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Old 09-28-2010, 07:35 PM   #1
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Crankcase Vapor Overflow

Recently, when we parked the coach, we saw some oil dripping under the engine, and the oil was a bit low. We had a mobile diesel person come over (we're miles from nowhere) and look at it, and he said the oil was coming from the crankcase vapor overflow tube. We have 60,000 miles on the coach and he said when an engine gets older, the pistons don't seal as well as they used to, and there is oil leakage from the cylinders. He said this oil comes out the overflow tube and this is normal. However, when you're going down the road, it sprays all over the engine, and gets on the carpet behind the slide in the bedroom. He said one can have a tube connected to the overflow tube so the leakage comes out a lot lower. Perusing the web I saw references to a dessicant filter. I am skeptical of the analysis I got, and I am going to Cummins next chance I get to have it looked at. Does anyone have any input on this?
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Old 09-28-2010, 07:48 PM   #2
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For RV's with a rear radiator, an extension of the overflow tube is a good idea because it keeps the radiator cleaner. But I've not seen anything about this issue with Alpines. The desiccant has nothing to do with it - that's for the compressed air system.

My '01 has very nearly 100,000 miles with very little oil blowby.
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Old 09-28-2010, 08:02 PM   #3
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Do a search on "slobber tube" and you will get descriptions of various home remedies for routing and/or capturing crankcase oil vapor. It's a common problem.

Some engine dipsticks do not accurately reflect the amount of oil in the crankcase and as a result can be overfilled/underfilled. If overfilled the excess oil is blown out the vent until it reaches the "real" full level then loses very little more oil in the ensuing miles. If the crankcase is underfilled it's usually by no more than a couple of quarts which would cause little harm except in the most severe operating conditions, but it's something I'd get fixed.

FWIW
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Old 09-28-2010, 08:11 PM   #4
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Fairly comment situation (not problem) to have slobber, but yours seems to be a little excessive. In 12,000 miles I have maybe a 1/2 teaspoon in my "collector" I would get it checked by someone else. It's not neccesariloy the rings there could be other causes. To have a mechanic tell you "as these engines get older" shows a lack of understanding of a medium duty diesel engine. The engine isn't really "broken in" for 30,000 miles and half life to rebuild is 500,000 miles used in more severe environments.
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Old 09-28-2010, 08:24 PM   #5
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Cummins N.W. of Yakima said at a Gearhead session some time back, "If you overfill your crankcase, don't worry about it. Your engine will take care of it." Meaning you'll get it pushed out thru the blow-by. If you ever overfill, this is a by-product of it. Diesel always has some portion of the compression leak by the rings into the crankcase where it will mix w/aerosol oil and want to escape. There is an oil separator on later model engines (first separator model IIRC was on 05 engines, 06 coaches w/cummins engines) that sets on the top of the valve cover and the blow-by tube emanates therefrom.

You can take a 2 liter Pepsi or Coke bottle (I'm kinda partial to the Coke bottles myself due to the superior design), and run the blow-by tube into it. Fill the bottom of the bottle w/copper or stainless scrub-sponges so the oil has something to coalesce on. You can monitor the oil usage this way. You need to figure a way to hang the bottle near the engine and you should be able to control any mess that would otherwise ensue.
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Old 09-28-2010, 10:02 PM   #6
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I use a small plastic peanut butter jar. Drill a hole in the center of the lid so that it will slide up the slobber tube. Push it up a couple of inches and tighten a hose clamp on the tube and slide the lid down against the hose clamp. Use a soldering iron to melt about four 3/4 inch holes in the jar up close to the threads ensure there is enough holes to ensure no back pressure. Now simply screw the jar onto the lid and that will capture the oil.
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Old 09-28-2010, 10:25 PM   #7
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We have over 100k miles on our 2003 and have had some modest weeping from the breather tube in the past. As stated above, I think some engines have issues with dip-stick calibration and actual engine capacity/engine preference. I keep the oil level about 1/2 way down the [checkered] operating range on the stick and it seems to help with oil weep. That amounts to about 2 quarts "low" which is nothing for a 7-gal capacity engine.
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Old 09-28-2010, 10:44 PM   #8
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I'd be skeptical of that diagnosis too. Normal slobber tube discharge doesn't spray all over the engine and wet the carpet.
I'd be looking for an oil leak that the fan is picking up and throwing around.
I've just pressure washed my entire bottom end and am installing the peanut butter jar on my tube.......thanks to Stillwater's idea and his clarification about the vent holes.
Have you ever checked the dipstick length vs. oil capacity specs?
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Old 09-29-2010, 07:10 AM   #9
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I have a 2005 ISL and the breather tube is routed up to the valve gear cover and any oil goes back into the engine.
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Old 09-29-2010, 11:26 AM   #10
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Overfilling seems to be the most common reason for excessive oil blow-by. Many RVers have had to re-adjust or remark their dip stick to check their oil levels. I used to have considerable trouble with blow-by until I measured the amount drained during an oil change noting that even though the dip stick showed about 2 quarts low, I actually drained the full amount indicated by Cummins. I have since never added oil to bring it to the "full" dipstick level. I alway make sure it shows at least two quarts low and have no more blow-by problems.
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Old 09-29-2010, 11:28 PM   #11
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Hmmm, I will have to check this one, but we have the 06 engine and 07 model coach, so I'm guessing it's routed into the ingine and burned, so, I won't know if my dipstick is mismarked or not. But the last time I took it in for an oil change, the teck said he put in the required amount of oil, but it looked two quarts low, he added one, and I added one. Have only used the coach once since then, and we are heading out later this week, so I will have to check once we are back.
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Old 09-29-2010, 11:57 PM   #12
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Ours has the same problem After stopping maybe 4/5 drops. So I put an extension on it to the rear of the coach then i put a rubber elbow on it about 2" down. It is also enough to keep most of the oil and oil mist off the tow car, I looked into the canister but never was completly sold, My breather down tube blocker once and it blew the seals out of the turbo, $3750.00 later I know one thing It must breath. Cat 330 engine;
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Old 09-30-2010, 09:05 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Rv'er View Post
Hmmm, I will have to check this one, but we have the 06 engine and 07 model coach, so I'm guessing it's routed into the ingine and burned, so, I won't know if my dipstick is mismarked or not. But the last time I took it in for an oil change, the teck said he put in the required amount of oil, but it looked two quarts low, he added one, and I added one. Have only used the coach once since then, and we are heading out later this week, so I will have to check once we are back.
Funny you should mention that. Now that I think about it, at my last oil change I noticed the dipstick showed two quarts low. I went back to the Cummins place and had him give me two more quarts of oil, although the service record showed that 30 quarts were put in. I added them, and it seems that the level stayed at the top of the dipstick until recently. I can understand if the oil came out shortly after the oil change, but I've driven about 5000 miles since the oil change so it's odd this should show up now. I bought extra oil to carry along and we're going to Cummins next week to have it checked out... about 2 hours away.
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Old 09-30-2010, 06:47 PM   #14
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I recently changed the oil in my coach. It took exactly 28 quarts to read full. The first time I had the oil changed I drove the coach home, checked the oil and it was WAY down. I called the mechanic and he swore that he had filled to the full mark. However I had to add 10 QUARTS to get to the fill line and was really p.....ed at the mechanic.

Drove the coach almost 1000 miles before I realized that the dip tube had worked its way up from the engine block and I was running with the engine 10 QUARTS OVER CAPACITY. I talked to Mike Young at Cummins and he said that they had had some of the engines installed at WRV that had loose dip tubes but not to worry as the engine would be fine. I put a couple of hose clamps around the tube where it is attached to the block and it has been fine ever since.

Never had a bit of blow-by during the 1000 miles of driving at 10 quarts over capacity.
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