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Old 09-01-2021, 11:33 AM   #1
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JG Analysis results from pre-purchase inspection on 2009 ISL 425 - High Iron PPM

Looking at purchasing a used motorhome with a 2009 Cummins ISL 425 that has right at 52,000 miles and is in what I would call above average shape. Not perfect but much nicer than anything else we've looked at in that vintage. Kept in an insulated garage, always connected to shore power, all "house" systems are in excellent shape and there's a stack of maintenance records for everything pertaining to the RV side of this thing. They’ve always had a warranty on it so as something broke, they had it repaired or replaced.

Curiously, there are relatively few chassis maintenance records. In the 5” thick folder of receipts, etc., I can only find 3 chassis maintenance records.

June 2014 – No Mileage Listed on the work order but based on other service records from that time frame, I believe it was around 30K miles.
Sept. 2016 – No Mileage Listed and I don’t see any other records to indicate what it would have been around that time.
July 2017 – 43,500
Present – 52,000

If that information is complete and accurate, it’s been 4 years since the last oil change but only 8,500 miles. Suboptimal for sure. Given the condition of the rest of the RV, I'm not inclined to think they were intentionally neglectful of the chassis maintenance but in the spirit of trust but verify, I had an oil analysis done.

The big red flag is Iron but given it’s possibly 4 years and very limited use, I’m not sure if that’s just a result of not changing the oil or if there’s a significant issue brewing. I’m hoping someone can help interpret some of the rest of the results as they might relate to high iron. I’d like to think that the Iron reading being so high is an anomaly and there would be other markers to be concerned with. Perhaps that's wishful thinking based on the emotional and financial investment thus far.

Below are the results. The analysis report from JG lubricant suggests that a fluid/filter change is the only recommended action.

Anyone have any words of wisdom?

Wear Metals
Iron – 190
Chromium – 5
Nickel – 1
Aluminum – 42
Copper – 60
Lead – 2
Tin – 1
Cadmium, Silver, & Vanadium – 0

Contaminant Metals
Silicon – 9
Sodium – 5
Potassium – 38

Multi-Source Metals
Titanium – 1
Molybdenum – 56
Antimony – 0
Manganese – 3
Lithium – 0
Boron – 18

Additive Metals
Magnesium – 831
Calcium – 1258
Barium – 0
Phosphorus – 1000
Zinc – 1216

Contaminants
Fuel Dilution - <2%
Soot - <.1%
Water <.1%

Fluid Properties
Viscosity (100* C) – 13.0
Base #D4739 – 5.80
Oxidation – 15
Nitration – 12
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Old 09-01-2021, 11:49 AM   #2
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JG Analysis results from pre-purchase inspection on 2009 ISL 425 - High Iron PPM

Sounds like J&G did not see any problems by only recommending the fluid and filter change. Iron is a little high but did not seem to concern the lab. My last two checks had iron around 6.
Did you also have transmission fluid checked?
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Old 09-01-2021, 12:09 PM   #3
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Sounds like J&G did not see any problems by only recommending the fluid and filter change. Iron is a little high but did not seem to concern the lab. My last to checks had iron around 6.
Did you also have transmission fluid checked?
Yeah, I had Oil/Coolant for the engine, Oil for the generator, & Transmission sampled.

So far only oil/coolant are back.

I have no experience in assessing these things so anecdotally, I've seen people express concern over 50PPM which makes the 190 result really stand out. Having said that, for all I know, it's due to just sitting for prolonged periods of time and doesn't really indicate overall health of the engine.
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Old 09-01-2021, 12:17 PM   #4
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Below is my lab report from 2017. Blackstone Labs did these.
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_2066.JPG
Views:	33
Size:	383.1 KB
ID:	341660

I know it’s tough to make a decision when a lab report looks like that. If you do decide to buy I would definitely change fluids and filters and recheck after 2-3000 miles.
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Old 09-01-2021, 01:52 PM   #5
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Found these tables on the world wide web....have you discussed your concern directly with JG? Is that an option?

PPM

https://www.rsareliability.com/Oil%2...s%20Tables.pdf

Good luck on making your decision!
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Old 09-01-2021, 03:23 PM   #6
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Found these tables on the world wide web....have you discussed your concern directly with JG? Is that an option?

PPM

https://www.rsareliability.com/Oil%2...s%20Tables.pdf

Good luck on making your decision!
Thanks. Those documents don't paint the best picture but short of changing the fluids and running for a bit, then re-testing, it's impossible to predict how this thing is going to trend. Not a great position to be in as a potential buyer...

A mechanic on another forum thinks it may be related to an EGR cooler leak which I know is fairly common. I'm thinking that having a mechanic check for that may be my next best step (vs. just walking away...) If that shows a leak, I'll have to negotiate a discount and roll the dice on what the future holds. Starting to feel like I may be throwing good money after bad.

Kinda wish all numbers were through the roof which would make it an easy decision. Seems like everything in this process is "gray". I want black and white!

And I did send an email to JG so maybe they can shed some light on it...
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Old 09-01-2021, 06:37 PM   #7
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So I emailed JG and within 2 hours received a call from the owner who had run some reports against the other ISL samples they had on file. Can’t beat that responsiveness!

Based on other numbers, he’s sure it’s nothing on the bottom end. Iron is much higher than “normal” but nowhere near the worst that they’ve seen. Likely due to long periods of sitting and short run times to move it in and out of the garage.

Some evidence to suggest start of an egr cooler leak so need to dig into that but otherwise not a show stopper based on the high iron.
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Old 09-25-2021, 05:20 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by TigerGaiter View Post
So I emailed JG and within 2 hours received a call from the owner who had run some reports against the other ISL samples they had on file. Can’t beat that responsiveness!

Based on other numbers, he’s sure it’s nothing on the bottom end. Iron is much higher than “normal” but nowhere near the worst that they’ve seen. Likely due to long periods of sitting and short run times to move it in and out of the garage.

Some evidence to suggest start of an egr cooler leak so need to dig into that but otherwise not a show stopper based on the high iron.
Well, that appears to be good news. Good for you for going to such lengths to insure you are not getting burned!
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Old 10-22-2021, 10:36 AM   #9
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I learned something here. Thanks for sharing this.
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Old 10-22-2021, 07:57 PM   #10
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I was in a similar position when we bought ours. The high iron was in the coolant, which obviously hadn’t been correctly maintained. I was going to walk away, but sent the lab results from JG along with some technical information to the dealer as they didn’t understand anything about my concerns. They ended up knocking enough money off that I rolled the dice since the amount of the price reduction would pay for a goodly amount of a liner replacement. So far, we have been happy with the coach.

Wondering if you can negotiate your concerns into a price reduction so you are more comfortable with the potential risk.
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Old 10-26-2021, 01:43 AM   #11
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This was the oil analysis on our 5.9 when we dusted it back in 2014. Your iron and aluminum numbers are even higher than these were, and when this sample was taken, there was enough iron in the oil that it sparkled like glitter due to severe scoring of the cylinder walls - to the tune of .015 deep.

I'm not saying the iron in your sample is coming from the cylinder walls... I am just trying to give a reference for what kind of damage it took on our engine to achieve iron levels that were lower than what you're seeing on this engine. See bottom photo.

It's possible that rust formed on the cylinder walls and other internal components while sitting for so long - the rust gets scraped off when the engine is finally started and makes the oil slightly abrasive, which in turn results in elevated levels for everything else like aluminum (pistons), chrome (rings), etc. What's weird is that it should take a good bit of miles for this abrasiveness to manifest itself in the other elevated wear metals, so if the engine hasn't had many miles put on it, it makes you wonder. Well, it makes me wonder anyways.

As other's have stated - oil analysis is trend analysis. Without an oil change, some miles, and a retest, you just won't know for sure. If it were me, however, based on what I've experienced I think I would want to dig a little deeper if I could. A bore scope, compression check, etc. just to be sure. Keep in mind, this is all the just my opinion as a backyard mechanic, and probably worth exactly what you paid for it... however, if there is something more sinister at play here, the costs for repairs could get ugly very quickly.

-cheers





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Old 10-26-2021, 01:44 AM   #12
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I just realized this thread is 2 months old - I'm a little late to the party I guess. That's what I get for being up in the middle of the night..


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Old 10-26-2021, 07:25 AM   #13
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I just realized this thread is 2 months old - I'm a little late to the party I guess. That's what I get for being up in the middle of the night..


cheers
lol. Well the OP has either already passed on the unit, in which case no harm no foul, or bought the rig and you just scared the cr*p out of him.

Hopefully it all turns out well either way.
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Old 10-27-2021, 02:17 AM   #14
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Sorry, I should have updated. I decided to roll the dice and move forward with the purchase.

I changed all the fluids and have one short (<1000 mile) trip out of the way. We have a longer trip to the Keys planned for the first week of December so I need to decide if I’m going to treat the initial oil change as a “flush” or go ahead and run it a little longer, then change it after the Keys and run an analysis.
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