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Old 10-16-2018, 09:19 PM   #1
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Knowing nothing about DP's

I've found a coach I like, at a price I can live with and I'm clueless on the engine, will be my first DP. Questions abound but I'm posting here as understanding the engine is first & top priority. Coach is labeled a 2008 Holiday Rambler Neptune 35SBD with the Cummins® ISB 325 HP Engine with Allison® 2500 MH 6-Speed World Transmission. I've perused the Cummins web site and found ISB for Motorhome (EPA 07) and the specs match. Early in my search I received many suggestions to locate an "older diesel pusher" to avoid emission requirements by the EPA and pre-08 was far superior to post-08 in my price range. So naturally I find an '08 and have been told the engine is actually an '07 but the coach is the 08. I have access to the coach, how can I establish the vintage of the engine? And while we're here - the Allison web site states the 2500 MH 6-speed has Gross Input Power listed at 300hp and the Rambler brochure states 325hp. Since Holiday is still in business, still using Cummins engines and still using the Allison 2500 series tranny I'm guessing I've nothing to worry about. Is there a good "diesel pushers for dummies" book out there?
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Old 10-16-2018, 09:34 PM   #2
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I don't know about a book but the search feature will get you a lot of information about both the Allison transmission and the Cummins engine.
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Old 10-16-2018, 09:48 PM   #3
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Use your cell-phone to take a legible, clear picture of the engine nomenclature/ID tag on the engine. It contains everything about that specific engine, any authorized Cummins dealer or repair shop can use that picture to tell you all about the engine. The CPL number identifies every nut and bolt, in that specific engine. The same applies to the Allison transmission.
It is common for a specific year of motorhome to be built on the previous years chassis, which of course means the engine and entire drivetrain are also the same year. In some extreme cases the chassis may be 2 years older than what the title states in the year of mfgr for the motorhome, this is important when replacing chassis or drivetrain parts only.
This Allison pdf shows that transmission has a peak HP rating of 340 HP.
Do not hesitate to ask questions, that's why all of us are members of irv2.com; helping each other gain knowledge about our RV. Read the owners manuals for each component closely as they are the absolute authority, if one is missing it may be located on the web and downloaded if desired.
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Old 10-16-2018, 10:35 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyd48 View Post
I've found a coach I like, at a price I can live with and I'm clueless on the engine, will be my first DP. Questions abound but I'm posting here as understanding the engine is first & top priority. Coach is labeled a 2008 Holiday Rambler Neptune 35SBD with the Cummins ISB 325 HP Engine with Allison 2500 MH 6-Speed World Transmission. I've perused the Cummins web site and found ISB for Motorhome (EPA 07) and the specs match. Early in my search I received many suggestions to locate an "older diesel pusher" to avoid emission requirements by the EPA and pre-08 was far superior to post-08 in my price range. So naturally I find an '08 and have been told the engine is actually an '07 but the coach is the 08. I have access to the coach, how can I establish the vintage of the engine? And while we're here - the Allison web site states the 2500 MH 6-speed has Gross Input Power listed at 300hp and the Rambler brochure states 325hp. Since Holiday is still in business, still using Cummins engines and still using the Allison 2500 series tranny I'm guessing I've nothing to worry about. Is there a good "diesel pushers for dummies" book out there?
Thanks;
Need to check if the trailing arms have been replace. Look up Source Engineering and you will see that coach has TA problems. My daughter had the same problem on there Monaco and it cost them $5k along with shipping them to Alaska and having Kenworth in Fairbanks install along with the up grade air bag system.
I would never get a coach with a rear radiator, when you have to work on one at $140hr it can add up quick. Love my side radiator, when you open up the back you see a motor not the radiator.
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Old 10-17-2018, 06:13 AM   #5
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Tony, I have that engine/trans combo in my '08 Fleetwood on the Freightliner XC chassis.
I am pleased with the performance combo of the two with a average 9.5mpg to boot.
While it's true that side radiator engine are a joy to work on...the truth is there aren't near as many out there vs. the rear radiator design.
The biggest trouble I have had has been the Horton fan clutch failure and it's replacement and then the chore of cleaning the Charge Air Cooler (CAC) and radiator combo.
If you are at all handy...and you do like myself and others....cut a rectangular opening in the fan shroud and construct a cover to re-seal. It makes the routine task of cleaning so much easier and efficient. It was great to have that opening too when it was time to R/R the fan clutch (a 1.5 hour job that way).
You can get the engine sn sometimes from the data placard on the wall behind the drivers seat. If you go to Cummins QuickServe online and register and input that sn....the site will give you lots of info on that particular engine.

I think you have made a great choice in coaches...
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Old 11-12-2018, 09:57 AM   #6
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My only comment is if your not happy with the engine performance that model Allison will prevent you from Engine upgrades for more power.

If you plan on running solo it will be fine but if your going to tow a heavy toad (3k lbs or more) you may not be happy but will work if you just take your time and enjoy the scenery instead of being in a hurry.
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Old 11-12-2018, 10:50 AM   #7
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Solo vs towing

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Originally Posted by Jon_C View Post
My only comment is if your not happy with the engine performance that model Allison will prevent you from Engine upgrades for more power.

If you plan on running solo it will be fine but if your going to tow a heavy toad (3k lbs or more) you may not be happy but will work if you just take your time and enjoy the scenery instead of being in a hurry.
Will be towing a small trailer, appx 2,500# - 3,000#, trailer weighing more than it's contents. But it will be there, cannot go anywhere without motorcycle! Speed is not as critical as reliability.
Thanks Jon, valid observation
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Old 11-12-2018, 01:52 PM   #8
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Same here My toad is Harley and jeep in 24 ft enclosed trailer!
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Old 11-12-2018, 02:50 PM   #9
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That's gotta be 9000#
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Old 11-12-2018, 07:17 PM   #10
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Getting 4 corner weights with and without trailer is on my short list. I measured Tongue weight at 1000# loaded, trailer and weight distribution hitch including receiver all rated at 12k
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Old 11-14-2018, 11:10 AM   #11
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Bah Bah on the side vs rear controversy. Sides pull much more hp, get poor mpg, and are much more complex = expensive to purchase and repair. May also not cool as well as rears. Rears are cheaper, pull less hp, get better mpg, but some items on the engine are less accessible on older diesels. Newer are much worse. Yes Ive looked.
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Old 11-14-2018, 11:25 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Bah Bah on the side vs rear controversy. Sides pull much more hp, get poor mpg, and are much more complex = expensive to purchase and repair. May also not cool as well as rears. Rears are cheaper, pull less hp, get better mpg, but some items on the engine are less accessible on older diesels. Newer are much worse. Yes Ive looked.
The cost is one reason they're used on higher end coaches. Cooling is no problem and the radiator stack stays much cleaner. I have yet to see a big block engine with a rear radiator and an ISM or ISX needs far more cooling than an ISB or C7. Doubtful they get worse mileage since the side mounted fan only runs when needed whereas most rear radiator fans run all the time.
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Old 11-14-2018, 12:50 PM   #13
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Bah Bah on the side vs rear controversy. Sides pull much more hp, get poor mpg, and are much more complex = expensive to purchase and repair. May also not cool as well as rears. Rears are cheaper, pull less hp, get better mpg, but some items on the engine are less accessible on older diesels. Newer are much worse. Yes Ive looked.
You don't say where you've looked but I think you should look again. You have some poor information. Sounds like something a slick salesman would say.
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Old 11-18-2018, 08:53 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Fiesta48 View Post
Bah Bah on the side vs rear controversy. Sides pull much more hp, get poor mpg, and are much more complex = expensive to purchase and repair. May also not cool as well as rears. Rears are cheaper, pull less hp, get better mpg, but some items on the engine are less accessible on older diesels. Newer are much worse. Yes Ive looked.
Sorry, I disagree with almost everything you said except the "less accessible" part. Changing a fan belt is only 10 min on a side radiator coach and over 2 hours on a rear radiator. At $150 per hour which one is more expensive to maintain? Same goes for alternator, water pump, fuel filter, or almost any other part on the engine.
Side radiators actually cool better. That's why all the larger engines as well as commercial busses come with a side radiator.
The largest factor on fuel mileage is the driver. All class A coaches have the aerodynamics of a brick so the radiator placement has almost no affect on mileage. It's the driver's right foot that governs that and most get from 7-8mpg regardless.

For the OP: Tony, the Cummins ISB is a great little engine. Several hundred thousand Dodge trucks can't be wrong. Just be careful with gross vehicle weight. Also be careful with the Allison 2500. I'd rather see you find a coach with an Allison MH3000.
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