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Old 06-08-2009, 06:20 PM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 212
Replaced surge tank on 330 Cat Journey

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 06-08-2009, 08:28 PM   #2
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What do you mean by "burp the tank" and how did you do it?
Bob and Barb
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Old 06-09-2009, 09:09 AM   #3
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replaced surge tank on 330 cat Journey

RLS....several ways to do this...One is to open the pet valve underneath on the line going to the front heater core and let it remove any air in the line while the engine is on and the heater is on..the other way is to open the pressure cap on the radiator or surge tank and let the engine idle until the air in the systems stops burping up thru the cap the air burps up, keep adding antifreeze to the proper level. RKL
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Old 06-10-2009, 02:53 PM   #4
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Wow, what an ordeal for just a little plastic tank that looks like its in full view and shouldn't take an hour to replace. And being plastic it's something that both Freightliner and Winnebago should have know it wouldn't last forever and made it easier to replace. Just another one of those engineering designs by someone who's never been there or done that.

Thanks for the excellent description for replacement, as I'm sure most of us will be facing that job some time or another. I try to do as much as possible on my coach but that almost sounds overpowering.

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Old 06-12-2009, 05:12 PM   #5
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Wow, you saved some serious dollars by doing that yourself! Freightliner just replaced mine, 3 hours labor @ $125.00 per hr., plus shop rags, tax, coolant, etc. Fortunately my extended warranty picked up the cost less tax and my deductible. Without that I would have tackled it myself.
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Old 06-12-2009, 06:29 PM   #6
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RKL- You might want to add blue Loctite to those sheet metal bolt gizmos; if they are the ones I'm thinking of they are not as vibration resistant as the original setup.

The design isn't really so much "one of those engineering designs by someone who's never been there or done that." Its just cheap, and the way it is done on a lot of production vehicles where cost out the door is a big decision criteria. Those tanks are probably about $20 cost to the OEM in bulk. The alternative is a metal tank with sight-glass for fluid level, as found on more expensive rigs. Obviously its a good idea to shield the thing from the sun to get more years out of it.
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Old 06-12-2009, 06:54 PM   #7
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I ditto with the previous posted - we just had ours replaced by freightliner. It was 3 hours at over $100 per hour plus cost of the tank. You saved yourself a bundle! Unfortunately we have a $200 ded. on our extended warranty, but it did pick up a little more than half the costs.

Now the question, why the heck does Freightliner make this plastic tank 2 PIECES welded together? That is what happened to ours, the plastic "weld" was leaking.

Nice job on doing it yourself! I envy your mechanic skills....
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Old 02-06-2010, 06:01 PM   #8
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Just finished replacing our surge tank. Spent some time researching with the search feature on IRV2 and gathered a lot of useful information.

One thing not mentioned we found very useful was to remove the nut that secures the clamp holding the oil dipstick and pushing the tube 'coach forward'. That gave us room to access the right rear nut and bolt securing the tank, oil filler tube, and top shroud. Did not have to do the saws-all thing this way. With the dip stick out of the way we could also put the same nut and bolt back on the new tank.

Getting the right forward nut & bolt off takes two hands and one person could not get both hands in place from the wish (access) panel under the step in the 39QD. Don't think I have ever been so close to my son-in-law as I was then.

Well, Winnebago says owning a motor home will bring your family closer together!
Steve & Sherri
2002 Winnebago Journey DL 39QD
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Old 02-07-2010, 12:15 AM   #9
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Hi All,

With as many of us that have had to replace this tank, seems to me that a class action suit might be in order (any lawyers out there?). I replaced mine after about 2 years by myself and then again last summer at the Freightliner in Hagerstown, Md. Paid close to $500 bucks because I canít do it myself anymore. Iíd very much like to recover the $1000 Iíve paid in parts, labor, headaches, and antifreeze.

Didnít even get off the lot and the new one was leaking! At least the rework has held.

Iíve heard of Freightliner recommending a metal tank from one of their trucks but I donít know how close of a match the fit is (or the part number). If the trucks use metal tanks, why canít they design and furnish a replacement for us made of metal?

Another area Iíve had problems with is the hose clamps at the engine and radiator. I replaced the original worm type clamps with Stainless Steel T-Bolt Band Clamps and even one of those is leaking now. Waiting for warmer weather for a closer look and to top off the antifreeze Ďagain!í.
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Old 02-07-2010, 07:47 AM   #10
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Forgot to mention.

Obtained the tank from a dealer in Casper Wy. When I got on the net and called several dealers the prices ranged from 93.00-133.00 just for the tank.

Of note is the fact that ALL the dealers had it in stock, from three on hand to twelve on hand. Does that tell you something about the demand for this item? hummm.
Steve & Sherri
2002 Winnebago Journey DL 39QD
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