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Old 02-28-2016, 11:18 AM   #21
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I agree with Mel - On mine the way the tank is positioned I doubt it gets much if any sun.
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Old 03-01-2016, 03:25 PM   #22
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Jim,
First off, let's take this "boil" about the SURGE TANK down to a simmer. They are a form of polyethylene and, yes, OVER TIME, they will break down and, develop cracks and start to deteriorate. This isn't an OVERNIGHT thing like some will lead you to believe. For one, they do sit in about the harshest environment possible. I mean, right on top of the radiator and, also all the hottest possible air you can get, flows in the same vicinity right from the engine fan.

And, to top it off, many folks park their coaches, either in storage or while using them, so that, that tank gets more than its fair share of SUN!!!! And we all know what the Sun does to anything on this planet, it deteriorates it.

But, again, this is not an overnight happening. Our coach, an '04 Itasca Horizon 36GD with the C-7 330HP CAT, has had only ONE replacement in 11 years. Granted, it is parked inside a covered RV garage at our home, when not in use. But the coach has 64K on the clock and, has seen its fair share of the sun and, all that mileage and hotter running times on grades and all that and, again, only ONE replacement tank.

As for the one linked to you, it's NOT A REPLACEMENT TANK for yours or any rear radiator Freightliner chassis of the same class as yours, mine and a zillion others. It's for other applications. As of yet, in all the research I've done, I've yet to see an EXACT, steel, aluminum, or any other replacement tank, that fits those exact mounting points and, has all the hose ports, and sensor ports in the correct position.

Yep, that tank ran me about $130.00 or so from Freightliner. But, that was well over three years ago and, it looks almost as good as it did when I installed it.

Some have taken it upon themselves to build or manufacture covers for them. Some have applied the aluminized tape that's used in air conditioning duct systems to keep the sun off of it. Don't know just how well that does in preserving it from planned deterioration anyway.

But, if you should need a replacement tank anytime soon, first off, your coach is an '02, that, using advanced math, is about 15-16 years old, correct? If so, just how many tanks has it gone through in that amount of time? I mean, if 2-3, that's about normal, plus or minus. If someone is replacing that tank every two years, something's wrong. There's some undo stress or something on it that's causing way early premature failure.

I wouldn't get too worked up over it.
Scott
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Old 03-01-2016, 04:30 PM   #23
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I owned a 2002 Itasca Horizon that had the same surge tank. It cracked and was replaced. According to the receipt the Freightline part number was 05-17750-001. I verified through Access Freightliner that this is a good part number. I have had good luck using finditparts.com for some odd Freightliner parts. They list a Freightliner part for $138.38 and a Sterling tank for $112.60.
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Old 03-02-2016, 06:13 AM   #24
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I wouldn't get too worked up over it.
Scott
Excellent advice, Scott, and a great write up. And you are right, having to replace the tank once every several years isn't all that bad. I was just thinking it wouldn't be too good if I was deep inside Mexico or on the Loneliest Road in America (US Rte 50 in Nevada) when it started leaking. But the things I've read about it sort of indicate owners have plenty of time after they notice a leak to get it replaced. I can live with that.

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Originally Posted by NMBluept View Post
I owned a 2002 Itasca Horizon that had the same surge tank. It cracked and was replaced. According to the receipt the Freightline part number was 05-17750-001. I verified through Access Freightliner that this is a good part number. I have had good luck using finditparts.com for some odd Freightliner parts. They list a Freightliner part for $138.38 and a Sterling tank for $112.60.
There it is! The p/n! Goes into my bookmarks. Meanwhile, I'm going to try the Eternabond tape on the tank and see how many years that gets me.

Thanks, Albert!
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Old 03-02-2016, 06:18 AM   #25
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Jim,
First off, let's take this "boil" about the SURGE TANK down to a simmer. They are a form of polyethylene and, yes, OVER TIME, they will break down and, develop cracks and start to deteriorate. This isn't an OVERNIGHT thing like some will lead you to believe. For one, they do sit in about the harshest environment possible. I mean, right on top of the radiator and, also all the hottest possible air you can get, flows in the same vicinity right from the engine fan.
And, to top it off, many folks park their coaches, either in storage or while using them, so that, that tank gets more than its fair share of SUN!!!! And we all know what the Sun does to anything on this planet, it deteriorates it.
But, again, this is not an overnight happening. Our coach, an '04 Itasca Horizon 36GD with the C-7 330HP CAT, has had only ONE replacement in 11 years. Granted, it is parked inside a covered RV garage at our home, when not in use. But the coach has 64K on the clock and, has seen its fair share of the sun and, all that mileage and hotter running times on grades and all that and, again, only ONE replacement tank.
As for the one linked to you, it's NOT A REPLACEMENT TANK for yours or any rear radiator Freightliner chassis of the same class as yours, mine and a zillion others.
Yep, that tank ran me about $130.00 or so from Freightliner. But, that was well over three years ago and, it looks almost as good as it did when I installed it.
Scott
FIRE UP
I agree that polyethylene coolant tanks, (aka: surge tanks), used on motor homes are subjected to heat... and that that heat will deteriorate them over time.
However even those tanks NEVER exposed to sunlight deteriorate, (break down, develop cracks and leak), over time.

My polyethylene surge tank which is protected from sunlight by the louvered rear grill of my Safari has had to be replaced TWICE...1st at 13 years of age, (at 104,598 miles....and AGAIN at 134,477 miles, (only 5 years, 29,875 miles, later).

BTW my Safari uses a $176.50 Ford truck tank, (p/n F6HZ8A080B)... which is similar to, but NOT the same as, the Freightliner tank pictured.

Mel
'96 Safari, 146k miles
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Old 03-02-2016, 04:38 PM   #26
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My plastic hydraulic fluid reservoir that reside below the coolant reservoir shows no sign of deterioration yet they both receive the same heat and direct sun exposure. I suspect the plastic hydraulic reservoir is thicker and is not under the same pressure as the coolant reservoir. The only preventive measure I can think of is to protect the coolant reservoir from direct sun when in storage.

From Wikipedia:
"Many natural and synthetic polymers are attacked by ultraviolet radiation, and products using these materials may crack or disintegrate if they are not UV-stable. The problem is known as UV degradation, and is a common problem in products exposed to sunlight. Continuous exposure is a more serious problem than intermittent exposure, since attack is dependent on the extent and degree of exposure."
"UV attack by sunlight can be ameliorated or prevented by adding anti-UV chemicals to the polymer when mixing the ingredients, prior to shaping the product by injection moulding for example. UV stabilizers in plastics usually act by absorbing the UV radiation preferentially, and dissipating the energy as low-level heat. The chemicals used are similar to those in sunscreen products, which protect skin from UV attack."
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Old 03-02-2016, 05:34 PM   #27
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I've never really agreed the damage to those tanks is related to sunlight - unless the sunlight is reflected from down low it is not going to shine on that little tank on top of the radiator. I tend to think it is the coolant heat & pressure (and age) that make these things start cracking and leaking. I replaced mine four or five years ago because of cracks but it had not started leaking but I didn't want to wait. We tend to do long trips and take care of any potential problem as it is noticed. Works for us.
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Old 03-02-2016, 06:16 PM   #28
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I've never really agreed the damage to those tanks is related to sunlight - unless the sunlight is reflected from down low it is not going to shine on that little tank on top of the radiator. I tend to think it is the coolant heat & pressure (and age) that make these things start cracking and leaking. I replaced mine four or five years ago because of cracks but it had not started leaking but I didn't want to wait. We tend to do long trips and take care of any potential problem as it is noticed. Works for us.
I agree with 1ciderdog 100% on sunlight having no relationship to those tank failures. The coolant system degas tank on my 1999 Ford diesel pickup is of the same material and they too have a history of cracking and leaking over time. My P/U tank required replacement because of that typical failure after about 12 to 14 years of service. My opinion is the problem is a result of heat and the chemical interaction of the coolant and the tank material.
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Old 03-02-2016, 06:43 PM   #29
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Gang,
I'm not a chemist and, while I'm agreeing somewhat with ciderdogs analysis of the degradation of the tank in question, I still think that even with "indirect" sunlight rays, i.e. U-V rays bouncing off of multiple surfaces and materials in and around that radiator may, or, may not have any effect on premature failure of that tank. Again, not a chemist but, I'm kind-a surmising all this. Yep, the pressure, heat, then cold, then heat and that cycle over and over and over again, in time, will contribute to its demise.

And, it could be that the sun, direct or, indirect, could have absolutely ZERO effects on that tank too, heck, I don't know. One of these days I'm going to TIG one up out of Aluminum to match that plastic one just to see if I can.
Scott
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Old 03-03-2016, 03:56 AM   #30
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It's sun...
Anywhere that's shadowed is usually fine but the rear can be dug with a fingernail
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Old 03-03-2016, 05:19 AM   #31
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It's sun...
Anywhere that's shadowed is usually fine but the rear can be dug with a fingernail
SCVJeff
Like yours only the rear of my surge tank deteriorated.

Methinks the constant flow of hot air, blown rearward out of my radiator by the engine fan, (onto/over/across the rear of my surge tank), caused the deterioration of the plastic tank... (NOT sunlight... NOT the coolant in the tank).

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Old 03-03-2016, 10:32 AM   #32
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Gotta disagree. Mine is now 10 years old with less than 15,000 miles on it, 99% traveling 60 miles to the beach so the air is already cool for most of that trip. Besides, the tank is above the radiator and completely out of the draft of the fan. Maybe yours is different, but this is where most of them are mounted these days. Also by your logic, covering them either with foil tape or a rubber flap would do no good, but clearly it does. They simply chose the wrong plastic that disintegrates
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Old 03-03-2016, 10:33 AM   #33
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Old 03-04-2016, 12:24 PM   #34
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Do any of you with a Freightliner know the sensor part number that goes into the surge tank? Mine is out.

Jim

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