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Old 09-15-2013, 08:40 AM   #1
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Side radiator

What is the reason for having a side radiator verses a rear radiator.

I've seen it posted as a preference several places.

Dave with a 1999 Winnebago Chieftain .....with rear radiator.
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Old 09-15-2013, 08:46 AM   #2
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Side rad stays cleaner, so runs cooler.
Easier engine maintenance without having a rad in your way.
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Old 09-15-2013, 08:52 AM   #3
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A friend of mine had to have his alternator replaced on his very new, brand-name rear-radiator coach--the bill was over $2000. Side radiators have their own set of issues but seeing what has to be done to replace a belt or an alternator, totally turned me off.
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Old 09-15-2013, 09:00 AM   #4
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They put it there because they would have to lengthen the unit.
In other words there is no other place to put it.
From a mechanics point. They are much easier to work on.
And if you do have to remove the rad I find side radiators much easier than rear.
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Old 09-15-2013, 12:36 PM   #5
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As said above because the side radiator sucks air into the engine and the rear radiator sucks air out from the engine, the side radiator stays much cleaner without the oil contaminated air passing through it.

With the side radiator I can swap an alternator in 30 minutes. Change the Serpentine belt in 5 minutes. And, I am not a mechanic......
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Old 09-15-2013, 01:02 PM   #6
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The rear radiator seems to run cooler longer on long grades. I have had both. The side radiator made room for the basement air in my last coach. But it is easier to service the side mount and the stuff that is accessed from the rear. The belt and alternator are buried on the rear mount rad.

On my 2000 Discovery the rear mount rad got plugged up because of a oil vent problem on the top of the engine. Once the intercooler and rad were contaminated the only fix that would work was to pull the coolers and tank them. That was too much money for me to spend on a high milage rig with other pending issues, so I traded for the '05 Vectra. That was a mistake for a full-timer like me who carries a bunch of tools that weigh more than the hung from the slides compartments could handle. Now we are back to the rear mount radiator and the special issues that go along with it. But the basement is much larger and only moves when the wheel turn. I have no desire to look forward to that day when I have to have engine work done.

Both have advantages and disadvantages. Do we buy a DP because of the radiator location or because we like what the coach has to offer?
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Old 01-19-2014, 08:00 AM   #7
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Side radiator fan loads

The side radiators that I have seen use hydraulic motors. My experience has been that hydraulics are very inefficient for transmitting power. Has anyone calculated the actual shaft HP parasitic power on the engine for the side radiators? I would expect that engine HP to drive the fan would be in the 20-30 HP range and a lot of extra heat load to cool the hydraulics. Fan belts are usually around 90% efficient, where hyd. pump and motor may be as low as 30+40%
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Old 01-19-2014, 08:10 AM   #8
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I am under the impression that side mount radiator fan speed is controlled by temperatures. If that is true then it might be more efficient than a belt driven fan that spins at a speed in direct relationship to the engine speed.
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Old 01-19-2014, 09:38 AM   #9
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I was looking in to drive systems for side rad fan setups and i saw this pic. Its the fan drive for the powerglide chassis used by tiffin. It uses right angle gearboxes and a fan clutch.

http://www.rvcruzer.com/redbay/5223V...nDrive_XGA.jpg
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Old 01-19-2014, 09:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmy braden View Post
I was looking in to drive systems for side rad fan setups and i saw this pic. Its the fan drive for the powerglide chassis used by tiffin. It uses right angle gearboxes and a fan clutch. http://www.rvcruzer.com/redbay/5223V...nDrive_XGA.jpg
This is the same setup I have on my A/C Eagle. It is temperature sensitive, as I was in the Silverleaf one day and watched the temp and fan speed together. The fan came on at 210* and cycled off around 198*. It sounded like a rusty gate spring when it came on, which is the sound I was trying to isolate. Ours is the Spartan II chassis. I think side radiator is maintenance preference, as well as usable space.
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Old 01-20-2014, 05:45 PM   #11
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I just traded a '05 Winnebago Vectra 40FD that had the side radiator. I may be all wrong here but I thought it had 2 electric fans. The new rig is a rear mount with hydraulic fan. I don't know why they don't use electric fans.
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Old 01-20-2014, 07:00 PM   #12
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I would think they have to have started in the last few years. I could see how they might not have been ready for primetime prior to 2010 but the city buses have had them for 3 years easy. I think they use at least six. It probably can only live without 1 in 400+hp combination. If you have two fail, it will have to probably go into limp mode certainly in the hills.
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