Question for Monaco or Cummins techs

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Tom

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If you happen to be at one of the rallies attended by Monaco &/or Cummins techs, here's a question for them.....

I'm in the middle of my annual coach maintenance (between rains). This morning I went to change the coolant filter (aka DCA filter). Although the test strip says it's not yet due, I figured I'd change it anyway since it's such an easy task. Wrong!

The Cummins ISC manual clearly shows the coolant filter bolted to the block, adjacent to the oil filter. The Monaco manual for our coach shows it in the same place. But it's not there! In place of the bracket/filter are a couple of coolant lines that run to the rear compartment which, in theory, makes it much easier to change the filter. Wrong again!

The remote bracket holding the coolant filter has no means for shutting off the coolant flow, whereas the bracket that would have been attached to the block would have a valve. A call to Monaco tech support had someone scratching his head - he'd never heard of a remote mounted coolant filter. He went off to talk to a factory tech who asserted that my remote filter was a fuel filter. Sorry, I've changed fuel filters, so I know where they are. This one even says "Coolant filter" on the side in addition to "12 units DCA". Also, when I unscrew it, what comes out is the familiar green ethylene glycol (aka antifreeze).

Scratch heads again. "Solution" - use a couple of clamps to shut off the coolant lines. Err.. won't that damage the lines? I reluctantly proceeded to clamp the lines and change the filter, but not before losing a quart of antifreeze. Fortunately, I'd positioned a bucket and a couple of absorbent pads on the ground to catch it.

So, if you happen to talk with a Monaco or Cummins tech, ask them how to change a remote filter without damaging coolant lines and without spilling coolant.

TIA.
 

dsl4us

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Tom,
While not a Cummins tech I was a ASE auto/light truck tech. They make hose pliers to pinch off heater hoses without damage. We used them quite often when installing a tee into the heater hose for coolant flushes. The pliers are of a ratcheting style so you don't have to constantly hold them, something like a visegrip, and have smooth jaws to not damage the hose.
 

Tom

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Thanks. I used ratcheting type clamps with smooth plastic jaws and they seemed to work OK. I'm still concerned about having to squash the hoses like that though.
 

blueblood

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Tom - I don't think this would be a Cummins issue per se. They build the engine out per the desires of the chassis manufacturer and it normally comes without oil, radiator, alternator, air compressor, etc The coolant filter/plumbing would be in same category i.e put on by the chassis manufacturer on thier engine dress out or chassis assembly line.

Leo 
 

Tom

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Thanks Leo. That makes sense, given that the filter is mounted to the frame of the coach. I believe the reason Monaco did this is because it would be impossible to change the filter if it was attached to the block due to other obstructions. It's just crazy that they didn't either put a valve in line or use a bracket with an integral valve like the one that would normally be attached to the block. It's also weird that the factory had no knowledge of having done this. I was really cringing when I clamped the coolant lines.
 

Jim Dick

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Tom,

Sounds like an item that should be addressed by Monaco. I would think they should have installed the valve.
 

Tom

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Agreed Jim and it will be on my list next time I visit a service center.
 

Steve CDN

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Tom,

Your report about the coolant filter is very interesting to me since I have long been a proponent of acquainting Cummins owners about DCA and coolant maintenance.  In our '98 coach with a mechanical C 8.3 engine, Cummins installed a valve to cut coolant flow while changing the filter which is installed at the top of the engine as a simple spin on.

A few years ago, Cummins modified their Compleat coolant to allow the option of making it long lasting or changeable every two years, depending on the filter used with the coolant.

I wonder if the rationale of attaching the filter to a bracket is related to using it in the "long life" mode; though I am surprised at the use of a bracket!

If Compleat is used in the regular mode or any other generic low silicate heavy duty antifreeze is used the recommended life of the coolant is two years.
 

Tom

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Hi Steve,

Based on the color, I'd say the coolant in the system is regular antifreeze. For clarification, I've attached a photo of the bracket and filter. Also attached is a pair of drawings from the Cummins manual showing how the filter would "normally" be mounted. Note the valve on the OEM bracket which is missing from the remote bracket on our coach.

Steve said:
A few years ago, Cummins modified their Compleat coolant to allow the option of making it long lasting or changeable every two years, depending on the filter used with the coolant

I'm a little confused by this Steve. I previously picked up a gallon of Compleat, not realizing it was different from the antifreeze in my system. The bottle calls it ES-Compleat and says it's a 50/50 mix of distilled water and propylene glycol. On the back of the bottle is the comment:

"You can start withES-Compleat PG premix or convert existing equipment by adding ES Extender liquid to your existing coolant...."
 

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Steve CDN

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Tom,

The drawing you posted shows the same setup as on my engine, which I guess is the Cummins default installation.? Yours is obviously different for some reason.

Here's the product literature on ES Compleat PG

Based on the photo of your coolant filter, it is a regular filter and not the extended life filter so you would be ready to change your anti freeze after two years of use.

The Extended life filter costs about $75 compared to under $10 for the regular filters.? I carry 0 DCA filters and a bottle of DCA concentrate rather than filters containing a "puck" containing DCA.? I feel I can more accurately maintain the DCA concentration that way.

In what way do you feel the product you bought differs from whats in your system?

BTW Fleetguard produces two flavors of anti freeze:? Ethylene Glycol and Propylene Glycol for each product line, so you need to choose which one you are using.
 

Karl

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Tom,

Is it possible that the modification was made by the Roadmaster Chassis division and not Monaco per se? Perhaps based on the chosen floor plan and/or options ordered? Just a thought. Is there something else mounted where that filter is supposedly shown to be?
 

Tom

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Karl said:
Is it possible that the modification was made by the Roadmaster Chassis division and not Monaco per se?

I believe you're right Karl. The Roadmaster factory is right next door to the factory service center in Indianna. The latter is who I was talking with when I called for tech support.

As for other localtions, both the Monaco manual and the Cummins manual show it mounted on the block adjacent to the oil filter.
 

blueblood

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Steve said:
Tom,

The drawing you posted shows the same setup as on my engine, which I guess is the Cummins default installation.? Yours is obviously different for some reason.

Keep in mind that the schematics shown in manuals are a generic illustration. They may or may not be what the chassis manufacturer requests and in particular as I mentioned before certain items are rarely included that show in schematics like air compressors and alternators, etc
 
 

Tom

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Thanks Steve.

Steve said:
Yours is obviously different for some reason.

Neither tech support nor a service center tech had seen or heard of my configuration. I still don't understand why they didn't use a bracket with the integral valve in the remote location.

..it is a regular filter and not the extended life filter

Correct. The one in the photo is actually the one I just installed.

The Extended life filter costs about $75 compared to under $10 for the regular filters.

That's a big ouch.

In what way do you feel the product you bought differs from whats in your system?

What I bought is the extended life propylene glycol (blue), whereas what's in my system is ethylene glycol (green), which I assumed is normal service.
 

Tom

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Understood Leo. It's just strange that Monaco has no record or knowledge of my configuration and a service tech who "normally works on chassis" in the factory service center had never seen one like this. In fact, his first response based on my verbal description was "that's a fuel filter", which of course it's not.
 

Tom

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happytrader59 said:
What about splicing in a valve(s) on the hose(s).

I could, but I prefer not to have a hose supporting a valve. I think I'll try to get hold of a bracket with an integral valve, similar to what would normally be attached to the block.
 

Steve CDN

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Tom said:
I'll try to get hold of a bracket with an integral valve, similar to what would normally be attached to the block.

Tom,

You may have a strong case to have Cummins or Monaco supply the default configuration under warranty.? When our coach was new, the originally installed valve for the coolant was plastic, which was known to break after repeated use.? Though it was not a re-call at the time, Cummins provided the "upgrade" to a stainless steel valve under warranty to people who requested it.
 

Tom

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Steve

The problem with the default installation is that it would be impossible to change the filter. But I might be able to get them to install a valve at the remote location.
 

Tom

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It took a long time to come out the other end of this one, partly because the coach has been in storage for over 5 months and, as they say, out of sight out of mind.

I was talking one day with a relative who has worked on trucks and RVs for several years and mentioned this issue. He said it was a common issue on trucks and, when the trucks came into the shop for their first service, they automatically installed valves at the remote coolant filter. Out of the blue I received a package containing a couple of valves - see photo. The relative happened to be in a parts distributor, remembered our conversation and bought the valves.

Now all I need do is install them. Should be relatively straightforward.
 

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