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Old 09-08-2019, 03:08 PM   #1
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Cat 3116–Any mechanics on here?

Hey friends,

I posted on here before about a fuel system issue we were having with our bus.

I told the mechanic that I had let the bus idle and driven around our parking lot off and on for the last year, but otherwise it’s been sitting.

Problem is that engine idles fine and runs fine on a flat surface (even revving engine ) but as soon as it’s under load (like the smallest of inclines) it’s loss of power and tons of black smoke.

After 4 WEEKS at our local mechanics shop (seems crazy long to me), testing of the fuel injectors, total disassemble of the turbo (and letting parts of it soak?) , they found a second fuel filter that was “hiding” behind the turbo. Replacing that did nothing, and finally after all of this, they did a fuel sample and found diesel algae in the tank.

I’m on the hook for over 20 hours of diagnostic labor and that’s before whatever it’s gonna cost to drop the tank and clean it out.

My question for any mechanics on here is this:
Knowing that the bus had been sitting for so long, is it reasonable that it would take them that long before taking a fuel sample?

Our repair bill is well over what we initially paid for the bus, and I fear we are being taken advantage of.

I have zero experience with diesel mechanic industry and am just looking for some perspective here.

Thanks!

(Here’s a few pics of our conversion thus far too for fun)
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Old 09-08-2019, 03:40 PM   #2
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Not to be a bummer, but diesel mechanics can see skoolie folks coming a mile away. Are they really charging you for all the time it took them to find the problem?
The navistar dealer charged me $300 for a vehicle inspection when I took it in for a quote on some major work.
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Old 09-08-2019, 03:55 PM   #3
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He said he was willing to go half way on the labor.

I appreciate the gesture, but in my experience with regular car mechanics, the inspection/finding the source of the problem is “free” (I’m sure they build it into the repair cost) you just pay what it costs to fix it.

I should also add that the communication on their end has been next to nothing. I’m always the one calling every few days for an update.

Last they told me the bus would be ready by the weekend (like yesterday) but never called me.

I feel like such a chump ��
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Old 09-08-2019, 03:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
Not to be a bummer, but diesel mechanics can see skoolie folks coming a mile away. Are they really charging you for all the time it took them to find the problem?
The navistar dealer charged me $300 for a vehicle inspection when I took it in for a quote on some major work.
Yup. Got billed $1800 by a Freightliner dealer to basically tell me that I ran it out of fuel. (only paid $800 though)

Repeat after me: Commerical truck dealers & mechanics AREN'T YOUR FRIENDS

I would try to negotiate with the mechanic and talk them down especially since the root cause was so damn simple

If you can build the interior of the bus you can wrench on the engine too. Adept Ape on YouTube has amazing videos for anything cat, even something as small and old as a 3116
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Old 09-08-2019, 04:00 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Ab01ns View Post
Yup. Got billed $1800 by a Freightliner dealer to basically tell me that I ran it out of fuel. (only paid $800 though)

Repeat after me: Commerical truck dealers & mechanics AREN'T YOUR FRIENDS

I would try to negotiate with the mechanic and talk them down especially since the root cause was so damn simple

If you can build the interior of the bus you can wrench on the engine too. Adept Ape on YouTube has amazing videos for anything cat, even something as small and old as a 3116
I went to the navistar dealer after I wasn't thrilled with their communication. Turns out that they're just not used to dealing with individuals who own these trucks/buses. They're only used to serving large commercial accounts. Its a very impersonal and expensive transaction.
THe local mom n pop diesel shops are exactly as OP describes. THey see us coming every time.
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Old 09-08-2019, 04:21 PM   #6
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Thanks for the heads up!
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Old 09-08-2019, 04:22 PM   #7
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Bummer, but Makes sense. Thanks
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