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Old 10-02-2013, 07:11 PM   #15
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I love my side radiator, When I started looking for a D.P. I wasn't even aware of radiator differences, looked at a Discovery, lifted the grill & said to myself " where the h--- is the engine, checked out an American Tradition, "There it is" I scheduled a test drive for Saturday,as I was on my way to a service call, Dealer had a contract on it Friday. Found the Dutchstar Saturday,with side radiator. It's been parked out back since Feb. except when we've had it out, about 30 days so far this year.
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Old 10-02-2013, 07:21 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Spinner View Post
I had the alternator replaced while on a trip this summer. I have a side radiator and the bill, installed was about $500. The manager at the truck center where the service was performed said we were lucky, if we had a rear radiator we would have spent the night there and paid another $800 in labor. Instead, we were back on the road in 2 hours.
Spinner is absolutely correct and if I purchase another MH it will have a side radiator. I've had two alternators replaced and the problem is not the replacement of the alternator but the nearly impossible to reach timing belt. A suggestion for those replacing TB--try and get one that is a half inch longer then recommended. The tension pulley will easily take up slack. A good mechanic can put both on in a half hour or less.
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Old 10-02-2013, 07:22 PM   #17
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The only downside to a side radiator IMO is when the hydraulic motor fails.
The motor alone cost me $862.
Otherwise, it's the only way to go.
I've seen posts from members here in the forums , being charged $500, for belt replacements on rear rad units.
Not to mention some scary $$$ amounts from , Cat fan hub bearing replacements.
If your in the situation of needing a pump or motor again, check out a local tractor repair shop, a lot of these items are re-purposed from farm implements.
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Old 10-03-2013, 06:19 AM   #18
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I've seen posts from members here in the forums , being charged $500, for belt replacements on rear rad units.
Not to mention some scary $$$ amounts from , Cat fan hub bearing replacements.
If your in the situation of needing a pump or motor again, check out a local tractor repair shop, a lot of these items are re-purposed from farm implements.
I can see belts being difficult to replace on a rear rad engine but I had the alternator replaced on our rear rad CAT7.2 and I think it took under 2 hours. It wasn't a trivial job and the rear rad did cause some issues (it looks the alternator is installed before the rad and once the rad is in place on of the bolts doesn't have the clearance to slide out anymore but all the mechanic did was cut off the bolt so he could get it out with the rad in place and then install the new bolt in the opposite direction).

I'm not saying that side rad isn't better - just pointing out that even with higher maintenance costs of a rear rad, it'll take a lot of repairs to recoup the higher cost of the side rad.
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Old 10-03-2013, 11:15 AM   #19
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Hotter air from engine w/ rear radiator

Another issue pointed out to me is that the rear radiator has to deal with hot engine air being sucked out as opposed to a side radiator which pushes cooler air in from the outside. I was told this by a salesman and have not confirmed this by standing next to two running units. Assuming outdoor ambient is 70-80deg and the engine bay is at 100-130deg that would be substantial in terms of cooling capacity and would mean you need a larger radiator, longer cooling cycles etc. Please note: this is just what I was told and my reasoning JMHO, so no ragging on me:-))You can gladly correct me if I'm wrong
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Old 10-03-2013, 07:46 PM   #20
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I have a Country Coach with a side mounted radiator and everything Pigman 1 said is right on. If it did not have a SR I did not look at it because my daughter has a Monaco with a rear radiator and to work on it you need to go through the bedroom closet floor or from under the coach. Mine you open up the back and all you see is Cat motor (fuel filter,Hyd filter tank,serpentine belt,ez oil fill,ez trans check and oil check) and the radiator is clean. The fan is hyd driven along with the power steering. Mine is air leveling so the only hyd used is for the fan and steering plus you don't loose horse power driving the fan.
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If your fans are hydraulic driven and your hydraulic pump is driven by the engine you lose horsepower when they are needed.

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Old 10-03-2013, 09:52 PM   #21
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If your fans are hydraulic driven and your hydraulic pump is driven by the engine you lose horsepower when they are needed.

joe
According to CAT on my engine, up to 70 HP.
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Old 10-03-2013, 10:04 PM   #22
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According to CAT on my engine, up to 70 HP.
Let me first say I have no idea if it takes 70 hp to turn the radiator fan, so I am not doubting you. All I am saying is, that sounds like a lot of energy to just turn the fan. A couple of electric fans like the automotive industry uses, would seem to be more economical. Just saying.

Randy
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Old 10-03-2013, 10:16 PM   #23
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Clarification is needed. The 70 HP is total accessories power draw maximum for my Cummins ISC 350HP engine. My Spartan chassis uses electric automotive fans to move air through the radiators.
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Old 10-03-2013, 10:40 PM   #24
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According to CAT on my engine, up to 70 HP.
I have no doubt it takes HP to run a side mounted fan, but you are kidding yourself if you think the rear mounted fan runs for "free". The only difference between the two is the efficiency loss of the hydraulic system. So let's say it takes 70 HP on a SR, if the hydraulic system is 80% efficient, than it still takes 56 HP on the RR system. If my assumption of 80% is right, it costs me 14 HP to have a SR vs. a rear.

For my year and model of coach there was an option for 330hp cat with rear radiator or 350hp cummins with side radiator. Power to the wheels is probably about the same on both coaches with a less than 10% difference in overall power which would closely follow fuel consumption. Ultimately, it may cost more fuel for a side radiator, but these are the trade offs we all make and live with.

SR or RR each is right for different folks. These are all opinions and that's mainly what you get on any forum. It's up to the reader to filter out the useful bits.

Sorry to "geek out" on everyone. I have this illness called mechanical engineer. I haven't found a cure yet.
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Old 10-04-2013, 07:44 AM   #25
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I have no doubt it takes HP to run a side mounted fan, but you are kidding yourself if you think the rear mounted fan runs for "free". The only difference between the two is the efficiency loss of the hydraulic system. So let's say it takes 70 HP on a SR, if the hydraulic system is 80% efficient, than it still takes 56 HP on the RR system. If my assumption of 80% is right, it costs me 14 HP to have a SR vs. a rear.

For my year and model of coach there was an option for 330hp cat with rear radiator or 350hp cummins with side radiator. Power to the wheels is probably about the same on both coaches with a less than 10% difference in overall power which would closely follow fuel consumption. Ultimately, it may cost more fuel for a side radiator, but these are the trade offs we all make and live with.

SR or RR each is right for different folks. These are all opinions and that's mainly what you get on any forum. It's up to the reader to filter out the useful bits.

Sorry to "geek out" on everyone. I have this illness called mechanical engineer. I haven't found a cure yet.
I agree. There's no way to make a mistake here as far as I'm concerned? SR's are nice, but they aren't without a downside. In the end, you need to make up your own mind, decide which your priorities demand? There's no fluffy bed of rose petals available!
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Old 10-04-2013, 11:34 AM   #26
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I agree. There's no way to make a mistake here as far as I'm concerned? SR's are nice, but they aren't without a downside. In the end, you need to make up your own mind, decide which your priorities demand? There's no fluffy bed of rose petals available!
I totally agree. We have had great service from our rear radiator Freightliner XC chassis. Both configurations serve the purpose. I do not regret for a minute having the rear radiator configuration. I do grease the fan myself every 5000 mi. I don't trust that to anyone but myself. That's the geekey pilot in me !!!
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Old 10-04-2013, 08:24 PM   #27
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Rear rad on both of our MH' s and i can assure you that the position of the radiator never entered into the decision process of which coach to buy.
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Old 10-05-2013, 08:15 PM   #28
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Spinner is absolutely correct and if I purchase another MH it will have a side radiator. I've had two alternators replaced and the problem is not the replacement of the alternator but the nearly impossible to reach timing belt. A suggestion for those replacing TB--try and get one that is a half inch longer then recommended. The tension pulley will easily take up slack. A good mechanic can put both on in a half hour or less.

Replace timing belt for alternator?
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