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Old 06-25-2014, 04:25 PM   #61
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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!*

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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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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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Old 07-04-2014, 09:15 PM   #71
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Re: *Two Birds* - 1992 Bluebird TC2000

Guys,

It has been my experience that anything to do with the fuel injection distributor pump is best left to trained professionals due to such tight tolerances with the pump. Any contaminants get into the pump system, no matter how small, will throw off the tolerances and render the pump useless. I learned that the hard way for $2K back in 1999..... Just a voice of experience talking......... Take it for what you wish.
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Old 07-04-2014, 11:00 PM   #72
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Re: *Two Birds* - 1992 Bluebird TC2000

Quote:
Originally Posted by M1031
Guys,

It has been my experience that anything to do with the fuel injection distributor pump is best left to trained professionals due to such tight tolerances with the pump. Any contaminants get into the pump system, no matter how small, will throw off the tolerances and render the pump useless. I learned that the hard way for $2K back in 1999..... Just a voice of experience talking......... Take it for what you wish.
Thanks. This is advice I am looking for. I am 99% sure we are in for a rebuild. I will be calling the local shop after the holiday weekend. I'm still listening to people's thoughts and experience though!
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Old 07-05-2014, 08:45 AM   #73
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Re: *Two Birds* - 1992 Bluebird TC2000

I've had about 10 different pumps rebuilt. Depending upon the pump the rebuild is anywhere from $350 for a 6.2L Chevy to $1200 for a Continental multifuel military truck to $2500 for a 550 Cat semi truck. Mind you these are prices from the mid 1990s thru 2009.
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Old 07-05-2014, 09:27 AM   #74
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Re: *Two Birds* - 1992 Bluebird TC2000

Quote:
Originally Posted by M1031
I've had about 10 different pumps rebuilt. Depending upon the pump the rebuild is anywhere from $350 for a 6.2L Chevy to $1200 for a Continental multifuel military truck to $2500 for a 550 Cat semi truck. Mind you these are prices from the mid 1990s thru 2009.
Thanks!
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Old 07-05-2014, 09:43 AM   #75
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Re: *Two Birds* - 1992 Bluebird TC2000

And...roger correcting the KDP issue --- Heard too many horror stories about that rascal dropping into the gears and taking out the whole timing cover/gear set. Easy to do either of two ways. Simplest is just to take a small punch and peen the edge over the hole a bit and it cannot back out. That's what I did on my 4BT. The other is to make a small metal tab that screws into the otherwise empty screw hole next to it. The peening is effective and does not add anything else that could potentially come loose and get into trouble.
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Old 07-05-2014, 07:43 PM   #76
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Re: *Two Birds* - 1992 Bluebird TC2000

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango
And...roger correcting the KDP issue --- Heard too many horror stories about that rascal dropping into the gears and taking out the whole timing cover/gear set. Easy to do either of two ways. Simplest is just to take a small punch and peen the edge over the hole a bit and it cannot back out. That's what I did on my 4BT. The other is to make a small metal tab that screws into the otherwise empty screw hole next to it. The peening is effective and does not add anything else that could potentially come loose and get into trouble.
It's interesting, because I don't see it discussed often on here. It's not easy to get to, but well worth the effort I imagine.
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Old 07-13-2014, 11:02 PM   #77
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Re: *Two Birds* - 1992 Bluebird TC2000

Well... after a seemingly never-ending setback from working on the bus, we are back at it again. As stated earlier, we diagnosed our no-start, but the bus doesn't go into the shop to get the injection pump rebuilt til next Monday. So, we took the downtime to get some work done on the subfloor during the weekend. I will continue working throughout the week this week.

One night, we were coming home and decided to do a bit of dumpster diving. I found a Schwinn Road Bike at the curb a couple weeks ago that needed tires, so we stopped at the local bike shop to check their dumpster. I found tires ... but what we found in the dumpster next to it was quite the score! We didn't realize that we were next to an upscale interior design showroom. We found their dumpster full of flooring that they removed. It was laminate, which we weren't planning on using, but it survived a test trying to scratch it with a key and we have had a panel out in the horrendous rain storms we have been experiencing the last few days to test. It still looks great. The flooring has a great appearance. We aren't fully decided. Our car was filled at about 250 square ft. worth of flooring. Should be plenty for the bus even if a few pieces are messed up!





We spent the majority of this weekend gathering materials and supplies to do the subfloor, as well as planning it out. Today, we actually cut some wood on the table saw in the morning and this afternoon, we installed our first bit of new materials in the bus!!! It felt like a pretty major milestone. Between cutting and prep work, we didn't get a whole lot actually installed, but I will be back at it tomorrow.

Getting started at the bus after cutting everything on the table saw at my partner's father's woodshop.


I countersunk all the holes where the screws would soon be used to attach the wood support strips to the floor. Inside, I used self-tapping screws and liquid nails to attach them to the floor. The piece with all the holes in it was a scrap piece where I was testing different methods of countersinking. I have never countersunk anything before today.


Doesn't look like much, but by the end of the night, we had attached quite a few strips to the floor. Tomorrow, I will continue with these, the insulation, etc.


We are using 3/4" sheets of plywood cut into the strips, as well as 3/4" plywood for the top layer. Insulation is 3/4" extruded foam board. We debated for a long time. My original plan was only to use the thin 1/4" stuff. But, we decided it was best to put a bit more insulation. We debated going up to an inch. We chose the 3/4" to "meet in the middle" as well as with the ease of use for making matching support strips in the floor.

More pics to come!
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Old 07-28-2014, 07:18 PM   #78
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Re: *Two Birds* - 1992 Bluebird TC2000

Nice score on the flooring. Any update on the IP?
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Old 07-28-2014, 09:29 PM   #79
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Re: *Two Birds* - 1992 Bluebird TC2000

I have some updates of work on the floor but don't have time to post it all tonight. We are about 50% done with the subfloor insulation and plywood sheeting.

News on the injection pump:

The bus is currently in the shop and the pump is being rebuilt tomorrow. On Friday, the local Bosch shop discovered the cause of the locked up fuel rack. At some point when we were running the bus, a small metal shard worked its way loose from the metal tubing that was cut improperly (yes... it was our fault ). The bad cut was on the clean side of the fuel filter (after the filter) and it went into the injection pump and scored one of the plungers in the Injection pump very badly. This caused the plunger to get stuck and subsequently, the fuel rack too. With the fuel rack hung up, the delivery valves were not opening and no fuel was getting through the lines to the injectors. Total cost... just over $2000 It really sucks... especially because it was, in essence, a mistake in the conversion process. A hard lesson learned but if I want to look at it optimistically, I now have a VERY intimate knowledge of the entire fuel system and feel that I could diagnose and repair any fuel related issue short of rebuilding the injection pump. This is good knowledge to have for a touring bus running on veggie oil. The pump will be in the bus by the end of the week (it has to go back to a different shop that pulled the pump) and then, after it is running good, it will go to yet another shop to repair the rear hub seal leak and replace the bearings. We will pick it up next week when we get home from a music festival that I am playing at. We are happy to be moving forward, but have our heads hanging a little low this week
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Old 08-01-2014, 12:12 AM   #80
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Re: *Two Birds* - 1992 Bluebird TC2000

Congratulations on your graduation from the school of hard knocks!
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