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Old 07-13-2012, 11:49 AM   #1
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Just bought 1st RV...motor/trans question

Hey y'all! I just bought my first RV on Sunday and couldn't be more thrilled. It is a 1992 Damon Challenger 32' Pusher with 190 hp 5.9 Cummins/4 spd Allison auto. It has 76k on it and I bought it from the original owner. I drove it home 4 hours and the water temp gauge got close to the red about half way home so I pulled over and let it cool. I just had a diesel mechanic flush the radiator so I hope that will fix that. If that doesn't tho....What else could make the motor run hot?? It was 105 on Sunday here in Tennessee and it was a 4% grade (Birdsong) for a mile or so. The coach has also been sitting for a little over a year. ALSO, I plan to be towing a 6x14 enclosed trailer with it. Would it be wise to put an aux trans cooler on the Allison?
Thanks guys, Im sure this is just the tip of the iceberg.
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Old 07-13-2012, 11:55 AM   #2
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Welcome.
As a overview, not unit specific. Make sure the fan turns on, make sure the outside of the radiator is also clean (dust/dirt) so the fan can cool the radiator.
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Old 07-13-2012, 12:26 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Damon92 View Post
...Thanks guys, Im sure this is just the tip of the iceberg.
That is what the lookout on the Titanic might have thought.

If you are like me and totally new...welcome to the learning channel! My favorite phrase is, "I didn't know what I didn't know." The learning curve for me has been steep but a blast too. I always told my wife I was pretty handy but just too lazy to do things I could pay other to do. I enjoy getting my hands dirty on my RV and she now knows I was telling the truth.

I ain't diesel smart yet but I suspect you still have a lot of the same cooling system stuff like hoses, thermostats and such. Welcome to your first classroom session.

GOOD LUCK!
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Old 07-13-2012, 12:36 PM   #4
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Hi, and Welcome to iRV2.

When you say " flush " we assume that the coolant was changed. Was the condition of the radiator inspected as BCooke asked, Cummins says to clean the rad fins every 7500 miles, on rear rad units, more often if there is any indication of oil fumes from the slobber tube getting onto the rad.
Was the rad fan operation tested?
Very few units made without a trans cooler, oil to water or oil to air, best to weigh your coach and check all the spec's with regard to , GVW, trailer weight tow rating and GCVW. Find out your trailer weight , loaded. JMHO.you may be asking too much from a 20 year old unit.
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Old 07-13-2012, 12:46 PM   #5
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Hi and welcome to the forum.

Good advice on making sure the radiator is clean on the OUTSIDE too. Use the search feature here and you'll find a lot of "how to" information.

Did the engine overheating issue occur while you were climbing? Diesels often require that you keep the RPM up while climbing to ensure that the fans and pump are working fast enough to properly cool. This will be especially important when you start towing your trailer.

best of luck

Rick
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Old 07-13-2012, 12:50 PM   #6
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Skip426 and athuddriver are giving you good guidance.

In a DP the radiator is aft of the engine and picks up a lot of oily grime which attracts dirt and really clogs things up. A thorough cleaning of the radiator fins annually will go a long way in keeping temps in check.

If this is a turbo diesel there is also a air cooler sandwiched in front of the radiator that must also be cleaned. Many use Si
Ole Green for his purpose, but look for the purple version that is safe for aluminum. Spray on, let sit, hose off. Do not use pressure washer.

The thermostat might also be ready for a change. I believe CAT says change them every three years. Not sure about Cummins.

I would guess that a good radiator cleaning and new stats will set you right up.
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Old 07-13-2012, 05:09 PM   #7
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If it is a rear mount radiator then it'll get residue from exhaust and attracts dirt into the fins. I use to have mine steam cleaned thoroughly on a regular basis.

Just my two cents.
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Old 07-14-2012, 06:28 AM   #8
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Sorry for the auto correct typo above. Si Ole should read Simple, as in Simple Green. The normal version of this cleaner is thought to be hard on aluminum, so look for the purple version.
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Old 07-14-2012, 10:44 AM   #9
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Thanks everyone for your input. The coolant was changed, and a degreaser was pumped thru before adding new coolant. He also cleaned the fins and yes the fan turns on. It helped it run a little cooler however when I try to maintain speeds around 65-70, it still creeps toward the red. If I back my foot out of it (50-55) it will cool back down. We are going to put new thermostat in today and I will keep you posted. The motor goes from start up cold to 1/2 hot very fast just idling.
Thanks again
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Old 07-14-2012, 01:51 PM   #10
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Don't forget to check the air filter.
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Old 07-14-2012, 02:25 PM   #11
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A little change in speed & a change in engine temp, sounds like flow blockage in the coolant system somewhere. I would take a hard look at a bad thermostat whether or not it's new. It could be sticking closed, or only partially opening.
If the system is operating OK you won't need an aux cooler, that's just masking a real problem
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Old 07-14-2012, 07:28 PM   #12
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A little change in speed & a change in engine temp, sounds like flow blockage in the coolant system somewhere. I would take a hard look at a bad thermostat whether or not it's new. It could be sticking closed, or only partially opening.
If the system is operating OK you won't need an aux cooler, that's just masking a real problem
Ditto on the thermostat.
Please keep us posted on your efforts.
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Old 07-14-2012, 08:58 PM   #13
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Ok so today we went to put new thermostat in. Before we did I got it on the interstate and drove it hard (70-75mph) and let the stock water temp gauge touch the "red" zone. We then pulled over and he had a laser gage he shot on the exhaust manifold and it read 190 degrees. He told me this is optimal operating temp. As he held it on there, it cooled 10 degrees pretty fast as it was idling. Does this not mean the cooling system is doing its job? He told me to let it roll but I do not feel comfortable with any vehicle running that close to the "red." I am thinking about replacing stock round gauge with a new, numerical gauge so I know exactly where it is and don't have to keep guessing. We never replaced the thermostat but I probably will for peace of mind. Is he telling me correctly? Thanks y'all! I know its not going to run any cooler when I take it on a trip loaded with the band and gear!
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Old 07-14-2012, 09:17 PM   #14
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Yu can't gauge the internal engine temp by the exhaust temp. 190 is not bad for the mana fold but you don't want your cooling system running at that temp.

It could be a faulty gauge or sending unit. It would not hurt to get a second gauge to verify the coolant temp.
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