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Old 12-13-2006, 09:24 AM   #29
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No - no information as to why the alarming failure rate with Alpine Coach radiators.

Basically, we are being told by radiator repair people that aluminum radiators fail like this pretty often and it keeps them in business replacing radiators!

Also that Radiator Specialties, the manufacturer of the WRV radiator has been pushing very hard to switch the industry over to aluminum radiators. That perhaps explains the WRV switchover two years ago. Just speculation on my part.

No explanation from WRV. Perhaps they are just as blindsided by this as the rest of us.

At this point we are probably going to get a local shop to build us a new one. The radiator is going to cost about the same as what has been quoted out of Oregon - in the range of $2500 to $3000 or so. No matter who does it, the radiator has to be removed and sent to the shop for a new one to be built which means the coach sits disabled for a week or two. Macs Radiator in Oregon does not yet have sufficient information to guarantee that they can build a replacement radiator that will fit every '05 and '06 Alpine Coach, so they really have to receive the existing radiator to be sure they make an exact match.

Given that, we will probably get it done locally since it looks to be about the same cost with no shipping. The local guy told us he would give a 2 year warranty and build it out of copper/brass bolt-on design. We might elect to pay up for better quality.

We don't have final pricing yet, I just know what Cummins here has said other radiators for RVs have cost.

Audrey
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Old 12-13-2006, 11:24 AM   #30
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Audrey,

Thanks for the reply that WRV does acknowledge the leaking radiator problem. I reread the posts and realized I had confused the radiator issue that the Swannests have, and that WRV wasn't aware of others. It does seem to be a different issue.

As others have said, please keep us posted on your outcome. Sooner or later, we will probably have the same problem. We will keep a watch on things.

We have thought about taking the southern road thru Texas (Big Bend, etc.) to AZ, but I'm almost afraid to get off the beaten path. We have over 13,000 mi. on ours now (3400 when we bought it for the delivery to FL). Seems like something happens on every trip.

Beverly
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Old 12-13-2006, 03:51 PM   #31
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Just wondering. With the number of customers having a radiator problems, wouldn't you think that it would be a recallable item?
With the engine and transmission having a fairly long warranty, why wouldn't the radiator be included?
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Old 12-14-2006, 05:07 AM   #32
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As it appears that this aluminum radiator is definitely going to cause us all problems, I agree that it looks like it should be a recallable item.

My question--are all or most of the manufacturers out there using the aluminum radiators? I don't keep up with other brands that much, but I don't see a rash of posts on this RV2 forum with this problem. Possibly, I am missing them.

Beverly
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Old 12-14-2006, 11:17 AM   #33
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WRV is not the only one having this problem. Monaco also uses Radiator Specialties and they are having a LOT of radiator replacements. Most shops we talked mention replacing Monaco aluminum radiators.

Audrey
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Old 12-16-2006, 09:05 AM   #34
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Have found out that Country Coaches are having radiator leaking problems, also. It does look like it will be an industry wide problem. Guess the radiator manufacturer would go broke if they had a recall.

Beverly
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Old 12-16-2006, 09:56 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally posted by lundy:
Just wondering.
With the engine and transmission having a fairly long warranty, why wouldn't the radiator be included?
The radiator is supplied by chassis manufacture and falls under their warranty - neither the engine maker or tranny manufacturer are involved per se.
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Old 12-16-2006, 11:51 AM   #36
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Has anyone had a catastrophic failure or a major leak of the radiator?
I'm thinking I could live with pinholes for quite a while. $3000 will buy a lot of coolant.
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Old 12-16-2006, 12:01 PM   #37
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I'm with you htg3.

Wondering also if it's feasible to use any radiator sealants for a cheap fix, rather than replacement??
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Old 12-16-2006, 01:25 PM   #38
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I would never use Bars stop leak or any other brand of radiator sealant. If you talk to any one with knowledge of motors and problems with heat transfer, you will find out using any cooling system sealant will coat the inside of the block and radiator making heat transfer more difficult.

The Cummins ISL 400 is very sensitive to problems associated with heat around the piston sleeves and coating the coolant passages would only make the problem worse.
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Old 12-17-2006, 07:17 AM   #39
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I agree Toyz, I was thinking of a JB-Weld-type product that would adhere to aluminum on the outside of the leak.

I've used gas tank sealants that lasted very well, but not on a radiator subjected to pressure.
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Old 12-17-2006, 05:12 PM   #40
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OK, Lets go way back to the start of this thread. to my knowledge Cummins ALWAYS uses a coolant filter and conditioner with their engines cause they ALL have "wet sleeve" cylinders . Meaning the cylinders are subject to elctrolysis and pitting caused by poor coolant maintenance. So Cummins covers their bets with the coolant filter which has a chemical charge in case we forget to change the coolant in a timely fashion.
Having said that, there is no reason why we cannot put BARS LEAK or something similiar in the cooling system to stop small leaks. There was a time, that I knew for sure that certain OEM truck mfg put a pkg of BARS in every new truck going down the assembly line, "just in case". BARS LEAK is made up of a fiberous material that will only find its way into an opening into the air and plug it and dry right there. It does not plug up the radiator.
Now for the price of a radiator. I admit I have not looked at our radiator carefully (we have an 03 40fdts), but usually the radiator is constructed in three parts. A top tank, a bottom tank and the core. They all bolt together. So Only the leaky part has to be replaced. AND IT SURE **** DOES NOT cost $3000. So take heart.
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Old 12-18-2006, 07:02 PM   #41
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Not so fast there--I've heard from a very, very reliable source that with these newer aluminum radiators, the cores are bonded (appoxy?) to the tanks so now the tanks are welded together--so no more bolts. Attempts at getting highly touted repair shops to fix the radiators have met with the same answer--no can do! Agree, $3000 is not right--too low, with parts and labor, its closer $4000 to install a replacement.
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Old 12-18-2006, 07:42 PM   #42
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Your right Dean & Jan I was a bit fast on my assesment. Here is what I have found since I opened my premature yap. Our 03 40FFTS does have a 3 piece bolted radiator. However it is a crossflow type with the header tanks on each end and not top and bottom. So for our type, at least the parts can be replaced or the radiator can be disasssenbled for repair. I feel confident that a three piece radiator is NOT going to cost three grand to repair. As for epoxied aluminum cross flow radiators, I have no knowledge. I still would try the BARS LEAK or something similiar first before shelling out the big money. The coolant filter will take all of the unused material out of the system. So no worrys. If unsure ask the CUMMINS dealer what they recommend.
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