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Old 09-19-2020, 09:49 AM   #1
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Buy coaches with very popular engines, good parts availability

Beware. Few repair shops or Freightliner stock critical Cummins ISL (400 hp) parts. They're hard to find. And our ISL 13 has had two tows because fuel injector lines failed below 40K miles on the engine.

The engine apparently is very popular in Europe and elsewhere for buses. I can't find out what other U.S. manufacturers other than motor coach makers use it in the U.S.

Lesson learned. Buy a coach with an engine used by over the highway semis. Then you will be more likely to find parts without sitting in the middle of Kansas for 8 hours waiting for a tow and then waiting days for a part to be shipped.
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Old 09-19-2020, 09:56 AM   #2
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I thought the 400hp ISL was the same 8.9l ISL found in so many other rigs but tuned to 400hp. Is the 400 an entirely different motor using a different injector pump? Need some of the diesel pros to weigh in here.
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Old 09-19-2020, 10:02 AM   #3
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Obviously the shops can't stock parts for every engine out there. I have an ISX 650 that was only for RV and fire engine use. I have had no real problem getting parts when needed.
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Old 09-19-2020, 10:04 AM   #4
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Not sure you can win with any configuration. We waited for 23 days for a hydraulic pump. Spartan did not have one in stock and one was nowhere to be found. Had to be built and a certain part of it came from Japan I was told. Spartan manager told me the funny thing was many fire trucks ran this same pump and it was unexceptionable they did not have one.
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Old 09-19-2020, 01:35 PM   #5
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I consider your coach and engine to meet your advice!

For engine work, on a Cummins engine, perhaps try Cummins repair facility.

And even then. With manufactures requesting many variants to reach different price points - a popular engine like the ISL, comes in various flavors. (Newmar used ISL400's and ISL450's, Rear Radiator and Side Radiator, Freight-liner and Spartan. They do this to reach price points in their model line-up.)

So as mentioned, very difficult for facilities to carry parts for all potential components.

Another factor, is the C-19 shutdown of many factories, even for only a few months - has created a parts supply shortage. And higher demand, from the BOOM in RV'ing from C-19 - well, these all exasperated the situation...

All IMO! Best to all,
Smitty
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Old 09-19-2020, 04:36 PM   #6
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Cracked fuel lines feeding the injectors on the ISL is a known problem. Replacement lines have a vibration isolator. If a Cummins shop made you repair they should have up graded all the injector lines.

All of mine have the bracket and isolator from the factory but my son's 2015 had none. he recently had #1 fail and the new line came with the isolator.
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Old 09-20-2020, 09:30 AM   #7
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Quote:
Few repair shops or Freightliner stock critical Cummins ISL (400 hp) parts. They're hard to find. And our ISL 13 has had two tows because fuel injector lines failed below 40K miles on the engine.
ISL 13? The 13 liter engine is the ISX, totally different than any ISL model. The ISL is a 9 liter engine and is configured in horsepower sizes from 370 to 450 (motorhome application - even wider for other uses). The ISL was modified to create the ISM engine at 11 liters, but internal parts differ. Shorter Ventanas come with an ISB engine but your 4037 must have an ISL-400. Freightliner tag axle XCR chassis?


Chassis shops don't stock hardly any engine parts - too many engines and way too much inventory expense. Especially when Cummins can typically deliver common parts in 3-5 days.
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Old 09-20-2020, 02:38 PM   #8
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ISL 13? The 13 liter engine is the ISX, totally different than any ISL model. The ISL is a 9 liter engine and is configured in horsepower sizes from 370 to 450 (motorhome application - even wider for other uses). The ISL was modified to create the ISM engine at 11 liters, but internal parts differ. Shorter Ventanas come with an ISB engine but your 4037 must have an ISL-400. Freightliner tag axle XCR chassis?


Chassis shops don't stock hardly any engine parts - too many engines and way too much inventory expense. Especially when Cummins can typically deliver common parts in 3-5 days.
If you search "Cummins ISL" online, you'll find the history of the engine. But you won't find much about it's failures or about how or where it is used. No question, shops can't carry every part.

The big problem is getting shops to order from Cummins instead of Freightliner, but maybe that's the only way they can get parts. The Withita regional Freightliner had one of the parts we need in stock. Shipped it over night but not for Saturday delivery.

So we're stuck in Salina, KS, with a down engine for the 2nd time in 18 months at the Boss shop. The guys here know what they're doing when it comes to Cummins and other truck engines.

Again, I wish motor coach makers would uses the engines used in Semis and other trucks instead of orphan engines used in fire trucks and European vehicles.

When makers want to know what we want in motor homes, I will say I want all U.S.-made engines and appliances that are widely used and easily and quickly serviced by non-RV dealers and repair shops.

The dealers are so backed up with service customers that most won't even look at travelers' problems.

If you don't like sitting for 8 hours on the side of a busy Interstate waiting for a tow and wasting a week waiting for repairs as we have done four times in the last 18 months, get a horse.

Or pull a 5th wheel with a GM or Ford pickup diesel.
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Old 09-20-2020, 02:47 PM   #9
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Or pull a 5th wheel with a GM or Ford pickup diesel.
Neither of those companies have ever had parts on national back order for months...



You pays your money, you takes you chances.
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Old 09-20-2020, 05:06 PM   #10
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Big Bear Engine Company lists past problems with the Cummins 8.9L ISL engine. Basically it is an ISC engine with increased stroke, and has been a reliable engine for many years.
TheCummins ISM is a 10.8L engine. To my knowledge they did not make a 13L engine, they do make a X12L and X15L engine, as seen in the Cummins hot link.


This past year has been difficult for obtaining parts, as manufacturing and re-manufacturing plants were closed for 4 months. This created a huge backlog of orders. Cummins Great Plains ordered a new fuel distributor module for my injector pump. The service manager said it would ordinarily arrive the next morning, but due to the pandemic and resulting backlog it might take longer. The part finally arrived a week later.
I suspect the same happened in your circumstances.
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