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Old 09-18-2015, 11:37 AM   #1
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Engine Access Panel

I know this has been discussed before but has anyone been successful in getting the engine cover dislodged (in the floor above the engine, inside the coach)?

Been trying to get advise from FR, but instead of Randy, I've gotten connected with some doofus named Michael Bukowski and the only thing I've gotten from him are smart ass answers. Like there is NEVER any reason to open that hatch. Really?? Then why the hell is it there??

After 3 email exchanges, I've only gotten smart assery (no REAL help at all) and have given up.

So, if any of you know the secret of successfully opening that panel I'd appreciate it. I want to at least look and see if I may have the weak fan bolt issue and maybe save myself a $6K+ radiator replacement bill on down the road.

I've got tile floors BTW, so using a pry bar is not an option.

Thanks

boowho??
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Old 09-18-2015, 01:03 PM   #2
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Mine has been open at the Oasis dealership for a repair, Boo, but I didn't see how they did it. I do remember, however, some posts on the forum dealing with this.

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Old 09-18-2015, 02:02 PM   #3
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I believe you have to take the panel off the back wall before you can pull the floor panel.
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Old 09-18-2015, 02:31 PM   #4
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Boo I think what Mike is saying is there is nothing to service for you or I on top of the engine. Mike always helps me with my requests so strange how he responds to.


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Old 09-18-2015, 03:04 PM   #5
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Mike is the warranty contact.... Surprised you'd get him for tech support questions?!?
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Old 09-18-2015, 03:12 PM   #6
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some people have taken a 2 x 4 and hit it from underneath. It is on very tight. Took me 6 to 8 hours the first time. Would not want to pay a service tech $150 an hour to do it.

I thought the fan bolt issue was with the older engines. I wonder if that is what happen to me? Still waiting on the repair but have been told material alone will be $2000.
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Old 09-18-2015, 05:10 PM   #7
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I finally gave up trying to get mine off, since I didn't have a great need to at the time (though if still like to!).
I have carpet, and it's not cut out for the panels. I started on that part.
Then I was going to try to use a 2x4 and a jack from underneath to lift it.

I do believe that the top (step-up) part has to come off first.


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Old 09-18-2015, 07:24 PM   #8
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(I am Kay - Boo's wife) I contacted Forest River on their website and the person who responded was Mike and under his name it just says Customer Service. Got an emal from him that he has forwarded my email to Randy Houser. Will see what Randy says.
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Old 09-18-2015, 07:39 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by 15berkxl View Post
Boo I think what Mike is saying is there is nothing to service for you or I on top of the engine. Mike always helps me with my requests so strange how he responds to.


Wayne
Glad for your sake Wayne, that he's been helpful to you.......

But...... how can he know that I'm NOT a certified diesel mechanic??

I'm not, but if I just happened to be one, is there STILL no reason to EVER open that hatch?? That's what he stated, emphatically.

Maybe good ol' Mike would stand good for the new $6K radiator when the bolts finally fail?? Yeah, right!!

And I doubt that ANY mechanic could check those bolts without coming down from the top. Could be mistaken, but I'd bet the only way to check those bolts would be from above.

Thanks for your input..... If he's done good for you (or anyone else here), that's great. But to me, he's a jerk.

My guess would be that he has no idea how to remove the panel, and either doesn't know anyone else at the plant that does, is to arrogant to ask someone that does or it's a really sore subject because it's a really crappy design flaw. And they've been hassled over it forever.

His last email said he forwarding my emails to Randy. But it only took 4 email exchanges to get to that point.

I will continue to find answers to questions such as this right here on these forums.

And finally, to the poster that mentioned that the fan bolt problem may have been fixed on my 2011 Berk (2010 FL chassis, I think), I hope you are correct. That would be my best case scenario.

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Old 09-18-2015, 07:54 PM   #10
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If I can help you in anyway please let me know I have known of Mike since he worked for Damon. The problem with FR is a lot of employees are engineering challenged. Yes his title is customer service but he will help you even if your unit is not in warranty. What other company will do that?
Have you thought of contacting FL with your vin # to learn if your unit is a concern.


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Old 09-18-2015, 08:59 PM   #11
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Boo, I don't have the same model and my engine access door was carpeted not tiled. I can tell you first hand that the carpeted door was stitched in at the factory, but a carpet knife took care of that stitch job by FR. The actual lid buts up against a step that is also a 2nd door. Booth had to be removed in my unit in order to gain access to the engine. It is a royal PIA they fit very tight! So tight in fact that when I replaced them I had to stand on the main door to get it in place.

I will also agree with you about Mike Bukowski. In the thread titled Quality and Workmanship is Cr@P I posted a few lines about FR and Mike. I have come to the conclusion that FR only pays attention to "New Warranty Issues" after that you are SOL. Imagine a paying customer wanting work done by the people that built your rig and they tell you "We cant make an appointment for you because all we are doing now is warranty work". Not Good! It will be interesting to see how people feel after the coach they have purchased from FR is out of the factory warranty, and they need help. I cant be the only one that has been told this by Mike. I wonder if this is why he was less than helpful with you?
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Old 09-18-2015, 09:36 PM   #12
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If I can help you in anyway please let me know I have known of Mike since he worked for Damon. The problem with FR is a lot of employees are engineering challenged. Yes his title is customer service but he will help you even if your unit is not in warranty. What other company will do that?
Have you thought of contacting FL with your vin # to learn if your unit is a concern.


Wayne
I could try FL, but they are probably going to be pretty "closed mouth" about it and claim there was no engineering defect there. Just normal wear and tear. Seems I remember someone else trying FL and getting pretty much blown off.

Thanks for you offer of help..... I'll certainly ask if I think you can do some good.

BTW, for all that don't know.... My Berk is a 2011 and is WELL out of warranty.

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Old 09-18-2015, 09:41 PM   #13
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Boo, I don't have the same model and my engine access door was carpeted not tiled. I can tell you first hand that the carpeted door was stitched in at the factory, but a carpet knife took care of that stitch job by FR. The actual lid buts up against a step that is also a 2nd door. Booth had to be removed in my unit in order to gain access to the engine. It is a royal PIA they fit very tight! So tight in fact that when I replaced them I had to stand on the main door to get it in place.

I will also agree with you about Mike Bukowski. In the thread titled Quality and Workmanship is Cr@P I posted a few lines about FR and Mike. I have come to the conclusion that FR only pays attention to "New Warranty Issues" after that you are SOL. Imagine a paying customer wanting work done by the people that built your rig and they tell you "We cant make an appointment for you because all we are doing now is warranty work". Not Good! It will be interesting to see how people feel after the coach they have purchased from FR is out of the factory warranty, and they need help. I cant be the only one that has been told this by Mike. I wonder if this is why he was less than helpful with you?
wm1964......

Being out of warranty, FR (make that Randy) has always been good to me.

Even comped parts on some problems and I just had to cover the labor. This is after warranty had expired.

Typically, if it's a problem that is had by multiple owners, they seem more amenable to help you even out of warranty.

At least that's the way it seems to me.

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Old 09-18-2015, 10:36 PM   #14
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Just a side note here but going through the broken fan bolt problem myself right now. Had a bolt fail/shear of and then the bracket actual cracked in half. While mine is a '08 I can tell you that on mine the radiator does not have to come out to change to the upgraded fan pulley bracket (5 bolt). And those kind of $$$ you mentioned are absurd. I'll likely make a post once my experience is over with regards to the fan bracket bolts and how to do it. It is also possible if one is thin enough to gain access to those bolts crawling up beside the tailpipe. Not as easy but doable.
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Old 09-19-2015, 06:57 AM   #15
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(I am Kay - Boo's wife) I contacted Forest River on their website and the person who responded was Mike and under his name it just says Customer Service. Got an emal from him that he has forwarded my email to Randy Houser. Will see what Randy says.

Welcome Kay. Nice to see you on the forums.



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Old 09-19-2015, 08:48 AM   #16
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Boo,
I previously had an '08 and went round and round with Freightliner to get it fixed. I finally got to Daimler Chryslers head of thir legal department and she approved the repair. When I brought it in to Freightliner I fully expected that the radiator would need to be removed to change the fan hub. When I went to pick the coach up, I asked if they replaced the antifreeze when they removed the radiator. They said that they didn't need to remove the radiator. They one of the techs was able to crawl up into the area from underneath and do the work. I don't have that coach now so I hope that the work was done and that who ever purchased it doesn't have a problem.
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Old 09-19-2015, 09:10 AM   #17
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Just a side note here but going through the broken fan bolt problem myself right now. Had a bolt fail/shear of and then the bracket actual cracked in half. While mine is a '08 I can tell you that on mine the radiator does not have to come out to change to the upgraded fan pulley bracket (5 bolt). And those kind of $$$ you mentioned are absurd. I'll likely make a post once my experience is over with regards to the fan bracket bolts and how to do it. It is also possible if one is thin enough to gain access to those bolts crawling up beside the tailpipe. Not as easy but doable.
Did yours damage the radiator when it broke? The multi-thousand dollar figure I heard was for a completely ruined radiator.

I'll be stopping at an Oasis shop in a week or so. I'll ask them.

Boowho??
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Old 09-19-2015, 09:12 AM   #18
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Boo,
I previously had an '08 and went round and round with Freightliner to get it fixed. I finally got to Daimler Chryslers head of thir legal department and she approved the repair. When I brought it in to Freightliner I fully expected that the radiator would need to be removed to change the fan hub. When I went to pick the coach up, I asked if they replaced the antifreeze when they removed the radiator. They said that they didn't need to remove the radiator. They one of the techs was able to crawl up into the area from underneath and do the work. I don't have that coach now so I hope that the work was done and that who ever purchased it doesn't have a problem.
Thanks, Tom..... I know several have had the problems. Hopefully mine has the upgraded fan hub.

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Old 09-19-2015, 09:19 AM   #19
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BTW, (back to the original topic)..... WHY would they design those trap doors to be so damn tight? And apparently, it does not loosen after it's initially removed and will be equally difficult to get up EVERY time.

I've even considered doing what it takes to remove mine, have it "shaved" maybe 1/16 total for a better fit. Expensive, but do-able I'd think.

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Old 09-19-2015, 09:31 AM   #20
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It is probably to lessen any engine noise in the back, so it doesn't leak from water or road splash and keep out any fumes from the engine.
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