volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse Reader
11/28/12 2:49 p.m.

Hey guys-

I just took a new job and suddenly I find myself immersed in the heavy trucking industry. The vehicles I'm working with use the Cummins ISL diesel engines. We're having a big problem with the EGR coolers on these engines failing. Some fail with very few miles on the engine. Removal/ delete of the EGR cooler is not an option. From just a small amount of research I've read and heard that pretty much everyone is having issues with the EGR coolers on these engines; I've also heard that none of the other major heavy truck players (Volvo, Daimler, etc) have had much luck with their EGR coolers either.

I've looked at some aftermarket coolers from Bostech and am wondering if anyone has any experience with them? EGR cooling is the hot new thing (no pun intended) to reduce NOx on diesels and Ford, Chevy, etc. are all using it- and Bostech seems to make an aftermarket cooler for all of these trucks.

EGR cooler failure, in case you haven't experienced it, is quite dramatic. The cooler cracks due to the heat, and coolant leaks into the exhaust which is then drawn into the intake of the engine. If you're lucky, you end up with a blown head gasket, but more often than not the result is hydraulic locking of the engine, bent rods, washed bearings, and other fun stuff. On a very, very expensive engine.

fidelity101
fidelity101 Reader
11/28/12 2:58 p.m.

What year is the motor/chassis?

Ranger50
Ranger50 UltimaDork
11/28/12 4:55 p.m.

The problem with EGR coolers is the old tech plate and fin crap inside them. They aren't made for exhaust gas temp. The welded tube deals available for the 6.0 Fords are more expensive but don't fail at anywhere the rate of the OE stuff.

Kenny_McCormic
Kenny_McCormic HalfDork
11/28/12 5:41 p.m.

Refit it with an gas-air cooler?

PeefoDaftronic
PeefoDaftronic New Reader
11/28/12 6:29 p.m.

The company i work for runs cat motors in all the trucks so i dont have any cummins direct experience but if i were in your situation i would do an egr block-off kit along with a tune from pdi. It wont throw any codes and will get better mileage and visually it will appear stock. We run pdi tunes on our cat c15 motors and the power is incredible as a bonus

fidelity101
fidelity101 Reader
11/28/12 6:32 p.m.
PeefoDaftronic wrote: The company i work for runs cat motors in all the trucks so i dont have any cummins direct experience but if i were in your situation i would do an egr block-off kit along with a tune from pdi. It wont throw any codes and will get better mileage and visually it will appear stock. We run pdi tunes on our cat c15 motors and the power is incredible as a bonus

Yeah but it sounds like your application is off-highway

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse Reader
11/29/12 6:56 a.m.

To quote myself:

"Removal/ delete of the EGR cooler is not an option."

Cat stopped making roadgoing engines in 2007 as a result of the stricter emissions requirements. They basically decided to ignore that whole market rather than deal with the EPA regulations.

The ISL engines and chasses (is that the plural of chassis?) in question range from 2008 to 2012. Some 2013 models are in the pipeline. Duty cycle is mostly stop and go, low speed operation, but with lots of hard acceleration and braking.

The gas-air coolers (like Navistar uses) unfortunately don't meet new EPA regs. I'm dealing with a very regulatory environment, this ain't Moe's Speed Shop where you just start tearing off air pumps, cats, and EGR equipment willy nilly. It's all got to be above-board.

44Dwarf
44Dwarf SuperDork
11/29/12 7:07 a.m.

Sounds like they need to improve the design like maybe use larger more robust type of tube and shell heat exchanger like used in industrial enviroments

fidelity101
fidelity101 Reader
11/29/12 11:21 a.m.

In reply to volvoclearinghouse:

Yeah their new road going CAT trucks are just re-badged navistars/international trucks.

jstand
jstand Reader
11/29/12 6:38 p.m.

I was working with some of the manufacturers on testing EGR coolers over 5 years ago before changing industries. I figured they had this resolved by now.

What years are the engines you are having trouble with?

andrave
andrave HalfDork
11/29/12 7:25 p.m.
jstand wrote: What years are the engines you are having trouble with?
volvoclearinghouse wrote: The ISL engines and chasses (is that the plural of chassis?) in question range from 2008 to 2012. Some 2013 models are in the pipeline.
bearmtnmartin
bearmtnmartin Reader
11/29/12 8:22 p.m.

A good friend runs the service department for the Peterbilt dealership. He has ulcers from the EGR failures. Mostly Cummins at his branch because that is what goes into Petes these days, but its the same over at Detroit. There is no cure from Cummins, and it costs them a lot of money. So it is doubtful that the aftermarket has a solution yet either.

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse Reader
11/30/12 7:06 a.m.

We've gotten nothing but lip from Cummins (they didn't even bring donuts tot he last meeting we had with them- mortal sin!) and they've flat out told us that after the warranty is expired, we're left holding our male parts in our hands. So I'm planning on trying out at least one of the aftermarket EGR coolers. If we blow up another engine...well, they're already blowing up.

I'd recommended to Cummins that they relocate the EGR cooler to a lower point on the engine, to ensure it gets coolant pressure. Right now it's right next to the cylinder head. Yeah, it would be a big deal to move it below the turbo, but you can't just keep doing the same thing and expecting it to work.

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse Reader
11/30/12 7:07 a.m.
jstand wrote: I was working with some of the manufacturers on testing EGR coolers over 5 years ago before changing industries. I figured they had this resolved by now. What years are the engines you are having trouble with?

2008 to current. What sort of solutions were you guys trying? Any promising technology that maybe got trashcanned by the beancounters?

jstand
jstand Reader
11/30/12 11:23 a.m.

I was at a company that was installing sensors on EGR coolers for several mfg so they could measure temps and stresses to understand the source of the failures.

I'm not sure what solutions were eventually tried to overcome the problems. They were still in the investigation phase when I moved on.

sktan
sktan New Reader
2/18/16 3:28 a.m.

What year is the motor/chassis? Any picture of your egr cooler? Unlikely Bostech, we are an egr cooler manufacturer( CEC EGR Cooler ) for the OEM market, if you can explain your problem in details, I could ask our engineers for suggestions. They might be able to help.

captdownshift
captdownshift UltraDork
2/18/16 6:04 a.m.

Periodic propane and meth injection should clear everything out while staying nice and cool.

STM317
STM317 Reader
2/18/16 6:28 a.m.

There are natural gas versions of the ISL, and natural gas has MUCH higher exhaust temps than diesel. If the diesel EGR coolers are failing due to high temps, maybe switching to EGR coolers from a natural gas ISL is an option?

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
2/18/16 6:36 a.m.

3.5 year bring up of an old thread? Smells very lake going...sktan is selling canoes?

logdog
logdog SuperDork
2/18/16 6:41 a.m.

So what solution was found since this was originally posted?

Toyman01
Toyman01 MegaDork
2/18/16 6:55 a.m.

The main solution I've seen is companies like UPS are buying gas trucks.

edizzle89
edizzle89 HalfDork
2/18/16 7:36 a.m.

like stated, the ISL has had problems with EGR coolers for quite a while now, from my understanding it wasnt so much that the EGR cooler itself was a bad part but that the cooling system wasnt vented properly around the cooler which caused it to not purge the air out of it properly. with the trapped air in the cooler it created hot spots and caused the cracking. I know newer ISL's have a vent line on either side of the EGR cooler now rather then just on one side to help purge all the air out of they system.

I THINK this has fixed the problem but i havent had enough experience with the new layout to know how much it has helped.

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