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Old 05-30-2021, 10:32 AM   #1
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ISM500 Turbo help

I have a Newmar Essex with a Cummins ISM 500. When I bought it, I would get out on the road and the turbo would spool up to only max out to 4 to 8 psi. I took it to a friend of mine who worked on diesel fire trucks. He used the Cummins Software for the ISM 500 and everything tested OK and no Codes. He told me to change the fuel filter and the test drive was full boost 28-31 psi. Problem solved. NOT. Took it home and parked it. Next day same low turbo boost. Changed filter everything good, till I parked it. I figured out that when I start out, I'll drive for about 20 minutes and no turbo boost. Pull over and turn off engine, restart engine and full boost till the next day drive. After no boost for the first 15 minutes, Shut down engine and restart and full turbo boost. Has anyone experienced this or can shed some light on what's going on. Something appears to be resetting after engine warm and then restarted. Pulled engine codes today and none found.
Please help!
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Old 05-30-2021, 10:51 AM   #2
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Sounds like possibly the VGT actuator sticking, but I "thought" that would leave a fault code on the ECM .
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Old 05-30-2021, 10:52 AM   #3
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Seems like it is starving for fuel.

Since you've changed filters I'd check the tank vent, if it is stopped up it will make pulling fuel difficult.

After that I'd check fuel deliver hose, I've read that the inside can come loose and is essentially a flapper stopping fuel flow. Stopping engine allows some fuel and it happens again.
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Old 06-03-2021, 03:14 PM   #4
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We had a 04 Essex which we purchased new and drove 145K which also had the 500 ISM. Did have to replace the turbo around the 100K with major internal damage. From my thinking it would almost have to be a sticking variable turbo problem. Don't know how to check for that but that would be the direction I would be looking at.
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Old 09-02-2021, 07:58 PM   #5
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I am experiencing something similar.

On initial startup, I get low boost and it takes long to spool up.

I drive for 10 minutes or so ... Find a place to pull over. Restart the engine and all is perfect. It remains perfect until the next time the engine gets fully cold.

This has been happening for about a year now and it never changes. I simply plan for it at this point and it's not a big deal, but I would love to fix it.

My logic is that some sensor is the issue. This has to be an electronic type of problem rather than a physical issue. The fact it is so repeatable, and that a simple engine restart solves the problem, tells me it's not a bad turbo, or actuator or anything mechanical. Mechanical issues don't fix themselves with restarts.
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Old 09-03-2021, 11:51 PM   #6
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Check all the relays you can find. Swope them around. They do this, every other start problem.
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Old 09-04-2021, 12:32 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TTD View Post

My logic is that some sensor is the issue. This has to be an electronic type of problem rather than a physical issue. The fact it is so repeatable, and that a simple engine restart solves the problem, tells me it's not a bad turbo, or actuator or anything mechanical. Mechanical issues don't fix themselves with restarts.
I wouldn't count out the VGT actuator!

They seem to be one of the highest failure parts on these late model engines.
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Old 09-04-2021, 07:27 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 96 Wideglide View Post
Sounds like possibly the VGT actuator sticking, but I "thought" that would leave a fault code on the ECM .
It may be worth asking these folks: https://ytsturbochargers.com/
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Old 09-04-2021, 10:22 PM   #9
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I started a new thread on this.

A logical possibility is that the vgt actuator is supposed to to some sort of test on cold startup.. Or maybe every startup?

Anyway, the test is failing on cold engines... Possibly due to carbon buildup that loosens up when engine gets warm?

Just need to to find a good mechanic to help me... Or point me to the parts and give some guidance.

Anyone know good shops on the east coast? I am headed to Florida from Massachusetts so anywhere along the way would work.
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Old 09-05-2021, 07:32 AM   #10
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I’m having the same problem with a 2008 ISC 8.3 with only 40k miles. About every 5 to 10 starts the engine sounds “off”, it is sloe to rev up, won’t go higher than about 1800 rpm, very sluggish getting there. Shut it off, ignition on, wait for gauges to sweep, restart and problem gone. Engine perfect, full boost, very responsive.
Shop ran Cummins software, no engine error codes.

So, is it a sticking actuator or an electrical or sensor problem?

How to diagnose? Can the actuator be inspected, tested and cleaned?

Help
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Old 09-05-2021, 07:49 AM   #11
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Yeah, would be great to know if it can be tested.
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Old 09-05-2021, 08:35 AM   #12
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I don't have much to add but will be following this thread. My ISM500 @70K miles boosts to 36-37 psi under load. I hope the root cause of this issue is found and posted here. Thanks to all the contributors.
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Old 09-06-2021, 05:54 PM   #13
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Yep, once I do the reatart, my boost is also in the 36 range. They are great motors... Just gotta solve this issue.
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Old 09-08-2021, 12:14 PM   #14
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When researching this problem, advice given in another forum suggested using the exhaust brake (Jake brake) more frequently as this exercises the turbo actuator and helps remove any carbon buildup. I have in the past rarely used my exhaust brake except for hilly terrain, but I’m going to give this a try and just use it frequently. Nothing to lose.
Any thoughts?
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