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Old 04-06-2017, 02:18 PM   #1
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1999 35' Cutter Diesel Bus w/slide
Taos , New Mexico
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Generator Repair $4000?

Hi Everyone,

We were almost finished buying a used Cutter, but the generator cut off each time we tested it. They took it to a repair facility and they said it shuts down due to overheating, and needs $4000 worth of repairs or a replacement for $9000. It's overheating and shutting off. They said the generator radiator is not aluminum and this may have led to rusting and consequent clogging. Does this sound right/logical? Dealer is willing to discount 4K but isn't going to repair it. Thanks.
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Old 04-06-2017, 02:41 PM   #2
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1991 34' Excella
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Find another shop. They are not all crooks, you just have to look around
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Old 04-06-2017, 05:20 PM   #3
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1974 20' Argosy 20
Richmond , Kentucky
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I think Howie's right, sounds like they're crooks to me.
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Old 04-06-2017, 06:11 PM   #4
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2012 25' FB Flying Cloud
garden city , Alabama
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If it's low on oil it will shut off. Also could be a bad oil psi sensor or bad coolant temp sensor. When you crank it cold how long does it run before it shuts off?
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Old 04-06-2017, 06:29 PM   #5
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Take the radiator to a well established radiator repair shop, they can clean and test it.
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Old 04-06-2017, 06:53 PM   #6
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I'd walk away. Sounds like a shady dealer who won't stand behind their products.
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Old 04-06-2017, 08:04 PM   #7
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
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Id replace it with a pair of the Honda 2000s that can tie together and be done with all the noise and difficult maintanace.

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Old 04-07-2017, 06:11 AM   #8
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1999 30' Excella 1000
small town , Maryland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MidCentury View Post
Hi Everyone,

We were almost finished buying a used Cutter, but the generator cut off each time we tested it. They took it to a repair facility and they said it shuts down due to overheating, and needs $4000 worth of repairs or a replacement for $9000. It's overheating and shutting off. They said the generator radiator is not aluminum and this may have led to rusting and consequent clogging. Does this sound right/logical? Dealer is willing to discount 4K but isn't going to repair it. Thanks.
So, are you paying top dollar minus 4,000 for the Cutter? I think that the dealer would have discounted the motor home 4k, even if the generator was working. Call Airstream dealer for new radiator price. Look on E-Bay for completed Cutter sales, or the net for price comparisons. If the the Cutter is priced right, then offer them 7,000 less and start walking away. I've heard of car dealers calling people 15 minutes after they get home accepting their offer. If you get the MH, have a friend do the repairs. Like Realtor's, Dealers are your best friend until they make the sale...don't be friendly when it comes to your hard earned cash. I almost forgot...Welcome to the Air forums MidCentury
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Old 04-07-2017, 06:41 AM   #9
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Colfax , North Carolina
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Up until relatively recently no radiator was made from aluminum. The material of choice was copper and brass.
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Old 04-08-2017, 03:04 PM   #10
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Bushnell , Florida
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Mid-

We haven't heard back from you, and I'm curious where you ended up with this. I resisted replying to this thread, because we had a 2000 Newmar diesel pusher that we enjoyed, but it got rather expensive it's last few years to maintain (we went to an Airstream Flying Cloud in late '13), and so that "biases" my reply's to most DP threads.....

I will tell you that without a whole lot more information, it is tough to offer anything helpful to your initial post. We don't know the year of the coach (last ones built were 99s maybe?), brand of the genny and whether diesel or propane, hours on it, maintenance history, etc. Tough to remotely diagnose. I do agree with the above replies that $4k sounds crazy high.

I can tell you that if you are buying your first diesel pusher, this will be just the start of your maintenance requirements. We owned what we considered to have been a well-maintained coach, buying it at 8 years old (with a pretty complete maint history included), and we still averaged about $2000 per year in maintenance every year we owned the coach. And that's with a lot of fixes to some problems done myself, and with the assistance of a local affordable heavy equipment mechanic. For instance, when the side-draft radiator for the coach engine rusted out, we spent $3000 and a lot of hours on my back in the crud with that tech instead of $5000+ had we taken it to a shop to replace the radiator.

I'm not trying to discourage you, especially since you may own this Cutter now, but just be aware, DP coaches will require regular repairs and maintenance. It is the nature of the beast (lots of complications due to systems, drivetrain, etc, etc. that a trailer doesn't have). Especially if a coach is 15+ yrs old, it will cost you money yearly. If you have the cash and can do a lot yourself, or don't care what it costs, go for it!

FWIW-I fussed with our diesel genny on our Newmar a lot. Several iterations of exhaust pipe cracks and subsequent patches and repairs, and it's radiator started leaking. I pulled it myself, took it to an old time radiator shop, and they repaired it (fortunately it was built so that it could be repaired). Still, lots of fussing on that genny in 5 years.........

Sorry to be basically negative, but I do hope this helps in some way.
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Old 04-12-2017, 08:13 PM   #11
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1999 35' Cutter Diesel Bus w/slide
Taos , New Mexico
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Hi Everyone, thanks for all the replies. My husband and I got bad colds in the middle of all this but we did end up buying the Cutter with a 5k discount, thinking we'll get it fixed elsewhere. We're used to not having a generator so it's not a big deal, for the moment.

The dealer still has to fix a few things (so I know about the ongoing repairs and their costs). I truly done know how I wouldn't have bought it, we fell in love and that was it.
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Old 05-24-2017, 12:07 PM   #12
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1999 35' Cutter Diesel Bus w/slide
Taos , New Mexico
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 7
Thanks again, and update about generator

Thank you each and all for your replies. Here is an update.

The general idea that the repair shop was high on their estimate is correct. We just put up with no generator (which, being in RV parks the whole time, was not an issue anyway) until we could get closer to home.

Once we were in Albuquerque, we went to Rocky Mountain Cummins. Their reviews online were good, and I would say they deserve the good reviews for the most part. (They were so busy that on the first two days when we took the motorhome in, they didn't even get time to look at it. So that was a bummer.)

Once they got to working on it, there was no fooling around. It turned out that the cooling fan inside the generator assembly was broken -- three of the blades had broken off. (We had already known that this Cutter had experienced some sort of front-end impact.)

So the mechanic replaced the fan and part of the exhaust system. The whole thing cost about half of what the people in Tucson had estimated.

I would recommend Rocky Mountain Cummins in Albuquerque. Just try to get there sometime other than the beginning of RV season!
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Old 08-29-2017, 06:45 PM   #13
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1999 30' Excella 1000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MidCentury View Post
Thank you each and all for your replies. Here is an update.

The general idea that the repair shop was high on their estimate is correct. We just put up with no generator (which, being in RV parks the whole time, was not an issue anyway) until we could get closer to home.

Once we were in Albuquerque, we went to Rocky Mountain Cummins. Their reviews online were good, and I would say they deserve the good reviews for the most part. (They were so busy that on the first two days when we took the motorhome in, they didn't even get time to look at it. So that was a bummer.)

Once they got to working on it, there was no fooling around. It turned out that the cooling fan inside the generator assembly was broken -- three of the blades had broken off. (We had already known that this Cutter had experienced some sort of front-end impact.)

So the mechanic replaced the fan and part of the exhaust system. The whole thing cost about half of what the people in Tucson had estimated.

I would recommend Rocky Mountain Cummins in Albuquerque. Just try to get there sometime other than the beginning of RV season!
I know that this is a older post, but so often we here the negative comments. Not often enough we here the positive feed back of work done well. Thanks MidCentury for the update... I know...better late than never
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