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Old 04-18-2013, 01:30 PM   #21
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Something is wrong here, a 3 mm bolt is only 0.118". That has to be an error.
Maybe 8mm which is .315". I would tap them out to a 3/8" UNC and use gr. 8 bolts.
That was my goof, the dia should be 6mm which I think is still too small. I also though of a mod, but with anything you modify especially propulsion and steering you need a long yardarm if anything goes wrong. The bolts I proposed are equivalent or exceed a grade 8 American fastener. No mod would be made, only improvement to a bad situ. Not sure the flange with tapped holes can even take much more diameter. FL should come to the table and make a proper modification they will stand behind.
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Old 04-18-2013, 02:45 PM   #22
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To all of you who have been following my tale of woe, I submitted a formal complaint to NHTSA awhile ago. Wish I'd learned to do this earlier, but I needed to hear from others before I proceeded. Thanks to all of you. The web site I submitted on is https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/VehicleComplaint/index.xhtml.

Don't know if you can add an endorsement, but thought you'd like to know where it was submitted. The text of the incident is as follows:


At about 31,600 miles on my RV (2009 Forest River Berkshire mounted on a Freightliner chassis with Cummins 350HP engine), the engine suddenly overheated. During repair at a Freightliner facility, three of four retaining bolts were discovered broken on the fan hub mounted on the back of the engine; the fourth had backed out several threads and the fan tilted into the shroud and seized in place. Freightliner repair technician stated their facility had made several repairs on Cummins/Freightliner chassis RVs; the failure occurs with some frequency; the bolts and design of fan hub appear to be inadequate for loads applied by the serpentine accessory belt; and that failure of all four bolts could shatter the fan blades when it seizes in the shroud resulting in shrapnel damage to the radiator and severed electrical and fluid lines. Further consequences could include a need to quickly exit traffic flow to avoid becoming a collision hazard. From my understanding, the fan hub, fan, radiator and other accessories are added by Freightliner to the Cummins engine during chassis manufacture. Repair requires considerable and expensive removal of engine accessories. Use of this Cummins/Freightliner chassis configuration by other coach manufacturers is unknown. Technician on my repair drilled and tapped a fifth bolt to strengthen the fan hub. Online forum inquiry and interest from other owners suggests similar experiences. One other owner learned that Freightliner is aware of the problem, that they have no recall but they have a five bolt fan hub for purchase that evidently addresses a load failure problem with the four bolt design.
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Old 04-18-2013, 04:06 PM   #23
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That was my goof, the dia should be 6mm which I think is still too small. I also though of a mod, but with anything you modify especially propulsion and steering you need a long yardarm if anything goes wrong. The bolts I proposed are equivalent or exceed a grade 8 American fastener. No mod would be made, only improvement to a bad situ. Not sure the flange with tapped holes can even take much more diameter. FL should come to the table and make a proper modification they will stand behind.
That is still less than a 1/4" bolt, 6mm=.236 and I would still try to go to at least 5/16" gr. 8. 5/16-18 root dia=.2403: 5/16Tap drill F .2570.

If it will take a 6mm, it will support a 5/16.
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Old 04-19-2013, 08:59 AM   #24
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Correction and Update

Two things: (1.) I earlier stated that I sent my complaint to Good Sam's Club Hot Line. I was wrong. I actually sent it to Motorhome's Hot Line; and (2.) I also submitted the form for a vehicle complaint to the agency that was referenced previously. Perhaps if others follow up, we may see some results.
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Old 04-19-2013, 10:11 AM   #25
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I just spoke with the NHTSA and they told me that I can't file a complaint until the I experience the problem. They then told me to report it to the Federal Trade Commission (1-877-382-4357), which I did. They in turn told me to file a complaint with the New York State (where I live) consumer protection. I am in the process of going to their websites and filling out their forms. If anyone else decides to go this route, the person I spoke to said to emphasize that this is a real safety issue where people may get seriously injured should this fail (either by shrapnel from the shattered component or by causing an accident). Also, I said that I contacted Freightliner and that they told me that they had a redesigned, 5 bolt hub available because they know about this failure. I told the FTC and NY State Cons. Prot. that Freightliner wouldn't repair this under warranty until it failed and if I was out of warranty at that time, I would need to pay for the repair. He said to make sure that I report this fact to them. He also said to detail what remedy would be acceptable to me, which is of course, for Freightliner to repair this under warranty before I experience the failure.
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Old 04-19-2013, 10:19 AM   #26
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Two things: (1.) I earlier stated that I sent my complaint to Good Sam's Club Hot Line. I was wrong. I actually sent it to Motorhome's Hot Line; and (2.) I also submitted the form for a vehicle complaint to the agency that was referenced previously. Perhaps if others follow up, we may see some results.

Hark, I agree that the more that register their complaint, the better chance of getting something done.

I don't know if the problem affects me or not since my my chassis was built in late 2010. I would probably be a little embarrassed if I "raised hell" over a problem that it later turned out I don't really have myself.

I plan to have the technician take a look at it next time I'm in a FL shop to see if I DO have the problem.

Boowho??
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Old 04-19-2013, 05:54 PM   #27
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Hawk/Hark,
How long did it take Freightliner to make the repair to your coach? I am considering having it done on my next trip.
Thanks,
Tom
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Old 04-20-2013, 02:14 PM   #28
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About 4-5 days.
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Old 04-23-2013, 10:39 AM   #29
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Tom,
It took about a little over a week to get my RV repaired, but there were a couple of weather delays. Count on 4 to 5 work days. I was charged for 19 hours labor.
Regarding my submission to NHTSA, there was no response from them as to whether it was even received. I'm guessing it enters a black hole of statistics until enough similar complaints surface. No telling how many that might be. I'll look into an FTC submission as you did; sounds like a good idea. I live in Oklahoma, so I'll see if they have a process similar to New York's. I'd be interested in any feedback beyond what you've already learned.

Thanks - HD
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Old 04-23-2013, 02:16 PM   #30
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Nhtsa

Hawkeye Driver,

I followed your advice and filled out the online form to the NHTSA. I filled out the form on either Friday or Saturday. Believe it or not, I heard from NHTSA (Tom Bowman) already on Monday. I filled him in on exactly what happened to me. He informed me thjat the emphasis on his agency is TRAFFIC SAFETY, SO YOU WOULD HAVE TO EMPHASIZE HOW YOUR PROBLEM COULD IMPACT ON YOUR SAFETY OR THE SAFETY OF OTHERS. He told me that he had never heard of this happening to anyone else before! Perhaps your complaint did not go through. Tom told me he will first contact the manufacturer (Forest River) and then the Chassis folks (Freightliner). He then said he would get back to me with his findings. If you send me a private email, I can provide you with Tom's phone number.
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Old 04-23-2013, 03:09 PM   #31
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Hawkeye Driver,

I followed your advice and filled out the online form to the NHTSA. I filled out the form on either Friday or Saturday. Believe it or not, I heard from NHTSA (Tom Bowman) already on Monday. I filled him in on exactly what happened to me. He informed me thjat the emphasis on his agency is TRAFFIC SAFETY, SO YOU WOULD HAVE TO EMPHASIZE HOW YOUR PROBLEM COULD IMPACT ON YOUR SAFETY OR THE SAFETY OF OTHERS. He told me that he had never heard of this happening to anyone else before! Perhaps your complaint did not go through. Tom told me he will first contact the manufacturer (Forest River) and then the Chassis folks (Freightliner). He then said he would get back to me with his findings. If you send me a private email, I can provide you with Tom's phone number.
Safety is what I pointed out in post #17, I wouldn't want a 20+ ton Behemoth losing all power right in front of me at 70 MPH on an Interstate......
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Old 04-30-2013, 11:39 AM   #32
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Does anyone know the manufacturer of the hub that is on our coach? I saw on another forum that a coach owner of a 2010 Tiffin Red Dp had the same problem and Freightliner found that there was a recall on the Horton hub and they replaced it under warranty.
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Old 05-10-2013, 09:28 PM   #33
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High Coolant Temp. Light

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Last weekend on the way back from the Pinks All Out drag race, the High Coolant Temp., Service Engine & Shutdown Engine lights illuminated. In the effort to make a long stressful story short, the bolts holding the fan hub had sheared off and the fan was no longer operating. Freightliner is fixing the problem under warranty.

Note to those interested: The High Coolant Temp. Light comes in at 225 degrees, the Service Engine Light comes in at 230 degrees and the Shutdown Engine Light comes in at 238 degrees.


I posted the above in this forum on 5-1-2010. I had 9,000 miles on the engine at the time. The odometer is at 20,000 miles now with no further problems. The unit is a "08" Berkshire 390QS with a "07" chassis and 350 Cummins engine. The fan hub was not replaced, the only change made to the original configuration is grade 8 bolts were used to reattach the fan to the hub per Freightliner instructions.
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Old 05-10-2013, 09:42 PM   #34
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High Coolant Temp. Light

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Last weekend on the way back from the Pinks All Out drag race, the High Coolant Temp., Service Engine & Shutdown Engine lights illuminated. In the effort to make a long stressful story short, the bolts holding the fan hub had sheared off and the fan was no longer operating. Freightliner is fixing the problem under warranty.

Note to those interested: The High Coolant Temp. Light comes in at 225 degrees, the Service Engine Light comes in at 230 degrees and the Shutdown Engine Light comes in at 238 degrees.



I posted the above in this forum on 5-1-2010. I had 9,000 miles on the engine at the time. The odometer is at 20,000 miles now with no further problems. The unit is a "08" Berkshire 390QS with a "07" chassis and 350 Cummins engine. The fan hub was not replaced, the only change made to the original configuration is grade 8 bolts were used to reattach the fan to the hub per Freightliner instructions.
HA! That what I and Old Coot have been sayin.......
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Old 05-11-2013, 08:58 AM   #35
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Happy to hear that it was fixed under warranty. Did they give you any problems about doing it under the warranty and how long did it take to do the fix?
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Old 05-13-2013, 09:28 AM   #36
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Happy to hear that it was fixed under warranty. Did they give you any problems about doing it under the warranty and how long did it take to do the fix?
I had no problems at all getting the work completed under warranty. I did have to wait a week for the work to be done, because of Freightliner deciding how they wanted to fix the problem.

As I stated earlier, three years and 12,000 miles later, I haven't had a problem with the grade 8 bolts.
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Old 07-15-2013, 04:20 PM   #37
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My coach is currently at Freightliner on Long Island having the new, 5 bolt hub installed. I sent an email to the New York State Department of Consumer Protection a while back. I didn't hear anything for some time, then I received an email from Daimler Trucks North America, Corporate Counsel, Litigation. She said I would hear from a Freightliner representative. The rep called me and said that Freightliner would take care of the repairs. He arranged with the Freightliner dealer for the repairs to be done.

So- it is being taken care of at no charge except that I am having them replace the serpentine belt and put in new anti freeze. If the radiator needs to be removed to get to the fan hub, they will need to drain it and the serpentine belt will need to be removed anyway.

Hopefully this will eliminate the problem.
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Old 07-15-2013, 06:15 PM   #38
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My coach is currently at Freightliner on Long Island having the new, 5 bolt hub installed. I sent an email to the New York State Department of Consumer Protection a while back. I didn't hear anything for some time, then I received an email from Daimler Trucks North America, Corporate Counsel, Litigation. She said I would hear from a Freightliner representative. The rep called me and said that Freightliner would take care of the repairs. He arranged with the Freightliner dealer for the repairs to be done.

So- it is being taken care of at no charge except that I am having them replace the serpentine belt and put in new anti freeze. If the radiator needs to be removed to get to the fan hub, they will need to drain it and the serpentine belt will need to be removed anyway.

Hopefully this will eliminate the problem.

If you are having the coolant drained you should also check into having the thermostats replaced also just as maintenance item. Should not be too much more labor intensive since they are draining the coolant.
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