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Help - Boost Temp Gauge Not Responding

Jim Gell

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Yesterday on our short drive from the Badlands to Custer, SD, three symptoms developed.

1) The truck MAY have been a bit sluggish going up hills we encountered in the Black Hills. It's possible that I just have higher expectations than I should. If I recall correctly, we are pulling about 55,000 pounds with our Detroit 60 Series engine.

2) Even though the boost gauge was going up toward 30 psi, the turbo temperature gauge never rose above the 300 degrees which is what I consider cool enough for shut down. Assuming, with the hills we climbed, it would be hot, even if the gauge did not say so, I let the engine idle for 15+ minutes before shutting her down.

3) Cathy and I also noticed an unusual but indescribable rattle noise when we were idling at a stop light.

I searched the forum and resource guide and found a procedure to self check the gauges. I did that, and both boost temperature and boost pressure gauges work. We have poor Internet here and I have not been able to watch any YouTube videos. If there is one I should watch, I could drive someplace to get a better Verizon signal.

If you saw my post from a few days back, you will know we had the air suspension control rod fail on a very rough section of I 90 on our way to the Badlands. I fixed that, but I am wondering if this issue could have been caused by that rough ride. Any thoughts on what may be wrong? Can the temperature sensor be disconnected? I took a quick look for anything that looked amiss, but if it disconnected it may have dropped out of sight. Where should I look for it?

Our next scheduled move in a couple days will take us north of Rapid City where we will stay for a week. There are a few truck repair shop options in Rapid City. We will encounter hills on the way there. Do you think it would cause any additional damage to drive it 70 hilly miles to the campground and then another 40 back to Rapid City without the trailer?

All advice welcome! Thanks!


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I don't even have an exhaust temp gauge. I don't believe that reading is correct. Find where the sending unit is in the exhaust after their turbo. Some screw in some are held in with a hose clamp looking strap. It may have come loose. The self check only checks the gauge I believe. It doesn't check the sending unit. Find a replacement and install a new sending unit before you pay the hourly rate for a diagnosis. You know 300 degrees is not correct.

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The exhaust heat is cause by fuel. When I have had my little Cummins out there I could make it smoke like a freight train without trying too hard. Have you noticed any smoke? It sounds like you are not getting full fuel, but the boost reading should be less. I don't know about the rattle, but the first thing that came to mind is fuel or lack of, and the first thing that comes to mind is filters. When mine has plugged it would loose power and eventually the boost gauge would drop along with the EGT.

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