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Old 10-28-2005, 12:32 PM   #1
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On my way to Florida last week I started smelling a foull smell in my chassis ac vent..I thought it was a dead varmit but it turned out to be the infamous Winnebago heater core leak...I bypassed the core to stop the leak and may keep it that way versus $1200 to repair and remove/replace front cap....
Question to the gurus....why is this happening in such a short time , 3years, 30,000 miles. I heard some replacements are also failing quickly.
Winnebago says sorry....my old 94 Vectra lasted 12 years with no leaks....
Could the factory coolant be eating the cores? thanks RKL
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Old 10-28-2005, 12:32 PM   #2
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On my way to Florida last week I started smelling a foull smell in my chassis ac vent..I thought it was a dead varmit but it turned out to be the infamous Winnebago heater core leak...I bypassed the core to stop the leak and may keep it that way versus $1200 to repair and remove/replace front cap....
Question to the gurus....why is this happening in such a short time , 3years, 30,000 miles. I heard some replacements are also failing quickly.
Winnebago says sorry....my old 94 Vectra lasted 12 years with no leaks....
Could the factory coolant be eating the cores? thanks RKL
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Old 10-28-2005, 02:56 PM   #3
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Being new this forum and to RVing in general I was elated to see your post. Not because I like to see others endure problems but I to just went through the same ordeal with the heater core on a 99 DP Adventurer (22,000 miles). I replaced the core myself at a cost of $326.00 for the core (new, not rebuilt) and it is one very nasty job to take it out and install the new one. Took over 5 hrs. Most of the time was spent getting it back in and installing those little clips that hold the case together. Just of footnote: when I took the old core in to the shop the guy said this is a Winnebago core right? I said how did you know? His reply was "I see a lot of these in here"
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Old 10-28-2005, 03:41 PM   #4
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As you can see, I also have a 2002 and have anxiously followed the posts regarding heater core failure. I also wondered why so many seem to fail and if SCA concentration in the coolant had anything to do with it. If I keep this coach until it needs a coolant flush/refill, I may just proactively replace the heater core at that time.

RKL...how difficult was it to bypass the core?
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Old 10-28-2005, 05:48 PM   #5
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WHY DO WE PUT UP WITH THIS CRAP?
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Old 10-28-2005, 08:29 PM   #6
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If everyone is going to eventully lose there heater core wouldn't a call to the MFG be a good idea, maybe they can give you a reason why an what you can do or not do with the core. Maybe Winne isn't putting in the correct one because of costs. "007"
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Old 10-29-2005, 12:32 AM   #7
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My friend had to replace his heater core on a 02 36 DL . Seems to be a problem with that model. Sure was a lot of them made.
Must be a problem with the manufacturer. Good Miles
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Old 10-29-2005, 04:55 AM   #8
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smlranger....it is very easy to bypass the heater core...go under the hood, just before the installed bypass valve, disconnect the 2 heater hoses where they enter the bypass valve and insert a plastic heater hose splice fitting which can be purchased at any auto parts store...it is about 3 inches long and has barb fittings at each end. push the hoses onto the fitting and clamp.....
note ...on other forums, they are saying to dump the antifreeze after 2 years and check SCA and ph for acidity.....good luck....RKL
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Old 10-29-2005, 01:34 PM   #9
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RKL:

According to the local FL service center, the pink antifreeze in my 02 is long life....I am supposed to check the SCA's periodically and add Pencool if needed, but they claim I don't need to dump, flush and replace until the 5 year interval.
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Old 10-29-2005, 03:24 PM   #10
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RKL:
I am not sure where I saw this but I read you can bypass the heater core by turning one or both the blue faucet handles under the rear of coach to the off position. That is suppose to shut off the coolant flow to the heater core. Please don't quote me on this but I think I read it in the Cummins or Freightline manual. I may very well be wrong so maybe someone else can enlighten me on this.
One more footnote for anyone attempting to change the core themselves.....pick up some extra clips as they have a tendency to fly off during the re-installation process and man are they hard to find in the dark!. It might behoove you to find a "very small person" that can fit up in the front wheel well to re-attach the clips on the outside fender area. Good luck gang.
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Old 10-29-2005, 04:49 PM   #11
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thanks for all the info...there ARE 2 faucet type handles under my coach...I didn't trace them before...they are for a bypass to the core.
Also, I will call Freightliner on /Monday. I was told if you give them your vin number, they call tell you what coolant was put in at assmbly...
My coolant is colored between pink and fuscia...hard to tell what it real color it is...Someone said Freightliner uses Fleetguard at the factory and it is a 3 year coolant....lots of confusion on this issue....thanks again...I will update with more info later....RKL
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Old 10-31-2005, 11:39 AM   #12
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I called Freightliner today...They said that the factory fill of coolant is FleetCharge, a heavy duty ethelene glycol mix and it should be changed every 2 years..The SCA's should also be checked every 6 months using test strips. RKL
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Old 10-31-2005, 03:34 PM   #13
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Strange....when I asked the local FL shop, they asked for my VIN, looked in the computer, then said it was FleetCharge and was good for 5 years. They did say I needed to check SCA's with strips every 6 months.
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Old 10-31-2005, 04:12 PM   #14
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smlranger....have you called the factory and asked them....I will call again tomorrow and see if they say the same thing...let us know if you call the factory....thanks RKL
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