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Old 02-04-2016, 04:14 PM   #1
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'02 Winnie Journey DL, Adventure starts.

Will pick up my new2me Winnie tomorrow. Today the prep tech at the consignment lot tells me that lubing the fan bearing on the Cat engine isn't part of the 140 point inspection. Gee, imagine that.

He tells me it's almost impossible to get to, might even require taking the bed out and the bed frame apart. So I schmoozed a little and now he's going to try to see if he can come up with a way to grease it. I offered to pay for an hours worth of time.

Meanwhile, is there an aftermarket kit that installs a remote tube to lube that stupid zerk?
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Old 02-04-2016, 04:27 PM   #2
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Had same coach for 8 years and did that fitting myself for the first 3 years we had it. After than, I let the techs at Freightliner in Gaffney, SC do it for me.

Raise the bed, remove the rear most engine access panel, and lay on top of the motor to reach the fitting. It is not easy. There is a way to install a fitting and hose so you can grease the thing from the bottom. Do a search on this forum and you can perhaps find a thread from several years ago where others detailed how the modification is done.

Also, if there is no documentation that it has been done, that CAT was supposed to have valve lash adjustment at 40,000 miles or by the 4th oil change.
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Old 02-04-2016, 04:36 PM   #3
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Thanks, Ranger.

I'll be looking for that info soon. The tech sounded like he had a plan, we'll see tomorrow. At least he knows what I'm talking about. I think he's a pretty good tech. Exudes knowledge.

BTW, wouldn't it be easier to install a tube under the bed and rear access panel to the zerk?

I'll check for that info on the lash adjustment. Had it done on my Cummins and it was off just a little in a couple places, hopefully, this Cat is the same way and I can get away with 10K miles or so first.
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Old 02-06-2016, 01:23 PM   #4
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Unfortunately, the tech's plan didn't work. He told me he couldn't get his skinny frame in there far enough to grease the zerk?
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Old 02-06-2016, 07:54 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Jim_HiTek View Post
Unfortunately, the tech's plan didn't work. He told me he couldn't get his skinny frame in there far enough to grease the zerk?
He must have been trying to get to it from the bottom. I don't think it can be done unless you have a 6' long arm .

Raising the bed and removing that engine access panel gives access.
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Old 02-07-2016, 07:27 AM   #6
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Looks like I'll be doing it myself. The tech couldn't even be induced to do it if I paid for an hours labor.
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Old 02-07-2016, 09:10 AM   #7
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Jim, it really ain't that difficult. Follow the instructions from smlranger (unless you're an oversize guy), and you should be able to do it.

I had to grind one side of my grease gun fitting because the zerk is between the fan pulley and the front of the engine, with very little clearance between the two. Grinding the lube gun fitting pretty thin allows me to get the gun on the zerk. I do it by feel; can't see the zerk without a flashlight and mirror. I use a small grease gun with a rigid tube. Once I feel the zerk, I push the grease gun fitting down onto it. I grease mine at least once a year, but any time I have that top engine cover open, I give it a few shots of grease.

If you happen to travel through Whitney, Texas, give me a shout and I'll do it for you (after my broken shoulder heals).
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Old 02-08-2016, 12:58 AM   #8
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I am curious on the access to the engine under the bed. I have been under the bed and haven't noticed any access panels nor instructions in the manual.s I would like to trees the fan zero. Thanks
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Old 02-08-2016, 07:00 AM   #9
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I am curious on the access to the engine under the bed. I have been under the bed and haven't noticed any access panels nor instructions in the manual.s I would like to trees the fan zero. Thanks
If your coach has a north-south bed, there should be two steel panels under it... the forward most panel is lower than the one to the rear. Remove the bolts and the panels come off.

If you have an east-west bed in a slide out, not sure about that. Most likely have an access panel in the floor but it probably extends under the bed a bit.
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Old 02-08-2016, 04:14 PM   #10
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If your coach has a north-south bed, there should be two steel panels under it... the forward most panel is lower than the one to the rear. Remove the bolts and the panels come off.

If you have an east-west bed in a slide out, not sure about that. Most likely have an access panel in the floor but it probably extends under the bed a bit.
Mine has he slide so east west bed arrangement, Jim I presume the same with your MH. Any idea how to access the engine?
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Old 02-08-2016, 04:27 PM   #11
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In 39W (and I assume 39K) ... there are several panel to access the engine.

1) Most rear ... the bottom of the carpeted closet lifts up ... there is a metal panel under there

2) Next panel ... the top step comes off ... there are a couple of screws underneath the top step that have to be removed ... then it takes some magic (and maybe one or two swear words) but it does lift ... there is another panel under there.

3) Under the bed (A long screw in the bottom corners of the bedboard) there are one or two panels that can be unbolted
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Old 02-09-2016, 08:54 AM   #12
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Mine has he slide so east west bed arrangement, Jim I presume the same with your MH. Any idea how to access the engine?
You are correct, Pete. The bed does go North/South.

Lift the bed, and there's a two step black painted metal box the width of the bed under there. The higher step nearest the rear of the RV.

It seems there are three large bolts securing a metal plate to the top of the rearmost section. Maybe some additional bolts further back under the bed's wooden frame that I can't see.

Or if the plate only has the 3 bolts, and the bed frame isn't to be removed, then it appears like you'd have to be skinny enough to slide inside that narrow opening between the edge of the metal box and the edge of the wooden bed frame to access the top of the engine. Then squirm around to be in position to lube the zerk.

Terrible design for engine access. It's advantage is that the bedroom floor is flat, left to right leveling doesn't have to be as critical for sensitive sleepers, and the closet slide can be smaller and thus lighter.

I'll have to see if I can struggle inside there in a couple weeks.
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Old 02-10-2016, 12:08 AM   #13
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You are correct, Pete. The bed does go North/South.

Lift the bed, and there's a two step black painted metal box the width of the bed under there. The higher step nearest the rear of the RV.

It seems there are three large bolts securing a metal plate to the top of the rearmost section. Maybe some additional bolts further back under the bed's wooden frame that I can't see.

Or if the plate only has the 3 bolts, and the bed frame isn't to be removed, then it appears like you'd have to be skinny enough to slide inside that narrow opening between the edge of the metal box and the edge of the wooden bed frame to access the top of the engine. Then squirm around to be in position to lube the zerk.

Terrible design for engine access. It's advantage is that the bedroom floor is flat, left to right leveling doesn't have to be as critical for sensitive sleepers, and the closet slide can be smaller and thus lighter.

I'll have to see if I can struggle inside there in a couple weeks.
My bed is east west so am still confused.. Jim, does your b d go north south?
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Old 02-10-2016, 09:08 AM   #14
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Yes, my bed goes N/S. Or, aka Fore/Aft. I have a bedroom slide on the drivers side but it's a mirrored door closet.
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Old 03-14-2016, 10:47 AM   #15
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Have a guy here in the RV park that does RV work and he's going to try to grease the zerk for me. He also said you have to remove the bed, just like the tech at the dealer. I'm guessing this is necessary if the only people in your service crew are huge so it's in the flat rate book as 'Remove bed, find and lube zerk, etc. -- 3 hours'. Three hours and remove bed is what two techs have told me.

But, following SmlRangers advice above, I removed 3 bolts, and the cover slides right off! Exposing the top of the engine. I can see the rad, the back of the surge tank, the fan, etc. There are no bolts in the back holding the cover like some have suggested.

Got that cover out of the way and I can see that the engine is in need of a bath. As is the back side of the rad. I'm use to dealing with a rear rad from my Bounder. What I learned is to attach a wide mouth plastic jug to the slobber tube. Do an oil change and put in the amount called for. Drive a couple thousand keeping an eye on it. Measure how much oil was blown out. In the Bounders case, the oil level reached a stabilization point and the level stayed constant after that. At 15 qts instead of the called for 16 qts. Then the next oil change, only put 15 qts back in. So after that, no oil out the slobber tube anymore and no longer any need to clean the backside of the rad.

I'll do the same sort of thing with this cat. Clean it up of course, spray clean the rad, then the next oil change, use a quart less than called for.
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Old 03-14-2016, 07:12 PM   #16
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Run the engine and let it warm up as much as it can sitting still.... probably 10 - 15 minutes. Shut down and use a garden sprayer with a mix of dawn dishwashing liquid and some of the aluminum-friendly Simple Green (it is purple and I got mine at Home Depot). From under the bed, soak the radiator then do same from the outside of the coach. Let it sit for 10 minutes or so then wash from outside then inside with a garden hose with one of those little brass straight stream nozzles. Do not use a pressure washer.

You will be amazed how much gunk will wash out. If it has not been done in some time, you will likely have to do it more than once to get it clean.

I put a 12" piece of 1" rubber hose on my slobber tube and made sure it extended down below the bottom of the coach.
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Old 03-15-2016, 08:19 AM   #17
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Great info, SmlRanger. I knew there was a wash procedure using Simple Green. Couldn't remember the details. This park won't let me wash the engine or radiator so that'll have to wait until I can find a park that doesn't mind. Or find a facility made for that. My last 140 mile trip, up hills, didn't show any overheating so I have time to get it clean.

I'll do the 12"s of rubber hose extension after I've found out how much it blows out over a couple thousand miles.

Thanks!

For historical records, we did NOT have to remove the bed frame as two techs had told me was needed, but we did move the mattress into the LR. That allows the bed's wooden base cover to open wider so there's more room for a tech to work on the top of the engine. He did have to remove both gas struts, and prop it open with a broom stick. It's still a tight fit so only hire average height and weight techs to do this job. He took 2.5 hours (@ only $20/hr) but nearly an hour of that was trying to find the darn zerk, that includes a couple trips across the street to Camping World where he use to work to look in their service books.

Now that I know how, I'm pretty sure I could do it or could guide a tech to do it within an hour.
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Old 03-15-2016, 10:56 AM   #18
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Remove those 3 bolts, lift up a bit on that steel plate/cover and pull towards you (that would be toward the front of the coach). Lay the panel down on the open area beneath the bed - you will need it there to lay on. Put a blanket on the lip of the engine opening to make it a bit more comfortable. You can now squirm your way to the "front" of the engine. I was able to reach the tensioner for the serpentine belt and replace a stripped out alternator mounting bolt on the Cummins engine on a 2002 Horizon 32TD from this opening. Overall, access to the engine isn't terribly bad.
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Old 03-15-2016, 11:54 AM   #19
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Great info, SmlRanger. I knew there was a wash procedure using Simple Green. Couldn't remember the details. This park won't let me wash the engine or radiator so that'll have to wait until I can find a park that doesn't mind. Or find a facility made for that. My last 140 mile trip, up hills, didn't show any overheating so I have time to get it clean.

I'll do the 12"s of rubber hose extension after I've found out how much it blows out over a couple thousand miles.

Thanks!

For historical records, we did NOT have to remove the bed frame as two techs had told me was needed, but we did move the mattress into the LR. That allows the bed's wooden base cover to open wider so there's more room for a tech to work on the top of the engine. He did have to remove both gas struts, and prop it open with a broom stick. It's still a tight fit so only hire average height and weight techs to do this job. He took 2.5 hours (@ only $20/hr) but nearly an hour of that was trying to find the darn zerk, that includes a couple trips across the street to Camping World where he use to work to look in their service books.

Now that I know how, I'm pretty sure I could do it or could guide a tech to do it within an hour.
If your's is the 330 CAT 3126E, 19 qts of oil is the correct fill and it won't usually blow much oil out. Some vapor since it is a crankcase vent but should not spew oil unless you over fill it.
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Old 03-15-2016, 04:14 PM   #20
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Yeah, 19 qts might be the correct amount for this engine, except there's a white painted note on the shroud in the engine bay (back of the RV) that says specifically, 22 qts. So if the original owner was using that much, and if the consignment dealer filled it to that level, then I'll be blowing out 3 qts as I drive around the next few months.

Fun, huh?
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