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Old 09-22-2015, 10:09 AM   #1
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PTO, Radiator and other stuff

Hey all, just thought that I'd pass along some things I just learned.
Last week I drove from MD down to Fountain RV in Florida for the sole purpose of getting the PTO work done. There were some other things on my list but that was #1.
First I'll start with the PTO feeding frenzy. All I have heard since I bought my 2006 Magna was get the wet kit for the PTO and replace the radiator among other things. Everyone knows that the PTO shaft can strip out and cause catastrophic failure. The battle cry is to get the wet kit. I have recently found out that the wet kit is not without it's own problems. The original problem was caused by not enough lubrication (grease) on the shaft during assembly. If properly greased the shaft will last forever (Well, a long long time anyway). That doesn't mean forget it, it needs to be inspected and re lubed every couple of years. The down side of the wet kit is, once installed you now have seals with fluid under pressure. My CC Guru said there have been multiple failures of the wet kit which when it goes also causes a catastrophic failure. Another factor is which engine. The Cummins (Not sure which) had more torque than the 525 Cat and suffered more failures. I am not a gambler so I asked my wife who is. The wet kit is approx 4 hours of labor to install if everything goes well. Inspecting the PTO shaft and repacking with a high quality synthetic grease is approx 30 minutes. We chose to inspect and repack the PTO shaft. I had 22k miles on the bus when it was inspected last week and the PTO was pristine.
Next is the radiator. Everyone knows of the radiator problems. Aluminum attached directly to the frame and leaking. All CC's didn't have this problem and they started using the steel and copper in the 2006 models (production in 2005). Worrying about that I had the radiator inspected. My coach is #6553 and it has the upgraded radiator which doesn't have to be replaced.
So why do I take the time to tell you this? Simply to educate like I was. Passing it forward.
Why did I go all the way to Florida to get service and repairs done when I live in Maryland? First, Md is a vast wasteland lacking RV repair facilities. At least when it comes to CC experience. Aside from that I wanted the best I could get and on this coast I feel that it's Butch Williams. Many of you know Butch and Kevin from their phone tech support and parts. Butch runs Fountain RV in Lakeland and that's where I had my service completed. He could have made a lot more with the wet kit install but he provided me all the options available so I could make an educated decision. I don't mind having the PTO inspected every couple of years.
Anyway, Thanks to Butch and his team of technicians at Fountain. I was in on Monday morning and my lengthy list was completed by Wednesday.
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Old 09-22-2015, 11:25 AM   #2
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Yup, Butch is the east coast man.

This is the first I have heard about PTO failures. I guess it pays to have an "experienced" coach!
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Old 09-22-2015, 12:14 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by dons2346 View Post
Yup, Butch is the east coast man.

This is the first I have heard about PTO failures. I guess it pays to have an "experienced" coach!
You're joking! That's all I heard about when I bought my coach. PTO recall, Radiator cracking, and of course tires. Everybody obsesses over tires but apparently CC and Toyo had some kind of falling out.
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Old 09-22-2015, 01:16 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Stratman50th View Post
Hey all, just thought that I'd pass along some things I just learned.
Last week I drove from MD down to Fountain RV in Florida for the sole purpose of getting the PTO work done. There were some other things on my list but that was #1.
First I'll start with the PTO feeding frenzy. All I have heard since I bought my 2006 Magna was get the wet kit for the PTO and replace the radiator among other things. Everyone knows that the PTO shaft can strip out and cause catastrophic failure. The battle cry is to get the wet kit. I have recently found out that the wet kit is not without it's own problems. The original problem was caused by not enough lubrication (grease) on the shaft during assembly. If properly greased the shaft will last forever (Well, a long long time anyway). That doesn't mean forget it, it needs to be inspected and re lubed every couple of years. The down side of the wet kit is, once installed you now have seals with fluid under pressure. My CC Guru said there have been multiple failures of the wet kit which when it goes also causes a catastrophic failure. Another factor is which engine. The Cummins (Not sure which) had more torque than the 525 Cat and suffered more failures. I am not a gambler so I asked my wife who is. The wet kit is approx 4 hours of labor to install if everything goes well. Inspecting the PTO shaft and repacking with a high quality synthetic grease is approx 30 minutes. We chose to inspect and repack the PTO shaft. I had 22k miles on the bus when it was inspected last week and the PTO was pristine.
Next is the radiator. Everyone knows of the radiator problems. Aluminum attached directly to the frame and leaking. All CC's didn't have this problem and they started using the steel and copper in the 2006 models (production in 2005). Worrying about that I had the radiator inspected. My coach is #6553 and it has the upgraded radiator which doesn't have to be replaced.
So why do I take the time to tell you this? Simply to educate like I was. Passing it forward.
Why did I go all the way to Florida to get service and repairs done when I live in Maryland? First, Md is a vast wasteland lacking RV repair facilities. At least when it comes to CC experience. Aside from that I wanted the best I could get and on this coast I feel that it's Butch Williams. Many of you know Butch and Kevin from their phone tech support and parts. Butch runs Fountain RV in Lakeland and that's where I had my service completed. He could have made a lot more with the wet kit install but he provided me all the options available so I could make an educated decision. I don't mind having the PTO inspected every couple of years.
Anyway, Thanks to Butch and his team of technicians at Fountain. I was in on Monday morning and my lengthy list was completed by Wednesday.
Hi Don,

I too have heard nothing of failure problems with the PTO wet kit. Could you give some examples of the type of failures that have been happening?

I also have what appears to be an upgraded aluminum radiator (according to Colton Truck Terminal). I am approaching 80,000 miles with no problems so far.

Thanks,
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Old 09-22-2015, 01:27 PM   #5
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I'm also in the inspect and relube the PTO rather than modify it to a wet kit. Properly greased, the so-called "dry" PTO is just as reliable as any other mechanical component. 57000 miles on my "dry" PTO.
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Old 09-22-2015, 02:07 PM   #6
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Hi Don,

I too have heard nothing of failure problems with the PTO wet kit. Could you give some examples of the type of failures that have been happening?

I also have what appears to be an upgraded aluminum radiator (according to Colton Truck Terminal). I am approaching 80,000 miles with no problems so far.

Thanks,
Butch told me that some of the wet kits that were installed had seals that failed. Not a high number, but enough that he felt that I needed to know about it to make an informed decision. If the seals failed, the fluid was pumped out and you were stranded. He didn't have total numbers because he didn't do all the upgrades. Personally he knew of three kits that failed out of the ones he did. He upgraded somewhere between 75 and 100. I know those are gambling odds, but not for me and I appreciated the heads up.
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Old 09-22-2015, 02:58 PM   #7
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Hi Don - Thanks for playing forward and sharing your experiences. And yes to Butch, and Kevin, we have their yearly service contract. Kevin has helped us with advice and parts, and I go tot meet him on our way back from Alaska last year - a nice man. He has a real nice gardener too, as his wife was out cutting the lawn when my wife and I pulled up - so we got to meet her too, a bonus!

I've only talked with Butch one time, so far, and that is great - as that means we're OK!

Nothing wrong at all with the dry PTO being serviced properly on a regular basis. And glad you have a good radiator!

I've always tried to caution prospective buyers on two things:
-Check to see if the coach has a dry PTO. If so, have it closely inspected to know what condition it is in. And if bad, price accordingly. Most of the wet kits problems are far in between, and going to that method is probably an easier way for many to go. Costs some funds, but peace of mind for the long term. No right or wrong on this, just choices!
-Radiator inspection. No for sure what radiator you have in the coach that your looking at. Two schools of thoughts on this: 1) If OEM, and a 'suspect' radiator, and it is still going strong at this age - it may never fail from manufacturing component perspective. (Sure, old age will get all radiators!). 2) It does give a perspective buyer the option to know up front that their is a risk, and I do believe it is a higher risk with the 'suspect' radiators, for failure. And negotiate accordingly on the price. If the seller won't budge, then it's the buyer's job to decide if the asking price of the coach, and a possible future radiator costs to replace, are what they're willing to pay... If to, they can move on.

Go enjoy your coach. Oh, and now you have an excuse to go to Florida yearly, for Butch and gang to do maintenance on your rig!

Best to all,
Smitty
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Old 09-25-2015, 05:52 PM   #8
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What's the contact info for Kevin? I'd like too find out his cost and benefits of his service...


1996 Country Coach Intrigue 😜
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Old 09-25-2015, 07:11 PM   #9
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What's the contact info for Kevin? I'd like too find out his cost and benefits of his service...


1996 Country Coach Intrigue 😜
Kevin Waite 541-953-6162. When I had my CC Kevin and Butch were worth their weight in gold.
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Old 09-25-2015, 07:37 PM   #10
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I second that. I'm on my second year and the tech support I've received from Butch has been life saving. Well, at least trip saving. My coach has suffered from lack of use until we bought it and Butch has talked me through repairs and replacements on numerous occasions. I joke with him about getting to the point of not having to call any longer. He said it wasn't going to happen. As I said in my OP, I trusted him and respected his knowledge enough to drive 1,500 miles to get my coach worked on. The guy knows CCs.
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Old 09-29-2015, 09:05 PM   #11
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What's the contact info for Kevin? I'd like too find out his cost and benefits of his service...


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He quoted me $350 for a year a month or so ago.
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Old 09-30-2015, 11:53 AM   #12
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He quoted me $350 for a year a month or so ago.
That's what I pay a year.
Don
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