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Old 02-20-2017, 02:40 PM   #1
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97 8.3 53,000mls Just Died after running 3min

HELP,
I was going to take the bus to work today to get some ideas on converting etc and started it to warm it up and after about 3 minutes it suddenly died. I don't even know where to start. I called a service company and they said try fuse, fuel filter etc. Any ideas? I think the fuses are on the drivers side panel but they don't look like fuses to me. Any help would be greatly appreciated. We are converting ours to go out to save lives!
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Old 02-20-2017, 04:26 PM   #2
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In order to troubleshoot we need to know a little more information.

If it is electrical issues that would require going down one road.

If it is fuel issues that would require a completely different road.

It is also important to know if what you have is a 6CT or an ISC. Electrical and fuel issues are very different for those engines.
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Old 02-20-2017, 09:49 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
In order to troubleshoot we need to know a little more information.

If it is electrical issues that would require going down one road.

If it is fuel issues that would require a completely different road.

It is also important to know if what you have is a 6CT or an ISC. Electrical and fuel issues are very different for those engines.
Thanks for your response. Its A CT. Just got in from work and I did get generator started and its on the same diesel tank. Haven't had a chance to check anything else. What other info can I give you to help point us in the right direction?
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Old 02-20-2017, 10:24 PM   #4
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It wasn't specifically stated, but I presume that after the engine died it also refused to restart? Engine cranks as it should, but just doesn't start? Make sure there's a battery charger handy; there's likely to be some engine cranking in the near future and it's much better from charged batteries rather than trying to jump start. It's better for the batteries not to be run down, too.

The fuel filter/housing should have a water drain somewhere on the bottom. You can use that to check for water, but also to verify that there's fuel being delivered into the filter. If the bus is new to you, "replace all filters" should be on the to-do list... might as well do that fuel filter now. Verify the engine has oil too.
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Old 02-20-2017, 10:47 PM   #5
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First thing I'd do is crack an injector line and hit the starter briefly. Watch for fuel while cranking it. The fact the generator runs only tells us that the tank has fuel in it. The fuel might not be making it to the cylinders though. Clogged filter, leaking fuel hose allowing air to get in, bad lift pump, any of a number of things could make the fact that the tank has fuel in it completely irrelevant. See if you're getting fuel to the injectors and then take it from there.

And yeah, put a charger on the batteries before that turns into a problem also.
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Old 02-21-2017, 09:29 AM   #6
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My cummins ISB did the same thing to me; I just came out of Walmart started it up and was typing in my next location on the gps and suddenly died. Wouldn't start. Ended up having to tow it and luckily there was a cummins service dealer 7 mins away (though more unlucky now that I think of it). It took them all day to figure out it was a power wire to the injection pump and charged me for it!! Wish I'd taken it somewhere else.

Anyway yours could be a number of things. Does it smoke when turning over? If it does turn over...


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Old 02-21-2017, 11:41 PM   #7
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Thanks. I couldn't find the water drain on the fuel filter. I did get it running though. I cranked it a couple times and it spit and spudderd so I hit it with some starting fluid and it finally started. I will say I have less than a quarter of a tank of fuel maybe that has something to do with it.
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Old 02-21-2017, 11:47 PM   #8
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I don't know if it has injectors I heard that it did not. It's a 1997 CT 8.3. Please forgive me I'm not a mechanic. It should it have a pump, though? I will check on that. I really need to take it in and have the whole bus checked out but I'm waiting till we get most of the inside done. We are also going to use this for our non-profit so we are waiting on grants to hopefully.
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Old 02-21-2017, 11:48 PM   #9
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It smoked some when trying to crank it but It finally started with some starting fluid.
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Old 02-22-2017, 07:07 AM   #10
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my filter/ water separator is right behind the pump. I m o I would check the motor before I put a dime into the bus.
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Old 02-22-2017, 08:10 AM   #11
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I promise you, it has injectors.

Whoever told you it doesn't... do not listen to anything else they say.
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Old 02-22-2017, 08:21 AM   #12
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One more FYI item: in general, don't use starting fluid with a diesel engine unless you're really sure the electric starting aid is disabled.

So far as I'm aware virtually all Cummins engines are equipped with a "grid heater" built into the intake. That's a stack of heating elements that glow red hot through which the intake air flows. It's often powered for a few seconds up to 30 seconds together with some kind of "wait to start" lamp on the dash. When the timer expires or key is turned to start the grid heater is shut off, but it may still be hot enough to ignite starter spray right there in the intake. Intakes aren't built for combustion pressure of course and are prone to explode. Some applications continue to cycle the grid heater after the engine has started until the engine coolant rises above some temperature, or until the vehicle reaches a certain road speed.

Other engines are often equipped with "glow plugs." Those extend directly into the cylinders, like a spark plug. I believe there's a hazard with using starting spray on glow plug equipped engines too, but I'm not familiar with the theory of mis-operation there and so can't describe it.
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Old 02-22-2017, 08:41 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by family wagon View Post
One more FYI item: in general, don't use starting fluid with a diesel engine unless you're really sure the electric starting aid is disabled.

So far as I'm aware virtually all Cummins engines are equipped with a "grid heater" built into the intake. That's a stack of heating elements that glow red hot through which the intake air flows. It's often powered for a few seconds up to 30 seconds together with some kind of "wait to start" lamp on the dash. When the timer expires or key is turned to start the grid heater is shut off, but it may still be hot enough to ignite starter spray right there in the intake. Intakes aren't built for combustion pressure of course and are prone to explode. Some applications continue to cycle the grid heater after the engine has started until the engine coolant rises above some temperature, or until the vehicle reaches a certain road speed.

Other engines are often equipped with "glow plugs." Those extend directly into the cylinders, like a spark plug. I believe there's a hazard with using starting spray on glow plug equipped engines too, but I'm not familiar with the theory of mis-operation there and so can't describe it.

None of the 6CTA motors I have use glow plugs/grid heaters and they have ether injection. Not saying it isn't possible, but I have not seen.

Fuel gauge may be faulty. Says 1/4 tank, might be wrong- you could be empty. On the driver side of the block is the lift pump, has a black or red rubber boot to prime motor- push it -is firm- many times until you can hear fuel squishing through. Much cheaper than replacing your starter, which you will toast if you keep cranking.

If it runs on ether, is probably fuel issue. Check solenoid, same side of engine, may be bad or stuck. You can zip tie to test, but you will need it to shut motor off.

Follow fuel lines from tank- look for leak/wet spot, if fuel is coming out, air is getting in. Air=no start.

Orange can in pic is ether, little red dot at ~10:00 from ether bottle below green bracket w zip tie is lift primer. Yours will be a bit different, rear engine

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