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Old 03-07-2018, 09:37 PM   #1
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cold blooded buss

Just bought my 1999 International Amtrans bus with the 7.3 diesel. I live in Montana and it will only start if I plug the block heater in for a few hours, and when it first starts I get an engine warn light until it warms up. I have power to the glow plugs and it runs great. Any ideas? Also where can I get a 6 pin code reader that doesn't cost $1200.00 Thanks
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Old 03-07-2018, 09:58 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Backwoodsbus View Post
Just bought my 1999 International Amtrans bus with the 7.3 diesel. I live in Montana and it will only start if I plug the block heater in for a few hours, and when it first starts I get an engine warn light until it warms up. I have power to the glow plugs and it runs great. Any ideas? Also where can I get a 6 pin code reader that doesn't cost $1200.00 Thanks
Good luck...

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Old 03-07-2018, 10:19 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Backwoodsbus View Post
Just bought my 1999 International Amtrans bus with the 7.3 diesel. I live in Montana and it will only start if I plug the block heater in for a few hours, and when it first starts I get an engine warn light until it warms up. I have power to the glow plugs and it runs great. Any ideas? Also where can I get a 6 pin code reader that doesn't cost $1200.00 Thanks
You can get a "Scangauge D", direct from the makers so you get the latest firmware, for $170.

I bought one in error. It is brand new and in the original box with zero use.

You can have it for $140.
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Old 03-08-2018, 08:07 AM   #4
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I have a "Scangauge D" and like it for its simplicity. It does allow you to view the codes that have been thrown.

My Detroit Diesel is also cold blooded and hates cool weather starts. My solution (not implemented yet) is to install a diesel fired pre-heater - which many coaches come with from the factory (mine did but it was removed at some point).

Other than those options (electric block/immersion heater or diesel heater), I don't know of a solution.

Many auto parts stores have a code reader and they will read codes on cars/trucks for people - for free. Might be worth a try with your bus if looking for a free option.
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Old 03-08-2018, 10:54 AM   #5
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Backwoodbus,

I have a f350 with the 7.3 that does the same thing. That engine uses high pressure oil for the injection system. I believe starting difficulty and rough idle at warm up are because of the viscosity of the oil is too high when it is cold to drive the injectors correctly. I think this engine will always have to be preheated to start. As mentioned above a diesel coolant heater would be great when you cant plug in the block heater. If it gets really cold out I use a magnetic oil pan heater in addition to the block heater and then I dont have any problems with rough idle on warm up.

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Old 03-08-2018, 01:05 PM   #6
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Just because you have power to the glow plugs does not mean they are heating need to put an ohm meter on them and read the resistance on them . .1-2.0 ohms
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Old 03-08-2018, 01:36 PM   #7
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Just because you have power to the glow plugs does not mean they are heating need to put an ohm meter on them and read the resistance on them . .1-2.0 ohms

How would one go about getting an ohm meter on the glow plugs? We are uncertain as to whether or not ours are working. Apparently the light going on doesn't actually have anything to do with it, nor does the period of time the light is one relate well to the period of time the glow plugs are heating, if indeed they are heating. We have one of those laser temperature gauges - cheap from Harbor Freight- and pointed it at the engine while cycling thru the glow plug light ten times and did not notice any temperature difference. Whether or not we should be able to notice any from the outside as opposed to the inside is not clear to me. It seems possible to me that the diesel inside was being heated but not enough to heat up the engine block itself noticeably? Glow plugs themselves aren't expensive but apparently changing them out is a PITA because they are under some cover?

My bus also runs fine but does NOT like to start (although supposedly it started right up before I bought it?) It spent the night with the engine block heater plugged into the house, so it will be interesting to see if it starts today whenever my son gets up. We FINALLY got Mobi home at about 2am- on day three of a 360 mile trip!!! Good Lord that was more difficult than I'd hoped, but definitely a learning experience. We now have a new battery, a new fuel filter and we cleaned out the fuel filter bowl including flushing the drain line, and added fuel conditioner for the cold.

I did have one nasty surprise- the expensive Good Sam roadside assistance I bought is NOT in fact valid for incomplete bus conversions. Basically, if we didn't have water tanks they weren't going to help?!?! WTF?! My son was talking to them so I need to verify today. I want my money back if they aren't going to help me until my bus is fully converted. I do NOT understand why, if they will tow a heavier bus or help with a problem on the road on a heavier bus, they don't want to help with one that weighs less for the same price. I bought the service three weeks before I called the RV assistance line hoping for tips to avoid a roadside call. They were not helpful as the assistance was basically, well, should we send out a mobile unit? Why have a separate line for that? Has anyone else run into this with Good Sam?
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Old 03-08-2018, 01:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twigg View Post
You can get a "Scangauge D", direct from the makers so you get the latest firmware, for $170.

I bought one in error. It is brand new and in the original box with zero use.

You can have it for $140.
I am interested in this as I could not locate any stores yesterday that had a coder reader for my 1997. It's an OBD port, but not an OBDII port. So it's round with a different number- 6? pins- I think. Do I need special software on my computer to be able to actually USE this?
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Old 03-08-2018, 01:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2martins View Post
How would one go about getting an ohm meter on the glow plugs? We are uncertain as to whether or not ours are working. Apparently the light going on doesn't actually have anything to do with it, nor does the period of time the light is one relate well to the period of time the glow plugs are heating, if indeed they are heating. We have one of those laser temperature gauges - cheap from Harbor Freight- and pointed it at the engine while cycling thru the glow plug light ten times and did not notice any temperature difference. Whether or not we should be able to notice any from the outside as opposed to the inside is not clear to me. It seems possible to me that the diesel inside was being heated but not enough to heat up the engine block itself noticeably? Glow plugs themselves aren't expensive but apparently changing them out is a PITA because they are under some cover?

My bus also runs fine but does NOT like to start (although supposedly it started right up before I bought it?) It spent the night with the engine block heater plugged into the house, so it will be interesting to see if it starts today whenever my son gets up. We FINALLY got Mobi home at about 2am- on day three of a 360 mile trip!!! Good Lord that was more difficult than I'd hoped, but definitely a learning experience. We now have a new battery, a new fuel filter and we cleaned out the fuel filter bowl including flushing the drain line, and added fuel conditioner for the cold.

I did have one nasty surprise- the expensive Good Sam roadside assistance I bought is NOT in fact valid for incomplete bus conversions. Basically, if we didn't have water tanks they weren't going to help?!?! WTF?! My son was talking to them so I need to verify today. I want my money back if they aren't going to help me until my bus is fully converted. I do NOT understand why, if they will tow a heavier bus or help with a problem on the road on a heavier bus, they don't want to help with one that weighs less for the same price. I bought the service three weeks before I called the RV assistance line hoping for tips to avoid a roadside call. They were not helpful as the assistance was basically, well, should we send out a mobile unit? Why have a separate line for that? Has anyone else run into this with Good Sam?
Locate the glow plug, disconnect wire harness use one lead on the post that you removed the wire from and put the other lead on the glow plug body look at the reading on the scale(or screen).
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Old 03-08-2018, 02:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2martins View Post
I am interested in this as I could not locate any stores yesterday that had a coder reader for my 1997. It's an OBD port, but not an OBDII port. So it's round with a different number- 6? pins- I think. Do I need special software on my computer to be able to actually USE this?

the 6 pin port is a Deutsch J1708 port, its not an OBD and is not the same protocol.. a scangauge D can read it. or a Nexiq USBlink2 and the free navistar ServicemAXX J1708 software can read it...


you can also read the codes from it byt turning the key to on.. (dont start the bus).. and press the diagnostic button next to the connector... this will make the OIL / TEMP alarm light flash you the service codes, then we can look them up.

the light will have flashes with quick pauses and long pauses.. so if the light is flash-flash--pause--flash--pause--flash-flash-flash--long pause-- that is code 213. etc

-Christopher
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Old 03-08-2018, 02:50 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
the 6 pin port is a Deutsch J1708 port, its not an OBD and is not the same protocol.. a scangauge D can read it. or a Nexiq USBlink2 and the free navistar ServicemAXX J1708 software can read it...


you can also read the codes from it byt turning the key to on.. (dont start the bus).. and press the diagnostic button next to the connector... this will make the OIL / TEMP alarm light flash you the service codes, then we can look them up.

the light will have flashes with quick pauses and long pauses.. so if the light is flash-flash--pause--flash--pause--flash-flash-flash--long pause-- that is code 213. etc

-Christopher
Christopher,

Do you know if this J1708/Bluetooth adapter is compatible?
https://www.diesellaptops.com/Nexiq-...RoCl2IQAvD_BwE

Thanks

S.
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Old 03-08-2018, 02:58 PM   #12
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Christopher,

Do you know if this J1708/Bluetooth adapter is compatible?
https://www.diesellaptops.com/Nexiq-...RoCl2IQAvD_BwE

Thanks

S.

that one should let you use the Nexiq mobile app, it wont likely let you use the program tools like the navistar software.. first-link should work with that and let you read codes and some of the engine parameters though... I used first-link with my NEXIQ USBlink 2 and it has a decent display of data on the mobile device, im thinking this would give you the same,

make sure you have the 6 pin connector and not the 9. this device wont support J1939 (9 pin connector).

-Christopher
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Old 03-08-2018, 06:49 PM   #13
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My Scangauge is still available. It has both six and nine pin connectors
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Old 03-08-2018, 07:40 PM   #14
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My Scangauge is still available. It has both six and nine pin connectors
I like the Scangauge line of products.. I dont personally own the D but ive had the OBD-II version for many years.. its been a solid little device.. and the makers of it stand behind their product.. it isnt fancy but for the price its pretty darn good

-Christopher
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Old 03-09-2018, 11:30 PM   #15
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My Scangauge is still available. It has both six and nine pin connectors
Is it NIB? I need to double check the port tomorrow. I'd rather by an adapter and an OBD2 reader but it's not clear to me that that would actually work. The OBD2 reader would work on my cars, but it seems like buses are not really supported like they are with a scangauge D. But it's so $!

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Old 03-09-2018, 11:57 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by 2martins View Post
Is it NIB? I need to double check the port tomorrow. I'd rather by an adapter and an OBD2 reader but it's not clear to me that that would actually work. The OBD2 reader would work on my cars, but it seems like buses are not really supported like they are with a scangauge D. But it's so $!

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Yes.

It is brand new and the latest firmware. I plugged it in once to check it worked.

It's fine.
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Old 03-10-2018, 12:16 AM   #17
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OBDII and J1708 (the protocol is actually J1587).. are 2 totally different animals... it takes more than just matching up the wires... J1708/1587 IS a form of CAN bus as is OBD-II (J1850)..

think of the difference in the two like speaking english vs spanish..
both english and spanish are spoken with a mouth and heard with an ear. but a moluth speaking spanish to an ear that understands only english. will not do so well in conveying information...

the tools for J1708 are more expensive simply because it is use in the commercial industry which artificailly raises the price... ive written software that talks in all the above including J1939. and none are any tougher to work with than the other..

there are hobby projects out there where people have built devices out of arduino's raspberry PI etc to talk to about every vehicle out there.. if you are the technical mindset you can build a tool for not alot of money.

the ELM325 chip will do the heavy hitting for you ...

Monitoring SAE J1708/J1587 Data Traffic Using The Arduino Mega2560 Or Arduino Due - Copperhill

J1587 Scanner for Motor Home: A DIY Motor Home J1587 Data Scanner

-Christopher
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Old 03-10-2018, 12:45 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Backwoodsbus View Post
Just bought my 1999 International Amtrans bus with the 7.3 diesel. I live in Montana and it will only start if I plug the block heater in for a few hours, and when it first starts I get an engine warn light until it warms up. I have power to the glow plugs and it runs great. Any ideas? Also where can I get a 6 pin code reader that doesn't cost $1200.00 Thanks
Difficult cold starting on these engines can also be worn injectors. I'm told folks often replace glow plugs and related parts and still have cold start problems. Injectors for 'em aren't cheap, in the $200 each range.
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Old 03-10-2018, 08:41 AM   #19
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You mentioned that there is power to the glow plugs. How did you determine this? The number one failure for the glow plug system is the relay. I have replaced mine twice already and more recently installed a heavier duty relay.
Check for power after the relay. Do you have a clamp-on amp meter? If all the glow plugs are working correctly you should see ~180 amps (when cold) being drawn through the main feed wires. Less than that and you probably have some dead glow plugs.

My T444e is a well aged 1997 model with 330000kms on it and the engine starts like a champ all winter long with the block heater plugged in for an hour. Without the block heater it takes a bit more turning over to get it going and I sometimes need to tap into the house batteries to provide the cranking power necessary (when it's -20C or less), but it always starts. When the glow plug relay dies it turns over and over and over and over and over.....

The relay has died while on a trip before. A wrench works great to jump the relay terminals to get the glow plugs heating. Take any rings off first, if you wear them!
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Old 03-10-2018, 11:29 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by jazty View Post
You mentioned that there is power to the glow plugs. How did you determine this? The number one failure for the glow plug system is the relay. I have replaced mine twice already and more recently installed a heavier duty relay.
Check for power after the relay. Do you have a clamp-on amp meter? If all the glow plugs are working correctly you should see ~180 amps (when cold) being drawn through the main feed wires. Less than that and you probably have some dead glow plugs.

My T444e is a well aged 1997 model with 330000kms on it and the engine starts like a champ all winter long with the block heater plugged in for an hour. Without the block heater it takes a bit more turning over to get it going and I sometimes need to tap into the house batteries to provide the cranking power necessary (when it's -20C or less), but it always starts. When the glow plug relay dies it turns over and over and over and over and over.....

The relay has died while on a trip before. A wrench works great to jump the relay terminals to get the glow plugs heating. Take any rings off first, if you wear them!
My multimeters are not clamp on. If I get someone to help me can I hold the probes in place while someone else turns the key? I have to FIND the relay first. The service manual had good enough diagrams to be able to change the fuel filter and drain the fuel filter bowl, so hopefully I can find them.

Where did you get heavier duty relays and what was the part number? I'd rather just start with those if that is indeed the problem.

I don't suppose the fancy code reader would tell me what is wrong with the glow plugs- that would probably be way too easy.

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