I think I’ve previously mentioned that I have (had??) an oil leak on the passenger side of the engine compartment.
One shop looked at it and they thought they had found a loose power steering hose connection that was the source. I drove it a few hundred miles and it seemed “better”. Of course, I was hoping that what was still leaking was just residual oil. However; in my last long run – the Race to Beat the Heat, it was very clear that the leak was still there.
I didn’t have any tools large enough for the most of the connections in the engine compartment as they are nearly all 1″ or larger. So, trip to Harbor Freight was required. I know, I know… not exactly the highest quality tools available. Not sure if you’ve looked at the price of “quality” wrenches in the 1″ to 2″ sizes but they are NOT cheap – Harbor Freight quality is about all I needed and certainly more in line with what I could afford. I bought a “service wrench” set (short handle) and started checking every hose connection.
I couldn’t find any loose hoses so I just started poking around, looking at everything.
Suddenly – there right in front of me was a small hose with a compression fitting – NOT CONNECTED TO ANYTHING – just lying there.
VERY interesting, says I.
Could this be the source of the oil leak???
Amazingly, a few inches away, is a connector of the very same size on top of the primary alternator!! Even more amazing, it almost seems like the majority of the oily mess is around and under this hose.
I was so shocked I had to go take a nap.
After my nap, I pulled out the parts and services manuals. It seems that this hose – that is not connected – provides lubrication and cooling oil to the primary alternator (yes, there are two alternators). ARGH!!!
I could not initially believe that this hose was the problem as an “open” oil hose would pump all the oil out of the engine in a pretty short period of time. So, more reading… It turns out that the oil supply to this hose is metered (only a small amount permitted thru) so that seems to support the “moderate” leak that I have and why all the engine oil wasn’t pumped onto the road many miles ago.
It is a Delco 50DN alternator that produces 270 amps at 24V. Give or take a few bucks, it is a $2,000 part. Ouch…. Perhaps interesting to some, there is also a backup alternator – 12V and 140 amps.
This photo is AFTER I reconnected the hose.
And with an arrow added to make it clear…
The following photo is of the oily engine. Look closely at that alternator and you can see why it was difficult to spot this hose – it is covered by the wiring harness.
So, I’ve reconnected the hose and I have my fingers crossed that the oil leak is fixed AND that I have NOT ruined the alternator – nervous optimism!
The frustrating … and frightening… thing is that this hose was disconnected when I purchased the coach – excluding the possibility that it worked itself loose and all the way off while I have been driving it (~4000 miles).
And a few new photos…