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Old 06-22-2016, 03:28 PM   #1
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Engine Overheating Solutions??

I have a 2006 National Tradewinds 40D on a Freightliner XC-R Chassis and powered by a 400 Cummins ISL cooled by a side cooler radiator. The Cummins has been an admirable performer except when ambient temperatures get above 90 degrees. I live in the west (Colorado) and on long climbs the engine temperature can reach the threshold limit of 220 degrees and higher and I get an alarm. It's only under these loaded conditions and high outside air temperature that the engine will get hot. Once the load is gone (such as going downhill) the temps drop quickly to normal which is about 200 degrees. It will idle all day long at 110 degrees outside and never budge from normal.

It has been posted that Freightliner chassis of this vintage had a barely adequate side cooled radiator and there had been numerous complaints of overheating by various coach makes and models. I did follow the advice in some of those threads including downshifting to a lower gear to maintain engine rpm at or above 2,000 which definitely helps keep the engine in the cooler range. I've had the coach inspected and the fan, radiator, thermostats and all cooling system components check out normal and I've also ensured the radiator and CAC fins are clear of dirt and debris.

I have two questions regarding possible solutions and wondered if anyone had tried these or had an opinion on them.

1.) Has anyone tried using Redline Diesel Water Wetter. This is a coolant additive that provides improved metal wetting and heat transfer from the metal to the coolant. A pdf link to this product follows:
http://www.redlineoil.com/content/fi...ech%20Info.pdf

2.) Has anyone installed an aftermarket or homemade intercooler or charge air cooler (CAC) water spray system on their coach. This is commonly used in high performance turbocharged performance cars to reduce intake air temperatures. The concept is simple in that the intercooler/charge air cooler is sprayed with water and the evaporating water has a cooling effect which shed heat reducing temperatures. In my coach the charge air cooler sits behind the radiator but there is plenty of room to add a water reservoir, sprayer nozzle and pump which I could activate by a dash mounted switch when I see engine temperatures rise. I would aim the spray on the radiator and am assuming that a good spray of water on the radiator surface would not only help radiator cool more efficiency but also the CAC since the cooler evaporating air is being sucked through both the radiator and CAC by the fan.

DEI 080140 Cry02 Intercooler Water Sprayer Kit

I'd sure appreciate any thoughts or feed back is you have tried any of these solutions or have any other ideas.

thanks! - Paul
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Old 06-22-2016, 03:55 PM   #2
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I have a friend who installed sprayers on his restored eagle coach, he bought them from a feed store and plumbed them into his freshwater system. Then put a switch on the dash which opened an electric valve, from the RV's water pump and it worked like a champ.
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Old 06-22-2016, 03:59 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Punks385RLS View Post
I have a 2006 National Tradewinds 40D on a Freightliner XC-R Chassis and powered by a 400 Cummins ISL cooled by a side cooler radiator. The Cummins has been an admirable performer except when ambient temperatures get above 90 degrees. I live in the west (Colorado) and on long climbs the engine temperature can reach the threshold limit of 220 degrees and higher and I get an alarm. It's only under these loaded conditions and high outside air temperature that the engine will get hot. Once the load is gone (such as going downhill) the temps drop quickly to normal which is about 200 degrees. It will idle all day long at 110 degrees outside and never budge from normal.
It has been posted that Freightliner chassis of this vintage had a barely adequate side cooled radiator and there had been numerous complaints of overheating by various coach makes and models. I did follow the advice in some of those threads including downshifting to a lower gear to maintain engine rpm at or above 2,000 which definitely helps keep the engine in the cooler range. I've had the coach inspected and the fan, radiator, thermostats and all cooling system components check out normal and I've also ensured the radiator and CAC fins are clear of dirt and debris.
I have two questions regarding possible solutions and wondered if anyone had tried these or had an opinion on them.
1.) Has anyone tried using Redline Diesel Water Wetter. This is a coolant additive that provides improved metal wetting and heat transfer from the metal to the coolant. A pdf link to this product follows:
http://www.redlineoil.com/content/fi...ech%20Info.pdf
2.) Has anyone installed an aftermarket or homemade intercooler or charge air cooler (CAC) water spray system on their coach. This is commonly used in high performance turbocharged performance cars to reduce intake air temperatures. The concept is simple in that the intercooler/charge air cooler is sprayed with water and the evaporating water has a cooling effect which shed heat reducing temperatures. In my coach the charge air cooler sits behind the radiator but there is plenty of room to add a water reservoir, sprayer nozzle and pump which I could activate by a dash mounted switch when I see engine temperatures rise. I would aim the spray on the radiator and am assuming that a good spray of water on the radiator surface would not only help radiator cool more efficiency but also the CAC since the cooler evaporating air is being sucked through both the radiator and CAC by the fan.
DEI 080140 Cry02 Intercooler Water Sprayer Kit
I'd sure appreciate any thoughts or feed back is you have tried any of these solutions or have any other ideas.
thanks! - Paul
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See: http://forum.dieselrvclub.org/index.php?topic=7347.0
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Old 06-22-2016, 06:54 PM   #4
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I would suggest you get a inferred thermometer... Point and shoot... usually around $28 at Harbor Freight... I was worried about my truck... and when the engine was hot I'd stop and shot the radiator and top tank with the gauge... I found that the actual temperature was 15-20 below what the Cummins ECM was sending the the dash gauge and alarm system....

I'd also make sure that there are no air pockets in the system... if mine is open it takes several hundred miles to burp out the air and I have to watch the overflow tank several times a day until it stops pulling the coolant into the engine...

I'd also suggest that you have Cummins or Freightliner connect a lap top... and see what the laptop says compared to the gauge...
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Old 06-22-2016, 07:23 PM   #5
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Have you changed the thermostat? They changed the design in later years. My 08 thermostat acted up after a couple of years.
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Old 06-22-2016, 07:27 PM   #6
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or slow down and drop to another gear it doesn't get hot in..
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Old 06-22-2016, 07:35 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Pa Miller View Post
or slow down and drop to another gear it doesn't get hot in..
OP said he tried running it at 2000 rpm and dropped a gear or two to do that.

Quote:
I did follow the advice in some of those threads including downshifting to a lower gear to maintain engine rpm at or above 2,000 which definitely helps keep the engine in the cooler range.
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Old 06-22-2016, 09:18 PM   #8
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I have been battling the same issue, coach runs great up any hill even through the Rockies at 185 until the ambient temp reached over 90 or so. I flushed and changed the coolant to Fleet guard Es compleat. I did use the water wetter diesel version. Ugly fix. Drove it on Memorial Day weekend and got really hot, 225 coming up the grapevine on I-5 towing 6000 lbs had it down to 3rd just trying to keep it cool. No alarm though and didn't use an infrared thermometer. The reading was from the digital readout. The manual h/c gauge was almost to the red. The gauges might be a little off but it was definetly getting hot. Tested fan and it runs in high and low speed. Pulled cooling stack apart and low and behold the radiator was about 1/3 plugged with grass, mud, rocks, leafs etc. prior to pulling the CAC out I took the A/C condenser loose and thoroughly cleaned the CAC trying to get as much water through to the radiator. Also washed from the fan side of the radiator. After the trip where the coach got hot I pulled off some of the weather stripping between the CAC and radiator and saw how much stuff was plugging the radiator. I attempted to clean the rad from between the CAC and rad mostly because I pulled the radiator out of my last coach and wasn't interested in doing it again because it sucked. After trying and failing for two hours I caved and removed the CAC. I have come to the conclusion that the only way to clean the stacked cooling system is to take it apart. It is a real pain. Every bit as difficult as a rear rad coach. Freightliner did not design it for easy maintenance that is for sure. The rad is low to the ground and sucks up a lot of debris. You may think it can't get past the CAC but it sure does. I'm in the process of sealing the shroud and CAC contact to rad better to hopefully get more air flow and less debris. Took me by myself a full 8 hours to remove clean and reinstall the cooling stack. I also changed the thermostat. Cummins has a new design, parts guy says flows more. Haven't driven the coach since the full cleaning and thermostat but I'm hoping it fixed any issues. As plugged as it was I believe it will be fine now. I did buy an electric solenoid valve, calcium filter, misters, etc. to plumb a misting system. I plan to put it between the rad and CAC. I'm choosing not to put it in front of the CAC because the air intake for the engine is directly above the CAC on my coach. Haven't finished plumbing it yet because I'm hoping the problem is fixed.
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Old 06-23-2016, 09:26 AM   #9
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Have you changed the thermostat? They changed the design in later years. My 08 thermostat acted up after a couple of years.

I agree that cleaning is a must but the thermostat is not expensive in the RV world and is easy to change. If you are going to so much work why not drop a new one in at the same time? Funny how people will change air filters, oil filters, tires, etc but resist a critical component. It is like a heart blockage. They are easy to test in a pan of boiling water too. Drop the old one in next to the new one and watch them open up.
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Old 06-23-2016, 10:28 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilleshps View Post
I have a friend who installed sprayers on his restored eagle coach, he bought them from a feed store and plumbed them into his freshwater system. Then put a switch on the dash which opened an electric valve, from the RV's water pump and it worked like a champ.
That actually sounds like a much better idea than a separate tank and pump. It should be a very easy install. I bet it did work like a champ due to the evaporation of the water on the radiator and CAC. Thank you!
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Old 06-23-2016, 10:36 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RSteele View Post
I have been battling the same issue, coach runs great up any hill even through the Rockies at 185 until the ambient temp reached over 90 or so. I flushed and changed the coolant to Fleet guard Es compleat. I did use the water wetter diesel version. Ugly fix. Drove it on Memorial Day weekend and got really hot, 225 coming up the grapevine on I-5 towing 6000 lbs had it down to 3rd just trying to keep it cool. No alarm though and didn't use an infrared thermometer. The reading was from the digital readout. The manual h/c gauge was almost to the red. The gauges might be a little off but it was definetly getting hot. Tested fan and it runs in high and low speed. Pulled cooling stack apart and low and behold the radiator was about 1/3 plugged with grass, mud, rocks, leafs etc. prior to pulling the CAC out I took the A/C condenser loose and thoroughly cleaned the CAC trying to get as much water through to the radiator. Also washed from the fan side of the radiator. After the trip where the coach got hot I pulled off some of the weather stripping between the CAC and radiator and saw how much stuff was plugging the radiator. I attempted to clean the rad from between the CAC and rad mostly because I pulled the radiator out of my last coach and wasn't interested in doing it again because it sucked. After trying and failing for two hours I caved and removed the CAC. I have come to the conclusion that the only way to clean the stacked cooling system is to take it apart. It is a real pain. Every bit as difficult as a rear rad coach. Freightliner did not design it for easy maintenance that is for sure. The rad is low to the ground and sucks up a lot of debris. You may think it can't get past the CAC but it sure does. I'm in the process of sealing the shroud and CAC contact to rad better to hopefully get more air flow and less debris. Took me by myself a full 8 hours to remove clean and reinstall the cooling stack. I also changed the thermostat. Cummins has a new design, parts guy says flows more. Haven't driven the coach since the full cleaning and thermostat but I'm hoping it fixed any issues. As plugged as it was I believe it will be fine now. I did buy an electric solenoid valve, calcium filter, misters, etc. to plumb a misting system. I plan to put it between the rad and CAC. I'm choosing not to put it in front of the CAC because the air intake for the engine is directly above the CAC on my coach. Haven't finished plumbing it yet because I'm hoping the problem is fixed.
Steele, May I ask how many miles your coach has on it? I have approx. 29,000 on my coach but this has been an issue since I purchased it three years ago with 7,500 miles. I have closely inspected the cooling stack and cleaned both the exterior and fan side by spraying with a simple green solution and letting it soak and then rinsing with a nice stream of water. It appears clean and free of debris but I have not pulled the stack apart. If I need to I wonder if this would be covered under my extended warranty?

I'd be really curious on how your coach performs now in the heat.

Thanks Paul!
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Old 06-23-2016, 10:42 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by YC1 View Post
Have you changed the thermostat? They changed the design in later years. My 08 thermostat acted up after a couple of years.
Yes the thermostat was changed out a couple of years a go when I took the coach in and had it inspected for this issue. I'm assuming the updated Cummins thermostat was put in at that time.
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Old 06-23-2016, 10:46 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by YC1 View Post
I agree that cleaning is a must but the thermostat is not expensive in the RV world and is easy to change. If you are going to so much work why not drop a new one in at the same time? Funny how people will change air filters, oil filters, tires, etc but resist a critical component. It is like a heart blockage. They are easy to test in a pan of boiling water too. Drop the old one in next to the new one and watch them open up.
YC1 - Thank you. Do you know the location of the thermostat on the ISL? If I recall correctly I thought when I had it last serviced they replaced two thermostats. Are there 2 of them?

thanks
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Old 06-23-2016, 10:06 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Punks385RLS

That actually sounds like a much better idea than a separate tank and pump. It should be a very easy install. I bet it did work like a champ due to the evaporation of the water on the radiator and CAC. Thank you!
You're welcome
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