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Old 03-12-2014, 08:19 PM   #1
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Pros/cons/advice on my first DP

Howdy y'all!

I've owned 5 coaches in the past, all gas, the last being a 35' Cruise Master/2slides. After doing as much research as I thought necessary and looking across the country as well as driving many I bought a really nice, well taken care of 2002 Tradewinds 374 on a Spartan Chassis with 330 Cat and Allison 6spd with 61k miles. The Spartan seems to ride as well as the Freightliner and not near as bouncy as the Roadmaster chassis. I'm a little concerned with the C7 Cat, but not sure my manufacture date would have the C7 over the 3126. Anybody have any recommendations or words of advice on my new coach?

Thanks in advance and I look forward to learning more.
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Old 03-12-2014, 08:38 PM   #2
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We had a 2005 Newmar Kountry Star 37' with a330 C7 CAT, 6 speed
Allison....No problems with the CAT. Traded up after 6 years, 27k miles
to a 40' DSDP.
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Old 03-13-2014, 03:01 AM   #3
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I have the 3126 and no problems. Lots of power for those grades and good fuel economy if you keep your speed reasonable. Your 02 you are looking at should have the 3126. you may have a C7 if you got one of the last 02 models as the change happened about the end of 02. No difference in the engine, just different fuel system.
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Old 03-13-2014, 09:52 AM   #4
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I just called Spartan and they were very helpful. There were no recalls on that particular unit and they gave me the engine serial #. I called Cat and they informed me I have the 3126E electronic, but not the C7. They also told me it has no service records with Cat. Fortunately a friend of mine has been with RDO for years and he's hooking me up with his service mgr. First stop: PM and valve adjustment.

Anything else I should have checked?
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Old 03-14-2014, 12:49 AM   #5
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I was going to suggest the valve adjustment, but you've got that covered. Since it's a 2002, I would also service the Allison with a complete fluid and filter change. It's past the recommended time and about 13000 short of the recommended service mileage.

If it were mine I would change out the coolant to one of the new OAT coolants that will give you piece of mind and will eliminate the need to check coolant for proper DCA's /SCA's. Ask the service manager about this. All new coaches come with this, which is a better coolant.

Lastly....when they do your service, ask if they will let you watch them change your fuel filters. Then buy an extra one of each and keep them in your coach. If a diesel runs into bad fuel on the road, you may have to change the filters two or three times to get the coach running well again. It doesn't happen often, but it's cheap insurance. Next time you service your coach and change filters, use the ones that you are storing in the coach and place the new ones back into storage.
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Old 03-14-2014, 07:41 AM   #6
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Great advice. I was planning on watching the service and asking questions. A month ago all I knew about diesel was it made a slippery mess at the pumps. I watched several videos on them last night.
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Old 03-14-2014, 08:45 AM   #7
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Since your 2002 coach is on a Spartan chassis, have the service guys look at your ball joints, you may have rotted boots. I had to have my ball joints replaced on my 2000 DSDP.
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Old 03-15-2014, 03:40 AM   #8
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Quote:
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Great advice. I was planning on watching the service and asking questions. A month ago all I knew about diesel was it made a slippery mess at the pumps. I watched several videos on them last night.
I love your avatar
How did you get the chimp to pose with his pistol long enough to photogragh
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Old 03-15-2014, 08:41 AM   #9
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Getting him in the suit was the hard part....

I found a lube center oil change reminder sticker yesterday that says I'm not due for an oil change until this summer or 67,000 miles. I'm going to call them and fish for info.
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Old 03-15-2014, 04:17 PM   #10
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I have a 23 year old CAT 3176 ('3' series '1.7' liters per cylinder '6' cylinder) 325 hp and 1,225 pounds of torque (+ 100,800 miles). That 3126 you have will be bullet proof if you get oil samples back and everything checks out. PS its 23 years and I service my rig @ Peterson CAT in Portland.... they have never adjusted the valves. techs at shop love these old CAT blocks.... say they are extremely durable and reliable. popular back in the 90's in NYC garbage trucks
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Old 03-15-2014, 04:27 PM   #11
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[QUOTE="fkloster;1968861"]I have a 23 year old CAT 3176 (3 series 1.7 liters per cylinder 6 cylinder) 325 hp and 2,100 pounds of torque. That 3126 you have will be bullet proof if you get oil samples back and everything checks out. PS its 23 years and I service my rig @ Peterson CAT in Portland.... they have never adjusted the valves. techs at shop love these old CAT blocks.... say they are extremely durable and reliable. popular back in the 90's in NYC garbage trucks [/QUOTE
That is a massive amount of torque . Our Cummins 400 hp has only 1250 foot pounds of torque.
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Old 03-15-2014, 04:30 PM   #12
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[QUOTE=2NewRVers;1968876]
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I have a 23 year old CAT 3176 (3 series 1.7 liters per cylinder 6 cylinder) 325 hp and 2,100 pounds of torque. That 3126 you have will be bullet proof if you get oil samples back and everything checks out. PS its 23 years and I service my rig @ Peterson CAT in Portland.... they have never adjusted the valves. techs at shop love these old CAT blocks.... say they are extremely durable and reliable. popular back in the 90's in NYC garbage trucks [/QUOTE
That is a massive amount of torque . Our Cummins 400 hp has only 1250 foot pounds of torque.
fat fingered it.... its 1,225 exactly ... still a generous amount of torque for 1991 standards (today standards too?!)
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Old 03-15-2014, 04:43 PM   #13
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No problem. Still a lot of torque. Safe travels to you.
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Old 03-16-2014, 01:07 PM   #14
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Forgive me for being ignorant, but until now I've never heard of getting an oil analysis. What's the process and what are they looking for besides coolant or metal?

I was told Cat is a little more realistic in their horse power rating. I heard if a Cummins says 300HP, it's probably more like 275. Any truth to that?
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