Friday, November 11, 2016

Coach repair

We noticed a radiator leak, and since there is a Cummins Coach Care in Fargo, ND, decided to have it checked before we started heading south. If it can be fixed, we probably would be on the road again within the week. If replacing a radiator, it takes a week to build it if there isn’t one on hand, a week shipping and then putting it in. So, pros and cons of having it done here vs waiting until we get somewhere south; where to go, where to stay if its 2-3 weeks, costs, etc. We decided to have it checked in Fargo.


If a radiator is copper/brace, we were told that it could be fixed. If it is aluminum, it is not repairable. The radiator was taken out and checked and leaked, as well as the charge air cooler leaking. The radiator is copper/brace, so could be get fixed. The charge air cooler is aluminum, also can be fixed. OK, so now we need to decide if we want them repaired or replaced. If repaired, they possibly have to be replaced in 1-2 years. So there would be the labor of taking it out and putting it back in again, about $3000.

Curt had called businesses before we got here to see if he could find a radiator on hand. There was one, so that would save a week.  We decided to have them both replaced. The radiator was ordered and took a week to arrive. There was no charge air cooler to be found on hand, so that had to be built, takes a week, and then a week to be shipped also. We purchased the radiator and charge air cooler through Source Engineering out of Oregon. (No sales tax!)

The coach was inside the Cummins shop during all this time and was plugged in. We took food and clothes out and luckily Curt’s sister and husband live in West Fargo and were willing to put up with us for the duration.


When the radiator came in, Cummins called us and Curt went to check it out to make sure it was the right one. The same when the charge air cooler came in. He stopped almost daily to make sure the coach was plugged in; there were times it had been shut off. They also updated the ECM (engine control module).


So, with both pieces here, we can get going!  The morning they called and said it was ready to go, we went to check things out and pick it up. Curt looked under the coach and it was leaking, green. There was also a water leak and hydraulic leak. And chips/scratches on the back bumper.  We told them what we found. They obviously hadn't checked it out before we told them as they were surprised; they don’t have green antifreeze, that’s what our old stuff was. They were suppose to have flushed it and refill it with new oat antifreeze, red color.  Okay, we’re not going anywhere today. Don’t employees read their instructions? Don’t employees check things to make sure they’re working correctly?


The next day we picked up the coach, settled our bill (charge was way more than quote) and drove about 20 miles on the interstate to see how things were working.  We were able to recycle the radiator and charge air cooler in Fargo for $250.

Would we do it again there?  No. The first hint should have been when we heard a comment that they hadn’t done one like ours before. We have noticed noises when driving that we didn’t have before. The transmission cooler was against the frame which caused noise. Baffles were not put back in which causes improper air flow over the radiator. There’s a few other things Curt has to fix.

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