Coolant additives and cavitation erosion

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blueblood

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Steve CDN

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Smoky,

Read the attached  antifreeze.TXTfile i've attached to this reply.  I wrote it several years ago, but the information is still valid.  DCA concentrationis one of the most important measurements you need to take on your engine.  Don't rely on some guy in a mechanics suit to do it, because chances are he won't do it right.  Do it yourseld and only yourself with your own eyes.

After reading the attached file, let me know what additioanl info you require to understand the process.  I have made the understanding of DCA by RVers  a missionary work of love...since dealers don't seem to provide the information.
 

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Tom

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It's also available in our forum library. Click the Library button in the toolbar above and select Maintenance Items.

Can't see the Library button? It's probably because you haven't logged into the forum.

Just noticed you weren't given proper attribution - appologies, I'll get that fixed.
 

Smoky

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Thanks everyone for the good info and Ron thanks for adding that to the list.

Now that the MH is scheduled for assembly and delivery, July 1 looks like when we will start our trek west, sooner if possible.  How much lead time do you need to order the satellite equipment?
 

Steve CDN

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The Fleetguard test strips are fairly difficult to get in the single sealed package.  Some Fleetguard dealers stock them, but the short expiry date makes them unaatractive inventory.

However you can often get a free test strip at a Cummins garage by asking the Service Advisor or Parts manager for one.  Also Cummins usually gives them away at their exhibits at rallies.

A few should always be kept on hand and the expiry date should be respected.  They do not give accurate readings beyond the expiry date.

Also any corporate Cummins garage will check your DCA free  of charge, I am told.
 

Tom

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Steve

I've read and re-read the coolant sections of my Cummins and Monaco owners manuals, and I must admit to being thoroughly confused regarding the type of coolant filter to use for replacement.

The Cummins manual says it depends on coolant capacity, deferring to the OEM (Monaco), but gives the following example:

Initial charge: Fleetguard WF2074, which is spec'd at 12 units of DCA4.
6,000 miles, 250 hours, or 3 months: Fleetguard WF2070, which is spec'd at 2 DCA4 units.

The Monaco manual also states it depends on coolant capacity, but doesn't specify the capacity. In the chart of filters and belts, it specifies use of the WF2071 coolant filter, which is spec'd at 4 units of DCA4, although my coach came with the WF2074 filter installed.

I stopped by a parts store before leaving on this trip, and all they stock is the WF2074 filter; They have no call for any of the others.

Yesterday, Ron Ruward checked my coolant using a test strip, and it fell clearly in the green zone on the chart, indicating that all three components of the test were within spec.

I'll call my Cummins dealer when I get home but, based on prior experience, I don't expect to get a sensible answer. I'll also try Monaco, but their owners manual clearly differs from the Cummins manual and from what was installed at the Monaco factory.  ???
 

Karl

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This is a very interesting topic of which I know nothing about because my rig is gas. However, maybe the life of those test strips are like photographic film, the life of which can be extended way beyond the expiration date (months ,if not years) if they are kept in a freezer. Just a thought.
 

Smoky

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See how advantageous it is for a complete newbie like me to keep pestering with questions?  Now we have a topic that even confuses the old pros around here?  ;D
 

Tom

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Smoky said:
Now we have a topic that even confuses the old pros around here? ;D

LOL Smoky, I'm not a pro, and I've had a diesel coach for about a year. But let's throw in another couple of dimensions. The CATs on the boat use long life coolant which is good for 5 years. Someone told me this week that CATs don't suffer the damaging effects of cavitation because they're not a sleeved engine. I'm not an engine guy, and so can't comment technically on this stuff.
 

Smoky

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You may be correct Tom.  On another forum I saw a discussion about cavitation bubbles and what they do to sleeves.  Most of it was over my head but sleeves were definitely a big part of the discussion.

Well I will have a Cummins so I guess I better learn enough to keep my new engine new.
 

Ron

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We have a Cummins engine in the Eagle.  The only other diesel we have owned was in the Volvo we use to own.  There was no concerns about cavatation errosion in the Volvo engine but it was not a sleeved engine.  From what I understand only sleeved diesel engines are pron to cavatation errosion.

ON the Cummins engine there is what they refer to as a coolant filter, that keeps the DCA consitration at the proper levels. These coolant filters come with different levels of the DCA in them.  The  Fleetguard WF2070 has 2 or 4 units, I don't recall exactly which, and is the filter to use if the DCA level is correct as determined with the test using the test strips.  If the DCA level is low it can be corrected by either using a filter with more DCA units such as the WF2074 or adding liquid DCA.  These coolant filters are normally replaced at each oil change.  Which filter used is base on the results of the test.  If you have the oil changed at a Cummins shop this is done for you.  If you change oil yourself as I do you need to know how to test.  The test is simple to perform.  In most cases just replacing the coolant filter with the regular WF2070 filter is all that is necessary.  The test must be done to know if additional DCA is required.

If you do not chnage your own oil be sure to request the shop include the DCA test results on your work order along with which coolant filter was used.

 

Tom

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Ron said:
The Fleetguard WF2070 has 2 or 4 units, I don't recall exactly which

As I mentioned Ron, the WF2070 has 2 units and the WF2071 has 4 units.

My Cummins manual and my Monaco manual provide conflicting requirements:

  • Cummins: WF2070.
  • Monaco: WF2071.

Both manuals state that the correct filter is determined by total coolant capacity, which is presumably different for different coaches using the same engine.
 

blueblood

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Tom said:
Ron said:
The Fleetguard WF2070 has 2 or 4 units, I don't recall exactly which

As I mentioned Ron, the WF2070 has 2 units and the WF2071 has 4 units.

My Cummins manual and my Monaco manual provide conflicting requirements:

  • Cummins: WF2070.
  • Monaco: WF2071.

Both manuals state that the correct filter is determined by total coolant capacity, which is presumably different for different coaches using the same engine.

Let me add some stuff which may or may not help.

First, coolant capacity is not specified in manuals generally because there are differences by several factors including the engine/radiators and related plumbing plus addded lines used to cool other radiators some of which may be all the the way to front of unit. I don't know whether Monaco can give the value; I do know that FCCC can (or at least used o be able to do so) if asked for total coolant required vs engine coolant per se.

Second, the coolant filters do a lot more than just add SCA. One only needs to look at the pictures in this report to see what all gets accumulated.  http://www.fleetguard.com/fleet/pdfs/product_lit/americas_brochures/sae2004-01-0157.pdf

Third, over treatment of SCA is as bad as under. The problem change from cavitation to solder bloom and gellation.

Fourth, all coolant filters are bypass because of the gunk noted in pictures above.


All that said I'll have to speculate at times from here forward.

The SCA in the filter media bleeds in the coolant as it passes through filter. My guess is that it is based upon the type of coolant being used  in your motorhome and thus miles before change. It is necessary to have proper  DCA4 units to last until changeover time. My guess is that the manual is obsolete i.e. WF 2071 (4 units) was specified at a time when coolant was changed frequently. Therefore, you have some sort of extended life coolant which goes more miles/time and thus a larger supply of DCA4 must be in filter to last until next change i.e. keep the coolant concentration at proper level and thus need the WF2074.

The proper range of SCA is 1.2-3.0 with 1.5 being the value most often used.

Why store only carries WF2074 may be related to fact that a) they don't really know the technicals and b) that's what is being asked for because of new longer life coolants and thus they stock it.

Pure speculation  ;D

 

Tom

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Blueblood, thanks for those words of wisdom (and speculation). Thanks also for the link.

blueblood said:
First, coolant capacity is not specified in manuals generally because there are differences by several factors including the engine/radiators and related plumbing plus addded lines used to cool other radiators some of which may be all the the way to front of unit.

Understood, but Monaco should know those variables. In fact, my Monaco manual says "see the coolant capacity specified in this section", but it proceeds to omit the information from that section.
 

Smoky

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I sincerely hope by the time this discussion reaches an end, one of you diesel pusher "physicists" translates all of this into simple instructions for the owner of a 330 hp Cummins to follow.  :D
 

Tom

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LOL Smoky, I suggest you just visit Sam's Camp often enough. It's all part of the service there - no extra charge  :)
 
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