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Old 01-04-2015, 03:30 PM   #57
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Looks like the very best outcome would be to be able to prove that the head was broken due to installation error. Just FYI, no bolts broke when manifold or head were removed. I put PB Blaster on manifold bolts every day for a week before it was originally removed and no bolts broke. Any suggestions on who to take the broken head to to get a written professional opinion of why the tab broke. If I could prove that the install broke the head then all of this would be in court.

Second best would be to have Cummins in Houston give me their estimate of shop time required to R&R a head for the B5.9. That also would be evidence for small claims court. Waiting on weather to get to Houston to the dyno and check with their service dept.

So, suggestions on how I can get a qualified professional engineer opinion on what killed the head on this engine?

ronspradley

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If there were no broken exhaust manifold bolts... replacing the gaskets or replacing the manifold altogether would not take much time at all. A couple hours max, imho.

If there was a crack in the ear prior to it breaking, I would think you would see discoloration and oxidation on the surface of the break where the crack had allowed oxygen and moisture to penetrate over time.

I wonder if the mechanic used an impact wrench to rattle the bolts tight... too tight maybe...

Cheers
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Old 01-04-2015, 04:15 PM   #58
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The first step I would think would be to go to a large machine shop and tell them what you need to have checked about whether or not it was pre cracked. They could recommend and engineering firm hopefully that would give a report.

Actually first thing you need to do is figure out cost versus recovery. If you have to tke an attorney to court 7000 is going to be a good starting figure. You will have to prove the crack did not exist which is going to be very hard. If you want an inexpensive way to start have the old head magnafluxed and see if it had any other cracks. If it had some then possiblitiy of a crack is less remote. If it does not have any then go from there. This is not going to prove anything just maybe help with the decision to go further. You are going to need some expensive testing and legal representation to sue saying the head was cracked. Overcharging is a different matter. Get a couple of shops to give written estimates of how long it takes to do it. Send a registered letter to the shop asking them to explain in writing why it took longer. Much cheaper and easier to prove.
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Old 01-04-2015, 06:41 PM   #59
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Also check with the state consumer affairs board where the work was done.

In Ca they have good process to investigate things like this

See if the mh manufacturer is still in buisness and request estimate from them.

Also the extended warranty folks may have data too but that will be difficult to get but ask...
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Old 01-20-2015, 08:42 PM   #60
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Waco Freightliner

Today drove 54 miles from where I store MH outside of Gatesville, to Waco Freightliner to put on chassis dyno. Was told that dyno not available because there was a truck on it that was broke down. It would not be available until they get that truck running. OK, plan B. Will have to try again maybe next week. Sure want to see the numbers for horse power and torque. And ask service what hours they would charge to remove an old head and replace with new.

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Old 01-20-2015, 08:54 PM   #61
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Csll and make appointment then confirm before leaving.
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Old 01-20-2015, 09:08 PM   #62
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They do not take reservations/appointments for the dyno, it is first come, first serve. But I will certainly call the evening before, next time.

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Old 01-25-2015, 10:28 PM   #63
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That is to much money. here is where it gets a little tricky. When the first repair was done was the leak at the rear cylinder or somewhere else. If it was somewhere else, here what need to be done. 1. why was the exhaust manifold replaced. 2. The new exhaust carries a 6 month warranty on mid range engines or 50,000 miles unless recon has changed there warranty. in any case, the new manifold could be wrapped or installation was done wrong, either way it should have been either Cummins warranty or workmanship warranty on the location that did the first repair. It should be no cost to you. now saying that if the original leak was because of the crack flange, then it would be yours.
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Old 01-26-2015, 06:49 AM   #64
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At this point, I know of no way to prove that they broke the head when installing the new exhaust manifold and gasket. I did not see the engine when the original exhaust manifold was taken off. My plan now is to work at getting some estimates for shop time to R&R a head to see if I can get some money back on what most agree is excessive shop time for the repair. Last week I went to Waco Freightliner to have engine put on dyno and they had a truck on dyno that was broke down and I could not get in for the test. I am calling this am at 8 to see if dyno is available. If it is I will drive to the MH (it is an hour west of Waco) and take to dyno tomorrow. Will check with their service for how many hours they would charge to R&R the head. Then go from there.

Either way, it is going to be a beautiful week here in central Texas, temperatures around 70 during the daytime, lots of sunshine.. I will enjoy what I can. Safe travels everyone.

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Old 01-26-2015, 09:17 AM   #65
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I am just wondering if you have the old head and if you can post a picture of the broken casting area?
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Old 01-26-2015, 09:25 AM   #66
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Ron, sorry to hear all the trouble. In spite of my own first reaction of shock at the $7k bill, what you really have to decide is how much MORE you are willing to "invest".

It is easy to say "take it to Small Claims court", but "Small Claims" refers only to the dollar amount. You are still in a formal legal system that can jump back and bite you, and if the shop owner decides to come up with $500 and throw a buddy lawyer in the hearing, technicalities alone can get you stuck with costs and legal fees and damages and whatever. Been there, done that, and if he is the crook you think, for every guy you put up to back your claim, he can get 3 to lie for him. (Ask me how I know!)

At the very least, you will need 2 or 3 other shops or professional mechanics to make a positive statement, in writing, as to the work done, and amount charged ... and I think you will find it extremely difficult to accomplish that because no one who wasn't there can swear to the exact problems encountered. Even paying an "Engineer" or test lab to issue a report is a waste, because no matter what they say, they will NOT state as a FACT, a positive ruling one way or another. No matter how tiny, there is always a chance the shop was justified.

And things are starting to tighten up with the impact internet complaints can have so quickly on professional reputations. In a case from work provided in 2011 and still ongoing, a contractor is suing a woman for $750,000 who posted negative reviews of his work on Angie's List. (See details HERE ... Public Citizen Litigation Group)

Paul Alan Levy, an attorney for Public Citizen, says there’s a lesson here: “You have to be aware when you criticize a service provider that he may well decide he doesn’t like online criticisms and may sue you for defamation. So it’s important to be careful in what you say.”

But what I think is MOST important is to think about how much MORE you are willing to invest - not just dollars, but time and aggravation and stress and emotional investment - all the things you go RVing to get away from! Your own signature line says it all! Some things really are more important, and sometimes it really is better to walk away.

Of course, there ARE ways to get a little satisfaction at least. If he refuses to make things right, Try parking your motorhome in front of his business, get out a lawn chair, and sit there next to a big sign that says something like "Thanks ______, for reminding me how important it is to read the fine print." The next day "Thanks ______ , for reminding me how important it is to get all estimates in writing." "Thanks _____, for showing me how much LESS $7000 buys than it used to!" "Thanks ______ for saving me the effort of driving to Florida since your bill took all my vacation money. That gives me an extra month to sit out here!" LOL! You get the picture!


Just sayin' ...
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Old 01-26-2015, 10:44 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by Kathryn View Post
Ron, sorry to hear all the trouble. In spite of my own first reaction of shock at the $7k bill, what you really have to decide is how much MORE you are willing to "invest".

It is easy to say "take it to Small Claims court", but "Small Claims" refers only to the dollar amount. You are still in a formal legal system that can jump back and bite you, and if the shop owner decides to come up with $500 and throw a buddy lawyer in the hearing, technicalities alone can get you stuck with costs and legal fees and damages and whatever. Been there, done that, and if he is the crook you think, for every guy you put up to back your claim, he can get 3 to lie for him. (Ask me how I know!)

At the very least, you will need 2 or 3 other shops or professional mechanics to make a positive statement, in writing, as to the work done, and amount charged ... and I think you will find it extremely difficult to accomplish that because no one who wasn't there can swear to the exact problems encountered. Even paying an "Engineer" or test lab to issue a report is a waste, because no matter what they say, they will NOT state as a FACT, a positive ruling one way or another. No matter how tiny, there is always a chance the shop was justified.

And things are starting to tighten up with the impact internet complaints can have so quickly on professional reputations. In a case from work provided in 2011 and still ongoing, a contractor is suing a woman for $750,000 who posted negative reviews of his work on Angie's List. (See details HERE ... Public Citizen Litigation Group)

Paul Alan Levy, an attorney for Public Citizen, says there’s a lesson here: “You have to be aware when you criticize a service provider that he may well decide he doesn’t like online criticisms and may sue you for defamation. So it’s important to be careful in what you say.”

But what I think is MOST important is to think about how much MORE you are willing to invest - not just dollars, but time and aggravation and stress and emotional investment - all the things you go RVing to get away from! Your own signature line says it all! Some things really are more important, and sometimes it really is better to walk away.

Of course, there ARE ways to get a little satisfaction at least. If he refuses to make things right, Try parking your motorhome in front of his business, get out a lawn chair, and sit there next to a big sign that says something like "Thanks ______, for reminding me how important it is to read the fine print." The next day "Thanks ______ , for reminding me how important it is to get all estimates in writing." "Thanks _____, for showing me how much LESS $7000 buys than it used to!" "Thanks ______ for saving me the effort of driving to Florida since your bill took all my vacation money. That gives me an extra month to sit out here!" LOL! You get the picture!


Just sayin' ...
I would not begin to try to know the laws in all states. In Arkansas and Oklahoma and I believe most states. Small claims courts are designed to let the two parties argue it out in front of a judge. In AR and OK lawyers are not allowed in small claims court except as defendents. I.E. My wife and I own several rental houses. My wife is an attorney. If we take a renter to small claims court or get sued in small claims court she can appear at that venue as a defendant. We would not be allowed to bring another attorney to represent us in small claims court. Check your state laws but small claims court was designed to allow people who do not have the money for an attorney or the claim is too small to justify the expense of an attorney a chance to have their claim heard in front of a judge.
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Old 01-26-2015, 04:34 PM   #68
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In all of the shops I have ever worked at every shop had what we called loads people that had no work ethic and drug their feet on all the jobs they worked on and did half quality work and the customer ends up paying for it and the service manager has to cover the time spent on the job so its passed on to the customer. I used to tell customers that I knew or were regular customers that they have the right to pick someone they want to work on it or tell them who they dont want to work on it. I have never seen a head break in all of the years of working on diesels mostly just exhaust studs or the manifold but not torquing the bolts in the correct manner will put undue load on the head or the stud or manifold. if one side is tightened full before the other the manifold pivots and will increase the torq on the side first tightened after the other side is tightened and can twist the manifold then add expansion from heat and it increases even more. In a couple of shops I have worked at time is flatrate and a lot of shortcuts are taken like not using a torque wrench and impact wrenching everything.
time wise a day to remove and strip the head and clean up the deck on the block another day to install parts on head manifold, turbo, injectors, thermostat and set and torque the head and a third day to install pushrods, rockers, set the overhead valve covers, hoses and coolant and run and warm up and road test all depending on how the job goes at most 30 hours work. And all shops will dispute that anything is their fault and a screw up costs them money.
Just my experience and my opinion. all of my experience is on truck/ tractors and not on RV's
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Old 01-26-2015, 07:32 PM   #69
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Thanks guys for the responses and encouragement The original broken head is at a friends place and I can probably get a picture and post. Tomorrow am going back to Waco Freightliner to get engine on dyno and get base line for hp and torque. And maybe blow-by. And of course ask about the hours they would show for engine head R&R. Baby steps.

ronspradley
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Old 01-28-2015, 07:50 PM   #70
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Went to Waco Freightliner yesterday. Still no dyno test. Called at 8am, told to come on down, machine available. Got there at 930, another truck was on dyno and I was next. Tech got to me at 130, moved to dyno and chained her down. Then came inside and was looking around dash area. Asked what he was looking for and he said he was looking for the connection to the computer. Reminded him that this 1992 B5.9 was mechanical. He said there was an accessory for the dyno that hooked directly to the teeth on the flywheel and read RPM from there. Except they did not have this accessory. Finally left there at 230 and took MH back to its resting spot (54 miles). Tech called today and said it will take two weeks for them to get this part, if he can get the boss to OK the $900 cost. Waiting, hopeful.

ronspradley
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