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Old 03-25-2011, 08:25 PM   #1
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Banks Turbo quit-safe to drive?

Coming out of Colorado to Oklahoma my Turbo went out. I saw the gauges fluxuate up and down then it just quit. Definately miss the power on hills! I called my mechanic back in Houston and he suggested that it could be anything from a bad sensor to a broken turbin. He thought it was safe to drive despite loss of power.

Any suggestions here? Is it safe to drive? I drove for about 2 hours coming into OKC and other than loss of power, I had noproblems. I really would like to make Houston, before getting into a prolonged repair.

Thanks in advance,

Dave
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Old 03-25-2011, 08:44 PM   #2
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If the turbine comes a part, it will be bad news! I wood have it looked at yesterday! It will probably be expensive either way.

Good Luck!
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Old 03-26-2011, 12:28 PM   #3
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I would strongly suggest you call the Gale Banks customer support folks and talk to one of their tech guys. I have a Banks system on my 8.3 ISC Cummins in my F/Wood Revolution. I just recently fought a lengthy battle with my Banks system to get it back up and running. The previous owner had it installed, and it's worth an extra 85 HP on my MH. I found the Banks guys to be incredibly helpful, even though our unit is a 2003. After multiple calls to them and following their recommended diagnostics, I ended up replacing the Ottomind computer and also putting on a new harness. Works great now. Learned more about the system than I ever wanted to! The difference in power, as you noted, is significant...and missed when not there.

Not exactly sure what you mean by "Turbo went out". Are you assuming the turbo is not functioning because your boost went away as indicated by the boost gauge? That does not automatically mean there is anything wrong with the turbocharger, even with a loss of power. It could be a wiring harness issue, it could be a sensor, ....or it could be the Ottomind computer which monitors and controls the entire Banks system. Do you have the Banks installation manual? Do you have the small, black plastic connector with the pink (yes pink) wire? If the Ottomind fails or the unit malfunctions, Banks recommends unplugging the Banks harness from the Ottomind and putting this connector into the harness. This reverts the engine back to stock configuration. That is probably where your vehicle is operating right now.

Also, the Ottomind has 2 LED lights on the outside...one red, one green. If you can see the Ottomind from your engine compartment, see what those lights do. When the key is on, the red light should illuminate, indicating that power is at the Ottomind. No red light, no power to the Banks system. (There is a 5 AMP fuse in the harness that can fail, thus eliminating power to the system.) When you start the engine, the red light should gradually go out and the green light, indicating fuel pressure, should be on. No green light, no fuel pressure signal getting to the Ottomind. In either case where the lights don't work as described, the Banks system is not working properly. Unless there is something in the engine's own system, the vehicle will run fine...but as stock. In my case, the green light started flickering...and then went out all together. The Ottomind went bad. And I replaced the harness just to make sure a gremlin was also not hiding there. If your Ottomind shorts out internally like mine did, it will cause all sorts of odd things to happen, including boost readings. The Ottomind is not cheap....but it is a whole bunch cheaper than the turbocharger. By the way, I also suggest that you check all the wiring connections at the Ottomind, especially the main harness. Those connections are pretty straightforward.

The Banks toll free number is 888-839-5600. _VERY IMPORTANT_. If the lady suggests you send an email, tell her you are broke down and it is imperative to get some tecnical thoughts. Or tell her that you are working with one of the guys in customer support on a technical problem with your Banks system. Be persistent and then she will put you through. Don't ask me how I know this. Have as much info available when you call....and be prepared to wait for a little bit.

Hope this helps. And - PLEASE - let us know what you find out. Thanks...
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Old 03-26-2011, 01:41 PM   #4
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Heapbigengine thanks for the detail response. Here are my symptom..I just happened to look down at the gauges and noted that the exhaust temp reading was up and down and the boost gauge was frozen at about10. Than they both started to move up and down and both stuck at "0". That is when I noticed the loss of climbing power. I called my mechanic in Houston as it was occuring and he felt that it was a sensor or computer issue not the turbine itself. ( I am guessing that if it was the turbine I would have known it??)

I will look to see if I have a manual in my Newmar box (this coach is a 2003 with cummins 300) I have only owned it for a few months. I will also look for the leds you described in the engine compartment.

Any other advise would be truly appreciated. Including shop recomendations for OKC.

Dave
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Old 03-26-2011, 05:02 PM   #5
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I noted your post on the other forum. Can't add much more than what I have already stated. If it were me and I wanted to keep on truckin', I would try to find that connector that I mentioned and put into the harness. Chances are it is not the turbo and you are running "stock", as I mentioned. Chances are also that your Ottomind, which is the brain of the system, has malfunctioned. Unless something else is amiss outside of the Banks system, you should be just fine. The Banks system is designed to go back to stock if their is an Ottomind malfunction. Like I recommended, contact the Banks folks on Monday...they can offer some diagnostic suggestions, etc. PLEASE let us know the results....thanks.
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Old 03-26-2011, 05:17 PM   #6
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Again, thanks for your help...I sent you a private email with more!

Dave
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Old 03-26-2011, 06:01 PM   #7
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On big equipment, when a turbo fails, it ususally comes apart, you end up with pieces of turbine blades in the engine, it can cause a complete engine failure!
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Old 03-27-2011, 03:41 PM   #8
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All:

Started the coach up this morning and the turbo was working properly, so we decided to try and make Houston (home). The DP ran perfectly all the way home and the banks worked fine. I will have it in the shop tomorrow for service, new windshield (thanks to Colorado springs), AC check and firuge out what was going on with the turbo.

Thanks for all the advise! I wll post with an explanation after I get some answers.

Dave
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Old 03-30-2011, 07:38 AM   #9
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Dave-

We had a fellow in Maine this past summer and his went out after he left our campground.

Cummins diagnosed it over the phone as a failed barometic/altitude sensor. He drove it to Portland, ME (about 1 1/2 hrs) without boost, had a new sensor installed and was on his way-

Good luck,
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Old 03-30-2011, 12:25 PM   #10
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We made it safely to Houston with no further issues. Banks was great and suggested inspecting all the sensor connections for dirt-vibrations-etc. My mechanic is going through the system now, and communicating with Banks to try and track it down.

What I did learn about the add on Banks (on the coach when I bought it) is that it uses the existing Cummins Turbo. It changes some of the parameters, has a larger air feed at one of the manifolds, and changes the way the exhaust dumps into the turbo. It has a safety on it that reduces fuel flow if the exhaust heat goes to a preset temp. When the systme fails, it "falls-back" to factory settings.

As soon as I know something I will post. One of the things that the Banks tech suggested was more frequent fuel filter changes on my coach.
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