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Western Railroad Discussion > ES44 turbocharger failures


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Date: 07/12/09 20:58
ES44 turbocharger failures
Author: SooLine700

A new bulletin at work yesterday brought to our attention that some the turbochargers on CN ES44DC have been failing catastrophically when the locomotives restart after a automatic shutdown initiated by the smart start system. We are not to restart the engines until we talk to someone in the mechanical department and also are to avoid walking alongside the engineroom compartment while the locomotive is under full load. Have other railroads had a similar bulletin warning of such problem with their fleet?



Date: 07/12/09 21:07
Re: ES44 turbocharger failures
Author: Pacific_Division

Have not heard this yet on BNSF. But it would be really cool to see.
Kevin



Date: 07/12/09 21:13
Re: ES44 turbocharger failures
Author: Pinlifter

I did see a safety bulletin about the issue at a BNSF service facility. Something to do with a third party part.



Date: 07/12/09 21:40
Re: ES44 turbocharger failures
Author: NdeM

Yes, BNSF has a safety bulletin out for this issue. It seems that the rotating parts of the turbochargers have failed, and broken through the casing and hood. In fact, I believe they even use the term "catastrophic failure." The affected ES44's are being taken out of service.

And we too are supposed to avoid walking along the long-hood while above run 4.



Date: 07/12/09 21:53
Re: ES44 turbocharger failures
Author: ats90mph

It's kinda like going to Subway and saying you don't want it toasted, but they do it anyway. So GE is just like a "Sandwich Artist" that just hit the bowl before their shift.



Date: 07/12/09 23:53
Re: ES44 turbocharger failures
Author: foamer

Here is the text from the BNSF Safety Briefing, the engines have not been taken out of service yet, so BNSF says do not walk along the outside of any Gevos, until they figure which ones are affected:

SafetyBriefing
July 11, 2009 GE Evolution Series Turbochargers SB-2009-03G

On another Class 1 railroad there have been two recent turbocharger failures on
General Electric Evolution Series locomotives which resulted in portions of the
turbine rotating assembly penetrating the turbocharger case and exiting the
locomotive carbody. The root cause analysis into the failures is still in process
but preliminary investigation has revealed that the failures that have occurred
are due to catastrophic failure of turbocharger shafts which were produced by
one of two of GE’s suppliers for that part.

The suspect turbocharger shafts affect new Evolution Series locomotives
produced from January 2007 to March 2009 as well as any Evolution locomotive
which has had a turbocharger replaced due to failure or engine change during
the same time period.

Over the next several days the specific locomotives containing suspect parts
will be identified and those locomotives will be removed from service pending
turbocharger replacement. Until such time ALL EMPLOYEES SHOULD NOT
ACCESS EXTERNAL WALKWAYS OR BE IN THE PROXIMITY TO THE LONG
HOOD AREA OF ANY GE EVOLUTION SERIES LOCOMOTIVE (BNSF 5718-7799)
WHICH IS OPERATING OR BEING LOAD TESTED UNDER POWER IN NOTCH 4
OR ABOVE.

Avoid these areas

REMEMBER -- All BNSF employees are empowered to work safely. If
you think a condition is unsafe, protect it, report it, assist in correcting
it, or use your expertise to provide a better and safer way.
BNSF Safety Vision

...
Insider



Date: 07/13/09 01:48
Re: ES44 turbocharger failures
Author: LVFoamer

My Brother, A BNSF Foreman, Said its not the turbos but the pre oiling system for the smart start that is doing this. They fixed the software problem but for many turbos its to late and they have already damaged the thrust washer by dry spinning the turbo on smart start ups. Now the turbine shaft is walking around and just waiting for the moment to snap or hit the housing. When it snaps I hear on the GEVOS they where coming out of the impeller housing and throwing some parts around. The GEVO has a smaller turbine side on the turbo but a larger compressor side then the old FDL motors. This means the turbo sees more air and boost then the older stuff with a smaller shaft. But it has a ceramic ball bearing setup that should blow the old turbos away. I guess its more fragile then the old one.. I know its almost twice the cost... Now who pays this bill????



Date: 07/13/09 02:40
Re: ES44 turbocharger failures
Author: gobbl3gook

LVFoamer wrote
>>Said its not the turbos but the pre oiling system for the smart start that is doing this. They fixed the software problem...<<

So it's a computer issue, not a prelube pump issue? (Prelube pump mechanism works fine mechanically, but it's not getting the correct signal from the computer?)

Can anyone else confirm this?
Thanks in advance,
Ted in WA



Date: 07/13/09 04:37
Re: ES44 turbocharger failures
Author: junctiontower

LVFoamer Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> But it has a ceramic ball bearing setup that
> should blow the old turbos away. I guess its more
> fragile then the old one.. I know its almost twice
> the cost... Now who pays this bill????

This sounds about like Mack Trucks. In order to run turbos under the extreme heat conditions brought about by the ever tightening noose of emmision regulations, Mack(Volvo)was forced to go to ceramic impellers and other internal parts. A reman turbo that was $400.00 just a few years ago is now $2500.00, and if anything, they are a lot LESS reliable. Who pays the bill? Well, since they usually fail JUST out of warranty, the sucker, I mean customer bends over and grabs the ankles.



Date: 07/13/09 09:48
Re: ES44 turbocharger failures
Author: proudfoamer

And why are G.E.'s are out selling EMD's?



Date: 07/13/09 09:56
Re: ES44 turbocharger failures
Author: skinem

A little bird said 'cheap cheap'.



Date: 07/13/09 13:42
Re: ES44 turbocharger failures
Author: dreese_us

Cheap costs up front, but you end up paying more in maintenance costs. Older EMD's last longer, time will tell on the newer models.

How are the UP SD 70's holding up?



Date: 07/13/09 14:17
Re: ES44 turbocharger failures
Author: rehunn

Most likely it's a lag time issue between the time of the prelube
start and the engine start. Turbo's use hydrodynamic bearings so
no hydro no dynamic!!



Date: 07/13/09 18:00
Re: ES44 turbocharger failures
Author: ajy6b

Just another reason why GE's are called toasters. There smart start system should be called the smart arson system. It makes you wonder about the quality of all these third world suppliers for parts.



Date: 07/13/09 21:22
Re: ES44 turbocharger failures
Author: nick_gully

Maybe the Evolution series are just... evolving?

I think the sales rate has more to do with GE Finance (the largest $$$ portion of GE) being ready and waiting to offer financing on anything they make, something EMD cannot offer.



Date: 07/13/09 23:42
Re: ES44 turbocharger failures
Author: dt8089

junctiontower Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> LVFoamer Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> This sounds about like Mack Trucks. In order to
> run turbos under the extreme heat conditions
> brought about by the ever tightening noose of
> emmision regulations, Mack(Volvo)was forced to go
> to ceramic impellers and other internal parts. A
> reman turbo that was $400.00 just a few years ago
> is now $2500.00, and if anything, they are a lot
> LESS reliable. Who pays the bill? Well, since
> they usually fail JUST out of warranty, the
> sucker, I mean customer bends over and grabs the
> ankles.


I just had turbo failure on my Mack truck with a Volvo motor. Dealer quoted $2974.00 for a new one. Dan Tracy



Date: 07/14/09 04:29
Re: ES44 turbocharger failures
Author: junctiontower

Yeah, just had to get one yesterday for a Mack CX with an ASET 460 engine. $2952.95 MV Preferred fleet pricing. :(



Date: 07/14/09 07:03
Re: ES44 turbocharger failures
Author: cs16

nick_gully Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Maybe the Evolution series are just... evolving?
>
>Kind of like V"GE"R?



Date: 07/14/09 12:01
Re: ES44 turbocharger failures
Author: truxtrax

junctiontower Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Yeah, just had to get one yesterday for a Mack CX
> with an ASET 460 engine. $2952.95 MV Preferred
> fleet pricing. :(

Another reason to buy Detroit Diesel 4 stroke or Caterpillar!

Butch, , , , don't even like Cummins anymore



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/14/09 12:02 by truxtrax.



Date: 07/14/09 14:10
Re: ES44 turbocharger failures
Author: sixaxle

In years past I have seen Turbos fly apart on Cummins VTA 1710 engines and VTA 2300 in large off highway equipment. Sure made for a spectacular stack fire when it happened at night, usually shot about twenty feet into the air with a 8" dia stack pipe. At that time Cummins used a device called a "aneroid valve" in the fuel system to control Turbo Lag. These engines were usually installed in larger front end loaders of 12 yard capacity or larger.



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