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Old 02-14-2015, 12:02 PM   #1
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1997 Beaver with 300 hp Cat

I have tried to search but found nothing of real value except others saying swap it, get rid of it, do this , do that , when all I want is an answer about my 97 Beaver with a 300 CAT engine with 55,000 miles. Just bought it. Have no idea what to expect. Is the 55,000 mileage a problem ? Wasn't used much obviously , but what would be a good "check up" for it? I will change oil, filters, etc, but I do not know what else I should check on the engine and tranny , before driving it back home. ( Just bought it in Texas sight unseen, yes I know.........) and driving home to Canada. Anyone with any 300 hp CAT engines have some help other than slamming me for buying it? Thanks.......


Also , it did at one time have a leak.( has been fixed but has stains) Can upholstery paint work on the ceiling fabric?
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Old 02-14-2015, 12:09 PM   #2
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I have a 300 cat in my 2005 fleetwood expedition. I love it..,you likely don't know if the valves have been adjusted. I would have that done., cats like good fresh oil and filters so stay up with maintenance..,I pull a CRV toad and don't know it's back there. I run about 63 on interstates and don't race over mountains but I found it goes as fast as I want to.,, enjoy it...GlenB
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Old 02-14-2015, 12:24 PM   #3
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I had some stains on my ceiling, when i shampooed the carpet i used the upholstery attachment and it cleaned right up. About your engine i would change the fuel filters and carry a spare set. If the transmission fluid looks and smells good I would drive it home and do the 2 times change out with allison approved synthetic and new filters. Check the dates on your tires, if over 6 years old you may want to get new before your trip. My cat is older and mechanical fuel system but everything I have read says the newer fuel systems like clean fuel. Hope this helps. I bought my Beaver a year ago today in Wyoming and drove it 1000 miles home. I had to get new tires the ones on it were 21 years old.
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Old 02-14-2015, 12:38 PM   #4
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Very similar to my Sahara. As long as you don't soak the ceiling fabric you can clean it like a carpet. Do it on a day when you can open the windows and blow air through with fans.

That era of Beavers were built well. Is it on a Magnum chassis?
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Old 02-14-2015, 12:42 PM   #5
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Change all the filters with filters that meet or exceed spec's.
Not all filters that fit meet the requirements of fuel and oil on a Cat engine.
Change your oil every 5,000 to 6,000 miles and do a oil analysis that will alert you
of possible problems.
Cat engines demand very clean oil, fuel, and air.
With 55,000 miles the engine is hardly broke in and will last a long time with proper
maintenance.
As stated above find out if the valves have been adjusted as this should have been done around 30,000 miles.
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Old 02-14-2015, 12:44 PM   #6
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You didn't say what city in Texas you bought it at. However I woulld look for a good independent RV tech and pay them to do a thorough inspection of the entire vehicle. Then you'll be fairly sure of the condition it's in. They may also help you in understanding some of the RV's system that may be foreign to you. It's money well spent.

Good luck and Happy Trails!!
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Old 02-14-2015, 12:46 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by jplante4 View Post
Very similar to my Sahara. As long as you don't soak the ceiling fabric you can clean it like a carpet. Do it on a day when you can open the windows and blow air through with fans.

That era of Beavers were built well. Is it on a Magnum chassis?
Yes , it is a Magnum. I am new to this , old retired truck driver , but not mechanically trained....just drove'm. Thanks so much...Hope the Magnum is a good thing?
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Old 02-14-2015, 12:50 PM   #8
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You didn't say what city in Texas you bought it at. However I woulld look for a good independent RV tech and pay them to do a thorough inspection of the entire vehicle. Then you'll be fairly sure of the condition it's in. They may also help you in understanding some of the RV's system that may be foreign to you. It's money well spent.

Good luck and Happy Trails!!
It was a major "consigner of RVs" in Houston , This is my opinion only...."Not helpful at all". Sell sell sell...... I will find a RV place , maybe in Dallas on my way home , that I can trust for a complete look over. ( All of a sudden , there is staining all through the coach now, they say , due to a recent rainstorm)??
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Old 02-14-2015, 12:51 PM   #9
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Very similar to my Sahara. As long as you don't soak the ceiling fabric you can clean it like a carpet. Do it on a day when you can open the windows and blow air through with fans.

That era of Beavers were built well. Is it on a Magnum chassis?
Do you know if $1,700 is a decent price for a "Reseal" of the roof? Thats what they are quoting me. Thanks
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Old 02-14-2015, 03:19 PM   #10
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Do you know if $1,700 is a decent price for a "Reseal" of the roof? Thats what they are quoting me. Thanks
Seems high to me. Watch this video. This is what's involved. If you don't feel comfortable doing this, then pay someone to do it. I can't see it being more that $500..

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Old 02-14-2015, 03:33 PM   #11
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Yes , it is a Magnum. I am new to this , old retired truck driver , but not mechanically trained....just drove'm. Thanks so much...Hope the Magnum is a good thing?
Safari and Beaver coaches were originally in Oregon. The guy that started Safari originally worked at Beaver. SMC (Safari Motor Coaches) made the Magnum chassis. At the time, it was the only motor home manufacturer building their own chassis. Beaver used their chassis, and was eventually bought by SMC, which itself was bought by Monaco. The pre-Monaco Safaris and Beavers were nice rigs.

The Magnum chassis came in a few versions, differentiated by type of suspension and engine mfg. The only 'bad' thing was the Velvet Ride suspension ( BF Goodrich torsion bar suspension ). There were issues with ride and ride height, but easily remedied with after market fixes.
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Old 02-14-2015, 10:40 PM   #12
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For water stains we got a tanin remover from a janitorial supply shop. Removed the brown stains without problem or damage. For engine and transmission assessment consider oil analysis (and interpretaion) from Blackstone Labs.
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Old 02-15-2015, 11:06 AM   #13
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Thanks

What great help ! Thx to all for the tips!
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Old 02-15-2015, 12:01 PM   #14
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Get an oil analysis done, either at a cat engine dealer or at a speedco oil change shop. They specialize in oil changes for heavy duty diesel engines.
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