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Old 08-18-2022, 05:18 PM   #43
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Bremerton, WA
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Smile Elevating the rig a little makes servicing a lot easier

Originally Posted by Kampers View Post
Ok we have a 2019 Dutchstar 4369, it only has 6K miles on it, I know it says to service every 10K miles or 12 months whichever comes first, I am not a big fan of the 12 month service if you put 2000 miles a year on the unit. Anyway, how hard is it to service one of these things,
With the correct tools, servicing an ISL 400 is no more difficult than my 2500 Dodge Ram except for the engine mounted fuel filter, it's hiding out (thus a strap wrench is required). Just that everything is bigger, and much more expensive if performed by a shop. Thus no shop has touched my DP except for tire service, including replacement of an exhaust manifold. Two points otherwise not mentioned - moving around underneath is a lot easier with four, 4.5" high wooden "ramps" constructed of a 4' long, a 3' long, and a 2' long piece[s] of four 2" X 8" X 10' outdoor wood and screws. For power, drive on to, not back on to.
As to the annual oil change - the oil filter does not remove chemical contamination, which potentially is greater the shorter the trip. Based on 2000 miles per annum, sounds like a few short trips - thus oil analysis is appropriate if you wish to extend the oil change interval.
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Old 08-18-2022, 05:40 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by DiddyPnut View Post
FYI - You can hook up a shop vac to your oil filler hose and with it on, swap out the drain plug for the fumoto valve drain valve. It's been posted in this forum and I was reluctant, but curiosity got the best of me and it worked like a champ!! I had changed the oil many times the old way and have since changed once with the fumoto valve. It's just slower but being able to drain into empty containers and not having to clean up the large drain pain is great. I usually save some 2.5 gal DEF containers to the drain used oil.

The knowledge you can pick up on this forum is priceless!!!
I just changed the plug for the valve with the engine cold on a cool (45*) day. I lost maybe a tablespoon of oil in the process. The DW was standing by in case I dropped something and had to put my finger in the "dike" but it all went smoothly.
1976 Southwind 28', '96 Winnie 34WK,
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Old 08-18-2022, 05:46 PM   #45
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I do all my own routine service. I'm strictly a back yard mechanic and both my 450 and 605 are pretty straight forward. IMHO EZPZ. You will need a locking grease gun for those front end zerks, a strap wrench, 52 qt's oil, filters etc. Piece O cake.
Bruce, Lisa and the pups, Charlie, Opie and Rebel
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Old 08-18-2022, 06:15 PM   #46
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I do almost all the work on my DP. Over 70, so I don't do things that require a great deal of strength (like removing wheels!) or require expensive tools I don't have (rare, I have almost every tool known to mechanics!) Other than that, I'll do it. That is my therapy, and I enjoy it.
My name is Peter, and I'm never going to grow up.
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Old 08-18-2022, 07:50 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by L Wagner View Post
I do the maintenance myself because when I’m under there I’m looking for things that could cause future issues. And if I find something I take care of it.
This is one of the main reasons I do my own servicing and washing of the coach. You'd be amazed at what you find while doing both.
Don & Mary
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Old 08-18-2022, 07:55 PM   #48
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I have a Cummins 450 and do all my own Maintenance. They will need to be in the coach to start after primary fuel filter is changed, and then again after secondary fuel filter is changed. If you do as recommended, the secondary filter is installed dry ( primary is filled with clean fuel)
If doing it dry, it can take about 27 key cycles ( not attempting to start, just priming the system and filling the secondary filter)
Other than that, no need for them to be in Coach.
If bleeding your air / water separator, they will need to start to let system fill whith air.
Hope this helps
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Old 08-18-2022, 07:57 PM   #49
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I have been doing regular maintenance on my 09 Phaeton for 2 yrs with no issues, all done from below. I would like to change serpentine belt but looks a little more difficult.
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Old 08-18-2022, 08:12 PM   #50
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Only thing from top is if have a Pac Brake lube point is on top near mid engine and if need to change the belts easier to have someone on top and under. Tony
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Old 08-18-2022, 08:21 PM   #51
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I do the oil change and lube work on my Cummins ISL 400 HP and the 7.5 KW genset. It's a messy job and the stains won't all wash out of your clothes. You need a creeper and a bunch of tools. It's probably not safe to do so, but you will probably need to raise the vehicle up with your hydraulic jacks to fit underneath it with the creeper. I would trust them more than jack stands. Therefore, for safety's sake, don't let anyone else inside the vehicle while you are working underneath it! With my new vehicle came a listing of the required filters (and don't forget about the transmission). If you don't have that, you might not be able to read the numbers off of the filters themselves until you remove them. The most expensive source will be the local auto parts stores, often 50% or more. Go online and look for cross-references for them. There are filters in all kinds of places on your vehicle including inside the reservoir for the hydraulic fan. There is also an air-dryer filter on your braking system. It took me some 15 years to learn about that one! Some of the filters will come off with extreme difficulty. The oil filter on the engine requires a web wrench with a long half inch extension (18") attaching a long handled ratchet wrench. The fuel filters can be very, very tight. To get them off I use a very large channel-lock type wrench that I found only at Tractor Supply Company. You will need to first pull the connector off of the fuel filter with the water sensor on the bottom if you try to use a standard filter wrench. Don't forget the direction of rotation for their removals (learn "right hand rule")! The oil drain plug can be an absolute bitch to get off. Again, remember the correct direction of its rotation for removal (it happens...). Used oil can be disposed of at O'Reilly, but they probably have a 5 gallon daily limit per person. If you need to get rid of more than 5 gallons, bring someone with you. While you're under there, you will want to look for zerk fittings and squeeze some grease into them including on the U-joints. You won't find them all, at least initially.

Changing the air filter can be a real challenge depending on its location and it's big and filthy. It might need to be removed from inside the vehicle in the bedroom area. If so, bring a large garbage bag for the used filter.

Replacing the engine oil, pouring it into the oil filler opening, can be a challenge. The Cummins engines usually have filler openings near the back of the engine that is just too high and awkward to use without spilling the oil all over the engine even with a funnel. There is also a filler opening on the top of the valve cover. That is much more accessible inside the bedroom usually through a floor opening in the back. You will need to haul gallons of oil to its location while wearing your filthy clothes! Avoid getting grease on the furniture by partially extending the slide-out(s). Put some large plastic bags on the floor to kneel on while you're pouring. It gets tiresome. You will need the used containers and caps later on, so don't lose them. Don't put in more oil than you need. If you're not sure, check the level on the dip stick.

The generator has its own set of challenges but its oil really doesn't need to be changed as often, assuming its usual infrequent usage. It requires a different sets of tools, usually smaller, to drain its oil and get the oil filter off. The filters usually mount sideways, so they'll drip oil out when you loosen them and there's no easy way to prefill them. There is also a fuel filter and an air filter but they need much less frequent changing. Getting to their compartments may require you to slide the generator forward on its rails. You probably release the pin, pulling down on a T-handle, to get access inside the front cap area and then there's another T-handle by the generator and the generator then easily slides forward as much as you need. The oil filter has a rubber seal along its outer rim. I had one come off and stay on the housing when removing the filter. When I re-installed the new filter with its attached rubber seal, it then leaked. Make sure you have removed all of the filter! It sounds silly, but visibility working under the generator as the oil drips on your face can obviously be a problem. It ain't fun.

The hydraulic cooling fan reservoir probably requires AW-46 lubrication. It usually has a dip stick. It rarely needs changing or checking. You buy a 5-gallon container of it, which will probably be a lifetime supply. They used to sell it at Sam's Club. A better source now might be Tractor Supply. Sam's still sells the fully synthetic Rotella, but if you take your used oil to O'Reilly, you should reward them for that service by buying some from them. It is sometimes on sale there. If you change the fuel filters, it is *very important* to pour some diesel fuel into them before re-installing them. Otherwise, your engine will not start up until it pulls fuel from the tank to the filters and then to the engine. That means that the engine will be cranking for a long time and it will seriously drain and probably ruin your engine batteries. It makes sense to at least partially put oil into the oil filter before re-installing it. Save the box it came in because the bottom of the filter is round and the filter will fall over in its upright position! After filling the oil filter, place it carefully in the box and drag it along with your creeper and tools until the install point. It's awkward. In general, I have not found the need for the addition rubber rings (they're like slices of hose) on the threaded parts of the filter housing unless they're real o-rings. They often come supplied in the box. If you use them, make sure you remove the old one or your filter will leak if you have 2 of them on! The rings seem to make it more difficult to tighten up the filters so that they don't leak.

Transmission oil and filter kits are obtainable from Stewart and Stevenson. I will obtain Trans Synd from nowhere else but them. They seem to be in every large city. You will not often need to transmission change filters - I believe it's every 60,000 miles if you use Trans Synd. Refilling the Trans Synd requires some method of getting it down the dip stick/filler tube. You will need a long plastic tube and a funnel. It can take a while, but you won't be doing it very often.

Almost lastly, the standard used oil basin holds about 3 gallons or so. You will need more than one of them. Some recommend changing the oil when the engine is warm. Well, you will, eventually, drop the oil drain plug into the used oil! If the oil is hot, you will enjoy retrieving it even less! Since the amount of oil you will remove will be less than the amount you put back in, use those empty oil containers to carefully pour the used oil into them. It can get messy, so I usually do that outside my garage. Start up the engine(s) and check for any leaks.

Lastly, you need a maintenance log for everything you do to the vehicle, whether you did it or someone else. Record the date, the odometer reading and what and why it was done. Since changing the filters and oil won't be done more often than yearly, you will forget what tool you used for whatever. Write down what problems you encountered. If you used a 17 mm wrench, write it down. Give yourself enough time to do the job slowly and methodically, at least 3 hours. It's all a messy, one-person job. Since you now know what filters you needed, order enough to be ready for next time. Keep a filter listing in your smartphone with the types and filter numbers. Don't just trust on your memory for any of this. Good luck and enjoy the satisfaction of a job well done.
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Old 08-18-2022, 08:49 PM   #52
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"I do the oil change and lube work on my Cummins ISL 400 HP and the 7.5 KW genset. It's a messy job and the stains won't all wash out of your clothes. You need a creeper and a bunch of tools. It's probably not safe to do so, but you will probably need to raise the vehicle up with your hydraulic jacks to fit underneath it with the creeper. I would trust them more than jack stands. Therefore, for safety's sake, don't let anyone else inside the vehicle while you are working underneath it!"

You are correct, absolutely positively 100% unsafe to rely on only the hydraulic leveling jacks while working underneath. Quite wreckless to even suggest it as a matter of fact. Read the manual and properly place appropriately rated Jack stands in conjunction with using the leveling legs.

Trust me, you never want to put anyone in the position of having to recover what's left of you. It ain't pretty.

Your other maintenance suggestions are great though.
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Old 08-18-2022, 10:52 PM   #53
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I bought a plastic twenty gallon storage container with lid at chinamart for ten dollars. the five gallons from the the 8.3L cummins fit nicely. when empty it holds all the service parts and filters and fluids. parts house has an bowser for used oil which gets re-refined. get yourself a kit to service the air drier and do that at the same time, don't fail to do ALL the required inspections. at fifty thousand miles, the air compressor pump is going to have to come out for inspection as it is not going to be done installed. mine was fine with nil carbon buildup. don't forget the coolant system.
doing your own periodic servicing takes the mystery out of any vehicle. I do my own autos and airplane(such as it is), too.
once you discover the price of a replacement engine, you will never ever skimp on fluid changes, filter changes on any engine system on any vehicle...engines are the most expensive component in any vehicle.
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Old 08-19-2022, 12:59 AM   #54
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I would love to serve my DP but my challenge is we are full time and donít have the ship space. Anyone in south west Missouri that is willing to rent temporary space?
2002 Holiday Rambler Scepter
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Old 08-19-2022, 01:27 AM   #55
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Of you are out in a country area you can easily change in the camp site or even a Walmart. Just go to the oil change area and tell them what you area doing you will be surprised at the helpfulness and you will be able to get rid of the oil and filters there. Did this in Ozark, Missouri a few years ago.
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Old 08-19-2022, 06:43 AM   #56
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Great post! Maintaining a service log is most important and will save your bacon.
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