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Author Topic: Well we are ALMOST broken down!  (Read 4240 times)
John316
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« on: September 25, 2009, 08:02:17 PM »

But not quite  Grin.

Does anybody have any ideas? Here is what is going on.

We go to start the bus two weeks ago. It cranks, and cranks, but doesn't start. I go back to the engine compartment to see what is going on. No problem back there, so I decided to run the priming pump, via the switch in the back, on the rear panel. I ran the pump manually, for a bit, and then went to start it again, and it started. I chalked it up the the elevation, and the computer not being calibrated (we were in denver).

Then somewhere else, I forget where, it didn't start right up, and took some cranking. I was beginning to get suspicious that something else was going on.

Tonight we went to start it. I cranked it for 10 seconds (usually it takes two cranks), and then quit (to let the starter cool off). I went back, and ran the fuel pump again. I then cranked it for another 10 seconds. I then ran the pump again, and tried starting it, and it started on the second crank.

Now, here is what I am thinking. I don't really think that it is a fuel issue. I think that if it wasn't getting fuel, it would start then die. I would have also thought that I would have gotten white smoke, if it was trying and no smoke. It acted like the switch in the back was off (it wasn't). It just cranked, and nothing. No exhaust, no nothing.

Do you all have ANY ideas?

BK, are you still around?!?

God bless,

John
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« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2009, 08:24:21 PM »

Others with much more expertise than I have will soon respond I am sure.  But I wouldn't dismiss a fuel supply problem though.  If you are cranking, without it firing and not getting white smoke, then I doubt it is getting fuel to the cylinders.  If fuel goes in and doesn't get burned, it will usually produce white smoke from what I have seen.

In my non-expert opinion, it sounds like it is losing prime.  If others agree, I'm sure they will have suggestions of where to look for the cause.

(I commend you on keeping the cranking sessions short to save your starter.)
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« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2009, 08:26:09 PM »

Any DDEC codes?  I would check for a cracked fuel line that is sucking air.
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« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2009, 09:16:10 PM »

I don't know anything about DDEC but I don't think that matters in this case.  I think you have a fuel problem, either a leak that is letting fuel drain back to the tank or a bad check valve.  It sounds like the problem appeared all of a sudden so my money would be on the check valve.
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« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2009, 09:32:40 PM »

Yup, something wrong in the fuel line between tank and injectors.

happy coaching!
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« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2009, 09:45:54 PM »

Hmmm, sounds tome that it's a fuel problem!

And just my opinion and only my opinion, but maybe a common one!
After all your MCI D model is not the only one I have seen with the factory primer switch. And also not the first one I have seen do exactly the same as your either.
I once asked a true MCI man who knows MCI's inside & out from 5's up to D models why it was one of his buses (DL3) did the same thing while I was driving it for him.
His response was "oh I don't know but it's common, that's why MCI put a primer switch in from the factory!"

I never thought anymore about it.

But just so ya know it ain't just MCI! Once in a blue moon my '95 Setra S217 60 Series w/700,000 miles on it will crank & crank and not fire on the second turn. I go back and hit it with a little shot of either and it starts right up! And I have no problem for a long time after that!
FWIW Grin  BK  Grin

I coulda been mean and said it was just acting up because you didn't bring it to our rally LOL!
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Grin Keep SMILING it makes people wonder what yer up to! Grin (at least thats what momma always told me! Grin)
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« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2009, 06:18:32 AM »

Thanks a lot guys. I am hoping that it is nothing more then what Bryce said. We will see though. Right now we are 45 min south of Augusta, Georgia.

BK, very, funny. Looks like you are having fun at your rally.

God bless,

John
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« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2009, 06:20:29 AM »

If the DDEC has a skinner value it could be sticking and not letting the plunger reset. If you do have a skinner, disconnect the air line going to the shut of plunger, reset the plunger and see if it starts right up.

John
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« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2009, 06:57:45 AM »

I am reasonably certain a Series 60 doesn't have a skinner valve.  I certainly haven't seen one on my Series 60.  In faact, I am not aware of anything air operated on a Series 60.  (This doesn't mean there isn't anything.)
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« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2009, 07:17:28 AM »

ok I have a ?  what is a skinner valve and what does it do. Iam just learnning so be gentle lol thanks Andy
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« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2009, 07:28:31 AM »

It's an elec. operated solenoid air valve that usually shuts down the engine or sets the high idle, you should have two in the back over the engine in the electrical panel overhead. At least that's where mine are. Trace the air lines from them down to the small cylinders on the block by the governor. Skinner is just a name and you can buy them at Parker or eBay.

Paul
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« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2009, 07:49:24 AM »

Guys he doesn't have skinner valves it is a electronic engine.
John the 60s have a fuel pump to pickup the fuel same as the 2 strokes and they do go bad if you had air leaks the priming pump won't pick it up either the way yours is plumbed.
If you have the Racor water separator I would change that filter.
If you get the code 48 that will be low fuel pressure then it is time for the smiling faces at WW Williams



good luck
« Last Edit: September 26, 2009, 07:59:41 AM by luvrbus » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2009, 08:01:47 AM »

ok I have one I think , It's got a air line coming off the panel leading down to what looks like a cyl right by the throttle I do know that if you start the engine without air pressure you have to wait to shut down the engine . Is that also what you guys call the air kill ?
Thanks Paul
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« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2009, 08:20:24 AM »

Andy, you just have one because there is no fast idle on your engine which to me is a waste anyway without coach air.   


good luck
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John316
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« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2009, 08:25:03 AM »

Thanks, guys.

Belfert, you are right. I don't have any skinner valves (Clifford is right too).

Clifford, I am not aware of any air leaks. It seems to me that if the pump was failing, that we would have other issues too. This morning when I went to start, it took two cranks, and it was going. It seems to be an intermittent problem. Would putting the computer on tell us if the system was getting air into it? We do not have a water separator. We have had NO loss of power, and it runs PERFECT otherwise.

The fuel pump was my first guess, but other things, I didn't think, pointed to it.

What do ya think?

God bless,

John
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« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2009, 08:26:54 AM »

Yip, you got it, and Thanks to Clifford, you know the whole truth!  Wink

Paul
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« Reply #16 on: September 26, 2009, 08:53:06 AM »

John, you may have a ground problem the next time it does not start check the ground on the ECM  where it grounds to the block then try it and see what happens.   

good luck
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« Reply #17 on: September 26, 2009, 09:49:31 AM »

I had the same thing on a 60 series at one time and found that there is a fittig with an orfice at the back of the head in the return line - mine was missing. Not having it allows it to lose prime thru the return line - ONCE IN A WHILE! Check to see if you have a restricter in the return line at the rear of the head. Just MIGHT be the problem.
JimH
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« Reply #18 on: September 26, 2009, 04:44:33 PM »

I think that it is a fuel problem. Even though we don't get ANY exhaust, or white smoke, while starting, I still think that it is fuel issue. It didn't want to start last night, and then this evening it didn't want to start.

When it didn't start this evening, I then went back and checked the ground. All good. Then I went and ran the primer pump, as me and my buddy talked a little. I then hit the starter again, and it rolled right over, and started right up. I am thinking that my next plan of action is to replace the pump on the back of the engine (it would be the front of the engine in a truck).

So we will try to find a Detroit place that is open tomorrow. We are heading towards Melbourne, Fl, and will be there tomorrow and Monday. At least that pump isn't hard to replace. If that isn't it, I am not sure what I will do next, but we will see.

God bless,

John
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« Reply #19 on: September 26, 2009, 04:55:41 PM »

John,

Hard to tell without being there but I suspect a suction side leak or a bad check valve. I would double check every connection and filter before spending the money for a pump.

You might try leaving the primer pump running for a while without starting the engine and see if you spot any fuel leaks.  Suction side leaks can be very hard to find.

Len
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« Reply #20 on: September 26, 2009, 05:09:04 PM »

Check valve - $35
Fuel pump - unknown but I'm guessing $500 +
Symptoms favor the check valve.

I know which one I'd be changing first.

YMMV
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« Reply #21 on: September 26, 2009, 05:13:45 PM »

If it's anything like the check valve on my 4104, it's field reparable, maybe need an O-ring.
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« Reply #22 on: September 26, 2009, 06:15:14 PM »

yeah keep it simple.  I'm new to DD but not to engines and that does not sound like a FP.  Lot's of times people jump to the worst conclusion.  Hey here's a simple diagnostic, park on a hill, head up with a full tank of gas, see if it starts then.  I'm betting it does.  BTW the FP is working much harder at full throttle, I would be looking there for reduced performance
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« Reply #23 on: September 26, 2009, 06:38:52 PM »

So if it isn't the FP, maybe the check valve.

The really strange thing is, that I don't get any exhaust (colored anyways). I would have thought that if it was loosing the prime, that I would have gotten a start, and then it would die. However, it when it starts, it starts RIGHT up when it does. The other strange thing is that it doesn't happen every time. It is so random (it started right up after sitting overnight, and didn't start after it was warmed up and had been sitting for only an hour).

Does that info add anything?

God bless,

John
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« Reply #24 on: September 26, 2009, 06:57:09 PM »

busguy01,

I had the same problem on my 4104/671, it just would not hold prime. So I found that there was a one way check valve allow the prime to drop. Changed it out and it starts on the second rotation.

John

PS I have also had trouble on both my MCI 9 8v92TA and my 4104/671 with the skinner valve not releasing the air to allow the rack to reset. A friend had the same problem 4 weeks ago with his Eagle/871. Actually it turned out to be a bad plunger on the 8v92TA.
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« Reply #25 on: September 26, 2009, 07:06:34 PM »

To me the lack of smoke directly means no fuel going into to the cylinders. The intermittent nature of it sounds all the more like something that is sticking sometimes and sometimes not.  (i.e. check valve) 

Perhaps, sometimes it sticks open allowing fuel to drain back to the tank.  Sometimes it doesn't stick so the system stays primed and starts right up.  When it loses prime, initially there is no fuel going into the cylinders, therefore no smoke.

If replacing the the check valve is within your skills and the tools you have with you, I would try that before putting myself at the mercy of a $120/hour DD shop.  Even if you aren't comfortable that you can do it on your own, there are many bus nuts in Florida.  I'll bet you could find one that would help you do it.

Then if it turns out not to be the check valve you are out less than $50.  But if that fixes it, you will have saved hundreds of dollars.
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John316
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« Reply #26 on: September 27, 2009, 06:04:44 PM »

Thanks a lot guys. I will make some phone calls on Monday, and see if I can get another check valve. I think that will be the one right on top of the tank, and I think that I will be able to do it myself.

Thanks a lot, and I agree that it is a fuel issue. The check valve makes sense.

God bless,

John
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« Reply #27 on: September 28, 2009, 07:37:29 AM »

As has already been suggested, before replacing the fuel pump, check for low fuel pressure codes.  Or, check it mechanically at the pump outlet.   
Install a fuel pressure guage in the pump outlet line.   Get fancy and install a dash fuel pressure guage. 
If low fuel pressure is your problem you'll see it. 
My bucks go on a fuel line check valve or some such.   I cannot see an S60 mechanical fuel pump being intermittant...could be...I have seen S60 drive gears fail...but that isn't likely.
A crack in a hard line, fuel tank pickup, or a bad flex fuel line will cause loss of fuel prime and intermittant start.  Eventually cause an intermittant run condition.
Do you smell diesel fuel along the side of the coach?   Might seep a little when shut down if faulty fuel line...suction line.  The return line likely isn't your problem.  Any check valve on the suction or return side could be your problem.   Does your fuel primer pump have any check valves?    Does it serve as a check valve for the fuel system?
Reading any stored DDEC codes will also rule out other problems.  It's possible that the DDEC ECM won't view low fuel pressure while cranking as a problem.  Faults must exist for a specific time and you may not be cranking long enough to set a code.   Someone may be able to expand on this...?

Good luck, JR





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« Reply #28 on: September 30, 2009, 07:49:38 AM »

Thanks a lot guys. JR, great post. I agree with you, I don't think that it is the pump either.

The check valve is what I keep coming back too. Dallas explained everything to me last night. Makes sense. I think is what is happening, I hit the starter, and it doesn't see fuel. Well, the DDEC won't let it fire (hence there is no exhaust, and it also doesn't start then die). I am going to wait to fix the check valve until we get back. I would sure hate to break something else, in there, and be down for a while.

Thanks again for all of the help. You guys are great!

God bless,

John
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« Reply #29 on: September 30, 2009, 08:02:45 AM »

John, I may be wrong as I have before but if you are not getting the 48 code it is not a fuel problem.
Try disconnecting the high temp fuel sensor on the filter when it does it again.Owning a DDEC the best investment you can make is a Pro-Link or the DD software for a laptop.
Cole gave me the software and I like it better than Pro-Link easier for these old eyes to see and easier to use.



good luck
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John316
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« Reply #30 on: September 30, 2009, 09:42:55 AM »

Clifford,

We haven't put a computer on the DDEC yet. We haven't found a convenient place to do it. We do need to get a pro link, or the software. Right now we are talking about a silver leaf. Would that give us all of the same info?

So anyways, we haven't checked to see if we have any codes.

God bless,

John
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« Reply #31 on: September 30, 2009, 10:13:54 AM »

John,

A Silver Leaf will give you the code(s) in real time.  It will not read historical, but you don't need that at this time.  Only problem with Silver Leaf is you need their J1708 to RS-232 converter box the get ECM data train into the PC.  BB and other generic converters will not work with the Silver Leaf software.  Tried it several times!

My coach has a DDEC based Stop Engine Light and Check Engine Light with a Diagnostic Request Switch to view any codes that currently in the ECM.  Their is a method to read the existing codes by counting the flashes from one of the two lights.  Same procedure you used to use on a car or truck's pre-OBD-II data ports.  I haven't done it but I can give you the procedure from my DDEC manuals.  I use the Silver Leaf VMSpc program to view trouble codes and 13 engine parameters so haven't done the flash thing on the bus.  Worked OK on my old 1990 Bronco.

Got to go for an appointment now, but if you want to try the procedure, let me know.  I would check for codes before anything else on an electronic engine.

Good luck,

Chuck

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« Reply #32 on: September 30, 2009, 10:21:34 AM »

Thanks, Chuck.

Ours has the same button. I do think that we will do that. If you get a chance, and it is convenient for you, I would like to know how to do that.

God bless,

John
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« Reply #33 on: September 30, 2009, 11:41:28 AM »

John,

First a clarification.  If you have separate Stop Engine Override switch and Diagnostic switch, use the Diagnostic switch with ignition on, engine off.  If you have only a Stop Engine Override switch, use it in the same configuration, ignition on, engine off.

Note that active codes are flashed on the Stop Engine Light (Red), and inactive codes are flashed on the Check Engine Light (Amber).

In both circumstances activating and releasing the switch will flash out the diagnostic codes; activating and releasing the switch a second time will stop the ECM from flashing codes.

When I did this on my Fords, their was a slight delay between the first and second digit of each code, and a longer delay between each code.  Get a piece of paper and write down what you see.  For me, it took a few passes to get used to interpreting the delay periods properly. 

Also in my older Fords, the code data would repeat until I manually stopped the data, as mentioned above.  If you get several repeating code numbers on your paper, you know you have properly read all the trouble codes in the ECM.

As both lights may flash simultaneously, focus on only one at a time.

If you get codes, let us know.  DDEC III has over three pages of them, and you probably have a DDEC IV which has even more.  Good luck.

Chuck

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« Reply #34 on: September 30, 2009, 11:45:57 AM »

Thanks, Chuck.

When we stop for the night, I will see what we got. We have a separate button labeled "check engine," and that is our "code flasher."

Thanks a lot for your help, and the post. I will let you know.

God bless,

John
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