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Old 05-01-2015, 08:36 PM   #1
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Breakdown Near Coburg Oregon

The inevitable finally happened to me last Saturday April 25th...Low Coolant RED light on the dash came on and the engine started to heat up higher than normal. I pulled over to a safe place and shutdown the engine. Went to get coolant and distilled water to fill up the surge tank and when I started to pour it in the coolant was coming out just as fast.

Ah ha, major problem.

Called Coach-Net and a few hours later two tow trucks showed up, one to tow the trailer and one to tow the coach. They used a Class 8 tow truck for the trailer and the other was an extendable Low Boy to carry the coach. My wife took photos of the two trucks which are below.

Luckily I was towed to the Coburg Cummins Northwest Shop which was only 8-10 miles away.

Cummins Northwest looked at the coach late on Monday to access the damage and started on it first thing Tuesday. They found a 5 inch section of 3/4 inch heater hose near the rear of the engine had split wide open. There was a zip-tie directly in the exact middle of the split. The tech and I surmised that the zip-tie that was installed had been squeezing the hose significantly in that area and had actually created somewhat of an obstruction in the flow of coolant thereby allowing the hot coolant to deteriorate the integrity of the hose. The hose on each side of that 5 inch soft spot was normal to the touch and was your typical hard heater hose. The tech replaced a 3-4 foot section with a union and the other end of the new hose section was attached to the fitting on the engine.

They also replaced my Coolant Shutoff Valve which was damaged by a Speedco service tech in Fernley NV and the main reason I was heading to Cummins in the first place. Once they resolved all of my coolant problems the tech hooked up the computer to the engine to read any codes and he found 18 error codes for the CAPS fuel pump system. After further investigation and inspection he found the Lift Pump was leaking enough that it was sucking air at times. If this had not been found and I continued on my Alaska trip chances are that the CAPS fuel pump would have starved for fuel at some point and failed. That would have been a VERY costly breakdown especially anywhere on the Alaskan Highway. The tech replaced the lift pump with a new one and I thanked him very much for his expert diagnostics.

While inspecting the completed work I also noticed the beginnings of a small weeping area on the lower right hand corner of my coolant surge tank. So I will be looking to replace that fairly soon too. I just need to find one that is a drop in and will hook up exactly the same as the old one.

BTW, Coach-Net did a fantastic job as always by arranging for the tow company to haul me away. The tow company's name was Crockett Interstate Towing so if you are ever near the Eugene/Coburg area of Oregon THEY are the ones to call.

Dr4Film ----- Richard
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Old 05-01-2015, 09:20 PM   #2
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Wow sorry to hear of your trouble. At least it happened in a good place and was a relatively easy fix. The lift pump was a bonus to find and repair before it failed.

Dennis & Marcie & Captain Hook The Jack Russell,aka PUP, 1998 HR Imperial 40 ft 2017 Equinox, 08 Dakota toads RVM59
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Old 05-01-2015, 11:13 PM   #3
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Dr4Film (Richard)
Yes, sorry to hear about your breakdown. And what luck to be within 10 miles of the Coburg Cummins dealer! And being in Coburg, you should be in a perfect spot to get a replacement for your surge tank. I just hope you do not have the same problems getting the proper brass fittings for the tank. You need to get them when you get the tank. Oh, and an FYI, the replacement tank is nylon versus the plastic one you currently have. They are bolt compatible, but the fittings are different. Good luck.

And yes, i could not agree more with your recommendation for CoachNet. They were very good on my tow when my fuel pump went south.

Looks like you are good now and that is great to hear. Have a safe trip all the way up to Alaska.
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Old 05-02-2015, 05:38 AM   #4
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You might check with Source Engineering in Eugene for your surge tank. They do aluminum replacements.
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Old 05-02-2015, 07:01 AM   #5
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Wow Richard, sorry to hear about the breakdown but how lucky to be so close to the Cummins shop.

Wanted to pass on my experience changing out my coolant expansion tank so you are prepared. Mine was exhibiting the same problem last fall and wanted to change it out before heading to AZ for the winter. Of course it was Wednesday afternoon before Thanksgiving when I got to that job on my to-do list and we were scheduled to leave for AZ on Friday morning.

The tank came out easy enough, the hardest part was getting the hose off the bottom of the tank since it was 14 yrs old. I installed the new tank and apparently that hose didn't take kindly to removal and reinstall onto a new fitting and even without any pressure on the system was leaking. Luckily one of the nearby NAPA's had a hose in stock and I had an hour to spare before they closed for Thanksgiving (one more thing to be thankful for the next day). When you decide to tackle the tank job it would probably be a good idea to plan on changing that hose at the same time.
Glenn & Mary
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Old 05-02-2015, 07:52 AM   #6
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I guess in reality the LUCK was with you being that place to a Cummins shop, them finding & fixing you initial problem and then they tech finding the fault code for your lift pump.

I changed my surge tank last year, I had repaired mine ~4 years ago using poly glue but it had developed another weep so I decided to change. I got the surge tank from Guaranty RV, they had the best price and availability.
$191.94 PN 01806583.
Jake Cunningham was who I dealt with
541-998-5000 (phone)
800-216-5455 (toll free)
541-234-0970 (direct)

Since they are in Oregon you may be able to find one along with the rest of the parts. The new sensor is a Ford sensor, I was able to find one on EBAY for ~1/2 the price but in your situation you can get from surge tank vender. The elbows are harder to find then you would expect so I'd get them from the vender also, I ended up going with 2 brass fittings from Lowes to make a 90 fitting. I did end up changing the small hose coming from the top of the engine to the surge tank, it was so hard and brittle I could get it back on the fitting, bought a piece from Autozone with enough spare in case of emergency. Good luck on your repair.

Hope the rest of your trip to Alaska goes OK, wish I could go again!!

Jim J
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Old 05-02-2015, 08:03 AM   #7
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Glad everything went well with Coach Net and with your repairs. Looks like they did a good job.
Our experience with Coach Net was just the opposite on two separate occasions. Both times Coach Net failed us completely. Once they said they couldn't find us, even with GPS coordinates, and on a major US highway, and near a town. The second time the woman we were talking to said we were not covered (we were) and was very rude and short with us. Both times we ended up finding assistance on our own.
If we ever purchase another RV, Coach Net will not be our go to for service.
R & E
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Old 05-02-2015, 02:24 PM   #8
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I too had troubles with a coolant leak. It was a heater hose just in front of the engine. Hose was resting on the upright side of an angle iron. I am amazed it lasted this long. None of the heater hoses are properly mounted. They just drape them wherever. Very sloppy. I have had 2 FL DP chassis and they do a much better job on running hoses and wiring. Hoses should be supported by Adel clips.
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Old 05-02-2015, 05:33 PM   #9
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I got a new surge tank from source engineering right down there near Coburg. It was about $400 and arrived the next day.
Nice metal tank.
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Old 05-02-2015, 06:16 PM   #10
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Richard, I'm guessing there's a winch on that lowboy, that pulls the coach on to it?
Ben & Sharon
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Old 05-02-2015, 07:03 PM   #11
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Yes there is a winch if needed but they drove the coach up onto the Low Boy as the engine still worked fine. However you just couldn't run the engine for very long. They drove it off the Low Boy too once we got over to the Cummins Northwest shop in Coburg.

Dr4Film ----- Richard
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Old 05-03-2015, 10:07 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by 96 Wideglide View Post
Richard, I'm guessing there's a winch on that lowboy, that pulls the coach on to it?

Was wondering the same thing.....
Glad to hear everything worked out so smoothly
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Old 05-03-2015, 11:06 AM   #13
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Richard, seems you experienced the best possible outcome to a situation that could have been much worse.

Your wife's shot of the coach on the low boy is amazing.... although it may not evoke the same emotion from you.
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Old 05-03-2015, 05:52 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Thunderfoot View Post

Your wife's shot of the coach on the low boy is amazing.... although it may not evoke the same emotion from you.
Actually I commended her for such a great shot and she has had many positive comments regarding that specific photo.

It was taken in the Cummins Northwest parking lot shortly after we arrived.

I looked at the situation as a learning experience as this was the very first time I have had to rely on Coach-Net for a tow. It was very positive plus everything was repaired and we are now back on the way north to Alaska.

Dr4Film ----- Richard

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