2014 Forza38R

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Scottro

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Looking at this rig to buy. I’m in Florida, it’s in Texas. Diesel engine has less than 10k on it. Has not had an oil change yet. Should I be concerned or just do a oil and filter change and be ok?
Also the generator looks to have never been used...has no hours on digital hours meter. Is it safe to start...of course after checking fluid levels beforehand?
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Since its 7 years old, I'd suggest a complete maintenance on engine and genset, oil & filter, fuel filters, coolant, air filters, whatever. The rig probably needs tires & batteries too - tires especially. They age and 7 years is into "senior tire" territory, plus they suffer from inactivity and UV exposure. Tires last longer if they roll regularly.

Can you start the genset? Sure, give it a try after checking oil & coolant (if not air cooled).
 

Scottro

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Thanks Gary!
The current owner says it’s been under cover(like a pole barn) it’s whole life. The dealer says they do look like they’ve been under cover,seem well preserved.
Apparently they have been driving it short runs throughout the last 6 years. So I don’t think it has sat too much.
You don’t suppose inner seals in either engine could be bad or condensation should be a concern?
I’ll start the generator when we come out to check it out. I definitely agree with all you said.
 

Henry J Fate

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Engine seals are most likely fine. An oil sample is helpful as long as it is processed and evaluated correctly. Price of the coach is important. If you are paying top dollar then be thorough. I would also say that even if you are getting a good deal be thorough with important items like the chassis engine, transmission, drive train. generator and other major items should always be confirmed as being in good health. Any previous service records are handy to look at too.

As Gary has suggested, do a full service on the vehicle.
 

Scottro

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Thanks Henry. The rig has 9300 miles on it and as far as I am able to find out it hasn’t sat too much,but only took a couple of longer trips from Texas to Florida(Roughly 4000 miles)Otherwise, they were shorter runs to sporting events etc. I believe it has been operated throughout the last 7 years. I am told it was in a pole barn when it was parked. By the looks of the pics I’ve seen,it looks like it.
 

John Canfield

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The primary focus for me would be the condition of the diesel fuel. If they kept the tank full there there's a minimal chance for water condensation. If they didn't keep it full and didn't use a biocide (I use Biobor JF) then sludge can accumulate from bacteria/water in the bottom of the tank and can literally stop up a filter (happened on a used sailboat we bought years ago.) However this isn't a show stopper if everything else checks out.

There are mobile services (or fixed places) that can "polish" the fuel, they recirculate your fuel through their filtration system. We actually had that done at a marina in Key West since our fuel was so contaminated.
 

John Canfield

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No, I really don't remember what the cost was - that was a very long time ago. Cost is relative - if you buy it and the sludge packs up the filters on a highway, well you get the rest of the idea. Some of the diesels have a pre-filter and then a secondary filter (whatever they are called.) some only have one filter.

Most of Texas has a relatively dry climate (except Houston area) so microbe growth in diesel fuel is not a common problem as it would be in a coach stored in Florida.
Interesting. Do you have data to support that assertion?
 

Scottro

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If there is “sludge”in the tank,how do I check for that upon inspection? Do I have to have fuel drawn from the tank to check?
 

John Canfield

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In the boat's diesel tank we had a drain like a light aircraft to periodically check for water. I wouldn't worry about sludge buildup in the tank bottom in a six year old unit just the quality of the fuel and what's suspended. My sludge buildup happened in the engine fuel filter - the filter bowl was full of what looked exactly like molasses.

As far as humidity in central Texas, in the summer our typical morning humidity is always over 90%, I try to avoid walking on grass to keep my boots dry. Check my weather station, link in my signature.

An option is indeed to have fuel tested.
 

Scottro

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Thanks John...will any water build up tend to go to the bottom of the tank or will it float on top of the diesel?
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Diesel engines have water separator filter in the fuel line, and often those have a glass bowl or a drain petcock that allows you to see water or crud. Free water in the filter is simply drained away by removing the bowl or opening the petcock. If the separator/filter has neither, just repalce it.

Moisture (humidity) condenses on the sides of the tank and drip down into the fuel. It eventually goes to the bottom because it is heavier than the fuel, but the fuel pump also picks up from near the bottom, so it can get sucked into the fuel line.

A related problem is that microbes (aka algae) can grow in where water is in the diesel fuel and that can clog filters and fuel pumps.

Both these are concerns but the probability is tough to estimate. It's one of those things that is fairly low in probability but a showstopper if it happens. And in severe algae cases, hard to correct. Filtering (called polishing) is the best solution buy pricey, sometimes several hundred dollars. Mostly, though, you can put an algaecide in the tank and buy a couple extra fuel filters so you can change them as they fill up with crud.


NOTE: I yield to John on the likelihood of diesel water problems in Texas. He lives there, while I'm just Florida boy. :cool:
 

John Canfield

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Thanks John...will any water build up tend to go to the bottom of the tank or will it float on top of the diesel?
Water will settle on the bottom in both diesel and gasoline tanks. One of the very first pre-flight inspections taught is to use a clear glass and drain a little bit of gas from each fuel tank and look for water.
 

Scottro

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Sounds great Gary!
Good info. I’m in Florida myself,Orlando actually. What part are you from?
 

Scottro

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Also Gary...anywhere in particular that you recommend to get things like fuel filters etc?
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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I live 15 miles east of Ocala, out in the Ocala Nat'l Forest. Been out there with the bears and birds since 1994.

I did my own oil changes and fuel & air filters. Boughtfilters online or at a NAPA store if necessary. Any other chassis work was done at the Freightliner Factory Service Center in Gafney, SC, if I could manage it. I used to plan a stop there every year - there was always something that needed care.
 

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