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Old 09-08-2019, 11:57 PM   #1
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Cleaning Rear Radiator

So I have read how important it is to clean the CAC/Radiator on a rear-radiator diesel pusher RV. I assumed that once you gained access to the rear of the engine, it would be pretty straightforward to spray-clean the CAC. Unfortunately, it is really tight in there. The fan blades almost completely block access to the CAC. I have no idea how you access the back of the fan so that the fan blade can be removed. I have tried using a pistol-grip type of sprayer on my garden hose to spray between the blades. This seems to work O.K., but doesn't provide any soap. I have a car wash sprayer for my hose that can hold soap, but it is way too large to fit in the available space.



So how do people actually spray the front of the CAC?
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Old 09-09-2019, 07:07 AM   #2
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I start the engine and from inside the bedroom I spray cleaner solution towards the engine letting the fan pushed the cleaner all the way through. Then after a cold drink I use the garden hose and restart the engine and direct the water right at the fan blades. Then I shut down the engine and go to the outside and squirt water through the rear radiator.

Warning: Make sure your wife's brand new car is NOT parked right behind the coach when you do this!
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Old 09-09-2019, 11:20 PM   #3
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I start the engine and from inside the bedroom I spray cleaner solution towards the engine letting the fan pushed the cleaner all the way through. Then after a cold drink I use the garden hose and restart the engine and direct the water right at the fan blades. Then I shut down the engine and go to the outside and squirt water through the rear radiator.
Thank you, that makes sense. However, while most of the cleaner and rinse go into the fan shroud, it would seem that some of it will be scattered around the bedroom. Is that not the case?
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Old 09-09-2019, 11:59 PM   #4
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If everything is original like the water pump and serpentine belt, it might be worth it at some point to remove the rad and CAC so you can inspect and clean them properly. This is the perfect time to do all the changes behind the rad. Water pumps and belts don't last for ever. We removed my rad to inspect it, and ended up buying a new one. From the rear it didn't look that bad. The CAC was fine, so we just cleaned it. It was amazing how much crap was on them. We extended my slobber tube. It was the main cause of the oil and gunk on the rads. Removing the rad on mine was about three or four hours.
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Old 09-10-2019, 12:21 AM   #5
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I use Simple Green Extreme (not the regular) mixed in a 2 gallon pump up garden sprayer.

Gain access as you can - from underneath, bedroom floor removal, etc. On my coach there is an access panel in the DS rear compartment that allows pretty good access for the spray wand.

Spray generously. Let soak for an hour or so. Rinse with clear water. Start the engine and watch the bubble show out the rear. I usually repeat a second application.

I do this at least annually.
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Old 09-10-2019, 05:24 AM   #6
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Thank you, that makes sense. However, while most of the cleaner and rinse go into the fan shroud, it would seem that some of it will be scattered around the bedroom. Is that not the case?
No not at all. The large fan and shroud creates a wind tunnel and everything entering is driven right on through. The first time I cleaned the radiators was right after I bought our new to us coach. I placed a 'clear' plastic under bed storage container to catch most of the wash water. I was simply amazed at how much dirt, june bugs, grass, small twigs, and undefiable stuff came out! Recently I cut a access hole in the fan shroud and using a endoscope I shot a few pictures of what it looks like between the two radiators. (I also shot pictures of what the inside of the coach's black tank looks like after I used the tank flush.) Very interesting... to me anyway!

Ever since then I clean the radiators once a year.
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Old 09-10-2019, 05:30 AM   #7
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Sure wish some of you guys would come and clean mine
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Old 09-10-2019, 06:19 AM   #8
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Sure wish some of you guys would come and clean mine
I charge $200 per hour plus expenses! I never get any jobs, but then I really don't want any!!!

Just kidding with you. At my 'way past social security age' this old body is having a harder and harder time doing these things Sharon keeps telling me to "pay someone to do this stuff". I have a very hard time doing that, but my body is starting to agree with her.
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Old 09-10-2019, 09:12 AM   #9
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I sprayed mine from the front toward the motor lots of junk came out
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Old 09-10-2019, 09:33 AM   #10
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The main problem as I see it, and Im not a mechanic, just the helper, is everything in the rads is pushed into it from the motor side via the fan. Trying to spray anything into the fan only pushes most things farther into the rad. Some stuff will come out, but not all. Any junk forced through the CAC will just get caught in the rad behind it. Likewise, spraying from the rear only pushes the stuff in the rad into the CAC in front of it. When we looked at mine, it didn't look too bad. My mechanic thought the rad was a bit iffy, so we removed it for a better inspection. My hope was it wasn't too bad, and we would just clean it and reinstall it. The amount of crap in between the two units was considerable. I cant see how you could get most of it out just by spraying from either side. I managed to buy a new aluminum rad for 700 cdn dollars, which wasn't too bad. Considering I was leaving on a 10,000 km tour, it was well worth it. I am home with no issues had on the road. {knock on wood}. Im not saying don't attempt to clean your rad. Anything is better than nothing, but the only proper way to do it is to remove it. If your rv is getting on in years, it worth it to have a new serpentine belt and water pump as a bonus while you are in there. Either of those two items could put you on the side of the road in the middle of your vacation. Better to do it under controlled circumstances. Extending the slobber tube is probably the number one thing you can do to help keep the rads clean. Cheers
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Old 09-10-2019, 12:31 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmevis View Post
So I have read how important it is to clean the CAC/Radiator on a rear-radiator diesel pusher RV. I assumed that once you gained access to the rear of the engine, it would be pretty straightforward to spray-clean the CAC. Unfortunately, it is really tight in there. The fan blades almost completely block access to the CAC. I have no idea how you access the back of the fan so that the fan blade can be removed. I have tried using a pistol-grip type of sprayer on my garden hose to spray between the blades. This seems to work O.K., but doesn't provide any soap. I have a car wash sprayer for my hose that can hold soap, but it is way too large to fit in the available space.



So how do people actually spray the front of the CAC?
dmevis,
As you've found out, it's not nearly as EASY as some say, to accurately and efficiently clean the fins of both the CAC and the radiator in a rear engine diesel coach. As I've stated a zillion times on here when this subject is brought up, SOME coaches are way tougher to do that sort of thing, than others. Some, provide considerably better access to those fins. On mine, again, as I've stated, it's nearly IMPOSSBLE to even see those sections of the radiator or CAC, much less ACCURATELY and efficiently clean them.

No humanoid that I know, LIKEs to remove those two units, JUST TO CLEAN THEM. But, in cases like mine and others on here (that will admit it's the only way), the true and only way to get ALL the debris, hay, road dirt, plastic bags, critters, trash and anything else that accumulates in that area, out is to remove them and bench clean them. And, even then, many, if not most, of the radiators are encased in a steel frame that, will hold a ton of that debris in the corners.

It is a physical impossibility to efficiently clean those corners without disassembly. Some get away with garden hose spraying from either underneath or, through a home made access hole on top of the shroud. But, even if I cut that access hole, access to the vital areas is still 98% restricted. So, what's the answer, well, that's up to each individual and, what they think is a "good job" of cleaning, based on leaving those two units in the coach, while attempting to clean them.
Scott
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Old 09-11-2019, 11:24 PM   #12
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Thank you

Thank you for all of the excellent information.
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Old 09-12-2019, 06:55 AM   #13
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I know my friends 03 National with the cat 330 in it has the rad and CAC side by side behind the motor. It is a spartan chassis. This configuration would allow for them to be cleaned pretty decently. He had to change his rad last year as well. My freightliner has the rad at the rear, with the CAC directly in front of it. The fan shround connects to the combo, making access from the motor side almost impossible. Below the two is the rad cooler, which make access to the center of the two nearly impossible from below. As stated, the only REAL way to clean between the two is to remove them. Taking them out the first time is harder because all the bolts are rusty. We replaced all the hardware with new bolts and nuts. I had to remove it a second time to replace the vp44 fuel pump. It was much easier the second time. As stated while out, its best to replace the water pump, and serpentine belt. I might also add, we change the belt tensioner, and checked any pulleys while we were at it. If your coach is or approaching 15 years, and has the original rad, better get ready. Cheers.
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