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Author Topic: Cracked radiator  (Read 2417 times)

Greg Kamper

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Cracked radiator
« on: November 21, 2018, 02:41:49 AM »
I was getting ready for a trip and noticed a puddle underneath the radiator. I took a closer look and found a crack in the weld of the radiator tank support bracket. Has anyone experienced this?
Greg & Angel and kids...
2000 Beaver Patriot Thunder Monticello

Keith Moffett

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Re: Cracked radiator
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2018, 11:17:31 AM »
I recall a member on this forum who thought t hey could drive a few minutes to the shop after a similar leak.  Dont!
There are many posts here about Radiators and sources for new.
Hope your day improves!
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2006 Explorer Ltd.
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Gerald Farris

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Re: Cracked radiator
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2018, 02:19:31 PM »
Greg,
Your SMC era 2000 Thunder will have a brass radiator that is readly repairable by and well equipped radiator repair shop, unlike the through away alumimum radiators that were used by Monaco. So if the area of the crack is accessable, you should be able to fill the surge tank, loosen the radiator cap, and make a short drive to the radiator shop when it fits into their schedule.

Gerald
2002 Solitaire (2017 -  )
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Jerry Emert

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Re: Cracked radiator
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2018, 04:05:55 PM »
Gerald, my 03 PT seems like it is half SMC and half Monaco.  It has an 02 Magnum chassis.  For future reference do you know if it also has the brass radiator or could it be either?  Thanks
Jerry
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Gerald Farris

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Re: Cracked radiator
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2018, 05:32:09 PM »
Jerry,
I think that your coach should have a brass radiator, but I am not sure. Monaco purchased SMC (Beaver and Safari) in 2001 during the 2002 model production run, but the change over to Monaco design was not immediate. My 2002 Solitaire has a Monaco Coach Corp, production plate since it was completed a month after the purchase, but everything in it is a SMC design. Monaco started some changes in the end of the 2002 model run with things like roof air instead of basement air and slide topper awnings on the Marquis as options, but most changes started phasing in with the 2003 models like the Cummings engines in the Monterey and flat top slides with topper awnings in all models.

Gerald 
2002 Solitaire (2017 -  )
2000 Marquis, C12 (2004 - 2017)
1993 Patriot  (2000-2004)
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David T. Richelderfer

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Re: Cracked radiator
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2018, 09:24:35 PM »
Greg - If you have not already found and read this thread, then it may be of some value.

http://beaveramb.org/forum/index.php/topic,6821.msg49436.html#msg49436
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Mike Shumack

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Re: Cracked radiator
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2018, 12:20:28 AM »
I read the posts in the link above, and several threads on the irv2 forum on the subject of "which is better copper/brass or aluminum". It seems to me that aluminum wins out in most every case.

There are also several articles easy to get to on the internet, such as https://www.cgj.com/2013/07/16/aluminum-vs-copper-brass-radiator-final-thoughts/
and
https://www.northernfactory.com/knowledge/compare

It looks to me like the aluminum radiators have more advantages (stronger and lighter weight, and cool better) and it what the OEM uses in modern cars, trucks, Rvs. If I'm missing some compelling reason to go with copper/brass, please enlighten me.

Thanks.
- Mike

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

George Harwell

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Re: Cracked radiator
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2018, 01:20:05 PM »
Mike, hopefully I can shed some more light on the subject. I have an 03 Monterey built in November 02 with the 350 Cummins and it had the aluminum rear radiator. After approximately 6 years it developed a leak at the top left corner. I removed it, took it to a radiator shop that kept it for 2 weeks. This highly recommended shop charged me $350 to squirt some glue in the area. When I got home I discovered he had repaired the top right corner. He assured me it was pressure tested o k. I was skeptical but installed it anyway. As expected it Was still leaking but from both sides. Took it back and they over pressurized it destroying it. Another shop confirmed the damage so I had them order a new radiator. It lasted around 6 years and started leaking at the top left corner. That’s when I discovered the flaw with aluminum radiators. The tubes are glued to the end tanks. Much easier to glue than solder/weld. I now have a copper/brass unit that was around $3000 with delivery. A radiator shop in Alabama claims to sell radiators with soldered tubes but I elected to go with the copper/brass because they are more durable in the long haul. My neighbor and I are retired radiator experts. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
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Doug Allman

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Re: Cracked radiator
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2018, 02:32:49 PM »
We also joined George and his neighbor as experts as we had to change out the aluminum radiator in our 1991 Contessa. On ours you could reach in and just barely touch the fins and they would fall off. Thankfully when my son had it out to the Bike Fest in South Dakota the CAT dealer did not have a slot to change it out so they limped it back home at night when it was cooler out.
We found a radiator shop that made the copper/brass radiators and we also changed out the after cooler as well as enlarged the oil cooler as long as we had them all out. On our unit it was a side radiator and while it is not impossible without a lift it is a lot of work and we did not want any part of doing it again.
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Fred Cook

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Re: Cracked radiator
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2018, 05:17:10 PM »
Just curious about what type my radiator is. It’s a 2002 PT on a magnum chassis. So I assume it is brass... not aluminum. Correct?  Also the link above indicates Aluminum radiator is much better than brass.  But others indicate that it is better to have a brass core. So, I’m still scratching my head.
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David T. Richelderfer

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Re: Cracked radiator
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2018, 06:03:49 PM »
From my contact with several firms dealing in selling and repairing radiators, my recollection is the majority suggested brass/copper is better because they will last longer in more adverse conditions.  On the downside, they weigh 60% more.  In my case, the removed aluminum radiator weighed about 150 pounds, whereas the new brass/copper radiator weighed about 250 pounds.  Also, I believe the brass/copper radiators can be repaired. 

I have seen no difference in the engine temperatures between the old aluminum radiator and the new brass/copper radiator.  Rarely does the Aladdin report an engine temperature over 200F or below 188F after 15 minutes on the road whether going up or coasting down a steep hill, respectively.

The cost differential between the aluminum versus the brass/copper radiators seemed to be only a few hundred dollars.
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Larry Fisk

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Re: Cracked radiator
« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2018, 04:51:30 PM »
Since we are talking radiators I would like to share my experience. We replaced our aluminum radiator in Kamloops, Canada a few years ago with a brass copper one. Last January while having the Thunder serviced a technician noticed what appeared to be a small leak. After removing the transmission cooler it was confirmed that our 5 year old radiator was leaking at the soldered tie ins to the tank. When pressure tested at the radiator shop it confirmed so many bad places that it was recommended that we re-core the radiator. When I inquired as to what would cause this to happen in a 5 year old radiator the answer was it was happening from the inside out and the coolant should have been checked annually and changed, as needed. This was CAT, extended life coolant. The problem was I did not buy the premixed jugs and they said that the tap water introduced minerals into the coolant that created the problem. So, after going through the expense of this repair again after only 5 years I highly recommend you check the coolant as part of your scheduled maintenance. This second repair was almost as painful as the first. The final outcome for everything, including removing and reinstalling the radiator was almost 10,000 dollars. Yes, I did have them use the premixed solution this time.
Best regards,
Larry Fisk
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Steve Huber Co-Admin

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Re: Cracked radiator
« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2018, 09:07:10 PM »
Larry,
Always used distilled water to mix w/straight anti freeze. I've had service shops drain new antifreeze from my auto if they used tap water as it will mess up the cooling system in time.
Steve
« Last Edit: November 25, 2018, 03:42:50 PM by Steve Huber Co-Admin »
Steve
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Jerry Emert

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Re: Cracked radiator
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2018, 02:17:39 PM »
A little off subject but...after Larry's warning above, is there a there a petcock on the bottom of the radiator to drain coolant from?  I can't seem to find one and I'm trying to get a sample for testing.  Thanks
Jerry
Jerry, Chief USN Retired
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Steve Huber Co-Admin

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Re: Cracked radiator
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2018, 03:46:17 PM »
Jerry,
There should be one. If I remember correctly, it was toward the front of the coach on my 2000.
Steve
Steve
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