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Old 02-16-2012, 09:22 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by bgbevan View Post
My trusty 1990 28' Southwind is still runs great ....

Now that I have it out, should I get a new one? Get it rodded out and repaired? Or, buy an expensive replacement with more cores, etc. Any help here would be greatly appreciated.
I wouldn't rod out and repair a 22 year old radiator... that is false economy. The most cost-effective solution is to get it recored if there is a good radiator shop in the area. You can specify any upgrades as to tube diameter/number and fin count at that time. They will also clean out the oil and transmission heat exchangers while it is apart. This was our choice and it has worked out very well for us.
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Old 02-17-2012, 08:44 AM   #58
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Re-coring with upgraded tubes is the way to go. It was the best money I've spent on my 90' Georgie Boy Cruisemaster. I had to unbolt the radiator frame, remove the top piece, tilt the radiator forward, and pull it out the front of the rig. It was a big job but I took my time and it went smoothly. The bottom radiator frame is mounted to the cross member with rubber grommets so be careful where you use heat. I also replaced the water pump and belts. In my case, there was no room to drop the radiator although I've read it has been done with other RV's. Don't rush and have a plan B just in case.
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Old 02-17-2012, 02:11 PM   #59
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Just like High 5 said. Recore. Did the same thing to my 90 GB a couple of years ago.I had a 4 core core with 3/8" tubes. The fins were pulling away and after the core was pulled it was pretty plugged. The shop said to stay with 4 cores but they sized them up to 5/8". Took me about 6-8 hours to pull everything and about 6 to put it back in. Sure seemed strange to see Jim E. posts.
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Old 02-19-2012, 03:05 PM   #60
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I had to install a lower thermostat in my 93 454. Don't use hotter than 180 degree. Also my radiator was pluged on the outside behind the air conditioner condensor and you couldn't see it until i removed the condensor. After those changes you could not get it hot. Also removed/replaced the catalytic converter. Those things will melt one down in a hurry. Donnie
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:44 PM   #61
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I re-cored the radiator in my 1990 P30 last year. Found that most of the tube fins (hidden behind the A/C condenser and oil cooler) had corroded and were no longer making physical contact. Plus the original small radiator tubes only filled up about 3/4 of the available frame space. The larger tubes of the re-core completely filled the frame. While I had the radiator out, I also upgraded the water pump, installed a 180* high flow thermostat, and replaced all the belts. The temp gauge never leaves 180* and now I rarely look at it. Bottom line is even if the tubes are clean but the fins are gone, efficiency is zilch. Might be worth taking a look-see behind the A/C condenser - should be easy to do.
I have a post later on trying to get some advice on pulling the radiator in my 1990 Southwind. If you pulled the radiator yourself, maybe you have some advice on how to get started and any tricks or issues. It looks like the radiator needs to come out through the front. The radiator actually sits in a frame the completely surrounds it but it looks like it can drop down about 1/2" and then will clear the frame and come out through the front. Of course, I have to pull all the stuff in front of the radiator, but this looks fairly straightforward. I am not sure what is holding the bottom of the radiator in the frame. Does it sit on some pads or ?? What do the two big studs bolted to the frame play is this disassembly? Any help appreciated.
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Old 02-20-2012, 12:15 AM   #62
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One other thing that happened to me that hasn't been mentioned. I had an 86 30' Winnie MH that we used to take out to SE B.C. The last 30 km were down a dusty road-not your normal dust- but that talcum powder fine dust. The first trip out there we had pulled through the Rockies from Alberta in heat of summer-no problem. Got on that dusty road and within 5 miles my temp gauge went through the roof. I couldn't figure it out- I'd pull over, cool off, check fluids-all OK. finally a camper pulled over and said check your rad fins-and sure enough, the fins were so fine that the dust just plugged them up in no time. I washed the rad down with a hose on the side of the road twice but we made it. Apparently the more fins per inch suggest higher efficiency- as long as you can keep it clean, which was no problem on pavement. I've always watched my radiator fins for plugging whenever I hit dust.
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Old 02-20-2012, 05:57 AM   #63
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Just a little warning on some of that advice. If your 454 has a throttle body fuel injection (or any other fuel injection) and a catalytic converter, using a 180 degree thermostat may cause the computer to think the engine hasn't warmed up and needs more fuel, resulting in rich running and a burned-out converter. Stick with the thermostat recommended by the manufacturer, which has been a 195 degree thermostat since some time in the 80's.

A thermostat doesn't cause an engine to run hot, anyway, unless it's stuck closed. Once it opens, it doesn't affect the engine temperature. Add in the fact that engines run more efficiently at around 200 degrees, even 210, and you have a recipe for problems if you put a lower temp thermostat in it.

If you look at the temperature gauges in most new cars (those that have them), you'll see that almost never does it have actual temperatures indicated on it. Why? Because old farts like us get nervous see a gauge at 210 degrees, and they get tired of hearing the complaints in their service departments, and having to give this very explanation time after time.
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Old 02-20-2012, 07:10 AM   #64
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I just bought a new radiator fom oriellys for a couple hundred and installed it myself. Get ready for a job if you do it yourself. I may of been a little low on the 180 therm. 190 or so i bropably right, but the problem is-- when you're running 210 down the highway at 1oo outside, when you get to a serious hill now you are at the red line. I pulled a 20 ft. Trailer with jeep and equiptment up the hills through branson mo and arkansas with no problems afterthese changes. I never use the truck air, i use the house air only. Gas milage 8 mpg
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:52 AM   #65
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I have a post later on trying to get some advice on pulling the radiator in my 1990 Southwind. If you pulled the radiator yourself, maybe you have some advice on how to get started and any tricks or issues. It looks like the radiator needs to come out through the front. The radiator actually sits in a frame the completely surrounds it but it looks like it can drop down about 1/2" and then will clear the frame and come out through the front. Of course, I have to pull all the stuff in front of the radiator, but this looks fairly straightforward. I am not sure what is holding the bottom of the radiator in the frame. Does it sit on some pads or ?? What do the two big studs bolted to the frame play is this disassembly? Any help appreciated.
In my rig, the radiator sat in a split frame - top & bottom pieces bolted together at the sides. The bottom of the radiator frame was bolted to the chassis crossmember with oversized carriage bolts. These bolts could not be removed because I did not have the top clearance to lift the radiator with the frame. So, I split the frame, removed the top piece, and removed the carriage bolt nuts. This gave me just enough clearance to tilt the radiator/bottom frame forward and then lift the radiator without its frame. Rubber pads are used at the large bottom carriage bolts and around the radiator. Once I had the bottom radiator frame piece on the bench, I filed out the square carriage bolt holes to a 'keyhole' shape so I could slip-mount the radiator and frame as an assembly. You might have better clearances above the radiator than I did. I temporarily taped cardboard to the front and back of the radiator fins to protect them during reassembly. I also used an induction heater to heat things because there's no flame involved and I break bolts a lot. The previous owner attempted to remove the radiator and did quite a bit of damage to the rubber pads with a torch. I also removed the factory staples from the fan shroud and used tie wraps to reassemble it. This allows for later removal of the shroud for front engine maintenance (belts, fan, water pump, etc.). I didn't removed the front tires because I was parked in my driveway which has slight grade. That made things a little tight for me (6'5") when working in the wheel wells. I used a lot of ziplock bags to store the removed fasteners, frog tape & pen to label everything, and a camera to record the way things were originally installed as I disassembled things. Use Murphy's Law and be careful where you park the rig as it might be there for a while or require more access than expected. Make sure your tool box is well equipped and stop work to go buy what you need when necessary - I made several trips to Sears for 'specialty tools'. Most of my rigs fasteners were severely rusted which required more time than I expected but the Sears universal sockets helped ease the pain. I was very careful where I used an impact wrench. IMHO there's nothing worse than having to drill out and re-tap which seems to always happen in inaccessible places. If I had to do it again I would - just not in my driveway.
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Old 03-23-2012, 08:02 AM   #66
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Many thanks to High5 for the tips. I am in the middle of the disassembly and just took the electric fan system out. Lots of screws and bolts to get to this point. (Lots of 10mm screws??) I am trying to figure out it the A/C-transmission cooler will need to come out completely or can disconnecting the transmission oil feed lines provide enough clearance to tip the radiator. I am trying to save the P12 refrigerant but that may only be hopeful thinking.

The local radiator shop has told me they will build me a new radiator for around $300 that will be way better than the original, and last longer than the plastic-tank models from the autoparts store. When I get this job completed, I will post additional details just in case someone else wants to tackle this job.
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Old 03-23-2012, 08:06 AM   #67
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On freon you can get r 12a locally for about 15 a can if needed pm me
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Old 03-23-2012, 11:26 AM   #68
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There were some earlier posts in this thread about reduction of oil additives. The big topic is reduction of Zinc (ZDDP) additive, and the resulting cam and/or lifter damage in flat tappet engines. On the Mobil 1 website, they list the ZDDP levels of their oils, and the only ones with the higher levels are 15-50, and some motorcycle and racing oils. I use 10-30 in my '99 454, but it's a roller tappet engine. You can buy ZDDP additives, or some oils like Brad Penn or Joe Gibbs racing have the high levels but are very expensive.

Everyone at the auto parts stores has a story about the engine damage in old engines and new formulation oil. Some of this may be urban legend but, since you are having your older 454 rebuilt, ask the tech what he knows about flat tappet engines, and what he recommends.
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Old 03-23-2012, 11:48 AM   #69
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Thumbs up Use diesel oil

Quote:
Originally Posted by George Schweikle View Post
There were some earlier posts in this thread about reduction of oil additives. The big topic is reduction of Zinc (ZDDP) additive, and the resulting cam and/or lifter damage in flat tappet engines. On the Mobil 1 website, they list the ZDDP levels of their oils, and the only ones with the higher levels are 15-50, and some motorcycle and racing oils. I use 10-30 in my '99 454, but it's a roller tappet engine. You can buy ZDDP additives, or some oils like Brad Penn or Joe Gibbs racing have the high levels but are very expensive.

Everyone at the auto parts stores has a story about the engine damage in old engines and new formulation oil. Some of this may be urban legend but, since you are having your older 454 rebuilt, ask the tech what he knows about flat tappet engines, and what he recommends.
When we installed the remanufactured 454 in Titanic, the engine builder said to use diesel oil, specifically Chevron Delo 400 Multigrade SAE 15W-40 for break in to protect the cam and lifters. We have just stayed with the same oil since then.
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Old 05-17-2012, 07:27 PM   #70
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Put the OEM fan with a new clutch back on and go.
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