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Protection For Radiators

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Several people have told me that they have tied in a mesh behind the front grill to protect the radiator from stones, bugs, etc. Has anyone had any heat problems from doing this. I saw several RVs with a mesh lining inside the grill and they told me that it was a smart investment. Anyone else try this?

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Assume you have a front radiator (not DP).

If you do this, be sure to use an open mesh screen such as hardware cloth. A regular fine-mesh screen like a window screen can severely block air flow to your radiator.

To prove how much air a screen can block, try having someone hold a window screen out the window while you drive 60 MPH.

Years ago, when Chevrolet was doing Maintenance Presentations at FMCA Conventions, they spent half an hour talking about air flow to the radiator and why not to block it with any fine-mesh screen.

Brett

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Brett,

On a closely related topic of the "vacuum cleaner effect" of rear radiator coaches, I'm concerned about the possibility of plastic bags, empty water bottles, pieces of cardboard boxes, etc. flying around on the pavement being sucked into the rear radiator fan and possibly damaging the fan blades and/or lodging in the CAC fins.

To your knowledge has this happened?

I'm concerned about the lightweight plastics and paper bags blowing around on the roadways that can get into the fan/CAC area and do damage long before you can get pulled over and shut down. I haven't spent a lot of time looking at the logistics of doing this, but I was considering mounting a fairly large grid (1/2") lightweight fencing material in front of the lower half of the fan intake (if possible) to isolate the larger debris from the fan until getting pulled over and crawl under the coach.

Do you know if anyone has tried this? Do you see any problems with it?

Thanks,

Chuck

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Chuck,

Could a light-weight object such as a plastic bag be sucked up by a fan-- be it front radiator, side or rear-- SURE. Is this a big issue-- not really.

On rear radiator configurations, to a much larger degree dirt is stirred up and sucked into the cooling package.

Not sure I would invest in screening unless I planned to drive on a lot of dirt/gravel roads. Rocks flying up can do damage.

BUT, I would shine a flashlight into the fan shroud/between fan blades IF a sudden overheating condition developed OR twice a year.

Brett

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We live on 4 miles of gravel/dirt road. Our rear radiator gets dirty, getting under the bed sitting on the motor and cleaning , is a real chore.

We had an overheating problem and stopped in at a truck stop mechanic on I I/ 10 in West Texas and they washed it out. We had straight mud.

After that we clean it continually with no problem but sure wish we could figure out a way to keep this dust out of our radiator.

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I've noticed that my fan on my dp has nicks from rocks and other debris. I don't know of a practical way of preventing it. Maybe you could fashion some kind of spray system where you could just have to hook up a garden hose to flush the dirt and mud off. Similar to a salt water flush out of an outboard motor.

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We have a side radiator and what a poor design because the suction on an 8.9 liter Cummins fan is so great that my radiator had to be replaced at four years because the small rocks and volcanic ash/dirt. Doing all the work myself along with my maintenance man we removed and tried to clean it but, impossible. $850.00 for a new radiator and we finally came up with solution after looking at the debris pattern in the old radiator.

First, the shields from the factory that would keep debris from getting between the radiator system of cooling units was just a failure so we devised a way to modify those shields and seal them with high grade a/c sticky exterior tape so as to direct all the air to come directly into the radiator from the side and not the bottom. Then we got a HD radiator screen from a local truck supply and slightly modified it so as not to restrict air flow by staying away from the debris pattern by cutting 3"half circles in the screen, but not removing any screen.

This has helped a lot and no heating problems. Good luck to all with side radiators. What a job that was, glad it's over. By-the-way, all of you with basement 2 ton a/c units the same applies because mine is on the right side of the coach so we decided (because we hadn't suffered enough with the radiator) to remove it and what a surprise. Dirt inside!!! Those a/c units appear to be very cheaply made because the axle on the blower fan had oil caps for lubing the axle shaft just like an evaporative cooler would have that you use on your home or shop, but no way to lube them unless you remove it like we did. My unit was so worn and dirty and had one compressor out that I replaced it for $2600.00 dollars and not an easy job either. The new unit came with the same oil caps, Really? Wonder why I keep saying "WE" is because if my maintenance man hadn't help me I'm not sure I would have had the courage to do it.

Saved a lot of money and a better idea what it takes to really maintain a DP. Not for sissy's.

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