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Old 05-13-2007, 05:20 PM   #1
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I really hate to show my ignorance, but here goes. I have a 2005 DSDP 4009 (purchased 26 Sept 05). I have only 8K miles (one trip to Washington and one trip to Quartzsite this Feb/Mar.) The Spartan book says change oil at 20K miles or yearly. (Cummins ISL 370 engine.) Which is more important- miles or yearly? I don't plan on any serious traveling until this October, when I will surely do the oil change. Do I need to do it before then? Or have I done any harm by not changing the oil yet? BTW I DID change the tranny filter at 5K by the book.
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Old 05-13-2007, 05:20 PM   #2
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I really hate to show my ignorance, but here goes. I have a 2005 DSDP 4009 (purchased 26 Sept 05). I have only 8K miles (one trip to Washington and one trip to Quartzsite this Feb/Mar.) The Spartan book says change oil at 20K miles or yearly. (Cummins ISL 370 engine.) Which is more important- miles or yearly? I don't plan on any serious traveling until this October, when I will surely do the oil change. Do I need to do it before then? Or have I done any harm by not changing the oil yet? BTW I DID change the tranny filter at 5K by the book.
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Old 05-13-2007, 05:49 PM   #3
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it looks like you are about 1 1/2 years behind on the change..the clock should really start ticking when the coach first moves...from what I understand, the engine oil can build acid (sulfuric and other) just with burnt fuel contamination. Allowing this to soak all those nice bearings and cylinders probably isnt very gentle to them. I changed my first oil at 5000 miles...that is when the coach was 1 yr off the assembly line.
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Old 05-13-2007, 05:54 PM   #4
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You really need to change the oil yearly if you don't have the mileage. What footdoc says, it will collect acids that are not good forthe bearings.

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Old 05-13-2007, 07:43 PM   #5
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Thanks for the words of advice. Guess I should get it changed "most ricky tick."
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Old 05-13-2007, 07:45 PM   #6
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Oops! I didn't even think about the time between manufacture and delivery! I'm on it and will get it done before a planned trip up Washington way - about 600 miles RT.
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Old 05-14-2007, 05:45 AM   #7
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Are you going to change the oil yourself?
I have done mine twice myself.
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Old 05-14-2007, 06:13 AM   #8
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I had not planned to, since I don't know what to do with all the used oil, plus finding a container for, what 20-24 quarts? I do live in the country and it's a pretty good trip to get to the local Camping World. Any advice or simple directions would be appreciated.
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Old 05-14-2007, 07:17 AM   #9
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I do all regular maintenance myself. Consider:
1. Buy the oil at a place that you can return to old oil. I think this is law, but I'm not sure. In my area all auto part places that sell oil will also take your used oil, for recycling.
2. Measure the distance from the ground to the bottom of the oil pan. Wal-mart, Kmart, Target, etc all sell plastic containers that will hold the amount of oil in your engine. Make sure you get the top for the container.
3. I purchase my filters from Cummins. Oil and fuel (2) should be done at least annually.
4. Pre fill all filters, then install. When prefilling the fuel filter, fill through the small holes. I know it is a pain, but the naked eye can not see the impurities the filter catches. One does not want clogged injectors.
5. Once prefilled, remove the old filter, clean the gasket surface. Install the new gasket (depends on filter) and filter.

In my area, it costs a small fortune to have a truck garage do this. The job is not rocket science, just dirty. If you can find a skilled place to do the above oil and filters, go for it.
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Old 05-14-2007, 10:27 AM   #10
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Gary, I am SO impressed with you guys that do your own stuff. Now you are a true contradiction - a geek (I've read your electronic posts!) and an "underneath" type guy! I'll bet your co-pilot is proud of you too. Thanks for the details. Sounds like an idiot can do it (assuming I can find the drain plug!) if I don't mind getting dirty.
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Old 05-14-2007, 12:15 PM   #11
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I had 2 drain pans from WalMart. I think they were 16 quart ones. They only had a small hole in the top for the oil to drain into. I ended up getting 2 more drain pans that were similar to the ones Walmart sells , but they have no top and are 20 quart capacity as I recall. These were very easy to use, when 1 got 3/4 full I switched to the other one.
You will also need a good nylon strap wrench to break the oil filter loose. I also had to use it on the fuel,air dryer and coolant filters. I don't think your year DSDP has a coolant filter.
You can order your filters and other stuff through:
https://www.rvchassisparts.com/rally.asp
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Old 05-15-2007, 05:02 AM   #12
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Hey footdoc, we are looking at buying a diesel soon and want to try to do some of my own maintenance. Also, trying to understand some of the complexity of a diesel.

Your comment about "the engine oil can build acid (sulfuric and other) just with burnt fuel contamination". Not sure I understand how diesel fuel can get into the oil system. On a gasser, can gasoline get into the oil system or is a diesel built different?

Thanks
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Old 05-15-2007, 06:05 AM   #13
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Hi redeldo,
I hesitate to post this because I am not an automotive engine engineer and I am on my first diesel and learning to, but here goes. Whether it be a gas or diesel fueled engine the oil being contaminated by the results of combustion of the fuel has been around since the engines were invented. I think the term used is/was "blow by". Theoretically, the piston rings should keep what is happenning in the combustion chamber seperate from that is happenning with the oil. In reality, there can be a situation where the combustion chamber gases get by the piston rings and contaminate the oil. In addition, at the top of the cylinder there are valves (intake and exhaust). The valve seals should keep the oil lubricating them from getting into the combustion chamber. In addition, if the valve does not seat/seal properly combustion gases can get by the valve and into the oil lubricating the valve.

Larry, if I left anything out or this is not your view, please jump in and share your thoughts.
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Old 05-15-2007, 06:48 AM   #14
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Thanks for this discussion. I'm not anywhere near being a mechanic, much less an engineer - but I am really enjoying the back and forth on this topic! It's helping me understand the importance of regular oil changes!
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