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Old 03-14-2008, 08:39 PM   #1
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On our return to the Northwest this spring we had some oil from the coach breather tube on the tow vehicle. Just picked up the coach from Cummins NW. The repair was an extension of the vent tube. Since I was out of warranty the 12" piece of hose may be the most expensive I have ever purchased. The service rep suggested a collection system could be added by using a vented plastic bottle clamped to the tube. Just check the contents from time to time. The air flow at the vent when check on the dyno was 3.2 with up to 12 being within tolerance. I am sure there have been discussion on this issue, however I have missed any comments.
2000 Alpine, 350, and 54,000 miles
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Old 03-14-2008, 08:39 PM   #2
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On our return to the Northwest this spring we had some oil from the coach breather tube on the tow vehicle. Just picked up the coach from Cummins NW. The repair was an extension of the vent tube. Since I was out of warranty the 12" piece of hose may be the most expensive I have ever purchased. The service rep suggested a collection system could be added by using a vented plastic bottle clamped to the tube. Just check the contents from time to time. The air flow at the vent when check on the dyno was 3.2 with up to 12 being within tolerance. I am sure there have been discussion on this issue, however I have missed any comments.
2000 Alpine, 350, and 54,000 miles
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Old 03-15-2008, 08:47 AM   #3
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JR - I simply have a wide mouth juice bottle on mine. The mouth of the bottle is about 3/8" larger in diameter than the breather hose. The hose slides down into the bottle about 3" from the bottom and the top of the bottle is about 4" from the bottom of the hose. The top is left open so gases can escape from the top. This does a pretty fair job of preventing oil and gunk build-up from around the engine and since doing it I have not had anymore problems with the toad collecting blowby. The plastic bottle is simply tied to some cables that run near the breather tube. I have never had to empty it out, althouth I did once. No more than about an 1/8" to 1/4" has built up. Simple and unelegant but works for me. There are actual kits made to do the same thing that use metal recovery tanks and filters but I have never had a need to go more elaborate than the simple kludge I described.
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Old 03-15-2008, 01:14 PM   #4
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JR- What Steve describes is SOP. Some use stainless or copper sponges in the bottle to help effectuate collection of the misted oil. Rear radiator coaches have the expediency of collecting most of this oil on the fins of their radiators, which in turn collects dirt and clogs off airflow causing overheating. The side radiator design moves the oil collection point back to the toad.

You should be able to run another coupla hundred thou using the bottle & a regular inspection/maintenance schedule for it, and not have to do much toad cleaning.
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Old 03-15-2008, 05:53 PM   #5
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Thanks guys, got to be careful of seeking a high tech solution to a low tech problem.
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Old 03-15-2008, 07:29 PM   #6
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JR, My 2003 Alpine had bad blowby thru the dip stick and coated most of that panel where several relays are located.
What I did was stopped using Delo 400 15W 40 oil and put in Ams Oil 15W 40 and the blowby stopped altogether. My oil pressure no longer drops as the trip progresses and stays at 50 PSIG except for idle that runs about 20+.

Iron Mike, 2003 Alpine, vacationing in the lower 48 until end of March 08 then flying instead of driving back to Alaska.
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Old 03-16-2008, 05:20 AM   #7
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Iron Mike,
I have noticed significant oil accumulation on my 2005 in the engine service area also. I had just had the fuel filter changed and I found that the engine oil dipstick tube was pulled out of the fitting at the top end where the dipstick goes in. I remember the tech trying to pull himself up by holding on to the dipstick tube. This is just a friction fit between the tube housing and the bracket. I makes a major mess if it is loose.
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Old 03-16-2008, 07:35 AM   #8
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Oil capcity/oil level is another issue related to oil blow-by on Alpines--believe there is a thread on the forum. Some oil dip-sticks on early Alpines were not properly calibrated length-wise to measure correct oil level so owners tend to over fill their engines--creating more blow-by opportunity. You have to go with "manufacture's recommended" capacities at the oil change and then physically/mentally re-calibrate the dip-stick to maintain proper oil levels between changes.
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Old 03-16-2008, 01:14 PM   #9
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Iron Mike - Are you vacationing in your Alpine down here in the hot South? Interesting story about the oil type change. I used to have a severe problem with blowby thru the dipstick guide until I discovered that too much oil was being added to get a "full" reading on the dipstick. On one of my oil changes I measured the amount I put in versus what the dipstick indicated. Twenty quarts brought it just a little over the full mark but I know a couple quarts remain in the engine during a change therefore, I estimated the dipstick being off by about 3 quarts. I now let it run about 3/4 of a gallon low (as measured by the dipstick) and messing up the engine service bay has diminished greatly (guess they call them dipsticks for a reason ). Anyway, are you certain that the oil levels are the same now as what they were before you switched brands? Cheers.
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Old 03-16-2008, 03:38 PM   #10
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I too had the dipstick tube work its way almost two inches up the metal tube mounted on the engine. Cummins said that they had a number of 05's that were not properly secured. I kept adding oil (almost eight quarts) before I realized the problem. The solution was to install a clamp on the dipstick after insuring that the the flex tube was fully bottomed out against the block. That was a year ago and it has stayed in place since then.
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Old 03-17-2008, 07:39 PM   #11
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I too had engine blow by problems that I posted on a previous thread about a year ago. Mine got an oily film on the back of the engine and the frame and would reappear after I cleaned it. Went on bor 15,000 miles until I had Cummins NW check it. They ended up doing a dye check and found out I didn't have a filler cap on top of the valve cover. Came from the factory without it, and since I couldn't see the top of the valve cover cleanly from the rear of the coach, I didn't know it was missing.

So, for me, a simple thing like no valve cover oil cap caused the problem. Put a cap on and haven't had an oil blow-by problem since.
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Old 03-19-2008, 03:43 PM   #12
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Sorry for not responding earlier but wanted to get the pan part# and then call Cummins Northwest as we are presently setting in my brothers driveway in Selah, Wa.

We checked the pan part# 3944258 with capacity requirements. They said 20 qts low and 24 qts high with this pan on an isl 400. That amount was with the oil filter prefilled. The tech said I needed to check and mark the dipstick at 20 qts for low and add 4 more for 24 qts high.

To give credit where credit is due: I did put some heat shrink on the dipstick handle to make a tighter fit. I won't know if I have been over filling the oil pan until we return back here in October this year. We are going to leave our coach here because of damaged panels to be replaced and painted by my nephew and not spend the $1200 or $1400 dollars it cost to drive down from Alaska. Flying is cheaper and quicker.

SteveS. Our schedule is out of Alaska for 6 months during the winter and return home for 6 months for the summer. We did go to the ACA rally in Quartzsite this year. If you went we missed you.

As to blame the type of oil, that may have been wrong.

I did check my oil cap and found it loose. Anyway it's nice to have a forum to discuss problems.

Iron Mike, 38' 2003 FDDS, Suzuki 4 X 4 2000 GV.
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