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Old 12-19-2013, 01:01 PM   #1
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Cleaning rear radiator

Finally had the rear radiator on my 05 Itasca Meridian 36H with a Cat 350 cleaned. I has read several threads on how this should be done etc. etc. After almost two years of ownership and procrastination , I finally had it cleaned. I had noticed that I seemed to overheat too easily on mountain climbs but had nothing to reference it to. It appears that the radiators were almost totally blocked with gunk. They said it took several cleanings to finally be able to see through. I hope that is the result of never being cleaned by the original owner and not just in the last few years. So much air is moving now that I looked like a leaf blower leaving my temp storage. Have not tested on a climb yet but am hopeful.
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Old 12-19-2013, 01:34 PM   #2
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We clean our condenser coils on our roof top units a couple of times a year and they get really dirty and inefficient if you don't keep them clean. With the MH it is even more important as you are traveling down dusty roads and your rad attracts all kinds of crap to clog them up. Use a good coil cleaning solution, I spray it on with a hand sprayer and let it soak for 10 or 15 mins then gently rinse it off with a garden hose, do not use a pressure washer ever as you can really damage the fins and that gets expensive.
Your cooling system will be much happier if you spend a couple of hours a year giving it a clean.
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Old 12-20-2013, 06:21 AM   #3
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So how and what did they use to clean them
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Old 12-20-2013, 04:39 PM   #4
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Sprayed with one of those Green solutions from front and back as best as possible, let sit and rinsed with low pressure water hose in both direction also. Repeated until water flowed easily, clean, and light shown through.
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Old 12-20-2013, 09:43 PM   #5
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Rmiscoord

You will be glad and your MH will run cooler which cuts down on your inlet air and exhaust gas temps because the CAC (Charged Air Cooler-the unit that looks like a radiator in front of the actual one) will be more efficient.

If you haven't thought of your engine blow-by tube (a.k.a. slobber tube), you may want to look at it and extend it toward the rear so that the fan can't pick the vapor up and direct it into the radiator. This will cut down on the gunk buildup and make it easier to clean in the future. There are several treads on this forum addressing the slobber tube extension. All I did was take a piece of hose, clamp it to the tube and extended it toward the read bumper attaching it with wire ties--works great for us and was cheap and easy. A word of caution though, be very careful that what ever you use doesn't reduce or block the breather vapor flow, as that will increase internal engine pressure and you could blow seals. I'm mentioning this because I believe your model engine is prior to the mandated recirculating of the crank case gasses.

Merry Christmas.

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Old 12-21-2013, 10:21 AM   #6
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If your radiator is aluminum then you want to use Extreme Simple Green and not the regular Simple Green which can damage it. I spray it on with a 2 gallon pump up sprayer. I have access through my bedroom floor to the top of the CAC and radiator so I can really work on the cleaning top to bottom. I spray it on, leave it for 15 minutes, rinse with a garden hose. Then I crank the engine and let it blow. If I see bubbles, I rinse again until I don't see any. I do this annually and sometimes it takes two or three applications before I don't see crud falling on the concrete pad. I have a rear radiator and it really catches road grime.
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Old 12-21-2013, 07:15 PM   #7
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If they only sprayed the front of the radiator and the rear of the charge air cooler, they didn't get it clean. My sister has an 04 Meridian and getting to the radiator and CAC is extremely difficult. To thoroughly clean, you have to remove the engine cover under the bed and then cut a hole in the sheet metal frame above the radiator and CAC. After the hole is cut you can use a garden sprayer with a long snout and get between the two units and spray the sides you can't see from the engine side or the rear of the coach. You'll be surprised when you look through the hole. Most of these units that haven't been cleaned in awhile will look like they're growing hair.

Once we sprayed the heck out of the inside surfaces of the radiator and CAC, we took a piece of pvc pipe and made what looks like an RV toilet tank sprayer. We inserted it down into the opening we cut, connected the hose to the hot water tank at the house and sprayed away.

Once you're done, you can cut a piece of tin to cover the hole you made. This way it will be removable for the next time you clean it.

Also make sure your slobber tube has been relocated so that it's not dumping oil into your radiator and CAC.
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Old 12-23-2013, 11:29 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the feedback. I knew about the slobber tube and will look into modifying it. I had the radiator cleaned by an RV maintenance shop (advertises on here) since I do not have a location where I can do it myself. I think this is a classic example of PPP on Winnebago's part and other manufactures that have similar arrangements. What where they thinking?
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Old 12-23-2013, 01:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rmiscoord View Post
I had the radiator cleaned by an RV maintenance shop (advertises on here) since I do not have a location where I can do it myself. I think this is a classic example of PPP on Winnebago's part and other manufactures that have similar arrangements. What where they thinking?

That it would be out of warranty when the radiator and CAC started to cause problems for the owners and they would be off the hook for cleaning and repairs.




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Old 12-23-2013, 04:45 PM   #10
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I take mine to a Freightliner professional shop, they lift the coach up and
a tech power washes the CAC and radiator. I do this each year along with
all the other annual maintenance protocols specified by Freightliner.
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Old 12-28-2013, 02:07 AM   #11
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I took me two years and about 8 cleanings to get the radiator &.CAC cleaned to the point where engine temps will remain normal while pulling grades.

Cleaner and a garden hose alone weren't enough. I don't have access to fish anything between the radiator and CAC as Diplomat Don recommended. I was about to fork out $1100 to have everything removed and steam cleaned when another forum member recommended the Karcher KS360 electric pressure washer. At only 1600 psi, this little pressure washer cleans well without any damage whatsoever to the radiator and CAC cooling fins.

Armed with my Karcher washer that I found at Walmart, along with Simple Green HD cleaner approved for aluminum (available only at Home Depot), I was finally able to make an impact. I found most of the crud along the driver's side of the CAC, accessible via the bedroom engine cover. I just fed the Karcher hose in through the bedroom window instead of a garden hose.

I employ several other little steps that aid me in doing a thorough annual cleaning, including using heated water from the house water heater as Don suggested. I have this down to a science and typed up a step by step list that I print out and use during my annual cleaning. I'd be happy to send it to anyone that PM's me their email address.

In addition to modifying your slobber tube, you may need to re-calibrate your oil dipstick on that '05 C7 engine of your's, like I did. The factory dipstick calls for 21 quarts of oil when only 19 may be required. This only adds to the amount of oil sprayed out of the slobber tube. I can send instructions from CAT on how to do the re-calibration as well.

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Old 12-28-2013, 07:18 AM   #12
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I have a steam generator (a device that makes steam) I keep in my RV garage and it works great for cleaning almost everything, including radiators. I had a slober tube problem and fixed that on my DPs. Keep all of my vehicle engines, A/Cs etc free of dirt, grease and other debris all over. They all seem to work better and cooler with no crud on them. Steam generator is handy. Use it on toilets, dump areas also - anything that can be cleaned this way I use it.
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Old 01-07-2014, 11:52 AM   #13
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steam generator

this steam sounds good, how does it affect electrical ? what is the maker of this machine? thanx Bob
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Old 01-07-2014, 02:52 PM   #14
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Bob

I have a "Hill Injection" unit. You can see them at "dupray.ca". (I supect you can get them other places also) The Hill unit can put out about 120psi of steam and you can mix water with the steam. It gets the steam up to ~175C about 345 F. We also have a much cheaper steamer but it is no match for the Hill. This product is made in Italy and it is a bit pricy. I think I paid about $2K for it but it cleans about anything. But I don't think I want to use it in my electric bays but I do clean engines, radiators, AC units, ovens, all around my dump facilities, tile grout etc. You can localize the steam to keep it away from things you do not want to get wet. Just cover up the item you want to protect. I have cleaned around my batteries and cleaned the batteries,

Just saying, steamers are great and get rid of a lot of nasty germs, parasites and bacteria, and of course it cleans as well.
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