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Old 11-06-2012, 06:56 PM   #1
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1999 Alpine Coach Turbocharger Oil Leak?

Once more I need help from the experts who belong to this forum. I continue to discover new problems with my engine and associated systems in my 1999 Alpine Coach. When I was removing the hoses from the Charge Air Cooler and Radiator in preparation to remove the cooling module (see: http://www.irv2.com/forums/f104/1999-alpine-coach-radiator-repair-142133.html ) , I discovered some oil in the bottom of the ribs of one of the rubber connectors going into the CAC. I assume this is an indication that my turbocharger is leaking at least some oil. My overall oil consumption is about 1 gallon every 3000 miles. I don't know what is considered normal for an ISC engine with 84K miles, but it could be that most of it is leaking through the turbocharger. I assume that the turbo should normally not leak any oil. So, my question is: does this mean I need to replace the turbocharger? If some oil leak is considered acceptable for an older engine, how can I determine if I need to replace the turbocharger? Any information on this topic would be greatly appreciated. I try to fix as many thing as I can myself, but I am certainly no expert when it comes to turbochargers and diesel engines.

Dave Morgan
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Old 11-06-2012, 07:23 PM   #2
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Not sure on those motors, but could the crank case vent into the intake, pooling oil?
I know that if you can, grab the shaft of the turbo. It should have very, very little play in it. The compressor fins shouldn't be touching the housing.
What has your boost and EGTs been doing lately?
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:40 AM   #3
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There is a crankcase vent tube that vents to the outside at the bottom of the engine. I don't see any hose/tube (PVC) that appears to go from the crankcase to the inlet side of the turbo anywhere that I can see. Perhaps others familiar with the ISC have more information on this subject.

I have not removed the turbo yet and don't have access to the shaft (that I am aware of) without doing so. I don't hear or feel any vibrations or strange noises coming from the turbo and it seems to be operating as I would expect.

The maximum boost I see on my Silverleaf is 21. This is lower than most others report, but I don't know how accurate the absolute readings are. Other readings such as fuel consumption and miles were significantantly off and needed to be calibrated with software fudge factors. I get about the same fuel mileage (9.2 MPG @ 65 MPH with no towed vechile, 8.4 MPG towing my 3900 lb Ranger) as others report for the 36' Alpine. It also has good power even in the mountains. That said, I suspect I have some small CAC leaks that could be limiting my boost. I am removing my CAC and will have it tested for leakdown (discussed in another thread).

I don't believe this engine has an EGT sensor. Or at least, it is not available to the Silverleaf monitor, so I have never measured EGT. Perhaps someone can tell me if the ISC has an EGT sensor and if it can be accessed. Also, how would I use this data to determine if my turbo is leaking oil internally? I don't know much about turbos, but I suspect that there must be an internal bearing/shaft oil seal and it might be leaking. Is there anyway to diagnose this without removing the turbo?
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Old 11-08-2012, 12:32 PM   #4
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Can you pull the intake tube off the compressor housing and grab the shaft?
You'll either see lots of oil there or coming out the exhaust out smoke cause it's burning it off.
Honestly, you would know if the turbo was gone.
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Old 11-09-2012, 08:21 AM   #5
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Thanks for the suggestion. I will take a look at that today. I rave also been doing some searching on the internet, and several sites say that a blocked oil return line will also cause oil to leak into the the one or both sides of the turbo, so I will take a look at that as well.
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Old 11-17-2012, 08:43 PM   #6
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I finally got some time to get back to working on my turbo problems. I checked the side play in the turbo shaft and it did seem excessive to me. There was no sign of blockage in the oil return line, so I'm fairly confident oil is leaking through a worn seal into the compressor side of the turbo. I removed the turbo, so I could inspect it closer. With access to both ends of the turbo shaft, it is pretty clear there is excessive wear in the bearings and probably the seals as well. Now I need to find a rebuilt or new turbo. If anyone know where to get the best price, please let me know.

Since I removed the turbo, I decided to remove the exhaust manifold as well. It has had a crack for several years that I patched with a sleeve. The patch has held up fairly well. But, I figured not to press my luck any longer. I was really hesitant to remove the exhaust manifold. I figured I would break off several bolts and spend days getting them out. All it took was my rachet with a 6 point socket and a few wacks with my dead blow hammer and all the bolts came out clean. I wish now that I had replaced the manifold the first time. I spent a lot more time making the sleeve repair.
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Old 11-17-2012, 09:42 PM   #7
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Check with any large truck shop and they will know rebuilds Turbos in your area.
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:37 AM   #8
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Try Performance Diesel in St. George UT, they have a line of improved aftermarket products for heavy haul trucks, and they will either have or know where to buy the turbo & manifold.

BTW Dave, when you get done w/your projects, you are going to have a pretty well found rig! Have you or a prior owner done the battery box update yet?
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpine Dave View Post
I finally got some time to get back to working on my turbo problems. I checked the side play in the turbo shaft and it did seem excessive to me. There was no sign of blockage in the oil return line, so I'm fairly confident oil is leaking through a worn seal into the compressor side of the turbo. I removed the turbo, so I could inspect it closer. With access to both ends of the turbo shaft, it is pretty clear there is excessive wear in the bearings and probably the seals as well. Now I need to find a rebuilt or new turbo. If anyone know where to get the best price, please let me know.

Since I removed the turbo, I decided to remove the exhaust manifold as well. It has had a crack for several years that I patched with a sleeve. The patch has held up fairly well. But, I figured not to press my luck any longer. I was really hesitant to remove the exhaust manifold. I figured I would break off several bolts and spend days getting them out. All it took was my rachet with a 6 point socket and a few wacks with my dead blow hammer and all the bolts came out clean. I wish now that I had replaced the manifold the first time. I spent a lot more time making the sleeve repair.

Hi Dave, I have a twin sister to your mh. Cracked manifolds on this model are very common. Mine is at the Cummins shop in Indianapolis as we speak. I was able to get my manifold & gaskets replaced free. THIS DOES NOT INCLUDE LABOR. Call 800 diesels. This is a Cummins customer assistance number. I
I am a retired cross country trucker, If you have your turbo removed, I would reccomend taking it to a Cummins shop for an inspection prior to rebuilding or replacing. The last turbo I bought was for a Cat engine at over $900. Good wishes. old trucker
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:53 PM   #10
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I called Performance Diesel today. They quoted me $950 for their manifold and $1850 for their turbo. They have had some problems working with some ISC's, so "details would have to be worked" for them to be confident in their solution with my engine. Their website also has a disclaimer that says that they are not responsible for any damage that their equipment causes the the OEM engine. This does not leave me with warm feeling.

I also called Cummins. They want $406 for the manifold and $1261 for a new turbo. That's more than $1100. less than the Performance Diesel solution. If I can get the manifold gasgets free, that would be worth $62.

Has anyone installed the Performance Diesel manifold and turbo on their ISC? Is it worth an extra $1100 in performance and MPG improvement? I am leaning in the direction of the OEM solution unless there are strong opinions that the Performance Diesel solution is well worth the extra bucks.

In answer to EngineerMike about the battery compartment upgrade. One of the first things I did when I bought my coach was to re-engineer the battery compartment. I must admit that it is not nearly as pretty as the solution in the listed thread (battery box ), but it works for me. I went for 6 golf cart batteries stacked 2 high with a slide out rack. I like the layout in the post better. I wish I had seen that before I designed my solution.

I greatly appreciate everyone who has given me information. This is by far the best way to get information to help in the decision making process.

Thanks, Dave Morgan
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Old 11-23-2012, 09:50 AM   #11
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I posted a couple of years ago about getting our Holset turbo rebuilt.
http://www.irv2.com/forums/f104/holset-hx40-turbo-rebuild-79359.html
Price as I remember, was $650 plus compressor wheel. Can't imagine other rebuilders pricing much higher than that. This is very common item, you should be able to find rebuilt turbo on the shelf at a large rebuilder.

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