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Old 10-21-2013, 09:11 PM   #1
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Trans. problem, then Cummins won't start

Help, new to this and don't know where to start. I just bought a 1995 Winnebago Luxor with Cummins 8.3 and Allison 6 speed. I drove it 40 miles to my daughter's house, and the transmission shifter [push button ECU] would not shift, and would not go into gear and then would go blank. After some research, I took out the ECU from the dash, and sent it to ECM King in Texas. I was told they were reliable. They told me that the unit had some bad circuits in it and rebuilt it and sent it back. [$1,400, local Allison dealer said it wd be $2,800 for a new unit} When I got it back, I put it back in, and now the motor won't start!? It turns over fine and all of the dash lites go on, but no smoke in tailpipe, and does not even try to fire. Can anyone help me, or tell me how to get this question to the right forum. The motorhome is parked on a farm about 20 miles from Spokane, and wd be expensive to have towed, or have someone come out.

Very greatful for any help.

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Old 10-21-2013, 09:29 PM   #2
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Before you do anything else, give Allison a call and let one of their techs run through a check point series with you. I went into panic mode with mine some time back and with the help of the tech and a lot of patience on his part he got me going and sense then (knock on wood) no more problems.

Don G. WIT 70041

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Old 10-21-2013, 09:41 PM   #3
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Its a diesel,if its got air and fuel should run, being a 95 vintage, its probably a mechanical 8.3, check the fuel shut off valve to see if its opening before starting, its located at the injector pump
Jeff & Lisa
Bubbles (4 legged kid)
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Old 10-27-2013, 03:19 PM   #4
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Cummins 8.3 won't start. '95 Winnebago Luxor

Help again. New to this site. I just bought this and drove it 40 miles to and the trans started acting up. I had the ECU rebuilt, and put it back in and the motor wouldn't start. At first I thought they must be connected, but after a lot of time and elimination [I live 120 miles from where it is sitting] I have determined it is not getting fuel. It is parked at a very slight incline towards the front. I took the fuel line off coming from the tank to the fuel filter, and put it down on the ground, and no fuel runs out. I put gentle air pressure at the filler cap and no fuel came out. I put a temporary hose from a can of diesel to the in side of the fuel filter and pumped the primer and fuel leaked out above the pump, but it still wdn't start. By this time batteries where low so I gave up. The batteries are charging and I am going to go back and try again.
1. can I put a transfer pump on the fuel line from the tank and see if I can suck fuel out of the tank? If so, how strong a pump wd be too strong [I have an electric one for pumping diesel]
2. Can I blow air or pump diesel back up that hose into the tank with the filler cap off. I other words, is there anything in the tank that would be damaged by that?

Also can someone tell me where I should be posting this question. Is there a tutorial on this site.

Thank you.
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Old 10-27-2013, 05:52 PM   #5
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If you just want to start the engine for a few seconds to see if it's a fuel problem you can spray a small amount of ether in the intake and it should run for about 5 seconds. You might try blowing compressed air in the inlet fuel line and listen for air bubbles in the tank. When you crank the engine there should be fuel going up to the engine when you disconnect the line.
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Old 10-27-2013, 06:30 PM   #6
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I think I'd try air pressure in the fuel line into the tank. You should hear bubbling in the tank. Algae could be the issue, it can grow in diesel fuel. Check your fuel filters to see if they are clogged with black/brown slime. If it ran 40 miles, it might not be too bad.

Bob & Donna
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Old 10-27-2013, 09:24 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by tom chelbana View Post
If you just want to start the engine for a few seconds to see if it's a fuel problem you can spray a small amount of ether in the intake and it should run for about 5 seconds. You might try blowing compressed air in the inlet fuel line and listen for air bubbles in the tank. When you crank the engine there should be fuel going up to the engine when you disconnect the line.
NO ETHER! That is not recommended for a Cummins engine!!! The intake air heater grid will cause an explosion in the intake manifold.
2000 Winnebago Ultimate Freedom USQ40JD, ISC 8.3 Cummins 350, Spartan MM Chassis. USA IN 1SG 11B5MX retired;Good Sam Life member,FMCA." My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. John F. Kennedy
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Old 10-27-2013, 09:35 PM   #8
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Maybe the electric fuel shutoff solenoid has failed. I'm assuming you have the C8.3 mechanical engine with the 7100 inline fuel injection pump.

If so, the fuel shutoff solenoid is a large solenoid standing above the fuel injection pump. The rod from that solenoid hangs down and attaches to the shut off arm on the injection pump. You can try to manually lift the shut off arm while someone cranks the engine, or you can use some wire to tie the arm up.

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2012 Ram 2500 Laramie 4X4 Cummins 6.7L
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Old 10-27-2013, 09:41 PM   #9
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You might want to post in the friegtliner section and get some help there or search the forums for lift pump. I do not know enough about the cummins system but it might have an electric pump in the tank to pump fuel up to a pump on the engine.

If you do not get any other response. I have a small low pressure diesel electric pump that I bought at an auto parts store. When I run my tractor out of diesel I put that pump in line with the fuel tank. I then turn it on and open the bleed screw at the filters. When I have solid fuel out of that bleed screw with no bubbles I shut it and then open the one at the high pressure injector pump and leave it open until no air out of the bleed valve at the injector pump. I then close everything up and it usually starts. I let it start a few minutes then shut everything off and remove the added on electric pump. I hook everything up and start the engine and let it run. Usually the small amount of air you get from taking out the electric pump will work through the engine and just cause a rough idle for a couple of seconds. I do not know how well this procedure adapts to a cummins rv engine.

I would replace my fuel filters while all of this is going on. You already have air in the system so putting in ntew fuel filters now is a good time. Be sure to fill the filters with diesel before putting them in.
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Old 10-28-2013, 09:19 AM   #10
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Thank you for the advice. The fuel solenoid is opening when engine is cranking. I am going to try air to fuel tank and new fuel filters. Can I put a hose in a 5 gal can of fuel down to "in" side of 1st filter to see if it will start?
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Old 10-28-2013, 09:31 AM   #11
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I don't believe so. The injection pump needs 40~60 psi pressure at the inlet in order to pump up to 2500 psi (or whatever your injectors runs at). That initial pressure comes from the tank pump. If you are not getting anything out of the tank it is probably broken or clogged (or both).
Larry & Cheryl Oscar, Louie, Ranger & Henry (our Springers)
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Old 10-28-2013, 10:15 AM   #12
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OP, have you tried to use the manual fuel pump after opening the bleed screw?

On my C8.3L of the same vintage, the push button lift pump & primer is directly below the fuel filter behind the injection pump. I cannot see it from the bedroom access and have to hang over the edge and feel for the rubber button.

Pressing on that button should send fuel to the bleed screw and expel some air until fuel starts escaping. Tighten the bleed screw and then try to start the engine. (I have had to pump that thing with my thumb over 20 times to get a result when my injection pump was failing.) If that does not work, try bleeding air out of the injectors until fuel flows.

If your mechanical lift pump has failed, you could replace that component yourself for a couple of hundred bucks or less.

If the lift pump has failed, it will likely take the injection pump out shortly. That is several thousand dollars to replace. Been there, done that.

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C8.3L 300hp Cummins, 31,000lbs
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