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Old 10-27-2019, 07:57 PM   #1
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Post 5.9L Cummins, Crank, But No Start

Ok I have a 1990 Blue Bird All American FE Bus, as the title says, it will crank but wont start, i can spray a little ether in the turbo and it will run for a few seconds and then stop running, things i have done:

1) Checked manual pump for leaks and suction
2) Checked to make sure that diesel was free of water or dirt, and diesel in tank
was full
3) Checked diesel lines for leaks, dirt, and water
4) Check the diesel filters for dirt and water
5) I have opened each injector and made sure diesel was coming out of each
one

if anyone could help with what i need to do next, it would be greatly appreciated, thanks
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Old 10-27-2019, 08:34 PM   #2
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Put down the ether and step away from the bus!

Ether and your grid heaters don't play well with ether. The grid heaters can ignite the ether in the intake. The results can be Engine damage and cause you significant injury.

It definitely sounds like a fuel delivery problem. I will let smarter people jump in and give further troubleshooting the particulars.
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Old 10-27-2019, 08:42 PM   #3
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i only used ether twice, i have been told to check the air intake grid, but i have looked all over the engine and i cant find it, i know it suppose to be connected to the air intake, but there is nothing that looks like what pictures show me
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Old 10-28-2019, 12:09 AM   #4
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I would repeat the priming process to confirm that the fuel system is properly blead. Confirm that the fuel shutoff solenoid is opening. I have had the 5.9 not start due to faulty connections on the ve pump solenoid aswell as bad ignition switch contacts.
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Old 10-28-2019, 03:17 AM   #5
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not every 5.9 has an intake heater grid. mine does not. they can be configured as a spacer or a heater.

if the temps are cool, plug in the engine block heater. and recheck your list.
i suspect air in the pump. crack open the injector lines and bleed that thing some more.
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Old 10-28-2019, 10:01 AM   #6
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If he's already sprayed ether in it, and it fired and then died, you have something wrong with your fuel source.

Like others have said, only use ether on the engine if you know exactly what you're doing.

Being a 90's model, I'd say it's a 6bt with a p7100 injection pump. With that said, I imagine he's got problems with the shut off solenoid on the injection pump. Either the solenoid is junk or you've got wiring issues that's not allowing it to operate.
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Old 10-28-2019, 10:44 AM   #7
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Has the bus ever run in your possession?

If yes, did it shut off by itself?
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Old 10-28-2019, 12:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Booyah45828 View Post
If he's already sprayed ether in it, and it fired and then died, you have something wrong with your fuel source.

Like others have said, only use ether on the engine if you know exactly what you're doing.

Being a 90's model, I'd say it's a 6bt with a p7100 injection pump. With that said, I imagine he's got problems with the shut off solenoid on the injection pump. Either the solenoid is junk or you've got wiring issues that's not allowing it to operate.
It was said to be a 1990 model year which would be indicative of a Bosh ve rotary style pump. Same problems can occur though. I also am curious if this bus has ever been running under the current owners possession?
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Old 10-28-2019, 12:37 PM   #9
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I've never seen a ve pump used in a school bus. All the ones I've worked on had an inline pump.
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Old 10-28-2019, 02:27 PM   #10
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Wink

Quote:
Originally Posted by Booyah45828 View Post
I've never seen a ve pump used in a school bus. All the ones I've worked on had an inline pump.
It's entirely possible that I woke up opinionated and am talking about things that I don't actually know about, My apologies if so. Having owned several 5.9 trucks and dealing with mostly international skoolies, I'll be the first to admit that my Cummins world and school bus world are two separate things. Perhaps I spoke too soon and today is my day to learn a thing or two;)
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Old 10-28-2019, 02:47 PM   #11
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1990 almost surely won't have a grid heater in a bus.

it sounds like you've spent a lot of time making sure you have fuel flow but unfortunately that's still where I'd be looking. Is it even sputtering on its own?

Note that every time you open any part of the fuel system you're going to lose your prime. Insufficient fuel flow is roughly as bad as no fuel flow. I've grown quite good at using the primer button on mine.
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Old 10-28-2019, 04:37 PM   #12
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The owner of Extreme Diesel Repair said using ether or starting fluid is not a concern at all , even with a grid heater. Just saying......
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Old 10-28-2019, 06:46 PM   #13
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I'd loosen the nut holding one of the fuel lines to an injector. Doesn't matter which one. Then crank the engine. If it doesn't squirt fuel all over the place, or at least make a respectable dribble, then fuel isn't getting to the cylinders.


If that's the case then move a step back in the fuel system. The injector lines are the output of the high pressure injection pump. The next thing upstream from the injection pump is some kind of lift pump. Make sure it is delivering fuel. I'm not very familiar with that specific engine but I think its lift pump is mechanical. In that case you'd have to crank the engine to operate it.


Regarding the ether.. I replaced a handful of broken head bolts and a bent push rod in an 8.3L Cummins. It had failed in the winter. There was a can of ether found in the bus. Putting the evidence together I assumed it must have been fed a little too much ether... I only use ether in my gasoline engines, though I guess even there "too much" is still a possibility.
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Old 10-28-2019, 07:00 PM   #14
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so the story behind this bus, it was a church bus, it ran and started without fail for years, they took it on a trip and got to the place they were going and came back after a few hours and it would not start, cranked but would not start, had it towed back home, then i bought it cause this could not get it to run(they didnt use a diesel mechanic, the members tried), so no it has not ran since i bought and they said it never shut off by itself for what the can remember
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Old 10-28-2019, 07:06 PM   #15
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it will only crank no start or sputtering
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Old 10-28-2019, 07:08 PM   #16
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it has never ran under my possession, but it did run under last owner shortly before i bought it, ran for years with out fail
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Old 11-02-2019, 05:46 PM   #17
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Assuming inline injection pump.

The solenoid that turns the fuel on... can certainly fail.

But... that solenoid is controlled by an electronic gizmo that fails more often. I forget the exact name of the thing, but it involves the word "timer". It is a small rectangular and flat piece of black plastic with wires on one side. It may be located low on the left side of the engine.

There are two levers on the side of the injection pump.

One is connected to the accelerator pedal. Simply move the pedal so identify it.

The other is connected to the solenoid. This should move with a loud click when you turn the ignition switch on.
If it does not... disconnect the solenoid linkage and move the lever by hand. If it returns to the "off" position by itself, tie it TEMPORARILY in the "on" position with a piece of string or whatnot.
If the engine now starts and runs... I recommend -- for reliability -- you discard the solenoid and timer and install an old-fashioned manual push-pull cable -- you can still buy a manual choke cable at most auto parts stores.
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Old 11-03-2019, 01:01 PM   #18
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I would check the emergency door switches.
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