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Old 05-02-2008, 06:36 PM   #1
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Well I was hoping this wouldn't happen to us but of course it did. With only 15000 on the coach our radiator has started to leak slightly. What is the best source these days for a new radiator for an 05 36FDDS. Can the factory be contacted for a replacement they might want to sell?

Also, right now the leak is quite small. Any experience on how long we can run in this condition as we have a full summer or rving planned and would like to take care of the problem in the fall.
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Old 05-02-2008, 06:36 PM   #2
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Well I was hoping this wouldn't happen to us but of course it did. With only 15000 on the coach our radiator has started to leak slightly. What is the best source these days for a new radiator for an 05 36FDDS. Can the factory be contacted for a replacement they might want to sell?

Also, right now the leak is quite small. Any experience on how long we can run in this condition as we have a full summer or rving planned and would like to take care of the problem in the fall.
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Old 05-02-2008, 07:47 PM   #3
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Jerry,

We're just getting over this. Our '06 coach started leaking in Corpus Christi, TX, with 25,000 miles on it in early March. We drove it home to Tacoma, WA, via Palm Springs, CA, with a 2 week stopover in Palm Springs. We found it leaked mostly when stopped as it cooled down and the pressure bled off. We needed about 2 cups per day of coolant added to it while we drove. It did get gradually worse, as we added 2800 miles to it, but it got us home. It is a seep that tends to leak as it cools, and we found you can go a long way with it. Just have a little extra Prestone pre-mix 50/50 coolant/water and add it every day till your surge tank gets where you want on the sight guage.

We got a replacement radiator through WRV that was built by Radiator Specialties in Sacramento, CA (phone 916 381 4790). It was beefier, and had a different design for the lower mounts that had a special rubber bushing made for it to reduce vibration. When I got it from WRV they had one left in stock, but it was just as they closed and they may not have it, or may have sold it to somebody else.

If you get the replacement radiator from Radiator Specialties, be sure and ask for the rubber bushings and 4 big washers that go with them because they are part of the new radiator and the old design won't work without them.

An alternative is to have a new one built by Macs Radiator in Portland, Or,

http://www.macsradiator.com/.

They build a copper/brass/steel replacement for the aluminum one that is probably much stronger and longer-lived and has good reviews. I think this radiator will cost you $2800 to $3000 plus installation.

I elected to use the Radiator Specialties radiator because my extended warranty covered it. If I was doing it on my own, I might go to Macs for the higher quality radiator. They would like to have your old radiator for a pattern, but they have done Alpine radiators in the past, like Radiator Specialties.

If you replace the radiator, you probably will want to replace the hoses and clamps. The hoses for our '06 were made by Gates,

http://www.gates.com/

And their part number for both top and bottom is 23547, listed as a Vibraflex hump hose. The hump in the center is too allow for the flanges on the radiator and the supply hoses to the engine.

Jerry, I hope this helps. If not, PM me and I'll give you my phone number and any other advice you need.
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Old 05-03-2008, 02:36 AM   #4
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I would suggest, if the crack is at a stress point (curve, bend, joint, juncture, etc.), that you investigate if a welding shop having Heli-Arc capabilities will drill a small hole at each end of the crack to stop the progression of it crack and Heli-Arc, using filler and patch, over the area. The heat generated will "Normalize" the parent material and the welded area, if done correctly, will most often be stronger than the original.

If the crack is in a previously welded location, adding a small piece of Aluminum in the zone will reinforce the joint. If the crack is at the juncture of the inlet or outlet tube, perhaps using a welded overlay to distribute the forces over a larger area will prevent this from happening again.

Generally, when Aluminum is Heli-Arc welded, there is little filler added to the weld area. If a crack develops in the area, it's usually at the edge of the weld zone.

If this works for you, you'll have an almost free ride. At least for a while. It may even be a permanent solution.

Aluminum is a terrific material but, having a fairly low fatigue factor, it doesn't like welding or "Cold-working". Did you ever notice all those flat-head rivets on the skin of an airplane? There's a reason for that.
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Old 05-03-2008, 07:19 AM   #5
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Jerry & Judy,

Our 2005 also had "the leak". It was very small and only leaked when we stopped until we cooled down. We watched the engine temp like a hawk while running and managed to travel cross country at least twice (maybe 3 times) before we had it replaced at WRV last summer. I think we only lost 2-3 gallons of antifreeze the whole time.

I believe each leak is different, though, and wouldn't count on the same experience. I think we pushed our good luck to the limit. The key is watching your engine temp while traveling and checking the coolant sight glass every time you stop.

Good luck.

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Old 05-03-2008, 08:33 AM   #6
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Jerry & Judy
I think Jim is right, each one is probably a little different. Ours started leaking around 20000 miles, we drove it for several weeks (like maybe 8 or 10) while waiting for the replacement. It started as a very small amount while cooling down (would leave a very small spot on ground) untill when we replaced it we were replacing about 2 gallons each day. since the replacement was in we elected to have it replaced then instead of waiting for a catastrophic failure
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Old 05-04-2008, 11:50 AM   #7
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Thanks everyone for the good info. I will watch the situation closely as suggested and in the meantime check with Radiator Specialties for a future replacement. Hopefully my extended warranty with US Warranty will cover the replacement costs.
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Old 05-04-2008, 07:47 PM   #8
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Jerry,

If you get a radiator from Radiator Specialties be sure to ask the for the rubber bushings that are used in the new model for the new lower radiator attachments to the frame. WRV and Radiator Specialties developed this bushing concept to reduce the vibration on the radiator. Consists of a bushing and two big washers for each lower end connection to the radiator. Not sure whether Radiator Specialties made those bushings or had them mad, but they should have an idea where to get them. You can't really attach the new radiator without them.
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Old 05-08-2008, 01:19 PM   #9
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Radiator Specialties stated they cannot sell radiators as they were a OEM manufacture and WRV owned rights to the radiator. Looking for a radiator shop to build one, so far 1 bid of $3000.00. any ideas? Thanks Larry
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Old 05-08-2008, 04:17 PM   #10
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I would have Macs Radiator in Portland, OR, build me one. They are in the same price range but they don't use aluminum. They are brass, copper, steel, and they supposedly have never had a failure. They don't think Aluminum works in that application. I got aluminum since it was on extended warranty.

You might want to talk to Burk Morgan even though he is not employed anymore by WRV. I don't have his personal phone number but others may and PM you, and he may be able to help you. They had some replacement radiators and the bushings for the new design from WRV when I was getting mine. If you can get one of their replacements, it will probably be cheaper than the Macs Radiator, but it will be aluminum.

If I can help you any other way, PM me with your phone number and I will call you.
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Old 05-09-2008, 03:40 AM   #11
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Jerry, I think someone had mentioned previously that possibly the radiators could be repaired. Have you tried this route before spending
$ 3000.00 or so dollars? It must leak to the point that it cannot possibly be repaired for that kind of money. Just wondered if this was a possibility?

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Old 05-09-2008, 05:54 AM   #12
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Ted
cummins has sent it out to two shops and both state not repairable. found a shop in Akron, Co. that builds a lot of radiators for heavy duty industrial tractors etc. going to take radiator there early monday morning.
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Old 05-09-2008, 08:15 PM   #13
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Larry- Not sure where you are currently, but IIWY I'd look up the nearest radiator shops that do custom work (probably for hot rods). If you are not finding any, ask at shops in the area that sell hot rod junk, er, I mean equipment. Then ask the radiator shops what kind of work they do. You want one that regularly works on industrial equipment (might as a local Cat equipment dealer for that matter). The shop in Auburn, CA had a 6 foot high by 4 foot wide radiator off a crane in their shop when I was in there once. That sort of outfit can fix you up.

Good luck & let us know what happens.
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Old 05-24-2008, 06:02 PM   #14
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just had mine built at Akron Radiator in Akron CO. (about 100 miles east of Denver) fantastic job, Steel tanks, steel trans cooler and 5 core copper/brass coil. Total was $2700.00, Cummins in Grand Junction removed and put in new one. Highly recommend radiator shop. Cummins ???.
Installation was $2600 inc. oil change. Tech at Cummins was impessed with new radiator. Akron Radiator 970-345-6895. PM me with any questions Larry
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