Break Down Description: Road debris was deflected off the rear tires towards the radiator and was deflected into the radiator by the rotating cooling fans.
Symptoms: Coolant release (steam), as seen in the driver's side mirror
Effect: Overheated engine, shutdown on mountain summit.
Cause: Punctured radiator core.
New rad: $6K
Removal and Replacement: $2K
Breakdown rescue/tow: $1K
Additional travel costs & unplanned expenses: $2K
$11 thousand dollars later, because a piece of tire rubber from the road deflected up off the road and hit the cooling fan………and was unfortunately deflected into the rad.
Solution: Install expanded sheet metal covers over the fans. Engine cooling isn't compromised and the radiator is fully protected. IMHO this problem is particularly significant for those coaches with tag axels. Single axle coaches don’t have the same open chamber where the deflection and damage can occur.
Outcome: Serious, expensive Lesson Learned. I’m told by the rad and service shops......this is a common mode of failure for many coach owners...Malcolm
How did your insurance co treat you?
Good Sam would have picked up the tow, my insurance would have paid for the motel if it happened at a distance from home, road hazard insurance should have kicked in for damages to engine.
1973 Sportscoach w/ Chevy 454 and 55 gallon primary fuel tank (for gen and engine) and 45 gallon auxiliary fuel tank (engine only). The tanks are switched/selected with a 12V fuel selector valve (I carry a spare valve). The valve feeds the engine through an oil filter sized main fuel filter #1 which has a water drain. (I carry a spare #1 fuel filter.) The auxiliary tank feeds the fuel valve through a remote electric fuel pump (Yes, I carry a spare pump). That electric pump uses a required prefilter #2 ( I carry a spare prefilter #2).
Since I run lots of fuel from the aux tank and the required prefilter #2 that protects the pump is small, I have a medium sized filter #3 (yes, I carry a spare #3 filter) located between the aux tank and prefilter #2.
The engine began to miss as though it was being starved for fuel. It was starved when switched to either tank, which made me think it was in the main filter #1. I limped to my destination and replaced main filter #1. I found water in that filter as well as debris making me think the problem was solved.
The next trip out, it starved on only the aux tank. I replaced the medium filter #3. That seemed to fix it for 200 miles.
The next trip out the electric fuel valve failed. It wouldn't switch between tanks. I limped to a gas station to fill that tank and I replaced that valve at my destination. After 400 miles it began to hesitate again and died at a toll booth, but started up and I was able to limp home by repeatedly switching between tanks.
There was one last filter #4 - a tiny final one in the carburetor (yes, I also carry spare for #4 in my kit). It looked fine, but I couldn't blow through it, so I replaced filter #4. It's run fine for the next 500 miles, knock on wood.
It's hard to say which filter or valve was the problem. I know the valve was bad and that filter #4 was bad, but regardless of the problem, "Carry spares and build redundant systems" is my motto. None of the failures stopped any of the trips, but the DW does get a bit nervous when we see a series of issues like that.
o4 sportscoach,5.p cummins 300 hp.Quit in campground in Deming,nm.Had towed to las cruces,after 2 days of troubleshooting am told head must come off.Either dropped valve or valve seat mashed injector loaded with fuel. After getting bad news this am went to have breakfast.On way we stopped at traffic .Lite turned green cars ahead pulled away,one stopped and so did we,lady behind us did not stop,pushed us into car ahead.Now have smashed car and Broken motorhome.Am hoping to hear tomorrow that cylinder in cummins is okay and not scored.
Can hardly beleive this happened with only 42000 miles. Oh well happy trails