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-   -   sp radiator cleaning (https://www.wanderlodgeownersgroup.com/forums/showthread.php?t=303)

Randy Dupree 01-12-2008 07:55 PM

sp radiator cleaning
 
the sp coachs have a ''road draft' tube that is a crankcase vent,the vented air has oil in it and that oily air blows through the radiator,the oil gets in the radiator fins,dirt sticks to the oil and the next thing you know you need a new engine,from overheating.
clean those rads!
Randy

tjseitz 01-13-2008 10:36 PM

good tip Randy
 
Good tip Randy:cool:!! One more thing to keep in mind when cleaning the SP's Rad.is that the only way to REALLY CLEAN it ,is to drop the rear bunper and swing that Rad. out so you can do a good jod of cleaning. Anything less than that your just wasteing your time. Tom ( former 90 SP owner)

iamflagman 01-14-2008 02:58 AM

I don't have an SP, but I have experience cleaning the radiator cores on vehicles and a very important tip is DO NOT USE A HIGH PRESSURE SPRAYER when cleaning the core fins, they can be damaged that way. I use a garden hose after first getting the radiator up to a temperature where it is not quite at operating temperature, but is real warm to the touch, then I spray down the core with a grease cutting cleaner, if it steams when you spray on the grease cutting solution it is too hot, so let it cool a little before continuing. Then after letting it soak for a while and after the solution has gotten a chance to penetrate the oily dirt packed in the core, then I use a garden hose to remove the dirt and grime. I can hook my garden hose up to a hot water faucet and using hot water to flush out the radiator core helps loosen up that dirt and grime.

You may have to do this more than once, if it is still clogged up with dirt and grime

peteaeonix 01-14-2008 06:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iamflagman (Post 655)
I don't have an SP, but I have experience cleaning the radiator cores on vehicles and a very important tip is DO NOT USE A HIGH PRESSURE SPRAYER when cleaning the core fins, they can be damaged that way. I use a garden hose after first getting the radiator up to a temperature where it is not quite at operating temperature, but is real warm to the touch, then I spray down the core with a grease cutting cleaner, if it steams when you spray on the grease cutting solution it is too hot, so let it cool a little before continuing. Then after letting it soak for a while and after the solution has gotten a chance to penetrate the oily dirt packed in the core, then I use a garden hose to remove the dirt and grime. I can hook my garden hose up to a hot water faucet and using hot water to flush out the radiator core helps loosen up that dirt and grime.

You may have to do this more than once, if it is still clogged up with dirt and grime

This is good advice -- and it applies to PT-40 and PT 42/43 coaches as well. The Series 60 in the PT 42/43 coaches has a vent tube on the left side of the engine. Unless someone has modified it (by rerouting it across the bottom of the engine to the curb side or by installing a filter system) there is a tendency for oily vapor to be drawn under the side of the coach and back through the radiator. Then dust, possibly kicked up by the fan, is sucked through and sticks to the oil that settles on the fins.

I discovered that with the Series 60 installation, from the outside (with the grill taken off) you only see the aluminum charge air cooler, not the actual radiator. From the inside, a metal shroud (plus the AC coils) blocks the view of the radiator that's not swept by the fan. When you inspect what you can see, it may appear to be clear. (e.g. shine a light through the radiator, and all you can actually see is the area swept by the fan.). Unfortunately, the oily-dirt collects on the radiator that's _not_ swept by the fan. The oily dirt also does not significantly collect on the air-charge cooler. So even if the radiator seems clear, it may well be partially blocked.

When I encountered heating problems, I had the radiator pulled and discovered the considerable blockage that had built up over time. I elected to have the radiator core replaced (the cost of the labor to R&R the radiator was 3 times the cost of a new core, so it made financial sense).

I now thoroughly spray down the radiator with a mild degreaser/detergent (the air charge cooler is aluminum and the radiator is brass), then use a garden hose much as described above. So far, I've not had any build up that I can detect.

dspithaler 01-23-2008 10:56 AM

SP radiator cleaning
 
On my SP I extended the vent tube to the curb side & to the back bumper. I used 1-1/2" plastic. It keeps the rad clean.

peteaeonix 01-23-2008 12:17 PM

There are several fixes for the rear-engine model 'slobber tubes' ranging from simple (a bit of plastic water pipe) to complex (a oil recovery/filter system). All are effective to some degree -- but there are many PT-SP units on the road where the owner may be unaware of the problem. It develops slowly -- and the problem it induces (overheating) comes on suddenly when conditions are "perfect" for that to occur.

I had overheating on my home-bound maiden trip (Dallas TX to SF Bay Area CA). It only occurred on a hot afternoon with long grades. The next day, I went over Donner Pass (before noon) and there was no serious increase in the operating temperature. Before I got the coach into a radiator shop, we made a couple short outings and the water temperature was 'up' but not into the danger-range on a few grades. I was very surprised to discover that all the area not swept by the fan was completly clogged -- and obviously not able to contribute to the cooling. Yet under most conditions, the cooling was adequate -- only when most stressed did the engine reach the danger zone, triggering the warning light, etc. (and requiring immediate measures to cool the engine down). These symptoms (a seemingly isolated overheating incident) might have led me to be less vigorious in seeking the source of the problem.

I note that before the radiator fix, the engine temperatures regularly varied between 180 and 200 -- "normal range" according to the book for my DD Series 60. (Redline at 210.) This gives a false sense of security. Now that I've had the radiator replaced with a new core, the operating temperature is almost always "stuck" at 180 -- and only climbs to 190 on very long, steep grades (such as crossing over the 10,000+ ft pass on I-70 in Colorado).

I can't imagine that the previous owner (known to be fairly meticulous) would have allowed to the condition to progress, had he been aware of it -- and the problem may well have preceeded his ownership of the coach -- gradually getting worse over time.

So, I share my lesson to those with PT/SP model coaches who may not have taken steps to solve the problem because they may not be aware that a problem even exists.

I was "alert" to the possibility due to warnings on the Wanderlodge lists, so I was able to surmise the likely source of the overheating (or simply higher than desirable operating temperature). So, I share my experience so others will (hopefully) also be able to avoid damage to their engine.

Mike Huggler 02-27-2015 10:40 PM

Best cleaning Solution for the Radiator Fins
 
What is the best degeaser to use on the radiator fins? Will be doing that task next now that I have the bumper drop and Radiator Swing Manuver under control

KingBiscuit 02-27-2015 10:52 PM

I was told to use air conditioner coil cleaning spray. I get 3 or 4 cans, spray both sides liberally. Rinse well, low pressure water. Seems to work well for me.

I get the cleaner at Home Depot or Lowes.

peteaeonix 02-28-2015 02:57 PM

I used Simple Green. It's mild, doesn't (appear to) hurt the aluminum, and isn't particularly expensive.

Air conditioner coil cleaning spray (KingBiscuit's suggestion) also sounds like a good choice as it would be safe for the aluminum often used in radiators.

Caution about water pressure is important. High pressure water (from a pressure washer) can damage the fins, especially if the wand is held too close.

I had a commercial bus service company use a "steam" cleaner on the radiator (highly effective!) and I note that they kept the wand back some distance (I was too far away to know exactly how far, but clearly they weren't very close). Their mix was more steam than high pressure water.

KingBiscuit 02-28-2015 03:42 PM

When I said "low pressure" water, I mean a garden hose without a spray nozzle.


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