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Old 10-23-2016, 06:54 PM   #1
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Exhaust Pipe Rusted

While working underneath the motorhome today I took the time to inspect the exhaust system. I noticed a little rust around the pipe where it left the last canister in the treatment system on it's way to the tailpipe. This section of piping is covered by some sort of fabric material which I assume is some sort of protective material. When I started poking at the rust, I was VERY disappointed to find that the entire section of piping underneath the fabric was heavily rusted. Worse, at the outside radius of the pipe, it had completely rusted through. As I pulled off the fabric, I also pulled away nearly THREE CUPS of rusted metal.

This is such a horrible design that I'm surprised I haven't heard about this before. I've been to many Rallies, been on lots of online forums like iRV2, and am a member of the FCOC. Nothing! The fabric blanket obviously holds moisture against the pipe for extended periods and causes the pipe to rust. There may be some weird chemistry thing going on too. I'm not sure what the blanket is made of but maybe it interacted with the metal in some adverse way.

I pulled the blanket off, chipped / brushed off the rust, and used some muffler patch material to fix it temporarily. I'll be calling Freightliner tomorrow to research a more permanent fix.

The point of my post is to make you aware of the problem. If you have this blanket material around your exhaust piping, I'd HIGHLY recommend you remove it immediately and inspect for rust.







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Old 10-23-2016, 07:18 PM   #2
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I bet that pipe won't be low cost either. Thank you for the photos and sharing your findings.
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Old 10-23-2016, 09:40 PM   #3
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Check. mandrelbending-tubefabrication.com They may be able to provide exactly what you need. They have exhaust tubing and exhaust elbows of all types and sizes.
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Old 10-23-2016, 09:48 PM   #4
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I'm going to be asking my friends at Freightliner Custom Chassis for a new pipe - on them. This is clearly a design flaw. Heck, I'm hoping they will issue a recall!

Okay, now that you quit laughing, I am seriously going to inquire as to their experience with this issue. Who knows, maybe it's a well known problem and I just missed the email!
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Old 10-23-2016, 09:54 PM   #5
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Well isn't that special.
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Old 10-25-2016, 08:09 AM   #6
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Design Flaw ? And where do you come up with that?

Rust happens, after many miles and different location, this is what happens.

I have friends who own FL chassis from 2001 to 2007, I cannot say how many, but some of them have had the same happen. Thanks to them, the rest of us do a run hand over exhaust system to check for this.
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Old 10-25-2016, 08:15 AM   #7
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Years of condensation....
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Old 10-25-2016, 08:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gatorcq View Post
Design Flaw ? And where do you come up with that?

Rust happens, after many miles and different location, this is what happens.

I have friends who own FL chassis from 2001 to 2007, I cannot say how many, but some of them have had the same happen. Thanks to them, the rest of us do a run hand over exhaust system to check for this.
Where do I come up with that? How about common sense and best practice. An engineer that designed an exhaust system that places a moisture retaining piece of cloth in contact with a piece of pipe subject to a wide range of temperatures isn't worth his salt. This one of the problems with the motorhome industry. They sell us a product costing, in many cases, six figures and provide us their guarantee that it will be free of manufacturing defects - for about a year or so. And, we accept that. We shouldn't, but it sounds like guys like you are happy to. Not me. I expect better!

And, you missed a key point. Running my hand over the exhaust in this area wouldn't have helped. The problem is the pipe was covered by the heat sock. Until the rust expanded past the ends of the heat sock, it was undetectable by sight or touch.
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Old 10-25-2016, 08:24 PM   #9
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Freightliner's Reply

I called Freightliner's Help Line today. I spoke with a very nice guy that seemed genuinely sympathetic. He said he has seen this problem before. I offered to send some pictures and he said that would be helpful. So, I sent the photos along with a nicely worded request for help and to ask that they inform their other customers of the potential problem. Here's the reply:

Dear Randy,
Thank you for the pictures and your feedback, but FCCC will not be able to
participate in any way with this repair due to amount of time the unit has
been out of warranty. As Chris had advised, the sock is there for the
extreme heat within this pipe during a re-gen process.

Below are the part numbers for the pipe, sock, and straps for AR3690, which
would be available to order from any Freightliner Dealer.

04-25243-027- SOCK-HEAT,PLMBG,EXH,BASALT 1
04-25380-004- EXH-SLOT,90,4"OD,7.25"X17.6 1
23-13241-000- STRAP-TIE,STAINLESS,STL,17. 2

Sincerely,
John Michaels Sr
FCCC Representative

So, there you have it. I like FCCC, I really do. I just think they should have stepped up and taken more responsibility for an obviously poor design like this.
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Old 10-28-2016, 02:27 PM   #10
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here is mine but dealer had to pay..
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Old 10-28-2016, 10:13 PM   #11
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my 08 coach has the exact same pipe, sans the sock, it fell off years ago
just an observation, but the corner seems wet, is there a condensation drain above it or some other source of moisture dripping and allowing the sock to stay wet and then help the rust take a foot hold.

i ask about moisture... my coach has a laundry machine drain line high above the very area, running fore and aft, and i could see a leak or condensation drip occurring very easy

and your picture indicates the pipe is tilted slightly towards the DPF CAN from outboard, which would allow rain or other water that gets blown around while you sit, to collect and sit in the little dip down of the area, causing the inevitable rust to begin from wet socks.
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Old 10-28-2016, 10:28 PM   #12
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I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it. The first thing I thought of was perhaps a previous owner had put a sock over it.

That's just a disaster waiting to happen. Especially in the states where they salt the roads.
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Old 10-29-2016, 06:37 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powerboatr View Post
my 08 coach has the exact same pipe, sans the sock, it fell off years ago
just an observation, but the corner seems wet, is there a condensation drain above it or some other source of moisture dripping and allowing the sock to stay wet and then help the rust take a foot hold.

i ask about moisture... my coach has a laundry machine drain line high above the very area, running fore and aft, and i could see a leak or condensation drip occurring very easy

and your picture indicates the pipe is tilted slightly towards the DPF CAN from outboard, which would allow rain or other water that gets blown around while you sit, to collect and sit in the little dip down of the area, causing the inevitable rust to begin from wet socks.
Thanks powerboatr. Those are helpful observations. I'll check for any possible sources of moisture above the sock and make sure the replacement pipe drains properly.

I still believe this is just a bad, bad design. Why would you put a moisture retaining piece of material in constant contact with the exhaust pipe? I can think of a lot of different ways to provide heat shielding that wouldn't involve this bizarre approach.

Thanks again for the helpful thoughts!
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Old 10-31-2016, 04:43 PM   #14
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I believe that the sock is like a hot pad to absorb the heat so that it's not transferred to the rest of the area.The previous owner of my rig changed the muffler and evidently the shop replaced the exhaust tail pipe with flex tube. A couple of years ago, we were traveling through southern Oregon on the 5 and about 1/2 way between Roseburg and Grants Pass,the DW smelled smoke. I pulled off into the first off ramp and grabbed a fire extinguisher, checked the bedroom, then outside and found smoke pouring out of the camera port. Finally determined that the flex pipe had burned thru at the 90 degree elbow between the muffler and the outlet and the heat had lit the foam insulation next to it on fire. The fire extinguishers helped, but I needed water to put it out and the MH was on an angle and the pump wouldn't pump any water from the tank. Windex,Rainex,409 and awesome cleaners all work in place of water and the fire got put out.
After checking the damage, the shop I took it too told me that there had been a fire back there previously and that's probably why they changed the tailpipe and that my end cap was a replacement.
I am a former school bus driver and am still anal about my walk around inspections on the MH and never saw this till it went thru.
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