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Old 04-26-2017, 04:32 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by EngineerMike View Post
re: coolant "filter", yes Cummins deleted this add-on to keep their engines price competitive against cheaper brands, but the engine casting still has the boss for it and many have had it added after purchase.

At least up to 2007 build year (usually 2008 model year coaches) you can add a coolant DCA cartridge called a coolant filter. The flange for the filter is plated & gasketed off; Cummins has a kit, just ask for it.
IIW toddb, I'd do that while engine is being re-sleeved. Then put filter cartridge change on regular PM list.
I check mine w/strips, and yes the strips have a short (in comparison to our coolant change cycle) shelf life, so I buy the 4-pack from a NAPA that has a truck parts counter and toss at least 2 of them out for out of date.

FWIW, I've never changed 100% of coolant. My DCA stays w/in range per the strips. I use the radiator petcock, drain all coolant that comes by gravity which is about 7.5gal or maybe 60%, then refill (my regular mechanic takes the used coolant to recycle). Been doing that every 3-4 years since new w/2 test strips every year (2nd strip is to verify the 1st strip result). YMMV.
Is there a reason you don't drain, flush and replace with extended life coolant such as Chevron Delo? Then as I understand, no SCA/DCA checks, just annual freeze point test, and then an extender every four years (I think).

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Old 09-20-2017, 05:31 PM   #30
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Update to Original Post

Ok Time to update this…. 5 different visits to 3 different Cummins service centers and one Freightliner center later……

When I picked up the coach and drove it home (approx. 200 miles) from the re-sleeve work at Cummins Mesa, the coach felt sluggish, like the engine had been de-rated. I called Cummins Mesa and also reported that the initial problem, pushing coolant out the overflow still existed. In discussion with the service manager we agreed to “watch it” and report after our first trip. The coach was then parked. Approximately 3 weeks later, leaving for our first trip we got a CEL before going 5 miles from home and loss of power was very apparent on hills. I had a local shop read the CEL code (excessive crankcase pressure), and not knowing the condition or why this may have happened, elected to have the coach towed to the nearest Cummins repair center, Great West Freightliner in Kingman AZ.

Freightliner diagnosed a clogged CCV, noted coolant in the CCV, replaced that filter, cleared the codes, reconfirmed that we still had combustion gasses in the coolant and lack of power. At this point they advised best to limp it back to Cummins Mesa since they did the original rebuild work.

On the second visit to Cummins Mesa, they replaced a failed EGR cooler and as precaution the engine air compressor. One or both of these may have been most likely responsible for the original issue. At this point, coolant was no longer being pumped out the expansion tank overflow. Cummins Mesa was unable to adequately address the lack of power. Upon picking the coach up from this work at I then drove it approximately 30 miles to Cummins Avondale to address the lack of power issue.

Cummins Avondale used their dyno and diagnosed 205HP from an ISL 8.9 450. Avondale was ultimately able to resolve the power issue and heavily discounted the labor performed and parts installed. Hats off and kudos to the Avondale guys for resolving this.

Fast forward approximately 500-600 miles down the road from the second Cummins Mesa visit (that replaced the EGR cooler) and the CEL warning light came on again. We limped into Tehachapai, CA and a local shop read the engine codes diagnosing excessive crankcase pressure. Investigation noted that the CCV filter was clogged and contained coolant. The CCV filter was replaced.

The CCV filter required changing after CEL alerts approximately every 150-200 miles thereafter until Cummins Coburg diagnosed a failed EGR cooler (the cooler replaced by Cummins Mesa). Cummins Coburg replaced this under parts warranty but then charged me for a precautionary coolant and oil change. At the time, we were all thinking (hoping?) this was a possible faulty replacement EGR cooler. Note, in our journey north from Tehachapai we stopped and bought multiple CCV filters at Cummins in Bakersfield, Fresno, and Redding CA at ~$100/filter. I had changing filters down to 15 minutes including the access hatches in the master bath.

Approximately 500-600 miles from this second EGR cooler repair, the CEL warning light again illuminated, again due to excessive crankcase pressure and again the CCV was clogged with coolant. Back to Cummins Coburg. Coolant was getting into the oil as indicated by oil analysis done by Coburg. The coach was left with Cummins Coburg on 8/23 and they ultimately determined that a new block, head and sleeves are required. At this point they decided a long block replacement was the best course of action. We are currently waiting on long block delivery late October. Cummins warranty is covering the costs.

So we’ve been dealing with and fighting this issue or its derivatives since mid-April, and we won’t have our coach back until early November. And we are out over $20K for the initial repairs and the subsequent repairs to correct the repair induced power loss, not to mention incidentals like hotels, cancelled RV resort reservations, rental housing (we’d planned on living in the coach in between sale and purchase of our AZ houses). It definitely sounds like Cummins is ultimately making this right with the warranted long block replacement, but I’d still like my $20K+ paid previously refunded. I will be discussing with Cummins corporate about this.

There’s a moral to this long story: Trust but verify. Just because a reputable shop says they did something (like check your DCA/SCAs) when in for maintenance, check it yourself. As noted elsewhere, proper DCA/SCAs are critical in a wet sleeve diesel engine. Note you might also want to check for oil fill level and clean oil, replaced filters etc. In short everything you have a shop do under maintenance, check it!

Hopefully the follow up to this in November will say the work performed by Cummins Coburg corrected all issues and we have a sound, reliable coach again!

2011 Itasca Ellipse 42QD
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Old 09-28-2017, 10:51 PM   #31
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Do I have this right?

I can get the test strips, and depending on how they read I may or may not need to drain and re-fill my coolant? Regardless of age?

If I were to go ahead and change it, if my memory is correct I think it calls for ethelen / propolene glycol products with no additives like stop leak.

What brand is the most trusted? A Fleetguard product

My oil analysis just came today from Blackstone Labs and it was all within the norms. Good report.
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Old 09-29-2017, 07:45 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Kro1957 View Post
I can get the test strips, and depending on how they read I may or may not need to drain and re-fill my coolant? Regardless of age?

If I were to go ahead and change it, if my memory is correct I think it calls for ethelen / propolene glycol products with no additives like stop leak.

What brand is the most trusted? A Fleetguard product

My oil analysis just came today from Blackstone Labs and it was all within the norms. Good report.

If you don't know the history of your coolant, it would be a good idea to pull a sample and have it analyzed. Over time, the dilution ratio can get out of the best zone and it can pick up contaminants. Here is a good option:


Fleetguard has a line of coolants which are very robust. Fleetguard ES Compleat EG fully formulated with SCA/DCA is closest to the OEM coolant.
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Old 12-20-2018, 02:39 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by toddb View Post
This is a long one so bear with me. I’ll eventually get to the current Cummins engine repair issue….

Our coach has the 8.9L ISL 450 in it. 2011 Winnie Itasca/Tour, rear radiator. We’ve had it since new, July 2011. Coach has constantly cycled from about 194 to 212, climbing to 216 on long hot grades. When it began hitting 218 climbing grades 2 years ago, I downshifted and last 2 times into Freightliner Tolleson had them check and clean the radiator which brought the climbing higher temps back in check. I was told cycling is normal based on fan clutch kicking in and out.

The dash air never worked properly. 3rd visit to Freightliner (this time Kingman) finally found the culprit, a leaking fitting on the AC compressor and fixed it at just under 75K miles. Ok on to most recent trip. On startup after overnight at RV spot in Santa Nella CA, got a low voltage warning and the coach was doing a fast idle, similar to what it will do under Regen. I called Freightliner and they assured me it was Regan and don’t worry about it. Still nervous and a little stupid and brain bamaged after a long hard weekend at the track, I hit the freeway. Less than 1 mile on the freeway and engine alarms over temp. 2+2 now = 4. Crap. No alternator + engine overheat = fanbelt. Crap again. Ok let it cool down, short dashes to drive before it starts to overheat, repeat 3 times, get off freeway and back to RV resort. Start pulling hatches and verify fanbelt gone. Worse is the AC compressor is frozen. Must have literally happened on startup that morning. Ok this will require towing. Not just me replacing a belt. Thank you Coachnet.

Coachnet hauled us 40+ miles to Merced, Anthony Jones Truck and RV Repair. Anthony had the parts ordered that afternoon, installed (new AC compressor and new fan belt) and we were on our way by 4 PM the next day. Extended warranty covered about ½ of the bill for the repair. Moral to the story is if your AC is blowing hot, don’t run it. Over time your AC compressor won’t like it!

OK finally, current problem…went from Merced CA to Temecula CA, about 200 miles, 4 hours. Low coolant light on when we got parked that evening. Next morning, expansion tank bone dry. Went in search of and found a NAPA dealer. Got 2 gallons of NAPA heavy duty antifreeze concentrate, SCA precharged, mixed it 50-50 and the coach took 2 gallons of coolant. Not good. Went on to Temecula that day. About 150 miles. Coach took about 1.5 gallons of coolant that evening and I noticed that I had coolant all over my dinghy and the expansion tank overflow vent was dripping. Temecula to home (Lake Havasu AZ,) and another 1.5 gallons of coolant to fill. So 5 gallons of coolant to go about 500 miles. Made appointment with Cummins Mesa AZ and took the coach in next day. Until this episode, I have never had to add coolant.

Oil was fine, no coolant in oil so my “cheap” guess was head gasket leaking from a cylinder to the coolant. Maybe result of recent overheating? No such luck. Teardown found pitting on the liner sleeves and we’re facing replacing all 6 liner sleeves, and a new head. Serious rust on the liners and in the radiator. DCA analysis of coolant looks bad. Based on rust on liners, pitting, and current low DCA values, Cummins respectfully declines to provide any coverage outside of warranty (we’re 10 months outside of the 5 years but still under the 100K miles at 77K miles) as they feel it is a maintenance issue.

The coach has been in to reputable dealers at least yearly based on mileage for service, Freightliner dealers (in Portland OR, twice 8000, 15000 miles), Cummins NW (Coburg OR once 25000 miles), Freightliner dealers (in Tolleson 3 times 41000, 52000, 65000 miles). Every single one of these says SCA (or DCA in Cummins speak) checked and OK. Only one of them (Cummins) actually listed my DCA value at 2.2 and I note FTL Tolleson charged me for test strips.

So this is a very long winded lead in to my question. I thought I was properly maintaining my coach. Looking thru all the service records it looks like 1 gallon of coolant was added in 2015. Overall system was never drained/flushed/replaced. FWIW Cummins (https://www.cumminspowerclub.com/res...chedulesRV.pdf ) says every 80K miles or 2 years but when asking about coolant replacement during servicing, had been told it was Ok. None of these shops advised me to change coolant or add DCA. How is the average non-motorhead supposed to keep one of these things running?????

Told you it was long…
I am currently dealing with this coolant issue right now. I have a 2013 Pheaton with 33,800 miles. Warranty, Tiffin and Cummins say it's a maintenance issue. Tiffin says its owners fault if there is no documentation of having a coolant flush at 30,000 miles. Anyway...30k later....This is absolutely ridiculous! This appears to be a major, costly, ongoing problem. This is happening to too many people.

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