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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have followed this Forum a but since purchasing my 2018 GMC Canyon Denali but this is my first post. First a little history and background before getting into the title of my first post.

I fell in love with diesels only recently after I purchased a Thor Super C Motorhome on the F-550 Chassis w/ the 6.7 PowerStroke a couple years ago. After seeing the improvement in power and fuel economy over a gasser Class C motorhome, I decided wanted to replace my Silverado 1500 with a reasonably priced diesel pickup.

I purchased the GMC Canyon in November 2019 used from a Toyota dealer w/ just under 30K miles on it with some factory warranty left. It was very clean and I assumed mostly highway miles since the CarFax showed it was put into service in December 2017. The CarFax showed nothing unusual.... other than it being hard on the rear brakes. But it didn't look like it did not do any towing because the receiver was clean and not scratched up and all rusted.

I was going to do some towing with it for a few thousand miles each year pulling a snowmobile trailer in the winter months.The trailer loaded with either 2 or 3 snowmobiles weighs in at 4000 - 5000lbs.... well under the 7700lb towing capacity. I thought this would be a perfect truck for a daily driver plus some light towing.

I only did two modes to the truck...... I added a rear Hellwig Sway Bar and then decided to add the Green Diesel Engineering Tune about a year ago. The GDE Tune was great.... it increased throttle response and boosted fuel economy.... so much so I went from it taking two stops for fuel to go from our home in western PA to our place in southwest FL (~1200 miles) to only one stop for fuel!!!

I am meticulous when it comes to maintenance on all of my equipment. The truck currently is just shy of 70K miles (of course 10K over the powertrain warranty). I just changed the oil last week (10% left on computer) before a 750 mile round trip drive to New York for a snowmobile trip. I only use AC Delco filters and either PennzOil Dexos2 Platinum Euro L 5W-30 or Castrol Dexos2 EDGE C3 5W-30. I also use Diesel Kleen occasionally. If I have a trip of any length, I will change the oil if down to 10 - 15%.

The truck was running fine on the way up to New York with no signs of issues..... not low on power..... no bogging.... no unusual noise....etc. On the way back from our snowmobile trip yesterday we were about 70 miles from home going down a grade on the interstate at about 70MPH and then I hear a bang.... I look out the side view mirror and I see smoke coming from the rear wheel well.... I immediately think a tire blew. As I slow down to get off the interstate it doesn't feel like a tire went down.... plus I have a set of Blizzaks on it that only have about 5000 miles so I think maybe it was a trailer tire.

I shut down, get out of the truck and look at the tire and it's fine.... the trailer tires look ok....... then I see a trail of oil in the snow on the berm. Open the hood and I see oil dripping from the bottom end of the motor. At this point I'm thinking it threw a rod..... I'm hoping maybe the turbo blew.... but I doubt it. I didn't notice a CEL or any other warning on the dash before I shut down but admittedly I was focused on getting of the highway safely.

Based on some reading on this Forum, I've seen a few other guys reported similar problems. Including another guy driving down the interstate at 70MPH on cruise control.... not towing.... no mods..... similar mileage...... then bang.... smoke.... and oil. Turned out it was a connecting rod / wrist pin failure in his case.

I don't think the GDE Tune had any impact on the motor grenading given some of the failures I have read about on trucks with under 75K miles and not modded. Out of the 40K miles I put on the truck, I probably have only towed 5K - 6K miles with it and never through any serious high mountain terrain.

It's at the dealer now so I am expecting a call early next week with the bad news. From what I read it will be $15K to replace the motor..... and I still owe $11K on the truck.

I found a couple used motors around the country with decent miles.... they are running $5000 - $6000. I'm guessing $2500-$3000 if I can find a local shop who would do it... so that could cut the repair bill by $6-$7K. The GM crate motor would give me 3 yr / 100K warranty and I would probably go that route if I decide to keep the truck. If I went used, I would probably sell the truck after the motor gets replaced given there have been reports of injector and piston related failures.

I have to say I am pretty disappointed. I expected to get at least 125K - 150K of trouble free miles out of the engine and transmission. Most of the reviews I read 2 years ago about the Baby Duramax were very good and why I pulled the trigger on the Canyon. A major engine failure like this is not something I even remotely considered.

If anyone has any thoughts or advice, I'd appreciate it at this point.

Oh.... and if this isn't bad enough.... I retired early at 58 and yesterday was my last day on the payroll....... ugh!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Well.... I decided to go the dealer and take a closer look to see if I could figure out what happened and it is as bad as I feared. I took my scanner with me to pull any codes.

First I tried to look for an obvious sign of a crack in the block or gash in the oil pan. The oil seems to be over the cross-member and below the oil cooler but there were no obvious signs a rod came through the outer block or oil pan.

Next I check the oil level...... it was way over full. I just changed the oil..... 6 quarts exactly and it was just below the full mark last weekend. Then I looked at the coolant reservoir. It was empty so that means there is probably a crack in a cylinder and coolant leaked into the pan. The oil was black and not grey and milky but there is likely coolant at the bottom of the pan.

Then I tried to pull any codes. There was just a DPF Sensor high code. No other codes at all.

I was going to try to start it but I was getting a low battery message on the display. I was surprised because the truck was sitting out in upstate New York in very cold temps and it started with ease yesterday morning. I ran home and got my jump pack... put it on boost and the low battery message cleared. Turned the key and just a click...... the engine is locked up solid.

So it looks like a rod / wrist pin failed... probably put a small gash in the front of the oil pan (guessing it was #1 or #2 cylinder since the sump is still full of oil).... and then something got wedged in the crack and locked it up.

I'm going to stop at the dealership on Monday and tell them not to diagnose it to save the fee. I am going to ask them to quote me an engine replacement and also the contact info for the Regional Service Manager. I will call him and tell him that even though the truck is 9000 miles over the powertrain warranty, there is no way that engine should have grenaded.

I am also sending an email this weekend to the GM Warranty, Repair & Lemon Law Help address and tell them I have been reading about similar failures with this engine and there is clearly a problem. I will ask kindly for some goodwill assistance but I am not paying $15K for a new motor given the public record of this type of issue.

I found a motor out of a totaled 2018 that supposedly has 15K miles on it at a salvage yard. I asked the guy a few questions and waiting for a response but he wants $5500 for it. I was looking for local shops this morning that do engine swaps so I will be calling them on Monday to get a price and timeframe.

This is just a dang shame and should never happen. I mean sure..... a catastrophic failure is going to happen once in a blue moon. But to have several people post about rod / wrist pin failures in the 20K - 90K mileage range is an unreasonable failure.

I'm not sure I am going to be comfortable keeping the truck after the engine is replaced. Of course it is a bad time to be looking for another vehicle.... but I have started that process. I may sell it after I get it fixed. If I would go with the crate motor and get a 3yr/ 100K warranty, I might hang on to the truck. If I go with the used option, then I would likely unload it.

I'm bummed to say the least.....

I did throw the stock calibration files back into the ECM so the GDE Tune is not in there and I don't have to deal with the nonsense of the tune caused it. There are plenty of 2.8's out there with the same failure that were stock.
 

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Oh man, sorry to hear.

Curious if it will be the "stuck injector" issue. If so and it has a crack or hole in the affected piston, your current engine could be rebuildable. The oil comes out the main seal, as pressure from the turbo pushes it out when the piston has a hole in it.

A new set of OEM pistons is around a grand for the parts. I would replace all the injectors, and always run the Diesel Kleen with each and every fillup without fail. This is just my opinion, but I think the Denso injectors don't play real nice with "dry" American diesel fuel, and always running lube additive is critical. GM updated the 2.8 with a new head and apparently higher pressure/better Denso injectors later in 2018, so they recognize there is a problem. For what it worth, the big Duramaxes also have had injector issues.

Report back when you hear what is up. Such a drag this sort of thing happens way more often than it should.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Oh man, sorry to hear.

Curious if it will be the "stuck injector" issue. If so and it has a crack or hole in the affected piston, your current engine could be rebuildable. The oil comes out the main seal, as pressure from the turbo pushes it out when the piston has a hole in it.

A new set of pistons is around a grand for the parts. I would replace all the injectors and always run the Diesel Kleen with each and every fillup without fail. This is just my opinion, but I think the Denso injectors don't play nice with "dry" American fuel. GM updated the 2.8 with a new head and apparently higher pressure/better Denso injectors later in 2018.

Report back when you hear what is up. Such a drag this sort of thing happens way more often than it should.
Thanks man!

I don't think it was the stuck injector issue...... was hoping it was that if the turbo didn't blow. The engine is locked solid and won't turn over so it was the lower end that let loose. I have to think it is the connecting rod / wrist pin failure that others have seen.

I just sent a letter to the GM Warranty, Repair & Lemon Law Help email address and referenced the similar failures that have been reported to see if they would help with the cost of installing a crate motor.

I'm going to stop at the dealer on Monday morning and tell them not to do a diagnostic since the engine is locked up and likely not salvageable. I am just going to have them quote me the cost of installing a crate motor.

It won't be pretty to say the least......
 

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Ugh. Locked solid sounds like the rod through the block failure. That one really mystifies me.

Been running T6 5/40 oil for most of my truck's life. I know the 3.0 RAM engines (also a VM Motori based design) had big end crank issues on 5/30 and RAM specified T6 5/40 for those engines. Dunno though, modern oil is so good, it is hard to fathom it being a lubrication failure, and you took care of your stuff with on a good maintenance schedule. It always seems to hit the piston pins too, not the big end crank bearings. The piston failures make me wonder if the oil squirters under the pistons quit working correctly for some reason, causing the piston to overheat and fail at the pin area.

A couple other random factors that I think are wise to avoid with the 2.8 are related to the transmission. First off, the trans loves to shift up into 6th gear and it can lug the engine below 1,500 RPM, which loads the crank bearings unnecessarily. Worse yet, the grade braking (particularly in Tow/haul mode) can zing the revs up to 4K and beyond, which I think is too high. The more these things run in their 1,800 to 2K RPM happy place, the better.

Regardless, it is a diesel, these engines should be bombproof and almost never fail, as it is a rarity for well cared for modern engines to fail. Clearly that is not always the case with these 2.8s. I empathise man...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ugh. Locked solid sounds like the rod through the block failure. That one really mystifies me.

Been running T6 5/40 oil for most of my truck's life. I know the 3.0 RAM engines (also a VM Motori based design) had big end crank issues on 5/30 and RAM specified T6 5/40 for those engines. Dunno though, modern oil is so good, it is hard to fathom it being a lubrication failure, and you took care of your stuff with on a good maintenance schedule. It always seems to hit the piston pins too, not the big end crank bearings. The piston failures make me wonder if the oil squirters under the pistons quit working correctly for some reason, causing the piston to overheat and fail at the pin area.

A couple other random factors that I think are wise to avoid with the 2.8 are related to the transmission. First off, the trans loves to shift up into 6th gear and it can lug the engine below 1,500 RPM, which loads the crank bearings unnecessarily. Worse yet, the grade braking (particularly in Tow/haul mode) can zing the revs up to 4K and beyond, which I think is too high. The more these things run in their 1,800 to 2K RPM happy place, the better.

Regardless, it is a diesel, these engines should be bombproof and almost never fail, as it is a rarity for well cared for modern engines to fail. Clearly that is not always the case with these 2.8s. I empathise man...
Thanks for your thoughts!

I run Rotella T6 5/40 in the 6.7L PowerStroke in my motorhome. That meets Ford's spec. You think if you run what the manufacturer recommends, it should be good enough.... but who knows. Full Synthetic oils today should in themselves be bullet proof too.

But when you look at the EPA induced crap they have to do with these motors.... EGR, etc., that can't be good for the motor over the long haul.

I rarely use the Engine Brake in the 2.8L (I use it all the time in my PowerStroke). I do agree the transmission does tend to lug more than it should. I think the GDE Tune helped with that a little.

I'm not going to hold my breath but maybe GM will help. If they paid for the motor and I paid for labor, I could probably get on board with that approach. But I read about one guy who had the same thing happen just out of warranty with the 2.8L and they only would drop the price $3500. Then they offered $5000 towards a trade. I owe $11K so both of those are nonstarters for me.

If GM only offers a small Goodwill discount, I will likely go with a used motor and then sell the truck. It makes me sad and mad at the same time. I would probably also go with a Ford and a PowerStroke if GM can't standup for their products better.
 

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Oh man, sorry to hear.

Curious if it will be the "stuck injector" issue. If so and it has a crack or hole in the affected piston, your current engine could be rebuildable. The oil comes out the main seal, as pressure from the turbo pushes it out when the piston has a hole in it.

A new set of OEM pistons is around a grand for the parts. I would replace all the injectors, and always run the Diesel Kleen with each and every fillup without fail. This is just my opinion, but I think the Denso injectors don't play real nice with "dry" American diesel fuel, and always running lube additive is critical. GM updated the 2.8 with a new head and apparently higher pressure/better Denso injectors later in 2018, so they recognize there is a problem. For what it worth, the big Duramaxes also have had injector issues.

Report back when you hear what is up. Such a drag this sort of thing happens way more often than it should.
Duken4evr
what makes you think it was 2018 that GM upgraded the injector’s?
I am hoping your right because my truck is a late in the year 2018…..
I always said the trans tunes these guys are selling has the engine lugging to hard.
No 4 banger likes to run that low in the rpm under a load. I do not have a transmission tune and my truck lugs like crazy below 1500 rpm. When climbing a hill with the rpm below 1500 I pull back on the shifter so it will down shift. Usually it will run around 2k and sound much better. Run without the vibration caused by to low in the rpm.
I have to say I am very disappointed with GM. This is beyond a faulty product. It’s starting to sound like a pure lemon . And when you consider how many people that have been burnt with engine failures with the 5.3 and the 6.2 when the cylinder deactivation causes pistons and valves to crash together and destroy the engine. The failure of the 2.4 cam chains. I have to ask what the hell is going on with GM. The length of time it took them to figure out the 8 speed transmission had the wrong fluid in it ..
WTF GM !!! The Russian Ladda has better reliability…
it really pissesss me off when people get raped by extremely poor quality….
Yes know there are some high mileage ones out there. But considering all these failures they better consider themselves VERY LUCKY…..
Get rid of Marry and get someone in there that will fix the downward spiral of GM.

Rant over..

So I have a question
I notice lately that my transmission is acting different.
when I pull away it revs to 2000rpm and when it shifts it drops to about 1800 1900 rpm then stays there as I accelerate until the speed of the truck catches up to what it should be for the rpm.
Then the revs climb to about 2500 and it shifts to 3rd and goes directly to lockup. All other gears seem to shift ok with no slipping. I didn’t notice this until lately.

so what I am saying is if I am going slow up hill, say from a stop sign I can push down on the go pedal and the rpm will rise like it’s slipping under power. In 2nd and 3rd.
does this sound normal
Just to be clear. There is a road with 2 stop signs I have to stop for, they are on a hill.
I stop and when I go the tach goes to 2000 rpm and stays there as the truck speeds up. And just as I get moving it shifts to 2nd and the tach drops about 200 rpm and as the truck speeds up and the tach gets to about 2200 it shifts to 3rd and drops to 1500 and is in lockup.
I don’t remember it slipping this much in 1st and 2nd before.
Does any of yours do this?
it seems the stall speed of the torque converter was at 1500 and now it’s at 2000
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
So I have a question
I notice lately that my transmission is acting different.
when I pull away it revs to 2000rpm and when it shifts it drops to about 1800 1900 rpm then stays there as I accelerate until the speed of the truck catches up to what it should be for the rpm.
Then the revs climb to about 2500 and it shifts to 3rd and goes directly to lockup. All other gears seem to shift ok with no slipping. I didn’t notice this until lately.

so what I am saying is if I am going slow up hill, say from a stop sign I can push down on the go pedal and the rpm will rise like it’s slipping under power. In 2nd and 3rd.
does this sound normal
Just to be clear. There is a road with 2 stop signs I have to stop for, they are on a hill.
I stop and when I go the tach goes to 2000 rpm and stays there as the truck speeds up. And just as I get moving it shifts to 2nd and the tach drops about 200 rpm and as the truck speeds up and the tach gets to about 2200 it shifts to 3rd and drops to 1500 and is in lockup.
I don’t remember it slipping this much in 1st and 2nd before.
Does any of yours do this?
it seems the stall speed of the torque converter was at 1500 and now it’s at 2000
I had the "shudder" coming off a stop sign / light when it was shifting into second / third. I read others who saw this had better luck when they had the transmission flushed. A year ago I took it to the dealer and had the tranny flushed and filled and I have to say it shifted much better down low.

That being said... I started noticing it again more recently and I was thinking I was going to need to take it in to have it flushed again.

It is very disappointing to read about all the issues. Maybe a class action suit is in order for the 2.8L.... but they only one who ever wins in those things are the lawyers.

I was sold on the the 7000+lb towing capacity and figured if I towed a trailer under 5000lbs a couple thousand miles a year I would have no worries with this truck. I don't think only towing about 5000 miles in two years hammered the motor.... especially after reading about guys who just use it as a daily driver having it grenade.... but I am worried about fixing it and then having it blow again. Out of the 40K miles we put on the truck in two years, more than half are highway miles.

After sleeping on it last night.... I think I am going to start truck shopping while I work to get the Canyon fixed either via GM or a used motor. Then I will sell it and cut my losses....... it just sucks all the way around.
 

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Duken4evr
what makes you think it was 2018 that GM upgraded the injector’s?
From what I gather on the forums, GM updated the head and injectors sometime in model year 2018. The injectors are still Denso, but they are physically different. Attached are photos of my '17 truck's old style "angled port" injectors, and the new ones which have the hard line coming in horizontally. Also attached is a pic of my old style engine and the new style with it's different head and hard lines.

New injector on the left, old on the right with it's angled feed line connector.

Office supplies Writing implement Stationery Font Pen


Electrical connectors are different also, new style is on top. Aside from the physical difference, even if we wired up a different connector and hard lines, it is my understanding that we can't drop these into older trucks as the ECM has to be programmed for them also.

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The new head has a different valve cover and hard lines. If one looks under the 2.8 cover which version they have will be readily apparent.

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Here is a pic of my "old style" engine with it's angled feed injectors. I run it w/o the 2.8 cover as I dig the Captain Nemo looks of it this way :LOL: More importantly it is easy to see the fuel system and know if there is any leakage going on.

Car Motor vehicle Automotive air manifold Automotive fuel system Automotive design


It is easy to get wound up about the failures, but there are lots of trucks running around that don't fail. I don't think failures are inevitable, but it is wise to know there are issues out there, and to take measures to avoid them if possible, all the while realizing one could still get bitten in the ass by a failure. I reserve the right to be wrong, but my truck, so my rules for it. For me that means the following:

1) Fuel additive, each and every fill up without fail.

I like Optilube's "Summer" as it does nothing about water, and instead focuses on improving lubricity, cetane and cleaning the injectors. "Summer" has top notch lubricity properties in independent testing I have seen and my engine definitely is smoother with the cetane bump. We have a filter/separator with warning sensor for water.

To date I have never found water in my fuel. I buy cheap fuel from a high volume station. Optilume specifies 1 ounce per 20 gallons, or 2 ounces for "premium" treatment. I run 4 ounces per fillup, which is usually 19 gallons or thereabouts. The engine loves the cetane, running quiet and smooth. Higher cetane fuel like Sinclair does not need so much additive, but I don't have any Sinclair stations, or any stations that sell "premium" diesel. I prefer cheaper diesel at a well attended station anyway.

2) 5/40 oil for the win.

GM specifies 5/30. Go with 5/40. I like T6, which is not Dexos 2. Whatever. 60K miles on T6, and it runs great, has excellent oil analysis reports too. I do my own oil changes and get a report with every change. It is of interest that RAM originally specified 5/30 oil for their 3.0 Ecodiesel, also a VM Motori design. RAM changed their oil recommendation to T6 5/40 after experiencing crank failures. This is a thing that makes me go hmm. I think RAM and GM are/were pushing a little too hard for fuel economy at the expense of engine longevity with their oil weight recommendations. I still see 34 MPG on the highway. It is not like the slightly heavier oil is killing my fuel economy.

3) I run it at 1,800 RPM zone as much as possible.

These engines like any diesel I have been around, love to run at around 1,800 RPM. 1,600 to 2,200ish is the zone of operations. GM lugs it too much below 1,500 and grade braking, especially in Tow/Haul mode, revs it too much. Tow/Haul can rev it to 4K, that is not cool. My truck is tuned and grade braking is turned off in non tow/haul mode, and it is a blessing.

4) Fully synthetic transmission fluid

Change out the OEM fill for fully synthetic fluid. I went with Mobil 1 "LVHP" blue label fluid used in the shuddering 8 speeds, it works great in our 6 speed. It is smoother in cold weather and shifts a bit slicker in general. With the trans tune and the fancy fluid, the trans is working really well.

5) 2 micron fuel filtration.

This one is admittedly crazy overkill, but I was bored during COVID and fabbed up a mounting setup for a Racor marine 2 micron water separator/filter. Did a thread on this board about it.


The OEM filters are apparently 5 micron, which is good. It has been a year now, no water or visible stuff in the add on filter's bowl and the OEM lift pump and fuel filter life reading in the DIC have not noticed the extra Racor filter. Having the double pass fuel filter setup makes me feel like the injectors and high pressure pump are well protected from contaminants. This mod is not necessary in my mind, it is an extra mile kind of thing.

Summary

Have gone back and forth on my Canyon - I love the powertrain, especially with the GDE tune, it really is close to perfection. I love may Canyon's style, that it has a diesel and has a long box in a world filled with short boxes and gas engines. It is just plain cool as Hell.

I hate the black reliability cloud that hangs over me with all these failures though. I choose to keep it as the thought of bailing on the best truck I have ever had is too much. As the great philosophical work that is The Hunger Games said "may the odds ever be in your favor". Thanks for that thought, GM...
 
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Definitely sucks to hear about another failure, and not trying to make light of them, but let's assume there have been 100,000 of these 2.8s sold in the US. The only place you seem to hear about these failures are forums or FB groups, meaning the failures aren't widespread or prevalent enough to be picked up by any media outlets trying to warn people of a high failure rate, pending class-action lawsuit, whatever. I don't know about you all, but I've heard more complaints about failures and issues with the EcoDiesel than the LWN...and yet there's one of each in the garage and a lot of happy owners out there with both of these engines, my wife and I included.

Getting to the original reason for my reply, everyone's situation is going to be different so by no means do I expect this to be the default if there's a failure. This is just my thought process and plan. My truck is paid off and should I suffer an engine failure it would likely be quite a bit cheaper to replace/rebuild the engine than to sell the truck as-is and replace it with something comparable.

Additionally, I've done a lot of towing with my truck. Probably about 12,000 miles or more, most of that towing a 5,000LB travel trailer with awful aero. I towed it through Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Montana, etc. Over 11,000ft summits after running it at WOT for 10-15 minutes, like going up a 6.8% grade to Wolf Creek Pass on US-160 in Colorado. Or the Beartooth Highway heading out of Yellowstone.

I figure with that kind of towing and now at 70k miles if I were going to suffer the wrist pin failure it would've happened by now with how hard I've worked my truck (but not abused, always kept an eye on all the temps).

For the injectors, our fuel here in IL is biodiesel and I still use additives every fill up. I started mainly doing that while towing out of state due to unknown fuel quality, but have stuck with it because at the very least the cetane boost makes it happy.

So, will I have a failure? I hope not, but if I do then my plan is to rebuild it right so it's unlikely to happen again and then keep on truckin'. The truck is perfect for my needs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Definitely sucks to hear about another failure, and not trying to make light of them, but let's assume there have been 100,000 of these 2.8s sold in the US. The only place you seem to hear about these failures are forums or FB groups, meaning the failures aren't widespread or prevalent enough to be picked up by any media outlets trying to warn people of a high failure rate, pending class-action lawsuit, whatever. I don't know about you all, but I've heard more complaints about failures and issues with the EcoDiesel than the LWN...and yet there's one of each in the garage and a lot of happy owners out there with both of these engines, my wife and I included.

Getting to the original reason for my reply, everyone's situation is going to be different so by no means do I expect this to be the default if there's a failure. This is just my thought process and plan. My truck is paid off and should I suffer an engine failure it would likely be quite a bit cheaper to replace/rebuild the engine than to sell the truck as-is and replace it with something comparable.

Additionally, I've done a lot of towing with my truck. Probably about 12,000 miles or more, most of that towing a 5,000LB travel trailer with awful aero. I towed it through Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Montana, etc. Over 11,000ft summits after running it at WOT for 10-15 minutes, like going up a 6.8% grade to Wolf Creek Pass on US-160 in Colorado. Or the Beartooth Highway heading out of Yellowstone.

I figure with that kind of towing and now at 70k miles if I were going to suffer the wrist pin failure it would've happened by now with how hard I've worked my truck (but not abused, always kept an eye on all the temps).

For the injectors, our fuel here in IL is biodiesel and I still use additives every fill up. I started mainly doing that while towing out of state due to unknown fuel quality, but have stuck with it because at the very least the cetane boost makes it happy.

So, will I have a failure? I hope not, but if I do then my plan is to rebuild it right so it's unlikely to happen again and then keep on truckin'. The truck is perfect for my needs.
It helps to hear some positive stories. I've not towed through mountains like you so that is impressive. It will be interesting to see how things perform for you now that you are at 70K.

I will say that a rod / wrist pin failure is something that should not happen..... especially in any engine under 100,000 miles today. Sure.... there can be one or two from a quality / manufacturing issue but this should not be happening in relatively low mileage with sever.al people.

One way or another I will replace the motor..... it just comes down to whether GM steps and if so, by how much. Then I will likely sell the Canyon.

I just go back looking at some used 2021 GMC and Chevy 1/2 ton trucks with the new 3.0L Diesel and also the gasser. My wife really wants to stick with the diesel but I am now more open to going back to a gasser. I'm worried that there isn't enough mileage out there yet on the 3.0L.

Tomorrow's the last day of the month so I am going to tell a couple dealers to contact GM and do their best to give me either a fair trade on the Canyon as is... or get GM step up covering a significant cost of the engine replacement and I will still buy another truck.
 

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My buddy has a Sierra with the new 3.0 diesel, he loves it, no issues to date. He used to have a Tundra and feels like he has died and gone to full size truck fuel economy heaven, as his Tundra sucked gas like no tomorrow. He is getting double the MPG out of his 3.0. My friend has had no issues with his 3.0, and he is not up on diesels either. I told him to use additive, but I doubt he is. He has about 50K on it already.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
My buddy has a Sierra with the new 3.0 diesel, he loves it, no issues to date. He used to have a Tundra and feels like he has died and gone to full size truck fuel economy heaven, as his Tundra sucked gas like no tomorrow. He is getting double the MPG out of his 3.0. My friend has had no issues with his 3.0, and he is not up on diesels either. I told him to use additive, but I doubt he is. He has about 50K on it already.
Thanks for that feedback...... good to hear the 3.0 is doing well so far.

We found a Certified Preowned 2021 Sierra AT4 with the 3.0 diesel. It has 32,000 miles on it after 12 months with the original owner. They are giving 6yr / 100K powertrain warranty so that would give me 5 years and about 65K. They are also giving 12mo / 12K bumper-to-bumper plus two maintenance visits. The CarFax is clean in terms of any repair issues so far.

They also have a Certified Preowned 2021 Silverado RST with a 5.3 EcoTec with 11,000 miles on it. I like it too but the CarFax says the valve lifter were replaced at 7000 miles so that is a bit scary to have the lifters replaced.

Then at a Ford dealer across the street that had a 2021 Sierra AT4 with the 6.2 EcoTec and 6000 miles. They want as much as the 3.0 diesel with 32K for it but it is sharp. The 6.2L is also intriguing in a truck of this size.

There are a few others as well...... my head hurts between visiting lots today and research online.

I'm going to start with a couple of the GM dealers in the area in the morning and put the heat on them to get GM to do something about the engine failure in the Canyon with the intent I would trade it in on another truck. If GM won't assist, then I will see if Ford will move any on the Sierra with the 6.2L and I will replace the motor in the Canyon with a used one and then sell it.

It's the last day of the month so that might be motivation for them if I tell them I am buying a truck that day and it just depends on which dealer is able to offer the best trade-in option on the Canyon.
 

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From what I gather on the forums, GM updated the head and injectors sometime in model year 2018. The injectors are still Denso, but they are physically different. Attached are photos of my '17 truck's old style "angled port" injectors, and the new ones which have the hard line coming in horizontally. Also attached is a pic of my old style engine and the new style with it's different head and hard lines.

New injector on the left, old on the right with it's angled feed line connector.

View attachment 9361

Electrical connectors are different also, new style is on top. Aside from the physical difference, even if we wired up a different connector and hard lines, it is my understanding that we can't drop these into older trucks as the ECM has to be programmed for them also.

View attachment 9362

The new head has a different valve cover and hard lines. If one looks under the 2.8 cover which version they have will be readily apparent.

View attachment 9363

Here is a pic of my "old style" engine with it's angled feed injectors. I run it w/o the 2.8 cover as I dig the Captain Nemo looks of it this way :LOL: More importantly it is easy to see the fuel system and know if there is any leakage going on.

View attachment 9364

It is easy to get wound up about the failures, but there are lots of trucks running around that don't fail. I don't think failures are inevitable, but it is wise to know there are issues out there, and to take measures to avoid them if possible, all the while realizing one could still get bitten in the ass by a failure. I reserve the right to be wrong, but my truck, so my rules for it. For me that means the following:

1) Fuel additive, each and every fill up without fail.

I like Optilube's "Summer" as it does nothing about water, and instead focuses on improving lubricity, cetane and cleaning the injectors. "Summer" has top notch lubricity properties in independent testing I have seen and my engine definitely is smoother with the cetane bump. We have a filter/separator with warning sensor for water.

To date I have never found water in my fuel. I buy cheap fuel from a high volume station. Optilume specifies 1 ounce per 20 gallons, or 2 ounces for "premium" treatment. I run 4 ounces per fillup, which is usually 19 gallons or thereabouts. The engine loves the cetane, running quiet and smooth. Higher cetane fuel like Sinclair does not need so much additive, but I don't have any Sinclair stations, or any stations that sell "premium" diesel. I prefer cheaper diesel at a well attended station anyway.

2) 5/40 oil for the win.

GM specifies 5/30. Go with 5/40. I like T6, which is not Dexos 2. Whatever. 60K miles on T6, and it runs great, has excellent oil analysis reports too. I do my own oil changes and get a report with every change. It is of interest that RAM originally specified 5/30 oil for their 3.0 Ecodiesel, also a VM Motori design. RAM changed their oil recommendation to T6 5/40 after experiencing crank failures. This is a thing that makes me go hmm. I think RAM and GM are/were pushing a little too hard for fuel economy at the expense of engine longevity with their oil weight recommendations. I still see 34 MPG on the highway. It is not like the slightly heavier oil is killing my fuel economy.

3) I run it at 1,800 RPM zone as much as possible.

These engines like any diesel I have been around, love to run at around 1,800 RPM. 1,600 to 2,200ish is the zone of operations. GM lugs it too much below 1,500 and grade braking, especially in Tow/Haul mode, revs it too much. Tow/Haul can rev it to 4K, that is not cool. My truck is tuned and grade braking is turned off in non tow/haul mode, and it is a blessing.

4) Fully synthetic transmission fluid

Change out the OEM fill for fully synthetic fluid. I went with Mobil 1 "LVHP" blue label fluid used in the shuddering 8 speeds, it works great in our 6 speed. It is smoother in cold weather and shifts a bit slicker in general. With the trans tune and the fancy fluid, the trans is working really well.

5) 2 micron fuel filtration.

This one is admittedly crazy overkill, but I was bored during COVID and fabbed up a mounting setup for a Racor marine 2 micron water separator/filter. Did a thread on this board about it.


The OEM filters are apparently 5 micron, which is good. It has been a year now, no water or visible stuff in the add on filter's bowl and the OEM lift pump and fuel filter life reading in the DIC have not noticed the extra Racor filter. Having the double pass fuel filter setup makes me feel like the injectors and high pressure pump are well protected from contaminants. This mod is not necessary in my mind, it is an extra mile kind of thing.

Summary

Have gone back and forth on my Canyon - I love the powertrain, especially with the GDE tune, it really is close to perfection. I love may Canyon's style, that it has a diesel and a lonb box in a world filled with short boxes and gas engines. It is just plain cool as Hell.

I hate the black reliability cloud that hangs over me with all these failures though. I choose to keep it as the thought of bailing on the best truck I have ever had is too much. As the great philosophical work that is The Hunger Games said "may the odds ever be in your favor". Thanks for that thought, GM...
Wow
you supplied pics of the new and old…. That is fantastic
I can’t wait till morning to check mine.
I uses double dose’s of EDT Hotshots in the summer and Amsoil all in one in the winter at every fill up.
I read your fuel filter post and that was a great idea.
Years ago 70s and 80s I was a GM fan boy. But my 87 Grand Am completely rotted away after 5 years. And I mean completely. 15,000.00 for a car back then was expensive. I got 800.00 for it after 5 years. And it was Rust Checked every year but one.
Then my Jimmy with the 4.3 was a nightmare with rotted transmission lines. I couldn’t keep brakes on it. The EGR kept getting plugged and wouldn’t let the engine idle. After many issues with multiple GM vehicles I gave up and did something I said would never happen. I bought a Ford Bronco II. And no major issues. So I bought a Ranger 4x4 and liked it so much I bought 3 more. Never a major issue.
My last Ranger 2012 is still going with the 4.0 5 speed and not even a clutch failure yet. Just under 400,000 km. Bottom of the doors are rotted badly but no major issues.
This truck is my first GM in many many years. From the first drive I was hooked on the diesel.
Love that low RPM pull. No downshifting screaming gas engine …..
Totally hooked on the diesel. I went out and bought a new travel trailer because I intended to retire and do some traveling..
I have put some serious miles on with the trailer behind the truck and was extremely surprised with its abilities…
On the way back from a trip to Ontario I caught up to a Toyota Tacoma also pulling a tandem axle trailer. I was loaded to the hilt with my Victory Cross Country in the back of my toy hauler. The truck was loaded to max and the trailer was about 6000 lbs. I had no choice but to show the Taco what a real truck could do. I passed him going up a very steep hill like he was standing still. My little diesel was at 3500 rpm all the way up that long hill.
The 2.8 in this truck is a great match with its abilities and fuel milage.
So much better than the Rangers I had.
But now I just find myself waiting to be stranded some place in the middle of nowhere.
I can’t get past the fact that it’s not if but where will I be when it blows up……

Also I put the transmission in manual mode and set it to 5th when towing as I will not allow it to rev its ass off every time you touch the brake. That is just crazy.
I have done one 6 liter trans flush and just ordered more from Amsoil.
I also run Amsoil full synthetic Diesel oil albeit 5-30
I change oil and fuel filters at 50%. Don’t care if it’s a waste.

I followed the Ram issue a lot. And from some tear downs the failures were caused by very small oil passages in the crank that were plugged by soot laden oil. The soot in the oil actually plugged the oil passage to the rod end bearings. Seen this on multiple tear downs. The oil passages were blocked solid. Take the long oil change intervals that todays OEMs set and poor quality C3 oil and you have a disaster looking for a place to happen.

Leaving dirty oil in your diesel is a really bad idea.
The recommended oil change intervals set out today by OEMs is nothing more than them being able to claim a lower cost of ownership. Years ago you would be left with a rust bucket and a good motor.
 

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Definitely sucks to hear about another failure, and not trying to make light of them, but let's assume there have been 100,000 of these 2.8s sold in the US. The only place you seem to hear about these failures are forums or FB groups, meaning the failures aren't widespread or prevalent enough to be picked up by any media outlets trying to warn people of a high failure rate, pending class-action lawsuit, whatever. I don't know about you all, but I've heard more complaints about failures and issues with the EcoDiesel than the LWN...and yet there's one of each in the garage and a lot of happy owners out there with both of these engines, my wife and I included.

Getting to the original reason for my reply, everyone's situation is going to be different so by no means do I expect this to be the default if there's a failure. This is just my thought process and plan. My truck is paid off and should I suffer an engine failure it would likely be quite a bit cheaper to replace/rebuild the engine than to sell the truck as-is and replace it with something comparable.

Additionally, I've done a lot of towing with my truck. Probably about 12,000 miles or more, most of that towing a 5,000LB travel trailer with awful aero. I towed it through Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Montana, etc. Over 11,000ft summits after running it at WOT for 10-15 minutes, like going up a 6.8% grade to Wolf Creek Pass on US-160 in Colorado. Or the Beartooth Highway heading out of Yellowstone.

I figure with that kind of towing and now at 70k miles if I were going to suffer the wrist pin failure it would've happened by now with how hard I've worked my truck (but not abused, always kept an eye on all the temps).

For the injectors, our fuel here in IL is biodiesel and I still use additives every fill up. I started mainly doing that while towing out of state due to unknown fuel quality, but have stuck with it because at the very least the cetane boost makes it happy.

So, will I have a failure? I hope not, but if I do then my plan is to rebuild it right so it's unlikely to happen again and then keep on truckin'. The truck is perfect for my needs.
I like this truck a lot also. To date it is the best I have ever had. I to have done a lot of heavy towing up long steep hills at what I call high rpm for a diesel.
Mine is also paid off. And if it does suffer injector failure I will rebuild i myself. It wouldn’t be the first.
My issue is when and where will I be if it happens.

But I don’t think there is that many diesels out there.
They stopped putting the 2.8 in thetwins due to lackluster sales.
That led them to sell off the factory…
 

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It helps to hear some positive stories. I've not towed through mountains like you so that is impressive. It will be interesting to see how things perform for you now that you are at 70K.

I will say that a rod / wrist pin failure is something that should not happen..... especially in any engine under 100,000 miles today. Sure.... there can be one or two from a quality / manufacturing issue but this should not be happening in relatively low mileage with sever.al people.

One way or another I will replace the motor..... it just comes down to whether GM steps and if so, by how much. Then I will likely sell the Canyon.

I just go back looking at some used 2021 GMC and Chevy 1/2 ton trucks with the new 3.0L Diesel and also the gasser. My wife really wants to stick with the diesel but I am now more open to going back to a gasser. I'm worried that there isn't enough mileage out there yet on the 3.0L.

Tomorrow's the last day of the month so I am going to tell a couple dealers to contact GM and do their best to give me either a fair trade on the Canyon as is... or get GM step up covering a significant cost of the engine replacement and I will still buy another truck.
I don’t think GM will help you with costs.
The first thing they will do is check the flash counter and see it’s been tuned. Even though you put the OEM tune back in.
I have read to many GM cyl deactivation issues to ever touch a 5.3 or 6.2
This issue has been going on way to long. There was class action law suites with the first gen system and now that GM has addressed the issue and come out with the second gen cylinder deactivation system the class action law suites continue as the second gen is no better or reliable that the first.
The failure rates are very high. At least high enough that I don’t trust the odds…..
 

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I followed the Ram issue a lot. And from some tear downs the failures were caused by very small oil passages in the crank that were plugged by soot laden oil. The soot in the oil actually plugged the oil passage to the rod end bearings. Seen this on multiple tear downs. The oil passages were blocked solid. Take the long oil change intervals that todays OEMs set and poor quality C3 oil and you have a disaster looking for a place to happen.

Leaving dirty oil in your diesel is a really bad idea.
The recommended oil change intervals set out today by OEMs is nothing more than them being able to claim a lower cost of ownership. Years ago you would be left with a rust bucket and a good motor.
Interesting. You reminded me about the soot issue with the 3.0 Ecodiesels. The main reason I intact tuned mine was to turn off EGR. My truck only had 10K miles on it when I tuned it, which was basically as soon as GDE offered their tune for the 2.8. Was blissfully ignorant of any engine failures as they weren't widely known back then, and the idea that I would possibly need a powertrain warranty for catastrophic failure never crossed my mind. Well cared for engines don't blow up, or so I thought. Hell, I take pretty random care of my 90's era lawn mower, it keeps running, and it has a Tecumseh engine no less :LOL:

I still wonder if heavy EGR use has something to do with our 2.8 failures. Could it be that the soot partially obstructs the cooling oil spray jets under the pistons? That would explain why a piston sometimes fails for no apparent reason. Our engines only hold 6 quarts, while older generation foreign market 2.8s held about 1.5 quarts more, and our engines run a lot of EGR.

I remember before tuning it and turning off the EGR how my engine's oil turned black quickly after changing it, and figured that is just how diesels are. I took this pic of my engine's oil filter housing at it's last 7.5K mile oil change interval (57.5K on the engine). With EGR turned off via the tune, a modern direct injected diesel can run astoundingly clean, and clean is always good inside an engine. The analyses report for it's oil changes are great too, with wear metals generally less than half of the average according to Blackstone.

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Interesting. You reminded me about the soot issue with the 3.0 Ecodiesels. The main reason I intact tuned mine was to turn off EGR. My truck only had 10K miles on it when I tuned it, which was basically as soon as GDE offered their tune for the 2.8. Was blissfully ignorant of any engine failures as they weren't widely known back then, and the idea that I would possibly need a powertrain warranty for catastrophic failure never crossed my mind. Well cared for engines don't blow up, or so I thought. Hell, I take pretty random care of my 90's era lawn mower, it keeps running, and it has a Tecumseh engine no less :LOL:

I still wonder if heavy EGR use has something to do with our 2,8 failures. Could it be that the soot partially obstructs the cooling oil spray jets under the pistons? I doubt it, but that would explain why a piston sometimes fails for no apparent reason. Our engines only hold 6 quarts, while older generation foreign market 2.8s held more, and our engines run a lot of EGR.

I took this pic of my engine's oil filter housing at the 7,5K mile oil change interval. With EGR off via the tune, a modern direct injected diesel can run astoundingly clean, and clean is good inside an engine. The analyses report for it's oil changes are great too, with wear metals generally less than half of the average according to Blackstone.

View attachment 9365
Accualy you reminded me of the possibility of the cooling jets being a plugged up possibility.
Since seeing the soot issues with the 3.0 Ram, I always wondered about the possibility of piston jets being plugged on the 2.8
At 50% oil change intervals I can tell you that the oil in my truck is more like paint than oil. Get it on the floor and it doesn’t wipe up it spreads around like black paint.
It burns really well in my wood stove. I use it as a fire starter.
I wonder if or how many of these engine failures are on engines where people follow the oil change monitor and have EGR intact. That wouldn’t cover injector failures but maybe answer wrist pin issues.

I see you are from the old days of Tecumseh engine explosions…… lol
I also have a Tecumseh in my ride on lawn tractor .. I use diesel oil in it…. 14 years and sounds like **** but still going.
The new Brigs & Stratton engines are made in Mexico now….. Total shiit.. They have a sticker on them that says (No oil changes necessary) Say what .,!!
Another pos that will end up in a land fill in a few years .. should be illegal..
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
I don’t think GM will help you with costs.
The first thing they will do is check the flash counter and see it’s been tuned. Even though you put the OEM tune back in.
I have read to many GM cyl deactivation issues to ever touch a 5.3 or 6.2
This issue has been going on way to long. There was class action law suites with the first gen system and now that GM has addressed the issue and come out with the second gen cylinder deactivation system the class action law suites continue as the second gen is no better or reliable that the first.
The failure rates are very high. At least high enough that I don’t trust the odds…..
I have two possible things going for me...... first I bought the Canyon used so I can say I don't know what the prior owner would have done to the truck. Second.... there was a recall that required a flash to deal with Regens that I had done by a dealer in Florida over a year ago. That will be in the records and they may end up thinking a dealer had issues with the flash. Plus a few guys have reported dealers never giving them grief over the flash counter.

It is not going to hurt to ask GM for assistance.... especially if they want me to buy another GM product.

Bottom line is if GM doesn't provide any reasonable assistance, then I will have a used engine put in it and sell the thing. I should be able to have it done for $8K - $10K.

As far as the 5.3 and 6.2 issue...... that is a concern. But it's a crap shoot all the way around.... either you have the potential for a gasser issue or a diesel issue.

I wish Ford offered a small diesel in a 5 1/2' box like the AT4 and similar chassis. I want to flat tow it behind the motorhome so shorter is better with a 4-door cab is what I want at this point. We have decided to sell the Jeep we tow behind the motorhome now and then use a new truck for that as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Interesting. You reminded me about the soot issue with the 3.0 Ecodiesels. The main reason I intact tuned mine was to turn off EGR. My truck only had 10K miles on it when I tuned it, which was basically as soon as GDE offered their tune for the 2.8. Was blissfully ignorant of any engine failures as they weren't widely known back then, and the idea that I would possibly need a powertrain warranty for catastrophic failure never crossed my mind. Well cared for engines don't blow up, or so I thought. Hell, I take pretty random care of my 90's era lawn mower, it keeps running, and it has a Tecumseh engine no less :LOL:

I still wonder if heavy EGR use has something to do with our 2,8 failures. Could it be that the soot partially obstructs the cooling oil spray jets under the pistons? I doubt it, but that would explain why a piston sometimes fails for no apparent reason. Our engines only hold 6 quarts, while older generation foreign market 2.8s held more, and our engines run a lot of EGR.

I remember before tuning it and turning off the EGR how my engine's oil turned black quickly after changing it and figured that is just how diesels are. I took this pic of my engine's oil filter housing at it's last 7.5K mile oil change interval (57.5K on the engine). With EGR turned off via the tune, a modern direct injected diesel can run astoundingly clean, and clean is good inside an engine. The analyses report for it's oil changes are great too, with wear metals generally less than half of the average according to Blackstone.

View attachment 9365
Funny you mention this...... I was getting ready to do the same thing with the EGR. I know they stopped making the block off kits but I was going to get a tune to disable the EGR for this very reason.

That picture of your oil at 7500 miles is unbelievable. All of this EPA crap is just killing fuel economy, performance and longevity of any motor.

A guy I know also pulled the DPF off his truck, gutted it and reinstalled it so it looks completely stock.... but the EGR and sensors are all deactivated.
 
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