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Old 06-25-2014, 04:25 PM   #61
Skoolie
 
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Year: 1992
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Re: *Two Birds* - 1992 Bluebird TC2000

We have been rather quiet about the bus the past couple weeks and I think it's time for an update.

The past two weeks, we were out of town for some concerts and a music festival. Before that, on Memorial Weekend, I traveled to east Michigan to work with a fellow Skoolie member on converting the bus to run off Waste Vegetable Oil.

We finished the conversion and started the bus up on diesel and ran it for about 15 minutes before it shut off suddenly. After that, the bus would not start. The general thought is that we ran it out of fuel (which we have since refilled). What ensued was many consecutive days of troubleshooting and rebuilding the entire WVO conversion, as I thought there was air getting into the fuel lines somehow and hindering the engine from starting. After exhausting my knowledge and resources, we reached out to a family member who is a diesel mechanic. We also exhausted his knowledge and things began to look pretty dire for "Two Birds". Things began pointing towards the one thing I dreaded... the Injection Pump. After having a Cummins specialist come out this week, things are looking even more like the injection pump. He basically said I thoroughly went through everything he would have and he didn't want to waste our time/money doing much diagnosing. We checked a couple things since he had already made the service call out to the bus location.

I have a pretty thorough understanding of the fuel system on our bus now and am still baffled that this happened. We sought out this bus because of this pump... it's one of the strongest in the world. I have read stories of vehicles using this pump to 500K+ miles and even heard of one with 800K miles on the pump. To have ours go at 80,000 miles is very uncommon, and even more uncommon (but possible) for them to go out when running out of fuel.

Next week, we are scheduled to tow the bus into the local diesel performance shop to have the pump pulled, tested, and possibly rebuilt. This has been a very de-motivational chapter in the life of "Two Birds" and we are possibly looking at some very, very large repair bills. We are still crossing our fingers and praying for the best, but the outlook isn't good. We have so much invested into the bus at this point that we can't turn back (nor do we want to), but this is putting a serious turn in our "plans". We are excited to have the bus running and driving again. Wish us luck. We definitely need some good news with the bus right now!

Thanks for following our journey, with all it's ups and downs!
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Old 06-25-2014, 05:39 PM   #62
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Re: *Two Birds* - 1992 Bluebird TC2000

Sad! But... perhaps it won't be quite as bad as you are thinking. A small bump in the road but maybe smooth sailing after that! No worthwhile journey is ever easy, yeah?

Glad you have it running again. Keep us posted on the diagnosis. *Fingers crossed!*

Two Birds will fly again!
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Old 06-25-2014, 09:32 PM   #63
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Re: *Two Birds* - 1992 Bluebird TC2000

I can't believe you trashed the IP in 15 minutes. Unless...your oil was like lard, filled with sand and metal shavings and a few french fries. How is your system set up? Pictures or diagrams? You obviously checked pump, filters, solenoids, lines for obstructions? I've seen morons put oil straight from the collection bin into their tank without filtering. How are you heating the oil?
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Old 06-26-2014, 04:26 PM   #64
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Re: *Two Birds* - 1992 Bluebird TC2000

Quote:
Originally Posted by crazycal
I can't believe you trashed the IP in 15 minutes. Unless...your oil was like lard, filled with sand and metal shavings and a few french fries. How is your system set up? Pictures or diagrams? You obviously checked pump, filters, solenoids, lines for obstructions? I've seen morons put oil straight from the collection bin into their tank without filtering. How are you heating the oil?
We haven't even run veggie oil in our engine yet. It hasn't come near the pump. I find it hard to believe too. If you would like to check out our setup, take a look at the "Two Birds" thread in the veggie oil section on the forum.

We are getting proper fuel pressure and getting fuel into the IP and out the return line. I am hoping it is something different, but it's looking like an internal problem with the IP. I have checked the lift pump, changed the fuel filters, checked the lines, etc. I spent 9 days trying to figure it out, sun up to sun down. I couldn't figure it out and we called a family member who is a diesel mechanic. He came out two separate days and couldn't figure anything out. Finally, we called a Cummins mechanic from the local Cummins dealer out. Still nothing. Both mechanics are leaning towards the IP and this was starting to be my conclusion too.

We are pretty sure we ran it out of fuel. It is possible for the plungers to sieze up and stick in this situation. Highly unlikely, but still possible. I am crossing my fingers that it is not an issue with the pump, but we have exhausted our options at this point.
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Old 06-26-2014, 04:27 PM   #65
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Re: *Two Birds* - 1992 Bluebird TC2000

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sara
Sad! But... perhaps it won't be quite as bad as you are thinking. A small bump in the road but maybe smooth sailing after that! No worthwhile journey is ever easy, yeah?

Glad you have it running again. Keep us posted on the diagnosis. *Fingers crossed!*

Two Birds will fly again!
I hope so! It's definitely a bump in the road. We will have the bus going again. It's just been very discouraging.
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Old 06-27-2014, 09:16 PM   #66
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Re: *Two Birds* - 1992 Bluebird TC2000

If you had a Cummins mechanic check it out, I'm sure he checked the shutoff solenoid.
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Old 06-27-2014, 09:46 PM   #67
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Re: *Two Birds* - 1992 Bluebird TC2000

At this point, I would bypass everything you installed and run a line straight from your tank to the engine. If you need to, add an electric pump to prime everything. That way you can eliminate your install as the source of the problem. Good luck.
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Old 06-29-2014, 09:30 PM   #68
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Re: *Two Birds* - 1992 Bluebird TC2000

I agree with Crazycal. Eliminate everything and go back from there. I find it very hard to believe the IP is bad. they typically don't go bad just shutting off. Not saying they don't, just not typically. Sounds a lot like the system is air bound. Try running it off WD-40 if you can to keep it going until it picks up.
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Old 07-04-2014, 08:18 PM   #69
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Re: *Two Birds* - 1992 Bluebird TC2000

Quote:
Originally Posted by crazycal
At this point, I would bypass everything you installed and run a line straight from your tank to the engine. If you need to, add an electric pump to prime everything. That way you can eliminate your install as the source of the problem. Good luck.
We did that long ago with no luck.
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Old 07-04-2014, 08:19 PM   #70
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Year: 1992
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Re: *Two Birds* - 1992 Bluebird TC2000

We were away for a few weeks traveling and touring with our music, so were away from the bus. I pulled the AFC off today. The rack is stuck I recorded this little video. We are happy to know what is causing our no-start, but bummed at the outcome. It's likely a rebuild is in order. I would be happy to have any advice at this point though for a last ditch effort to see if we can save the pump before pulling it.

Is it possible to pull the delivery valves off the pump easily to see if there's some physical debris that is stuck? Is it safe to do so? If I were to do this, is there anything I need to be cautious of (ex: flying springs that can be lost)?

If the pump needs to be pulled, is it a job that someone (myself) with a moderate mechanical ability can do? It would be great to save on the labor if it's something I can do. I would likely pull the front of the bus off, including the front grill and radiator so I could do the KDP fix and change the serpentine belt at the same time. This would make it easier to access the front of the pump (I believe). Are there any specialty tools that are needed to do this?

Here's a video. Let us know your thoughts. Thanks for all the advice.
http://youtu.be/YGbAKk9NuKE
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