Why use Stainless Steel Injector Sleeves (Cups)

We just changed our tooling to accommodate the M-11 stainless steel, not knowing why they had changed to a stainless steel cup. As you know, stainless steel is considered an exotic alloy and is not as pliable as copper or brass. It's tough stuff to work with, even to cut and roll out.

While at a trade show, I had some of the new stainless steel cups sitting out where passers-by could see them. There were a couple of gentlemen who were walking by and noticed the new cups. I got to talking with them and learned that they worked for an independent R&D company and had worked on the team that ended up making the change to stainless steel for Cummins.

Cummins had been having premature cup failures under warranty and hired this independent company to discover and find a solution to this problem. So I asked the question we had been dying to find out. Why did you make the change to stainless steel? Brass and copper had been perfectly fine for use in these engines since the 1960's.

Their answer was "because Cummins has now gone to using extended life anti-freeze" in their engines. That was it, as simple as could be. The extended life anti-freeze eats and corrodes soft metals such as copper and brass. So they switched out to stainless steel which can withstand the extended life anti-freeze.

So where does Irontite Products Inc. stand on the subject of stainless steel injector sleeves verses using copper or brass? We go with what the Original Equipment Manufacturer has gone with: stainless steel. We don't want to go backwards in technology.

We do have some customers who say that they know of people that put the copper sleeves in and then a shop down the street gets the job because the copper failed 90 to 120 days after it was installed. The install had a 60 day warranty so the truck owner could take it back under warranty, but he was down again and doing the work again because the wrong kind of sleeve was used.

So we know copper sleeves are being used out in the field and it's unfortunate that some people are going to suffer with failures because the wrong sleeves were used.

And it is not just Cummins. All the engine manufacturers are gradually switching over to stainless steel.

With stainless steel, the tooling you use matters. So don't cheap out. Get good quality tools that last and that do the job precisely to OEM specs.


Re: The Cummins ISX / QSX Injector Casting Seat Cutter P/N: 416-6156-28

When changing injector sleeves on Cummins Series of engines, it's been standard practice to clean the casting seat area of the casting with a wire brush, included in our Injector Sleeve Removal & Installation Kit.

Many advanced machine shops, utilize our Casting Seat Cutter to insure proper Injector Sleeve Seating/Sealing prior to injector sleeve installation, in addition to brushing the casting clean.

This Casting Seat Cutter is found in our Casting Repair Kit, which is required for the rebuilding of a casting seat area that has developed cracks and/or has excessive casting wear.

Oversized (thick nosed) injector sleeves are not available and proper seating of the injector into the injector sleeve is a concern. Currently, with this Cummins ISX - QSX Series, it is NOT advised to remove any more casting material than suggested.

Suggested procedures to clean up any casting distortion and/or sealing serrations;

  1. In a machining center (seat & guide machine), using our casting seat cutter (416-6156-28) with the driving arbor (414-6114-10) and the appropriate guide bushing (416-6156-32), clean up the casting seat with a .002 to .003 cut (.005 maximum).
  2. While cutting, the seat cutter should be operated at about 60/80 RPM and should be kept well lubricated at all times with our Irontite Tap-O (468-9920-08) metal cutting fluid.

If removal of more casting material is required, then it's advised you install one of our Taper Threaded repair plugs in order to build up this casting seat area. These can be found in our Casting Repair Kit.

If there are any questions or concerns about these suggested procedures, please contact us. 


Rich Wengatz
Nat'l Sales Manager
Irontite Products, Inc. 319-377-9421

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