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Old 09-05-2012, 09:41 PM   #1
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Radiator reservoir tank cracking

While checking the oil in my diesel pusher I discovered several cracks around my antifreeze holding tank. Just a few drips right now but I am sure it will get worse. I will attach a picture. Looking for suggestions.

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Old 09-05-2012, 11:21 PM   #2
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Here you go. This is exactly the same as yours.


Over this weekend I replaced the plastic radiator surge tank which had cracking from UV and was leaking..Searched the forum first and pick up several tips which saved time and money..first, the replacement tank costs about $107 at the Freightliner dealer....Getting the old tank out requires removing the cowling above the radiator..simple to do until youi get to the right side..The original tank was mounted prior to winne putting the body on and thus there are 2 bolts with nuts out of sight behind the mounting frame that cannot be reached...You can turn the bolts but the nuts turn also.
Forum suggestion was to get a sawz all and cut the plastic mounting tabs off the tank..This requires removing the bed and opening up the engine area...Once the tabs are cut, you can get a wrench on the nuts and it is an easy removal..
In addition to the overflow hose at the pressure cap,you need to remove two small hoses on top of the tank and then from inside, the main hose to the engine. Then simply disconnect the low coolant warning wires and pull out the tank from the rear.
Once the tank is out, remove the low coolant probe from the old tank and screw it into the new tank.
Now comes the next "read it on the forum" trick to installing the new tank..Instead of using nuts and bolts on the 2 tabs on the right side, purchase two 5/8th metal clips and bolts and slide the clips over the plastic tabs and then put the tank in place and place the bolts thru the mount holes on the body side...the clips allow the bolt to tighten simply by turning the bolt with a wrench.
Install the hoses and connect the low coolant warning wires and you are good to go...Drive it till it heats up to normal and then burp the tank after it cools...It took about 1/2 gallon of new antifreeze to make up for what spills on the replacement..
Found out for myself that I could not do the job strictly from the rear. All hoses were removed from the engine side very easily.
Last "found it on the forum" advice was to replace all the hose metal clips with good radiator worm gear hose clamps and make a rubber flap which hangs down from the top of the rear compartment and shades the tank and hydralic resavoir from the sun.
Job took a total of 4 hours from start to finish....Hope this info helps someone else on this forum.......RKL
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Old 09-06-2012, 07:20 AM   #3
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Also there are step by step photos on older post on this web site, with the info above and the photos it really clarifies things. Do a search for surge tanks.
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Old 09-06-2012, 08:31 AM   #4
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I just had mine replaced about 2 months ago. I also saw the do it yourself instructions and did not want to mess with it.
The cost was about $120.00 +- for the tank itself.
Labor charge to replace was 2.5 hours $230.00.
They went in and cut it out basicaly, destroyed the old tank, and reinstalled the newone.
9AM appoinment and out in time for lunch. $230.00 well spent. which included new fasteners and some additional coolant. I supplied the tank.
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Old 09-06-2012, 01:16 PM   #5
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Is there a difference between the surge tank on a Cat engine and the one on a Cummins? Or are they both Freightliner installed?
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Old 09-06-2012, 02:18 PM   #6
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What ever you decide on how to have it done, DON'T put it off !

It can get real expensive to have it done while you are on the road
I changed out my own tank, it's do-able if you're handy with a wrench
Don't forget to grease the fan and check the belts out.
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Old 09-06-2012, 07:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GaDawgFan View Post
While checking the oil in my diesel pusher I discovered several cracks around my antifreeze holding tank. Just a few drips right now but I am sure it will get worse. I will attach a picture. Looking for suggestions.

Attachment 25737

If you are mechanically inclined replace it yourself but it not have it done. It is an important part of your engine cooling system and it needs to be replaced. It is not a overflow tank like on an automobile but part of the pressurized cooling system. Just my opinion.
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Old 09-06-2012, 07:27 PM   #8
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I can't thank you all enough for the information. I want to get the tank ordered ASAP. next dumb question, who should I order the tank from?
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Old 09-06-2012, 07:40 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by GaDawgFan View Post
I can't thank you all enough for the information. I want to get the tank ordered ASAP. next dumb question, who should I order the tank from?
Any Freightliner dealer with a parts counter should be able to get it for you. If you are not too far from Gaffney, SC, you can get it replaced at their motorhome repair center. If you join the Freightliner Chassis Owners Club ($15 I believe), you will get a discount on parts and labor which will more than pay for the FCOC membership fee.
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Old 09-07-2012, 12:21 PM   #10
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GaDawgFan,
As you can see, it's kind of a routine with just about all of the units with that exposed plastic tank. Some have paid to have it done and some, well, did it themselves, like I did. Yep, it's kind of a pain and, some of the fasteners are hard to get to. My tank, came from our local Freightliner center, was about $131.00, out the door.

I had to remove both steel bed covers in our master bedroom. That gave me full access to working on the rear section of that tank. I won't go into the details of what had to be done 'cause most of it's already been covered. But I, like others here, altered the fasteners when it came time to put it all back together. Those bean heads at either Freightliner or Itasca used nuts and bolts in places that "speed nuts" should have been used. You clip those speed nuts into place and it makes for a waaaaaaaaaaaay easier installation.

Anyway, you see what has to be done. I do as much of the work on our coach as I can for a couple of reasons. One, since I'm not rich, never will be, it saves me money which, can be used to put into the diesel fuel tank for trips. And two, I learn more and more about the innards of this coach by digging into what needs to be done. The more you know about your coach, the better piece of mind you have when it comes time to delve into an issue. Sometimes the problem is way above my skill level but, I give it the old "college" try.
Scott
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Old 09-07-2012, 12:46 PM   #11
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Thanks again for all the help. I was able to pink up the tank from Freightliner here in Atlanta this morning for $126.00. I will tackle this project this weekend.
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Old 09-08-2012, 09:52 AM   #12
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If you have not searched IRV2 for info on this as advised above, do so. There is a lot of great info from people who have done this.

I did install a 'flap' over my surge tank. Used an old plastic floor mat cut to size and screwed it into the cross member above the tank.
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Old 09-09-2012, 01:14 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zimectrin View Post
If you have not searched IRV2 for info on this as advised above, do so. There is a lot of great info from people who have done this.

I did install a 'flap' over my surge tank. Used an old plastic floor mat cut to size and screwed it into the cross member above the tank.
Zimectrin,
While I certainly understand the reasoning for the "flap" and trying to hide if from the elements, I'm not sure it will help. That tank, as you and I and all of us know, is plastic and, while todays plastics are of pretty high quality, they're not indistructable. In my opinon, for whatever it possibly could be worth, the heat, cold, heat, cold, pressure, no pressure and that cycling on and off for the time that tank is in there, is the primary cause for the deterioration of that tank.

I'm certainly no chemist of any type. I'm just trying to surmise here. And, it probably was fairly easy to install that flap anyway so, I hope it helps preserve and prolong the use of those expensive little tanks. Good luck.
Scott
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Old 09-09-2012, 01:51 PM   #14
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Yep. The flap was an act of faith. Have no reason to think it will help 'cept the crazing was located where the tank was exposed to the sun.

Good thing we already had the materials.
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Old 09-10-2012, 12:48 AM   #15
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I had my surge tank replaced under the extended warranty as it was leaking. Took this time to replace all coolant and hoses and belts. I like the idea of a flap over the tank because my Rv sits in the backyard and I realize the sun hits that area; good tip.
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Old 09-16-2012, 08:51 PM   #16
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Thanks to all on the help with the surge tank. I finally tackled this job today. It took me about 3 1/2 hours but the new in and it and seems to be operating fine. It was a very tight area to work in (I am 6'4"and weigh, well never mind). I was only able to get three bolts back into the new tank. All three are tightened down snugly. As four the forth bolt there was simply no way to get a wrench on it. Very frustrating. Thanks again to Chuck 1935 !
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