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Old 06-18-2021, 06:54 AM   #1
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One time overheating

Anyone ever experienced this?

After we picked up our CC and were driving it on 10 back to NM, west of Houston we started off one morning, got about a half hour down the road and the coach appeared to suddenly overheat.

Pulled over, checked fluid levels, everything seemed OK. Let it cool down and then drove to the nearest exit, to a Bucky's we planned on stopping at anyway. It was about 12 miles further. No overheat at all in that short stretch. We decided to continue and see what would happen. It was about 90 outside at that time. Continued on, no overheat at all from then on.

This was over a year ago. Have used the coach several times since then in NM, no overheat. Runs around 200 and very stable.

We're a little concerned because we're planning a much longer trip with some grades in September. Any idea what might have happened here and is there something we should replace as a precaution?

ALSO this radiator is pretty old with just a touch of rot at the bottom and I expect it will need replacing in the next few years. Where to buy? Prices on this stuff are ridiculous in NM so I figure to get one sent in and have it installed.
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Old 06-18-2021, 07:44 AM   #2
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Sounds like your thermostat was stuck closed causing the overheat. Stopping to cool it down could have allowed the thermostat to pop open, thus no more overheating. Given the age of your coach, and that being a possibility, it could have ben caused by old, tainted coolant. I would pre-emptively have the cooling system flushed, and install a new thermostat.
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Old 06-18-2021, 07:48 AM   #3
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The thermostat is supposed to keep the motor at around 190 - 210 degrees and they have been known to stick for no apparent reason...

Not so much RV related but:
I once had a Oldsmobile with a 455 CI motor that decided, one morning, to overheat... The warning light came on... and I shut the motor down. Opened the radiator cap to check for coolant. (yes this was back when you could do that...) and the coolant levels were good. But, there was no circulation past the filler neck... I squeezed the hoses to make sure there was coolant in them, (there was,) but the return hose was cold... So, I started the motor again, gave the thermostat housing a good tap with an adjustable wrench and coolant started circulating past the filler and the top hose started to warm up again...

Never happened again after that...

years later, when I did a major tune up, I also replaced the belts and water pump, I changed out the thermostat. When I looked at the old thermostat one side of the temperature control housing was scored and polished, like if had been scuffing against the t-stat body every time it opened and closed...

At the moment, the thermostat on me Jeep (Toad) is stuck open and it takes forever for the motor to get up to temperature. I started about 2,500 miles ago, so that'll be a project for sometime this summer...
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Old 06-18-2021, 08:11 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwkerch View Post
Sounds like your thermostat was stuck closed causing the overheat. Stopping to cool it down could have allowed the thermostat to pop open, thus no more overheating. Given the age of your coach, and that being a possibility, it could have ben caused by old, tainted coolant. I would pre-emptively have the cooling system flushed, and install a new thermostat.
That was my guess as well. The coolant is not old.
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Old 06-18-2021, 08:39 AM   #5
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carry a correct thermostat and coolant?

Don't know the layout, but most 'stats are an easy change; accessible and requiring few tools, changeable roadside, with a 1/2" wrench in 20min or less.

When I had an issue, the cause was partial blockage of the radiator airflow caused by lots of dirt and some hydraulic fluid on the side-mount radiator stack. Pricey R/R of the stack, repair of the aluminum radiator and a thorough cleaning, flush, new thermostat cured it.
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Old 06-18-2021, 08:46 AM   #6
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Thermostat is a good guess, and the second thing I would look at is the radiator cap. At higher elevations, the boiling point of water/coolant drops, and if the cap isn't holding pressure, it is possible to boil the coolant and then you will potentially overheat. The water pump can't pump steam.

Caps are cheap and easy to replace. I replace mine about once a year.
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Old 06-18-2021, 09:32 AM   #7
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We had a similar experience with our 2001 Alpine Coach with the same engine/transmission combination (including side radiator) a couple of years ago and have not had it happen again since.

looking back at the day it happened I was NOT keeping the RPMs ~2000 on a long climb out of Needles, CA on a very warm day and got to a summit of around 3500' just as the overheat warning came on.

I backed off the throttle, pulled over, and did all the chacks you did with no issues.......I read about the issue and we have worked very hard to keep the RPMs up and not put a huge load at low RPMs down and we have not seen this issue again.... including multiple trips over many 12,000' passes over the continental divide in Colorado pulling our 5000lb Toad!

It may have not been anything other than too much turbo without enough RPMs

Cheers!
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Old 06-18-2021, 09:40 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paul65k View Post
We had a similar experience with our 2001 Alpine Coach with the same engine/transmission combination (including side radiator) a couple of years ago and have not had it happen again since.

looking back at the day it happened I was NOT keeping the RPMs ~2000 on a long climb out of Needles, CA on a very warm day and got to a summit of around 3500' just as the overheat warning came on.

I backed off the throttle, pulled over, and did all the chacks you did with no issues.......I read about the issue and we have worked very hard to keep the RPMs up and not put a huge load at low RPMs down and we have not seen this issue again.... including multiple trips over many 12,000' passes over the continental divide in Colorado pulling our 5000lb Toad!

It may have not been anything other than too much turbo without enough RPMs

Cheers!
Well, we were in flat land just west of Houston. No hills there.
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Old 06-18-2021, 09:57 AM   #9
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To answer your question on where to source a new radiator, a lot of owners here have gotten replacements from Radiator Supply House in Sweet Home, OR. They also provide replacement CACs.
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Old 06-18-2021, 10:31 AM   #10
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Buy a cheap IR temp gun. Shoot the thermostat cover the next time it happens. It may be a coolant temperature sensor going bad.

Source Engineerig is another good recommendation given to me for radiator supply.

Brian
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Old 06-20-2021, 11:03 PM   #11
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Your coach should have 2 gauges and one idiot shut-down switch.

If both of your gauges are electric, I would change the one in the bay to a mechanical gauge so you have a second source of truth, if it ever happens again run back and see what the mechanical says.

There are many things that could cause that, stuck thermostat, comest to mind, blown head gasket, vapor lock in the cooling system from an air bubble caused by the hydronic heat etc...
From what you are saying, it seems more like a thromostat stuck but I would carry a spare vase of coolant with you in case it blows it out on the road somewhere and you need to get going
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