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Old 06-26-2015, 06:41 PM   #1
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2000 36SDS What do i look at before buy?

I have found a 2000 36sds with 79K miles and was looking for guidance on what to look for as problem areas and hard to get service parts. Any and all feedback will be greatly appreciated. GRT
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Old 06-26-2015, 09:36 PM   #2
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Welcome.

That is a really tough question without more information.

Are you familiar with diesel pushers, just not the Alpine? In other words, tell us more about your mechanical background AND as much about the coach as you know. So things like: does it have maintenance records for some/all of its 15 years? Has it been operated in salt conditions and may have rust issues? How old are the tires (from the date code)?

If you are not familiar with diesels, you really should have someone help you. Example: If someone changed the coolant and just bought Prestone off the shelf at Walmart, you may be looking at a major engine overhaul. There are test strips that can tell you the coolant status in less than 2 minutes. How long since the brake fluid was changed-- they are hydraulic over hydraulic brakes and excellent ones. But, without maintenance, you could be looking at problems there after 15 years.

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Old 06-29-2015, 10:07 AM   #3
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If available, pay for a PPI (Pre-Purchase Inspection):
RVSurvey RV Inspection
https://rvinspection.com/class-a-mot...rv-inspection/


You may find this link helpful: https://rvtechcourse.com/
I just purchased a 99FDS, message or email me, be glad to tell about my experience.
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Old 07-01-2015, 08:30 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by wolfe10 View Post
Example: If someone changed the coolant and just bought Prestone off the shelf at Walmart, you may be looking at a major engine overhaul. There are test strips that can tell you the coolant status in less than 2 minutes. Brett Wolfe
2003 Alpine 38'

Something new to me. Is this for all Cummins engines? Where does somebody buy these test strips?
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Old 07-01-2015, 08:55 AM   #5
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Something new to me. Is this for all Cummins engines? Where does somebody buy these test strips?

Brett makes as excellent point with this example. Many diesel coach owners are not aware of the coolant requirements on many (not all) Diesel engines. Many are unaware of the air dryer and its maintenance. Many are under the impression that the transmission needs no attention.

Here is a fairly complete list of possible maintenance points on a diesel coach:

Complete base line service for Cummins diesel motorhome:

Engine: filters to be Fleetguard
1. Oil/filter
2. Fuel filters (2)
3. Coolant filter if equipped and test/ adjust SCA level if standard coolant. Change coolant @ 5 years. Add extender at 3 years if OAT type coolant.
4. Air filter if over 3 years old. Inspect plumbing between filter and turbo inlet for evidence of dust. Inspect CAC plumbing.
5. Inspect hoses & belts.

Transmission: filters to be Allison high capacity.
1. Change filters @ 36 months & top up.
2. Change fluid @ 48 months or test sample.
Always use TES295 fluid as approved by Allison.

Chassis:
1. Complete lube including lifting front axle from ends to unload king pins.
2. Including 3 zerks on steering column and one zerk on steering box.
3. Change Hydraulic filter & top up.
4. Change air dryer cartridge @ 2-3 years.
5. Grease front wheel bearings 3-5 years or change to oil hubs & inspect.
6. Change differential gear oil @ 3-5 years.
7. Inspect brake surfaces.
8. Inspect oil level tag axle hubs.
9. Inspect both chassis & house batteries. Make sure all connections are clean & tight. If flooded lead acid, check & top up with distilled water monthly.

Generator:
1. Oil/ filter
2. Fuel filter
3. Air filter
4. Perform valve lash, belt/ hose replacement and generator unit service before 2000 hours. Replace thermostat and coolant @ that time.

AquaHot:
1. Replace fuel filter
2. Replace burner nozzle
3. Exercise tempering valve.
4. Inspect coolant level at top of AquaHot unit and at expansion tank.

Inspect and clean all battery terminals.





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Old 07-01-2015, 10:46 AM   #6
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I just printed your list, Steve. Thanks.

Where would I get some coolant test strips?
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Old 07-01-2015, 10:47 AM   #7
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I'd check with Cummins for the test strips.
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Old 07-01-2015, 10:59 AM   #8
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I'd check with Cummins for the test strips.

X2. Sometimes they will just give them to you. They package them in single strip packs with a chart. They have a short shelf life so look at the expiration date.


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Old 07-01-2015, 12:04 PM   #9
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Something new to me. Is this for all Cummins engines? Where does somebody buy these test strips?
This applies to all Cummins except smallest (the B engine), all Caterpillar diesels, all Detroit Diesels, etc. Not something new or exclusive to a particular brand. It is critical for any diesel engine that uses cylinder liners.

These are the test strips we use at the Diesel RV Club Rallies, but they all have a limited shelf life and come with way more than an individual would ever use before they expire. I also bring them to the Caterpillar Maintenance Seminar I do at the FMCA Rallies-- next one in Madison WI in a couple of weeks:

Part Details
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Old 07-01-2015, 01:39 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by wolfe10 View Post
This applies to all Cummins except smallest (the B engine), all Caterpillar diesels, all Detroit Diesels, etc. Not something new or exclusive to a particular brand. It is critical for any diesel engine that uses cylinder liners.

These are the test strips we use at the Diesel RV Club Rallies, but they all have a limited shelf life and come with way more than an individual would ever use before they expire. I also bring them to the Caterpillar Maintenance Seminar I do at the FMCA Rallies-- next one in Madison WI in a couple of weeks:

Part Details

Hey Wolfe10,

I know you are the resident expert on Cat. I always thought that the C7 was not a wet sleeved engine & didn't require SCA.


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Old 07-01-2015, 01:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfe10 View Post
This applies to all Cummins except smallest (the B engine), all Caterpillar diesels, all Detroit Diesels, etc. Not something new or exclusive to a particular brand. It is critical for any diesel engine that uses cylinder liners.

These are the test strips we use at the Diesel RV Club Rallies, but they all have a limited shelf life and come with way more than an individual would ever use before they expire. I also bring them to the Caterpillar Maintenance Seminar I do at the FMCA Rallies-- next one in Madison WI in a couple of weeks:

Part Details
Some and as my self have switched coolant to avoid having to use test strips. I changed to Zerex ZXED1 a hybrid oat. I also replaced the SCA charged coolant filter to a non-charged filter. It's Cummins approved I can go 3 years and add an extender and go another 3 years.It protects against liner pitting and will mix with any small amount of coolant that did not get flushed.
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Old 07-01-2015, 01:49 PM   #12
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Steve,

You are correct, the Caterpillar 3116, 3126 and C7 are also parent bore engines. But, their owners manuals still have the same Mil specs for the coolant as their larger engines.
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Old 07-01-2015, 01:54 PM   #13
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Jim,

Yes, I am also a fan of the new OAT-based coolants. Be sure to check on the need for the extender.

I worked with the Caterpillar engineers when Caterpillar ELC as introduced (their OAT-based coolant). They also suggested the extender after 3 years/300,000 miles, but left the "three year" suggestion on their RV recommendations.

Well, what we found was that those that added the extender were over-dosing the coolant. They subsequently changed the recommendation to "add the extender at 300,000 miles. In other words, for 99.5% of RV's they do not recommend an extender be added.

Let us know what Cummins says about adding it based on time only, vs miles.
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Old 07-01-2015, 02:19 PM   #14
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A couple of things to add to your list of things to look for or service to perform on a 2000 Alpine on a PEAK Chassis. The 2000 Alpine has Hydraulic Disc Brakes with floating calipers, the Pin Sliders should be lubed and the brake fluid should be flushed. The Drive Shaft U-Joints should be lubricated every 3000 miles.


The Alpine does not have a zerk fitting on the steering box, and they do not have tag axels and the 2000 Alpine was not equipped with an Agua Hot from the factory.
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