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diesel tuneup?
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Picture of Doug Smiley
posted
If a diesel rv has been been sitting around for the past, say few, years what should one be looking for and/or $$$$


_________________________

The 82 MCC {by Barth}
is not an rv--
it is a Motor Coach!!

 
Posts: 2060 | Location: Nova Scotia | Member Since: 12-08-2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Captain Doom
Picture of Rusty
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Ho, boy! Diesels are the lesser tolerant of "sitting forever", a good portion of which is the contaminants in the crankcase due to the sulfur (no matter how slight) in the fuel, compared to gaso engines.

Contaminents end up in the crankcase oil, so the first query is: How long has it sat? The second is: What motor oil is in there, and how many miles since oil change? If the oil was changed with a quality product (Shell Rotella T or Mobil Delvac 1300 Super or Delvac 1, within 250 miles from being parked, the oil probably has withstood the abuse.

Frankly, regardless of the product used, if the engine has sat idle for a year or more, I'd consider the engine to be toast. It may not be, but in negotiations, I'd figure replacement a factor.

Transmission seals are gong to be suspect. Wheel bearings (front) will need evaluation, and at the least, repacking. Brake seals are also dodgy; plan on overhauls.

Then, somewhat off-topic, are the house appliances - how many of them have been neglected (if the coach sat, they won't have been used, or problems won't have been detected).

If it were I, a coach like this would realistically command $20K in catching up on deferred maintenance and repair, and I'd factor that into the price.


Rusty


MilSpec AMG 6.5L TD 230HP; built-to-order by Peninsular Engines:  Hi-pop injectors, gear-driven camshaft, non-waste-gated, high-output turbo, 18:1 pistons.  Fuel economy increased by 15-20%, power, WOW!"StaRV II"

'94 28' Breakaway: MilSpec AMG 6.5L TD 230HP

Nelson and Chester, not-spoiled Golden Retrievers

Sometimes I think we're alone in the universe, and sometimes I think we're not.
In either case the idea is quite staggering.
- Arthur C. Clarke

It was a woman who drove me to drink, and I've been searching thirty years to find her and thank her - W. C. Fields
 
Posts: 8200 | Location: Brooker, FL, USA | Member Since: 09-08-2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
"Host" of Barthmobile.com
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Picture of Bill N.Y.
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Boy, does this question come around a lot. I just asked this same question, to myself, not that long ago. I had an "Opportunity" to buy a "5+ yr's of inactive use Barth.

I was seriously considering salvaging a 85 Barth 35' MCC Regency a few months ago. It had most of the items I didn't want in a Barth. The diesel motor and chassis was the ones I consider to be "less desirable" in a Barth. I could have lived with these. I have no fear of the chassis or motors and I felt that I could have given this coach a proper upgrade and taken care of all of the maintenance issues.

My plan was to drive with one of my mechanics to Georgia in one of our service trucks. I would have done the following to get it road worthy first.

Oil Change in everything that held any types of fluids. Power steering, rears, transmission, engine, etc. Next would have been all of the wheel seals and wheel bearings. All new filters: water filter, fuel filters, air filter, power steering filter. Complete grease job with attention paid to all of the grease fittings in "that type" of chassis.

All new belts and hoses. I couldn't trust any rubber that was 5+ years old. New batteries, would be needed for the coach, the seller installed new batts for the starting circuit and had it running, but it needed coach batts.

I would need to show up with a case of penetrating oil, full oxy/acet tanks and be prepared to spend at least 2 days working on it before leaving. This would have cost my company money, my mechanic back home would be overworked without a relief person. The other mechanic with me would be away from his family for 4'ish days.

My thoughts would have been to try and drive this home with the service truck following me. It would have a spare water pump, alternator and other essential items.

I figured the fuel would be garbage but I would be forced to use what was in the tank with what I added to make it fresher. The fuel filters would have plugged up on me many times while driving home. Summers, winters and the constant change in weather would have left me with a tank of water, crud and algae growing in it. Diesel fuel is very unforgiving when left sitting for extended periods of time.

What caused me to reconsider this venture was the price, distance and attitude of the seller. He was acting like he was doing me a favor. He said 12k and the book was 15k low retail. If distance wasn't a factor I would have tried to talk some sense into the seller. Emails to him stopped after I tried to send him a counter offer and his one sentence answer, to my long winded response, told me he wasn't willing to negotiate.

How serious was I? I talked to another Barthmobile member who drove up to see the coach. The seller couldn't get it to run and our member stated that it need a paint job as it was peeling and the doors were rotted etc.

"IF" it made it home I planned on changing out the front main seal and all of the seals that didn't require me to pull the transmission/engine out. (It might have needed to have a motor swap) This would have been hoping for the best on the rear main motor and front transmission seals. It would have gotten a new radiator and a complete going over and some more kilo bucks in additional repairs and upgrades.

I wasn't looking for another Barth, he approached me with an offer to sell this coach. I couldn't see wasting that kind of time, money and resources to an unknown so far from home.

Think carefully before heading out on something like this. I have the knowledge and resources to accomplish this and I didn't bite. I am close to the opinion of Rusty. The only difference, the money figure would be less because the labor cost would have been sweat equity.

I hope this answers your questions. Please, for my own sanity on this forum, do not ask me what I consider to be a less desireable Barth, chassis, motor, trans, etc. This coach had all of what I wouldn't want for a less mechanicly inclinded person. Just like an older classic muscle car that I love, there are some things that are more desirable and some that are less.


˙ʎ˙u ןןıq- „ǝןƃuɐ ʇuǝɹǝɟɟıp ɐ ɯoɹɟ pןɹoʍ ǝɥʇ ʇɐ ʞooן ɐ ƃuıʞɐʇ sı ǝɟıן oʇ ʇǝɹɔǝs ǝɥʇ„

Regis Widebody1990 Barth Regis Widebody
8908 0128 40RDS-C1
L-10 Cummins
Allison MT647 Transmission
Spartan Chassis
Regal Conversion1991 Medical Lab Conversion
9102 3709 33S-12
Ford 460 MPFI
C6 Transmission
Oshkosh Chassis



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Posts: 7289 | Location: Newburgh, New York | Member Since: 05-10-2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 10/08
Picture of MWrench
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I or my brother haven't had any bad experiences with diesels sitting for years without starting.(heavy equipment) Yes seals dry up, rubber and some plastic parts deteriorate, but the mechanicals are quite tolerant of long periods of non-use. Even when we were at the peak of our operations, some equipment would only be used for a few hours a years and no special treatment was used to preserve the engine. We actually had more trouble with gasoline engines sitting. Of course there is no comparison, diesels last far longer then gasoline engines in severe duty applications.

As was mentioned, fuel does get bad and will clog filters/fuel system and should be treated with additives that prevent biological action. Before starting the fuel system should be flushed. If we found a piece of equipment that was interesting to purchase, before starting, we would heat the engine oil by an external heat source and once hot drain and re-fill. If the engine has been exposed to freezing temperatures, check for water in the oil or blown freeze plugs. Was the engine stored with water, antifreeze or dry? If stored dry, most water pump seals will dry out and will not recover.

As far as other maintenance, the first things to check once the engine has been started are for leaks, oil water or fuel.

On Cummins and other engine where valve lash is adjustable, always a good idea to check. On my Breakaway, (Cummins B5.9) the valve lash is supposed to have a regular check/adjustment every 24K miles, 1000 hours, or 1 year. Mine were very tight and if left go would have started to burn valves.

Check the vibration damper, If the engine has been sitting for long periods of time, the constant tension of the belt will cause some vibration dampers to take on a set that will cause extreme wobble, if this isn't corrected the snout of the crank may break.

I am in the same camp as Bill, my labor is cheap, (just a lot of lost sleep and sore muscles and a few busted tools) so a lot of my comments will only apply to those mechanically inclined. For others it can be very costly, it is always buyer beware.


Ed
94 30' Breakaway #3864
30-BS-6B side entry
230 Cummins, Allison 6 speed
Spartan chassis
K9DVC
 
Posts: 1893 | Location: Los Gatos, CA | Member Since: 12-08-2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
"5+ Years of Active Membership"
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 9/11
Picture of Jim & Barb
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Ouch! My Barth is a 1985 35' MCC Regency and it has been sitting in the driveway for a year.
However, I do the following: I have add fuel stabalizer to both the diesel fuel and the generator gas.
Once a month I start and run both the engine and the generator.
At this time I run both roof top ac's and the "frig" plus turn on the water pump and run water thru the lines. I also take it out for a short run of several miles and pump in about 10gals of fresh diesel.
So far I have not had any problems.
Hope I am doing everything right.
 
Posts: 435 | Location: Port Charlotte Florida USA | Member Since: 06-08-2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Captain Doom
Picture of Rusty
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It takes about 7-10 miles to warm the oil up and boil off any water in the crankcase (from condensation, especially heavy in coastal Florida). Just idling the engine is worse than not running it at all, as it doesn't get warm enough to boil the water out of the oil, but as it cools, the engine ingests another charge of damp air. The A/Cs should be run, IMHO for at least 1/2 hour monthly, preferably on the generator to give it a load so it'll warm up.

The reefer I run at least a day every month when it's not in use on the road.

Contaminants in the oil actually are only a problem if there's water to dissolve them.


Rusty


MilSpec AMG 6.5L TD 230HP; built-to-order by Peninsular Engines:  Hi-pop injectors, gear-driven camshaft, non-waste-gated, high-output turbo, 18:1 pistons.  Fuel economy increased by 15-20%, power, WOW!"StaRV II"

'94 28' Breakaway: MilSpec AMG 6.5L TD 230HP

Nelson and Chester, not-spoiled Golden Retrievers

Sometimes I think we're alone in the universe, and sometimes I think we're not.
In either case the idea is quite staggering.
- Arthur C. Clarke

It was a woman who drove me to drink, and I've been searching thirty years to find her and thank her - W. C. Fields
 
Posts: 8200 | Location: Brooker, FL, USA | Member Since: 09-08-2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Gunner
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If a diesel rv has been been sitting around for the past, say few, years what should one be looking for and/or $$$$"
I (today) ordered replacement hoses and air-dryer-kit-w/new purge valve for my 8.3 Cummins cuz it has been 6 years since replacement. Total: $280.00. (This has a turbo and charge air cooler, so more short connecting "tubers" are needed).
6-gal case of 15w-40 Delo brand oil: $70.00.
Wix (least expensive brand) oil filter was $55.00.
Two fuel filters don't need change, nor does the coolant filter, nor 20qts of DexronIII plus $75.00 filter package.
I am going to change the heater hoses: 60 feet of 3/4" @ $0.67 = $42.00.
All this is "the cost of doing business" and it doesn't come around every year (except the oil) but one should be aware of the cost - and difficulty of working on this, e.g. some of this requires working from above. Also, this shadetree is wearying of dirty work performed while lying on his back in cramped quarters.
PS: Mechanics and OTR-truck shops do NOT want to work on motorhomes outside simple stuff like an oil change. The "estimate" for labor for an oil/filter change plus the 9-hoses and the air dryer change was 4-6 hours @$90.00 per hour; part of the deal was to use "their" parts which will be about double what I paid (above). The first 3 -two Cummins and one "International Truck"- shops I contacted told me up front they didn't work on RVs outside oil changes/lube, and I understand why.
Summary: If you can't wrench your own, forget it; and even then, diesels are much more costly than a "Big Block" Chev/Ford.


"You are what you drive" - Clint Eastwood
 
Posts: 573 | Location: Republic of Texas | Member Since: 12-31-2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 2/16
Captain Doom
Picture of Rusty
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That's one of the things I really liike about Breakaways; the bed is a queen, which allows total access to the engine. I have no problems getting mechanics to work on it (although the only things I didn't do myself were to install 2 engine A/C compressors (I did the first - the other two were warranty) and the engine swap.

While the 6.5L has its drawbacks, parts are (relatively) cheap.


Rusty


MilSpec AMG 6.5L TD 230HP; built-to-order by Peninsular Engines:  Hi-pop injectors, gear-driven camshaft, non-waste-gated, high-output turbo, 18:1 pistons.  Fuel economy increased by 15-20%, power, WOW!"StaRV II"

'94 28' Breakaway: MilSpec AMG 6.5L TD 230HP

Nelson and Chester, not-spoiled Golden Retrievers

Sometimes I think we're alone in the universe, and sometimes I think we're not.
In either case the idea is quite staggering.
- Arthur C. Clarke

It was a woman who drove me to drink, and I've been searching thirty years to find her and thank her - W. C. Fields
 
Posts: 8200 | Location: Brooker, FL, USA | Member Since: 09-08-2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Gunner
posted Hide Post
"That's one of the things I really liike about Breakaways; the bed is a queen, which allows total access to the engine."
Yeah, I know; so's mine: the bed platform hinges up for full access. Even so, one has to climb into the compartment and stand on various parts of the frame rails on either side of the engine. All the engine "stuff" is NOT suitable for support - which is why the mechanics don't want to climb in there. A broken/bent turbocharger pipe or fuel-line is REAL expensive. The 6.5 may be small enough, and have clearance enough, to make a difference (??).


"You are what you drive" - Clint Eastwood
 
Posts: 573 | Location: Republic of Texas | Member Since: 12-31-2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 2/16
Captain Doom
Picture of Rusty
posted Hide Post
LOL! The 6.5L TD is about the same size as the Cat 3208; the intake manifold provides a decent platform for perching on top of the engine thingy; I've braced/rerouted the few things that I (or a mechanic) might cause duress. But the inline sixes (Cummins 5.9L/8.3L, Cat C-series,etc.) are a different stoke (literally). A dear friend of mine owns a 40' Beaver, and there are five hatches (including ones under the bed and in the floor of a closet) to gain access to the engineroom, and combined, they don't afford the access that our modest retro Barths provide. Only the fact his engine has a 500K mile warranty has persuaded him to get that coach.

But I totally agree, that if one wants to own a contemporary motorhome that's out-of-warranty, and one isn't handy with a wrench (and a multitude of cuss words), then one is doomed to owning a money-pit, and being the continuing victim of shops that charge what the repairs/maintenance are probably worth.

Though contortion is part of the charm of owning a motorhome, I can certainly sympathize with one not WANTING to muck about in the engineroom. I don't like to do it, but I do it because I'm (modestly) better than just about anyone I might choose to hire - and because I have to live with the quality of the work, tend to be more conscientious.


Rusty


MilSpec AMG 6.5L TD 230HP; built-to-order by Peninsular Engines:  Hi-pop injectors, gear-driven camshaft, non-waste-gated, high-output turbo, 18:1 pistons.  Fuel economy increased by 15-20%, power, WOW!"StaRV II"

'94 28' Breakaway: MilSpec AMG 6.5L TD 230HP

Nelson and Chester, not-spoiled Golden Retrievers

Sometimes I think we're alone in the universe, and sometimes I think we're not.
In either case the idea is quite staggering.
- Arthur C. Clarke

It was a woman who drove me to drink, and I've been searching thirty years to find her and thank her - W. C. Fields
 
Posts: 8200 | Location: Brooker, FL, USA | Member Since: 09-08-2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
"Host" of Barthmobile.com
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 8/16
Picture of Bill N.Y.
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quote:
Originally posted by Gunner:
Even so, one has to climb into the compartment and stand on various parts of the frame rails on either side of the engine. All the engine "stuff" is NOT suitable for support - which is why the mechanics don't want to climb in there. A broken/bent turbocharger pipe or fuel-line is REAL expensive.
I've been reluctant to respond for fear of painting all truck garages in a bad light, but I think the damage is already done, so... Big Grin

I think I'm qualified to answer this one.

Have you ever grabbed a steering wheel when a mechanic gets done working on a car? We would have to work on someones "House" while covered in oil, grease, etc...

The typical truck mechanic is a Neanderthal and they really don't worry too much about a truckdriver - yeah, we'll wipe down the steering wheel and blot a spot or two.

I can pull a head off of a truck and do an inframe rebuild without ever touching the interior - not in a MH.

In a MH, if we drop oil on carpet or grease up a bed sheet - forget about it! Joe consumer driving an expensive coach would badmouth them forever.

"Hey boss, I need to take a shower and then use the carpet cleaner to steam out an oil spot." Forget about it!!!

We're just not equipped to do this stuff. The next best thing for a typical truck mechanic/garage is to say "Sorry, we don't work on MH's"

I know the MH Dealerships have detail and cleaning shops - they are set up for that.

Note: Typical does not describe all mechanics and/or garages. I am talking from experience, I know that industry.


˙ʎ˙u ןןıq- „ǝןƃuɐ ʇuǝɹǝɟɟıp ɐ ɯoɹɟ pןɹoʍ ǝɥʇ ʇɐ ʞooן ɐ ƃuıʞɐʇ sı ǝɟıן oʇ ʇǝɹɔǝs ǝɥʇ„

Regis Widebody1990 Barth Regis Widebody
8908 0128 40RDS-C1
L-10 Cummins
Allison MT647 Transmission
Spartan Chassis
Regal Conversion1991 Medical Lab Conversion
9102 3709 33S-12
Ford 460 MPFI
C6 Transmission
Oshkosh Chassis



Quick Link: Members Only Link To Send Me A Private Message
 
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