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Old 05-26-2011, 12:53 PM   #1
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cummins 350 isl problems

I have 2006 Newmar w/350hp Isl. This engine built prior to recall but I have experienced same wrist pin problem which caused the piston to grenade and destroy the engine. Engine has 16k miles and only out of warranty 6mos. Cummins wants to reimburse me 40% of the cost of parts with no labor participation leaving me with a 13k bill. Anyone else in same situation. Local distributor not much help is there anyone at Cummins to speak or what.
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Old 05-26-2011, 04:47 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmsra72756 View Post
I have 2006 Newmar w/350hp Isl. This engine built prior to recall but I have experienced same wrist pin problem which caused the piston to grenade and destroy the engine. Engine has 16k miles and only out of warranty 6mos. Cummins wants to reimburse me 40% of the cost of parts with no labor participation leaving me with a 13k bill. Anyone else in same situation. Local distributor not much help is there anyone at Cummins to speak or what.
Here is the Technical Service Bulletin on the piston issue. I am not able to influence Cummins on this matter. But you have the TSB that describes the issue. I think you may be able to get more interest if you request your Cummins distributor to contact their factory DFSE (Divisional Field Service Engineer). The distributor has the lower level DFSE (distributor field service engineer). He may be able to gain some interest or even contacting the distributor TSM, Technical Support Manager. If anybody can do something, the TSM or factory DFSE can get it done. This was not a campaign. The TSB was announcing that a design issue had been corrected.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf quickserve.cummins.com-New_Piston.pdf (33.5 KB, 70 views)
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Old 05-26-2011, 06:12 PM   #3
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The previous post is good advise, just keep going up the Cummins chain of command until you get satisfaction. Then at least threaten to start legal action. A Cummins engine should not have structural problems which is especially true with one with that age. Cummins frequently will make policy decisions and honor this commitment in spite of the warranty. That would especially be true with something so close to the acknowledged design problem with engines made near the time that yours was.
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Old 05-31-2011, 11:59 PM   #4
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The previous post is good advise, just keep going up the Cummins chain of command until you get satisfaction. Then at least threaten to start legal action. A Cummins engine should not have structural problems which is especially true with one with that age. Cummins frequently will make policy decisions and honor this commitment in spite of the warranty. That would especially be true with something so close to the acknowledged design problem with engines made near the time that yours was.
For any who need to contact somebody at Cummins, you should direct your correspondence to the

President of Cummins, Inc.
500 Jackson St.
Columbus, IN 47201

Calm statements of the facts with any copies of your invoices, diagnosis and repair reports. Cummins does not react well to use of L words like "lawyer". The president will ask someone in the service organization to look into the matter and report back to him. This is by no means a guarantee but it has worked for others. Cummins leadership is very aware of the MH market and the need to have a good presence. They take customer complaints seriously especially when you do not Rant at them.
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Old 06-01-2011, 07:09 AM   #5
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Thanks for that advise.
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Old 06-01-2011, 07:43 AM   #6
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This issue got a lot of attention when it first came up. Cummins addressed the over the road truck engines with new piston per the TSB. Motorhomes, ambulances and other low mileage engines had a "red" warning light installed to alert the driver that a engine failure was likely and allow the driver to shut it down before major damage. There was never a recall on this potential engine failure. Do a search on the Motorhome Magazine Forum and there is a ton of information about the wrist pin failure. Personally, I think Cummins was trying to keep their warranty exposure to the minimum and not have a full blown recall. Unfortunately, you are out of warranty and they may "sweeten" the pot a little more you are going to be left with a big repair bill. If I was shopping for an older motorhome I would run away from any with an ISL that had the red warning light or built in the suspect time frame.
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Old 06-01-2011, 08:13 AM   #7
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Threatening legal action to a business your trying to resolve a problem is the quickest way to shut down negotiations and communications and be completely shut out of any possible compromise or solution and making legal action your only course of action. Taking legal action is not something you say, it's something you do as a last resort.
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Old 06-01-2011, 08:18 AM   #8
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This issue got a lot of attention when it first came up. Cummins addressed the over the road truck engines with new piston per the TSB. Motorhomes, ambulances and other low mileage engines had a "red" warning light installed to alert the driver that a engine failure was likely and allow the driver to shut it down before major damage. There was never a recall on this potential engine failure. Do a search on the Motorhome Magazine Forum and there is a ton of information about the wrist pin failure. Personally, I think Cummins was trying to keep their warranty exposure to the minimum and not have a full blown recall. Unfortunately, you are out of warranty and they may "sweeten" the pot a little more you are going to be left with a big repair bill. If I was shopping for an older motorhome I would run away from any with an ISL that had the red warning light or built in the suspect time frame.
Buck

Vehicle dash lamps flash in accordance with the nature of the ECM fault code. The only red fault code that comes close to an impending event of doom (my words) is oil pressure below a set threshold. Failure to shut the engine down likely will result in a spun main or rod bearing not a piston wrist pin failure. Wrist pins receive very low oil pressure as the supply is through a narrow rifle drilled passage in the connecting rod. The nature of the TSB was to alert that there were issues and that something can will be done especially if the engine is in warranty. It is understandable that a MH would be less likely but not exempt from that failure mode. I still recommend that an owner especially one who had this happen so close after the cessation of warranty coverage through Cummins that owner should write to:

The President of Cummins, Inc.
500 Jackson St.
Columbus, IN 47201

In that letter the owner should state the facts and not opinions. Enclose copies of their repair invoices and any service and diagnostic reports. Cummins does take inquiries made to corporate officers seriously. The respond more favorably when you do not threaten to sue or use rude language. They will be more persuaded by a calm discussion and statement of supportable facts. While Cummins ISL dominates the MH industry the engine and the company's reputation rests with each unit sold and in service. Cummins distributors are bound by a rigid warranty code. The distributor is not at liberty to make policy allowance decisions without direct involvement by the Factory DFSE, Divisional Field Service Engineer. There are 6 of these people in North America. They carry a lot of "weight" in their investigations. Letters to the President of Cummins will be investigated and not dismissed out of hand.

Best regards,
Gary Spires
Cummins Filtration (Fleetguard)
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Old 06-01-2011, 09:33 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spike45 View Post
For any who need to contact somebody at Cummins, you should direct your correspondence to the

President of Cummins, Inc.
500 Jackson St.
Columbus, IN 47201

Calm statements of the facts with any copies of your invoices, diagnosis and repair reports. Cummins does not react well to use of L words like "lawyer". The president will ask someone in the service organization to look into the matter and report back to him. This is by no means a guarantee but it has worked for others. Cummins leadership is very aware of the MH market and the need to have a good presence. They take customer complaints seriously especially when you do not Rant at them.
Yes, mentioning lawyer is the last resort. However, you must create the impression that you are serious and that a simple no will not be the end of their problem. And yes do not rant. However, that does not mean being a piece of milk toast which far too many people seem to accomplish. They simply have an aversion to adversity from their perceived religious training or what ever causes that demeanor in lots of people. The simple act of asking for opinions on this forum is a strong indication of this mentality. My intent here is to strongly get the point across that this is problem that many have in dealing with the "BIG" boys. But yes, do not be insulting or vulgar.
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Old 06-02-2011, 10:58 AM   #10
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I have a 350 ISL Cummins in a 2006 Newmar also. I have 33000 miles on mine and so far the engine is fine. What is the build time frame of the suspect engines? Having to pay $13000+ to rebuild my engine would certainly hurt my budget.
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Old 06-02-2011, 11:05 AM   #11
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I went to a Cummins service center earlier this week hoping to upgrade my 350 ISL to a 400 ISL. I have talked to other owners of coaches similar to ours that have actually had the upgrade, and they were very happy with it.

For some reason, the Cummins technician told me that my engine could not be upgraded without "significant component changes". Could someone tell me the differences between a 350 ISL and a 400 ISL besides computer settings?
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Old 06-02-2011, 11:13 AM   #12
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Old 06-02-2011, 11:15 PM   #13
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I have a 350 ISL Cummins in a 2006 Newmar also. I have 33000 miles on mine and so far the engine is fine. What is the build time frame of the suspect engines? Having to pay $13000+ to rebuild my engine would certainly hurt my budget.
The piston issue was corrected in 2008 - 2009. Current engines are built with the new piston design.
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Old 06-02-2011, 11:21 PM   #14
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I went to a Cummins service center earlier this week hoping to upgrade my 350 ISL to a 400 ISL. I have talked to other owners of coaches similar to ours that have actually had the upgrade, and they were very happy with it.

For some reason, the Cummins technician told me that my engine could not be upgraded without "significant component changes". Could someone tell me the differences between a 350 ISL and a 400 ISL besides computer settings?
Potentially, different turbocharger group, different injectors. It is more than just a "flashing" the ECM (engine control module) by Cummins Insite software to deliver more fuel. The sticking point in this is that Cummins cannot summarily change the fuel rate as that engine is US EPA certified with the existing hardware, software. Doing so is a violation of Federal law. If the engine is tested for emissions and found to be non-compliant due to modifications...a lot of money will change hands. From yours to Uncle Sam plus you could face some other unpleasant exchanges with authority figures.

Those who uprated their engine may have done so with some of the aftermarket "chips" that are plugged in to override the ECM fuel and timing maps.
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