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Old 09-02-2003, 12:02 PM   #29
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Some good news today

I've been waiting for a break on this project and today I got one. After visiting the seventh store about getting replacement oil cooler lines made up the Parker Fittings guys sent me to a radiator shop across the street. I plunked my broken oil cooler line on the bench and without even asking he said "The answer is I can make those. Chevy P30 right?" Finally someone who talks chassis built before 2000! He said if I bring him the old fittings, he'll make them and bend them to fit. I can pick them up tomorrow at lunchtime.

He also soldered my broken tube right there!

And now for the bonus round...I had him quote a re-core on my 28 x 19 core. He quoted $300 for a five row recore. Told me to be wary of the cheap replacements because a replacement for a P30 van is too wide to fit in a motorhome. It's also usually a three core as they make up cooling area in length. The smaller motorhome radiator needs to be a four core (34" van vs 28" in the motorhome)

I told him that I knew a few others who would be interested in his services. So...the radiator should go back in tomorrow with a repaired tube and new oil cooler lines....I hope.

I plan on scheduling the recore with him for the fall. After all I'd like to actually camp a few times before I get all greasy again.
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Old 09-02-2003, 02:31 PM   #30
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P30 radiator

I have my 1981 Excella in for a new Diesel engine at Tom's Trucks in Santa Ane, CA. They researched a "Super Cool" high efficiency radiator for me (4 row)and it is now installed. My cost was $560.00 + tax and labor.

Dick
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Old 09-02-2003, 09:46 PM   #31
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Oh...another thing. CarRadiators.com did call back today and I got the same as Al; Not for Class A Motorhomes..the dimensions were different.
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Old 09-03-2003, 07:41 PM   #32
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Yahoo, Yippe, Yee Haa! It's Alive!

Got my replacement oil lines installed tonight, topped up the radiator and oil, checked the trans fluid and started her up. No leaks (oil, coolant or trans - yet), no squealing belts, plenty of oil pressure and when she hit 180 the therm opened and she idled steady at approx. 165 - 170 (used to be approx. 185 - 190). Going to give her another test fire tomorrow and then a short trip to make sure I don't have any leaks when moving. Then...off to the big hills!

Thanks to everyone involved for the advice. Would not have wanted to have done it without you!
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Old 10-04-2003, 06:29 PM   #33
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I read the exchange on the radiator replacement . I have determined that I need to replace the water pump. I have spent way too many hours so far trying to get the radiator out of the way just to remove the fan shroud so I can get to the water pump.
After reading about removal of the radiator in 45 minutes... I need help. Is the removal procedure published somewhere?
I have what looks like an auxillary transmission cooler in the very front, followed by the twin electric fans, followed by the transmission cooler radiator followed by the engine radiator. At least I think that is how it goes.
My unit is a 1988 454. It was cooling fine but I noticed coolant leaking today from the water pump as best I could tell ... thus my attempted replacement. Help please. I may have to put it back together and take it to someone who knows what they are doing.
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Old 10-04-2003, 07:23 PM   #34
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You shouldn't have to pull the radiator. Loosen the belts. 4 nuts hold the clutch fan and water pump pulley on. These are on the flange by the pulley, the fan and clutch come off in one piece. There is a dowel in the center to locate them and it will probably be tight. Be careful removing the fan from the shroud or you will have to pull the radiator.

John
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Old 10-04-2003, 08:52 PM   #35
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I feel your pain

AccessMaster,
Sounds like you are halfway there. John is right so if you don’t need to take it out then don’t. But it’s pretty darn crowded in there and I had to remove most of the accessory brackets to get the pump out so if you’re determined to take out the radiator (or you’ve already removed most of it) then I hope this helps.

As far as knowing what I’m doing…I only know slightly more than you since I’ve done it already...three times…don't ask. The advice in this post and on others helped me enormously. I’ve been meaning to repay the forum for a while for all of the advice I got during my replacement so you’ve given me an excuse to return all of the favors given to me when I did it.

Here goes:

First of all do this somewhere where you can lay up the MH for a while. I broke a few things and chasing replacement parts took longer than fixing the original problems so my MH was tied up for over a week. Also, this is VERY messy and you’ll be on the ground a lot. I have a gravel driveway (which was no fun) so a hard surface and a creeper would have made things more “comfortable”. You will also need a 5 gal bucket to drain the coolant into and plan for an oil change as you will need to drain the oil.

I think the best way to approach this is to start by removing the access panel (hood) and the front grill. The access panel is held in with one screw on either side and the grill is held in by two large through bolts on the top and eight smaller (10mm on mine) on each side. My transmission cooler was mounted to the grill so I removed this first. I left the bottom two bolts in the grill (loose) so I could pivot the grill forward making it easier to remove the transmission cooler. Then I removed the grill entirely.

I'll bet one of those “coolers” is actually your AC condenser. My 86 had an aux transmission cooler but runs both transmission fluid and oil through coolers through the radiator first. Mine did not have an AC condenser (removed by the PO for some reason) so I didn't have to deal with it. If your dash air actually works I would recommend keeping everything intact and just moving it up out of the way if you can. (Again - no experience here)

I also have two electric fans. The front air lines run through the fan housing along with the hot leads for each fan. I cut the leads (replaced with blade connectors later) and unscrewed the Schrader valves for the air lines. I then fished the lines out the bottom and coiled them up under each lower A-arm to get them out of the way. The entire fan assembly comes out as one unit. I removed it and set it aside.

Next remove the two upper radiator support bracket bolts (passenger side is a tube from the firewall and the drivers side is a through bolt bracket on the support itself - look behind the wiring harness) and all of the hardware on top of the upper radiator mount; oil fill bracket, upper shroud bolts, relay, a few brackets, hoses, etc. I think everything came out with a 10mm socket with various extensions. The upper radiator support is held in with two bolts on either side about midway down. You can access the bolts on the passenger’s side from the front. But the driver’s side can only be accessed by climbing under the driver’s side front and reaching up in front of the steering box with a six inch extension on the socket. (Bring a flashlight).

You can now remove the upper radiator support. Do not pry the upper support by leveraging against the top of the radiator. As tempting as this is (I did it) you could easily crack a few radiator tubes (I though I did). Instead cut a 2 x 4 long enough to sit on the front cross beam that comes up level with the top of the radiator. Use this as a fulcrum for a large screwdriver or tire iron and pry up the upper support. If you slide it up on the passenger side enough to clear where it overlaps the bottom support you can then twist it out passenger side first. There is a pretty good bundle of wiring on the drivers side so be careful not to pull on anything too hard. I found a few unexpected zip ties all over this project.

Drain the coolant (petcock on the driver’s side) into a 5 gal bucket. Remove the upper and lower hoses which should give you a little wiggle room on the radiator to get behind it for the transmission cooler lines. If you can reach the clamp going into the pump try and remove the entire lower hose now to give you access to the oil cooler lines. You also have to disconnect the water temp sender and transmission cooler lines (driver’s side).

The hard engine oil cooler lines into and out of the radiator on mine where a nightmare. I started loosening them blindly by feel and accidentally ended up twisting the aluminum tubing until it broke. You may be better off to leave them attached to the radiator and disconnecting them (and their brackets) where they connect below the fan shroud and pulling them out with the radiator (drain your oil first). Replacements are a workhorse special order or a custom job – 50 bucks either way.

Now once everything is disconnected you can lift the radiator up and out. Try and keep it tipped forward or you’ll spill oil and transmission fluid everywhere. Now the fan shroud comes out (clips on bottom). Four bolts hold the fan clutch onto the WP flange. Remove all you belts (good time to replace them all – they are cheap).

My accessory brackets where huge and overlapped two of the four WP bolts. After trying to remove only what I though was necessary and pushing and pulling on the WP for an hour and ended up just taking off all of the accessory brackets and moving them to the side. (Keep track of all your bolts for this).

No you can remove the WP and pull it forward. I had to do a fair amount of scraping and cleaning for the new gaskets. Also replaced the thermostat and housing and the bypass hose.

Obviously everything bolts back in going in reverse. I replaced all the upper and lower hoses but neglected the heater hoses (both the dash heat and aux heat under the sofa.) I should have replaced all of this then with the coolant drained as I blew a aux heater hose this weekend an dumped a good gallon of brand new coolant, distilled water and CRC onto my previously clean carpet under the couch….lesson for me…heater hose is cheap and I shouldn’t separate heater projects from cooling system projects!

Finally I did a Prestone flush, added a 50/50 Prestone/distilled water mix and added CRC Tow Kool. When it was all finished I could run at 70mph and stay rock steady at 180 degrees and pulled a two mile long steep grade ant didn’t get over 190 degrees.

Please feel free to PM me if you have specific questions. There are some lonely moments on this project and I’ll be around tomorrow and would be happy to help out from afar.
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Old 10-05-2003, 07:57 AM   #36
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Re: I feel your pain

Quote:
Originally posted by swebster@myrvadvanta
............

I'll bet one of those “coolers” is actually your AC condenser. My 86 had an aux transmission cooler but runs both transmission fluid and oil through coolers through the radiator first. Mine did not have an AC condenser (removed by the PO for some reason) so I didn't have to deal with it. If your dash air actually works I would recommend keeping everything intact and just moving it up out of the way if you can. (Again - no experience here)

..........
AC condensors: right in, left out. No way to move it for front removal
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Old 10-05-2003, 08:07 AM   #37
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Thanks Steven.
At this point I am putting everything back together. I do not want to take on the full project myself at this time. We have a one week vacation in 2 weeks (with the MH of course) and I will not have the time to spend to get this done. I have done enough of this to know it always takes a lot longer than expected. This sounds like it could take almost take forever if things go reasonably well.
I will look into replacing the WP without removing the radiator. I just did not know how to get the fan shroud out of the way.
Asking for help on the forum first really is the right way to go about these projects. I have been getting great advice for 5 months now.
I thought I was done with all the major refurbishment work until I saw the coolant leak this weekend.
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Old 10-05-2003, 08:21 AM   #38
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Fan Shroud

You are right in that its not a small job.

I did not try this but in thinking about it a little I'll bet if you can get the fan off of the WP and release the shroud it may all come out together from the bottom. This will also help you avoid dealing with the AC.

There are two bolts on the top of the fan shroud (attached to the upper radiator support) and two metal clips on the bottom. My shroud is one piece (if I ever meet the GM guy who thought of this in a dark alley ).

If you get this out of the way you might be able to sit up on a milk crate inside the space where the fan and shroud used to be and have pretty good access to everything. Might make sense to place some thin plywood behind you to cover the exposed radiator fins as there will definately be some pushing an pulling going on in tight quarters. It would be a shame to put an elbow or wrench into the back of your radiator.

Let us know what you end up doing. With your upcoming vacation there is certainly good argument to pay your favorite P30 MH mechanic to do this job. I'm just too stubborn and cheap to let anyone else work on mine. (I've also paid for some jobs already that were done poorly by "certified" mechanics)
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Old 10-05-2003, 09:22 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally posted by swebster@myrvadvanta
You are right in that its not a small job.
........
Yesterday, on car talk, one of the guys told a story about when they were young lads and him and his brother thought they could do a repair, because it was only 1 1/2 pages in the chilton manual.
After lining up all the tools, they started to read the instructions. The first line said: remove engine........
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Old 10-05-2003, 09:35 AM   #40
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Chilton Manual

Ha! Sounds like every chapter in the Chilton Manual

The procedure to remove struts - 1. Jack up car. 2. Remove struts. 3. Installation is the reverse of removal...no pics no details.
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Old 10-05-2003, 04:19 PM   #41
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John -
I took a look at removing the fan shroud. Now I am more convinced than ever that the radiator has to be removed. At least it looks easier and more likely to acomplish than getting the fan shroud out of the way. I just do not see how it can come out. It is wider than the frame rails at the bottom. The entire dash assembly is over the top .... It is totally boxed in with no way out.
I can't even see one bolt of the water pump. What a sadistic bunch of @#%# who designed and built this machine. I don't even understand how they got it together when it was new. .
So ... while I was under there anyway I decided to try to accomplish something this weekend. I thought I would replace the front airbags with the new ones I ordered from Camping World. I just completed getting the old ones ripped out ... in 200 pieces. I can't wait to try to get the new ones stuffed back in to the 1/2" gap between the coil springs. #!*-#@#!
Joe
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Old 10-05-2003, 04:49 PM   #42
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How is the dog house cover attached to the cowl? I know mine was riveted but there were changes made and I thought someone had mentioned theirs being bolted. If so it would give you more room to work towards the front of the engine.

There is a hole in the bottom control arm in the center of the spring. Twist the air bag up and jam it in the hole.

John
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