I had been waiting for a complete new set of injectors to put into J3 and the vehicle would be good for the next 100 to 150,ooo km.

AusGhost was slow with parcel delivery, so the trip had to be done prior to the full injector replacement being carried out.

One injector just took a patsy on a very hot day [2000km into the trip, 43 deg C] , still don’t know the reason, but certainly had no clicks and no mojo!!

The replacement only did 100km, put 4 litres of diesel in the sump and another couple of days to the trip.

This was replaced , but I didn’t replace the o-rings as these had been done in the previous 35,000 km and there had been no loss of coolant or rise in oil levels.

Fortunately had another spare, which performed well, until our trip to Hay.

We had been camping with the attached camper trailer and J3 just stopped. No warning, except a slightly longer start sequence – started, then no go, even if towed.

Went through all the base and complex likely problems:

Good power on cranking, correct fuel flow, oil pressure rising, but still the problem with the ECU red light/ error code.

So I decide to replace the ECU:

A dodgy one is supplied from South Australia, which was full of oil and not revealed. I found a good one, pay $750 to have the key and unit re-programmed by the dealer.

Go to start and still no start.

Back to the drawing board and I attack the RPCV, which is relatively easy to remove, but this one takes most of a day with a requirement to remove with a structured hex-only socket, cleaned it and as others have found then worked well.

End up drenching the engine with oil and find a failed o-ring in the HP oil line [This should have given me the clue for the later experiences], so replace, fire up and go, after a 10 day layover and parts wait in a caravan park.

We got too excited though and a further 2000km on, dropped from the cruise above Bourke on way north and into Wyandra.

No power, no response – cruise into a parking area and camp and scratch my head again.

I do all the obvious and more – clean RPCV again, replace the lower oil sump seals [these were a bit soft so replace], which is hard on the ground and in 20km/hour winds, still no go.

I find the secondary filter has failed, so replace this as well.

I change the ORPS with no success [I will put a switch on the white lead next time]

I tow the vehicle with no success, so remove the tappet cover again, pulling the injectors. Now I have the problem, the o-rings between the oil rail and injector face are completely blown away, gaps everywhere.

I replace them, tappet cover on for the fifth time in a 10,000km trip and J3 fires and runs.


  • Diesel in the oil is the worst situation;
  • Don’t mess with this at all – just replace all the o-rings;
  • Clean the RPCV

J3 lives!!

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