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Old 09-25-2017, 07:35 AM   #1
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Looking to understand and clean Journey radiator

Hello, my husband and I bought a 2005 Journey 36' about a year ago. We love it! We travel a lot for work and have high mileage (about 40k/year). We have just started to have some issues with overheating (high outdoor, uphill, towing our pickup), and are trying to learn about cleaning our radiator.

We have read quite a few articles and forums, but I need to ask some pretty basic questions. I understand that the radiator is a "sandwich." Does the air get drawn in through the side (passenger)? That seems to be where some stuff collects on the outside.

So that radiator must get dirty. Is the way to clean that to spray cleaner on the outside and then rinse?

Then, there's a second radiator in the back? How is that one cleaned?

Thank you. We would like to see what we can do ourselves before taking it to the shop. We are not of a mechanical level that we would remove the radiator ourselves.
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Old 09-25-2017, 09:01 AM   #2
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Yours is three years newer than ours but probably has the same problems we had. The radiator faces rear and the inter cooler for the turbo is sandwiched with it. Both ACs are on opposite sides and not sandwiched with the main radiator.

What happens is oil fumes and droplets are vented out of the slobber tube on the engine. They tend to be sucked into the radiators and then dirt sticks to them and blocks your radiator. We had the same problem with heating. We thought we could just steam the radiator clean, but when we hit the fins with spray they collapsed. Metal does rot. Ended up having to replace the radiator.

Here is a thread I posted on the process. It does get a little spendy, but it's a lot cheaper than replacing an engine. We also extended the slobber tube to behind the MH so we shouldn't have that problem again.

http://www.irv2.com/forums/f26/radia...er-312721.html
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Old 09-25-2017, 09:12 AM   #3
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I tried to add another posting to the old thread describing our satisfaction but found that if a posting is more than 345 days old you cannot update it. So here it is.

Since replacing the radiator we have traveled several thousand miles including mountain driving in the Southwest with absolutely no overheating. Very happy we did replace it when we did.
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Old 09-25-2017, 10:39 AM   #4
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The 'radiator' on the right rear side is the house A/C condenser and the one on the left rear side is the automotive A/C condenser. As stated above, the engine radiator is on the outside at the rear, with the intercooler inboard of it. The engine fan pulls air from under the coach around the engine and expells it backwards through the intercooler and radiator.
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Old 09-25-2017, 05:44 PM   #5
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Chris, thank you!
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Old 09-25-2017, 05:46 PM   #6
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Cooperhawk, Thank you. That process of removing the radiator would be WAY beyond us! When you were steam cleaning it, it was still in place? So were you cleaning it from the bedroom? Or, from the back?
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Old 09-25-2017, 05:57 PM   #7
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We tried with it in place but the fins just collapsed. We removed it and decided it had to be replaced. What you see being steamed is the inter cooler. We tried it from the back.
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Old 09-25-2017, 05:58 PM   #8
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This earlier thread may prove useful: Diesel, rear radiator owners, check this out
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Old 09-27-2017, 07:26 AM   #9
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Thanks! I can't get the video to play, but, again, I think this convinces me that this is way over our heads. So, I think we're going to have to look for a shop.
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Old 09-27-2017, 08:29 AM   #10
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The shop saved me a lot of money on parts and that almost paid the labor.
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Old 09-27-2017, 01:41 PM   #11
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Radioator cleaning

We had a similar problem on our 03 Journey. We decided not to use a steam cleaner for fear of damaging the fins etc., so we sourced some bio-degradable, non corrosive, degreasing fluid. We then used a weed sprayer (pressurized tank and spray wand) to coat the inside of the radiator with it (yep, squeezing under the bed) and then left it for 20 mins to do it's thing. Back under the bed with a garden hose sprayer to gently wash it away.

It took us all day to do it, and about 5 gallon of cleaner to get it all done, but it worked a charm (we did the outside too when it looked clean inside).

I can't remember the stuff we used but I think it was this.....

https://www.cromwell.co.uk/shop/lubr.../p/DEB7101114H
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Old 10-05-2017, 12:09 AM   #12
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Many use the Purple version of Simple Green. Available from Amazon and Wal-mart. Open the hatch under the bed, spray it on, let it sit for an hour or two. The use a water hose to spray if off. That gets rid of most of the grime and grit and opens the fins in a way that doesn't damage them.

After that, you can do what many of us do and that's to reduce your oil level by a couple quarts. Prevents excess oil from being blown out the slobber tube. There's those who extend the slobber tube...but that gunk is often blown onto the tow car.

Then there are those who make or buy a quart bottle to attach to the slobber tube. That becomes a maintenance item.

I prefer just lowering the amount of oil put in the engine during an oil change. My Cat has '22 qts' painted on the wall near the oil fill tube, but the PO knew about this problem and remarked the dip stick so it only needs 20 qts to fill to the dip stick full mark. I also reduced the amount of oil with my previous Bounder, and never had to clean the rad after the first time. Over 12 years of ownership.

As far as 'starving' the engine for oil, that's very doubtful as the diesel engine manufacturers always build in excess oil capacity. Or so I've read.
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Old 10-06-2017, 12:40 PM   #13
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Really helpful

Thank you, Jim, That's really helpful. We talked to our mechanic and he suggested we try washing it first as well. We bought Zee degreaser at Tractor Supply; is there a reason the purple simple green would be better? We've never opened the hatch under the bed, I assume that will be sort of obvious. Do you spray from inside or outside? Interesting idea about lowering level of oil!
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Old 10-06-2017, 03:00 PM   #14
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I purchased a 2005 journey 36g in TX this spring. When driving it back to MN was having heating issues when under load. Per other's suggestions I got a 2 gal weed sprayer and a couple gallons of simple green HD (purple liquid) which is not cororsive to aluminum. You only need to pull the large engine access hatch under the bed (pulling the smaller one doesn't give you any better access to the radiator. I mixed SG HD one part to two parts water. It is difficult to get the sprayer wand past the fan cowl and fan blades to spray the radiator well. I let the mixture set on the radiator for about 30-45 min. and then rinsed with garden hose with the engine running at 1500 rpm to push the soap and rinse water through. Repeated this process two more times and the fourth time had the engine running at idle and emptied a full sprayer of solution spraying it in the fan cowl area so the fan would throw some of the solution out to the edges of the radiator. Let that set for 30-45 min and then rinsed very well with the engine running at 2000 rpm. Amazing amount of oily dirt on driveway afterwards. I also used a pressure washer set at 1800 lbs to wash from the rear to the front in between the inside wash cycles. If you are careful you won't bend any fins with the pressure washer. Since then I have driven in 100 degree weather towing 20' sailboat and the temp gauge didn't rise at all. Now that it is throughly clean I plan on doing a less involved radiator wash each fall as part of my fall preventive maintainence schedule.
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Old 10-06-2017, 04:13 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by runriver View Post
Thank you, Jim, That's really helpful. We talked to our mechanic and he suggested we try washing it first as well. We bought Zee degreaser at Tractor Supply; is there a reason the purple simple green would be better? We've never opened the hatch under the bed, I assume that will be sort of obvious. Do you spray from inside or outside? Interesting idea about lowering level of oil!
Because RV'ers generally are parked on their own driveway or in a RV park and using a 'gentle' type of washing liquid is advised over using any industrial solvents. Yes, it does take us RV'ers longer to do the job, but at least we aren't likely to cause any damage to our, or a RV park's property. The Zee product is made with kerosene...not too bad, but it's basically a solvent for oils, but the gunk on the back of the rad is a mix of oil, water infused with oil, and dirt, so you also would want to use some kind of detergent after using the Zee.

However, if you're lucky enough to have a nearby shop that has all the equipment and solvent drums to put the used Zee afterwards, and the treatment is inexpensive, I'd go for that too.

You spray both the inside and outside and even crawl underneath and spray from there too. And yeah, after spraying on the Purple, let it sit for an hour, than rinse it off...that takes quite a while. Then have someone shine a light through the rad and check. Repeat if it's still dirty.

Lowering the oil level to prevent blow by in a rear rad RV has been around for decades. Doesn't hurt to gather your engine serial number and other info and check to be sure though. Cat and Cummins both address this issue in some of their online documents. I read them years ago, and no longer have the links, but I know from what I remember about those articles, I'm not worried about being 2 qts low.
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Old 05-28-2019, 08:43 PM   #16
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So I am getting ready to clean my 01 Journey radiator & CAC. Previous owner had it removed and cleaned, and slobber tube extended down further. To my shock and horror, there are areas of CAC that have oil grease dirt build up. Temp gauge is not showing any overheating (yet) and rear side of radiator is clean. Questions:

1) A gallon of the Simple Green for aluminum mixed with Dawn sounds like the best solution to spray on and soak for about 20 min?

1a) I will also be using warm/hot water from house, will this solution cut through this buildup on CAC? (See pic attached)

1b) how many parts of simple green should be mixed wIth one part Dawn?

2) Again, engine side of CAC is dirty, the rear side of coach/radiator is clean. Why on earth would I ever want to shoot all that junk rearward into my much cleaner radiator? Should I try cleaning best I can rinsing forward direction (toward engine fan) at least 3 times before trying to rinse toward rear of coach?

3) Although slobber tube is already extended down further, I am going to curve and extend at least outside the frame so it is not exit directly in front of the radiator/CAC, and keeping a downward slope. I see some people extend past end of coach. How can that be done and maintaining a downward slope plus you run into the Ultraguard mud flap?

Any advice is appreciated.
Jim
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Old 05-28-2019, 09:23 PM   #17
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Seacrazy, looks like a number of good solutions to your cleaning task.

Here is how we resolved the same issue shortly after purchasing our "new to us". Long thread, dis cussing a variety of mods we've accomplished. (more since ) CAC/radiator cleaning/slobber tube fix at the bottom. All with pictures.

http://www.winnieowners.com/forums/f...re-351795.html

Don't know about mixing Dawn with Simple Green(purple). We simply mix Simple Green per package instruction for heavy grease removal in a garden sprayer and have at it. You've a good idea about using hot water to pre-wet and rinse. We always drain our home water heater annually, so we just combine that with an annual CAC/radiator cleaning. Two birds, etc.

It has not been my experience, that flushing the CAC rearward has enough force to drive the solution into the radiator. You are flushing the CAC rearward and the radiator forward.

I believe the referred to thread calls out that the slobber tube (crankcase breather tube) can easily be led outboard of the radiator with a length of 3/4in CPVC pipe, one 3/4in CPVC elbow, 2 stainless hose clamps and 3 or 4 inches of 7/8in radiator hose. The mayo jar gets replaced every 2 or 3 thousand miles.

Initially, we got a lot of side looks over the kayak hatch installed in the fan cowling. 40K + miles and seven or eight cleanings later (probably over kill), still tight and convenient.

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Old 05-28-2019, 09:32 PM   #18
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Another couple of thoughts.

You don't have to terminate the slobber tube in a container. But it keeps it from fouling your dinghy.

And, if you do, drill 6 or 8 1/4in holes in the jar cap to minimise back pressure. Plastic jars are light and work just fine.

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Old 05-29-2019, 10:11 AM   #19
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Thanks Terry. Iím going to give this a shot this weekend.
- is there any space between CAC and radiator? I thought they were probably sandwiched together?
- how heavy should the cleaner be put on the buildup? Should I use the full gallon by rinsing both front and rear about 4 times?
- should the fan blades be cleaned with this solution too (if reachable)?
- do you run the engine and rinse too? It seems like that could make a big mess inside & out.
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Old 05-29-2019, 10:55 AM   #20
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I prevent a lot of the slobber tube dribble by only putting 20 qts of oil in when I have an oil change done. Winnie or Freightliner had marked the frame next to the oil filler tube with 22 qts. I thought that much was unnecessary based on the research I'd done on the Cat 3126 engine.

The PO had already extended the tube so didn't have to do that, and the reduction of oil the PO was already doing too...he'd had the oil dip stick remarked. This is a pretty common method of reducing the blow by from the slobber tube. I learned about it back in '04 and used the method with my Cummins engine for 12 years.

What I'm saying is that owners can reduce the oil escaping from the slobber tube by reducing the oil in the pan. Once you do that, it reduces the maintenance necessary on the rad and CAC because there's not much oil blown onto them. I still wash the rad once a year whether it needs it or not.
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