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Old 06-27-2022, 10:45 PM   #1
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overheating issue

i have a 2000 holiday rambler ambassador 34 (dsp i think). it has the cummins ISB 260. recently it has been tending to running on the higher side of the middle of the temp gauge. if i turn on the heater for a few minutes the temp drops back down to reasonable. it has just over 100,000 miles on the odometer. i was thinking maybe the fan clutch (not even sure if it has one) or temp sensor. my thinking is if the temp is fluctuating the thermostat mus be working properly. i'm currently on a cross country road trip from philly to tucson then up to denver by ay of the grand canyon. i do have the ability to get parts from cummins in tucson since i'll be there a few days. any ideas would be appreciated
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Old 06-27-2022, 10:59 PM   #2
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Hi Perryg362; The only first thing that comes to my mind is, when was the last time you cleaned out the fins of your rear radiator coach? This can be a some what common problem with the location of the radiator at the rear. Lost of dust, dirt and etc. can get deposited in the fins of the radiator. Sometimes just the vapor from the slobber tube off the engine can put just enough fine oil on the fins to attract and hold dirt. There could be other causes, but this one came to my mind first. Can't speak from experience as I have a side radiator coach.
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Old 06-27-2022, 11:04 PM   #3
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Cummins recommends , cleaning of the rear rad on motorhomes every 7,500 miles .
I'd say annually if you don't do that mileage on a regular basis.
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Old 06-27-2022, 11:54 PM   #4
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Yep, radiator plugged, dirty, or clogged. If you can cool it down with running the heater, it's looking like your cooling system is not up to snuff.

You will want to get it cleared up before Southern Arizona, I hear it can get fairly warm there.

Have fun in the sun.
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Old 06-28-2022, 02:15 AM   #5
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i read that taking the fuse out of the fan will default the fan to high. that would at least get me to tucson. i'm currently in el paso. does anyone know where that fuse would be. i checked the front fuse box compartment and the fuse bay where the PT switch is located. it's not in either of those bays
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Old 06-28-2022, 02:16 AM   #6
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the fins were cleaned back in kentucky. it was pretty dusty back there though. i had no issues when i left philly. it started between evansville and owensboro ky. do you think the spray used to clean fridge coils would be ok?
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Old 06-28-2022, 09:00 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by perryg362 View Post
i have a 2000 holiday rambler ambassador 34 (dsp i think). it has the cummins ISB 260. recently it has been tending to running on the higher side of the middle of the temp gauge. if i turn on the heater for a few minutes the temp drops back down to reasonable. it has just over 100,000 miles on the odometer. i was thinking maybe the fan clutch (not even sure if it has one) or temp sensor. my thinking is if the temp is fluctuating the thermostat mus be working properly. i'm currently on a cross country road trip from philly to tucson then up to denver by ay of the grand canyon. i do have the ability to get parts from cummins in tucson since i'll be there a few days. any ideas would be appreciated
So you don't know the actual coolant temp when it's between the middle of the temp gage and Hot on your gage?

Do you see any other issues indicating it's overheating other than your gage being between mid-Hot?

I assume rear radiator?

Is your electric ( I assume) cooling fan coming on? and high speed when the temp reads to high?

Reporting that if you turn the heater on when the engine is truly running too hot and that brings the coolant temp down to normal range again? IMO you most likely have a heat exchange issue and not coolant flow and as others have already stated I would start with externally cleaning the radiator cooling fins and if that doesn't help and with your coach having the age and the mileage at 100k miles stated I would be concerned with internal radiator contamination issues like this seen here.Click image for larger version

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If it was me and on the road and thought it may be running a little too hot for sure and already cleaned the rad externally and that was no help? I would be pulling the thermoset ( not that that is the issue ) and see how it responded and if keeps you in the normal range continue on my journey and deal with it when I got back home.


Happy Trails
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Old 06-28-2022, 09:04 AM   #8
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the fins were cleaned back in kentucky. it was pretty dusty back there though. i had no issues when i left philly. it started between evansville and owensboro ky. do you think the spray used to clean fridge coils would be ok?

Simple Green EXTREME is the aluminum-friendly degreaser.


Is your cooling package (radiator and CAC) SANDWICHED or STACKED?


If sandwiched, it needs to be cleaned from the FRONT, as the front of the CAC is where most of the debris will be located. This is accessed from the bedroom or closet.


The Simple Green Extreme and a garden hose/nozzle is all you need. Wear old clothes when you do it!
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Old 06-28-2022, 10:29 AM   #9
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excellent reply and advice. thank you
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Old 06-28-2022, 10:31 AM   #10
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more great suggestions. this forum is a money and life saver. i really appreciate your responses and help. i will clean them all when i get to tucson with the aluminum friendly cleaner. i wouldn't have thought of protecting the aluminum from harsh chemicals
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Old 06-28-2022, 10:32 AM   #11
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not sure on the fan issue. should i lift the cover and check it from inside while it's running?
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Old 06-28-2022, 11:02 AM   #12
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I don't know your coolant capacity, but we here in the classic car hobby swear by "Evap-o-Rust". Environmentally friendly, goes in looking like Mountain Dew, and when it's done, it looks like Coke, and you can dump it anywhere.
Our procedure is to dump the antifreeze, fill the system with this magic stuff and drive for a couple of hundred mils, dump it out and refill with the 50-50 of your choice.
Absolutley saved thousands of dollars of the old "honeycomb" radiators on classic cars, you cannot find anymore.
It WILL NOT hurt aluminum or brass !

Mike in Colorado
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Old 06-28-2022, 02:28 PM   #13
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not sure on the fan issue. should i lift the cover and check it from inside while it's running?

Engine OFF.


Access from top of engine (so bedroom or closet depending on floorplan).


You should be able to tell very quickly if the fan is solid-mounted or on a clutch.


With a strong flashlight you should also look at the front (front of coach) surface of the CAC or CAC and radiator (you did not post whether your cooling package is stacked or sandwiched). Look closely at the perimeter, particularly lower perimeter to verify that it is as clean as the center. The center will be much cleaner because because the fan blades sling the dirt to the perimeter.
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Old 06-29-2022, 06:47 AM   #14
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Engine OFF.


Access from top of engine (so bedroom or closet depending on floorplan).


You should be able to tell very quickly if the fan is solid-mounted or on a clutch.


With a strong flashlight you should also look at the front (front of coach) surface of the CAC or CAC and radiator (you did not post whether your cooling package is stacked or sandwiched). Look closely at the perimeter, particularly lower perimeter to verify that it is as clean as the center. The center will be much cleaner because because the fan blades sling the dirt to the perimeter.
Yes indeed!

I have seen this situation described above many times in MED - LD duty applications and the center be clean as a whistle and the outer parameter be pugged solid with dog-hair and the likes of.

Also to the OP your cooling system will exchange heat better and faster with just straight water.

( yes I understand they many reasons to run the proper coolant )

Just saying this to be of temporary help in the case your running just a little bit too hot and need to get you back home.

HTH
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