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Old 01-13-2013, 11:00 AM   #1
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1999 Alpine Coach Cooling & Turbo System Repairs

I decided to create a new thread to summarize the results of my 2 month project to rebuild my cooling and charge air systems. This project has been discussed in several other threads:
http://www.irv2.com/forums/f104/leaking-hydraulic-fan-motor-141214.html
http://www.irv2.com/forums/f104/1999-alpine-coach-radiator-repair-142133.html
http://www.irv2.com/forums/f104/1999-alpine-coach-turbocharger-oil-leak-142258.html
http://www.irv2.com/forums/f104/1999-caps-fuel-pump-leak-141019.html

First of all, I want to thank all of you that have contributed to this forum over the years. The information I found by searching for existing posts and getting answers to my specific questions was extremely valuable. I would particularly like to thank EngineerMike for responding to all my questions and giving me very helpful information. If it were not for this forum, I would not have even attempted to do this large repair project by myself. I hope the information provided here and in the other threads will be useful to others as well.





To summarize, I repaired or replaced the exhaust manifold, turbocharger, fan motor, radiator, charge air cooler, and several smaller components such as tubes, hoses & clamps. I also replaced all the engine/transmission related fluids and filters, relined the engine compartment with sheet aluminum, and cleaned/painted many parts inside the engine compartment. I did all the labor myself except to rebuild the fan motor, recore the radiator, and weld a new CAC to the old hydraulic oil cooler. The total cost of this project was $7043 (new exhaust manifold - $426, new turbo - $1326, new CAC - $1681, rebuild fan motor - $413, rebuild radiator - $1676, fluids & filters - $617, hoses, clamps, seals, nuts & bolts - $773, misc.-$131). I also purchased a spare wax valve for the fan motor speed controller for $326. All these prices include taxes, shipping, etc.

I don’t know what I saved by doing the labor myself and getting parts for less than retail, but I figure it could be $10,000 or more based on some of the costs that I have seen posted in this forum. The project was a lot of work and consumed about 180 hours of my time, but the knowledge I gained for future repairs (especially emergency road repairs) was alone well worth the effort.

Specific things I learned that may help others:

1) Check for turbo oil leaks into the CAC regularly. Oil in the CAC voids its warrantee, and ruins the tube seals if not fixed before it eats them away. The only way I know to detect a small leak, is to pull off a bump hose and see if there is any evidence of oil in the ridges. In my case, there was no visible white/blue smoke from the exhaust or excessive oil consumption. A relatively small leak caused a very expensive repair!

2) At least in my 1999 Alpine, WRV did a poor job of securing and protecting hoses and cables. I had a hydraulic hose that blew on the road in the middle of nowhere, I found 2 more during my project, that were about to blow, and found many that were worn at least part way through. I also found a large electrical cable from the alternator that was about to short to chassis ground. I added a heck of a lot of abrasion resistant sleeves and used a very large number of zip ties to try to prevent future problems.

3) Charge air bump hoses leak. I describe this in the “radiator repair” thread referenced above. I performed leak tests on many clamp/hose manufacture combinations and they all leak. At the suggestion of the Dura-Lite rep, I tried using 2 clamps on each hose end and that pretty much eliminated the leaks. But you can see in the photo below that at 30 psi, even 2 clamps leak a little. The only conclusion I have come to is that either, time and temperature eventually create a seal in real usage, or every diesel is running around with leaking hoses. I went ahead and added double clamps everywhere I could on the compressor side of my charge air system. I also think that the requirement that a CAC leak down no more than 7 psi in 15 sec is way too stringent. If you calculate the CFM your turbo produces at 30 psi (as EngineerMike did in the thread), a 7 psi static drop is insignificant in comparison. I could go on for pages about this topic, but I will stop here.


4) The top radiator tube on my 1999 coach was too long. WRV jammed it into the bump hoses at each end, but so distorted them that both were about to break. I ended up cutting 1.5” out of the tube and welded it back together to get it to fit correctly. With a quick inspection, it should be fairly obvious if your coach has the same problem.

5) If you have an older coach that uses a wax valve fan control, you may want to carry a spare. They are not stocked in the US and take 4-8 weeks to get them from England. This could be a show stopper if yours leaks or fails on the road.
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Old 01-13-2013, 02:43 PM   #2
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Super write up!!!! Can you tell me more about the wax valves and what happened for you to have to get new ones, Are they mounted on a proirty valve? Do you have photo's of the system where these waxing valves are at and of the new valve? Where did you order them from? Thank you
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Old 01-13-2013, 06:54 PM   #3
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Great summary and a super technical reference. Thanks for taking the time to do this.
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:42 AM   #4
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Response to palehorse89:

Here is a photo of the "wax valve" that is called a "thermo control valve" by the manufacturer. It is mounted on the radiator just below the upper hose connection. The valve has a hydraulic control loop that connects to the flow controller on the hydraulic fan motor. As the engine heats up to 180 degrees, the coolent starts to flow to the radiator, the wax in the valve starts to melt and expand. This causes the valve to start closing and restricts the flow of fluid in the control loop. This, in turn, causes the the flow control valve on the fan motor to start opening and the motor to start turning the fan. At about 190 degrees, the wax valve is fullly closed, the control valve is fully open, and the fan turns at its maximum RPM.

There are many posts on this forum about the wax valve. Do a search and you will find them. Other people have reported failures of the valve (stuck open or closed or leaking). My original valve works just fine. I bought the new valve as a spare.

This valve was used on Alpine Coaches from 1998 to 2003. I don't know if the same valve was used on other "side Radiator" coaches. I ordered the wax valve through Berendsen Fluid Power, Aurora Co. You can call Berendsen at 303-367-1739 and ask for Ellen. She places the order and if you give her a credit card number, the part can be shipped directly to you and your CC won't be charged until the part arrives in the Berendsen US warehouse. The full part description is: "553109857190 HT93SA210A Thermo Valve".
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Old 01-14-2013, 03:26 PM   #5
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Thank you for the photo and write up, Mine is under the coach and is a machined block with hyd. lines and coolant lines in and out of it. I have looked and spent quite a bit of time trying to study on how my system is suppose to work and if it is working correctly. My fan was turning fast at a idle and on that "priority valve" I am talking about there was a fitting screwed into it with a cap on the bottom, inside was a needle valve that was adjustable so I turned it in and the fan slowed down, turned it out and the fan sped up. So I slowed it down and called spartan and ask them about what I had done and they said that slowing the fan would be ok just watch the coolant and tranny temp. and it has been ok. I would just like to know just how that priority valve is suppose to work and if the other things screwed into the block are waxing valves to control the fan speed and maybe they are not working right. My fan speeds up with the rpm's, maybe that is the way mine was setup from spartan? I guess I should call them and ask more questions. Maybe someone here will be able to explain this prioity valve to me. I know what I adjusted directed more flow to the power steering and away from the fan.
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