EGR Pipe Goes Boom

Topic 33863 | Page 1

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Dilrod's Comment
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Hi, I have specific questions at the bottom of this long, rambling mess, but if you can spare a few minutes, please read.

Last month I was summoned to the Joliet, IL terminal for a full PM on my '21 International LT, with a Cummins X15 under the hood, arriving on the Thursday night before that big storm many of you in the Midwest may recall: wet snow, followed by cold wind and a deep freeze. My truck was ready Friday afternoon, but with the weather starting to turn, I thought I'd better stay put.

I stayed in the truck all weekend, watched the frost build on the bunk hinges, ate canned Beefaroni and listened to the wind blow. Monday morning I hitched up to an empty trailer the DC asked me to bring back and headed out the gate. It seemed to be shifting a little early, but since I'd had problems with enough air pressure to make repeated gear changes when backing, I thought maybe they'd fixed that, and this was how it was supposed to shift.

About 2 miles from the terminal I slowed down to make a left turn, and heard a heck of a BOOM! It sounded like a blown tire. I got out, went around twice and thumped all the tires, everything looked fine. Idled fine, all gauges normal. I made the turn and now had a severe loss of power, so I pulled over and called it in. I didn't want to try driving back, for fear of something worse happening.

Of course, the shop was backed up with frozen trucks and who knows what else, so I was going to be stuck there for a while (12 days total, over my 55th birthday. Worst birthday since my 21st when I was in the field on a training exercise, and my 22nd when the Gulf War started, with me in it). The tow truck driver thought it was a fuel issue, and of course I'd used two bottles of antigel in each tank, but we all know fuel can still get snotty sometimes. When I told the mechanics what happened, they all looked puzzled.

While gathering some gear to take to the hotel, I noticed a smell in the cab, not really diesel exhaust, but more like that regen smell. I'd been noticing it around my truck that weekend as well, and figured it was something to do with the cold. Anyway, I got under it with a flashlight and could see that the EGR pipe was hanging loose, the bottom flexible boot had broken.

The mechanic figured it had cracked under stress from all the cooling and heating over the years, but I, as an above average shade tree mechanic, is wondering if something hadn't plugged with ice and caused this to rupture. It would take a lot of back pressure to tear that boot. I searched online, but nobody had posted an event like this, although someone had mentioned a flapper in the EGR system failing. They just changed the pipe and connections, and it was fine after that.

So, my questions for this honorable and experienced audience:

1. Has this happened to you, or have you heard of it happening to someone else? 2. Do you think a parked regen before leaving might have helped, by heating up the system and melting the ice (assuming that was the issue)?



A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.


Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.


When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

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