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Old 02-25-2022, 07:50 PM   #1
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Bluebird 5.9 24v crank, no start

Lead up... Had left the bus sitting for a while bout 5-6 month with out turning it over to come back and find a dead battery. Changed it out and also installed a disconnect switch to prevent that from happening again.

Went to turn on and it cranked and ran for about 2 seconds then died. I'm guessing that it's a fuel Issue see as how the engine will crank when I try to start it but it won't Turn over. The lift pump is pumping (have not check pressure) Cracked one of the Flue lines and hardly anything came out when Trying to start. Fuel filter was changed just before the 5-6 month sit. Witch leads me to the VP44. could it have Died? Is it normal for a VP44 to Just full on Die From sitting?

Want to know if there might be something else that could cause this issue. I don't believe it's the disconnect all I did was move the Line coming off the battery to the stater to under the driver seat(where the disconnect is) and then about 3 ft back to the starter.

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Old 02-26-2022, 07:54 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by captaintulus View Post
Lead up... Had left the bus sitting for a while bout 5-6 month with out turning it over to come back and find a dead battery. Changed it out and also installed a disconnect switch to prevent that from happening again.

Went to turn on and it cranked and ran for about 2 seconds then died. I'm guessing that it's a fuel Issue see as how the engine will crank when I try to start it but it won't Turn over. The lift pump is pumping (have not check pressure) Cracked one of the Flue lines and hardly anything came out when Trying to start. Fuel filter was changed just before the 5-6 month sit. Witch leads me to the VP44. could it have Died? Is it normal for a VP44 to Just full on Die From sitting?

Want to know if there might be something else that could cause this issue. I don't believe it's the disconnect all I did was move the Line coming off the battery to the stater to under the driver seat(where the disconnect is) and then about 3 ft back to the starter.
I am a similar situation with a 5.9 Thomas I recently aquired, runs for 2 seconds and shuts off.

I do not know much on about fixing a 5.9 but from what I have learned so far is that the vp44 pump is a POS. The biggest defect that I have learned about it so far is the dreaded computer board on the pump itself suffers greatly from cold solder joints. If your lift pump has weakened and does not supply a minimum of 5 lbs of pressure it will cause the computer board to overheat and distort the poor solder joints on the board which in turn will cause the vp44 to malfunction.

I am in no way saying this is your problem but you did mention one important thing, fuel pressure.

You need to test the fuel pressure both for and aft of the fuel filter.
The outlet side of the fuel filter should be 10 psi minimum at high idle. The maximum drop allowed across the filter is 5 psi. On top of the filter there are two 1/8 npt plugs for measuring this pressure, both inlet and outlet

If you have a lift pump in the tank you need to check that pressure too because if little fuel does come up, little fuel will be delivered.

So I guess what I am saying, you really need to check fuel pressure and know where it is at.
I am working on a dead pedal issue which is usually a result from that dandy computer board crapping out.
So far I have not been able to find a replacement board and I am getting itchy, I just might remove mine and try resoldering it back up to see what happens. The alternative would be spending more over a thousand bucks for a new pump.

Here is my dead pedal thread -> https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f39/c...dal-38683.html

I feel that having knowledge, pressure gauge permanently mounted along with a low pressure signal light should be on all 5.9 owners list of things to do.

I got a lot of good information on the vp44 pump from this site -> https://www.bluechipdiesel.com/

Keep us posted on what you find, I could use the help!
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Old 02-26-2022, 03:55 PM   #3
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I'm aware of all the dreaded issues that the VP44 has along with it's lift pump. I'm just not sure if my issue is the VP44, as the symptoms don't match up to the VP44 failures. The bus has been sitting so I don't believe it's an over heating issue or failure on the motherboard. My only guess is a bad diaphragm that's gotten brittle between the weather changes and long sitting

the first time I cranked, after the battery swap. it ran for 2 seconds. And now its not running at all.

I'm about 110k miles on this bus that came from st Louis where they salt the roads often.
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Old 02-26-2022, 06:15 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by captaintulus View Post
I'm aware of all the dreaded issues that the VP44 has along with it's lift pump. I'm just not sure if my issue is the VP44, as the symptoms don't match up to the VP44 failures. The bus has been sitting so I don't believe it's an over heating issue or failure on the motherboard. My only guess is a bad diaphragm that's gotten brittle between the weather changes and long sitting

the first time I cranked, after the battery swap. it ran for 2 seconds. And now its not running at all.

I'm about 110k miles on this bus that came from st Louis where they salt the roads often.
I am just starting to learn about the 5.9 myself so any info I pass along is not from experience but from simple research ( google).

On the blue chip page they have this posted for no start/ no fuel at injectors.

https://www.bluechipdiesel.com/troub...uick-reference

No Fuel At Injector
HOT WIRE TEST - THE "FOR SURE TEST" TO DETERMINE IF THE VP44 IS WHY THE ENGINE WON'T START
It is very rare, but possible, for a problem with the wiring harness or the CAN Bus wires to prevent the engine from starting, so if you want to be 100% sure it IS the Injection Pump causing the no start, follow the following directions exactly, to be sure of not damaging a possibly good pump.
This test POSITIVELY eliminates the possibility of overlooking an electrical problem caused by other components that could affect the start or run function of the VP44, as long as you have verified fuel delivery to the Injection Pump.

Remove the electrical plug at the back of the Injection Pump and hot wire the pins on the pump as follows. Get two wires long enough to reach from the battery to the VP44. Install an INSULATED ľ inch female spade connector onto one end of each wire.Use a set of dykes and cut the flat part and one of the "curls" away from each spade connector to leave one "curl" , which will be about the right size to go over the pin on the pump.
Connect one INSULATED connector to pin 7 on the pump, which is the pin on the BOTTOM row of the socket on the Injection Pump, closest to the engine, to preferably fused (10 amp is fine) positive battery power in the PDC (Fuse box under the hood), or directly to the positive battery terminal if you like to take risks!.
Connect the other INSULATED connector to the pin directly above the previous connection, the top row of pins, the one closest to the engine, and attach the other end to battery ground. Now try to start the engine and if it doesnít start, you absolutely positively 100% need an Injection Pump!
If the engine starts this way but NOT with the big plug installed on the pump, you know there is something in the harness or CAN bus wiring to the ECM telling or causing the engine to not start.

[g]IF YOU HAVE FUEL, POWER AND GROUND, PROVEN BY THE ABOVE TESTS AND STILL HAVE NO START AFTER TEST 3, YOU ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY NEED AN INJECTION PUMP![/b]

If you want more proof, or really want to know WHY it wonít start, loosen all of the injector lines at the valve cover. Crank the engine for 30 seconds, and if fuel comes out of only one line, better than the others, this indicates a seized rotor, and the engine will never run again until you change the VP44, because only one cylinder is getting fuel. For the engine to start you need HIGH PRESSURE fuel, AND NOT AIR, to POP OFF at least three of the injectors. If you have only a feeble fuel flow from the open lines, you are looking at only Lift Pump pressure, and the engine will never start.

To determine if it is or is not HIGH pressure, look for a puddle on the ground after 60 seconds of cranking. No puddle, no high pressure. If high pressure fuel doesnít come out of the open lines when cranking, the solenoid pintle valve may be stuck, or the pistons may be stuck compressed in the rotor, due to fuel contamination or corrosion.

Low pressure can also be caused by an electrical issue in the computer, where the computer doesnít energize and close the fuel solenoid to make high pressure, so low fuel pressure going through the injector lines is WHY the engine wonít start. Any of these situations confirms that the engine will not start until you replace the VP44, as long as you have done the other tests above.

I hope this you find useful!
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Old 02-27-2022, 08:19 PM   #5
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Vp44 - TSB fuel pump diagnostic tool

I found this Technical service bulletin from Cummins that explains how to use the pump diagnostic tool.

I am currently looking for some diy plans on how to build one.
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Old 02-28-2022, 09:11 AM   #6
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Did it run after you changed the fuel filter? Did you purge the air after you changed it? Did you try purging the air now?

Bump the key to start for a second and the lift pump should run for a minute or so purging the air from the fuel system. Once it has pressure, the sound of the pump will audibly change. After which, crack the front 3 injector lines and crank the engine. Once fuel shows at the nut, tighten it and wait for fuel at the others. Once they've all got fuel and are tightened, you can try and start it again. Truthfully, once you get 2 of the 3 with fuel it will likely have already started and is running.

The quantity of fuel while cranking is very little, so don't expect gallons of it. It might take several attempts of purging and cranking to get all of the air bled. Crank for 30 seconds or so then let the starter cool for several minutes. It's a good idea to have a battery charger on the batteries while doing this as well, because doing this will pull a lot of amps from them.

If it doesn't start, after that. How cold is it out and what's your battery voltage while cranking? If it's 10 out and your engine isn't cranking fast enough good chance it won't start, especially if the grid heaters aren't working.

If you're considering the injection pump, use a scanner and check for codes. A failed pump should throw at least one of a number of "death codes". I've never seen one fail sitting. So if this didn't have a check engine light or a running issue when you parked it, it's likely it hasn't failed.
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Old 02-28-2022, 10:18 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by ewo1 View Post
I found this Technical service bulletin from Cummins that explains how to use the pump diagnostic tool.

I am currently looking for some diy plans on how to build one.
Some more technical info....

I found this thread on another forum in where a guy modified his VP44 computer by relocating/reconfiguring how the Mosfet Transistor sits.

He made it quite clear that this will not fix the dead pedal symptoms and that, according to him, is usually a communication problem and not a pump problem

Here is the drawing of the mod and the web posting also has some pics.

Source: https://www.dieseltruckresource.com/...y-vp44-323641/
Attached Files
File Type: pdf DIY VP44 REPAIR - diy circuit.pdf (15.6 KB, 3 views)
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Old 03-01-2022, 12:19 PM   #8
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I had drove the bus back from a shop for the fuel filter so I know

I'm over in Texas only really go out to the bus when the temps are at least above 30F I will give that's A shot once I get back from this week long work trip I'm on.
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Old 03-05-2022, 09:51 AM   #9
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Update got back from my trip and just cracked the fuel lines and only 1 of the 6 at getting fuel this leads me to believe the issue is a seized Rotor in the VP44 which is the one thing that is consistent with the bus having have sat for quite some time and makes sense why the first time it ran for 2 seconds then would not start again.

Now comes the question of should I do a conversion to a mechanical or just replace the pump. I'm on a bit of a time line With the bus and need to be up and living in it, in the next few months. just got my tax return in and can afford to replace but not do a full conversion right this moment. I also have 2-3 more functional systems to install on the bus (Water tanks, solar, Shower). How difficult is a conversion with and costly. I've seen in the 3-4k range but I have done much research. Where as I could get a replacement for about 800$-1000$

Thanks ewo1 for all the help gave me a lot of insight as to how this motor functions
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Old 03-05-2022, 10:21 AM   #10
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In my humble opinion-- the conversion to a P Pump is a pretty big undertaking.

If it were me-- (and I am old and tired) I would replace the VP44 and move on.

The injection lines are different, and you need a TPS on the P-Pump to make the transmission shift among other things.
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Old 03-05-2022, 10:25 AM   #11
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If you convert, you'll loose cruise control. Do you have a mechanical transmission? I would think about converting, but I would have to scavage parts off a 12v that had an MD3060 and swap to an older control pad and wtec2 TCM.


Personally I'm going to upgrade the fuel pump and if I go as far as Alaska, I'll carry a spare VP44. Mine has around 150k original miles. (Although the ECU only has about 20k on it). I have been looking for a parts bus to scavange anyway.
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Old 03-05-2022, 10:25 AM   #12
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From what I heard the replacement vp44 will have better solder so should be much more reliable
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Old 03-05-2022, 12:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captaintulus View Post
Update got back from my trip and just cracked the fuel lines and only 1 of the 6 at getting fuel this leads me to believe the issue is a seized Rotor in the VP44 which is the one thing that is consistent with the bus having have sat for quite some time and makes sense why the first time it ran for 2 seconds then would not start again.

Now comes the question of should I do a conversion to a mechanical or just replace the pump. I'm on a bit of a time line With the bus and need to be up and living in it, in the next few months. just got my tax return in and can afford to replace but not do a full conversion right this moment. I also have 2-3 more functional systems to install on the bus (Water tanks, solar, Shower). How difficult is a conversion with and costly. I've seen in the 3-4k range but I have done much research. Where as I could get a replacement for about 800$-1000$

Thanks ewo1 for all the help gave me a lot of insight as to how this motor functions
Iím glad that I was able to help out. As I said earlier, I know nothing about the 5.9 engines but since I recently acquired one, I must now learn!

On the Thomas bus I got, taking the injection pump off looks like a mission to do. Got to remove power steering and back off the air compressor just to get some room to work on the pump screws.

Iím not looking forward to doing this job.
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