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Old 06-02-2020, 11:08 PM   #1
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CM870 ISX600 - New Heads available?

One of those times where you're hearing bits and pieces of a conversation, and then end up wondering if what you heard is what you heard!

Three RV'er's talking close enough for me to hear good parts of the conversation. One gent said he'd called Cummins with the Serial of his ISX600. (Believe he said it was an early 2006 engine build.) And that Cummins said that they did not have revised heads for the ISX600. A second gent was suggesting he look into Aftermarket Head Builders, as he said they had ISX600 heads with improved alloys (Could not tell if he meant the heads or the valves...). The third RV owner, was facing away from me, and said perhaps the difference was between the CM870 and CM871?

As I was reflecting on the conversation. I thought I remembered reading that Cummins had revised heads/valves for both the ISX600 and ISX650? Got me wondering if maybe the third RV owner was correct, and their dependent upon which CM build the engine has(?).

I ask, as a gent in San Diego is considering a coach with a 2006 engine ISX600. And I frankly admit that this conversation taught me, after all of the posts on ISX's, I was unclear on what Cummins did, or did not have, in regards to redesigned/improved heads. He's trying to determine a good price point, especially if he might go ahead at purchase and have Cummins swap out the head's (He was thinking it was about $15K for the materials and labor.). (He's called the owner to ask for the Engine Serial Number, and is going to call Cummins to see what they can tell him. But the owner of the coach said it would be over the weekend before he could get out to storage and get the engine Serial.)

TIA for any info sharing on this (And yeah, I did ISX search... But nothing jumped out at me on which ISX's had new revised head's available from Cummins.)

Heck lots of ISX's:

525
600
605
650

CM870
CM871

Within the era of potential Drop Valve issues... And I believe some ISX's had Ceramic Plunger's that would break apart and wreck havoc too... (Trucker's sites talk about that. But most in the higher mileage range then most RV's will ever see...).

Enough rambling, TIA for any clarification thoughts,
Smitty

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Old 06-04-2020, 07:09 AM   #2
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CM870 600 HP has very few valve issues. It is a completely different design than the CM871 due to the 2007 emission changes. I should have 100,000 miles on my CM870 by the years end, no internal problem to date.
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Old 06-04-2020, 04:53 PM   #3
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CM870 600 HP has very few valve issues. It is a completely different design than the CM871 due to the 2007 emission changes. I should have 100,000 miles on my CM870 by the years end, no internal problem to date.

Yep, that's my basic understand too. he CM870's have a much lower failure rate then the CM871's. But as I understand it, the ISX525 & ISX600 - both have had coach owner's that reported dropping a valve.

So the thought process was to proactively go have the new and improved heads installed prior to failure. If it is in the $15K range for parts and labor to do that, if the improved heads are available, that is not that much of a cost in the scheme of things. Amortized over say 10 years of ownership. And a heck of a lot less expensive then if a failure takes out an engine. Sort of like up front insurance! (At least, that was the idea...).

I was just trying to validate if they have the new redesigned heads. Pretty sure I read it in one of the various threads on many of the boards, that they do. The gent looking, was going to call and ask Cummins directly. But he has not made contact with me a in a few days, so suspect they stopped in a remote location for awhile!

Best to you. And hope your ISX600 runs, and runs, and runs!
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Old 07-07-2020, 11:28 AM   #4
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I was told on Rawze that 'LOT ROT' was an issue that caused these to fail. Not starting them regularly allowed the valves to rust and corrode which caused the issue. The 870 had a lot less issues than the 871. Either way just maintain the 870 and you should have no issues. The 871 you may want to get the heads done before something happens, especially on the 600 or 650hp.
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Old 07-08-2020, 04:20 AM   #5
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I was told on Rawze that 'LOT ROT' was an issue that caused these to fail. Not starting them regularly allowed the valves to rust and corrode which caused the issue. The 870 had a lot less issues than the 871. Either way just maintain the 870 and you should have no issues. The 871 you may want to get the heads done before something happens, especially on the 600 or 650hp.
Previous owner of mine left it sit for a couple of years. Fortunately it was in the desert, moisture isn't much of an issue there.
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Old 07-11-2020, 03:13 PM   #6
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This may...or may not answer your question:

The newest head is part#5413782RX. It is complete with new valves, seats, springs etc.
The engine kit includes new liners, pistons, wrist pins, main bearings, and gaskets. For some reason the rod bearings have to be ordered separately.
The newer liners and pistons with the carbon scraper rings are not able to be mixed with older designs so they must both be replaced.

It came from this tread: https://www.irv2.com/forums/f123/isx-650-cm871-dropped-valve-in-6-a-489760.html
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Old 07-11-2020, 03:52 PM   #7
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This may...or may not answer your question:

The newest head is part#5413782RX. It is complete with new valves, seats, springs etc.
The engine kit includes new liners, pistons, wrist pins, main bearings, and gaskets. For some reason the rod bearings have to be ordered separately.
The newer liners and pistons with the carbon scraper rings are not able to be mixed with older designs so they must both be replaced.

It came from this tread: https://www.irv2.com/forums/f123/isx-650-cm871-dropped-valve-in-6-a-489760.html
Considering the title of this thread is CM870 and the title of that thread is CM871 it is very easy to get everyone confused since they are different engines. The part number for my CM870 is 3683986.
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Old 07-11-2020, 04:38 PM   #8
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Hypoxia- Do you need anything other than the newer head for our 870 engines? Why would you need anything on the bottom end of the motor?
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Old 07-13-2020, 05:14 AM   #9
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Hypoxia- Do you need anything other than the newer head for our 870 engines? Why would you need anything on the bottom end of the motor?
I haven't seen enough evidence of CM870 problems to be concerned thus haven't looked at parts. The problem you will eventually most certainly have is EGR valve related. Solving that problem requires either EGR maintenance or disabling it. That info takes quite a bit of research, the best source I have seen starts with EGR Delete Info -- Educate yourself
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Old 07-13-2020, 01:05 PM   #10
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New head design update! I just got a quote from Cummins - Joplin, MO for what a complete update to the newer designed head would be (engine would be removed). It does include both cam shaft replacements, which may not be required. All in all, $20k is better than what I've heard others paying!
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File Type: pdf ISX-650 Head Upgrade Quote 7-13-20.pdf (1.09 MB, 23 views)
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Old 07-13-2020, 10:57 PM   #11
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Mark that's probably a good price.
However, most of the Cummins ISX650 engine updates have included the newer design pistons with carbon scrapers (times 6). The new style pistons also require new liners. If it requires these parts, then of course that price is going to go up significantly.

Another thought. Usually this work is done while the block stays in the chassis. Removing and reinstalling the engine in a motor home is usually very costly once they get into it. Cummins dealer shops are used to working on Class 8 trucks and heavy equipment that doesn't have a bedroom above the engine, so it's relatively easy to R&R.

A thought. If the engine is not under warranty wouldn't it be less expensive to go to a non-Cummins dealer for the repairs? And many times you can get better quality service. Like so many large dealers, Cummins hires the new kids and trains them, but usually once they get a few years experience they move onto a private shop where they can make more money. A private shop can also perform some desired modifications that a Cummins dealer cannot.
Best of luck!
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Old 08-06-2020, 10:05 AM   #12
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I am reading this thread, and wondering if any owner on this site with a CM870 (ISX600 built in 06 or prior) has really experienced the failure of the #6 valve...
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Old 02-20-2021, 03:45 PM   #13
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Are there any CM870 engines with 650hp, or is that only in the CM871?
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Old 02-20-2021, 06:06 PM   #14
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I am reading this thread, and wondering if any owner on this site with a CM870 (ISX600 built in 06 or prior) has really experienced the failure of the #6 valve...
I read https://www.irv2.com/forums/f123/cum...-a-401436.html obviously there were known instances of broken #6 valve on CM870 pre emission.
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