Thursday, June 9, 2011

2007 dodge sprinter 3500 5 cyl turbo diesel, the turbo shuts off under load

The turbo resonator is a plastic, bonded-together assembly intended to act as a “muffling” device for the intake air delivery system. This plastic assembly, in my opinion as a plastic injection mold designer, is not well suited for a high-heat, vibration and boost-pressure-rich environment. Reportedly on its third revision by the contractor who makes the resonator for Mercedes, some owners we have worked with are still reporting multiple failures, within less than 10,000 miles, each one leaving them stranded. Including failures of the last "new fix" design, released in 2006.

When the turbo resonator fails, usually under acceleration or climbing hills, the engine’s computer senses a lack of sufficient boost when compared with throttle position and assumes that the engine has suffered from a “catastrophic turbo failure.” The computer then puts the engine into “limp home mode” which means the vehicle may not be able to climb hills at all and is limited to about 35 to 45 mph, depending upon the weight of the vehicle. In many cases this results in the need for a tow truck to get back to a dealer who can fix the problem.

Not exactly a desirable feature in emergency medical services vehicles transporting critically ill or injured persons or specialized armored vehicles carrying precious cargo that cannot afford to become vulnerable. One of our clients who owns an ambulance company with a fleet of Sprinter based ambulances experienced turbo resonator failures on fully half of their fleet before converting them all over to our Resonator eliminator.

Recreational vehicles carrying family members trying to get away from it all are finding themselves stuck in out of the way places, miles from anyone who can help them. Winnebago "View” owner Larry Oslund found himself and his family in this situation three times in less than 9,300 miles. Larry told us, “This last time, we were traveling down the Interstate at 70 MPH with an 18 wheeler only 20 feet behind us when the turbo resonator failed and the motorhome did a nose-dive, went into the now familiar, ‘limp home mode’ and slowed to 35 mph instantly almost causing the 18 wheeler to crash into us". "Then", Larry continued, "Dodge told us there were only two five-star Dodge dealers that work on the Sprinter chassis in Mississippi, one in the North part of the State and one in the South. We were forced to drive 118 miles to get to the dealer, still in limp home mode, and then pay for a motel for five days while the Dodge dealer ordered the part and fixed the motorhome. Frankly, I believe Dodge should have to reimburse us for the vacation time lost and the motel costs". "Further", said Oslund, "I think DOT should look into this problem because it is incredibly dangerous. We are lucky to be alive.”

A quick search on google sprinter forums reveals instance after instance of these failures.

Realizing the extent of the problem and the lack of a solution that gained the confidence of owners, Dodge dealer service facility foreman Randell Stowe came to the James F. Riordan Company for a solution that could be offered to owners who wanted a metal part they could put in that would not fail. These sprinter owners, "did not want to see any more plastic parts." Our company, within three days, designed and produced the first prototype part that has now become the industry wide cure for all operators of Dodge Sprinter Vans and commercial vehicle chasses.

Dodge and Daimler Chrysler management and upper management I have spoken with are certainly acutely aware of this problem, even though many Sprinter owners have told us that their Dodge dealers who service the Sprinters have told them, "it is not a problem."

I believe Daimler Chrysler has tried, albeit perhaps half-heartedly, to solve the problem with multiple revisions but they are still using a two-part plastic assembly in a high temperature, high vibration and high pressure operating environment that I believe requires a metal part. As an injection mold designer, I know plastic parts and I know their strengths and weaknesses. I have cut apart each of the different Polycarbonate plastic versions and I still have not seen one that I would trust, especially in emergency vehicles or RV’s. In my opinion the design of the part is inappropriate for the application and pre-destines it to failure. For instance, the "beefy" side of the plastic resonator slips tightly into the output end of the turbo and is bolted firmly to the alternator bracket. That is ok. The problem is, the other end of the plastic assembly is simply bonded onto the beefy part and then slipped inside a long and rather heavy piece of intake rubber hose that is constantly vibrating. So, with constant vibration and heat, it would probably fail anyway in the long term but adding 20 inches or more of turbo boost pressure, in many cases, shortens the life of the plastic assembly dramatically.

The new SRE-06 resonator Eliminator, designed for our local Dodge dealer, is a high quality, high strength Billet aluminum replacement designed to last the life of the vehicle. It comes with clear and simple directions and takes about 15 minutes to install with only a small 1/4 inch wrench ( or socket) and a 5/16 inch wrench (or socket). Truly, anyone who can install a radiator hose will have no trouble quickly replacing this part. According to Dodge representatives with whom we have spoken, the installation of our part should not affect the warranty since it has absolutely no effect on the performance of the vehicle (other than to keep it running). None of our customers have expressed any problems with warranty coverage after installation of the Resonator Eliminator. Actually, the dealers themselves want to see their customers satisfied so they have no incentive to balk at replacement parts that keep customers happy without affecting the longevity or performance of their vehicles.

Presently we have literally hundreds of these parts installed in commercial Sprinter vans and chassis, ambulances, armored vehicles, delivery vehicles and RVS with thousands of trouble-free test miles on the Eliminator. Every customer we have spoken with is happy with the product.

The turbo resonator Eliminator is available at a growing number of Dodge dealers and from our company and costs only $89.95 plus shipping (and tax for CA customers), not much more than a stock plastic part, and it comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. The peace of mind of knowing you will get out and get back without being stranded . . Priceless! Please feel free to call me personally for any more info or help. (530) 676-4729 If you have friends who have Sprinters, please help them avoid this problem as well and pass along this post.

The only other question I have had that has not been addressed herein is replacement timing. Some customers have asked, "Can I just buy one and carry it with me until I need it??" Of course the correct answer is, "yes", however the proper answer is, "yes . . . but, depending on your luck, would you rather replace it in the relative convenience of your own garage or driveway, or chance having to replace it lying on the side of busy freeway with traffic whistling by inches away or laying on your back in the mud and the muck?" Trust me, replace it at home BEFORE it goes out.

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