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Author Topic: new member/long time lurker  (Read 249 times)

Rick Kirchner

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new member/long time lurker
« on: September 14, 2018, 03:25:42 AM »
I've used this forum without the ability to post/search ever since obtaining our 99 Monterey 30' in 2010.  Finally bit the bullet, the coach is getting old and I intend to do a lot of upgrade work over the next couple of years and the expertise I need is not commonly on IRV2 (or I should say, it's there if you are patient enough to wade through all its irrelevant and duplicative posts on your topic).

Just returned to the Cali desert from three years in Jacksonville NC and the east coast was not kind to the coach, quite a bit of water intrusion and some light damage I need to address, when I get around to those tasks I'll post questions separately. 

If anybody has an interest here are a few things I did to the coach, and I can provide details to anyone who wants to do something similar:

+ I figured out the high brake pedal effort and with simple adjustments that problem can be solved, I wrote a paper on it several years back that may have made it to this forum. 

+ In an effort to help with the handling issues of a short coach I mounted a 25 gal ag sprayer on top of the frame horns behind the front cap.  When filled it adds 200 lbs up front.  The output of the sprayer is plumbed back to a nozzle in the radiator shroud, which allows me to easily cool the motor on long grades.  Future work on that install will include developing an external fill and overflow for it so I don't have to get under the cap to fill it. 

+ Also addressing the light front end issue, I fabricated a large rectangular tube bumper with removable end caps to be filled with rebar - it's full of bricks now.

+ I added a relay board that controls a set of hella tractor lights embedded above the taillights to provide real backup lighting.  There are also two docking lights in front of the rear tires and two in front of the front tires.  The front lights are controlled by a Ford LTD corning lamp relay, so they come on when the turn signal on that side is activated and stay on for a couple seconds after cancellation.  A flip of a master switch turns all of the lights on around the coach for nighttime docking. 

+ I also replaced the stock headlights with Hella E-beams, 130W high/80W low, powered through a set of hella relays.

+ After two alternator failures and three sets of batteries I re-designed the power distribution - it now has a higher capacity delco 28SI alternator with a sense line, an isolator better matched to the system, an amp-l-start with chassis priority, and 4 qty 6V house batteries.  By the way, the canary in the coal mine for battery/12V health is the wipers.  When they can't cycle, it's because the timer circuit can't get enough voltage off the battery to trigger the next sweep. 

+ My last major modification was the construction of a "dirty bay" behind the RF tire.  This space is covered by a block-off plate and there's several cubic feet of space available.  I filled it with plywood-sheathed angle-iron box and used bonney springs to hold the cover shut.  My chocks, leveler blocks, toolkit, a rubbermaid container with oil, coolant, and funnels, the air line and accessories, and a coleman lanterns and fuel all fit inside.  I need to figure out how to keep the door from falling off on my head and rig a prop rod. 

Near term stuff that needs to get fixed (I'll post separately on most):

+  Second surge tank split on the trip back.  I'm designing n aluminum one that should be simpler and cheaper than the steel replacement for the ford tank that's available from Northern.  It should re-position the filler neck so that you can actually get coolant in (well, maybe with less of a rube goldberg concoction of full and hoses as is required now).

+ the factory guys really did a poor job of running the hydraulic lines for the jacks and slide.  As a result the hose was overstressed with a tight 90 degree bend and started leaking.  I put 90 degree adapters on the block, and tried to patch the hose with marine epoxy putty and self-vulcanizing tape, but that fix has given up.   I now have to either repair or replace the line.

+ It's new tire time, trying to find a decent price on Toyo M154s (or anything else for that matter).  Seems the most cost effective thing to do is move up to OTR sizes, but I would like to know other's experience in moving from a 265 to a 295.  Does it put too much load on the gearbox?

+ I need to find some replacement wallpaper for the bit between the passenger window and the joint immediately behind it - or tips on how to get the bubbles out of it caused by the moisture. 

+ I need to replace the waterbox floor, which finally warped and split.  I'm probably going to build it from a thick slab of plastic from McMaster-carr.

+ I need to figure out the tank monitor wiring - couldn't find a reference.  The wiring ripped out when the fresh water tank siphoned and sucked the tank down to a collapsed state, and there wasn't enough slack in the wires. 

+ fix the shower door droop

and

+ figure out how to stop the microwave rattles. 

In a future post I'll list the changes I netted to incorporate in the upcoming refurbishment.

Thanks to all for what I've learned over the years.

Rick Kirchner
99 Monterey 30'
CAT 3126E/300

Mike Shumack

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Re: new member/long time lurker
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2018, 01:47:16 PM »
Hi Rick.

Nice write up. Sounds like you're pretty handy. I guess you have to be when you own an older model coach.

On your tank monitoring - what system did Beaver use in '99 (Aladdin)? I have troubleshooting guides for the Aladdin stuff.
- Mike

'05 Beaver Patriot Thunder 42ft, Vicksburg, CAT C13  525HP, Allison 4000MH

Rick Kirchner

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Re: new member/long time lurker
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2018, 06:06:26 PM »
It's not designated as aladdin, but in the 96 Beaver wiring diagrams I now have access to there's a section on the monitors, complete with the color code, so I'm going to give that a shot. 
Rick Kirchner
99 Monterey 30'
CAT 3126E/300

Gerald Farris

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Re: new member/long time lurker
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2018, 09:01:56 PM »
Mike & Rick,
The Aladdin system was only installed in Monaco built coaches, so you SMC built 1999 Monterey will not have one. The 99 model year was the translon from the Mag ID units to Silverleaf, so your system was probably originally a Mag ID. However, since Silverleaf made a direct replacement for the problematic Mag ID units, many of the 98 and 99 coaches were retrofitted with Silverleaf replacements. 

Gerald
2002 Solitaire (2017 -  )
2000 Marquis, C12 (2004 - 2017)
1993 Patriot  (2000-2004)

Rick Kirchner

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Re: new member/long time lurker
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2018, 11:20:39 PM »
I have a silverleaf driving computer, but there's no ID I can think of on the monitor displays, but I'll have a look tonight.

Just read through my posts - god I hate autocorrect!  It even messes you up when you cut and paste!
Rick Kirchner
99 Monterey 30'
CAT 3126E/300

Steve Huber Co-Admin

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Re: new member/long time lurker
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2018, 11:35:29 PM »
Rick,
Some of the early Silverleaf units did not have the tanks sensor readouts. (Never could quite figure out why I'd want to monitor tank levels while driving..  :))
Steve
Steve
2015-          07 Contessa Bayshore C9,  400 hp
2013-2015: 00 Marquis Tourmaline, C12, 425 hp
2005-2013: 01 Contessa Naples, 3126B, 330 hp