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Old 05-24-2018, 08:23 PM   #1
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Changing side radiator fan gear box increased engine temperature

I just had the side radiator fan gear box replaced on my Dutch Star today, then on the 90 mile drive home I noticed the engine temperature gauge was running about 1-1 1/2 times the width of the gauge needle higher than it ever had in the 3 years/21,000 miles since new, except going up a mountain pass.

What could the tech have done that could possibly cause the engine temp to run just a fraction higher than usual? Not enough to cause trouble, unless it will really be a problem hard pulling on mountain passes. I was in the coach during the replacement but unfortunately I couldn't be under the rear of the coach watching him.

I did take a quick look from the engine hood and he did replace the fan.
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Old 05-24-2018, 08:38 PM   #2
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Along with the gear box they may have changed out the temp sensor that controls fan speed .
I don't know exactly how the fan speed is controlled on your gear drive set up , but the fans don't run at full speed all the time to aid fuel economy .
Fan at full RPM takes approx 30 HP to turn it. At least that's the number on my hydraulic side rad cooling fan set up.

EDIT: Call the shop back and express your concerns , but without an exact temp reading, before/after the part change, they may just say it's normal.
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Old 05-24-2018, 08:53 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wagonmaster2 View Post

I did take a quick look from the engine hood and he did replace the fan.

OK, something about this part of your post just jumped out at me .
There is a possibility that the fan was installed backwards ; meaning it's trying to push air out the side of the coach , instead of pulling it in , through the rad.

With the coach at operating temp, put the engine on fast idle and walk to the rad and make sure that the airflow is going into the rad not being blown back through towards you.
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Old 05-25-2018, 04:09 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wagonmaster2 View Post
I just had the side radiator fan gear box replaced on my Dutch Star today, then on the 90 mile drive home I noticed the engine temperature gauge was running about 1-1 1/2 times the width of the gauge needle higher than it ever had in the 3 years/21,000 miles since new, except going up a mountain pass.

What could the tech have done that could possibly cause the engine temp to run just a fraction higher than usual? Not enough to cause trouble, unless it will really be a problem hard pulling on mountain passes. I was in the coach during the replacement but unfortunately I couldn't be under the rear of the coach watching him.

I did take a quick look from the engine hood and he did replace the fan.

You didn't mention why the fan/gearbox were replaced. If this is part of the recall, it may be a minor change in the ratio. Assuming a Spartan chassis, try calling Spartan.
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Old 05-25-2018, 05:05 AM   #5
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Had to replace gear box leaking around seal . Later on replace fan clutch temp ran hotter back to Freightliner had to install what they called a little black electrical box to control fan better. Temp gage fluctuation but isnít over heating!
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Old 05-25-2018, 07:20 AM   #6
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Black Box

If you want to know about that little black box read this old thread. ISL Fan Speed
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Old 05-25-2018, 08:13 PM   #7
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OK, something about this part of your post just jumped out at me .
There is a possibility that the fan was installed backwards ; meaning it's trying to push air out the side of the coach , instead of pulling it in , through the rad.

With the coach at operating temp, put the engine on fast idle and walk to the rad and make sure that the airflow is going into the rad not being blown back through towards you.
Good suggestion Skip, I wouldn't have thought of that as a problem. Unfortunately that was not the problem, when I started the engine, put it on fast idle, started to place a large piece of cardboard up against the side of the radiator it sucked it out of my hand and held it tight against the coach.

This gear box was replaced due to a small oil leak at the seal around the shaft that has the fan blades attached to it. Not a bad leak, just enough to be a nuisance and require checking on every few months. The fact that I couldn't reach it without removing the dust shield I made really made checking the oil level worse.

This is on a Freightliner chassis. Does anyone have a good phone number to receive information from FL? Twice now when I called the Help number I got some lady who knows absolutely nothing about motor homes. Last time I asked about the squeaky noise the brake peddle makes when releasing the peddle she said she'd never heard about it. When i asked the mechanic at the FL shop he said it was quite common as practically all diesel trucks make that noise when the air pressure is released. And she'd never heard of it?
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Old 05-25-2018, 08:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wagonmaster2 View Post
Good suggestion Skip, I wouldn't have thought of that as a problem. Unfortunately that was not the problem, when I started the engine, put it on fast idle, started to place a large piece of cardboard up against the side of the radiator it sucked it out of my hand and held it tight against the coach.

This gear box was replaced due to a small oil leak at the seal around the shaft that has the fan blades attached to it. Not a bad leak, just enough to be a nuisance and require checking on every few months. The fact that I couldn't reach it without removing the dust shield I made really made checking the oil level worse.

This is on a Freightliner chassis. Does anyone have a good phone number to receive information from FL? Twice now when I called the Help number I got some lady who knows absolutely nothing about motor homes. Last time I asked about the squeaky noise the brake peddle makes when releasing the peddle she said she'd never heard about it. When i asked the mechanic at the FL shop he said it was quite common as practically all diesel trucks make that noise when the air pressure is released. And she'd never heard of it?
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Old 07-29-2018, 09:59 AM   #9
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FL Fan Gear Box

Well I never thought I would be posting this message on a forum. But...Ö

We just returned from a 2.5 month trip in our 2015 Dutchstar. We had to return a month early because of a leaky fan gear box. It had to be replaced in Portland FOR THE FOURTH TIME! Yup, our wonderful motorhome has its 5th FL fan gear box installed. FL says (for the 4th time) it probably won't fail again. They said not to worry: If we get stranded on the side of the road, they would send a tow. We are amazed that FL doesn't seem to want to know why this is a problem.
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Old 07-29-2018, 12:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
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There is a possibility that the fan was installed backwards ; meaning it's trying to push air out the side of the coach , instead of pulling it in , through the rad.
Assuming the fan can be mounted backward, doing so will not reverse the air direction but it will severely reduce the air velocity. The blades are curved to improve the efficiency and turning the fan around will really hurt.

If they got the hoses reversed, that would make the fan run the wrong direction and that WILL reverse the direction of the airflow.
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Old 08-17-2018, 05:33 AM   #11
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I'm at Camp Freightliner with what appears to be the exact same situation. I'm waiting for the ESW folks to send out an adjuster to stop by to get approval for the coverage.

Was there a final resolution to the OP's concerns?
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Old 08-17-2018, 05:51 AM   #12
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Wagonmaster2 don’t you have a light bar in your info system below your speedometer. I can set it for nine different items to monitor engine temp, transmission, etc. I just had a total wipeout on my radiator the fan bracket gave away and went into the radiator. Tore up a bunch of stuff. I monitored the engine and transmission tempts all the way back from New Mexico to the Claremore area and the tempt of the engine never got above 197 on an over 100 degree day.
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Old 08-17-2018, 06:36 AM   #13
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As mentioned, setup the LBCU to display your engine temp (and tranny temp) to get your actual readings. The analog sweep gauge really doesn't give you enough info. My engine temp generally runs about 183f - on hills will climb up to 200+
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Old 08-17-2018, 11:46 AM   #14
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I've got to say....I still think Freightliner is missing the issue with these fan drive boxes. If you do a little detective work, (remove floor in coach and look at fan drive) you can see where fluid runs out of the overflow/breather, down the side and onto the seal, making it look like the seal is leaking.

They also replaced my gearbox, stating it was a bad seal. Sure enough, a short time later, the gearbox is wet again. This time, I cleaned it completely with 409 and water rinse, including fan blades. I removed the breather and extended it with a 12" rubber hose. I topped off the oil and reinstalled. I tie wrapped the hose to the fan support and haven't had an issue since.

Many will say they don't think the oil is draining from the breather. They say they can't see anything coming out. Here's what happens. The clean oil comes out and runs down the side of the gearbox. The oil is clean and clear, making it hard to see. It then gets on the gearbox and seal, where dirt is thrown at it by the engine fan. Now it's visible as dirty oil on the seal, leading people to believe the seal is leaking.

Simple test, take a few minutes, extend the tube and rinse off the fan box and see what happens after a few miles. Mine has been dry since I did the tube, over two years ago.
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