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Old 03-17-2019, 08:37 AM   #1
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Leak at steering

Hello , i am new to the RV world. I have a 2003 Alpine coach 40'. It has the Cummings 400 ISL. the other day after sitting for a couple months i started the coach to move and level. I noticed fluid coming from what looks like a steering box on the drivers side below steering wheel. Is this the same fluid that comes from the tank at the engine it has directions that say only use Dextron II fluid? It says to check hot. Does that same tank have anything to do with the brakes? Thanks for any help Tom
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Old 03-17-2019, 10:56 AM   #2
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Yes--the tank in the rear engine compartment provides hydraulic fluid for the engine fan motor, power steering, and power brake boost[but not the brake fluid for the master cylinder/calipers]. Our older Alpines came with ATF, the equivalent now is Dexron III. Tank holds about 3 gals and has three stacked filters inside. Opinions vary but I usually change fluid every 4 years [about 50k miles]….
Ps--add your coach model/year to your signature block.
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Old 03-18-2019, 06:35 AM   #3
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Thanks Old Scout

Thanks Old Scout, the leak is not very big and i am on the road . If i keep the fluid checked would i be ok to get back home ? About 800 miles out. is there danger of not having breaks? Your help is great. First clear answer on that tank Yet. I will buy some Dextron III to keep on board.
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Old 03-18-2019, 07:02 AM   #4
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Sorry, no one can tell accurately you if the leak will stay small or a seal will completely blow out.


Yes, if you run out of hydraulic fluid, you will loose your booster part of the brakes as well as steering assist.


Not turning the steering wheel all the way to the locks will help a little by not applying full pressure to some of the seals. This is particularly true if your cut angles are not set properly and the steering knuckle(s) contact the physical stop.


Let us know exactly what steering box you have and where it is leaking for more specific information.
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Old 03-18-2019, 07:16 AM   #5
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Submit IRV2 Alpine Registry info (see sticky above), join FMCA, ACA and ACE (Alpine Coach East)
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Old 03-18-2019, 09:07 AM   #6
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Brett has it right, no sure way to tell if leak will get larger. These hydraulic components are under pretty high pressure -- 3000+psi. Assume its a Shepard100 steering gear. One owner here on IRV2 recently changed the seal on that gear, wasn't quite as easy as instructions or You-tube video but he got it done. Again, hi-pressure leaks are hard to predict--seals and connections are generally slow leakers as compared to a burst hydraulic hose for example. Try to avoid lock to lock turns and monitor at every stop--keep us posted......
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