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Engine Discussion of preventative/corrective maintenance and other technical issues regarding your coach's engine.

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  #1  
Old 02-07-2020
jshepherdjr jshepherdjr is offline
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Default They say the only dumb ? is the one you don't ask...

So in the last few months I've noticed several coaches for sale with early rebuilds due to engine overheating...usually because some hose broke (compressor is one I recall). I currently run a Ford gasser on my RV and almost constantly watch the temperature and oil pressure. I've seen the cockpits of these birds and they look like they have more gauges then jets. Are these failures due to operators ignoring indicators or indicators that should but don't exist?

I've been stalking awhile, but this one surely scares me.

Thanks for any and all knowledge passed.

James
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  #2  
Old 02-07-2020
Marc_in_CT Marc_in_CT is offline
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One possibility is, if all coolant is suddenly lost, it won't register on the temp gauge. And if the engine is in the rear, it decreases the likelihood of the driver seeing / hearing / smelling anything in time.

Edit: somebody once suggested adding a pressure sensor somewhere in the coolant loop. An alarm would sound in the event of sudden coolant loss. I think it's a smart upgrade.
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Last edited by Marc_in_CT; 02-07-2020 at 06:56 PM. Reason: Added more
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  #3  
Old 02-07-2020
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sfedeli sfedeli is offline
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James... what you are asking about is a concept called Normalized Deviance. It even affected NASA (See http://lmcontheline.blogspot.com/201...if-it-can.html ) I'd had some owners tell me "she always runs hot going up hill" or "I don't trust those gauges". Most of us will look for rubbing hoses, drips, air leaks and do preventative measures so that we don't end up along the road. A number of us have the "if it's not broke, fix it 'till it is" mentality... (and we are a little "touched" if you will). Sadly some, however, think they can plop down the cash, hit the road and never have to worry about a catastrophic failure. Those are the ones you are most often hearing about.

When BB constructed these marvelous machines, they used the best tech available at the time. Today, the engines are approaching 25 or 30 yrs old in many of our coaches (keep in mind that you can't even buy a toilet today that lasts more than 7 yrs). The prudent owner will proactively replace the water pump, thermostats, radiator, clamps and hoses as a matter of making sure that an overheat never occurs. Furthermore, test the oil to check for iron, copper and tin to ensure that your engine wear is within normal specs. The presence of coolant in your oil or high iron indicate that it may be time for new mains. The air bags, leveling & pilot valves also can leave you parked along the side of the road. These should all be checked regularly for cracks, leaks, oily residue and replaced proactively.
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  #4  
Old 02-07-2020
jshepherdjr jshepherdjr is offline
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I like that idea of the coolant pressure gauge. If I ever jump that will be the first add-on I make. Thank you!
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  #5  
Old 02-07-2020
jshepherdjr jshepherdjr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfedeli View Post
James... what you are asking about is a concept called Normalized Deviance. It even affected NASA (See http://lmcontheline.blogspot.com/201...if-it-can.html ) I'd had some owners tell me "she always runs hot going up hill" or "I don't trust those gauges". Most of us will look for rubbing hoses, drips, air leaks and do preventative measures so that we don't end up along the road. A number of us have the "if it's not broke, fix it 'till it is" mentality... (and we are a little "touched" if you will). Sadly some, however, think they can plop down the cash, hit the road and never have to worry about a catastrophic failure. Those are the ones you are most often hearing about.

When BB constructed these marvelous machines, they used the best tech available at the time. Today, the engines are approaching 25 or 30 yrs old in many of our coaches (keep in mind that you can't even buy a toilet today that lasts more than 7 yrs). The prudent owner will proactively replace the water pump, thermostats, radiator, clamps and hoses as a matter of making sure that an overheat never occurs. Furthermore, test the oil to check for iron, copper and tin to ensure that your engine wear is within normal specs. The presence of coolant in your oil or high iron indicate that it may be time for new mains. The air bags, leveling & pilot valves also can leave you parked along the side of the road. These should all be checked regularly for cracks, leaks, oily residue and replaced proactively.
I had alot of experience with normalized deviance in my final career. I was a consultant with a large software house that sold Event Mgt solutions (I called it computer system baby sitting software)...software gauges that watched CPU, MEM, Storage...(thousands of metrics) for high threshold breaches. We found that after we turned on our solution many customers experienced a christmas light effect and eventually just ignored everything...which led to correlation software sales...and now they push AI. I've always been on the side of caution...an Alarm/threshold breach is something that should have me take immediate action so as NOT to lead to catastrophic failure. Preventative mainenance is a given. Thanks!
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  #6  
Old 02-07-2020
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Darryl Darryl is offline
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James, our FC’s have a sensor in the coolant reservoir: If no coolant the engine shuts down or won’t start. I’m surprised the other WL’s don’t have something similar.

Darryl
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  #7  
Old 02-07-2020
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Most all of them do... when is the last time you checked yours? They will often fail after a number of years. The coaches also came with an overtemp alarm- but it was 220° from the factory- far too high for a 2-stroke engine. Once you learn the normal operating range for your engine (mine is 185-195°), lower the alarm to a 200° model. Then you will know there's something wrong while there is still time to lay off the throttle and pull over or slow down your rate of climb.
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  #8  
Old 02-07-2020
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Our PT/WB's do also. At least the ones with computers. I have had an engine shut down twice, not due to low coolant(as I and the computer thought), but due to sensor malfunction.
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  #9  
Old 02-07-2020
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Steelwheels Steelwheels is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darryl View Post
James, our FC’s have a sensor in the coolant reservoir: If no coolant the engine shuts down or won’t start. I’m surprised the other WL’s don’t have something similar.

Darryl
Yeah that’s the Kysor alarmstat, I don’t think it shuts the engine down or doesn’t allow it to start but it’s starts buzzing the alarm. The sensor for the coolant is in the tank up top.
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  #10  
Old 02-08-2020
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kg4rrx kg4rrx is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steelwheels View Post
Yeah that’s the Kysor alarmstat, I don’t think it shuts the engine down or doesn’t allow it to start but it’s starts buzzing the alarm. The sensor for the coolant is in the tank up top.

I believe it is simply a "presence" sensor that will trigger engine alarm light. The Cat will let you destroy itself. Good gauge scan is a must and cannot be replaced. I spend as much time watching needles as I do the road.
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