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Old 04-14-2021, 06:00 PM   #1
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Turbo troubles

2009 HR Vacationer. Codes said bad turbo activator so mechanic order one and went to put in and the turbo is locked up. So not only need new activator but turbo. The MH was fine last trip and ran fine on the way back home from car show, boost was fine and exhaust brake work fine and then go to pull out to clean for another show and stop engine light is on. Has anyone else had this happen and what was the final cast to get fixed and back running?
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Old 04-14-2021, 06:39 PM   #2
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The turbo actuator controls the turbo boost and the exhaust brake. I would think since yours is a 2009, it would be vacuum controlled.

On most applications, the turbo actuator can be removed and replaced with the turbo still mounted. If the turbo hasn't been removed, there's no way to tell if the turbo is locked up. The actuator simply moves a gear driven set of vanes directing the exhaust flow. One way for boost and the other for back pressure. They have to be calibrated so a shop has to have the proper scanning equipment and software for installation.

Just the actuator job is a $3000+ job at a dealership.

If I need anything diesel related, I contact M&D Distributors in TX. They are easily located online.
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Old 04-14-2021, 06:46 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by TMyers17 View Post
If the turbo hasn't been removed, there's no way to tell if the turbo is locked up.
Can't you just remove the intake plenum, reach in, and give it a spin?
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Old 04-14-2021, 06:59 PM   #4
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Can't you just remove the intake plenum, reach in, and give it a spin?
I know the I6 Cummins but not this application. I was referring to an actuator replacement job. There would be no need to remove the intake plenum. I would just be suspicious of this diagnosis. I would want to see my turbo.

The OP mentioned a activator (Actuator) Code. The I6 throws different codes for actuator and the turbo itself.
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Old 04-14-2021, 07:06 PM   #5
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You have an electronic turbo actuator. Once removed the ONLY way to properly reinstall and recalibrate it is to use the Cummins Insite software.
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Old 04-14-2021, 07:14 PM   #6
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These modern VGT's seem to be an awful delicate part to be on a HD diesel engine!

Friend with a 06' ISB is on his 3rd.
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Old 04-14-2021, 07:29 PM   #7
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You have an electronic turbo actuator. Once removed the ONLY way to properly reinstall and recalibrate it is to use the Cummins Insite software.
In the I6 applications that I've dealt with, actuators were vacuum operated until 2013. These were all Holset turbos and actuators.

And, you are correct on calibration. I've also used a Snap-On scan tool. They have the software as well. If the OP's mechanic didn't know this prior, he may be wanting a whole turbo unit with the actuator preinstalled and calibrated. Not accusing by no means but I would want to see my turbo.
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Old 04-14-2021, 07:34 PM   #8
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These modern VGT's seem to be an awful delicate part to be on a HD diesel engine!

Friend with a 06' ISB is on his 3rd.
Heat is what kills them. Holset designed an actuator that is partly water cooled. If might help some but electronics next to a red hot turbo is a weakness.
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Old 04-14-2021, 07:57 PM   #9
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So, those turbo blanket's that hold the heat in, probably not a great idea!
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Old 04-15-2021, 02:32 AM   #10
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Assuming this is essentially the same engine as is in the Ram pickups from that era, there’s a good amount of aftermarket support including for what they call a “second gen turbo swap” where you replace the VGT with a standard turbo. I have a ‘17 Ram with a VGT and I don’t see much of a point in doing that. I like the VGT, specifically the engine brake function it includes (not sure if yours would have that), but the swap could be something to consider if you were so inclined.
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Old 04-15-2021, 04:41 AM   #11
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Maybe I didn't make myself clear. The turbo is locked up tight as a drum. You cannot move the lever that controls the turbo.
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Old 04-15-2021, 06:14 AM   #12
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Maybe I didn't make myself clear. The turbo is locked up tight as a drum. You cannot move the lever that controls the turbo.
That's the Variable Gate shaft. If it's a Holset, I would contact M&D Dist. They've always had the best prices and customer service.
https://mddistributors.com/
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Old 04-16-2021, 12:04 AM   #13
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Had my VGT go out 3000 miles from home. Cummins dealer replaced it in a day and $3200. Runs much better now and the exhaust brake works stronger.
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Old 04-17-2021, 05:29 PM   #14
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Mit12, was that just the module or the whole turbo? I need a new turbo and module.
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