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Old 03-01-2015, 10:04 AM   #1
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Cummins ISL Engine

I have been looking to upgrade to a Country Coach and have noted a number have the Cummings ISL engine. I had a Cummings N14 in an HDT and thought I heard there were problems with the ISL. Thought I would check with the experts as I begin my search. Also, are there any problems associated with the side radiators? Thanks in advance for any and all help.

Jim
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Old 03-01-2015, 01:03 PM   #2
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The wrist pin problem is the most notable.

["Cummins built 2,159 Model CM 850 ISL engines with ser.#s 46543077 to 46603939 between 10/17/05 and 4/18/06 with wrist pin defects."

Faulty side radiators and dry PTO's affect some models but I'm not familiar enough with the problems to say which ones. Others can chime in here.

Otherwise, Country Coach built many fine motor homes.

We bought ours from Premier RV In Junction City, OR. They treated us very well and have delivered excellent service since the sale.

Good luck in your search.
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Old 03-01-2015, 01:32 PM   #3
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The ISL is a fine engine, and well respected, as is the ISC. These are Cummins mid size engines. You don't mention the years you are considering. About 2004, the ISL changed over from their pre ULSD designed CAPS engine to a VGT (Variable Geometric(?) Turbo). In the 2004 cutover years (It can find CAPS era engines in 2004, and possibly 2005, model coaches. So you have to specifically the the engine SN with Cummins to know what you have in a specific coach.) these usually came in the 400HP configuration. Though the max HP is the same, the VGT era 400HP has a better Torque/HP curve, that can make a difference in performance. The VGT has higher turbo boost levels. Another positive of the VGT, is the vanes can close to assist in providing back pressure. In Country Coaches, these ISL (Both the CAPS and VGT.) have true 2 Stage Jake Compression Brakes.

As the years climb above 2004, you will find CC's with 425 and I think even 450HP configurations. As Cummins had to make two or three more levels of smog related changes.

In a 40' and above model CC, say Allure/Intrigue, with tag - your right on the edge of power to weight ratio. The ISL will get it done, but it will to win any races to the top of mountain climbs. In shorter CC's, the power to weight ratios are fine. I think some CC's also have the ISL, though more came with the mid size CAT C9 with 400HP. These don't have tag's, so suspect the both the C9 and ISL are more then adequate for power.

If you are planning to pull any heavy loads, or even a heavier toad, you might want to consider the Intrigue models on up, as the larger CAT Big Blocks are available. The engined does not need to work as hard, and with a light foot, comparable MPG is reported between say a 2005 ISL400 Intrigue, or the same year and model optioned out with the CAT Big Block. (If you drive with a leaded foot, you can for sure use more fuel with either engine!). The CAT engined coaches have solid power to weight ratios.

As mentioned, read up on wrist pins. And do check out if a dry PTO remains. Same thing on checking out if the coach has an at risk side radiator. (Many have been taken care of by this time.) If not, just as with older tires and coach batteries, price of coach should reflect these items needing attention.

Concur that the CC is a great coach, well built, with a solid support infrastructure and owner group.

Happy hunting!
Smitty
(40' Allure ISL370 CAPS with Tag, 2004 model.)
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Old 03-01-2015, 03:59 PM   #4
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Thank you both for the quick and helpful responses. My bad, one of the first I have seen is a 2003 with a 400 hp. I am researching this site and others to see if any problems exist. My gasser is under powered and screams up small Carolina mountains. From all I have heard and read, CC is a great coach and well made and I am looking to move up to a quality used coach. Thanks again.
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Old 03-01-2015, 06:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parkman Jim View Post
Thank you both for the quick and helpful responses. My bad, one of the first I have seen is a 2003 with a 400 hp.
No bad as far as the ISL in your 2003 coach is concerned. As Smitty said, it's a fine engine and widely used in motor homes. I had one in my 2003 Monaco Windsor. A 2003 model year coach would not have one of the engines with the wrist pin problem. As part of the due diligence you'd want to check the serial number for recalls/problems of any nature though.

Every brand is likely to have a few lame ducks and thanks to the internet they are usually identifiable.

Best,
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Old 03-01-2015, 07:02 PM   #6
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Thank you, will do.
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Old 03-01-2015, 07:08 PM   #7
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I have the 2004 Intrigue with tag and 42' length. Runs fine, tows my 4 door Jeep Wrangler fine. Has a decent load capacity. Runs down the road at speed limits. Slowest I ever got going through the mountains was 35 mph at the Eisenhower tunnel in Colorado. On mine the radiator and pump were the proper ones. I never check the pins so maybe that was a mistake. Service costs are more than a gas but how we like the difference in coaches. Of course I run 60 to 65 mph and my miles per gallon is 6.5 to 6.8 over the last 10,000 miles. Its harder to get into RV Parks but we manage.
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Old 03-01-2015, 07:36 PM   #8
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Suggest for pre ULSD engines, that you use an additive to help replaced the lost lubrication that the engines were designed to run on. Many choices so do your own research, many use XPD.

Another area related to coaches designed pre ULSD, is that rubber hoses will degrade and fail. Runs to generators and Aqua/Hydro Hots should be replaced with ULSD compliant hoses. Failures can, and have, resulted in fires.

The Intrigue of that year ISL is probably CAPS and ISL400, I have the ISL370 in our 04 Allure, and Cummins just refreshed it for me to the 400 configuration. Minor improvements in top power by the 30HP, but the HP and Torque power curves are a bit better too. I noticed improvement in on ramp acceleration.

Our coach had not problems with he PTO or Side Radiator, so good chance you could be OK too - sure worth checking!

Best,
Smitty
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Old 03-01-2015, 09:30 PM   #9
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Thank you for all the good info. Good to know about the hoses. Still trying to learn all I can about CC and any specific problems that I should be aware of. Good to have this great forum to learn from.
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Old 03-01-2015, 09:48 PM   #10
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CoCo Dave,

Sorry if this is a dumb question, but dry PTO? Not familiar with that, could you explain? Thanks
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Old 03-01-2015, 11:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
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CoCo Dave,

Sorry if this is a dumb question, but dry PTO? Not familiar with that, could you explain? Thanks

Tons of posts on dry PTO. http://www.jdrv1.com/id13.html

Was a $700 fix for me and I discovered that the PTO was fine even thought the dry version. I have the suspect aluminum radiator as well but no problems at 50,000 miles plus.
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Old 03-02-2015, 05:49 AM   #12
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We have the ISL 425 in our 42' Allure and I am pleased with its performance. We completed a 4 month cross country trip last summer and I never felt underpowered. Now, I would not complain if I had one of the 500hp ISM's or even the CAT but the ISL does fine. I normally drive between 62 -64 on interstates and average 7.5 mpg.

Wet vs dry PTO and the suspect radiators have been noted. You can call CC with the coach serial # and they will tell you if the coach left the factory with one of the suspect radiators. It was not that the core is aluminum as much as how the tanks were attached to the core. I have one of the suspect radiators and it is still holding up at 52K miles.
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Old 03-02-2015, 03:58 PM   #13
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Dry PTO

Quote:
Originally Posted by Parkman Jim View Post
CoCo Dave,

Sorry if this is a dumb question, but dry PTO? Not familiar with that, could you explain? Thanks
Not a dumb question at all. Tobias7000 furnished a link worth looking at. Additionally, some coaches use a power-take-off (PTO) from the engine to turn a hydraulic pump to supply the force to rotate the radiator fan and/or power steering mechanisms. The "dry" description is a little misleading. It means that the pump drive is lubricated by grease rather than oil. In turn, at least in Country Coach's universe, that required the PTO to be greased regularly. Greasing PTO's was not something top-of-mind in many coach owners maintenance routines and thus a lot of the PTO's failed due to lack of lubrication. PTO's are common on off-road equipment like farm tractors.

HTH
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Old 03-03-2015, 06:34 AM   #14
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Cummins had a recall on the pin issue, there were only a few engines that were affected, not knowing exactly which engines had the faulty pins, Cummings made a deal that they would warranty the bad engines indefinitely, if the failed, some, not many have failed, cumming picked up the entire bill from what I understand. Cummins installed a warning light for this problem. If the rrecall (dash light) was completed you should see a red valve cover.
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