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Old 05-30-2013, 08:14 AM   #1
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Cummins ISC on Spartan MM?

Getting an itchy trigger finger but am a little nervous for my first purchase. Can someone help point me to a good thread on the virtues and downfalls of the Cummins ISC engine? I am looking at 2000 with a Cummins C.8.3L/300HP ISC on a spartan mountain master chasis with approx 55K miles. The coach is 37.5' with a GVWR of 29,400 (GCWR 39,400). It may be a little under powered when towing based on the 10hp per 1,000lb rule of thumb?

Seperate questions on load rating; the UVW is 25,700 which only leaves about 3,700 of freedom on gear/fluids. Is that sufficient based on your experience? We are not full timers yet but one day hopefully (if we are lucky it may be in this rig purchase but FT it is many years away still).
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Old 05-30-2013, 09:53 AM   #2
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the isc engine is very good along with the Mountain Master chassis...if it was maintained {and 99% are} you will be good for very long time....the CC seems good...did you get the info from the cabinet in the coach>> as those #'s usually include over half fuel and fluids ect...jeff
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Old 05-30-2013, 10:10 AM   #3
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I got the load ratings from the brochure which states they include (before options) maximum capacity on fluids necessary for operation of the vehicle . I assume that means dry storage tanks but I will always have something in the storage tanks. Hopefully not full but something none-the-less.
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Old 05-30-2013, 11:09 AM   #4
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Underpowered is in the opinion of the operator. We have a similar length and weight rig but with a predecessor 300hp mechanical Cummins C8.3L and a 4.68 rear end ratio.

Our rig is slow up the steep grades in the West with a max of 35mph on 6% grades. On the flats, and once into higher gears, it will cruise at 75 mph.

From a dead stop I hope the light will stay green long enough. The fueling rate can be changed to avoid this, but in 11 years we have not found the need.

Do check for leaking manifold gaskets as that seems to be a signature repair on these engines. Costs about $1500.
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Old 05-30-2013, 11:14 AM   #5
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At 300 hp the performance will be decent but not impressive. I have a 370 hp ISL and generally weigh in at about 38,000 lbs (with the toad). It's ok up to around a 3% grade and then slows down quickly after that. But if you have a heavy foot or like to feel acceleration, you will want more hp.

You originally stated ISC engine but later said C8.3L. The later is the non-electronic version and may well be what you have in a 2000. Both are good engines but there are differences, e.g. electric vs mechanical fuel lift pump.

'Fluids necessary for operation' are fuel and oil and coolant - not water in the house tanks or propane.
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Old 05-31-2013, 07:54 AM   #6
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I have a 2000 Dutch Star on a Spartan chassis with a 315 Cummins towing a Saturn Vue. We've been throughout the Rockies, Sierras, and just about every other mtn. range you can think of with no problem at all. Since it's a 2000 you're looking at I would be sure to check out the ball joints. I'm sure the boots will be dry rotted and might have to be replaced. I say might because some owners use a needle valve to cram grease up and around the ball joints. A replacement of the ball joints is about $2000. Look for all the maint. records to see if maint. was done regularly, and you might want to invest in a good RV tech to go over the coach thoroughly. Good luck!!
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Old 05-31-2013, 08:13 AM   #7
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[QUOTE=Ramets;1587483] "some owners use a needle valve to cram grease up and around the ball joints." Those are ignorant owners IMO. The boots fill with grease when the zerk fitting is used. Over-filling causes the boot to burst, which I suspect causes the majority of failed boots. When the boots just begin to show filling with grease, it's time to stop. Actually the boots are just dust covers.
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Old 05-31-2013, 01:19 PM   #8
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The ISC is a good engine and should work fine with that coach.
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Old 05-31-2013, 01:30 PM   #9
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the rods he was referring to do not have zerks they are lifetime lubed so that is why they do what they do...



[QUOTE=Ray,IN;1587500]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramets View Post
"some owners use a needle valve to cram grease up and around the ball joints." Those are ignorant owners IMO. The boots fill with grease when the zerk fitting is used. Over-filling causes the boot to burst, which I suspect causes the majority of failed boots. When the boots just begin to show filling with grease, it's time to stop. Actually the boots are just dust covers.
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Old 05-31-2013, 01:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beenthere
the rods he was referring to do not have zerks they are lifetime lubed so that is why they do what they do...
Please clarify a bit more. I have an 04 MM chassis and my ball joints do not have grease zerks. My Spartan service shop has used a "needle" to squirt additional grease into the joints. Is this bad or good?

The problem with the cover boots is that while they are more or less just dust covers, they cannot be replaced (unless you replace the entire ball joints) as they grow older and less effect as the years go by. It is almost as though they are designed to fail and as this need to "take apart" the ball joint in order to install new boots....which are not sold seperately from new ball joints.....negates preventive maintenance! The only preventive solution my Spartan shop could recommend was regular additional grease via a needle? Oh ya .....and be sure to come back to them when the ball joints actually fail!

Anybody got a better solution to this problem?
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Old 05-31-2013, 05:11 PM   #11
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We just recently purchased a 2000 Newmar MADP 4092 on a Spartan MM chassis with an ISC 350 HP. We have already taken 3 trips approaching 400 miles pulling a 2010 Honda Accord on a Master Tow dolly. I am very impressed with the acceleration and the rig feels right at 65 mph. Pulling home Wednesday, air temp at 90 degrees, transmisson and coolent temp below 180. We leave Tuesday for north Georgia with a few hills and some small mountains hoping it still gives us the same service.
So far we are all smiles.
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Old 05-31-2013, 07:08 PM   #12
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Hi rECUpirate,
I have and ISC 330 HP, 950 ft lbs of torque. Overall the engine is fine. I am running a bit over 37K GCW. On long grades, you will need patience.
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Old 06-01-2013, 03:17 AM   #13
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Make certain it has the electronic ISC engine and then go Banks! You will be glad you did.
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Old 06-01-2013, 04:34 AM   #14
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I concur with the cat!!!
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