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BOAT LOANS “a fresh approach from people you can trust” Trident Funding Specialists in Yacht Finance

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Letters We here at Northwest Yachting love hearing from our readers. Below are a few correspondences we’ve received. If you’ve got two cents to share, feel free to send us a snail mail letter to Northwest Yachting magazine, 7342 15th Ave NW, Seattle, Washington, or an email to editorial@nwyachting.com.

Continuing Cummins Crisis Dear Northwest Yachting, I read Daniel Solomon’s letter in your July [2018] issue and it brought back painful memories of a similar incident I experienced last summer aboard my trawler while transiting Fitz Hugh Sound in Alaska and resulted in a six-hour tow to Shearwater courtesy of the Canadian Coast Guard. You asked if any of your other readers had experienced similar problems so here it goes. All was going fine until all of a sudden my engine (yes, only one engine) went into guardian mode. Now, the engine kept running, but only at idle. The message on my alarm panel said something to the effect: “no J1939 data available.” That meant nothing to me at the time. Now I know more about Cummins engine wiring diagrams, 40, 50 and 60-pin harnesses and Deutsch connectors than I ever wanted to. It turns out that the coolant level sensor on my Cummins QSB engine had leaked coolant into the harness which traveled the length of the harness to the ECM and settled in the bottom corner of the connector. The pin in that bottom corner was completely corroded out. That pin apparently carries the “1939 data” and is critical to the proper operation of the engine. As a result, I was out of commission. My solution, after much input from several experts, was to remove the coolant sensor, insert a brass plug in the reservoir and insert the required terminal resistor plug into the harness to keep the black box from complaining about no coolant. This is not a problem for monitoring coolant level since I already have the usual plastic overflow bottle mounted nearby. Since I was out cruising for the summer, I was not in a position to order and replace the affected harnesses – a costly and time-consuming job. Instead, I ordered several deutsch replacement pins and sockets as well as the required removal tool. With these, I could replace the corroded connectors, splice them into the harness and continue on my summer cruise. At the end of the summer, though, I replaced the harnesses. Cummins was not interested in recompense for my problem or its correction even though they were obviously aware of the issue as were several Cummins mechanics I talked to. Since then, I have advised any of my friends who have these QSB engines to check their coolant level sensors for leakage. —Fred Kaufhold, M/V Dream Weaver, Anacortes, WA Northwest Yachting, My thanks to Daniel Solomon for his letter on the faulty coolant level sensor on hi QSB 5.9. I recently had Cummins NW on board to try and correct a continuous vibration I have on our 47’ Trawler. While they were on board I showed them the article and asked them to check my coolant sensor. The tech checked it out and sure enough it was starting to fill with coolant and dripping down into the wiring harnesses. They cleaned it up and installed a connector plug with a built in resistor. I will now have to continually monitor the coolant level manually. A Mickey Mouse fix but at least saved me buying $4,000 worth of Cummins wiring harnesses. The mechanic said I was the third repair he had performed on sensors this week. —Rick Panowicz NWY: Clearly, something is amiss with these Cummins engines. Enough is enough! We at NWY are donning our investigative journalist hats and are on the case. Stay tuned as we report our findings in future issues.

32 NORTHWEST YACHTING || OCTOBER 2018

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