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Old 07-15-2020, 07:03 PM   #1
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Exhaust Inspection

for those that own the classics...I'd suggest an exhaust inspection around your flex pipe. I found a missing nut on an exhaust clamp during an inspection prior to a trip. The flexible bellows is a cause of concern at any age. keep up with your inspections!
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Old 07-16-2020, 05:42 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coachmanrvr View Post
for those that own the classics...I'd suggest an exhaust inspection around your flex pipe. I found a missing nut on an exhaust clamp during an inspection prior to a trip. The flexible bellows is a cause of concern at any age. keep up with your inspections!
Excellent advise! Two post in the past couple of weeks on Classics with major heat damages caused from the same issue.

DEF tanks and sensors are in short supply with a waiting list should exhaust heat damage one.
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Old 07-20-2020, 09:47 PM   #3
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exhaust crossover failure a given

Quote:
Originally Posted by coachmanrvr View Post
for those that own the classics...I'd suggest an exhaust inspection around your flex pipe. I found a missing nut on an exhaust clamp during an inspection prior to a trip. The flexible bellows is a cause of concern at any age. keep up with your inspections!

After having the bellows fail and dealing with the tremendous collateral thermal damage I wanted to bump this back to the top as a reminder for those that missed it. I'm almost one month into trying to get the coach repaired and it is still in the service bay at Cummins-Bridgeway. Between parts availability and working with the shops schedule I am figuring at least one more week before it might run. Given the extent of the damage and the necessity to tear the complete exhaust system apart including the particulate trap, DEF system, catalytic converter and tail pipe I am afraid already to take it for a test drive. I fully expect to be towed back in the first time out.

Now having seen all the exhaust apart that bellows is absolutely the dumbest design I have ever seen on anything. A moron could see the expected failure. The collateral damage when it fails is unbelievable in terms of complexity and cost. I will be well over $8000 in repairs. Seeing the way those joints are constructed if I found a loose or missing nut on one of the clamps I would unquestionably replace the bellows. Chances are the bellows is already broken or cracked at the end with the missing nut and that is why the clamp has loosened sufficiently to allow a nut to back off.

Any one else with one of the classics should go thru the agony of removing the heat shield and inspecting the bellows. Mine was actually broken completely at both ends and had numerous other cracks in the convolutes. The fact that Spartan is aware that this design is out in the field failing frequently and does nothing to warn owners or issue a bulletin to have the joint replaced borders on criminal negligence and shows their complete lack of concern for their customers. Since Entegra endorses the design along with cummins I would expect some level of concern or follow up. NOPE! "It is out of warranty." Total copout.

There is more. I mentioned the towing damage where the boom or stinger hit the front crossmember and dented it. The damage became evident today that it is more than just cosmetic. The cross member is bent backwards sufficiently to pull both rails for the generator slides inward and it is impossible to slide the generator out. This is going to be a major repair because the crossmember will have to be cut out and a new one fabricated and rewelded in keeping the rails for the front cover and generator aligned so the gen can roll freely. Not sure exactly how we are going to attack this although the towing company is taking full responsibility and I will likely move the coach to their fab shop to rebuild and align the rails at the front. As the rails were pulled in by the shortened (bent like a V) crossmember the frame is pinching the sides of the generator slides and it could not be moved even with a come-along.

I would approach the exhaust crossover bellows as a normal replacement/ maintenance item from what I have seen on my coach and others in the shop and information from the cummins techs. It is not a question of if it will fail, only when it will fail. If you are near or above 30,000 miles and the bellows has not failed then you are one borrowed time. Even if he bellows is still good the chintzy Entegra heat shield that wraps around the bellows and prevents you from seeing the bellows is likely fallen apart due to cracks in their welds. Mine was in 5 separate pieces once bolts were removed.

Too bad this cannot be made a sticky topic at the top of the entegra owners section so that more people will see it.
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Old 07-21-2020, 04:58 AM   #4
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Great write up
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Old 07-21-2020, 05:20 AM   #5
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I've had 2 exhaust leaks on my '07 Cummins. Neither did any damage as they were caught early. The first was at the flange that connects to the turbo. This was caught pre-purchase. The other was located I believe in the bellows. I had both repaired by an exhaust shop while I waited.
I hope I never have to use Cummins to fix anything - so far so good.
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Old 07-21-2020, 05:22 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jestal View Post
After having the bellows fail and dealing with the tremendous collateral thermal damage I wanted to bump this back to the top as a reminder for those that missed it. I'm almost one month into trying to get the coach repaired and it is still in the service bay at Cummins-Bridgeway. Between parts availability and working with the shops schedule I am figuring at least one more week before it might run. Given the extent of the damage and the necessity to tear the complete exhaust system apart including the particulate trap, DEF system, catalytic converter and tail pipe I am afraid already to take it for a test drive. I fully expect to be towed back in the first time out.



Now having seen all the exhaust apart that bellows is absolutely the dumbest design I have ever seen on anything. A moron could see the expected failure. The collateral damage when it fails is unbelievable in terms of complexity and cost. I will be well over $8000 in repairs. Seeing the way those joints are constructed if I found a loose or missing nut on one of the clamps I would unquestionably replace the bellows. Chances are the bellows is already broken or cracked at the end with the missing nut and that is why the clamp has loosened sufficiently to allow a nut to back off.



Any one else with one of the classics should go thru the agony of removing the heat shield and inspecting the bellows. Mine was actually broken completely at both ends and had numerous other cracks in the convolutes. The fact that Spartan is aware that this design is out in the field failing frequently and does nothing to warn owners or issue a bulletin to have the joint replaced borders on criminal negligence and shows their complete lack of concern for their customers. Since Entegra endorses the design along with cummins I would expect some level of concern or follow up. NOPE! "It is out of warranty." Total copout.



There is more. I mentioned the towing damage where the boom or stinger hit the front crossmember and dented it. The damage became evident today that it is more than just cosmetic. The cross member is bent backwards sufficiently to pull both rails for the generator slides inward and it is impossible to slide the generator out. This is going to be a major repair because the crossmember will have to be cut out and a new one fabricated and rewelded in keeping the rails for the front cover and generator aligned so the gen can roll freely. Not sure exactly how we are going to attack this although the towing company is taking full responsibility and I will likely move the coach to their fab shop to rebuild and align the rails at the front. As the rails were pulled in by the shortened (bent like a V) crossmember the frame is pinching the sides of the generator slides and it could not be moved even with a come-along.



I would approach the exhaust crossover bellows as a normal replacement/ maintenance item from what I have seen on my coach and others in the shop and information from the cummins techs. It is not a question of if it will fail, only when it will fail. If you are near or above 30,000 miles and the bellows has not failed then you are one borrowed time. Even if he bellows is still good the chintzy Entegra heat shield that wraps around the bellows and prevents you from seeing the bellows is likely fallen apart due to cracks in their welds. Mine was in 5 separate pieces once bolts were removed.



Too bad this cannot be made a sticky topic at the top of the entegra owners section so that more people will see it.


Al, you mentioned checking the classic coaches, I believe the same design / routing of the exhaust is on the current Entegra coaches with the ISL Cummins.

If someone knows something different please post.

Al sorry for the pain your going through, but everyone was able to walk away from it unscathed.

Richard
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Old 07-21-2020, 10:13 AM   #7
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Al, you mentioned checking the classic coaches, I believe the same design / routing of the exhaust is on the current Entegra coaches with the ISL Cummins.

If someone knows something different please post.

Al sorry for the pain your going through, but everyone was able to walk away from it unscathed.

Richard
I am not sure but I believe the exhaust routing is still the same. I know the shop I am at was replacing the bellows on a 2019 Cornerstone which took something like 28 shop hours! That is obviously the ISX but similar failure mode. our coach is taking up the bay the Cornerstone was in and is becoming to be known as the exhaust bay.
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Old 08-05-2020, 03:43 PM   #8
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I know this thread has aged, and this may already be obvious to some, but I just discovered a "good thing" today. There are a very unfortunate couple of folk who have had their exhaust, or exhaust support system fail causing major damage in the engine compartment. I remember a common theme being how hard it was to inspect the exhaust piping in the engine compartment. Today I decided to take a closer than normal look at my air filter to determine if I wanted to tackle replacing it, or paying to have the work done for me. While looking in the engine compartment and remembering these couple of threads, I decided to look at my exhaust piping. While following the lower pipe, I looked toward the PS and noted to myself how easy it was to see the large rear basement door. I opened that door, and sure enough, it seems very easy, at least on the Anthem F model to do most of the exhaust inspection just looking through that last PS basement door. I had to shrink the attached picture to be able to upload it here, but at its native size, I can almost inspect the upper and lower pipes from the picture. What I can't see from the basement door, I can see by pulling the floor in the read walk-in closet. Again, just a note for anyone else who may not have realized this based on the models that make the piping harder to inspect.
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Old 08-05-2020, 05:11 PM   #9
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Thanks for posting Dewey. Looking right over the DEF tank does show a good portion of the exhaust. I will look at mine this weekend, and open the floor in the rear bath to inspect.
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Old 08-05-2020, 05:58 PM   #10
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Exhaust bellows have been installed on many diesel exhaust systems for years and with our farm equipment and trucks required inspection and replacement. Our 09 Tiffin Allegro Bus Powerglide chassis exhaust had a bellows that failed in 2013 but unlike what appears to be Spartan's position Tiffin provided a replacement under emissions warranty. IMHO Spartan is treating this situation the same as the radiator failures. Shame on them !
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Old 08-06-2020, 06:48 AM   #11
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A $50 inspection camera sold by Amazon (Destech ?) will let you easily see all the rest of it not easily visible from the DEF tank compartment.

Gary
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Old 08-06-2020, 10:41 PM   #12
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You can see the bellows from inside the DEF bay but it really doesn't allow a complete inspection. If the bellows has broken completely you can see the miss-match of the pipes at the break but by then it is probably too late. Exhaust has already begin to flow over the DEF tank.

You really need to carefully inspect the bellows up close and look for cracks forming in the convolutes. The little bore scope is about the best solution I have seen. Or, remove the Entegra heat shield thru the hatch in the coach.

The DEF bay view is nice for a rest stop check maybe just to see if it is broken but you are in deep shite by then. Me bellows cracked completely apart at the mounting flanges at each end and you could not see that from the DEF bay. The bellows broke completely apart in the middle and one side dropped down to cause the damaging problem.

Just because it looks good from the DEF bay is not positive assurance the bellows hasn't cracked.

BTW, I'm now $9000 in damages and the coach is still in the shop. At least another week. That's why I would replace the bellows if over 34000 miles as preventative maintenance. By the time you take apart enough to thoroughly inspect you could just change it. That part is a real weak link.
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Old 08-07-2020, 07:39 AM   #13
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Quote:
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You can see the bellows from inside the DEF bay but it really doesn't allow a complete inspection. If the bellows has broken completely you can see the miss-match of the pipes at the break but by then it is probably too late. Exhaust has already begin to flow over the DEF tank.

You really need to carefully inspect the bellows up close and look for cracks forming in the convolutes. The little bore scope is about the best solution I have seen. Or, remove the Entegra heat shield thru the hatch in the coach.

The DEF bay view is nice for a rest stop check maybe just to see if it is broken but you are in deep shite by then. Me bellows cracked completely apart at the mounting flanges at each end and you could not see that from the DEF bay. The bellows broke completely apart in the middle and one side dropped down to cause the damaging problem.

Just because it looks good from the DEF bay is not positive assurance the bellows hasn't cracked.

BTW, I'm now $9000 in damages and the coach is still in the shop. At least another week. That's why I would replace the bellows if over 34000 miles as preventative maintenance. By the time you take apart enough to thoroughly inspect you could just change it. That part is a real weak link.
I looked at mine yesterday and it looks to be okay. Feeling around the flexible tube I found the label with the part number. A quick search of the part number came up with a Spartan Recall in 2016. They know they have a problem. We had a 2014 Anthem prior to this K3 chassis and I don't remember seeing or hearing about this recall.

www.tru-flex.com

Looking at the website for the exhaust parts it looks like there might possibly be a better selection for this application.
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Old 08-07-2020, 08:57 AM   #14
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I looked at mine yesterday and it looks to be okay. Feeling around the flexible tube I found the label with the part number. A quick search of the part number came up with a Spartan Recall in 2016. They know they have a problem. We had a 2014 Anthem prior to this K3 chassis and I don't remember seeing or hearing about this recall.

www.tru-flex.com

Looking at the website for the exhaust parts it looks like there might possibly be a better selection for this application.
The NHTSA Document is attached below also:

The part number on my K3 chassis is:
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