Head fire rings
05-19-2022, (Subject: Head fire rings ) 
Post: #1
Head fire rings
2012 Cummins isx cm 2250 with 380k on engine. Started getting compression in radiator so I pulled the exaust manifold and looks like its coming from number 6 hole. Haven't lifted the head yet so I'm hoping just a gasket and not a crack. My question is.... I know of guys getting fire rings cut in the heads and they are saying that it helps the Cummins head gasket from blowing out.... has anyone had experience with fire rings and what are your thoughts? Thanks
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05-19-2022, (Subject: Head fire rings ) 
Post: #2
RE: Head fire rings
Just breaking it down so that people can learn here...

* A fire ring (part of the head gasket) on an ISX will not fail (or get crushed and split) unless the liner is dancing in the block/has dropped, etc. -- There are no real exceptions to this if the head, gasket, etc. was properly installed and head properly torqued.

* An ISX will never blow a head gasket (or damage a fire ring) unless the liner for that cylinder is dancing in the block/has dropped, etc. -- There are no real exceptions to this, especially if the head, gasket, liners were at this forums recommended height, head torqued as recommended by the forum here, etc. was properly all installed/torqued etc. during the engine build.

- This means that someone has been listening to a bunch of complete morons if they think that modifying fire rings and other things to keep head gaskets from blowing out is even remotely any kind of proper solution. It would be like slicing your hand open with a knife because you were too lazy to grab a cutting board while cooking .. and then trying to put a band-aide on it. - I GOT A BETTER IDEA.. DON'T SLICE YOUR HAND OPEN by taking a moment to make things safe to begin with!.

People/repair shops, engine butchering(tuning) shops, etc. abuse truck owners equipment with bad deletes and inadequate repairs/inframes + do all kinds of things improperly. They create all of these problems including the types of issues that you mentioned above.

Instead of doing things right.. straightening out bad programming, improving how they do repairs and how they build the engine while inframing it, etc. etc.. and learning how to avoid these kinds of mistakes that they themselves are responsible for ... they then go about blaming the engine designs and coming up with all kinds of other half-baked garbage ideas.

Liner failure/dropping (and therefore head gasket failure) can be avoided by ...

* #1 reason they let go prematurely... Putting a bad delete file in the ecm, of which more than 90%+ of all shops/tuning people doing delete programming are all guilty of. This is the number one cause of all premature engine and turbocharger failures any more. Here is a video where I talk about this: https://youtu.be/sQESWU3_wAI

* #2 reason is someone who is lugging the engine to death below 1500 rpms. Although they are advertised to be able to make low end rpm and will make it .. The ISX HATES LOW RPM TORQUE!. It shortens the engine life by half, almost always leading to a dropped liner/head gasket failure, when people drive them hard up hills and such, etc... below 1500 rpm. Better vehicle gearing (usually the rear end gears) is the solution to most of this problem.


* #3 reason is that the more torque/power put (and used) into the engine.. the shorter that its lifespan will be. 485HP/1750trq will almost always last 900k to 1mil+ miles (or equivalent engine hours)... and 600HP/2050trq will almost always only last about 550-650k miles (or equivalent hours), or less if tortured in heavy-haul applications at low rpm's. This leads to #4 reason ...

* #4 Bottom end torque response is a heavy contributor towards shortened engine life. The "harder you make one accelerate from a dead stop", the shorter the lifespan of the engine will be.. by a lot!. This is exactly why the CM570 and CM870 would last a very long time vs. a CM2350 or X15 engine. If that X15 engine was made as lazy on the bottom end as an old CM570 or CM870 was, then it would last just as long if not longer.

* #5 reason.. is NOT counter-boring and raising the liners height to a minimum of 0.014" (0.015" recommended) during an inframe, plus not letting the head gasket crush properly so that the head bolts can be re-torqued again the next day. - These mistakes that again, about 95% of all repair shops fail to do. ref: http://rawze.com/forums/showthread.php?t...3#pid48553

These are all liner/fretting problems.. not head or gasket issues. Trying to modify the head gasket in some way is fruitless. It is the prevention of the liner(s) from dancing/fretting in the block that keep the head gasket from giving way.

Everybody then goes about blaming everything but these mistakes listed here, that they made themselves, and wonder why the engine did not last very long. Therefore, there will always be some morons who are always inventing some redneck ways of trying to patch up problems that most of the time, they in fact created, it all out of sheer utter stupidity!.

If someone avoids ALL # of the things listed above, then it would become very rare for a liner to drop/head gasket failure to occur in less time-span than what is expected/mentioned above.


User's Signature: ->: What I post is just my own thoughts and Opinions! --- I AM Full Of S__T!.
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05-19-2022, (Subject: Head fire rings ) 
Post: #3
RE: Head fire rings
(05-19-2022 )Scooby d Wrote:  2012 Cummins isx cm 2250 with 380k on engine. Started getting compression in radiator so I pulled the exaust manifold and looks like its coming from number 6 hole. Haven't lifted the head yet so I'm hoping just a gasket and not a crack. My question is.... I know of guys getting fire rings cut in the heads and they are saying that it helps the Cummins head gasket from blowing out.... has anyone had experience with fire rings and what are your thoughts? Thanks

What you describe so far points strongly towards a head gasket failure but it can be other things too. Because of this, and because removing the head off of an ISX is one of the most expensive things that can be done ... as a general rule, a person should not be pulling the head off of an ISX until they have dropped the oil pan/stiffening plate, pressurized the coolant system up, and verified 100% that that it is indeed a failed head gasket BOFORE removing that head. Otherwise, once it is apart, someone may never know what the problem really was .;. and/or waste a whole lot of time and moneys.


User's Signature: ->: What I post is just my own thoughts and Opinions! --- I AM Full Of S__T!.
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05-19-2022, (Subject: Head fire rings ) 
Post: #4
RE: Head fire rings
Thanks for the info ! A local shop suggested the fire ring thing to me and I was skeptical. My truck is still factory tune at 600 hp with all egr dpf still working. I have did the egr/dpf tuneup every spring and have learned how to take care of it but it still gives me some trouble. I use my motor in heavy haul so it gets a work out. I'm loaded between 130k and 200k every day with a lot of pto idling time so it gets abused. Lots of oil changes because I run between 2 to 3.8 mpg. I will pull the head today and see what needs done. I have moisture on the intake and exaust valves in number 6 and a dribble of oil on number one valve stem. I'm guessing a liner hight problem will be the issue. If I have to fix liners then I'll be throwing lots of new parts in it. Thanks rawze for that liner hight info.. I'll be checking that out.
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05-19-2022, (Subject: Head fire rings ) 
Post: #5
RE: Head fire rings
(05-19-2022 )Scooby d Wrote:  Thanks for the info ! A local shop suggested the fire ring thing to me and I was skeptical. My truck is still factory tune at 600 hp with all egr dpf still working. I have did the egr/dpf tuneup every spring and have learned how to take care of it but it still gives me some trouble. I use my motor in heavy haul so it gets a work out. I'm loaded between 130k and 200k every day with a lot of pto idling time so it gets abused. Lots of oil changes because I run between 2 to 3.8 mpg. I will pull the head today and see what needs done. I have moisture on the intake and exaust valves in number 6 and a dribble of oil on number one valve stem. I'm guessing a liner hight problem will be the issue. If I have to fix liners then I'll be throwing lots of new parts in it. Thanks rawze for that liner hight info.. I'll be checking that out.

If you do a lot of PTO ... similar to what car-hauler trucks do.. then you can blame the premature engine failure squarely on that PTO.. as these idiot car-hauler makes always set the hydraulic unit to require the PTO to lug the engine to death at 1000 rpm and less under higher loads.. severely shortening the engine life. - These idiots who design those hydraulic units are just that... IDIOTS!.. who have no clue that running an engine in its lowest rpm range possible to make hydraulic power tears them up rapidly.


If you get average of 3 mpg then that is why the engine failed with less than 400k miles on it. -- MAKE CHANGES SO THAT IT IS NOT TORTURED SO BADLY.. and do whatever it takes to improve those numbers drastically.. (re-gearing, etc.) and those high expenses of rebuilding it, etc. will not be nearly as often. - THAT is where your focus should be .. improving your operations, etc.. and equipment specs so that it can better handle what you need it to do so that it is not torturing the engine to a premature death. 200k loads... that thing should have at least a set of 4.68 rears.. but more like a set of 4.86's or 5.11's behind it... and the PTO, if used heavily, set so that the engine can run at 1550 - 1650 while the pto is pumping.

How many engine run hours are on that thing?.


User's Signature: ->: What I post is just my own thoughts and Opinions! --- I AM Full Of S__T!.
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05-19-2022, (Subject: Head fire rings ) 
Post: #6
RE: Head fire rings
(05-19-2022 )Scooby d Wrote:  Thanks for the info ! A local shop suggested the fire ring thing to me and I was skeptical.
...

If I heard those words from a shop, I would run away from that place as fast as I could. They obviously do not know what the h#ell they are talking about. it leads me to also think that any other garbage they would do to a $40,000 commercial engine that would not be in someone's best interest. This would include how badly they would be at inframing it.

ALSO.. moisture on one of the exhaust valves does not qualify as "a bad head gasket" .. proper testing like I mentioned above needs to be done before tearing into it. For all anyone knows, that "moisture" could be nothing more than typical condensation on an engine that is still not warmed up yet.

Sure, you may possibly have a dropped liner issue with it.. but not doing the proper testing before making assumptions about the head gasket, etc. .. and willing to act on those assumptions alone .. is yet Another red flag against this place if you were to ask me.

Another bigger red flag for them is the fact that they would even slightly suggest it was only a head gasket. - this clearly shows they are completely clueless about the ISX engine with regards to this subject.. indicating that they likely do not properly check, set, etc.. liner heights and do a lot of guessing.. and then end up with repeated engine failures after charging big $$$ to someone with half-arssed inframe practices.

Like I said.. I would have run like h#lell real fast away from that place.

Those are my thoughts any ways.

And what are you calling "pressure in the radiator" anyways?. Are you loosing coolant out of the over-flow tank?. or is it something else?. You were not very clear on that one.

and how many engine hours are on it?.


User's Signature: ->: What I post is just my own thoughts and Opinions! --- I AM Full Of S__T!.
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05-19-2022, (Subject: Head fire rings ) 
Post: #7
RE: Head fire rings
The engine has 15,000 hrs and 380 k miles and is used off road a lot. I do all my own truck work. I have been to peterbilt once and cat once in my life and ended up giving them money for nothing... wont go back. The fire ring was suggested to me by a local mechanic just in conversation so I had to look into it. Wont be doing that! As far as moisture in number 6 I wasn't very clear on that. Truck was starting to biuld excess rad pressure a couple days ago and I thought my egr cooler was maybe on its way out. Backed truck in my shop on last trip and it was pushing about 1 gallon per hr out the overflow. When I said moisture in #6 I should have said puddle or maybe small creek. Puddle in #6 intake and exaust valves, water in turbo, water in egr cooler. Took antifreeze out and added straight water incase it was making its way to the pan but no water in the oil. I am going to check my egr cooler for leaks also. Just my thoughts is a bad egr cooler sent water to the engine creating steam that took out the gasket... I don't know... what I do know is that I'm holding on to wrenches instead of my coffee cup today..lol
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05-19-2022, (Subject: Head fire rings ) 
Post: #8
RE: Head fire rings
(05-19-2022 )Scooby d Wrote:  ...
Took antifreeze out and added straight water incase it was making its way to the pan
...

That is not a good idea at all ... Running a wet-liner engine on straight water will blow holes thru the liners so fast that it is not even remotely funny.

This was a detroit that someone ran for about 3 weeks with straight water in it...

   


User's Signature: ->: What I post is just my own thoughts and Opinions! --- I AM Full Of S__T!.
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05-19-2022, (Subject: Head fire rings ) 
Post: #9
RE: Head fire rings
(05-19-2022 )Scooby d Wrote:  The engine has 15,000 hrs and 380 k miles and is used off road a lot. I do all my own truck work. I have been to peterbilt once and cat once in my life and ended up giving them money for nothing... wont go back. The fire ring was suggested to me by a local mechanic just in conversation so I had to look into it. Wont be doing that! As far as moisture in number 6 I wasn't very clear on that. Truck was starting to biuld excess rad pressure a couple days ago and I thought my egr cooler was maybe on its way out. Backed truck in my shop on last trip and it was pushing about 1 gallon per hr out the overflow. When I said moisture in #6 I should have said puddle or maybe small creek. Puddle in #6 intake and exaust valves, water in turbo, water in egr cooler. Took antifreeze out and added straight water incase it was making its way to the pan but no water in the oil. I am going to check my egr cooler for leaks also. Just my thoughts is a bad egr cooler sent water to the engine creating steam that took out the gasket... I don't know... what I do know is that I'm holding on to wrenches instead of my coffee cup today..lol

again.. if you had pressurized the coolant system to 20-psi and checked the engine / egr cooler properly for seepage then you would not be guessing like that about where the coolant/moisture was coming from.

it is quite easy to see if the egr cooler is seeping. ref:



{ that is an old video.. so I would have to say that anyone watching it .. I do NOT recommend waterless coolant systems.. here was the result of running waterless coolant for a long while: http://rawze.com/forums/showthread.php?t...14#pid1114 }


And it is fairly easy to see if the head gasket is bad. Here is an example of a sort of a worse case scenario towards testing for head gasket issues. Most of the time it is much easier to find that this one was...

Rawze Wrote:- We let it sit over night with 22-PSI pressure on it until next morning. Low and behold, we searched and searched {around the bottom of the enigne with the oil pan off of it} and there was zero signs of coolant getting into the oil at first. Sometimes it is obvious, but sometimes it is hard to find. We wiped everything down and spun the engine a few times over by hand (with long wrench) and could not immediately find any kind of coolant intrusion problem even though it is clear that there is a problem with the head, a gasket, liner... something. After looking and wiping things down under the engine, we decided to turn it by hand some more ... slowly to see if we could get a better view at each cylinder. While turning the engine over by hand very slowly, when piston number 5 came up on a compression stroke, instead of a dry "hiss" sound, it started to gurgle, and tiny droplets of coolant started to pour down the inside of the liner wall. Number 5 piston was leaking coolant out of the bottom of the piston. So far this tells us that there is a problem in the head or the head gasket at #5 cylinder area.
ref: http://rawze.com/forums/showthread.php?t...6#pid25356


User's Signature: ->: What I post is just my own thoughts and Opinions! --- I AM Full Of S__T!.
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