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Old 08-14-2014, 10:03 AM   #1
kpl
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1997 cat 3126 oil in coolant

Hi everyone i have oil in my coolant after a trip but no signs of coolant in oil. No temp issues just was checking all levels after i got home and noticed it. Is this a oil cooler issue ( im hoping ) I looked for cooler but don't see one from under motorhome does anyone know location and any advice wouild be helpful for repair
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Kevin
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Old 08-14-2014, 10:11 AM   #2
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I'll have a look in my paper work , but if the engine oil to water cooler on the Cat engine is like the one Cummins uses, it mounts in a cavity in the side of the engine block, in the area of the oil filter.

Has the coolant gone milky, or is it reddish color?
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Old 08-14-2014, 10:22 AM   #3
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How did you determine there is coolant in the oil? Unless there is a lot, this is usually not easy to spot without a lab sample.
There are many ways coolant can get into the oil. Oil cooler, cylinder liner pinhole or leaking liner seals, leaking exhaust guides etc.
If you have enough that you can spot it that easy, a pressure test on the cooling system might be the way to start to find the source.
Do you take regular oil samples for analysis before each oil change?
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Old 08-14-2014, 10:27 AM   #4
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Pardon me, I read your post wrong.
Oil in the coolant is most likely an oil cooler problem. It can also be caused by a leaking cylinder head gasket. Leaking head gasket will cause bubbles into the cooling system and will result in loss of coolant.
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Old 08-14-2014, 10:32 AM   #5
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I did not run a test this time on oil, but the dipstick showed nothing but oil but i know there could be traces not visible that way. The coolant tank was a little low so i put my finger in to see how low and my tip of finger was black when i pulled it out with oil residue.
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Old 08-14-2014, 10:40 AM   #6
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Black in the reservoir is not necessarily oil, but a residue, from other contaminants in the cooling system ,that float to the surface and collect on the inside of the tank. Engine oil in the coolant , will mix into the anti freeze and the coolant starts looking like a chocolate milkshake.
If you check the over flow tank in your car ( if it's over 2 years since a coolant flush) you'll find a similar black residue.
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Old 08-14-2014, 10:42 AM   #7
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Well it sure felt like oil but i will check again to be sure thanks
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Old 08-14-2014, 10:44 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kpl View Post
I did not run a test this time on oil, but the dipstick showed nothing but oil but i know there could be traces not visible that way. The coolant tank was a little low so i put my finger in to see how low and my tip of finger was black when i pulled it out with oil residue.
Most likely your oil cooler has developed a leak. Not sure if there is a way to test it without removing from the engine. I would drain the coolant, remove the cooler to test. On reassembly, you will need to flush the cooling system using a cleaning agent from your Cat Dealer before you replenish the coolant.
Or, take it to your Cat Dealer and have them do it if you are not equipped.
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Old 08-14-2014, 05:56 PM   #9
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Skip-coolant in the oil looks like the milkshake. Oil in coolant stays separate and floats on top of the coolant.
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Old 08-14-2014, 08:00 PM   #10
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I just drained my coolant and there are very few black dots on top like vey little in it. Inside the overflow tank where i had put my finger in there is a lot of goo oil like material on its walls and oil like material on wall of large hose leaving out of it but no oil smell. I just bought RV a year ago and don't know if overflow tank has ever been clean in its 106000 miles so maybe I'm worried about nothing what y'all think? Should I just clean tank and flush out system until clean and see what happens? Thanks for everyone's help
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Old 08-14-2014, 08:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kpl View Post
I just drained my coolant and there are very few black dots on top like vey little in it. Inside the overflow tank where i had put my finger in there is a lot of goo oil like material on its walls and oil like material on wall of large hose leaving out of it but no oil smell. I just bought RV a year ago and don't know if overflow tank has ever been clean in its 106000 miles so maybe I'm worried about nothing what y'all think? Should I just clean tank and flush out system until clean and see what happens? Thanks for everyone's help
Kevin
You could try that IMO. May be a residual from a previous failure. I would watch it closely and probably do a regular sampling for results. Probably remove the tank and hose and clean them with a solvent or steam clean them. Flush the system with a good quality flush. Don't forget to leave the heaters on so you get the full system flushed. Keep us posted.
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