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Old 12-17-2005, 11:53 AM   #1
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Just drained the oil in our inlaws motor home, and the nut that should be crimped or welded to the inside of the oil pan was loose and just fell in. We called the local Freightliner shop and the guy knew exactly what was going on and said it would be covered under warranty for a new pan. He wants to tow it in, but they live in it and that would be very messy. Where it's parked, I'm not sure if they could hook onto it. We're trying to talk them into replacing the pan where it is sitting. Plus, you can't crank the engine to lift the legs or pump the airbags.

But, I have to wonder. The guy didn't hesitate when he said it's a warranty issue, and didn't even question if we got crazy with a wrench, so has this ever happened to anyone else, and is it something common in any way?

They we're thinking about having the oil changed on the way out on thier next trip but it would have been discovered there and they would be sitting for somewhere for for a day or two in someones shop parking lot.

Oh, it a brand new Winny Meridian, 39F, Cat motor.
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Old 12-17-2005, 11:53 AM   #2
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Just drained the oil in our inlaws motor home, and the nut that should be crimped or welded to the inside of the oil pan was loose and just fell in. We called the local Freightliner shop and the guy knew exactly what was going on and said it would be covered under warranty for a new pan. He wants to tow it in, but they live in it and that would be very messy. Where it's parked, I'm not sure if they could hook onto it. We're trying to talk them into replacing the pan where it is sitting. Plus, you can't crank the engine to lift the legs or pump the airbags.

But, I have to wonder. The guy didn't hesitate when he said it's a warranty issue, and didn't even question if we got crazy with a wrench, so has this ever happened to anyone else, and is it something common in any way?

They we're thinking about having the oil changed on the way out on thier next trip but it would have been discovered there and they would be sitting for somewhere for for a day or two in someones shop parking lot.

Oh, it a brand new Winny Meridian, 39F, Cat motor.
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Old 12-17-2005, 01:47 PM   #3
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The pan has to come off and I don't think that's something you want to do in an outside environment where dirt can get in the crankcase. I'd let him tow it into the shop and do it right.

He won't need to fire the engine, though. The jacks will raise via electrics and there is an auxiliary port that the driver can access to fill the air bags from the tow truck's air supply without needing to run the engine on the RV.

They won't have to get at the top of the engine so the interior should stay nice and clean. It can be a surpsisingly quick in and out repair for them. It's good that it didn't happen on the road.
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Old 12-17-2005, 02:32 PM   #4
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We're going to try to hold the nut in place with a magnet. I may even stick an old speaker to the side of the pan for an hour and see if I can get the fallen nut to stick in place long enough to start the plug back into the threads. If we can pull that off, I think we can snug it enough to get it into the shop.

I can slip my pinky finger in the hole and put the nut back into place, but it just pushes over when we touch the drain plug to it.
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Old 12-17-2005, 02:33 PM   #5
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I'm wonder if this has happened to anyone else. Especially since the guy at the Freightliner place didn't hesitate to say it be covered under warranty. If we can just get it there, they'll replace the pan for no charge.
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Old 12-17-2005, 03:12 PM   #6
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RE: oil plug problem. You might try to find a expansion plug such as used for a boat drain or a frost plug (from auto parts store)that will work till you can get it in and have it fixed right. There isn't much pressure in a pan so it should work. I'd still think about having it towed if it involves any high speed driving. Hope this helps. Tinker
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Old 12-17-2005, 03:20 PM   #7
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Maybe you can get an expanding rubber plug to fit.I'm thinking the plug used in small boat transoms.The only problem with that is if it falls out before you get to the dealer ,a new motor probably would not be covered.Just make sure the plug is a tight fit.
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Old 12-17-2005, 05:14 PM   #8
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Drive it with a escort in the back and a CELL PHONE or 2 way radio and if You have oil running out stop and then tow.keep the motor in good shape that way..John
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Old 12-17-2005, 05:46 PM   #9
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We're not going to crank it untill it's got it's proper oil plug in place. It's too expensive of a motor to try to run a boat plug in it. besides, I don't think it would look too good if we show up after a 30 mile drive with a rubber plug in the drain hole.

We're going to try the magnet trick tomorrow. If that dosen't work, on Monday, the Freightliner shop is going to send a guy out to look at it. It'll be $250 plus $85 an hour. The pan can easily be dropped and replaced/repaired. He said if he detirmines we didn't mess it up then he can charge the whole job off as warranty. I don't see how we could have messed anything up. It was it's first oil change and the plug came right out without much effort. The yellow cat paint is still intact on it.
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Old 12-18-2005, 03:59 AM   #10
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Charlie, to answer your question this has happened before. We have had to replace a pan in our shop for this very reason. I is a bad weld from the pan maker. They only had a couple tack welds holding this nut for the plug to thread into. I am sorry to see this happen to anyone but am glad that Freightliner is not giving you any hassle over it. Good luck and let us know the outcome.
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Old 12-18-2005, 12:20 PM   #11
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Boy. There's nothing like the sound of a cat motor idling again. I dug a curved magnet out of an old hard drive, stuck it round the hole, lined the nut up and it held long enough to get it started. Then I just snugged it by hand and hit it a bit more with a wrench and it's done.

I tucked the magnet in the frame rail in case we need it again. Hopefully we won't. Now we can schedule when the pan gets replaced.
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Old 12-18-2005, 06:12 PM   #12
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That's great. I'm glad to hear you arrived at a decent temorary fix. Those old hard drive magnets are pretty tough. I had some from an older full height SCSI drives once that could've raised the Titanic if I had a long enough rope.
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Old 12-19-2005, 04:01 AM   #13
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I wouldn't have been too worried about an onsite repair. The pan in my Cat rusted out and started leaking on the way to Myrtle Beach this fall. Found the toad covered in oil at our lunch stop. A gallon of oil got to our park and an on site service ordered the pan (decided to replace rather than weld/repair) and changed it at our site. No problems at all.
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