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Old 09-15-2020, 05:34 PM   #1
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Coolant Leak

I had an unpleasant experience yesterday as we got ready to depart today. I new I had a coolant leak somewhere forward of the engine but couldn't quit pin point it. It was enough leak to the tune of one gallon every 300 or so miles. So I ran the engine yesterday for about one hour to pump up the tires when I noticed the little puddle under the AH. Yes it was the engine preheat pump leaking badly and ready to fall apart. I could not locate shut off valves-another search!- so I clamped hoses as best I could and bypassed the pump with a nipple. I could kick myself for not replacing that GR5 when I did the front ones. I have a Bosch pump I'm going to use once I figure out how to shut off loop.
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Old 09-16-2020, 11:21 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rogelling View Post
I had an unpleasant experience yesterday as we got ready to depart today. I new I had a coolant leak somewhere forward of the engine but couldn't quit pin point it. It was enough leak to the tune of one gallon every 300 or so miles. So I ran the engine yesterday for about one hour to pump up the tires when I noticed the little puddle under the AH. Yes it was the engine preheat pump leaking badly and ready to fall apart. I could not locate shut off valves-another search!- so I clamped hoses as best I could and bypassed the pump with a nipple. I could kick myself for not replacing that GR5 when I did the front ones. I have a Bosch pump I'm going to use once I figure out how to shut off loop.
The two shut offs for the engine loop will be back at the engine on the drivers side. One can be reached from below near the frame rail and the other one perhaps from up top through the rear floor.

To change the rear pump on the Aquahot I would clamp off at the hoses near the pump with hose clamp pliers.
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Old 09-16-2020, 12:12 PM   #3
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I had about 10 pinhole leaks on 18 cornerstone. Replaced 2 feet. Didn't stop leaks, hidden in frame rail. Replaced whole hose eventually. Under warranty.
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Old 09-16-2020, 04:54 PM   #4
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Speaking of 2018 Cornerstones and heater hose failures…

In August of 2019, we were in the middle of Nowhere, Montana, on our way to Petoskey, Michigan (and from there to Spartan for an annual service appointment) when we had a "heater" hose failure which dumped pretty much all of our engine coolant onto the highway.

I put "heater" in quotes, because there are actually two hose loops - one that circulates engine coolant up to the dash heater core & back and one that circulates engine coolant up to the Aqua-Hot & back.

In our case, the hose that failed was in the loop that runs from the engine up to the Aqua-Hot & back. The failure occurred in a relatively short length of hose that runs from the engine to a shut-off valve. The hose split on the engine side of the shut-off valve, so turning of the shut-off valve wouldn’t have allowed us to continue on. I was able to make a temporary repair by cutting off the portion of the hose that had split and re-attaching the hose to the shut-off valve. Fortunately, there was enough slack in the original length of hose to do that.

Included below is an electronic copy of a letter I sent to Spartan, detailing the failure. Before arriving at Spartan we spent several days at Hearthside Grove in Petoskey, Michigan. While there I did some additional research and determined the hose Spartan had installed, while made in the USA, was nonetheless low-grade heater hose, described by the manufacturer as a suitable “replacement for Original Equipment hose on most cars and light trucks.” The same company (Thermoid) makes higher quality “Truck & Bus” hose and even stouter “Heavy Duty Truck & Bus” hose, either of which would have been a considerably better product for Spartan to have selected.

While we were in Petoskey, I visited several auto parts stores and the like, purchasing short lengths of 3/4” heater hose to compare to the hose Spartan had installed. Here is a summary of what I learned:

Wall Thickness of Various 3/4” Heater Hose

1) Thermoid Installed by Spartan – 0.13”
2) ArmorMark from AutoZone – 0.14”
3) Everbilt at Home Depot – No sample available. Only sold in pre-packaged 10-foot lengths, but appeared to be virtually the same wall thickness as the ArmorMark brand at AutoZone.
4) Unknown Brand from Ace Hardware – 0.16”
5) Shields from West Marine – 0.19”

Those of you quick with math will note the Shields hose from West Marine has a wall thickness about 45% greater than the Thermoid hose Spartan installed. Squeezing the two hoses also revealed a big difference, with Thermoid hose being soft and easily collapsed while the Shields hose was firm and very difficult to collapse.

While still in Petoskey I bought several feet of the Shields hose from West Marine and replaced the hose that had failed – the relatively short length between the engine and the shut-off valve. Then, just for fun, I opened the shut-off valve and left it open when we departed Petoskey for Spartan. We got no more than an hour out of Petoskey before the engine started overheating again. A quick check under the coach revealed the Thermoid hose on the output side of the shut-off valve had failed in a manner virtually identical to the earlier failure on the input side of the shut-off valve. Fortunately, the fix for that was pretty simple – turn off the shut-off valve, refill the cooling system with water from our onboard fresh water tank, continue on to Spartan.

To Spartan’s credit, they did the right thing once we arrived for our service appointment, which was to replace all of the hose comprising the Aqua-Hot loop and the dash heater loop with heater hose of significantly higher quality. I didn’t press anyone for details, but I had the clear impression our coach wasn’t the first they’d seen with this particular failure.

Included below for reference is a photo of the labeling on the Thermoid hose Spartan originally installed.
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Old 09-16-2020, 06:36 PM   #5
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Larry, I heard your story at NIRVC. Thank you for sharing in detail.
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Old 09-16-2020, 07:58 PM   #6
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Chuck, there are several such stories surrounding our coach. Yes, it's been an adventure!
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Old 09-16-2020, 08:36 PM   #7
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Chuck, there are several such stories surrounding our coach. Yes, it's been an adventure!
I heard many of them, you might have my 14 beat. Same story on a few of the items
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Old 09-17-2020, 09:33 AM   #8
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Thanks for sharing Larry. In my case I had already had my heater hose to the heat exchanger replaced at NIRVC Surprise in March because of it was leaking. So when we left Arizona I thought I was good to go. Made it to Stoneridge after 2 gallons of coolant then 2 more gallons to Sturgis and back. The old GR5 pump looked like crap totally corroded.
How hard is it to shut off the engine preheat loop valve?
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Old 09-17-2020, 03:26 PM   #9
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Thanks for sharing Larry. In my case I had already had my heater hose to the heat exchanger replaced at NIRVC Surprise in March because of it was leaking. So when we left Arizona I thought I was good to go. Made it to Stoneridge after 2 gallons of coolant then 2 more gallons to Sturgis and back. The old GR5 pump looked like crap totally corroded.
How hard is it to shut off the engine preheat loop valve?
Not difficult at all once you find the valve. And not difficult at all to find the valve when you have coolant streaming out of a ruptured hose right by the valve. But hopefully you're not in that situation. Assuming you're not...

On our 2018 Cornerstone there are two shut-off valves, one for the hose loop that runs to the Aqua-Hot and one for the loop that runs to the dash heater core. The valve for the Aqua-Hot loop is located on the driver's side of the coach, underneath the engine, just barely above the lowest portion of chassis. In other words, not very far off the ground once you're under there looking up.

Use a flashlight and don't get discouraged when you don't see it right away. Once you do see it you'll be wondering how you missed it.

Keep in mind that shutting off the valve means you can't use the Aqua-Hot to preheat the engine in really cold weather. In 22 years of motorhome ownership we've never needed to do that, so that one is a who-cares for us. But the other function you lose when you close the valve is having hot water when you arrive at an RV park after driving all day. That's a nice plus, but not a huge deal simply because it doesn't take very long for the diesel side of the Aqua-Hot to heat water.

Let me know if you have trouble locating the shutoff valve. If so, I can shoot a photo and post it for you.
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Old 09-18-2020, 09:13 AM   #10
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Thanks I'll tackle it once we're home. On 5 years we have never used the engine preheat which is the reason why I didn't bother to swap the GR5 pump. I sold the replacement pump AH sent me with the kit to a visitor to Stoneridge-he insisted on paying for it- to replace his recirculation pump in his Allegro Bus. He couldn't get much hot water so I told him try this pump. He was a happy camper!
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Old 09-20-2020, 10:06 AM   #11
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My 2018 Aspire also experienced a failure of the heater hose. The comments about "pinholes" may also apply. The Aspire does not have an Aquahot preheat loop. This was on the cabin heat loop. The heater hose ruptured near the engine, leaving us stranded. Had a piece of "blue", high temp, hose spliced in for about the first 8". About 2 months later it failed again, although much less dramatically. It was just leaking. The hose had bulged (again) but not enough to rupture. It was enough to cause a pinhole leak.

The only certified dealer in NH looked at it and we're currently trying to get Spartan to replace the hose (both sides - feed and return). Spartan seems on board, in fact they're responsible for sending me to the dealer. Just waiting to see if the higher ups will authorize the repair.

Very odd that a 3-4 year old heater hose fails. Maybe defective hose??? Maybe they should have used a different (more robust) hose???

It's a very easy procedure to inspect (or have inspected) the hoses and I strongly recommend that Entegra owners do so. Particularly around this time frame (2018). Just my 2 cents.
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Old 09-20-2020, 12:30 PM   #12
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My 2018 Aspire also experienced a failure of the heater hose. The comments about "pinholes" may also apply. The Aspire does not have an Aquahot preheat loop. This was on the cabin heat loop. The heater hose ruptured near the engine, leaving us stranded. Had a piece of "blue", high temp, hose spliced in for about the first 8". About 2 months later it failed again, although much less dramatically. It was just leaking. The hose had bulged (again) but not enough to rupture. It was enough to cause a pinhole leak.

The only certified dealer in NH looked at it and we're currently trying to get Spartan to replace the hose (both sides - feed and return). Spartan seems on board, in fact they're responsible for sending me to the dealer. Just waiting to see if the higher ups will authorize the repair.

Very odd that a 3-4 year old heater hose fails. Maybe defective hose??? Maybe they should have used a different (more robust) hose???

It's a very easy procedure to inspect (or have inspected) the hoses and I strongly recommend that Entegra owners do so. Particularly around this time frame (2018). Just my 2 cents.
The hose isn’t defective per se; it’s just very marginal for the application. See my post above for more info on the hose Spartan chose to install versus what they should have used:

https://www.irv2.com/forums/f278/coo...ml#post5443197
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Old 09-20-2020, 02:55 PM   #13
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Does anyone know if the older coaches have this dash heat set up as well? If so, are there shut offs in the engine area?

Thanks!
John
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Old 09-20-2020, 03:23 PM   #14
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Does anyone know if the older coaches have this dash heat set up as well? If so, are there shut offs in the engine area?

Thanks!
John
2015 Aspire 44b
John, if you have a dash heater (which I'm virtually certain you do), it's pretty much a given that you have a loop of heater hose that circulates engine coolant up to the dash heater core and back.

That said, I doubt your coach has the same Thermoid brand heater hose that Spartan was using when the chassis for my 2018 Entegra was built. Based on a conversation I had with one of the guys at the Spartan service center, they were using Goodyear hose before switching to Thermoid and I suspect that's what you have (Goodyear).

Regarding a shutoff valve in the engine area, I would expect you have one.
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