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Old 05-18-2014, 12:28 AM   #1
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What is the proper surge tank level for Cat 3126?

I have a 1997 Beaver Monterey with a Cat 3126b engine. My problem is that I cannot find any markings on the surge tank to correctly add coolant to the proper level. Should I just add the coolant when the engine is cold to the halfway point and be done with it? Or should I make an overflow tank just to be safe? It is very difficult to see thru the white tank so I need to use a mirror to see the coolant. Currently there is no fluid in the tank. It is holding pressure. I had it changed 1000 miles ago and I don't believe the shop completely filled the system. I also thought it was full, but, it was just the way it looked on the outside of the tank. Oops. It seems to run around 180 to 185 on level ground. Then it increases to about 200-220+ on big grades. Hopefully adding the correct amount will cool it down. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 05-18-2014, 12:59 AM   #2
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My coolant tank ,3126B/ Freightliner side rad is about 10" in diameter and 24" long, and runs 1/2 full. Funny that you don't have a low coolant sensor. With an empty tank , I'd have , bells going of and engine de-rate.
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Old 05-18-2014, 01:19 AM   #3
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If you have a rear rad fl chassis you will only see a small portion of the tank. You should see a cold full mark about 1/2 tank level just to the rt of the pressure cap.
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Old 05-18-2014, 08:50 AM   #4
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Also sounds like you need to clean the CAC and Rad (both sides)
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Old 05-18-2014, 10:41 AM   #5
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I have the same rig but a 99. There should be a nipple on the riser below the radiator cap. Put a hose on that and run it down below the radiator. Then fill the tank to whatever level you want and let the expansion blow the excess out. Let the rig cool, measure the depth thru the fill neck with some kind of short dipstick, and you have the proper level.

I have the same experience with temperatures, although out here in the Mojave with the big long grades I have to negotiate I've added a sprayer to help cool the engine. It's a 25 gallon ag sprayer from Northern Equipment that sits on a couple of frame rails under the front cap. I ran a hose to the radiator shroud and put a spray nozzle in there. A switch on the floor turns it on. 20 seconds to a minute of spray will drop the engine temp from 215 to 190 even under full load.
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Old 05-19-2014, 05:47 PM   #6
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Thumbs up Great advice--Thanks

Thanks for all your fast responses. I will also install the sprayer idea. I'm currently in Pahrump, NV and plan on going to Death Valley, Uta, Colorado and the Black Hills soon. That sprayer will definitely help in all those areas. Thanks again for all your help.
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Old 05-19-2014, 08:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dorfboyzz View Post
I have a 1997 Beaver Monterey with a Cat 3126b engine. My problem is that I cannot find any markings on the surge tank to correctly add coolant to the proper level. Should I just add the coolant when the engine is cold to the halfway point and be done with it? Or should I make an overflow tank just to be safe? It is very difficult to see thru the white tank so I need to use a mirror to see the coolant. Currently there is no fluid in the tank. It is holding pressure. I had it changed 1000 miles ago and I don't believe the shop completely filled the system. I also thought it was full, but, it was just the way it looked on the outside of the tank. Oops. It seems to run around 180 to 185 on level ground. Then it increases to about 200-220+ on big grades. Hopefully adding the correct amount will cool it down. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated. Thanks.
dorfboyzz
I have a '96 Safari with a similar white plastic surge tank above the rear radiator.
I made a small dipstick to measure the level thorough the radiator cap opening and I check it only when cold, (maintaining the level of the coolant in the tank between 1/2 full and full).

Your 3126B Cat operates at about the same temperatures as my 3126 has for the 14 years, (105k miles), I've owned it.

According to my "Safari Chassis Owner's Manual":
Quote:
Typical water coolant temperature range is 88 to 102C, (190 to 215F). Maximum allowable temperature is 110C, (230F).
BTW, because the Beaver and Safari coaches are very similar you may be interested in these Safari Yahoo Groups:
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/SafariCoaches/info
and:
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/Safarifriends/info

Mel
'96 Safari Sahara 3530, 132k miles
250 hp 3126 Cat
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