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Old 12-09-2015, 08:16 PM   #1
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Information on side radiator fan gear box

For those who might be interested on checking/filling oil in the fan gear box, I didn't think mine looked like the FL Manual's picture so I called FL.
The picture in the Manual shows a vent/fill plug in the same place but on mine I saw the vent on a 3" post and a large plug over to one side. Fl stated the large plug (7/8" wrench) was the fill plug with a stem attached to it that indicates the level of the oil.

Plug was easy to remove from underneath and can tell the oil level in a few seconds. Just made sure the top of the box was very clean so as to not get any dirt in it while replacing the plug. A lot easier than I thought it would be if the plug on the side of the box had to be removed to tell when the box was full enough.

My concern was since I seemed to have a leak maybe I was running low, but the stem showed it was still full even after losing some oil. Washed all the oil off and will watch to see if it continues to leak.

Oh yes, this is on a 2015 Dutch Star 4018.
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Old 12-09-2015, 09:32 PM   #2
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Radiator gear box

This past September/October we had a scheduled service date at Newmar. Once all the items were taken care of we were ready to embark on our trip to Florida. The tech that worked on our coach called us over to look at a leak coming from the right angle gear box that connects to the side radiator fan. He said we needed to go to Freightliner and have it looked at since it should not be leaking. The tech didn't think we should drive to long with that leak and i agreed. We called Freightliner and they hooked us up with a facility close by.
Once we got there they were able to get us in and have a look. At first they thought it was overfilled and that was what we were seeing. But upon further inspection it was leaking at the shaft seal. They overnighted a new gear box and two days later a new box was installed all under warranty. The shop mentioned another DS had just pulled in with a similar problem. I can't imagine breaking down on the side of the road with a seized up gear box.
Take these leaks seriously and have them checked ASAP.
We have 20,000 miles on our coach and didn't expect this to happen within 1 1/2 years of use.
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Old 12-09-2015, 10:35 PM   #3
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Mine is not yet 6 months old with 6,400 miles on it. I had crawled under there a couple or so weeks ago to see what it would take to lubricate all the U-joints and to get to the engine oil filter and there was some oil sprayed around the frame. That's when I noticed it was coming from the gear box and it definitely looked like around the shaft.
I've read several posts that have noticed oil sprayed around under there and wondered how or what could cause several to do this. Either FL or there supplier must be goofing up some place.
I won't be driving much for a while but am going to keep a close watch on it. Like you said, would be one heck of a spot to be in when that gear box froze up.
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Old 12-10-2015, 06:19 AM   #4
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Which begs the question: Why don't they use multiple electric fans instead of a drive shaft/right angle drive gear box to cool the radiator? Using 4 electric fans would allow them to be cycled on and off as needed without the parasitic HP drag on the engine, and give a redundant backup to limp home if necessary.
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Old 12-10-2015, 07:04 AM   #5
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Anyone have info on Spartan set up ?
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Old 12-10-2015, 07:11 AM   #6
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My Spartan K3 is set up similarly. Fan belt drives a clutch mechanism which runs a drive shaft to a gear box and the fan. Looks unnecessarily complex to me, but I'll take it over my previous rear-radiator setup.

I have wondered about the use of electric fans myself. Seems like it would be less mechanism to fail.
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Old 12-10-2015, 08:50 AM   #7
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Mine was replaced at around 5k miles.
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Old 12-10-2015, 08:57 AM   #8
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FL replaced my gear box with only 6400 miles. The technician told me ever since FL changed over to this type gear box they have seen more leaks.
I have 2015 DS 4366.
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Old 12-10-2015, 07:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lostinfla View Post
Which begs the question: Why don't they use multiple electric fans instead of a drive shaft/right angle drive gear box to cool the radiator? Using 4 electric fans would allow them to be cycled on and off as needed without the parasitic HP drag on the engine, and give a redundant backup to limp home if necessary.
Probably the same reason they ran the generator exhaust pipe right under the access plate to the generator's oil/fuel filters making it impossible to reach those filters without completely removing the access plate instead of just swiveling it down at one end: Design engineers undoubtedly have never seen or been in a completed motor home. The drive shaft/right angle drive gear box probably showed upper management how creative the engineering department can be, and thusly prove their salaries.
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