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Old 11-16-2008, 05:56 PM   #1
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I have a friend with a 1998 Dutch Star Diesel Pusher with a 300 horsepower Cummins C8.3 engine.

On a trip back in June, he lost power and noticed poor fuel economy, plus, the engine sounded strange.

Upon investigation, he found a hole in his cylinder head at the back of the engine where the exhaust manifold connects to the head. He found the "plug" that came out of the hole and has been patching it with "liquid Steel" type stuff to get by throughout the camping season. However, he has to redo the patch about every other trip out.

He has been told that the head cannot be repaired due to the severe corrosion (the coach came from New York), and he has had problems trying to find another cylinder head for this engine.

Does anyone know where he can find a used cylinder head, or have any suggestions?
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Old 11-16-2008, 06:21 PM   #2
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When you say hole do you mean a factory made hole that is being plugged or is a hole that just appeared in the head because of a defect. What is the diameter of the hole?
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Old 11-17-2008, 09:44 AM   #3
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Here is the exploded parts diagram for my C8.3 cylinder head from the Cummins QuickServe account.



#'s 2(1 ea),3(5 ea),4(2 ea) & 2091 ea) are press in expansion plugs

#'s 8,9 & 10(all 1 ea) are pipe thread plugs

# 16(2 ea) is a "threaded" plug

I can't vouch for any of these links but I keep them for reference purposes as people in these businesses "should" have a better handle on acquiring the parts needed.

http://www.dieselenginemotor.com/parts/index.php?action...5&subcatid=#pictures

http://www.rj-performance.com/

http://www.poweredbydiesel.com/

http://www.heavydutypowertrain.com/

http://www.pedcoengines.com/dieselengines.html

http://www.grainfarmer.com/cummins-cylinder-heads.html

http://www.atlanticdieselscanada.com...dNewParts.html

http://www.rebuiltdiesels.com/html/c...ents/index.cfm

http://www.promarengine.com/diesel.asp

http://www.alliancereman.com/rEngineInfoSheet.htm

http://www.nationalcylinderhead.com/...es.listing.asp

http://www.powerlinecomponents.com/
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Old 11-17-2008, 10:19 AM   #4
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Quote:
When you say hole do you mean a factory made hole that is being plugged or is a hole that just appeared in the head because of a defect. What is the diameter of the hole?
It's a piece of metal about the size of your thumb that just broke out of the head. When he patches it, he cleans the piece of metal and the hole it came out of, reapplies the patch material and puts the piece of metal back in the head with the sealant. It seems to hold for about 2 hundred miles or so and gives up again. He can't even use his old head for a core trade.

A mechanic friend of ours says he can get a new head for that engine from China for about $1,000 without a core, and maybe another $500 for installation. The Dutch Star owner was just hoping for something less expensive, but that may not be possible.
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Old 11-17-2008, 10:29 AM   #5
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Quote:
Here is the exploded parts diagram for my C8.3 cylinder head from the Cummins QuickServe account.
Thanks for the info.
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Old 11-17-2008, 10:52 AM   #6
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Don't know the exact shape of the hole but one way I have fixed things like that is to have a machine shop drill the hole out and tap it so a threaded plug can be screwed into it.

Here is a link to the strongest epoxy I know. It is has titanium in it and is good up to 350*F and some fantastically high pressure. Something we use on racecars
http://www.devcon.com/products/produ...m?familyid=124
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Old 11-18-2008, 07:16 AM   #7
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The first link shows a new head from Canada (actually from China but is probably as good if not better than the original casting...depending on the factory there that made it) for a 700 dollars and some of the others show links to rebuilt heads and new heads.

The second one shows a remanufactured head with core charge of $1398 which is probably what your friend will have to pay if his core is junk.

The "Rebuiltdiesels.com" site lists the head, as well as other parts, in their description so they may have one. These C8.3 engines have been used in a LOT of HD vehicles so I am SURE that a complete reman or new head is available. I would just start calling the places I listed and have them source one for your friend.

I believe the heads are cast iron but I could be mistaken as I just never really looked that closely. It may be possible to furnice braze the piece back on and then have the hole welded up and re-machined but by the time you are done, you could purchase a complete new/rebuilt head for less due to the labor involved in the repairs.

I will talk to some shops I know in the area and see what is available.
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Old 11-18-2008, 02:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Here is a link to the strongest epoxy I know. It is has titanium in it and is good up to 350*F and some fantastically high pressure. Something we use on racecars
The part of the head that is broken is where the exhaust manifold on the back cylinder meets the head, and I understand it includes part of the exhaust manifold mounting surface. That part of the head would certainly be subject to temperatures much greater than 350 degrees....probably in excess of 1,000 degrees, which is why the repairs so far have only lasted about 200 or so miles max.

The head is cast iron, and it is junk.


Quote:
I will talk to some shops I know in the area and see what is available
I appreciate your help. I will relay to my friend all of your responses.
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Old 11-18-2008, 02:50 PM   #9
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You will be surprised at the head temps. I can tell you that the head probably doesn't get over 350* and is probably under 300*F. We monitor head temperatures on our 3200 HP Funny Car and they stay below 220*F on a run at wide open throttle. The sensor is located in the head between the exhausts and we don't use any water to cool the motor. The head and block material can't take too high of a temperature. Think what would happen to a aluminum head if the temps went over 300*F. EGTs temps don't have much relationship to the temperature of the head or block. Do you think the actual hole can me drilled or machined out and a threaded plug screwed into it?
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Old 11-18-2008, 05:56 PM   #10
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The hole is right where the exhaust manifold connects to the head. Although a lot is possible, I can't imagine any way to patch the hole without a lot of expense. The owner of the coach also told me that the head in that area is extremely corroded possibly from past road salt, and he believes the corrosion has eroded the head so bad in that area that it contributed to, or maybe caused the crack, or hole.

The diesel mechanic friend of ours said he's seen engines that sat out in the weather for 30 years and the head was not as corroded as this one. Go figure.
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Old 11-18-2008, 06:48 PM   #11
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This coach didn't get caught in Katrina or one of the other hurricans and submerged in saltwater???
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Old 11-19-2008, 05:05 PM   #12
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This coach didn't get caught in Katrina or one of the other hurricans and submerged in saltwater???
No Mike,

This coach actually came from New York State. The winters in that area are brutal. The coach is like new on the inside and basement. Never been a flood or anything like that. Just could have been maintained better mechanically and on the underside.
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Old 11-20-2008, 11:29 AM   #13
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That is what I found with ours. We are the third owner. The original owner seemed to at least "attempt" regular maintenance but the second one gave no info.

We are the third and I am in the process of creating a maint. log as I am having to pick up the slack.

At least it is a good thing that I think I know what I am doing...
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Old 01-21-2009, 03:15 PM   #14
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Do you have any updates on the cracked head and a resolution or source for a replacement?
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