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Old 03-16-2021, 09:33 AM   #1
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8.3 Cummins check engine with occasional stop engine light

Hi all, I've got a 2000 Allegro Bus with an 8.3 cummins/Allison trans setup. The check engine light is on and when I accelerate I sometimes get the stop engine light. This mainly happens when I'm starting from a dead stop or when I'm pushing down on the accelerator to get up a hill. As soon as I back off the accelerator the stop engine light goes off. And sometimes the check engine light goes off too. When it happens the engine gets really sluggish and feels like it's cutting out and getting power back in cycles, like fading in and out. When I'm in neutral, it runs like a beast, I can rev it up and it sounds great and no stop engine light. I've replaced the two fuel filters, topped off the coolant, changed the oil and filter, but nothing has helped. I read in an old post on here where somebody had a similar issue and somebody mentioned the throttle position sensor. I don't know where that is or how to check it though. I also tried hooking up a code reader, and it can read all of my engine's vitals, but doesn't find any codes. Does anybody know of a way to get the codes from the dash lights? I've seen some procedures on here for other motorhomes, but none of the instructions lined up with my particular motorhome. Thanks for any help you can give.
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Old 03-16-2021, 09:44 AM   #2
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Does it smoke when it loses power? My ISL 400 had an issue similar to that and it turned out to be two bad injectors.
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Old 03-16-2021, 10:30 AM   #3
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Does it smoke when it loses power? My ISL 400 had an issue similar to that and it turned out to be two bad injectors.
Nope, no smoke, and it runs great in neutral. It also looks like maybe somebody replaced the lift pump at some point. the plugs are darker than the pump, it still is a little shiny. It seems like if it was something like that, then it would have issues in neutral too. Seems like it is getting fuel ok. I'm no mechanic though, so I don't know.
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Old 03-16-2021, 10:56 AM   #4
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I need to follow this. I just bought a 2000 Allegro Bus with an 8.3 ISC.
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Old 03-16-2021, 12:19 PM   #5
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You need to check the ECU codes with a heavy diesel code reader.
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Old 03-16-2021, 07:41 PM   #6
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You need to check the ECU codes with a heavy diesel code reader.
Agree^^, first step.

Check engine light should have set codes. Same with Stop Engine light.

Easy revving in neutral but bogging down under load could still be a fuel delivery problem. No black smoke/excessive smoke puts clogged air filter far down the list. Could be turbo issue or excessive heat from charge air.

Codes needed, if you can get them.
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Old 03-16-2021, 08:23 PM   #7
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It still could be the lift pump. We have to change ours twice on our 2002 ISC 350.

You wouldn't notice it at idle.
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Old 03-16-2021, 08:33 PM   #8
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It still could be the lift pump. We have to change ours twice on our 2002 ISC 350.

You wouldn't notice it at idle.
Iíll tag onto this^^.

The lift pump motor may be working, but there may be an air leak this time. We donít know why the pump was changed, when it was changed, or if it was actually changed.

Code retrieval is still the best first step.
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Old 03-16-2021, 08:50 PM   #9
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Let me tell you about my similar experience: last July we purchased a 2010 Phaeton, 61K miles. We didn't get 50 miles from the dealer when it started throwing engine related dash alarms (I forget which specific one). MOST Fortunately I stopped and called the dealer. They suggested I on/off the engine - and it'd be clear for awhile. 30 more miles and repeat.

Made an appointment to return it to different location (same company) and two months later they said it didn't reappear. Again on the way home (20 miles) the more critical STOP alarm was now displayed. Same story with on/off and it went away. Called again and they said bring it to Freighliner - on their dime. Another on/off to get there under the STOP alarm.

Freightliners price to properly eval it was $1500; they determined it needed an engine rebuild at $30K. RV dealer didn't like this so hired a driver to take it to a Cummins place (200 miles away); stopping as needed to cycle the engine on/off. Still on the dealers dime!


Cummins (8.3L) concurred with engine rebuild. Many months later (due to several back to back southern Bama hurricanes and covid parts/ shipping delays) it was returned - and running. About $29K.


Final analysis was the engine had somehow ingested junk into the engine and it got into a piston - with lots of internal damage. I'm not sure but I believe they also replaced the turbo - mostly as a just in case - so as to insure it would perform properly.

I suggest you don't drive it until its properly diagnosed - and repaired. Additional miles could result in significant damages.


Although I was very unhappy with all this ... My dealer (RV Connections, Panama City, FL) stood behind his sale. What more can one ask of a dealer?
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Old 03-16-2021, 09:22 PM   #10
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First off, the ISC lift pump ONLY RUNS FOR APPROX. 30 SECONDS to prime the injector pump and filters. After that the lift pump 12V motor is turned off until next time the ignition key is turned to the on position.
That eliminates the lift pump from a running engine problem. It can be a failing fuel distributor module (also 12v powered), which is part of the injector pump assembly.
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Old 03-16-2021, 10:21 PM   #11
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First off, the ISC lift pump ONLY RUNS FOR APPROX. 30 SECONDS to prime the injector pump and filters. After that the lift pump 12V motor is turned off until next time the ignition key is turned to the on position.
That eliminates the lift pump from a running engine problem. It can be a failing fuel distributor module (also 12v powered), which is part of the injector pump assembly.
Just to clarify a bit.

The pump motor does only run fo 30 seconds, but that does not eliminate the lift pump from a running engine problem. If there is an air leak at the pump, at the gasket between the pump motor and fuel manifold, that can cause an engine running problem. That is probably the most common failure of the pump in CAPS engines.
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Old 03-16-2021, 11:15 PM   #12
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Change the fuel filters.

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Old 03-17-2021, 02:58 PM   #13
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Thanks for the help guys. I'm taking it to a diesel mechanic tomorrow to get the codes read, I'll update tomorrow after I get back in case someone has the same problem in the future.
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Old 03-20-2021, 12:53 PM   #14
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Thanks for the help guys. I'm taking it to a diesel mechanic tomorrow to get the codes read, I'll update tomorrow after I get back in case someone has the same problem in the future.

Any update yet?
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