Diagnose my TD power loss

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Feb 22, 2005
I’ve got a turbo diesel 5l hilux - A 3.0 litre with after market turbo.

The setup has run well for many years but I’m now on a trip and something is amiss.

The car is down on power and is sluggish right through the rev range. There are very few other tell tales. It was ok last week and I’m out of ideas.

It’s not getting hot.
Doesn’t appear to be blowing smoke.
No new noises
Still boosts ok - at least to about 9psi which is all I’ve ever asked of it.

The only real difference that might be a clue is that compared to previously the boost is higher for the same speed. So it’s like the motor is working harder. It does feel like I’m having to be heavier on the throttle. Previously at 100kph it sat at 4-5psi. Now at 85kph it’s doing that.

I did have a new free flowing muffler installed last week but I can’t imagine that is it. I’ve checked the air inlet and no issues there. Fuel filter recently replaced. Fuel tank run to empty and refilled. It just feels restrict.

I have a new fuel filter to put in to rule that out but 99% sure that’s not the issue. I’m thinking it’s either fuel or compression related but just guessing really.

Any ideas very much appreciated.
I would install the filter, based on the statement that it ran dry and refilled. Could have picked up some minor debris from the bottom of the tank. I have had similar issue in my own vehicles so go with the Filter then let us know how it goes.
I would go with the new fuel filter AND a new air filter, just to rule them out.
Thanks guys. Just to clarify I didn’t run the tank dry, just down far enough so that the fuel in there previously wasn’t going to be an issue.

I ran it very briefly without the air filter so I’ve eliminated that as a possible cause.

I’ll do the fuel filter today and see how I go.
Someone has suggested I bleed the injector lines to rule out an air pocket. A failing fuel pump was the other suggestion.
Usually worn pumps come on slowly, as they warm up they lose power at the top end due to the plunger losing its precision and as the components around it expand with heat.. This lowers the pressure of each charge of fuel sent to the injectors. So you are probably on the right track. If it was engine compression there would be smoke and or oil burn
Been out of range for a few days but I changed the fuel filter and it looks like that was the issue!

I’m currently on a sand island and yet to get it on the highway but indications are positive. Car feels like it’s got some life it it again!
Good news. I got some bad fuel once and noticed an instant loss of power from the 1HZ . I took the prefilter out and it was orange like rusty water

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