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Old 03-02-2015, 11:46 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Road side: electrical problem/torque

Alright, so that elluriders bus made it back to nc from the 5000 mile colorado trip!!! Unfortunately it sat for two years due to issues. Fastforewarding to last week, I had my favorite people at Dougs diesel put a new flywheel and starter on it and now it runs again!!!!
However there are a few things i am wanting to trouble shoot and Im looking for input.
1: The bus has to be jumped off (batteries are new, alternator tested--good.)
2: While driving last night, after 1 1/2 hours--all lights went dead.
3: I know this puppy like the back of my hand in terms of which hills are going to "hurt." But last night, i was climbing small ant hills and it struggled in terms of gearing up/down (ie. struggle up the slight hill, then i increase acceleration and the rpms drop even lower??? so bizzare
any tips? Oh, fyi I have the alternator routed into an isolator to seperate the current going from alternator to starting batteries and "living" batteries. The living batteries HAVE BEEN DISCONNECTED FOR THE PAST 2 YEARS.
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Old 03-02-2015, 01:02 PM   #2
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Sounds like your batteries arent getting charged. If bypasd the isolator and see if that fixes things. With the motor running, you should see something like 14 volts at the batteries. If you only see 12 or so, then your batteries arent getting charged. You need to follow the wire off the alternator and see where the voltage stops.

As for the power, it sounds a lot like clogged fuel filters. When was the last time you did those? Id start there. Its cheap and if it hasnt been done in a while you should do it anyway.
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Old 03-02-2015, 04:27 PM   #3
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I had a car with a big av system that had an isolator. I suck with electrical stuff and always had problems with batteries and charging.
I second the suggestion of checking fuel filters too. Good luck, hope everything works out alright.
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Old 03-02-2015, 05:19 PM   #4
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it is the isolator!!! i had one and it fried all of my starting batteries and alternator. Your problem sounds just like mine when the isolator was connected. Get a battery separator instead, if you want to use your alternator to charge house and starting batteries at same time.
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Old 03-02-2015, 05:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by telluriders View Post
Alright, so that elluriders bus made it back to nc from the 5000 mile colorado trip!!! Unfortunately it sat for two years due to issues. Fastforewarding to last week, I had my favorite people at Dougs diesel put a new flywheel and starter on it and now it runs again!!!!
However there are a few things i am wanting to trouble shoot and Im looking for input.
1: The bus has to be jumped off (batteries are new, alternator tested--good.)
2: While driving last night, after 1 1/2 hours--all lights went dead.
3: I know this puppy like the back of my hand in terms of which hills are going to "hurt." But last night, i was climbing small ant hills and it struggled in terms of gearing up/down (ie. struggle up the slight hill, then i increase acceleration and the rpms drop even lower??? so bizzare
any tips? Oh, fyi I have the alternator routed into an isolator to seperate the current going from alternator to starting batteries and "living" batteries. The living batteries HAVE BEEN DISCONNECTED FOR THE PAST 2 YEARS.
FYI - Your engine is not a V6 it is an inline or straight six.

Fuel filter replacement is a great start, also check your fuel/water separator which is probably under the bus somewhere. An easy way to tell if fuel filters are clogged is to check if your getting some leakage/seepage at any of the injector return lines. When filters are clogged needs to leak somewhere, and the return lines at injectors seem to be first place relieve pressure. How is your exhaust smoke? Is it white or blueish? that is a sign that you are passing fuel or oil, among other things. Also your power loss could be due to the air dryer/ compressor problem. If there is a air leak and/or your air compressor is cycling too often you can loose turbo pressure which will make engine seem sluggish.

Let us know if you do find the culprit.
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Old 03-02-2015, 07:13 PM   #6
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Compressor cycling will have no impact on the turbo's performance whatsoever. I think you are mistaken, Winslow.

Excessive smoke can be an indicator of many things that may or may not affect performance--worn rings and blown seals on the turbo being the main ones that come to my mind.

I've also never heard of or seen return lines leaking on injectors due to a clogged filter and I'm not sure I understand the principle behind why that would happen. Most return lines go straight to the tank and do not pass through a filter or loop back in. Unless I am wrong about the layout of this fuel system, there is no conceivable way they should EVER leak due to a clogged filter.

Not trying to be rude, just trying to make sure we only spread accurate information to the OP.

Do let us know what you discover!
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Old 03-02-2015, 07:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charles_m View Post
Compressor cycling will have no impact on the turbo's performance whatsoever. I think you are mistaken, Winslow.

Excessive smoke can be an indicator of many things that may or may not affect performance--worn rings and blown seals on the turbo being the main ones that come to my mind.

I've also never heard of or seen return lines leaking on injectors due to a clogged filter and I'm not sure I understand the principle behind why that would happen. Most return lines go straight to the tank and do not pass through a filter or loop back in. Unless I am wrong about the layout of this fuel system, there is no conceivable way they should EVER leak due to a clogged filter.

Not trying to be rude, just trying to make sure we only spread accurate information to the OP.

Do let us know what you discover!
Understanding the air dryers now available in new brake systems - Road King Magazine
this link explains a little about how all air dryers have turbo cut off valves to prevent boost leak as the turbo is connected to the air compressor.

Yes, excessive smoke can be a lot of things, but color indicates what type of problem you're having.
Cost Effective Maintenance - Diesel Smoke tells YOU a Story...

Also, I have seen many engines leak at the diesel return lines going back to the injectors.
Light-Duty Diesel Diagnosis

the links are just the top websites that popped up after a google search, or just check the service manuals of the components specific to your vehicle. They usually have great troubleshooting guides.
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Old 03-02-2015, 08:09 PM   #8
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Battery isolaters are not good

For charging 2 battery banks, use a heavy duty relay. Connect relay to be controled by a drivers side switch. A digital voltmeter is a good tool on the dash. A multimeter is also a very valuable tool. Frank
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Old 03-02-2015, 08:19 PM   #9
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The air-drier to turbo link is new to me, so thanks for the links there! I believe though it is not a setup on all buses--mine doesn't have one but it's an old bus. I can see how it may cause a loss of boos pressure if the pressurized, post-turbo intake air is leaking into and through the compressor continuously and dropping boos pressure. If I understand what I read, this scenario would seem to require several things to fail if it were happening continuously unless power returns when the compressor re-engages. Im probably missing something here. It's interesting to me that they would have the compressor use engine intake air post turbo, but I can see why. My bus compressor has a little lawnmower sized air filter on it and nothing linking it to the turbo or intake.

Can you explain the way that leaking return lines happen as a result of clogged filters? Im not at all trying to be cheeky! I googled a lot and also read the link you posted but I cant find anything about how a clogged filter leads to leaking return lines. I would just like to know how this happens and what kind of fuel system setup leads to it.
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Old 03-02-2015, 09:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charles_m View Post
Can you explain the way that leaking return lines happen as a result of clogged filters? Im not at all trying to be cheeky! I googled a lot and also read the link you posted but I cant find anything about how a clogged filter leads to leaking return lines. I would just like to know how this happens and what kind of fuel system setup leads to it.


Im glad you're open to new info! That's why I'm on here, to learn new stuff and spread bus love!

This picture is of 12V 5.9 cummins, but is applicable to most, if not all diesels. The unused diesel going to injectors gets routed back to a fuel filter. When the filters are clogged the diesel tends to leak or seep at the weakest points before the filter. I first learned about it when one of our 1970's 966c (3306 engine i believe) cat front end loader was thought to have leaking injectors. The mechanic from caterpillar said, "I don't know how it happens but it happens when fuel filter is clogged." Since then, I have seen it happen on other 966 cat loaders and in a log skidder with cummins 5.9 set up.
So when I picked up my bus from the school district and it looked like the injectors were leaking... I changed the fuel filter and bam my leaks were gone.

Weirdly, none of the engines had a lack of power from the clogged filters, just the leaking fuel.

Thats why I think Telluriders is having a boost issue, because the hills are where you would feel/notice a lack of boost the most. The engine might still perform ok on flat land and especially going downhill. A boost gauge could help eliminate any concerns of a leak somewhere in the turbocharging system (whether it's the air comp/dryer related or not). A boost, exhaust pyro, and feel pressure gauge are always a great investment for any diesel setup. They also help you diagnose problems faster.

Tellurider:
Im kind of unclear on whether the bus seemed regain power on the downhill?

PS: sorry for grammar or spelling if any!
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