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Old 07-30-2021, 05:53 PM   #1
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Degree of Difficulty of replacing the surge tank

So I've been having the overheating going up hills on super hot days problem which seems to be common. My thought was the back of the rear facing Radiator needs to be cleaned which I read is a difficult job so I took it to a local shop who works on motorhomes. After two weeks he tells me he thinks my problem is that my surge tank has a leak and is not allowing the system to get fully pressurized. So he quotes me $2,300 on top of his already high $360 diagnostic fee to R&R the surge tank. I go online and see Veurinks sells the steel replacement tank for $400. What else could go into this job that would make it cost that much? i'm moderately mechanically inclined and could probably do the repair myself but I wanted to hear from someone that has done this job and help this all make sense to me.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-31-2021, 03:18 AM   #2
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If you now have a surge tank like this...
There are steel replacements:


see http://www.nwrvsupply.com/product/BU01806583ST.html

or

https://shop.findmyrvparts.com/monac...-p/190014s.htm
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Old 07-31-2021, 06:35 AM   #3
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dSince you have no responses on actual replacement here is my experience but I have a side radiator.



In my case the surge tank is mounted on drivers side at the rear of the coach mounted on a cross member. Access to the hoses was pretty simple. I had to drain enough coolant to get the level below the bottom of the tank.

There are 2 small hoses attached to the top of the tank and one larger one at the bottom. All of these hoses have to be disconnected from the tank. If you have access it's not that bad of a project.

One of the small hoses coming from the engine to the top of the surge tank was very hard, this is the one that carries coolant back to tank, the other small one goes to the top of the radiator and purges air so it doesn't get the heat/use. I replaced the hose going to the top of the engine.

There was a larger hose connects to a pipe which goes to the bottom of the radiator.

Once the hoses were disconnected I disconnected the low coolant sensor. I then took the 2 bolts that mount the surge tank and removed the tank.
I replaced my tank with a newer version of the tank but it is constructed of a better quality plastic. I did mine ~6 years ago and it still looks like new. Others have replaced with metal.

The newer tanks use a different low coolant sensor, I bought a Ford sensor (Ford Parts Coolant Level Warning Sensor XC4Z-10D968-AA). This is a 2 wire sensor while my original one was a one wire. I simply took 2 spad connectors and wires and connected to the sensor and then one spad on the other end to connect to the coolant sensor wire.



I mounted the new tank and connected the hoses. Added the new sensor which is mounted about a 1/3 from the bottom of the tank. Filled engine with coolant and ran engine to check for leaks and topped off coolant.



In my case, with a side radiator, I'd say it was an easy job. Not sure on a rear radiator, depends on access. If you can reach everything I'd say it is an easy job and worth the effort to save $$$$.
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Old 07-31-2021, 07:49 AM   #4
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That seems like pretty high quote. Like 15hrs at $150. Or 12 or so hrs including part and fluid. Heard of shops changing exhaust manifolds at about that price of labor.
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Old 07-31-2021, 08:07 AM   #5
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Had mine done recently at a local trucking company. Rear radiator and access thru a tall and narrow hatch... It was about 3 hours labor at half the hourly rate of an RV dealer. The main issue was the tightness of the install. Tech had to turn the tank every which way to get the old one out and the new one in. Rubics cube. I bought the new tank from Jim at Source Engineering sourcerv.com and it was an ideal replacement. The job is just messy no matter how much radiator fluid you drain. The tech had to cut one hose at the fitting, but was able to reuse the hose. Think of green puddles all over where you are planning to work. If that's not an issue, the work is just knuckle-busting, but not really hard. My time is limited (still working FT), so I only do stuff that has zero potential for leaving the RV stranded, with no option other than to find a mobile RV tech, which is almost impossible where I live. Hote that helps!
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Old 07-31-2021, 08:10 AM   #6
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Find another shop. You are being overcharged.
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Old 07-31-2021, 08:11 AM   #7
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https://www.irv2.com/forums/f258/radiator-overflow-tank-leak-536150.html had a similar thread where a bunch of good people helped me
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Old 07-31-2021, 09:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 153stars View Post
That seems like pretty high quote. Like 15hrs at $150. Or 12 or so hrs including part and fluid. Heard of shops changing exhaust manifolds at about that price of labor.
Funny you mention that. I also have a cracked exhaust manifold and they quoted me $2400 to fix it. I will pass.
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Old 07-31-2021, 10:36 AM   #9
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Ditto, find another shop.
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Old 07-31-2021, 10:42 AM   #10
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Easy job on rear radiator. Replace your thermostat also. Easy as well.
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Old 08-01-2021, 05:23 PM   #11
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Seems a lot more reasonable than tank with a few bolts and hoses. Pretty sure I could do it completely blindfolded in way less than 15 hours. If I'm really reaching where I can't see ,I'll close my eyes many times as it seems to help anyway lol
Quote:
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Funny you mention that. I also have a cracked exhaust manifold and they quoted me $2400 to fix it. I will pass.
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Old 08-01-2021, 05:41 PM   #12
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By the way, the old nylon/plastic surge tank isn't in stock anywhere... they get brittle and crack. Mine developed a hairline crack about a half inch long at the base of the filler below where the pressure cap screws on. And since it needs to maintain pressure to maintain an appropriate temperature, it had to be swapped. I was told the old one can be repaired with JB Weld, but we had a trip coming up, so I had no time to experiment. If anyone wants this one, make me an offer. It is definitely easier to see the coolant level on the plastic tank!
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Old 08-01-2021, 06:03 PM   #13
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@Kevlar,
I do recall replacing the plastic surge tank on my 2000 Diplomat; it wasn't a "fun" job but was reasonably do-able.

However that was apprx. 2 decades ago and I was a lot younger :-). That's why I didn't comment on how difficult or easy the job might be and just gave you sources where you could buy a (steel) replacement and DIY.
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Old 08-07-2021, 11:11 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pflightnut View Post
Had mine done recently at a local trucking company. Rear radiator and access thru a tall and narrow hatch... It was about 3 hours labor at half the hourly rate of an RV dealer. The main issue was the tightness of the install. Tech had to turn the tank every which way to get the old one out and the new one in. Rubics cube. I bought the new tank from Jim at Source Engineering sourcerv.com and it was an ideal replacement. The job is just messy no matter how much radiator fluid you drain. The tech had to cut one hose at the fitting, but was able to reuse the hose. Think of green puddles all over where you are planning to work. If that's not an issue, the work is just knuckle-busting, but not really hard. My time is limited (still working FT), so I only do stuff that has zero potential for leaving the RV stranded, with no option other than to find a mobile RV tech, which is almost impossible where I live. Hote that helps!
I found that the bottom hose was long enough to pull out before loosening clamp and drain coolant through the top spout into a container. No mess
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