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Author Topic: Blew turbo, west of Albuquerque  (Read 11111 times)
Sean
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« on: July 18, 2009, 04:54:37 PM »

Folks,

Once again I throw myself upon the kindness of the vast resources here on the board.

Today, pulling the westbound grade out of Albuquerque, we apparently blew the turbocharger.  What I seek from this group (unless one of y'all are heading past here and want to lend a hand) is some information about what else we may have damaged, and what it is going to take to repair.  The engine in question is an 8V92TA, DDEC-II, 475 horsepower.

Description of problem

We were pulling perhaps a 4% grade at 60 mph in 95+ heat on I-40 west of Albuquerque, heading west.  We had just passed the Route 66 casino at exit 140, and I was not noticing any problems until mid-grade, when things slowed down as per usual on the grades.  I had one eye on the road, and one on the DDEC temperature reading, which had just climbed to 204 (recently normal for us on grades in the heat).  Cruise was set on 62, and as we just slowed down below 50 I was just about to cancel it, when the CB came to life with a report that "boy, that bus is smoking."  Sure enough, a ton of white smoke was billowing out the back.

A quick check of the gauges revealed everything normal except turbo boost pressure, which had dropped to zero.  We immediately took the shoulder, where I made a quick call to friend and DD guru Virgil Cooley of PEDCO, to get his opinion on whether we could nurse it back to Albuquerque (30 miles), or if we had to stop immediately and get towed.

His opinion was that we did probably blow the turbo, and that we faced a decision:  risk further damage to the engine by running it, or risk damage to the coach with a tow (Virgil is very familiar with our hard-to-tow rig).  But he felt that as long as we had plenty of oil, and oil pressure stayed above 40 psi under load, we would probably be OK for a few miles.

We were not stopped in a safe place in any event, and so after the phone call we took a vote and decided we would nurse it along to the next exit (2.5 miles), make a U-turn, and then nurse it back another 7 miles to the casino, which is where we are now.  We kept the coolant temperature below 190 and the oil pressure up at 40 the whole way, but the exhaust clearly got extremely hot (it melted through the trailer wiring harness), and we burned plenty of oil the whole way.

Current Status

We are well-parked in a truck stall at the Route 66 Casino Truck Plaza.  There is still plenty of oil in the crankcase, although it looks like we lost maybe a gallon.  There is oil underneath both airbox drains (usually, we have little to none there),  There is also a pint or two under the muffler.

We've called our tow service, Coach Net.  They called around to all the shops on their list in Albuquerque, but no one is open today.  They will continue and get back to us on Monday.  If we make the decision to get towed, say to Stewart & Stevenson, it will not cost us a dime -- we are fully covered.  However, there is always the risk that the coach will be damaged towing it that far, and pulling the axles is dicey at best on this coach -- if they damage the seals, it could take months to get replacements.

Options

  • We can have the coach towed to S&S or any other shop (recommendations welcome) and have the work done entirely there.  That gives plenty of options should there be other problems besides the turbo, plus access to a warehouse full of parts, and presumably 2-stroke DD qualified mechanics.
  • I can pull the hatch and try to get the turbo off myself tomorrow when everything has cooled down.  I can then run the turbo into ABQ for exchange, or Virgil tells me PEDCO can overnight me one on Monday, and I am guessing I can talk the folks here at the casino into receiving it for me.
  • There is a Freightliner dealer just eight miles east of here, on the north frontage road.  We've already nursed her 9 miles or so, I would figure I could nurse it another 8 to get it there -- I'm certain they have at least some 15W-40 here at the truck plaza.  Unknown until Monday morning whether they will even take us over there, but that's the closest shop.

Questions

  • What damage did I do with the exhaust getting that hot?  We do have exhaust blankets from the manifolds all the way to the muffler, including around the turbo.  I am assuming the head temperature was within limits from the coolant temperature being normal.
  • I am assuming that all the oil in both the airbox and the muffler is from the turbo.  I am not an expert on turbo failure modes -- does this sound normal (well, insofar as any failure is "normal") for oil to be flowing out of both the intake and exhaust sides of the unit?
  • Since oil is clearly dumping into the airbox, will I have to take the aftercooler out and clean it?
  • I have a hatch directly above the turbo.  What other access will I need to remove it?  For example, will the DDEC ECM need to come out?  If I have to come in from that direction for anything, I'm hosed, because I will need to remove some coolant cross-over lines, and I have no way here to capture the coolant if I do that.
  • Alright, I know this one is open-ended: what would you do in my shoes?  I can rewire this bus from front to back without any help, but engines are just not my depth.

History

In case it is important, I should tell you that this engine has 130,000 miles on it since new (1989).  It has been in-framed twice in that time, both times due to dirt ingestion.  Both in-frames included eight complete cylinder kits, rebuilt blower and rebuilt turbo (Garrett).  The first in-frame also included eight injectors; the second time around, we only replaced a couple that looked to be bad.  The last in-frame was perhaps 40,000 miles (two years) ago.

In March of this year, we stopped by PEDCO (who did both in-frames) to have them track down a handful of oil leaks.  We had also been seeing high silicon levels (but no wear metals) in the two oil samples leading up to that visit, and, wary of dirt issues from two previous episodes, asked them to check the whole air induction system.  We also pulled another sample, which came back with normal silicon levels -- we never did figure out where the Si was coming from.  While we were there, I mentioned that, subjectively, I felt like I had diminished power and some extra black smoke, but no issues were found on that score.

Fast forward to June.  I continue to have a nagging suspicion that we are suffering a power loss and excess smoke, but all DDEC readings are normal, as is fuel burn.  As we climb into the mile-high zone of the intermountain west, I am noticing this more and more, and we are also running hotter than we think we should be.  So we pulled into Stewart & Stevenson in Farmington, NM for a check-up.  There we discovered a loose exhaust clamp upstream of the turbo, which could certainly account for all those symptoms: black smoke, low power, and higher temperatures, even though the boost pressure "seemed" to be in the normal range.  That was less than 1,000 miles ago and we got a "clean" bill of health.

After a while, even with 100,000+ miles of experience driving this very coach, I start to doubt my own judgment about these sorts of things, and thus, despite a continuing nagging feeling that we were putting out more black smoke than normal and suffering from reduced power, we chalked it all up to high-altitude operation, right up until today.

So there you have it.  We're stuck here on the Laguna Nation until Monday -- at least the casino has a pair of restaurants, and the truck plaza has a c-store.  In the meantime, any and all feedback, comments, and suggestions are welcome.  Please post them here, where it will all make Jim Shepherd feel a little less lonesome Smiley

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
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« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2009, 05:27:57 PM »

Can't offer any help other than moral support.  Good Luck.

 

Don't stop doubting your gut feelings...  You knew something was not right and the pros put you at ease.  Not intentionally, of course.  But you know your equipment better than anyone.     
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« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2009, 05:28:20 PM »

Sean, I PM you a phone number       good luck
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« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2009, 06:56:52 PM »

Sean, you did not need to do this to make me feel better Smiley

I would pull the cover and see what you can see.  The white smoke and heavy use of oil probably suggest that it is the turbo.  However, if you have a charge air cooler, I would check to make sure the short connector hoses have not blown off.

Like you, I am not an expert.  However, if you can pull either the intake hose or the exhaust pipe off, you should be able to see what has happened to the turbo.  If the hot side turbine has let loose, that would not be good and you should not drive it (obvious).  If it is the bearing that has let go, then you could consider driving it if it only has a little slop in it, but you would risk the turbines getting into the housing. 

My recommendation is to look at the turbo and if it has any damage, then pull it where you are and get it into Albuquerque.

Knowing Clifford, I am sure you have gotten good advice.

If I recall, there was some discussion on one of the boards a while back about how your oil system and drain back was plumbed.  After you figure out what has happened, you probably want to talk to Virgil and make sure there is not something in the oil plumbing that has caused a very premature failure.

Wish I could be more help.

Jim
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« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2009, 08:07:57 PM »

Sean;

If you post your engine serial number or email me, I might have your cartridge on my shelf.

Along with the same info that Jim posted, I would try to pull your intake boot and inspect the compressor wheel.   See if there is oil in the inlet.   Check your compressor wheel.   If it is rubbing your housing then your bearings are worn.   Without removing the exhaust piping it would be tough to inspect the turbine wheel.   

Goodluck
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Sean
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« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2009, 10:20:31 PM »

If you post your engine serial number or email me, I might have your cartridge on my shelf.


My engine is serial number 08VF137462.

Quote
Along with the same info that Jim posted, I would try to pull your intake boot and inspect the compressor wheel.   See if there is oil in the inlet.   Check your compressor wheel.   If it is rubbing your housing then your bearings are worn.   Without removing the exhaust piping it would be tough to inspect the turbine wheel.   


I got the hatch open tonight.  In the morning I will remove the intake duct and see what I can see on the impeller.  I will also take the exhaust wrap off and see how hard it will be to just remove the turbo.  I am assuming that once I loosen the clamps and bolts right on the turbo, I can wiggle the exhaust pipe out of the way -- is that a bad assumption?  Basically, I have to do all the work from directly above through a roughly 18" by 24" hatch.

If the impeller (compressor) has been rubbing the housing, will I need to remove the blower to inspect for damage and/or debris on the aftercooler?

-Sean
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« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2009, 10:27:28 PM »

Sean,
I feel for ya man! (and Louise and the kids too!)
I wish I were closer or even able to offer any assistance at all, but I am unable to do so.

I agree with popping the hatch and checking the turbo. You can do it! On your engine the turbo is right up top & easy to get to. It's not that hard to take off or even put back on, but it isn't light either! Be sure not to twist, bend, kink, or break the oil feed line! If you don't have the correct tool (whatever it might be) get someone who does to assist!

As far as towing goes if and only if there is a stretch removable goose neck trailer available would I allow "Odyssey" to be "hauled" not towed!
You have too nice of a coach to let just any yengyang hook onto it and do who knows how much damage to it (unless it were an absolute emergency!), unless they provide GUARANTEED written proof that any and all damage caused by them will be repaired to your satisfaction immediately!
It might could be landolled if there are tall overpasses all the way to where you were taking it (which out there is possible!), but as tall as "Odyssey" is I would not want to chance it! (even at that, the approach angle of a Landoll would most likely dragging front and rear!)

I'd vote to fix it where you are either yourself or with help!

BTW I do have an identical engine here in the parts bus! (I know you don't need and engine, but I got one if you need me to check anything on it! mines in a German bus too!)
Sorry again to hear of the troubles!   Sad  BK   Sad
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« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2009, 10:33:52 PM »

Sean,
You and I were posting at the same time!

If you take the clamps, oil feed & return lines and the 4 mounting bolts loose the turbo should be able to be lifted straight up off the blower! If you find pieces of the turbine missing then it's back to having it ntaken in for major inspection! But I really think since you were able to drive it as far as you were that it's gonna be as simple as replacing the turbo and go!
Call me if you need to talk to someone, I'm up!

 Undecided  BK   Undecided
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« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2009, 10:41:39 PM »

... Be sure not to twist, bend, kink, or break the oil feed line! If you don't have the correct tool (whatever it might be) get someone who does to assist!


Umm, OK, I'll bite: what special tools will I need?  I have a full set of SAE and metric sockets and combination wrenches; does the oil line require some weird spanner to loosen?

Quote
As far as towing goes if and only if there is a stretch removable goose neck trailer available would I allow "Odyssey" to be "hauled" not towed! ...  It might could be landolled if there are tall overpasses all the way to where you were taking it (which out there is possible!), but as tall as "Odyssey" is I would not want to chance it! (even at that, the approach angle of a Landoll would most likely dragging front and rear!)


Actually, as I just told Mark Renner over on the other board, I don't think we can get the coach onto a Landoll (or any other flatbed);  even the long Landoll has too steep an angle-of-approach for us, and I think we'd get hung up front and/or rear trying to load.  Not worried about the height out here -- all the overpasses are 15+.  But I think the loading issues would mean that the only way to get towed is to use a 10' under-reach lift and wheel cradles, then pull the axles.  This last item makes me nervous -- if they damage the seals, we might be sidelined for a long time.

Thanks for the offer of help; as I get into it tomorrow I may need it.

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
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« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2009, 11:02:09 PM »

Quote from: Sean
Umm, OK, I'll bite: what special tools will I need?  I have a full set of SAE and metric sockets and combination wrenches; does the oil line require some weird spanner to loosen?


No it shouldn't take any "special tools like a spanner or such, but some times line wrenches, and swivel or wobble sockets are necessary to get thing loose in tight areas! 

Quote from: Sean
Actually, as I just told Mark Renner over on the other board, I don't think we can get the coach onto a Landoll (or any other flatbed);  even the long Landoll has too steep an angle-of-approach for us, and I think we'd get hung up front and/or rear trying to load.  Not worried about the height out here -- all the overpasses are 15+.  But I think the loading issues would mean that the only way to get towed is to use a 10' under-reach lift and wheel cradles, then pull the axles.  This last item makes me nervous -- if they damage the seals, we might be sidelined for a long time.
Thanks for the offer of help; as I get into it tomorrow I may need it.
-Sean
http://http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com


My point exactly (I used to operate both heavy duty tow trucks and landolls!) , A GOOD operator could run you coach up on blocks and then load it on either a Landoll or a stretch RGN while constantly moving cribbing. And a good operator could also tow it with an undereach and cradles as you point out. But again he's gonna have to run the steers up on blocks in order to clear the low body and then be very careful not to bind it in dips and drives while not bottoming it out in the rear also!
It can be done, but I'd rather not chance it, if it were me!

I also now what ya mean about the Mercedes axle seals (Setra uses the same ZF rear end)

Anyway I'll be here in the shop pulling an engine out of a bus all day tomorrow, so if ya need me I'll be here! Two 7 zero-seven zero 5-eleven thirty nine  Grin  BK  Grin
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« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2009, 11:58:01 PM »

So, just thinking out loud here...

If we do decide on an under-reach tow, can I leave the axles in if I disconnect the driveline at the pumpkin?  I know for sure the tranny can't be spun from the tailshaft while being towed, but is there any problem with the axles, spiders, and the rest of the diff spinning around for 25 miles?

Another quick question on removing the turbo:  I've been studying photos of the turbo both installed and on the bench.  I think I know how to disconnect it from the intake, blower, manifold Y, and exhaust.  Then it looks to be held down with two bolts, one on either side of the oil supply line.

Do I disconnect the supply line from this plate, or just undo the bolts?  And where does the other end of that supply line come from -- I can't make it out.  Does it come off the blower someplace?  I assume I have to loosen or disconnect that end, and I think I will be working blind -- it disappears behind the ECM somewhere.

Also, if I loosen the clamps at the output side of the impeller plumbing, will I be able to work the whole thing loose, or will I need to remove the four bolts and pull the metal housing, which connects the impeller output to the blower, out with the turbo?

Thanks for all the help.

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
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« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2009, 04:20:41 AM »

Sean,
Yes you can leave the axles in and remove the drive shaft (if you can get to it! It's very heavy, hard to get to and there are like 10 bolts on each flange!) I have done this before on units that had the axles frozen up and would not come out for anything! Be sure to take it all the way out and not just off one end and then tie it up! I have seen it drop down in tow ruining the trans, rear end, driveshaft and much other damage that's just not worth the chance!

As for the turbo, I'll have to take a wa lk down by the shop and refresh my own memory!
Grin  BK  Grin
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« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2009, 04:41:45 AM »

Rather than take the flange off, can you undo the U-joint?  Cap is usually held on with two bolts.  When I just took mine off, the cap was pretty "stuck" in the bore.  I had to get a BIG wrench to turn it in the bore (cap has flats on it) and it finally came out.

The other issue with the turbo is that the mounting nuts/bolts can be hard to get off.  Your turbo has not been on long enough to have all of the heat damage to the threads, but I would still spray them with a GOOD penetrating oil. The truck shop should carry PB Blaster and I would spray the bolts at least an hour ahead of time.  If any of them feel stuck after you get them to rotate a turn or two, keep going back in the tightening direction and spray some more fluid on.  

I can't remember if they are bolts or studs.  If they are bolts, not a big deal to break them.  If they are studs, work very hard not to break them, as it will be a big deal to drill them out.

Concerning the drain tube.  It is very think wall tubing and the chances are you will damage it getting it off.  Not a problem.  That is basically a consumable, and they will have the part at the dealer.

Update:  I just went over to BNO and I see that you are getting about the same advice over there.  As soon as you get one or both sides of the turbo exposed, let us know what you find.  I would pull the cold side hose first (easiest) and see if the bearings are toast.  Also, since your turbo is top mounted, it sounds like you do not have a drain tube to contend with.

Jim
« Last Edit: July 19, 2009, 05:40:55 AM by rv_safetyman » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2009, 06:01:09 AM »

I am sorry about this ordeal and hope everything goes the least costs ways for you.

One of the steps that can be not over look…is the oil drain tube as well the feed tube. Make sure it is not restricted or plugged so that it can keep the seals from over heated to cause it to leaks.

And have the engine oil checks for engine’s bearing (include cam bearing) wear to cause lower oil circulation flowing to the turbo. Even the pressure gauge can fool anyone if it taps off in between bearing. This may not the case with 8V 2-stroke.

The bottom-line inspects anything that can cause the seals to cook or whatever to leaks.

BTW…about inline wrench is also called “flare-wrench”…it a 6-side wrench with an open end to allow the tubing to cleared. A good flare-wrench to avoid mushrooming the fitting.

Wish you well.

Sojourn for Christ, Gerald
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« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2009, 06:28:00 AM »

Sean, the oil supply comes from the lower right side of the engine most of the time you can remove the line from there and remove the turbo.
If I were you I would remove the blankets and check for wetness around the exhaust flanges feeding the turbo on both sides if one side is wet don't waste your time removing the turbo because it is going to be a lot deeper.
If both sides are dry then you have a turbo problem     good luck
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