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Old 05-27-2009, 10:25 PM   #1
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Inspect these hoses!!

So, our coach left us stranded! The problem I had was a factory defect, so I thought I would share it.

If you open up your engine hood, along the Left (driver's) side is the radiator fan(s). These fans are powered hydraulically off of the transmission. Well, one of the hoses (not sure if it was supply or return) was chaffing a bracket and, after 6 years and 55k miles, developed a leak. The oil was spraying on the exhaust so I saw some smoke which actually was good because it got me to stop before running low on transmission fluid.

I recommend that you inspect these hoses. You'll get a bit dirty doing so, but they are easy to get to. They don't cost a lot to replace at home, but if you are on the side of the road on a Saturday evening it is quite expensive to fix!

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Old 05-27-2009, 11:57 PM   #2
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GT- Good word to the wise.
fyi- if it is a hose to or from the fan, that hydraulic system is separate from the tranny, and powers the fan, power steering, and hydraulic brake boost, and the fluid reservoir is the big can visible thru engine hatch on the right.
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Old 05-28-2009, 08:27 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by EngineerMike View Post
GT- Good word to the wise.
fyi- if it is a hose to or from the fan, that hydraulic system is separate from the tranny, and powers the fan, power steering, and hydraulic brake boost, and the fluid reservoir is the big can visible thru engine hatch on the right.


Thanks for the great information! So is the power steering pump solely responsible for pressurizing these systems?

So then I go back to a question I had on the side of the road. Where do you check and fill up the ATF?

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Old 05-28-2009, 08:35 AM   #4
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The transmission check did stick is above the water separator behind the rear PS door.
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Old 05-28-2009, 01:04 PM   #5
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Just to clarify--in 2003, WRV was using ATF for both the steering/brakes/motor fan pump system and the tranny. Many folks with older coaches have since switched out the ATF in the tranny with Transyn fluid. To further confuse things, WRV switched to motor oil in the hydraulic system in circa 2004/5. Assuming yr 2003 is still seviced with ATF-- you add "ATF fluid" to the tranny via the tranny dip-stick tube behind the last PS door next to the bat compartment. Add "ATF fluid" to the hydraulic system via the dip-stick opening on the top of the large reservoir on the rear/PS-side of the engine.
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Old 06-06-2009, 02:20 PM   #6
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In the July 2009 edition of "MotorHome" magazine "techsavvy Coach & Chassis" editor Wes Caughlan Wrote:

" While working for major tire companies for more than 25 years as a forensic engineer, I pretty much set the seven year limit (for replacing motor home tires) after discussing it with my clients (the tire companies). There is nothing sacred about it, though, it's an average thing. Some will last longer, and a few will fail sooner. It largely depends on storage.

Tires will last longer on motorhomes that are stored inside, and have their tires shielded from ultraviolet exposure and atmospheric chemicals that degrade rubber. If you motorhome is stored inside when not in use, and there are no visible cracks in the tire sidewalls, the tires may be good 10 years, but no more.

We recommend changing all rubber parts every ten years, that includes fuel lines, brake lines, vacuum hoses, coolant hoses, window weatherstripping, body mounts and any other critical rubber parts. Rubber lasts just so long, and it's better to be safe than sorry.

An old tire usually blows out and does a lot of collateral damage to the motorhome. That's why I don't believe in being a penny wise and a pound foolish"

Now before you all start shooting the messanger, remember I didn't write the article I merely reported it, so....

I personally find the TOTAL rubber replacement a little extreme and a lot expensive. How many people replace ALL the rubber parts on cars 20 years old? When was the last time you replaced a body or engine mount? Does that mean window and door trim as well?

I personally believe hoses, tires and belts should be inspected prior to each trip and inspected thoroughly annually and any hoses found to be cracking or getting hard to the touch should be replaced. While some motorhome tires undoubtedly last ten years, and his seven year recommendation is probably OK, after all the Alpine blowouts I have heard about on six year old tires I believe anyone going beyond 5-6 in and Alpine, or any similar heavy Diesel motorhome, is tempting fate and had better watch their inflation and sidewalls VERY carefully AND have good comprehensive body insurance.

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Old 06-06-2009, 09:36 PM   #7
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I have had two different Cummins NW service locations tell me to always check the transmission fluid level from the driver's seat rather than using the dipstick because it's more accurate. The Allison manual will tell you how to do it, but on mine the procedure is: 1)Make sure transmission is up to full operating temperature and coach is reasonably level and engine running (I usually do it after a day's drive), 2)Hold both the "up" arrow and the "down" arrow on the gear selector down with two fingers and look at the LED readout. Over a couple minutes it will start counting down from "6" to "5", etc. down to "1", and then, if the fluid level is OK, it will give me a reading of "OL" "OK", meaning the "fluid level" is "OK". If it doesn't give the "OK" it will give you another reading, and these are listed in the Allison manual. The key is once you begin holding down the two keys simultaenously, don't stop until you get the "OK". Once you put it in gear or shut the engine down, the transmission will go back to working normally.

I don't have the manual in front of me so I wrote this from memory, (may be slightly off) but I've done it many times and it works.
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Old 06-06-2009, 11:10 PM   #8
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Thanks a lot for the good advice and information.

I just want everyone to know this was a chaffing hose, not an old or cracked hose. I'm just afraid I'm not the only one with this issue. If it is rubbing, it is a time bomb waiting to catch you on the side of the road...

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