Thursday, September 3, 2015

Time in Tupelo Getting Fixed

We spent a week in Tupelo MS getting the Roadrunner fixed.  Before that we spent a week in Red Bay AL which is the home of the Tiffin Motor Home factory.  I always like to go to Red Bay despite the cost.  To me, keeping up on maintenance is worth it in the long run. 
We started out the week at the Allegro Camground and also had work done at Bruce Deaton's Custom Paint shop and Bay Diesel.  After our time at the Tiffin Service Center, we went over to Bay Diesel.  Our engine was stumbling/chugging coming into Red Bay going up the hills.  Bay Diesel replaced a lift fuel pump and blew out air from some of the fuel lines.

But after taking it out on a couple of test drives, the problem was not solved.  We spent the night outside of the garage at Bay Diesel and they decided the issue was beyond their abilities and scheduled up for a 7 AM appointment in Tupelo MS, about 65 miles away.

We got in to the MHC Kenworth facility early Saturday morning and they got right on it.  MHC has Cummins engine - certified mechanics and their diagnostic software was more extensive.

Although we spent the weekend at the
Campground at Barnes Crossing (and one night in the week to dump tanks), most of our time was spent at the MHC Kenworth facility.
Good news is that they (Tommy) found some debris in the main fuel line from the tank.  Other good news is that the Service Manager really worked with us on the bill.  Instead of a really high $$$$$ fix, it was only a $$$$ fix.

We got in early Saturday morning and Tommy
did some diagnostics and tests showing high pressure and low pressure issues.  We brought it back again on Monday morning and they began the long and arduous process of troubleshooting and eliminating potential issues one by one.

Another thing they did was check each injector 'pencil' and clean each one individually.  Next they checked the tightness on each injector.  I wish I could give more details, but I am pretending to know what he did for all the tests and analysis.  Each day it seemed as if the mystery grew a bit instead of narrowing it down.
 On Tuesday or Wednesday, a high pressure fuel pump was ordered.  We had the lift fuel pump replaced at Bay Diesel in Red Bay but it did not solve the problem.  Once the part arrived it was installed and tested.

We took it out for a test drive and it seemed better for a little bit, but the 'stumbling' and 'hesitation' persisted when I pressed the accelerator.  Hmmm.

We took it back to the shop and he decided maybe the main fuel tank was the issue and he tried to crawl under the motor home and see how to get at it.

Tommy pulled the main fuel line and 'blew it out' and indicated there was some debris.  Next, he installed some test equipment and we took it for a test drive.
Problem solved!  How can that be??  Just like the whole issue began out of nowhere, it seemed the 'fix' came out of nowhere.  It was very anti-climatic.
We had one other issue.  When Tommy was removing the test equipment, the piece he had removed broke off.  He order another part and it arrived Saturday morning.  Once the part was in, we took it for another test drive and all went well.

It was about 10:30 AM when we got out of there and we headed south for Pensacola!

It was another adventure in the maintenance facilty.  One I hope we don't have to repeat for a while.  In this whole process I was very impressed with MHC Kenworth and found out they have a number of facilities throughout the U.S.   We will have to add them to our list.

That's a quick summary of our unplanned week in the shop.  Thanks for joining us on the Roadrunner Chronicles!


  1. It all sounds very expensive! But I'm glad your problem is fixed.

  2. The joys of owning a motorhome. Remember back in the old days when they said diesels were easier to fix than a gasser? Now you have to be a mechanic, a computer weenie and a detective to solve issues on modern diesels.

    The days of being a shade tree mechanic are long over. :c(

  3. Bet your happy you found a determined engine detective. Too many guys replace and fix, if not they give up. That was a hard to find problem. Happy travels.

  4. Glad the problems were finally fixed. With all this electronic gear, there is an expectation that the computer will just tell you the problem, but mostly seems to be just trial and error not unlike the days before all the expensive electronics:(

  5. Glad you are back on the road...Say "HI" to Pensacola for us..We will be there December 6th at Ft. Pickens for 10 days...god willin' and the creek don't rise!!

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