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Old 03-26-2024, 09:19 AM   #1
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Cummins Maintenance and Operation

We attended FMCA's 108th International Convention & RV Expo in Tucson, AZ, last week. One of the seminars we attended was on Cummins Maintenance and Operation. The seminar was given by Cummins. It was an excellent presentation (file attached).

The presenter also provided one-page laminated Quick Reference Guides for the various engines. We grabbed the one for the ISB6.7. It is attached for fellow Europa owners.

We have read, tabbed, and highlighted the Cummins owner manual we received with the Europa but information is scattered. Further, it provides recommendations based on usage (severe, normal, light) which we found confusing and unclear. The reference guide is specifically for motorhome (RV) applications.
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Old 03-26-2024, 10:05 AM   #2
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Who is "Cummings"? Clearly, there is no "g" in Cummins.
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Old 03-26-2024, 10:19 AM   #3
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Extremely useful info. I am sure other Cummins diesel powered coaches can benefit from these attachments.
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Old 03-26-2024, 12:52 PM   #4
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I just read a very interesting article from Blackstone Labs about oil shelf life, and how changing oil on time is a myth and really you need to change it on hours of use or some such metric. Unfortunately, I cannot find it now
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Old 03-26-2024, 02:59 PM   #5
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Thank you for posting this information
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Old 03-26-2024, 04:17 PM   #6
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Thanks for posting!
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Old 03-28-2024, 12:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gremlin View Post
I just read a very interesting article from Blackstone Labs about oil shelf life, and how changing oil on time is a myth and really you need to change it on hours of use or some such metric. Unfortunately, I cannot find it now
Though I think there is some truth to this, oil sitting for prolonged periods in your oil pan (1-2 years, or more) will end up oxidizing, separating, lose viscosity, and maybe allow sediment build up. For me, a once a year service, regardless of miles/hours, is peace of mind and, generally speaking, inexpensive preventative maintenance. I could even buy the 2 year argument for a dollar, but any longer would be screaming for trouble.
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Old 04-01-2024, 08:38 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by NewToTheForce View Post
Though I think there is some truth to this, oil sitting for prolonged periods in your oil pan (1-2 years, or more) will end up oxidizing, separating, lose viscosity, and maybe allow sediment build up. For me, a once a year service, regardless of miles/hours, is peace of mind and, generally speaking, inexpensive preventative maintenance. I could even buy the 2 year argument for a dollar, but any longer would be screaming for trouble.
I dont mean to burst your bubble on this "old" perception but I have 3 Toyota diesel HiLux pick ups in continuous service in East and West Africa. All have over 600,000 kms on their original engines (one is over one million) and none have had oil changes more often every 3 or so years. The youngest is 8 years since EIS. The secret is necessity: synthetic oil is almost impossible to purchase locally and extremely costly to import. I mean pure synthetic not the blend that is sold as synthetic by most retailers both in the EU (where the oil comes from) and the US. However we do change the filters every 3 months as these can be imported in the luggage of the various tech and employees that visit the work sites from the EU and South Africa. We top up with the local supply of pseudo synthetic.

So you do not have to throw out perfectly good synthetic oil unless you feel its a good thing to add to the oil company profits. We started this regime a decade ago when one of the Mobil engineering team told us how much fun they were having and the money they made by owners sticking to the 3 or 5K oil changes for a product designed for 10 or 12k and which they had seen no measurable wear at either 50 or 100k. This was in the days when Mobil1 was a pure synthetic which is no longer the case because its more profitable to sell it with a blend of dino oil and consumers don't care.

We use Motul as the only pure synthetic we can easily find in most European countries.
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Old 04-01-2024, 08:57 AM   #9
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Top Gear - HiLux

As Top Gear has shown (for entertainment) it is hard to kill a HiLux.

The filter change to your point is probably more important, but also the adding of new oil to the old mix also has value to top off older oil.

Conditions also matter, dusty vs % hours non stop cruising at 65mph+ (2000 rpm) vs idling thru traffic or crawling over barley passable roads.

Other than a side profit motivation of FR / Cummins dealers, the recommendation from the factory service manual I conclude is there for a longevity / maintain max performance reason (as selling oil isn't their profit center - but long haul truck sales are their market).

Just running (Top Gear) vs running at peak performance (factory) are two different goals. YMWV.
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Old 04-01-2024, 09:08 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Paddock View Post
As Top Gear has shown (for entertainment) it is hard to kill a HiLux.

The filter change to your point is probably more important, but also the adding of new oil to the old mix also has value to top off older oil.

Conditions also matter, dusty vs % hours non stop cruising at 65mph+ (2000 rpm) vs idling thru traffic or crawling over barley passable roads.

Other than a side profit motivation of FR / Cummins dealers, the recommendation from the factory service manual I conclude is there for a longevity / maintain max performance reason (as selling oil isn't their profit center - but long haul truck sales are their market).

Just running (Top Gear) vs running at peak performance (factory) are two different goals. YMWV.
This is nothing to do with the Top Gear "stunt" use. The trucks are employed every day; run at least 10 but usually 14 hours every day supporting field surveys work by helicopters. this requires them to transport fuel, tools, crew, parts to remote areas on every kind of road. They are regular 1/4 tom pick ups (no mods or 4wd) and our ground crews do all their maintenance. Which to date has only been the replacement of seats, windows (theft attempts), tires and wheels - the usual heavy use stuff. No smoke, good idle speeds (the best judge) and "performance" is unchanged from new. That is to the extent that aircraft engineers can detect this which I suspect is a lot better than RV owners given their affiliations and training.

Factory Service recommendations are CYA documents and make sense in that context. But that does not make them correct and a justification for misinformation about products like oil about which very little is known by the average user that has not been extrapolated from CYA documents.
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Old 04-01-2024, 10:06 AM   #11
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Oil Threads...

Not looking to change your mind, you do you.

In the motorsports world there are as many opinions on oils as there are people. It reads like you are part of a very successful business and I am happy for you. It is also great that you are taking time from your day to share your thoughts on oil changes based on your experiences. Discussion is healthy. Sounds like your in country crews have a lot of mechanical experience to base their decisions on and I surmise the cost of a HiLux is not the optimizing business expense goal.

I have used Blackstone and now Driven labs for post oil change analysis (data) on my track car, looking for telltale signs of engine wear (copper being one) in oil samples and analysis of "remaining" additives (zinc for one) with "WOT performance" use with the goal of maintaining "measurable" peak performance. Only the stop watch in repeatable similar controlled conditions will tell you if peak perfomace has faded significantly. It is not a straight line from 100% to 99, 98, 95, 90, 80, 70, 60, 50, 40, to "Top Gear" performance. I find humans behind the wheel are a poor judge of HP/TQ, but the stop watch and the dyno tell one the facts.

Peak performance means different things in different applications. Engines driven daily vs those that sit for weeks face different challenges to maintenance (moisture/water in oil for one). Resale value (how was it maintained) also could figure into such oil change decisions.

I prefer data. Good Engineers base decisions on data and then the finance & lawyers add in the CYA factors has been my corporate experience. Market pressures force competition and winners and losses emerge, then the government puts its thumbs on the scales...

Yes there is CYA in factory recommendations, but it is also grounds for denying warranty if you go your own path.

In the states, I find oil changes are a small expense factor in the overall cost of such hobbies, readily available and the foundation of a good maintenance regiment to protect such investments. I am sure it could be further optimized, but not a critical expense factor when owning / using a Super C in my opinion.

Enjoy your journey, whatever path you choose.
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Old 04-01-2024, 01:12 PM   #12
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Just to wind this up:

Motorsports are a whole different story. I am quite heavily involved and would never consider cruise/commuter/RV/low rpm usage as comparable. And that applies to the lubricants too. Nor do we look for or have a need for "peak" of anything especially in places like Sierra Leone.

And yes while data will set you free as it were, its also a tough jailer that in commercial transport terms can be unworthy of the effort. We oil sample the helicopter engines and transmissions every100 hours and were prepared to do that for the Hi Lux's from the acquisition of the first 15 years ago (and since sold with over 1.5m kms on the odo, but decided it was worth seeing just how much attention these trucks needed since we knew of many mistreated vehicles that seemed to survive on the basis of the advice we had received. One Hino commercial light truck with a really small (and therefore very hard working) 2 liter diesel was reputed to have never been serviced at more than a million kms. But we could not bring ourselves to go that far especially since we could get filters.

So its back to my point which is that many undertake these maintenance functions for feel good reasons, without data and with an eye firmly fixed on historic convention. And the OEMs take us to the bank for doing that which is why I grant you warranty does make a small difference. I say small because anything repairable because of a lubrication issue is going to be pro rata to some extent. We have some Chev/GMS 1500s that bent their push rods because of tappet spring failures. All within warranty but at 5 years. Only partial warranty was offered even with legal support. All had over 100K miles as the determining limiter. Again, my point is the small print makes a difference and feeling good about oil changes is about all high frequency and religious date and mileage changes produce.

But of course, each to our own which is also funny because so many people as ask about this as if they don't believe their OMs. I even think some believe if they change the oil more often than the OM recommends, the value of their rig will improve.
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Old 04-02-2024, 05:08 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vlamgat View Post
I dont mean to burst your bubble on this "old" perception but I have 3 Toyota diesel HiLux pick ups in continuous service in East and West Africa. All have over 600,000 kms on their original engines (one is over one million) and none have had oil changes more often every 3 or so years. The youngest is 8 years since EIS. The secret is necessity: synthetic oil is almost impossible to purchase locally and extremely costly to import. I mean pure synthetic not the blend that is sold as synthetic by most retailers both in the EU (where the oil comes from) and the US. However we do change the filters every 3 months as these can be imported in the luggage of the various tech and employees that visit the work sites from the EU and South Africa. We top up with the local supply of pseudo synthetic.

So you do not have to throw out perfectly good synthetic oil unless you feel its a good thing to add to the oil company profits. We started this regime a decade ago when one of the Mobil engineering team told us how much fun they were having and the money they made by owners sticking to the 3 or 5K oil changes for a product designed for 10 or 12k and which they had seen no measurable wear at either 50 or 100k. This was in the days when Mobil1 was a pure synthetic which is no longer the case because its more profitable to sell it with a blend of dino oil and consumers don't care.

We use Motul as the only pure synthetic we can easily find in most European countries.
There is no bubble to burst. So, you are changing oil every 3 years (200k miles) and filters every 3 months (17k miles). If you are getting that type of mileage from your oil and filters, hats off. Honestly, though, there is no way I'd go anywhere close to that. Testing for the military shows that is not feasible. I don't recall numbers, but I do know none of our equipment had rated maintenance intervals anywhere in that ballpark. This was from the 80's and 90's, so there is that.



Also, do OM maintenance recommendations have any bearing in regards to them meeting CAFE standards? I'm pretty sure the crazy Auto Stop/Start function is to increase fuel mileage numbers, but is less than ideal for engine life, but as long as it makes it past warranty...no real issue for the OM. I'm guessing longer drain intervals are a plus for OM's trying to improve their CAFE numbers.
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Old 04-02-2024, 07:37 PM   #14
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As someone who is directly involved in lubricant sales and has been for over 47 years, I am compelled to contribute to this thread at the risk of raising rankles. I live in New England where (especially the farther North you go) new ideas or concepts are not readily accepted.


While I am in full agreement that decisions regarding maintenance of assets should be based on factual data ( as opposed to; this is what we've done for x years; the OEM recommends such and such; and the power of marketing), the fact is there are those that do not want to accept proven documented data that supports moving from what most do which is time based maintenance to condition based maintenance.


I could literally write a book about the nonsensical maintenance protocols companies and/or their asset managers adopt. Here are a few examples:


A quarry with 20 wheel loaders and other equipment changes all of the hydraulic oil in every machine each and every year. The vendor is happy to send them 40 drums and sees no problem in doing so. Happy client, happy oil vendor.



The fortune 100 company with a 1M SF plant that changes the gear lubricant in every extruder gearbox on every line annually with over 100 lines.


The aggregate company that changes the engine oil in all of their machines every 250 hrs even though all major equipment mfgrs now recommend drain intervals of 500 hrs. Happy client, happy oil vendor.



The trucking company that changes the oil in very truck every 8k miles and brags that he has engines with over 800k miles with no issues ( but is evidently ignorant of the 100 oil changes he performed and the contribution to the waste stream he provides). Happy client, happy oil vendor-see a trend?


And in general the company or individual that invests in revenue producing assets with capital costs exceeding missions of dollars but then insists on using lubricants based on their cost.


To be sure this is a complicated subject with erroneous beliefs founded on inaccurate information, marketing hyperbole, what Joe does, all the variables of operating conditions, changes and advancements in metallurgy and machining, emission challenges, OEM recommendations, greedy sales reps not interested in doing what's right by their clients or worse yet, totally clueless in knowledge of their product, and the ever changing advancements in additive technology in the field of tribology.


Reliability engineers in manufacturing companies that are vested in improving the bottom line return on their assets have many mantras. Here are a few: eliminate waste, eliminate unnecessary tasks, base decisions on data and utilize condition based maintenance (CBM) protocols vs time based, which for the most part are not relevant to best practices.



Unfortunately, while there are guidelines, for the most part, every situation and application is to a certain degree unique. We have 4 Transit service vehicles. OEM recommendations suggest 10k mile oil change intervals. We analyze the oil in every truck as well as every personal vehicle I have. We rolled the drain intervals back to 7500 miles on the trucks as every one showed fuel dilution up to 3%. So if there is any message I would like readers to gain, it's to analyze the oil of any asset you hold dear.
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