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Old 02-07-2013, 05:26 AM   #1
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Knoxville TN Service recommendation for coolant surge tank replacement

Hi We have a 2003 Journey Dl 36 that needs the coolant surge tank replaced. I already have the new one but really dont a place to try and tackle it myself. Ive called around to a few places and the answer ranges from 8 hours to take the bed and frame out (yeah right) to a couple of hours MAYBE. Im leaning towards Freightliner of Knoxville because of their professionalism and clean shop but even they kinda scratched their heads and werent 100% sure how long it would take to replace it. Chillhowee RV was the dealer that said it would probably take 2 hours but maybe longer. J

I have found the excellent post on this forum on how to do it with the sawzall to get the old one out and to use the speed nuts when replacing it but like I said all I have is an RV lot and Id rather not try and do it there.

Just wanted to see if anyone else in this area has had this done and what their experience was.

Thanks!!
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Old 02-07-2013, 05:48 AM   #2
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might look here to see if anyone is close:

RV Service Reviews


good luck
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Old 02-07-2013, 07:29 AM   #3
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I have the same floorplan and do know that all the work can be done from the outside. I had mine replaced at the FCCC service center in Gaffney, SC a couple of years ago and the tech said he did it all from the back of the coach.
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Old 02-07-2013, 09:36 AM   #4
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Yes I keep trying to tell them how other people have done it from the back and even gave them printed instructions but there still seems to be a lot of head scratching at the repair facilities. I keep hoping to find a place that says “Yes we’ve done that.” Seems like this is a fairly common issue and I thought the local Winnebago dealer would know a little more about it than they do. A trip to Gaffney combined with Camp Freightliner sounds good to me.
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Old 02-07-2013, 09:44 AM   #5
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Kelm130,
I'm not sure if it was my post that you read or not about the "sawzall and speed nuts" thing 'cause that's what I had to do to get mine out. I was new at that surge tank replacement and we have an '04 Itasca Horizon 36GD with the 330 CAT. There are some hard to get at bolts on the side, between the tank/radiator and side wall of the engine compartment. For some delusional reason, Freightliner decided NOT to, 1, weld the nuts on the back side of the bracket for those hard to get at bolts or, 2, like I did, install "speed nuts" so they won't fall, stay in place for situations like that, that are IMPOSSIBLE to do a "nut and bolt" situation.

A friend has a Journey of the '01 era and he's looked at mine and says his is even tighter than mine to get at those bolts. Well, since that escapade, I've done some serious work back there. Namely the replacement of the radiator, some belts, idler and tensioner bearings, hose clamps and other stuff. One of the problems I ran into when first doing my surge tank was, not being able to get all the coolant out. You see, you can get about 80-90% of the coolant out but, there's still quite a bit that must be drained using the rear hose. But, I could not find any drain that would simply drain that hose and surge tank.

So, I cut a hole in the top of the tank, siphoned out about 98% of what was left and then simply put a towel down under the nipple as I removed that large rear hose.

But, much of this was done from the inside of the coach 'cause I didn't remove the rear panel that seals off the top of the radiator to the top of the engine compartment, what a moron. If I'd have removed that panel, I think, THINK, that is, that all the work can be done from the outside which, is why the Freightliner service folks say two hours, plus or minus.

You can do it but, it's going to take more time than you'd probably want to spend so, if a Freightliner service center says two hours, plus or minus, and I was in your situation, I'd go for it. Speaking from experience.
Scott
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:45 AM   #6
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FIRE UP - Thanks for the info! I will keep that rear panel on top of the radiator in mind. Not sure where I saw the tip about the sawzall but I do have a lot of your posts saved for future reference. Seems like you are tackling all the little and some large annoying things about our similar coaches. I still love mine and it's good to have you blazing a trail for us. I don't have the tools for everything I want to do but having the info before going to a shop is priceless!
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Old 02-07-2013, 12:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelm130
Hi – We have a 2003 Journey Dl 36 that needs the coolant surge tank replaced. I already have the new one but really don’t a place to try and tackle it myself. I’ve called around to a few places and the answer ranges from 8 hours to take the bed and frame out (yeah right) to a couple of hours MAYBE. I’m leaning towards Freightliner of Knoxville because of their professionalism and clean shop but even they kinda scratched their heads and weren’t 100% sure how long it would take to replace it. Chillhowee RV was the dealer that said it would probably take 2 hours but… maybe longer. J

I have found the excellent post on this forum on how to do it with the sawzall to get the old one out and to use the speed nuts when replacing it but like I said all I have is an RV lot and I’d rather not try and do it there.

Just wanted to see if anyone else in this area has had this done and what their experience was.

Thanks!!
You might try Tennessee RV up at Strawberry Plains exit off I40. I don't normally recommend RV dealers especially those associated with Camping World but these guys were one of only two Foretravel dealers and their techs are pretty good. You might call & check them out.
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Old 02-07-2013, 04:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelm130 View Post
FIRE UP - Thanks for the info! I will keep that rear panel on top of the radiator in mind. Not sure where I saw the tip about the sawzall but I do have a lot of your posts saved for future reference. Seems like you are tackling all the little and some large annoying things about our similar coaches. I still love mine and it's good to have you blazing a trail for us. I don't have the tools for everything I want to do but having the info before going to a shop is priceless!
Kelm130,
I surely thank you for your nice comments. I'm certainly not the only one on here trying to live up to the title of "DIY". There's lots of boys here who've jumped in with both feet in attempts to learn about these monsters, tackle what's in front of them and, have come out with great results. As I've stated a few times before, I'm getting older, I don't bend that good anymore, creeper work sucks, I get frustrated at things that don't go right the very first time (don't ask the DW about that comment) so, if and when I actually do something right and it turns out good, it's a real good feeling for me.

My goal, as usual, is to save money (for diesel), do something correctly, learn more about my coach, and, send any learned info along to others that may benefit. If it helps anyone, then I've accomplished more than just fixing something and saving a buck.
Scott
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Old 02-07-2013, 04:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelm130 View Post
Yes I keep trying to tell them how other people have done it from the back and even gave them printed instructions but there still seems to be a lot of head scratching at the repair facilities. I keep hoping to find a place that says Yes weve done that. Seems like this is a fairly common issue and I thought the local Winnebago dealer would know a little more about it than they do. A trip to Gaffney combined with Camp Freightliner sounds good to me.
I can tell you that you would not be disappointed in any service you get done at Gaffney. They know these chassis better than anyone and the multiple variations/configurations of the many coach manufacturers use. We try to get there whenever we can for our annual service.

They not only do good work, their labor charges are some of the lowest in the industry. And, they never gripe about having to work on a motorhome....that is what they do.
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:22 PM   #10
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I had my surge tank replaced at the Freightliner service center in Salt Lake City.

The tech did all the work from the outside ... the job took less than 2 hours ...
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