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Old 10-25-2022, 09:19 AM   #1
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V-10 Significant breakdown

We'll I have long been a fan of the V-10 in the F-53 motorhome and I've tended to believe they are bulletproof. Our 2014 Itasca had one and we ran over 30,000 miles on it including a journey from GA to AK without a failure of the engine. Our current 2016 Adventurer 38Q has worked absolutely flawlessly for the past 6 years and 63,000 miles. Never a hick-up with the constant attention given to its maintenance.

We left on a run from our home to the north Georgia mountains Sunday, about a 180 mile run for us around Atlanta and up into the hills. I was running at 58 mph keeping speeds down for the toad and to conserve fuel. 152 miles into the trip the check engine light started flashing, but I noticed no change in engine noises or power. I quickly pulled off the road and put my OBD2 on the connection. It immediately kicked out "multi cylinder misfire (P0300)" and "cylinder misfire (P0310)" . I had just pulled onto the interstate when it occurred and continued along with the check engine light coming on and off periodically. After about 20 minutes it started to loose power, we heard an odd hissing noise, some odor and 3 more cylinders misfires came up on the OBD2 reading.

After sitting on the shoulder of the road seeking help (that's a whole different story), I called the mechanic in my home town 155 miles away and told him I wanted to get it towed to his shop (about 300 yards from our home). He is a fantastic fleet vehicle trick repair service and manages fleet mechanical needs for Fedex, USPS local fire and ambulance departments and much more. He said no, don't have it towed to my shop, I'm on my way to see what's going on and to try to get it drivable to get it back to his shop. He arrived about 3 hrs. later after the long drive and immediately changed out what were 3 suspect coils and plugs. But no joy. The engine continued to throw even more codes and run with less power and more misfires.

At that point it was obvious some sort of major intervention was needed so he contacted a local heavy wrecker in my home town to come get us. After 32 hours camping on the side of a super highway, he finally arrived and we were able to take our toad and dolly and head to the barn.

The rig towed back home 155 miles just fine with no incidents with a very heavy wrecker in the lead. The driver knew what he was doing (disconnected drive shaft) and the rig is in great condition at the shop this morning.

The point of all this is that I am after 8 years of V-10 service between 2 rigs that has been flawless, I'm a bit less convinced the V-10 is bulletproof. The mechanic, who is very familiar with V-10 engines, suspects a major valve system issue but won't know until he's gotten into it more.

Just wondering does this seem unusual for a V-10 to go belly up with this type of problem with just 63,000 miles?
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Old 10-25-2022, 11:02 AM   #2
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There have been a few V-10 failures reported, most recently I recall this story https://www.irv2.com/forums/f23/2015...ts-580969.html involving a 2015 chassis with only 33,000 miles. In my mind there is some question whether high RPM due to engine braking may have led to the failure as he did descend some pretty significant passes the day before it happened.
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Old 10-25-2022, 11:24 AM   #3
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That's interesting. In our case it was rather normal driving. No steep hills up or down. Speeds were held at 55-60 all morning until then. Was rather conservative acceleration on a very long entrance ramp (downhill at that). Most RPM's between 2000 and 2400, 3000 max on acceleration. (I drive like the old man I am LOL).

I've used run good hefty RPMs years ago in the mountains and downhills, but nithing in the past year or 2. Weird.
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Old 10-25-2022, 11:35 AM   #4
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Hi Americanrascal,
A very simple observation to make is did the engine crank smoothly when trying to re-start it? If it surged during cranking, then you have uneven compression, which would suggest a valve train issue. Looks like it is time for a remanufactured Long Block.
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Old 10-25-2022, 11:45 AM   #5
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Everything seems to point to something in the valves
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Old 10-27-2022, 05:43 PM   #6
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I see you joined the thread over at iRV2, keeping fingers crossed for you. I found an interesting thread from 2019 about the characteristics of the Ford V-10, the guy seems pretty knowledgeable and it is his contention that, contrary to popular belief, the V-10 does not like to rev and in fact RPMs over 4,000 puts a lot of stress on it and at those RPMs it is out of it's power band.
https://www.thorforums.com/forums/f1...ing-18086.html
It had occurred to me earlier that it is such a big heavy engine and that is a lot of rotational stress with all those heavy components but not being an expert on the subject I didn't bring it up. This guy likens the V-10 to a diesel like engine in that it performs best at lower RPMs and suffers excessive stress at high RPMs, which makes sense to me given it's size and weight.
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Old 10-27-2022, 07:03 PM   #7
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I just checked this web site about the V-10, and the output specified for the E-350 & E-450 is:
  • 305 Horsepower @ 4,000 rpm
  • 420 Ft-Lb of torque @ 3,000 rpm
The dimensions of the engine are:
  • 3.552" bore
  • 4.165" stroke
Total displacement:
  • 10 ((3.14159 3.552"^2) 4) 4.165" = 413 cubic inches
The most conservative calculation for maximum RPM using alloys available in the 1950s would be based upon an maximum average piston speed of 2,500 feet per second:
  • 2,500 feet per minute (4.165" 2 strokes per rev 12 inches per foot) = 3,601 rpm
So, many reasons here to not rev beyond 4,000 rpm for a sustained period of time.
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Old 10-28-2022, 05:05 AM   #8
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Thanks for the follow up. Great info. I feel good about that as I watch my RPM's closely and can't remember ever getting up over 4000 in the past year or 2 as our topography is not harsh here in the piedmont. I do remember back about 5 years ago having to get some high RPM's up over 4000 RPM's coming down the Big Horn Mountains for a few minutes on a very long steep grade. But for the most part it rarely gets over 3000 with the 6 speed transmission. I recall my 2014 Itasca with its 5 speed when i had it often revved over 4000 RPM. At the time of the failure I was gently accelerating on an entrance ramp at about 2500 RPM

The 155 mile tow back to my hometown shop went well- no damage. They started to pull the valve covers this week and were getting into the diagnostics. No report yet- may get a report later today and will post what the results of their findings are. Its good to have the rig at a very good shop 300 yards from home where I can stay connected with the diagnosis and repair!
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Old 10-28-2022, 10:32 AM   #9
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I don't consider this to be as much a mechanical breakdown as likely electronic controls and then failure to stop in time.
Consider that the controls do the decision making on when fuel is injected into the cylinders as well as when the ignition fires. If some part of that " thought process" gets off, an alarm is given. Maybe something as simple as wires getting burned on a hot pipe?

But if we continue to drive and fuel is added or ignites at the wrong time, it really adds lot of pressure to the enegine and given time, that pressure can find a way out through some portion of the head gasket.
When a head fails,it can do almost anything it wants. It can let coolant go into the pistons, into the oil, or outside the engine!
Since you heard a hiss and got an odor, coolant on a hot pipe sounds likely! Did you also notice a lot of smoke?

How bad the damage is will take a close look as it can be a "simple" head, just requiring pulling the engine and resetting the heads or as big as scored piston walls and bearings if it was run long with coolant instead of oil for lube!

Bad to drive when we get warnings of major engine troubles!
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Old 10-28-2022, 06:01 PM   #10
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Sure seems mechanical on this end. The check engine light was intermittent when this first occurred. Check engine light on briefly - then off for 10 minutes over a 20 minute period while it ran well. Hindsight is 20-20. It initially ran quite well until we noticed a sudden power drop and audible and rough misfire at a stop light. I immediately stopped and got off the road at that point and shut her down.

So far no evidence of coolant but can be more revealing once the head is pulled.

The diagnostics so far at the shop reveal cylinder 10 has inadequate compression. Valve covers removed nothing visible thus far. Now removing the left head to search for damage and what's failed
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Old 10-28-2022, 06:11 PM   #11
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Yes, it is likely to be mechanical at this point but the first problem may have been in the controls which changes the firing and that added stress to all the other parts.
An example might be if the igntion fires with the valves open it lets that ignition (explosion?) happen in the space behind the valve instead of being contained in the normal space built to take that stress.
Or, depending on when things go wrong, it may let that explosion filter all the way back and come out the oil fill cap! Checking the oil and coolant is a "quickie" way to get some ideas of what was going on as coolant in the oil will make it foam and show odd colors like white and if a lot of coolant is gone, it may have been spitting it out the tail pipe.
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Old 10-29-2022, 10:18 AM   #12
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I would think the first diagnostic step is a compression test if it is thought to be a mechanical issue.
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Old 10-29-2022, 10:35 AM   #13
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Yes, complete compression test is first step and they have bad compression on ten.
How bad, they don't say so that leaves more doubt that will take time to find.
So that leaves finding why it is bad and there are a number of obvious causes and none of them are good.
Cheapest and best is the head gasket blowing out as it is near the top end of things and can be replaced if it went out the right place. Maybe lucky enough that it just spewedcoolantout the side?
But then other causes can be rings that gave out. Did they score the walls? OUCH! Valves that require rebuilding the head but not too bad, or there are always more difficult things that can happen.
That's where the real work begins!
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Old 10-29-2022, 10:59 AM   #14
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It is not clear whether they did an actual mechanical compression test or just a cylinder contribution test thru the OBD
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Old 10-29-2022, 11:44 AM   #15
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Quote:
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It is not clear whether they did an actual mechanical compression test or just a cylinder contribution test thru the OBD
Yes, I may be assuming too much! When they say it shows inadequate compression on ten and they have removed the valve covers, I ASSUME they have done an actual test!

But that ASSUME can get really screwed up! Lots of new techs are way too handy with the computers and far less handy with their brain!

My last go with a dealer service department went with changing the TCM for the third time as that is what the computer said! They wound up changing the transmission as they broke some small parts off the TCM and they went down through the transmission to ruin it!
Final result was us selling the car as their final answer was we needed to change the battery and that was not a part covered by the extended warranty. Since I was sure the battery was good, new, tested and verified, we were down to sue or sell, so we sold!
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Old 10-29-2022, 05:49 PM   #16
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Sadly incompetence is running rampant these days. Sorry for your mountain of problems.


Your story reminded me of what happened to a man in KY several years ago. His Jeep would not run and had many engine issues.
The dealer voided the warranty and refused to work on it any more because the engine compartment was covered with dried mud from when the man had been off-roading. The dealer said it was misuse of the vehicle.. He too was faced with sue or sell.
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Old 10-30-2022, 05:51 PM   #17
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To add something to this conversation. I owned a 2015 Georgetown 328 and at 15000 two Valves were sucked into Cylinder 3 and 4. Ford replaced the Engine under warranty. I am not a hard driver so why it happened I have no idea.
I now own a 2020 Winnebago Vista 27P and hope I don’t ever have an issue with this ones V10. Wonder if this is why they went back to V-8s
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Old 10-30-2022, 08:54 PM   #18
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Our 2014 Adventurer 35P (56K miles) is setting in our barn with the front wheels off and right valve cover off.
When we returned from our last trip and I was doing a walk around while the coach was leveling in the barn and I hear a loud clicking noise coming from the engine.
No engine check engine light.
Found a blown exhaust manifold gasket between 4 and 5 on right side. Replaced both right and left gasket, still have clicking noise.
The best I could tell with a stethoscope the noise is coming from the left (driver's side).
Pulled the coils which is required to remove the valve cover. When ahead and pulled the plugs, found #8 showed signs of running rich. Could not remove the left valve cover because of the #$% oil dip stick tube. Was able to raise it enough to check the roller on the cam followers. They are looked good. Put the cover back on and replaced the #8 fuel injector. Started it back up still have the click.
Removed the right valve cover today and gave it a good inspection. Everything looks and feels good. Did pull the plugs and they all look good.
So tomorrow I'm going to cut the dip stick so I can get the left valve cover off and give that side a good inspection. If that looks good I will do a compression check.
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Old 10-30-2022, 09:54 PM   #19
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Could the exhaust manifold be cracked?
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Old 10-30-2022, 09:57 PM   #20
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Eagle5, they look good, had them both off and cleanrf the mounting surfaces. Also cannot feel any exhaust leaks when the engine is running.
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