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turbo failed today, pre-purchase inspection, reserve fund, etc...


jeffw

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We bought a 2007 780 from an escapees member back in March. The trip home with the truck (and the 3-car hauling trailer) was uneventful.

 

The week after we got home, the truck went to the mechanic that had been maintaining our Freightliner FL60 for the past 7 years. He gets busy, and tends to give priority to folks that are 'making a living' with their truck, so our Volvo spend almost 3 weeks there. While it was there, they replaced the starter (that had the good sense to die while it was in their lot), along with new wheel seals on 2 wheels and brakes on the rear 2 rear axles. They also replaced a leaking valve under the truck and replaced the bushings/fittings on the driver's side fairing, and also replaced the heat/ac blower motor.

 

The rear brakes were a bit of a surprise after having the truck inspected before the purchase. The brakes were listed as good with plenty of shoe life left. My mechanic said "We need to do the rear brakes on your truck. The shoes are cracked and worn at the
anchor pins, so they are not sitting straight. And all 4 slack adjusters will need to be replaced. On the up side, the drums are ok to put back on."

 

The pre-purchase inspection did catch a failing carrier bearing that the seller had repaired. They also had to do some work on the drive shaft joints (but I forget what exactly).

 

That work, along with an oil change/PM and state inspection came to around $4700. I had figured we'd need to put $5k into it up front, so no big deal.

 

I wanted the shop to put their eyes on our new (to us) car hauler, so I ran the truck and trailer up over the weekend, and today got an email saying the trailer was in great shape (other than having 6 different manufacturers tires on it) and that it was ready to pick up. My wife and I drove up and she dropped me off to go to the grocery store.

 

I pulled onto the highway, and just as it shifted from 8th into 9th, I heard a wooshing sound and then a grinding sound and the engine lost power. I was able to get turned around at the next exit but merging back on the highway with no turbo was fun as I was only doing about 30. I managed to finally get up to 45 or so and got back to my mechanic's shop. When I turned the corner and looked in the side mirrors, I could see I was leaving a huge cloud of smoke out the exhaust.

 

I parked it, texted my mechanic and popped the hood. Oil leaking from the turbo. Ugh.

 

So, yeah, a $10k reserve fund is probably about right when you're getting a new (to-you) truck.

 

Anyone had to do do a turbo on a D12D? Ballpark estimate? Anything else to do while we're in?

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I am slightly disappointed in our pre purchase inspection as well. It did catch a bad wheel seal on the right rear. But failed to mention all the air leaks. If you shut down for 5 min you have to wait for air. I have spent all winter now chasing one leak after another. Cab air bags, Cab level valve, air dryer, air horn connector, trailer protection valve, bulkhead fittings, on and on and on. least now it will pass a DO air test, thou there is still a few small leaks.

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Almost certainly it's the same basic engine used in both Volvo trucks and heavy equipment.

 

While Caterpillar got into the on-highway engine business by adapting their tractor engines for HDT applications, the fact of the matter is that today they've come full circle, and most new Cat machines are powered by versions of what were once engines designed primarily for the on-highway market.

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I don't know who did the inspection but would a Volvo Service center not have been able to do a 100 point or whatever is appropriate inspection for a fee. It was most certainly done on mine.

 

Had I know all this was wrong, I'd have walked.

 

Sounds like a wannabee mechanic or tinkerer.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect

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Got word this morning the turbo failed on the exhaust side. To help speed things along I ran out to Worcester and picked up a reman turbo and drove it up to the shop. By the time I got there they had the turbo out.

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I don't know who did the inspection but would a Volvo Service center not have been able to do a 100 point or whatever is appropriate inspection for a fee. It was most certainly done on mine.

 

Had I know all this was wrong, I'd have walked.

 

Sounds like a wannabee mechanic or tinkerer.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning–Kruger_effect

So, if I think i'm good, i'm not, if i think i'm lousy, i'm good. Perverse.

 

I like it.

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To sum it up, I think you need to know your limitations. Stick to what you know or are good at.

 

Someone sent me that today.

 

Excludes pretty much all of this august group of individuals. We're all here, bringing individual talents to the collective. Very few professional drivers, mechanics, or fabricators.

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A turbo can blow at any time. Short of replacing them with a new-not reman- on some regular schedule well ahead of time, in regular OTR service they usually go 750-900K miles. But abusing them, specifically shutting down the engine before the minimum 5 minute cool off(more if really run hard and hot) can shorten the life significantly. And reman quality varies. I have given up with most reman accessories. You might not have a choice with Volvo like I do with Detroit.

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I remember when we raced against the first turbo Porsche teams. The norm for all cars on the "in lap" was to run the last straight-away full bore, then clutch and shut off for a plug check and coast in un-powered. You would hear that turbo screaming for a full five minutes or more after the car was parked. Next time out, they'd stop at pit out. No power, something's wrong. Usually the turbo coked solid and completely frozen. Nowadays they're water cooled and have electric oil pumps because even the pit stops with the engine running would do damage.

Lesson learned... if your truck just pulled a long hill and your about to stop, pull that hill a little more gently and run at high idle before you shut down. Be gentle with her, respect her...

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Jeff, I was told to let our turbo cool down until the needle reached the lowest mark before shutting down I forget the temperature that is. It's often less than a 5 minute wait. Am I doing it wrong?

 

Jim

Not in my opinion. The key is to make sure it is not shut down really hot. On a LGT that has been pulling hard you really have to be careful. On my 7.3 Ford you definitely had to wait 5 minutes. Which is why I added the EGT gauge. I've found that on my HDTs you really do not have to wait much - if any. Inside a minute mine is reading pretty cool. However, I should note that I do not really push my truck hard, typically.

 

And, as Jeff said, you really cannot predict the turbo going. It is not something that would be caught in an inspection. One thing that SHOULD be caught in inspection is not meeting the air bleed-down standards. There is no excuse for that.

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Why any turbo lasts as long as it does amazes me considering the hellish conditions they endure......and a turbo on a EGR and or DEF engine is double-doomed with near imposable loading...

 

For the most part the Dollytrolley towing around a 8k to 9k small toyhauler and few tons of horse stuff and a Blazer or Samarai is just a few tons above bobtail.......however we do tend to mess around a lot of steep,,,,,sometimes really long steep secondary roads so the turbo does get to spin up some......

 

Just for giggles I have tried something that may have some merit.......a few minutes before i know I will be stopping I will turn on the engine fan clutch engage switch and that really starts a lot of air moving and according the Freightliner the fully engaged fan consumes 70 HP so it really is a lot of air. When I do this and then jump out and shoot the turbo with a IR gun almost always I see about 200 f lower temps than if I do not have the fan on........now I would imagine the stone-age-simple M11 with a simple turbo fully exposed right behind the fan has a real cooling advantage that more cluttered turbo engines do not have.

 

Just something to ponder....

 

Drive on..........(Boy that fan sure makes a lot of.... airflow)

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Years ago, I added an electric oil pump to my LGT (Ford Excursion with the 7.3L). Key-on resulted in a 30-second pump, and key-off resulted in a (user-adjustable) 0-5 minute pump. I loved having it, and telling service techs etc. "turn the key to on, and wait for the oil pressure gauge to rise before starting" (usually met with "say what?"). I forget exactly how it was plumbed, but I think it drew oil from the pan and "inserted" it at the oil filter (a fitting was attached to the engine at the filter mount, and the filter would screw into this fitting). Sometime thereafter, either it or the Amsoil remote dual filter rig started leaking, and without the tools to retighten it all, I had little choice but to remove it.

 

Biggest revelation was one oil change that the dealer did while fixing a leaking intercooler tube with non-synthetic. Getting oil pressure took >45 seconds instead of 10 seconds (the electric pump didn't have the output of the engine-driven pump). Taught me at least one of the differences of synthetic oil.

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I have my truck on an automatic 5 minute shutdown. But if I have been running it hard, something most of you don't do I will put on the fan for the 5 minutes in addition, like Dolly Trolley mentioned. Looking at the pyrometer will tell you what the temp is of the air flowing through it, but it can't take in consideration the heat sink values of the temp of the body of the turbo, which is how the seals are destroyed. So 5 minutes isn't a real chore.

I am amazed how long these things last given the wretched conditions they operate under. The last one that failed on me "hand grenaded" Total massive failure at speed. Put almost the entire crankcase full of oil out the stack in a matter of minutes while I crawled into a truckstop. All over the side of my truck, the used garbage trailer I was hauling and a few unlucky trucks in the truckstop nearby.

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Ok I can't help myself.......here goes one of my too many turbos stories.......

These "things" had two large 8 cly opposed engines (2) and each engine had FOUR turbos of course most of the "Civil-versions-of-these-"things"" only had two turbos per engine but we were "special" so someone hired Dr. Frankenstine to make my life hell.

 

So we have two of these "things" based out where the map of the Amazon had notes such as "Geographic Features and Elevations NOT Verified" .....Gulp....

 

Anyhow a new "kid" had arrived and he was rumored to be a real "Ace" (If he was so "hot" why was he shipped off to my corner of hell.....) so he was to be the "First Officer" tonite.......

 

The drill was to climb up about as high as the "thing" would go and GENTLY bring the big props sloooower and slooower while GENTLY adjusting the manifold pressures (power settings) to the max pressure allowed for the turbos at a given high altitude,,,,,,,,,this was a very intense bit of prop, mixture, throttle and airspeed adjustments because IF the turbos were over boosted at a given high altitude the turbine and compressor wheels would "grow" due to excess centrifugal force and they would re-machine themselves and then as you descended to more dense air the turbine and compressor slowed down and the wheel contracted and the sloppy new clearance would not allow the turbo to maintain any boost due to leakage.........

 

It was VITAL to NOT OVER-BOOST at altitude even for FIVE SECONDS....

So this night “we” (me, the “kid” and a “info-tech”) were to obit up to the 32,000 ft and bring the props and power into “stealth-mode” and then sloooooly fly a predefined grid plotted by some geek that had never seen a airplane or a jungle.........did I mention that GPS was not even imagined yet so we had to actually …......navigate....... and no we did not have a autopilot so we had to even had to fly the “thing”....

So I had the “kid” climb and make prop and power setting during the climb and he was not very smooth and tended to try rush the steps.....not good.....

 

So we finally get set up and stabilized at 32,000 and start flying the grid and then the “info-tech” called on the intercom that he need some help with one of the IR camera's …....so I gather up my Ox line and crawl back the help with the camera while the kid flies the “thing” …...

 

It takes a few minutes to get that camera's working and shots are being made of “adverse-ag-ops” so the kid calls on the intercom and says he is at the end of the grid so I tell him to turn the new grid course......as soon as he started the turn I knew I was screwed …......he whipped into a 45 degree bank and the 'thing” stalled and fell off into the turn and I was pasted to the ceiling just as I the noise of both props reving to full RPM ….......AND THEN.........both engines lost almost all power as ALL EIGHT turbos simply spun up and then spun down for the last time.........

 

Somehow a miracle occurred and the “kid” was able to get the “thing” somewhat level but descending after losing a few thousand in a corkscrew turn but fortunately it was a full moon night other wise I think he would have augured us in...........I climb back into my seat and the “kid” started to speak but I held up my hand and said “I have the airplane”........

 

We limp back to the strip but oh no I still have more bad luck when I call in Chuck the mechanic tells me that he has no runway lights since a big snake got into the generator and both the snake and generator failed on startup.........so he take the old fuel truck to one end of the strip and the old jeep to the other end with head lights on and we descend into the black hole between the trees and land......(yes landing toward the fuel truck).......you gotta love this job....

 

Since we now had two crews and only one “thing” to fly I sent the “kid” back to where he came from

( I can't imagine where they sent the “kid” after the bills for the EIGHT turbos came in.......and I thought I was at the end of the line...)

 

Of course no good deed goes unpunished so I got to help replace the EIGHT turbos and bugs as big as chickens but bite worse and snakes as big a fire hoses slither around but hey I was just a “kid” myself and I was making big-time bird-man wages and no place to spend it........there for a while the bean counters were talking about deducting the turbos from my wages........if they did I would still be getting bit by bugs and snakes trying to pay for all of those turbos........but the war on drugs likely paid the bill....

 

Drive on.........,(How many turbos are …....puffing away)

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The truck's back and ran great for the trip from the garage to our house.

 

We're all loaded up and ready for our maiden voyage all loaded up (we drove the truck home from TX after we bought it). Tomorrow we're heading to NJ for a test day Monday at New Jersey Motorsports Park.

 

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