Thursday, December 13, 2018

The care and feeding of a Cummins engine

Forum Index Members’ Discussions RV Horror Stories The care and feeding of a Cummins engine

This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Charlene Dixon 2 months ago.

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  • #79072


    “Buy an RV and see the world”, isn’t that the saying? Well the wife and I did just that. September 2014 we went coach shoppin’. Started to by a 35′ 5er. Already had a 27’TT so it was a logical upgrade. Took a step back to think. 2 older adults, 2 senior dogs, 2 octogenarian cats in the 6 pack cab of an Ford F450 dually. Nope, wasn’t going to work. Started lookin’ at DP MH 36′ and up. Found an ’04 Fleetwood Bounder 38N. Just over 50K miles, good rubber, recent roof. The DW was pleased, the fur babies were happy, the bank was happy, sign the papers, we bought us a coach.
    I start reading thru the Fleetwood binder. Routine maintenance schedules, engine spec’s, manufactures web sites. Never owned a big diesel. After about 3 days I think I got this. 6 weeks later we’re on I40 west bound to CA. First day out I’m thinking’ “okay so far”. Second day we start to encounter small grades. I listen and watch the Allison trans downshift from 5th then 4th. The engine temp started to climb. It stablized about half way on the gauge. Crested the grade, temp went down but not to were it started. Then, the dreaded “check engine” came on. Got to our second stop for the nite. Lost the exhaust tip. Engine still ran but the pitch was a little off. Rationalized that the engine light was caused by the tip (1st error) went to bed. Nursed it to our destination in N. CA. and found a shop that would look at it. Troubleshooting found a dead #1 cylinder. Removed the fuel injector and bud-da-bing, metal on the injector. That turned out to be a broken exhaust valve. The Cummins 300 ISB has a 24 valve, 4 per cylinder head. We ran several hundred miles on 5 cylinders. The valve stem broke when the engine temp got hot. The overheat was came from 40% of the air passages of the radiator being plugged. Why you may ask? Previous owner failed to have the radiator air passages cleaned every 15K miles. Dealer we bought from failed to perform the needed scheduled maintenance before we bought it. He claimed he didn’t know ’cause he didn’t have a chassis shop. This was a expensive lesson, $27.5K expensive. Ended up replacing the entire engine with one from a wrecked ’05 Winnebago from a salvage yard (Visone, Lexington KY). New radiator, cleaned inter-cooler, two weeks work by a great shop (North Valley Diesel, Yuba City, CA) and we’re on the road again.
    Lesson: 1. Learn all you can about the coach you plan on buying.
    2. Have the coach inspected by an RVIA inspector to include
    the records.(would of, could of, should of)
    3. If the dealer doesn’t offer an extended service/warranty
    package, WALK AWAY. He will not stand behind the
    condition of the coach as delivered.
    Lastly, repeat lesson 1, learn, learn, learn.

  • #80180

    Charlene Dixon

    Sorry you had to learn the hard way. That problem is for any pusher with a rear radiator. The road grime collects on the radiator and must be cleaned once in a while. The ISB motor is the small Cummins motor also used in the Dodge Ram pickups although it has pumped up horsepower.

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