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Old 04-30-2006, 06:48 AM   #1
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Sorry for the long post but I think this warrants a full explanation.

Recently my W22 developed a gear oil leak on the right rear hub. I called WH and they found a local shop that does motorhome work. Even though they are not a WH service center, WH found them and arranged towing. The shop discovered a gasket on the hub was defective and replaced it. The day I was to pick up my motorhome I received a call from the shop. There had been a serious fuel leak when my unit was being moved from the shop to the storage yard next door.

While the shop's owner was moving my unit one of his employees noticed a significant amount of fuel coming from the engine area and leaving a trail of gas. As he ran after and flagged down the shop's owner driving my unit, the owner realized his right foot was wet - his shoe was wet with gas and his sock became soaked. Needless to say he shut it down and got out. Fortunately it did not ignite even though a significant amount of fuel had leaked all over the engine and saturated the carpet in the driver's area.

After the excitement passed and once it was safe, they began looking for the cause of this potentially disastrous fuel leak. They discovered a small clip that holds a part in the high pressure fuel injector fuel rail had broken. As a result high pressure fuel was ejected from the system.

Here is a photo of the area and the part in question:



This is a close-up of the component in question after it had been replaced and fitted with a new clip:



And here is the retaining clip that failed:




Note there are two breaks in the retaining clip. The surface area of the break on the "top" of the clip appears to be rusted almost all over the crack and the break is jagged. The break along the side or length of the clip is a cleaner break and shows no indications of rust.



My theory is that the retaining clip had a crack in the top portion for some time, possibly even from the factory. The crack did not extend all the way through the clip, there was an area that is approximately of the surface area of the cross section of the clip that remained intact and was holding the clip together. Over time this "good" area became fatigued due to carrying the entire load and eventually failed.

It is not clear if this initial failure occurred at some point in the past or the day of the fuel leak. The component that is secured by this retaining clip at times has some freedom of motion. When the new parts were put in place, the component was loose and only once the engine was started and fuel pressure increased in the fuel rail did the component appear to become solidly held in place. With no pressure in the fuel rail, the component is loose, with pressure in the system, the component is tight. This appears to be the design of this system.

Given that, one could surmise that over a period of non-use, the fuel rail pressure would decrease and the stress placed on the clip would drop given that the component was not being pressed upwards against the clip. Over a period of time, the retaining clip is most likely experiencing cycles of pressure (stress) and reduced pressure accordingly. This most likely ultimately caused the retaining clip to fail. However it was not until the second break occurred along the side of the clip that the fuel system became compromised and high pressure fuel sprayed out of the fuel rail. We may never know if the original break occurred a long time ago, last week, or at the same time that fatal break occurred.

Here is what weighs heavily on my mind. We had just returned from the kid's spring break week at Disney in Orlando. We drove home straight through on Saturday with great driving conditions and only moderate traffic. If this clip had failed while driving on the interstate there is little question in my mind that the outcome would have been quite different. Arriving home later in the day, we simply parked the motorhome and decided to unload it the next day which is when we discovered gear oil leaking from the right rear hub.

I can think of a number of outings when we have camped and had a campfire not too far from the RV. On one occasion in January, the campfire was 30' in from of the RV and downhill given the terrain of that site. If this clip had failed while the campfire was lit I know exactly where the fuel would have run straight into the fire.

The shop owner showed me a 2003 WH he had in for other repairs and he noted that the fuel system is very different. In the 2003 line, the corresponding component is very different:



In the 2004 photos of my unit above, you can see a wiring loom that runs directly above the retaining clip. I have inspected the "dog house" cover and I can see where the wiring loom has had light contact with cover. This might cause the wiring loom to press on the top of the retaining clip. Here is a view from the passenger side looking at the new clip in place with the wiring loom directly above it:



Since I had previously placed a Camping World dog house insulation kit on my dog house cover there is little doubt that in the end, WH will blame the motorhome builder (Georgieboy) and/or myself for insulating the cover. However even with the cover in place, there is no indication on the bottom of the loom that it has had contact with any part of the engine or this clip in particular. Who is to blame is not that important at the moment, the fact that the retaining clip was cracked and a portion of the crack was rusted indicates that this is a potential safety issue that needs wide spread attention. If it is the insulation kit that caused this, then anyone who has done as I have needs to understand that and take corrective measures.

One of the employees in this shop recently observed a motorhome on the side of the road with tow car still attached. The front of the unit was torched from an engine fire and the unit was clearly a total loss. In his mind he believes without doubt that this is the type of event that led to that loss. We may never know if this was the cause of that engine fire. The important thing here is to be aware of this potential problem and to take appropriate steps to ensure other motorhomes do not have this potential flaw.

The fuel injection fuel system is under high pressure and great care needs to be taken when inspecting or working around these components. Hopefully this was a fluke or isolated part failure and no one else will have a similar experience.

Now all that is left is to get rid of the gasoline odor in my unit. However that is a much better problem to have compared to the alternative that easily could have occurred in this case.

Thanks.
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Old 04-30-2006, 06:48 AM   #2
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Sorry for the long post but I think this warrants a full explanation.

Recently my W22 developed a gear oil leak on the right rear hub. I called WH and they found a local shop that does motorhome work. Even though they are not a WH service center, WH found them and arranged towing. The shop discovered a gasket on the hub was defective and replaced it. The day I was to pick up my motorhome I received a call from the shop. There had been a serious fuel leak when my unit was being moved from the shop to the storage yard next door.

While the shop's owner was moving my unit one of his employees noticed a significant amount of fuel coming from the engine area and leaving a trail of gas. As he ran after and flagged down the shop's owner driving my unit, the owner realized his right foot was wet - his shoe was wet with gas and his sock became soaked. Needless to say he shut it down and got out. Fortunately it did not ignite even though a significant amount of fuel had leaked all over the engine and saturated the carpet in the driver's area.

After the excitement passed and once it was safe, they began looking for the cause of this potentially disastrous fuel leak. They discovered a small clip that holds a part in the high pressure fuel injector fuel rail had broken. As a result high pressure fuel was ejected from the system.

Here is a photo of the area and the part in question:



This is a close-up of the component in question after it had been replaced and fitted with a new clip:



And here is the retaining clip that failed:




Note there are two breaks in the retaining clip. The surface area of the break on the "top" of the clip appears to be rusted almost all over the crack and the break is jagged. The break along the side or length of the clip is a cleaner break and shows no indications of rust.



My theory is that the retaining clip had a crack in the top portion for some time, possibly even from the factory. The crack did not extend all the way through the clip, there was an area that is approximately of the surface area of the cross section of the clip that remained intact and was holding the clip together. Over time this "good" area became fatigued due to carrying the entire load and eventually failed.

It is not clear if this initial failure occurred at some point in the past or the day of the fuel leak. The component that is secured by this retaining clip at times has some freedom of motion. When the new parts were put in place, the component was loose and only once the engine was started and fuel pressure increased in the fuel rail did the component appear to become solidly held in place. With no pressure in the fuel rail, the component is loose, with pressure in the system, the component is tight. This appears to be the design of this system.

Given that, one could surmise that over a period of non-use, the fuel rail pressure would decrease and the stress placed on the clip would drop given that the component was not being pressed upwards against the clip. Over a period of time, the retaining clip is most likely experiencing cycles of pressure (stress) and reduced pressure accordingly. This most likely ultimately caused the retaining clip to fail. However it was not until the second break occurred along the side of the clip that the fuel system became compromised and high pressure fuel sprayed out of the fuel rail. We may never know if the original break occurred a long time ago, last week, or at the same time that fatal break occurred.

Here is what weighs heavily on my mind. We had just returned from the kid's spring break week at Disney in Orlando. We drove home straight through on Saturday with great driving conditions and only moderate traffic. If this clip had failed while driving on the interstate there is little question in my mind that the outcome would have been quite different. Arriving home later in the day, we simply parked the motorhome and decided to unload it the next day which is when we discovered gear oil leaking from the right rear hub.

I can think of a number of outings when we have camped and had a campfire not too far from the RV. On one occasion in January, the campfire was 30' in from of the RV and downhill given the terrain of that site. If this clip had failed while the campfire was lit I know exactly where the fuel would have run straight into the fire.

The shop owner showed me a 2003 WH he had in for other repairs and he noted that the fuel system is very different. In the 2003 line, the corresponding component is very different:



In the 2004 photos of my unit above, you can see a wiring loom that runs directly above the retaining clip. I have inspected the "dog house" cover and I can see where the wiring loom has had light contact with cover. This might cause the wiring loom to press on the top of the retaining clip. Here is a view from the passenger side looking at the new clip in place with the wiring loom directly above it:



Since I had previously placed a Camping World dog house insulation kit on my dog house cover there is little doubt that in the end, WH will blame the motorhome builder (Georgieboy) and/or myself for insulating the cover. However even with the cover in place, there is no indication on the bottom of the loom that it has had contact with any part of the engine or this clip in particular. Who is to blame is not that important at the moment, the fact that the retaining clip was cracked and a portion of the crack was rusted indicates that this is a potential safety issue that needs wide spread attention. If it is the insulation kit that caused this, then anyone who has done as I have needs to understand that and take corrective measures.

One of the employees in this shop recently observed a motorhome on the side of the road with tow car still attached. The front of the unit was torched from an engine fire and the unit was clearly a total loss. In his mind he believes without doubt that this is the type of event that led to that loss. We may never know if this was the cause of that engine fire. The important thing here is to be aware of this potential problem and to take appropriate steps to ensure other motorhomes do not have this potential flaw.

The fuel injection fuel system is under high pressure and great care needs to be taken when inspecting or working around these components. Hopefully this was a fluke or isolated part failure and no one else will have a similar experience.

Now all that is left is to get rid of the gasoline odor in my unit. However that is a much better problem to have compared to the alternative that easily could have occurred in this case.

Thanks.
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Old 04-30-2006, 07:17 AM   #3
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Very professional presentation of the facts, thanks very much. You can bet I will be checking my WH for the problem.
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Old 04-30-2006, 08:44 AM   #4
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Isn't it great where we can go and 'show' so many people what a potential problem could be. Just think, years ago, it would have stopped with you, no one else would have ever found this out. I'm still just totally amazed, as many of us are from such an earlier year of 'no Internet access'. Wow, I love it, oh, and thank you for your presentation.
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Old 04-30-2006, 09:23 AM   #5
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thank you for this post and warning for all of us. You may have saved many lives.
I am passing this info on to my workhorse dealer in San Jose, that is Leale's RV who can check your motorhome if you live in this area.
Best to all,
Bebop
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Old 04-30-2006, 11:46 AM   #6
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Thanks for the heads up Brian, DriVer I'am sure will follow this up with Workhorse if they have not all ready picked it up. I don't think the wiring boot would have caused the problem the clip had a parcial brake in it for some time the harness may have kept it from braking sooner. "007"
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Old 04-30-2006, 12:36 PM   #7
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Thank you Pushin40. I'm going to check mine right now. Wonderful presentation.
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Old 04-30-2006, 01:19 PM   #8
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Pushin40, Thanks for the good information and pictures. I just checked my 2001, 8.1, and found that the 'Fuel Pressure Regulator Valve' looks like the 2003 pic., with the round snap-ring in your picture. All looked well, no sign of any leaks. Thanks again.
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Old 04-30-2006, 01:31 PM   #9
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Thanks so much Pushin40... My coach is a 2003 but my chassie was built in 2002 so I went a took a picture and mines is differant...

Anyone who reads this and does not check theirs could be making a big mistake
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Old 04-30-2006, 01:36 PM   #10
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You're lucky they found it at their shop and not you on the road. Did they have the doghouse off before they discovered the leak?
It seems like , if the doghouse was on, it would have kept gas from getting on his shoes, socks and the carpeting.
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Old 04-30-2006, 01:47 PM   #11
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LeeB, Now that is a close-up, looks like my 2001. "Geter Done"
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Old 05-01-2006, 02:53 AM   #12
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by max49:
You're lucky they found it at their shop and not you on the road. Did they have the doghouse off before they discovered the leak?
It seems like , if the doghouse was on, it would have kept gas from getting on his shoes, socks and the carpeting. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I don't think the fuel sprayed directly on his foot, rather a puddle of gas formed under his foot.

My dog house cover is hardly a precision piece and when a fuel pump is allowed to free flow it can move a great volume of gasoline in short order. Since the fuel was under pressure and this part points to the area where the cover meets the floor of the motorhome, I *think* the fuel ran down the side of the dog house cover and into the RV. Most of the fuel ran over the engine and ended up on the ground but it also formed a puddle of gas at the driver's feet.

Would you feel comfortable taking a garden hose and spraying water at the dog house cover from underneath when it is fitted in place? I am pretty sure I would end up with water in my unit.

Imagine taking one gallon of milk and dumping it on the floor of your RV. It will eventually soak into the floor but until it does you have a nice puddle of milk on your carpet.

Any one who has run through a parking lot in the rain knows even a small puddle can leave you with a "soaker".

This represents another danger since if it did catch fire while underway, the driver's area (and maybe even the driver) would be in flames making it that more difficult to remain in control at highway speed.
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Old 05-01-2006, 05:00 AM   #13
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by "007":
DriVer I'm sure will follow this up with Workhorse if they have not all ready picked it up. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>I'm on it ---- Git er' done!
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Old 05-01-2006, 05:05 AM   #14
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Pushin40:
Would you feel comfortable taking a garden hose and spraying water at the dog house cover from underneath when it is fitted in place? I am pretty sure I would end up with water in my unit.. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>My doghouse is pretty tightly fitted to the floor ans I doubt that I would get fluids inside the driver's station.

As an additional precaution Winnebago Industries installs a #10 self tapping screw low and on each side of the doghouse close to the front bulkhead. This seals the doghouse to the floor.
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