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Old 01-10-2019, 01:52 PM   #1
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Side radiator gearbox and clutch failure

I have a 2015 Dutchstar 3736. At 31,000 miles the gearbox and fan clutch both go out, its a $6,000+ repair thru freightliner. I am waiting on the extended warranty company to do an inspection tomorrow since its so expensive and then see how they settle. I bought the warranty Campers Edge By Warrantech thru the dealer National indoor RV near Atlanta. I'm supposed to have a $100.00 deductible when all said and done. Since this issue seems to be so prevalent in side radiator Freighliners does anyone have any experience with this company and how they pay, this is my first claim. I almost called Freightliner for some after warranty assistance since its obvious this part did not hold up as it should but thought I'd see how Warrantech pays first. Any input or advise would be helpful.

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Old 01-10-2019, 02:13 PM   #2
"Formerly Diplomat Don"
 
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I can't help you with the warranty, but I will tell you that Freightliner keeps replacing gearboxes and claims the side seal is bad. I know they replaced mine under warranty and it still leaked oil, ALL THE TIME. I finally did my own extension of the overflow, refilled the gearbox and NEVER had another issue. Others that added the extension had the same results as me.

I don't know what kind of failure you had, but the extension should be added.
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Old 01-10-2019, 05:01 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutch Star Don View Post
I can't help you with the warranty, but I will tell you that Freightliner keeps replacing gearboxes and claims the side seal is bad. I know they replaced mine under warranty and it still leaked oil, ALL THE TIME. I finally did my own extension of the overflow, refilled the gearbox and NEVER had another issue. Others that added the extension had the same results as me.

I don't know what kind of failure you had, but the extension should be added.


Don, what are you doing with your new DS? Same mod?
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Old 01-10-2019, 10:02 PM   #4
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Waiting to see what it does. I have a friend that has a 2011 Allegro Bus with the same gearbox. On his, there is no vent tube, just a threaded plug in the hole. I don't get how one needs it and the other doesn't.

To be honest, I've been doing projects non stop and haven't even looked at the gearbox. It will get it's 6K oil change and service in a couple of months and I will check everything.
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Old 01-10-2019, 11:00 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Dutch Star Don View Post
I can't help you with the warranty, but I will tell you that Freightliner keeps replacing gearboxes and claims the side seal is bad. I know they replaced mine under warranty and it still leaked oil, ALL THE TIME. I finally did my own extension of the overflow, refilled the gearbox and NEVER had another issue. Others that added the extension had the same results as me.

I don't know what kind of failure you had, but the extension should be added.
Dutch Star Don, I just had the gearbox,fan drive,fan, fan clutch control replaced after the fan hub came apart at the gear box . The new gear box does have an extension of about 3 inches above the overflow.

I have been reading a post that you were involved in from 2015 pertaining to the fan being on one speed. Was there ever any positive solution to this problem ? My coach runs in the 180 - to 185* range, fuel mileage 5.3 - 6 on a good day and the dust storm is terrible!
Didn't mean to hi jack the post ..
Thanks
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Old 01-11-2019, 12:53 AM   #6
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First, the 3" vent tube is the standard tube they install. I removed that and added another 12", extending it up to a support arm where I secured it. I'm sure there are some legitimate gear box failures, but how do you know if they run dry/low on fluid because of the poor breather design and then self destruct?

Many of us....back then, were trying to determine if our fans were switching speeds. It's hard to know if they're working since you can't see what they're doing. Eventually, we determined it had to be working by the way it was cooling.
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Old 01-12-2019, 04:20 PM   #7
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Thanks for the info. The inspection has been delayed until the first of next week, I will keep you posted...
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Old 01-13-2019, 06:27 AM   #8
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Hopefully your extended service plan will cover it... I'd be prepared to show them documentation that the gearbox was serviced per the Freightliner Chassis Maintenance schedule
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Old 01-18-2019, 08:55 AM   #9
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No answer yet on the warranty coverage, they have asked for all the maintenance which I sent all i have had done. I bought it with 10,048 miles and immediately took it to Freightliner of Chattanooga 4 days later with 10,229 miles and asked them to service and do a any work needed. I do not have any records before I owned it but I bought from a reputable dealer NIRV near Atlanta. I’ll keep you updated on that.

Everyone should know that at least my local Freightliner service center will make you as the owner accept responsibility for any non-factory modifications. They have put on my paperwork that I as the owner would have to accept all responsibility on the gearbox vent tube extension. With this disclaimer they just handed me another $6,000.00 repair should this gearbox fail as the first one did, that is totally unacceptable since my confidence in their gearbox design is very low at this point.

Breaking down on the road is such a terrible experience, I hope to never do that again. Now they are telling me I cant be proactive to keep that from happening again- not real happy with them at this point. I will be calling FCCC today to see if I can get better info.
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Old 01-28-2019, 02:02 PM   #10
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Update...
We have a verbal commitment by the extended warranty company (Campers Edge By Warrantech) to pay $5,900 of the $6,200 repair cost, which is fair and I would highly recommend their product as long as they follow thru with the payment of course.

Also JR from FCCC advised the gearbox vent tube extension is an acceptable modification and had them revise their paperwork to reflect that the modification does not effect the warranty.

We just made a 1500 mile trip with no hiccups - so far so good. I would have to admit my confidence level in the freightliner chassis was very low, this trip did help that a little.
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Old 01-28-2019, 02:30 PM   #11
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Update...
We have a verbal commitment by the extended warranty company (Campers Edge By Warrantech) to pay $5,900 of the $6,200 repair cost, which is fair and I would highly recommend their product as long as they follow thru with the payment of course.

Also JR from FCCC advised the gearbox vent tube extension is an acceptable modification and had them revise their paperwork to reflect that the modification does not effect the warranty.

We just made a 1500 mile trip with no hiccups - so far so good. I would have to admit my confidence level in the freightliner chassis was very low, this trip did help that a little.
Great news. I hope the reimbursement comes through as planned.
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Old 01-28-2019, 03:43 PM   #12
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There were a couple of Freightliner Dealers doing the extension as part of a repair, so I don't see how they would disallow coverage. It's just like the dust storm issue from the engine fan, first hey denied an issue, then offer their own shield as an option and then finally made it standard in 2019.
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Old 01-28-2019, 04:40 PM   #13
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Reading this post and having a new 2018 DS, which Iíve had for about a week, I have to ask how prevalent is this issue? Also what should I look for, leaking oil or a breakdown on the road? Any thoughts?
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Old 01-29-2019, 02:38 PM   #14
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Hello Willis, I would do the maintenance of your gear box at 6k miles and I would add the extended vent tube before any long trip. I didnt really see any leaking oil, it just lost all the oil on a long trip, got extremely hot and burned up the clutch on the fan then it stopped cooling the radiator and we were broke down. If I would have traveled much further the tech advised the fan drive shaft could have came loose and pierced the radiator- not a good scenario! I cant speak to how often it happens but the Freightliner RV tech says he replaces "a lot of them". Don is the expert so follow any advise he may give - I've found him to be very good source for wisdom.
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