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rossboyer

External Radiator Cleaning

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I have had an overheating problem for as long as I have owned my 2006 Fleetwood Expedition. I have consulted with Caterpillar, Fleetwood and Freightliner. 

The process I have used is to work from the inside. There isn’t very much room between the engine and fan, but I have a two gallon pump sprayer with a long wand that gets between safely. In 2 gal of warm water I add one cup Dawn and one cup Simple Green Extreme. Besure to use the Extreme because it will not cause problems with aluminum radiators. 

1. I spray the radiator from the inside(have to remove floor of closet).

2. I use my garden hose with a small nozzle and spray the radiator  

3. Start engine and spray with the cleaning solution. Spray with garden hose again  

4. Repeat #3 until I have used all two gal of cleaner. Foam coming out the rear will be white. Usually takes me about an hour.

5. Spray with garden hose until all foam is gone.

The above are the steps I have used for 14 years on my coachs once or twice a year. At the FMCA Gillette Convention, I consulted with Freightliner again. There rep said that was very good, but he wanted me to do two more things.

1. Before starting to clean use a 1 1/2 inch hole saw and put hole in bottom of fan shroud being careful to not hit radiator. He stated that the dirt collects there and when dry will clog radiator again  

2. Clean as I have done in the past.

3. From the outside use a pressure washer using the fan nozzle about a foot or more from the radiator. Caution don’t use so much pressure that you bend radiator fins. Start in upper left corner and move to center. Go to upper right corner moving to center. Continue down the radiator until water that drips out the bottom is clear  i have had to make many passes, but I have found that there is a great amount of black dirt does come out using the pressure washer.

4. After dry cover hole that was cut in fan shroud with extreme tape to prevent turbulence.

I won’t be able to drive far enough away for a few weeks to test to see if this is the solution, but a lit more dirt has come out.

 

 

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Ross, I have placed a 1-1/2 in. hole in the left bottom corner.  Starting with a pilot hole in the proper location, makes the job easier

Started with a pilot hole  a little smaller then the a hole saw center drill. The very corner is tapered or curved !  To place the hole as close to the corner as possible.

Then use a engine spray cleaning wand that draws the extreme mixture out of a bottle and held in place so I do not spill the bottle - keep the tube in the bottle with a hole just big enough to keep the end at the bottom of the bottle. Air Pressure  set at 100 psi  and the wand fits easily into the opening, allowing we to thoroughly clean the left side, corner and bottom of the CAC and Radiator.  The Right side is much easier because of the fan blade pitch from inside .

Rich. 

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That is the location i put the hole. Could not get it in the center due to hose, support bar and slobber tube which does extend past the radiator. I have used the pressure washer about an hour in three sessions. Still collecting black dirt in a bucket. Will do it a couple more times tomorrow. 

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When I had my coach serviced this past spring Freightliner of Kalamazoo cleaned my radiator and CAC with steam cleaner. They said that this is how they clean all MH radiators they service. So far seems to have done the job, no over heating.

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12 hours ago, rfsod48 said:

When I had my coach serviced this past spring Freightliner of Kalamazoo cleaned my radiator and CAC with steam cleaner. They said that this is how they clean all MH radiators they service. So far seems to have done the job, no over heating.

Did they clean it (the CAC) from the FRONT?  That is where the vast majority of the dirt will be, as the CAC serves as the "filter"/first thing in the air flow.

It is not possible to clean well from the back-- enough force from the back to go through the thick radiator, air gap and CAC and still have enough force to knock dirt off the front of the CAC would likely bend the fins on the radiator.

Yes, cleaning from the back is better than nothing, but is not close to what you achieve by cleaning the front.

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When I did it, I cleaned from inside then from outside. I was surprised how much black dirt came out when I power washed from the rear. Altogether, I went over the radiator from the rear in 4 different sessions. Hopefully, it is cleaner than I have ever done. When I road test I will post again the results. 

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Brett, I don’t know how they did the job. All I know is that the coach runs cooler now. I do not have it at home to see if they put a hole in the fan shroud.

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I last cleaned my CAC from the closet to the back 18 months ago (I know Brett, I'm due again) and Cummings steam cleaned the back to front.  Been running cool.  198 to 203, even in Texas at 64 on CC! :wub:

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On 7/28/2018 at 3:27 PM, rossboyer said:

I have had an overheating problem for as long as I have owned my 2006 Fleetwood Expedition. I have consulted with Caterpillar, Fleetwood and Freightliner. 

The process I have used is to work from the inside. There isn’t very much room between the engine and fan, but I have a two gallon pump sprayer with a long wand that gets between safely. In 2 gal of warm water I add one cup Dawn and one cup Simple Green Extreme. Besure to use the Extreme because it will not cause problems with aluminum radiators. 

1. I spray the radiator from the inside(have to remove floor of closet).

2. I use my garden hose with a small nozzle and spray the radiator  

3. Start engine and spray with the cleaning solution. Spray with garden hose again  

4. Repeat #3 until I have used all two gal of cleaner. Foam coming out the rear will be white. Usually takes me about an hour.

5. Spray with garden hose until all foam is gone.

The above are the steps I have used for 14 years on my coachs once or twice a year. At the FMCA Gillette Convention, I consulted with Freightliner again. There rep said that was very good, but he wanted me to do two more things.

1. Before starting to clean use a 1 1/2 inch hole saw and put hole in bottom of fan shroud being careful to not hit radiator. He stated that the dirt collects there and when dry will clog radiator again  

2. Clean as I have done in the past.

3. From the outside use a pressure washer using the fan nozzle about a foot or more from the radiator. Caution don’t use so much pressure that you bend radiator fins. Start in upper left corner and move to center. Go to upper right corner moving to center. Continue down the radiator until water that drips out the bottom is clear  i have had to make many passes, but I have found that there is a great amount of black dirt does come out using the pressure washer.

4. After dry cover hole that was cut in fan shroud with extreme tape to prevent turbulence.

I won’t be able to drive far enough away for a few weeks to test to see if this is the solution, but a lit more dirt has come out.

 

 

Now the rest of the story:

I just finished driving 70 miles with outside temp 85 degrees of which 50 miles was on interstate at the speed of 70 mph. My Freightliner dash gauge does not show temp in degrees, but the range is divided into 4 equal divisions with the "N" of "NORMAL" about midway in the second division. The temp never got to the "O" in "NORMAL". Therefore, I think the problem is fixed. As Freightliner suggested, I have not put tape over the hole I put in the bottom of the fan shroud, because I though when I get back home on Monday, I will pressure clean again.  In the future, I plan to clean from the inside twice a year. I have always done at least once before going to Arizona and then some times when I get back. Also, think I will pressure wash from the outside about every other trip.  Maybe it will not take 3 hours of washing if done frequently. In about 10 days, I will be doing a 150 mile trip that should test the results again. I am getting my Atwood Level Leg jacks replaced with HWH fully automatic jacks. The 5th power control board has failed and is no longer available. Stewart's Service on CR 6 W in Elkhart will be installing.  They have done jacks for me before on two other coaches and do quality work.

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When I clean ours, I place a breaker bar using the appropriate socket on the tensioner pulley and use a set of locking pliers to secure the bar in place when tension is released. Then you can easily move the fan around. Thought of that myself!😊

 

 

 

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20 hours ago, rossboyer said:

Now the rest of the story:

I just finished driving 70 miles with outside temp 85 degrees of which 50 miles was on interstate at the speed of 70 mph. My Freightliner dash gauge does not show temp in degrees, but the range is divided into 4 equal divisions with the "N" of "NORMAL" about midway in the second division. The temp never got to the "O" in "NORMAL". Therefore, I think the problem is fixed. As Freightliner suggested, I have not put tape over the hole I put in the bottom of the fan shroud, because I though when I get back home on Monday, I will pressure clean again.  In the future, I plan to clean from the inside twice a year. I have always done at least once before going to Arizona and then some times when I get back. Also, think I will pressure wash from the outside about every other trip.  Maybe it will not take 3 hours of washing if done frequently. In about 10 days, I will be doing a 150 mile trip that should test the results again. I am getting my Atwood Level Leg jacks replaced with HWH fully automatic jacks. The 5th power control board has failed and is no longer available. Stewart's Service on CR 6 W in Elkhart will be installing.  They have done jacks for me before on two other coaches and do quality work.

If you want to know the exact temp install a Scan Gauge, it will give yo the temp in degrees.

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