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Old 07-15-2002, 03:11 PM   #1
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oil and trans fluids

I checked my trans fluid after my recent looong trip and it was down quite a bit. With the extreme hot weather and all I am not surprised, but wondered what usage you other motorhome folks were seeing.

Oil- I use a quart every 1000 or so, used 2 1/2 on the 2000 mile trip.
Trans- This was the first time I needed more than a pint. Used a quart plus.
By the way I am using Valvoline Max oil and trans fluid- might be good for the seals and such. Recommended for older engines and transmissions.

Also another note- while looking around the net I went to the WIX Filters site where I found they have filter numbers listed for ONAN generators. I put in my series and pulled up the application for oil and air. Might be a less expensive alternative to the factory filter which is a bit pricey.
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Old 07-15-2002, 03:22 PM   #2
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Alan,

I used approx. 3 quarts on my 2500 mile round trip to Dallas over the 4th. My dash out there was in the 65-70 MPH range and I towed a 2500 LB trailer back. I installed a trans cooler while there so I am unsure as to transmission oil useage or leakage. Thanks for the tip on the WIX site, I am getting ready to change the oil in my genset and was wondering how I was going to find a good filter that did not hurt my wallet. I am running generic multigrade oil in the MH engine, maybe the stuff for older engines would cout down on the consumption but I doubt it. I have no blue cloud on starting or running down the road, so I do not think is anything more than normal wear allowing a small amount to burn. Or I may still have a itty bitty leak. I had a BIG leak at my fuel pump. The PO had installed a new one and had not tourqed the bolts. It was loose and leaking a lot of oil.
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Old 07-15-2002, 04:21 PM   #3
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With regard to burning oil - You indicated you were driving at 65-70 mph on this trip and burning oil.. By any chance did you watch your RPMs. I don't know at what speed you get 3800 rpm with your vehicle, but Airstream Manual for my 454 Chev Eng says Airstream will not warrant over 3800 rpm. I believe my engine develops 3100 rpm at 55 mph, but I never drive faster than 3100 or 3200 rpm - It would be interesting to find out how many rpm you are running at 65-70 MPH
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Old 07-15-2002, 06:00 PM   #4
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My Motorhome was built in days when they did not have tachometers. And we liked it!! So I have no clue what RPM range I was running in. As it was built in 1976 I would assume that it would have been able to do at least the posted speeds of the era. If memory serves I think 65 or 70 was the national speed limit until 1977 when it became 55. I do know that at 55-60 my engine temps run lower. So I would assume that I was pushing it a bit on the way out. Unfortunately we had only a week so 2 days out and 3 days back with a short visit in the middle was all we could do.
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Old 07-15-2002, 07:55 PM   #5
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Oil

I would be concerned about the transmission. Transmissions do not "use" oil. If you have to add transmission oil regularly, it is likely due to a leak or having the transmission "burp" fluid due to overheating. I'm not sure about the vintage of your vehicle. Going back some years, a failure in the modulator could result in transmission fluid being pulled through the modulator vacuum line to the carburetor.
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Old 07-16-2002, 08:26 AM   #6
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I have no leaks, and have never used more than a pint of trans fluid before. This trip was thru a lot of mountainous areas and at temps of 95+ for many days at a time.
Thanks for the comments, Alan, but I queston the "no use of fluid" statement, as I have had many cars and trucks in the over 50 I have owned (not at one time), that "used" some fluid and needed replenishment. I am somewhat concerned about the volume of fluid I had to add this time, and will watch it closely. The manual from GM states that addition of fluid while hot should be done after checking the transmission levels while also hot, and in Park.
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Old 07-21-2002, 09:10 PM   #7
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I don't "use" trans fluid. I believe "use" would = leak.

I use about a quart of oil every 6-7 hundred miles. I used 2.5 quarts on my 1500 mi trip last week.

I keep my coach below 3500 rpm, pretty much limiting speeds to 60 - 62 mph. At 3000 rpm (56 - 60 mph) it will runs at 210 degrees in hot (85+) tempratures. It runs close to 220 at 3500 rpm (61- 66 mph).
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Old 07-21-2002, 09:50 PM   #8
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JW, My 345, (454 Chev Engine) on the only trip I have made (Indiana to South Carolina) was not running properly , but nonetheless, the RPM you quote is similar to mine (3000 rpm - 55-60 MPH). Used about 1/2 qt of oil on the 800 mile trip Since then it has had a compete tune-up - new wiring- new plugs - new distributor, condenser etc. My engine temp ran in the 190 - 200 range, but after putting a new fan clutch on it I expect that will get better. You might check your thermostat, sounds like you are running just a little bit hot.
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Old 07-21-2002, 10:19 PM   #9
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Thanks Dr.

I replaced the t-stat last year with a “superstat 180”, which opens 100% at 180 deg. In cooler weather the engine runs less then 200 deg. When it is hot outside, I have to work to keep it below 220, ie shut off the dash air, slow down). It probably does need a tune up, the engine runs rough until warmed up (120+ degrees) and I get a lot of pinging when accelerating mildly (not when I floor it). I burn mid-grade unleaded. I have a flex fan in place of the clutch fan. The fan cowling was damaged (gap at the bottom) when one of the blades went down through it when the old fan self-destructed. I intend to patch the gap, just did not get to it before this trip. I did add an electric fan that I can switch on or off from the dash. It worked great keeping the temp down when idling, especially when coming to a stop after running at highway speed.

Next is to fix the cowling and tune the engine. If that does not make a noticeable difference, I'm going to have to pull the radiator and get it recored.

Jim
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Old 07-21-2002, 11:02 PM   #10
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Alan,
you said you drove a lot of mountains on your trip. Do you see any moisture (tranny fluid) at the rear of the pan or is it bone dry?
If you see any, try to park your coach at an incline for a few hours and look at the rear of the pan. I have noticed on my rig, when I had it up on a ramp for the radiator recore that fluid was slowly leaking out towards the rear. Before that I never noticed any leakage.
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Old 07-22-2002, 11:20 AM   #11
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My rig sits on an incline in my driveway ( enough to where I have to move it to change the oil in the generator or it won't flow out).
I haven't seen any tranny fluid leakage. I have driven it about 100 plus miles since ading fluid and it shifted fine. Trans fluid seems clean, no burnt smells, or strange colorations or any indications of problems. I don't consider use = leak. I have "used" trans fluid before in many vehicles that had no trans problems. Especially in hotter climates. Why else do we check the trans?

Also as for the above posts on temps, I ran 160- 180 throughout the mountain trip, at 180 the fan clutch was kicking it back down to 160. We did a steady 60 mph at 3000 RPM for most of the 2000 miles.
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Old 07-28-2002, 01:52 PM   #12
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Exclamation More miles-more Smiles.

Hi there Guys...
jus bn readin YR notes here, Mmmm....U guys DO an awful LOT of miles in YR TRAVELS...I think I did a LOT of runnin around...like from LAST june 21st to THIS june 21st, I covered a staggering 6, 883 miles....ALL that in ONE YEAR....I read with GREAT interest, that U guys think NOTHIN of blippin up a mere 2500 miles in a few days trip...I think the MOST I ever done was abt 900, an that was in FLORIDA, when we came over on vacation, in 2000, How DO U Guys DO IT ???
As for the "TOP-UP'S"...Mmmmm...I think I used a THIMBLE full
of engine oil, an NO gearbox oil, ( Except when I do a FULL oil change )...in the YEAR, ...of course...
Thank's 4a great topic Guys, loved every post of it...Chris.....
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Old 07-28-2002, 07:18 PM   #13
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well ya know that here in the States its not just a short trip around the bend to another state...even across our state from one end to the other is 7 hours drive. In NY it was 12 hours from Rochester to NYC. Of course if you travel across Texas, it takes forever!!
And- gasoline is cheaper here as well...I paid $1.40 average per gallon of premium or middle grade.
I enjoyed all that driving, seeing the different towns, and the views were great through the mountains, and the beaches. I will always remember the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, doing that 20+ miles in my Airstream. This will be a summer to remember
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Old 07-28-2002, 09:33 PM   #14
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OT:miles and miles of texas

Deep in the heart of Texas...
My favorite sign is at the Louisiana/Texas border:
El Paso 892 miles
Which happens to be appr the distance as driving from London to Venice, Italy
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