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Old 11-24-2020, 12:52 PM   #1
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She's toast!!

We bought our Adventurer w/8.1 Workhorse a couple years ago. Now, with about 73,000 mi on it, it died along the interstate on the way to Texas. I had hoped for better things, but being mostly a Ford truck guy I suppose it's a bad omen. First, a good thing for roadside (Coachnet) assistance. They towed us a good 30 mi to the next truck repair center.

Turns out that the engine is toast. We left the MH there, rented a u-haul for all our stuff and continued on to our winter spot where we also had a 5th wheel sitting. So we have a place to stay.

Anyway, they found us a "good, low-mileage" motor which they are in the process of installing. We are talking around $10-11K for the total repair. Now I have to drive over 500 miles to go back and get it, early next week.

Not the way I had planned my first retirement snow bird trip!
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Old 11-24-2020, 12:58 PM   #2
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Not a great start!
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Old 11-24-2020, 03:28 PM   #3
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Sorry to hear this. While you didn't mention the specific failure mode, there have been posts/threads & on some forums about the occasional 8.1 engine failing due to out-of-spec fuel ratios (too lean). Maybe consider something like a scangauge to monitor your replacement engine while driving.

And, it's good to hear that Coach.Net did a good job.

Edit: Some years ago, there was a disaster described on the Trek forum, about a couple with an 8.1 engine failure, then failure of two replacement engines. I kinda remember it was a lean mixture/pinging issue. Maybe a discussion point with the shop doing the work.

Good luck!


Quote:
Originally Posted by empty_nest View Post
We bought our Adventurer w/8.1 Workhorse a couple years ago. Now, with about 73,000 mi on it, it died along the interstate on the way to Texas. I had hoped for better things, but being mostly a Ford truck guy I suppose it's a bad omen. First, a good thing for roadside (Coachnet) assistance. They towed us a good 30 mi to the next truck repair center.

Turns out that the engine is toast. We left the MH there, rented a u-haul for all our stuff and continued on to our winter spot where we also had a 5th wheel sitting. So we have a place to stay.

Anyway, they found us a "good, low-mileage" motor which they are in the process of installing. We are talking around $10-11K for the total repair. Now I have to drive over 500 miles to go back and get it, early next week.

Not the way I had planned my first retirement snow bird trip!
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Old 11-24-2020, 04:56 PM   #4
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I just had a conversation with Brazels RV about what they see as the most common ways that the 8.1 can fail.

1. Overheat due to low coolant or sudden loss of coolant (no warning until its too late)
2. Fuel pump failing causing lean condition (computer does not monitor)
3. Misreading mass air flow sensor causing lean condition (no codes will store)


I made a video on how to clean you MAF and how to use you Scangauge2 to compare the GPS grams per second flow through the MAF

If you own a 8.1 Vortec I would not leave the driveway with out having a scangauge2 telling me what is going on with my engine. Because we can not rely on the check engine light if we run to lean.
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Old 11-24-2020, 05:06 PM   #5
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Very important to find out the cause of the first failure at risk of destroying your second engine. If your failure was do to bad fuel pump casing a lean condition and it does not get replaced this sad story may repeat its self.
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Old 11-24-2020, 05:46 PM   #6
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As I recall that triple back to back to back engine failure mentioned above was caused by a bad MAF which was not changed out with each replacement engine, the first one I think being under warranty from Workhorse. This is why it is important to have a scangauge II or other similar device and watch your fuel trims on an 8.1L vortec engine as out of trim will not set a check engine light. One can argue as much as they want that it should, but the fact is it will not.
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Old 11-24-2020, 11:14 PM   #7
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Are the OBD bluetooth adapters (ELM327 type) able to read fuel trim data too?
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Old 11-25-2020, 07:30 AM   #8
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Some have good motors and some have bad brakes. Mine is up on blocks, rusting away. Its become just a tiny house.
Good luck to all and have a blessed Thanksgiving!!!
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Old 11-27-2020, 01:46 PM   #9
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ScanGauge2

I just bought a ScanGauge 2 and wondered, when set to show closed or open loop will it display the mass air flow reading you show in your video. (Great video by the way ) The manual that came with it shows only open or closed loop on that setting. I haven't had a chance to plug it in yet but was wondering.
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Old 11-27-2020, 02:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delornut View Post
I just bought a ScanGauge 2 and wondered, when set to show closed or open loop will it display the mass air flow reading you show in your video. (Great video by the way ) The manual that came with it shows only open or closed loop on that setting. I haven't had a chance to plug it in yet but was wondering.
Jumped to quick. A quick check at the ScanGauge web site explained how to set things up. They have a way to add gauges dependent on which vehicle you have.
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Old 12-25-2020, 07:58 PM   #11
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Is there a specific scan gauge that will work with a 2002 Work Horse W22? I ask because I have tried a Autel AL619 OBD2 scanner and it would read the sensor data but told me there weren't any codes when I was diagnosing a misfire with a check engine light flashing. Obviously there were codes but I believe it wasn't capable of reading them.
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Old 12-25-2020, 08:43 PM   #12
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so what's the difference between a regular GM 8.1 install in a pickup and one in a workhorse? Because I can tell you that in the pickup it will note misfires, too lean, O2 sensor issues as a result, etc.
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Old 12-25-2020, 08:58 PM   #13
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I don't know if there are differences in the ECM, but there are certainly differences in typical engine loading. With my 2002 8.1L motorhome, I too have seen the check engine light flashing due to misfires, when I had a failed spark plug, though this only happens at low engine speed (stopped at an intersection), and it will not detect them while driving down the highway, it also set no codes. It will also max out fuel trim without setting codes causing a potential lean fuel condition, again I don't know if engine load hauling a heavier weight than a typical pickup truck in some ways tricks the ECM into not setting a code, but it is a possibility.
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Old 12-26-2020, 03:54 AM   #14
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3 Common Ways that The 8.1 Vortec Engine Fails

1 BAD FUEL PUMP CASING LEAN CONDITION
2 UN-METERED AIR CAUSING LEAN CONDITION
3 SUDDEN LOSS OF ENGINE COOLANT CAUSING ENGINE TO OVER HEAT

I setup a alarm that will go of if my engine temp hits 220

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