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Old 09-16-2019, 11:24 AM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Ogden utah
Posts: 89
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: Tc2000
Engine: 5.9 24v
Rated Cap: 27
Need Help, 2002 TC/2000 5.9 24V "service engine soon light" and bus shuts off.

Hello folks.

I could use some help on the first mechanical issue I have just experienced with my bus.

I was climbing a steep grade, mountain road. First gear up switchbacks.
The bus was running warm ( 200-220 ) but nothing alarming. I don't have a trans temp gauge but since I was in first and second gear where the TC doesnt lock up I would often pull over and let it cool with the engine running for 1-5 minutes.

About 7 miles up the climb the service engine soon light came on, the engine stuttered and it shut down.
I was able to immediately restart the engine and kept going to a turn out where I pulled off and let it cool for about a half hour.
The light remains off during this time.

I resumed the climb and within one mile the service engine soon light came on and the engine would miss or felt very low on power. I was not able to pull off since the road was only single lane wide at this time. Shortly after the engine shut down again and I was not able to restart it. I waited about 20 minutes with the engine off, key off and then tried again. It did not restart. I waited another 5 minutes and tried again as there were other cars and a few quad bikes that were behind me and were becoming impatient that I was blocking the road. ( It was 2 AM, where are these people going? )
It did re-start, with difficulty ( very long crank time shuttered, eventually coughed and started ) and I proceeded to the nearest pull off and left the bus there.
Since then I have started it just fine twice, but I am worried about what the deal is with the engine? I'm worried when I have to get back down, I cant do the mountain road without powersteering and if it shuts off unexpectedly like it did on the climb I'm done for.


Does anyone have some ideas on what to investigate?
How can I pull the code from the ECU and figure out what it's complaining about?

Diagnostics done thus far...
1: checked lift pump wiring. Looked fine
2: Removed fuel filter, new as of 6 months ago. Looks fine. System primes with diesel when I turn the key. Unknown lift pump pressure but it is working.
3: Checked fluid levels, all within spec.

Bus, 2003 Bluebird TC/2000. 29ft, Cummins 5.9 24V, Allison 2000 trans. 5.xx rear gear


Location of the parked bus is very pretty, I have plenty of water and food. It is 40 min by mountain road into the nearest town. Nearest Cummins dealer in Ogden Utah.
I have 2 weeks to investigate and resolve this before the bus has to move. If it snows I'm toast. Bus cant go down the road with snow.



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Old 09-16-2019, 12:23 PM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: St Petersburg, FL
Posts: 2,550
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: Cummins 5.9
Rated Cap: 72
You can read codes with a Scangauge D or a Nexiq (or Nexiq clone). Trying to guess the issue seems pretty futile. I understand you're in the middle of nowhere, they can get the Scangauge D at a Camping World (may have in stock) if there is one nearby. Also available on Amazon if you can get packages: https://amzn.to/32JwvXX

I would have suggested fuel filters if it seems you've covered that already. Not a lot of things would cause a diesel engine to sputter and die that aren't fuel delivery related.
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Old 09-16-2019, 12:48 PM   #3
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Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Ogden utah
Posts: 89
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: Tc2000
Engine: 5.9 24v
Rated Cap: 27
Thank you!

I can get amazon packages delivered to my work and pick them up there. Not a concern.

Would be nice to borrow the unit though. Would it be any use calling some diesel shops / truck shops and see if they will loan me the tool?
I'll gladdly pay to loan it or leave a cash collateral if it saves me the trouble of buying it.

I agree this must be fuel delivery related. But what? The rough road could have dislodged some debris in the tank?

Could it be VP44 injection pump related?
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Old 09-16-2019, 12:54 PM   #4
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Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: St Petersburg, FL
Posts: 2,550
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: Cummins 5.9
Rated Cap: 72
Diesel shops will have a Nexiq or similar device and may come hook up to your bus, the question is will it cost less for them to come and do it than to buy the tool and have it to keep afterwards. I used my Scangauge D on my first bus to display stats not provided by the dashboard and enjoyed having it. I also prefer to buy tools instead of pay for other people to use theirs if it's something I can do myself!

Does your bus only have a single fuel filter? My TC2000 has two. One right by the engine and another near the transmission filter.
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Old 09-16-2019, 01:01 PM   #5
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Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Ogden utah
Posts: 89
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: Tc2000
Engine: 5.9 24v
Rated Cap: 27
Im still learning the mechanical of my bus. I wish I could find someone locally who could show me all the parts and answer some of my questions.

I have the filter right by the engine, as you stated, and I have a "Fuel/Water" separator near the transmission but not near the transmission filter ( I have two of those )

The fuel water separator is marked 2015 on it and I have not replaced it nor interacted with it in any way.
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Old 09-16-2019, 01:16 PM   #6
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Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: St Petersburg, FL
Posts: 2,550
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: Cummins 5.9
Rated Cap: 72
The fuel/water separator is the second filter i'm referring to. There's a valve on the bottom, if you loosen/remove it any water in the filter will drain out.
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