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Old 05-25-2013, 08:36 PM   #1
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C7 Cat fan bearing replacement

I just had the fan hub bearing replaced on my 2004 36' Meridian before it left me stranded someplace (currently 61,000 miles) and am still reeling from the labor charge. I had seen a Post with 4.5 hours labor (also a diesel mechanic I talked to about a year ago said it would probably take about 6 hours)and another Post with $975 charge for the replacement so imagine my shock when they said it took 20 hours labor to replace the bearing (that's 2 1/2 days work just on the fan hub). Claimed they had to remove the surge tank and move some wiring from the top end, then remove the large dirt skirt and all the towing mechanism from underneath. Just seems a little excessive. Can there be that much difference in the way the C7 engine is mounted in different coaches, or just whether or not the mechanic knows what he's doing and how to go about it.
When I asked if they had contacted my extended warranty before the work was started just in case any of the fan bearing, idler pulley, or tension pulley was bad, they claimed they didn't know what to tell the warranty company as to the reason they were working on it. Now I'm even out of luck there. The old bearing didn't feel very smooth but the mechanic said the old ones were usually trash by the time he got it pressed out of the hub.
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Old 05-25-2013, 10:05 PM   #2
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Wagonmaster2,
Wow! 20 hours huh? Well, I don't know what to say about that. I've done a complete radiator removal and replacement and, I know what's involved to get at that fan hub bearing at least that way. Now, that gives you a dead clear shot at that hub/bearing etc. I can't imagine doing the job of removing it, without R & R the radiator and CAC. But, technicians, at least the "good ones" are trained to do a job in the least amount of time possible. And, while a layman like myself, who, is not working piece work or, for a living, would again remove the radiator and CAC, to get at that fan bearing, a good tech would work a harder route to that bearing but, most likely a shorter time frame.

Now, you ask if there's differences in the way the C-7 is mounted and peripheral equipment/wiring/components proximity to getting your job done, well, yes and no. The C-7 is, well, a C-7. They're all the same. But, just how a coach builder sets up a bedroom which, is over the top of the engine, the rear of the coach, (visible radiator from the rear), underside and related things like exhaust tubing, heat exchangers for trans cooling and much, much more, can be different.

So, just how much work is needed to get to that fan bearing, may be quite a bit different from coach to coach. I kick my self in the a$$ for not replacing mine when I had that system torn down to the point where that fan hub was staring me in the face. But, the problem I had with it was, it's held on to the hub with (4) tiny, flat head, "Allen drive" 1/4 - 20 screws. And, as usual, they were frozen and my little Allen wrench was bending and or, screwing up the heads of those flat heads.

So, I made a command decision, LEAVE IT ALONE, it's working fine! But, what I should have done was, get some sort of "impact" gun with a socket head ALLEN and did what I have to do to get that hub/pulley apart so I could have replaced that hub bearing. What an air head. Well, if I have to, I'll pull that radiator again, especially since I now know all the "ins and outs" of all the bolts, screws, hoses, connections, clamps, and few zillion other connectors that's needed to be removed to get those two monsters out of there.

I did replace the two "back to back" bearings in the serpentine belt tensioner, and, the two back to back bearings in the idler pulley. But, I didn't replace the bearings in the v-belt (water pump) tensioner due to the fact that I could not get that one apart either. Oh well, next time.
Scott

P.S. Oh, incidentally, we're at 50,000 miles right now, so, we're only 10K miles behind you.
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Old 05-25-2013, 10:08 PM   #3
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Wagonmaster

For you future reference I would suggest you read the posts on this forum started on April 6, 2013 titled "2005 C7 Fan Bearing Change".

I recently changed my fan bearing, idler pulley and belt tensioner. I cut a hole in the shroud above the fan end which provided easy access to the fan hub bolts.

I would also suggest you try contacting your extended warranty company to see if anything can be done to recoup $.

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Old 05-26-2013, 08:07 PM   #4
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Gary, I plan on contacting my extended warranty company but I figure I'll just get the ole horse laugh since it says all over their policy that ''authorization must be received before work is begun". I informed the mechanic of this when I first made the appointment and again to the shop foreman when I turned in the keys and signed the work order.

The shop is just a few miles from where the tornado hit the city of Moore 3 days after I turned in the coach and several of the shop crew had homes destroyed or damaged and the main RV mechanic left for school in Gaffney, S.C. that same week-end leaving still a 3rd different mechanic to finish the work. I had never spoken to him before. Anyway, the shop foreman claims with all things happening they just didn't get the warranty company called. Not sure just what kind of responsibility to the customer the shop has, if any, to make sure the warranty company is called.

I used to have Good Sam Extended Warranty (but changed when I found out they didn't cover contingency damage) and they paid me 2 different times for a parts replacement I did myself, but neither one was much over $400 and this one will be over $2,500 even with the 10% discount we get for belonging to FCOC. I still plan to give them a call, maybe even the company who sold me the program first whether that will help or not, but will be prepared to hear "but it says authorization _______________".
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Old 05-26-2013, 08:25 PM   #5
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Good luck.

Gary
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Old 05-26-2013, 08:58 PM   #6
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Wagonmaster2,
I'm a little confused here. In your first sentence of your original post, you say you're having the fan bearing replaced "before" it leaves you stranded in the middle of nowhere. Now, your thought is a good thought, no doubt about that but, am I to understand that you are having it replaced, BEFORE it's actually bad? Were there any signs and symptoms of imminent failure? Any noises of any type? Or, am I not picking something up here?

You see, to me, if you made the choice to have that bearing replaced, and a good one at that, but, it was not or, had not failed, then, how can you ask for an extended warranty coverage on something you made the choice on having changed? I mean, correct me if I'm way off base here but, isn't extended or, any warranty there to cover things that have failed or, are failing?

Again, I'm just trying to understand and learn here.
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Old 05-26-2013, 09:14 PM   #7
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I may have been a little hypercondriact enough about it going bad from all the break-down posts I'd read that I thought I could on occasion hear very slight sounds I hadn't heard before. But you know with these diesels they make so much noise anyway who can really tell. But I wanted it replaced whether it was bad or not. The mechanic told me it wasn't shot but it wouldn't have lasted much longer as dry as it was. Don't know how bad a part has to be before the warranty company will declare it gone. The mechanic said he replaces a lot of them on the semi trucks. So maybe it wasn't bad enough that the warranty company would have paid any thing anyway but I'd like for them to examine it just the same. It would be a lot cheaper for them now than to wait for the fan to go through the shroud, CAC, the radiator, and the belt but they probably don't look at it that way.
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Old 05-27-2013, 08:58 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wagonmaster2 View Post
I may have been a little hypercondriact enough about it going bad from all the break-down posts I'd read that I thought I could on occasion hear very slight sounds I hadn't heard before. But you know with these diesels they make so much noise anyway who can really tell. But I wanted it replaced whether it was bad or not. The mechanic told me it wasn't shot but it wouldn't have lasted much longer as dry as it was. Don't know how bad a part has to be before the warranty company will declare it gone. The mechanic said he replaces a lot of them on the semi trucks. So maybe it wasn't bad enough that the warranty company would have paid any thing anyway but I'd like for them to examine it just the same. It would be a lot cheaper for them now than to wait for the fan to go through the shroud, CAC, the radiator, and the belt but they probably don't look at it that way.
Well Sir,
I certainly agree with your thought process. Nothing like preventative maintenance. I've been doing that sort of stuff for decades. It will be interesting to read what, if anything, your extended warranty will have to say about it, much less contribute any sort of payment. We'd all like to hope that they would pay for it in your situation based, as you say, on what it "could" have done if it went south while out on the road. Good luck.
Scott
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Old 08-17-2013, 10:31 PM   #9
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As we all figured, the warranty company just quoted me song and verse from their contract "prior approval required", not withstanding the fact it wasn't my fault but the shop's. I have called the marketing company that sold me the Service Contract and they are trying but haven't heard anything back yet.

Now just trying to decide if i should post the problems with this shop on the RVRepairReview web site, but thinking I might just be cutting off my nose to spite my face. There are only two Freightliner Oasis shops within 150 miles of home, this one and another that doesn't take appointments. If I had a serious repair problem I wouldn't know where else to go, even after the shafting I got there. When this shop charges for 20 hours labor and Freightliner Hotline at Gaffney says it shouldn't take over one day something serious has to be wrong.

And the Cat shop is to be avoided after they charged me $450 for a valve adjustment that only took 2 hours (I was sitting in the coach watching the mechanic do the job so I knew exactly how long he was working on it). Sure glad someone stated that diesel maintenance wasn't all that much more than gas engine maintenance.
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Old 08-17-2013, 11:31 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by wagonmaster2 View Post
As we all figured, the warranty company just quoted me song and verse from their contract "prior approval required", not withstanding the fact it wasn't my fault but the shop's. I have called the marketing company that sold me the Service Contract and they are trying but haven't heard anything back yet.

Now just trying to decide if i should post the problems with this shop on the RVRepairReview web site, but thinking I might just be cutting off my nose to spite my face. There are only two Freightliner Oasis shops within 150 miles of home, this one and another that doesn't take appointments. If I had a serious repair problem I wouldn't know where else to go, even after the shafting I got there. When this shop charges for 20 hours labor and Freightliner Hotline at Gaffney says it shouldn't take over one day something serious has to be wrong.

And the Cat shop is to be avoided after they charged me $450 for a valve adjustment that only took 2 hours (I was sitting in the coach watching the mechanic do the job so I knew exactly how long he was working on it). Sure glad someone stated that diesel maintenance wasn't all that much more than gas engine maintenance.
Wagonmaster2,
Well Sir, as far as you being paid for your "preventative maintenance" on your fan bearing etc., as stated earlier, we'd all hope you would be reimbursed for your costs. But, doesn't look like it's going to happen, correct?
Now, as for your experience with your particular dealer/service center in your area, you're definitely not alone. I don't know if you read any of my post(s) on the issue I had with the "J1939" Data Link communication system for ALL THE GAUGES, the Cruise Control, and Exhaust Brake or not but, all it was, in the end, was a broken single wire in that Data Link.

But, talk about a bad service center for Freightliner, "On the Border" Freightliner in El Paso TX, ranks top of the line for the most incompetent service center for Freightliner and, I've never had the pleasure of having any other service center touch my coach beside them. So, see, you're not alone in that department. Good luck.
Scott
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Old 08-18-2013, 09:25 AM   #11
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20 hours? ???

A few months ago the water pump on my Cummins engine developed a leak. I took it to Cummins Atlantic in Kenly, NC. They had to remove the radiator, CAC, and shroud. They did the job in 3 hours. Cummins paid it for because it was still under warranty.
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Old 08-19-2013, 08:00 PM   #12
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A few months ago the water pump on my Cummins engine developed a leak. I took it to Cummins Atlantic in Kenly, NC. They had to remove the radiator, CAC, and shroud. They did the job in 3 hours. Cummins paid it for because it was still under warranty.
Golly, 3 hours to remove/replace the radiator/CAC is amazing. When the shop told me they spent 20 hours on the fan hub bearing I commented that in that length of time they might just as well pulled the radiator. The shop foreman said "Oh it'd be much longer to do that". The more I read the more I'm convinced that Freightliner shop in OKC is a total ripoff, or just don't know what they are doing.
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Old 08-22-2013, 06:22 PM   #13
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Working on motorhomes suck. But 20 hours to change fan hub bearings, That is nutz... I have been a heavy truck mechanic all my life and it makes me sick to see what tehy charge out on the road.. Well i hope you get some of your money back. Cutting a hole in the shroud is the way to go.. Makes the repair much easer. Well happy trails
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