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Old 06-23-2009, 01:12 PM   #1
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Coolant Leak? Diesel engine

Filled up the coolant prior to a 60 mile trip--it was nearly empty after a 400 mile trip. Upon returning home (120 miles total) it's down to half-full.
Is this normal for a 1982 Turbo Diesel 280?
Or, do we have a leak? I don't see any of the colored liquid under her now, but it might be hidden by the oil stains.
If you think it's a leak, is that something I can deal with or is that a service issue for a pro?
Thanks.
Audrey
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Old 06-23-2009, 01:16 PM   #2
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yes its a leak, where is another question. If it is running fine with no unusual smoke than its in the cooling system.
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Old 06-23-2009, 02:41 PM   #3
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Check the hose in the overflow cannister on the lower left of the radiator; I had mine fall off and heated up big time.
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Old 06-23-2009, 07:56 PM   #4
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Thanks, will check and let you know.

I'm to drive with my infant and my two bigger boys down to the Airstream Factory next Monday night so I really don't want to have a major overheating issue on the highway alone with three kids. There were no weird smells, temp was fine, and engine ran smoothly and the coolant light lit up as we pulled in the driveway. I don't see any of the psychedelic coolant on the ground but that could be blending in with the oil. I'll check the overflow tube and see what else I can trace.
Thanks very much.

By the way, while I'm at the mothership and they are installing the new-ish front seats, anything else I should have them look at? I am having them take a quick (cheap) look at the water heater as we usually have to Fonzi it to make it light and that's not fun--I imagine when it's raining out it will be even less fun. I have no idea what it will take to fix it or whether we'd be better off replacing it. Also want to get an idea of where the water is coming in by the passenger front seat. The floor is wet after rain but we haven't figured out where it's getting in yet. The other water issues seemed to be resolved by tightening the vent/fan and A/C cap screws.
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Old 06-23-2009, 08:29 PM   #5
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Ok looked again at the coolant storage container . . .

but couldn't find an overflow hose. There is an overflow opening that arcs from the top to the side, and has no hose connected to it, but I doubt I could lose 1/3 of the fluid from just a bumpy ride. There is only one how that connects it to the radiator. I just put something under it where the driveway is stained from something leaking. If that is anti-freeze green, I will know where it came from. Any other ideas?
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Old 06-24-2009, 02:24 AM   #6
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Hi, swanky. The water leak by the passenger seat area could possibly your coolant loss. Check to see if your heater core is leaking.
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Old 06-24-2009, 06:34 AM   #7
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Take it somewhere ( truck repair or auto body shop) and have the cooling system pressure tested , it's the best way to find a leak and doesn't cost too much.
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Old 06-24-2009, 08:20 AM   #8
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The hose I was talking about is INSIDE the coolant overflow bottle.
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Old 06-26-2009, 02:03 PM   #9
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Pressure test was great advice--thanks and ???

The Cummins truck shop that was willing to look at the 280 found a bunch of coolant leaks just where clamps were loose and they just needed to be tightened. While I feel like an idiot for having a repair shop diagnose that, at least I know where to start next time.

They also took a look around at my husband's request--chassis A/C has major freon leaks and they are not too confident that repairs will do the trick--stating that the unit is so old, replacing the leaky parts might result in more damage or something to that effect. The PO told us it needed a charge but it's actually a sieve.

How much for a new chassis A/C system?

They also suggested a brake test to see if brakes can be bled. What does that mean and should I do it?

While poking around underneath I notice a few major rusty areas: propane tank--how much to replace with new?

The storage drawer under the driver window--are those even replaceable and if so, how much?

How much to replace the water heater with a new unit (not instant tankless, I'm too cheap for that)?

Thanks.
P.S. While dropping her at the storage facility in Warren, MI today, I saw a few cool AS trailers, an Argosy, and two motorhomes, one a 310 and the other just said Airstream Classic, no numbers. It was fun.

The ONAN ran great and they said it didn't need anything done to it.
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