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Old 01-29-2013, 01:03 PM   #1
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Brand new ISX500 Cummins Failure

I have owned a 2013 Tiffin Zephyr for less than 2 months. It has a 500HP CUMMINS ISX engine on a Spartan K2 Chassis and within the last few hundred miles a loud pitch clacking noise started in the engine. It was pointed out to me by a few people as sounding kind of "odd" for a new MH. No loss of power or other problems even back from Quartzite Rally. Took to Cummins authorized repair facility here in Phoenix and they commented as well that is was an anomoly. AFter two days, the shop foreman said they willl need to take the engine out and tear the engine down to stress tests parts "following repair procedure" to determine whats wrong. This process would take a few weeks.

The engine has 6000 miles on it with most of the miles being driven from the dealer in TX to Phoenix and one camping trip for a weekend. I called Tiffin to start with and their factory reps. They advised I should be speaking with Spartan who built the chassis to insure that this is going the right way. I've been told by some other MH'ers that i should request a new motor at this stage of the game and let Cummins figure out their own problems.

What a weird situation to be in with a new MH . Especially with my first one I ever owned......any suggestions or people to escalate this type of problem to?
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Old 01-29-2013, 01:15 PM   #2
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I'd make sure Bob Tiffin knows about it, talk to him directly, and I would definitely push for a new engine or some major compensation. You still pay for it even when it's in the shop.
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Old 01-29-2013, 03:41 PM   #3
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I just Fed Ex'd a letter to Bob Tiffin outlining all of above and more
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Old 01-29-2013, 03:49 PM   #4
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You can call him as well. He talks to owners all the time. If you search this forum or tiffinrvnetwork.com, you can find his direct number.
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Old 01-29-2013, 04:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdostal
I have owned a 2013 Tiffin Zephyr for less than 2 months. It has a 500HP CUMMINS ISX engine on a Spartan K2 Chassis and within the last few hundred miles a loud pitch clacking noise started in the engine. It was pointed out to me by a few people as sounding kind of "odd" for a new MH. No loss of power or other problems even back from Quartzite Rally. Took to Cummins authorized repair facility here in Phoenix and they commented as well that is was an anomoly. AFter two days, the shop foreman said they willl need to take the engine out and tear the engine down to stress tests parts "following repair procedure" to determine whats wrong. This process would take a few weeks.

The engine has 6000 miles on it with most of the miles being driven from the dealer in TX to Phoenix and one camping trip for a weekend. I called Tiffin to start with and their factory reps. They advised I should be speaking with Spartan who built the chassis to insure that this is going the right way. I've been told by some other MH'ers that i should request a new motor at this stage of the game and let Cummins figure out their own problems.

What a weird situation to be in with a new MH . Especially with my first one I ever owned......any suggestions or people to escalate this type of problem to?
You don't say which repair shop has your coach. In that part of the world, I would only want to be dealing with Cummins Rocky Mtn. They are the Cummins franchisee and are likely to have the best handle on what's going on. I would want to be sure I knew exactly who I was dealing with and what the plan was before any work was done. Getting Spartan in the loop would also be a good idea, but if an engine issue then Cummins is the guy at the plate.

Good luck and let us know what transpires.
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:26 PM   #6
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Steve - yes it is at Cummins Rocky Mountain and its a state of the art type of facility. I'll keep you updated but I plan to go there tomorrow for a meeting with the shop manager. He stated he had never seen a problem like this before so just need to go through the steps of isolating the problem one by one
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:59 PM   #7
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This is heartbreaking I'm sure. I wish you much success in reaching an acceptable and proper result. What that is of course is up to you. To me - a 2 month old coach of this quality and expense would not be the same if a new engine or compete rebuild is the solution. Sure you can explain why the VIN is different and if it was 10 years old I suppose it would be less of an issue. But if it was a 60 something Chevy SS you'd be looking at the #'s. But still - it's new and this shouldn't be your headache. No telling how long a rebuild or replace will take or how it will settle in. Obviously you don't want to run your blood pressure up too high but I'd probably be spitting mad and demanding a new coach as my starting position and a couple options throw in for my trouble. Whether that begins or plays out with the dealer or Bob T, I don't know. But it's not like you're having to replace the refrigerator. You may not feel the same way - but that 500 is the "motor" part of the home and you know how useful the thing is without it. Don't be shy about it. It's your money and you will be the one to live it. Just my 2 cents.

Again very sorry to hear about this.
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Old 01-30-2013, 06:46 AM   #8
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At this point, after you have informed Tiffin, Spartan and Cummins, you should be in an information gathering mode. When you meet with the shop manager be sure to take notes & go back over any point you don't fully understand. I would also ask for a meeting with the Cummins field engineer servicing the shop. I would also be very interested in them performing the least invasive test first.

Although the engine in your coach is based on the very successful ISX15 it is relatively new and has been subject to some design changes recently. When it was introduced, it was called an ISX12.9 then in the last few months it was introduced as the ISX13. I have no idea what changes were implemented at that point.

This is a long winded way of saying that the engine in your coach doesn't have a very long history and Cummins should be very interested at a corporate level in what is going on with yours. It could be something as simple as an ECM software problem which, believe it or not, could cause a distinct sound change. This engine uses multiple fuel injection pulses per combustion cycle and normally results in the engine being very quite when running with almost none of the signature diesel clacking sound of older diesels. If this calibration were somehow disrupted it could change the sound of the running engine markedly.

Be very careful about "demanding" at this point. Until you know for sure what the problem is you want everyone involved to be on your side. There will be plenty of time later to decide what your position could be in regard to a solution.
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Old 01-30-2013, 07:23 AM   #9
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It is a Cummins engine under warranty. All repair cost will be covered by Cummins.

OP has no demanding rights on how the repair is done or a new MH from Tiffin or a new chassis from Spartin.

Stuff happens. And it will be fixed. After it is fixed it will still be under warranty for a few more years yet.

Sorry it happen to the OP so soon, but it will not be the last problem that comes up with his ownership of a MH.
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Old 01-30-2013, 07:34 AM   #10
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Good luck on getting your problems resolved with the engine.

James
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Old 01-30-2013, 07:49 AM   #11
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Very level headed advice from Steve and Triker. I was operating under the assumption the engine was coming out and the little things had been eliminated. I have also learned over the years to express dissatisfaction and to make difficult statements without being difficult or demanding. Clearly everyone involved is on your side and wants you to be happy. Keeping them there is to your advantage. Keep your blood pressure in check and hopefully it will be a quick fix and you'll be on your way in no time. Please keep us informed as things progress.
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Old 01-30-2013, 11:48 AM   #12
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Thanks. Absolutely good advice and info. Met with shop manager and they advised they have found metal shavings in oil which is something more than a simple software solution. They are bringing in corporate technical people as well into the solution mix and of required fly a techy in. Admittedly they said its the first isx engine they have seen
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Old 01-30-2013, 12:06 PM   #13
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Ok, since they have found the engine is making metal, that should give you a straight course to a new out of crate new engine. Don't settle for a reman. Since the engine has to come out there should be no reason for any delay. Above all be firm and deliberate, but don't step on any toes to hard yet until you feel they are jerking you around on your time, your dollar, then step hard. It's easier to work with them then to be to demanding. They have hoops they have to go through that sometimes are hard for us to understand. AJMHO.
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Old 01-30-2013, 12:17 PM   #14
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Having worked 39+ years in engineering and technical management for an engine manufacturer (not Cummins), if this is a new engine variant and the factory is involved to the extent that you describe, there's every possibility that your engine will wind up back at the factory and a new engine may be on its way to your service facility if they have one in unsold stock.

No guarantees from me that it will go down that way, but it's a strong possibility as the engineers at the factory may want to be the ones to tear it down and do a root cause failure analysis if this is a failure that they've never seen before.

If it were me, I'd stay involved but let this unfold and see what Cummins proposes.

Rusty
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