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Old 11-18-2019, 09:19 AM   #1
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New purchase, first diesel.

I'm looking at a 2003 40' Dynasty Baroness. 53,000 miles on a Cummins 400HP. This will be the first diesel I've owned and all I know about a diesel is how to spell it. :-) Is the mileage about normal, high, low?

Is there anything I should be looking at that may have been unique to this model/year? Any input pro and con is appreciated.

Thanks for your time.
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Old 11-18-2019, 09:23 AM   #2
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Around that year Cummins had some issues with a dowel pin breaking destroying the motor. It may have been earlier years, but its worth looking it up on the internet. Other than that Cummins have been a very reliable motor before purchase you could ask for an oil analysis. Costs a few dollars, but well worth it.
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Old 11-18-2019, 09:52 AM   #3
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The 2003-2004 model years are my favourite of the Monaco Dynasty, we were focusing on these years before finding our 2001 Signature. 53,000 miles for a 2003 I would consider on the low side. The 400HP Cummins is the 8.9L ISL and as far as I have read, is a very good engine. The dowel pin issue referenced in a previous post I believe is related to late 90's 5.9L 12V Cummins, so I don't believe a concern here. The ISL has a 2-stage engine brake, which was something we were keen on when looking for our MH.

One of the big questions for us was always, how much has it been used lately, or has it been sitting quite a bit? Always good to ask for service and maintenance records, and as mentioned, a fluids check is good too.

It will likely have an Aqua-Hot diesel boiler system which is the furnace and hot water for the coach. The condition and service of this unit is important; they are great systems, but if not maintained properly they are very expensive to replace ($7k-$10k).

Check tires for DOT date codes, as we all know MH tires tend to reach the end of their service life before wearing out. The Roadmaster semi-monocoque chassis was one of the main reasons we narrowed our search to Monacos, and we just love it. As far as chassis goes, IMO this was the best chassis available of this era, but there were certainly other good ones too. There are 10 air bags in that Dynasty, good to check the condition of them as they approach 15 years old. Ours was stored indoors, and so all the bags were in excellent shape.

That's what comes to mind for now. If it checks out as being in good shape, a 2003 Monaco Dynasty is a fantastic coach and with that chassis and build quality will have many years (decades) left of enjoyable travel.
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Old 11-18-2019, 11:53 AM   #4
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Hi Paul; Yes, take the advice Don gave you. I don't have an ISL in my 01 Windsor, just an ISC. The ISL is a great engine, but they had an issue with the wrist pin in the engine for certain years. Try asking this question in the search box at the top right of this page, problems with wrist pins on certain years of cummin's ISL engines, and see what info you can find. Others here have way more information than I can provide. To me, that would only be something to lookout for on a Dynasty of that era. A Dynasty is a great coach, IMHO. Roadmaster chassis, lots of standard equipment and lots of options for that year. I am not sure how to respond to your mileage question. On my 01 Windsor with the ISC and the Allison MH 3000 6 speed transmission I get right at 8.0 MPG towing a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited on the flat. Since I live here in the northwest and there is not a lot of flat. Lots of mountain passes to cross so that brings me down to the 7.0 MPG range and sometimes a little lower. The ISL is a larger engine but has more H.P. and torque so might do better depending on weight and what is towed. Others here will give you first hand experience. I thought I would give you my experience with a Monaco coach. If what you are looking at has been well cared for with service records, I would not hesitate to look into the Dynasty you have been asking about. Happy researching!
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Old 11-18-2019, 12:11 PM   #5
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The OP needs to do his homework on this failed wrist pin subject.


The wristpin machining failure did pertain to the Cummins 400 HP ISL over certain model years ( serial numbers) and maybe also apply on some of the other Cummins diesel engines ..... perhaps the ISX also?

I’m thinking I’ve seen a ISX failure here at iRV2 and cost the owner $43k IIRC

I Don’t want to freak out the OP …. but Cummins diesel generally speaking are just about bulletproof if maintained properly.

Here is what I say after buying a coach 5 years ago and seeing some of the stories here at iRV2

In my opinion you can get a good feel for a coach with a good look-see of the unit and a test drive ... that said once I found a Coach that piqued my buying interest, I think it would be very wise money spent to find a highly rated Motor Home inspection service and pay them whatever the cost, because as in comparison to some of the repair cost you can incur ?....the inspection cost would be a drop in the bucket.

If I recall correctly ( the experts here will know) you can take that Coach to a Cummins dealer and have it …(for lack of a better description ) " Dyno Tested " and then Cummins can then tell you the condition of the engine and also will most likely be able to tell you if that engine serial # in your coach falls into the wrist pin machining failure group ….and if so? …if the updates have made on it.

Happy Trails
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Old 11-18-2019, 01:31 PM   #6
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Here's the NHTSA recall on the Cummins wrist pin failure. It looks like the 2003 are not affected. However, I will check the engine serial number.

NHTSA Campaign Number: 07E033000
Vehicle/Equipment Make: CUMMINS
Vehicle/Eqipment Model: ISL CM850
Model Year: n/a
Mfg Campaign Number:
Mfg Component Desc: ENGINE AND ENGINE COOLING:ENGINEIESEL
Mfg Involved in Recall: CUMMINS, INC.
Manufacture Dates:
Type of Report: (E) Vehicle
Potential # of Units Affected: 2,159
Date Owner Notified by Mfg: 07-20-07
Recall Initiated By: MFR
Mfg Responsible for Recall: CUMMINS, INC.
Report Recieved Date: 06-04-07
Record Creation Date: 06-08-07
Regulation Part Number:
FMVSS Number:
Defect Summary: CERTAIN ISL CUMMINS CM850 DIESEL ENGINES PRODUCED FOR RECREATIONAL VEHICLE APPLICATIONS BETWEEN OCTOBER 17, 2005, AND APRIL 18, 2006, WITH ENGINE SERIAL NUMBER RANGE FROM 46543077 TO 46603939. THE CONNECTING ROD CONTAINS A MACHINING DEFECT IN THE WRIST PIN BUSHING OF THE ROD THAT COULD CAUSE SEIZURE OF THE PISTON PIN.
Consequence Summary: IF ALLOWED TO PROGRESS, THIS COULD LEAD TO ENGINE FAILURE WITH THE POSSIBILITY OF THE ROD RUPTURING THE BLOCK CAVITY. OIL AND DEBRIS ON THE ROADWAY COULD RESULT IN A VEHICLE CRASH.
Corrective Summary: EACH VEHICLE MANUFACTURER WILL NOTIFY OWNERS OF VEHICLES THAT CONTAIN THESE ENGINES ABOUT THIS DEFECT. CUMMINS WILL CONDUCT THE REMEDY CAMPAIGN AND PROVIDE QUARTERLY COMPLETION REPORTS BROKEN DOWN BY VEHICLE MANUFACTURER; HOWEVER THE VEHICLE MANUFACTURERS WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE RECALL. VEHICLES WILL BE REPAIRED AT NO COST TO THE OWNER. THE RECALL BEGAN ON JULY 20, 2007. OWNERS CAN CONTACT EITHER THEIR VEHICLE MANUFACTURER OR CUMMINS CUSTOMER ASSISTANCE CENTER AT 1-800-343-7357.
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Old 11-18-2019, 02:50 PM   #7
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A 2003 Dynasty is a great coach. Like they said above, check the engine serial number.
It will have a tag axle Roadmaster chassis with 10 outboard air bags and 10 shocks. A 40' model will have two A/C's and a 7,500W Onan diesel generator. Aqua Hot (unlimited hot water and hydronic heat) was an expensive option.
Have it professionally inspected and do your homework on pricing.

You can download the original brochure here:
https://www.monacocoach.com/luxury-rv-brochures?y=2003
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Old 11-19-2019, 07:42 AM   #8
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If you are not familiar with diesel engines and/or motorhomes I would suggest you get a qualified inspector to look at the coach. I would make sure that fluid samples are done for engine oil and coolant, transmission, and generator oil and coolant. Make sure the inspector you get has good ratings.

The inspector should also test all systems, check for any signs of leaks, check tire DOT dates.
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Old 11-19-2019, 02:00 PM   #9
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JTLL gave excellent advice and a Dynasty is the most bang for the buck of the big Monaco’s. The wrist pin issue is around 2006, not 2003. The dowel is for a older ISB so you can forget those posts.As you can see below I had good service out of a 04 Dynasty for 14 years and 90K miles (53K is on the low side). It’s still in the family...son wanted it over a new Class C.


The RR10S chassis is a great handling rig...rock solid and 9K of CCC. I was on the heavy side and averaged 7 mpg at 65-68. About the only possible serious issue is the bottom corners of the slides might have water damage. In most of the 03 Dynasty, the LR slide is only 18” deep, most 04’s are 34”. A 03 40’ may have a 7K generator and only 2 AC/heat pumps instead of a 10K and 3.

Post or PM a link to what your looking at and I’ll take a look at it for you.
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Old 11-19-2019, 03:43 PM   #10
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Tincup - as you already found out, the wrist pin is a non issue for a 2003 coach. I think that vintage Dynasty is a great coach and as others have said, its a good value. If it is been serviced and well cared for, it will most likely be a fine first (and maybe last) DP. Ditto on having a qualified inspection before you buy.
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Old 11-19-2019, 07:09 PM   #11
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I don't know much about the ISL, I have the ISM. Make sure no oil leaks, expensive to fix properly. Has the gen been serviced on schedule, those are expensive also. Check the serial number on the engine, as other's have said, 2003 is the year the coach was built, the chassis and motor could be a year or two earlier. The Aqua-Hot is fantastic, we love ours, unlimited hot water on demand. Great motorhomes.

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Old 11-20-2019, 05:28 AM   #12
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Found the Dynasty in NV and it has the 34” LR slide but where are you going to eat...8 seats but no table??? Still has the NoCold and old TV. Does appear to have AHot. $90K is on the high side.
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