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Old 03-10-2010, 07:12 PM   #1
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SMB Inspection

I'm inspecting/purchasing a 4x4 SMB RB50 on Friday from a dealer that knows nothing about them. I, myself have limited knowledge about them but have gotten some input alredy (thanks Jage). Should I be looking for anything specific on the Espar Airtronics or the Flat Plate? To test them am I simply:
-Turning up the thermostat for the Espar?
-Turning on the vehicle and running the hot water at the sink for the flat plate?
Obviously any other tips on things to check would be greatly appreciated.

It's the 6.0 Diesel with SMB 4x4 conversion.
It also has a DVD/nav, aluminess bumpers, warn winch, electric ph, fridge, ext shower, XL storage
Thanks
zaralps
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Old 03-11-2010, 12:17 AM   #2
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Re: SMB Inspection

To check the flat plate you should shut off the water to it under the sink, then open the drain valve located in front of the left rear tire and the hot water faucet. This will drain the water from the flat plate. After it is drained close the drain valve and drive the van around for as long as the dealer will let you. After you are done have a clear jar and open the drain valve again in front of the rear tire. Collect any fluid that comes out and if it smells or looks like engine coolant you have a cracked flat plate.

You have the right idea for checking the furnace. I would set the thermostat to a mid setting, the furnace should come on high at first and then after a few minutes settle down into a low or medium heat output depending on the temperature. Listen at the exhaust it should have a steady sound with no smoke.

Good Luck

John
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Old 03-11-2010, 08:47 AM   #3
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Re: SMB Inspection

Quote:
Originally Posted by John & Dana
close the drain valve and drive the van around
Shouldn't there be a "turn the water to it back on under the sink" step in there?
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Old 03-11-2010, 09:19 AM   #4
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Re: SMB Inspection

Also look at the flat plate heat exchanger. If you see any obvious bulging that could indicate the system has been frozen with water in it. That is not a good sign.
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Old 03-12-2010, 10:55 PM   #5
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Re: SMB Inspection

Jage, No you don't want to turn the water back on because what he wants to test for is to see if engine coolant is leaking through the heat exchanger into the potable water side. This way after driving if he opens the drain valve and a bunch of yellowish green fluid that smells vaguely sweet comes out he know there is a cracked heat exchanger. If no fluid comes out chances are the heat exchanger is ok.

My van had the newer more robust heat exchanger and it was cracked and there were no obvious signs on the outside. The only way I found out is I had it drained for an extended period of time with the drain valve closed. We had a cold snap and I went to open the valve just to make sure it was empty and to my surprise coolant came out. Luckily for me SMB replaced it under warranty.

John
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Old 03-13-2010, 07:38 AM   #6
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Re: SMB Inspection

I would do the following:
Raise and lower the top
Turn on the fridge if it has one
Turn on the inverter if it has one and check the 110 outlets
Check to make sure that all the interior lighting is working.

A couple of other items that I think are very important are the following:
Get the VIN # and go to Ford to get an Oasis Report on the van. This will show anything that the van was serviced for.

Also if I were getting a 6.0L, if possible I would take it to a Ford dealership and arrange for them to plug in their computer at operating temps and check the engine oil temp compared to the engine coolant temp. At most the temps should be within 13 degrees of each other. It only takes a few minutes.
This is common and is used to check for signs of the single biggest problem on this engine of oil cooler/EGR failure. The repair cost starts at $2,200.

I know the dealership stuff seems like a lot to do when checking out your prospective van but it's not really, and can end up saving you money or give you bargaining power.
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Old 03-13-2010, 08:22 AM   #7
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Re: SMB Inspection

Hopefully he is driving back in it today... it was a nice looking van.
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