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Old 01-31-2007, 12:33 PM   #1
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Drove my bus home today and I have NO HEAT!!

I went today and picked up my bus and drove it the 20 miles or so home! It hadn't been cranked in a week and a half and it was 24 degrees when I picked it up! Ugh! Anyways, the 7.3L diesel engine fired right up! I was very pleased. I let it warm up for a minute and took off! It was a lot easier to drive than I expected. Anyways, I let the engine warm up for a minute and flipped the heaters on. But it just blew ice cold air all the way home. I about froze to death! There is a switch for a booster pump but that had no effect. So, I get the bus home and parked and open the hood. I noticed that there is an antifreeze line coming out of the head and into a pump looking thing on the firewall. Then a line comes out of that and goes into the firewall on the heater side. There's another line that comes out of the firewall right next to it. I can only imagine that this pump pumps coolant to the heaters right? The fans in the heaters work fine. The electric lines on this pump are disconnected for some reason. I would have messed with it longer, but it was brutally cold out. The howling wind was making it unbearable to be out any longer. Anyways, is this pump the likely cause why my heaters aren't blowing hot air? Thanks!
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Old 01-31-2007, 12:49 PM   #2
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Usually pumps are disconnected or valves are installed so that the coolant doesn't circulate into the bus during the summer. Even without the fans running all that hot water in the lines really heats things up. My bus had two valves installed on it so that you can open or close the lines going into the bus.
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Old 01-31-2007, 01:29 PM   #3
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It will either be plugged heater core or a hose that you can try unplugging using a garden hose in one end or you have the valves closed if they are any. It is said that the antifreeze gels up and can plug things up a little when they sit or when the valves are closed off all summer. The electric pump is only there to help the flow and it is not really needed to circulate the antifreeze. But I suppose it could be possible that it could sieze and prevent the flow but I havn't ever taken one apart.

On mine it was plugged and I went halfway home before pulling over to a auto parts store thinking it was a thermostat which a bought and never put in. I also bought a 5 gallon gas can to drain antifreeze in to. I ended up bypassing the rear heater and the heater next to the driver seat and just used the heater by the service door and it warmed up good but I also have a half a bus. Once I got home and pulled the seats out and the rear heater that I didn't need anyways I blew the hoses and heater core out.
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Old 01-31-2007, 02:04 PM   #4
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Matt:
Besides looking for valves under the hood, look for one inside by the driver's seat.
My 1981 IH/BB had a "garden hose faucet" valve by the driver's left knee that controlled
the entire heating flow. So simple and gives you total control - gotta love school buses.
The electric pump obviously needs to be reconnected or replaced. I was at the Blue Bird
store the other day, and they had piles of those pumps right out front like candy bars
in the grocery store.
Glad to hear it ran good!
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Old 01-31-2007, 05:39 PM   #5
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This is going to sound like a dee-dee-dee suggestion, but I found it to be an issue with my bus so.....

After you get it heated up enough that you know that the thermostat has opened and you have tracked down all the valves and made sure they're open, shut the bus down and check to make sure you have enough coolant. An air bubble here and an air bubble there and pretty soon you're 2 gallons low on coolant. It's still plenty to cool the motor, but not enough to heat the interior.
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Old 01-31-2007, 05:54 PM   #6
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Great point!
And we should mention bleeders.
Look for bleeder valves in the hoses. They should be near the highest point in
the hose. These are fittings in the hose with a tiny "bolt" in it. They work a lot like
hydraulic brake bleeders. If you find any such, loosen them. Then top off the radiator
until antifreeze comes out the bleeder. Close the bleeder. Now the system is truly full.
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Old 01-31-2007, 10:56 PM   #7
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Hmmmmm... This bus does have quite a few valves, but they're all in the engine compartment. They were all open. I didn't even think to look by the drivers seat. I'll check it out when it warms up a bit! Whatever it is, it has to be simple.
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Old 01-31-2007, 11:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Whatever it is, it has to be simple.
That's it, Matt. Keep that thought and apply simple logic. You'll be amazed at what
you can figure out. Your only problem right now is that overwhelmed feeling of
"being a new daddy"!
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Old 03-04-2007, 01:01 PM   #9
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Where is the Blue Bird store? I would like to get some of those pumps.
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Old 03-04-2007, 01:28 PM   #10
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Where is the Blue Bird store? I would like to get some of those pumps.
...Try these guys... Where is the Blue Bird store? I would like to get some of those pumps.


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Old 03-04-2007, 01:30 PM   #11
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...OOPS....

...I mean....Try THESE guys...

http://www.tacbusparts.com/


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Old 03-04-2007, 02:51 PM   #12
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Thanks.
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Old 03-04-2007, 02:58 PM   #13
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My "Blue Bird store" is A-Z Bus Sales in Sacramento, CA. They are a BB dealer.
They printed me a build sheet for my bus. Other BB dealer should be able to do that also.
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Old 03-04-2007, 04:44 PM   #14
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Re: Drove my bus home today and I have NO HEAT!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by KC10Chief
I went today and picked up my bus and drove it the 20 miles or so home! It hadn't been cranked in a week and a half and it was 24 degrees when I picked it up!......... I let it warm up for a minute and took off! ............
Did you actually let it warm up more than just a minute? As in 5-10 minutes? I dont think that if you let it warm up only a minute at 24 degrees, drove it 20 miles that you would get much heat out of it at all.

Maybe I am missin something here, but I would let it actually warm up 5-10 minutes before driving it especially at 24 degrees.

My $.02
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Old 03-04-2007, 07:53 PM   #15
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If a diesel skoolie is anything like an old benz diesel, letting it idle 5 or 10 minutes won't do it either. With my old 300SD, on a cold day you could let it idle 15 minutes and the temp gauge would move barely, if at all. But, as soon as you actually started driving, it would heat very quickly.

There is a good reason for this. A diesel engine, at idle uses an extremely small amount of fuel because, unlike a gasoline engine which maintains it's fuel/air mixture at all speeds, a diesel at idle is running extremely leanly. This is very efficient. It also means it produces damn little heat.

If you do want to get more heat or atleast quicker heat, block part of the radiator with cardboard or one of those zip up covers. I've seen large trucks in very cold weather with one of those things zipped up damn near all the way, blocking almost all airflow through the grill.

Ofcourse, keeping an eye on the temp gauge while doing this wouldn't be a bad idea.

Another thing to check is after running for awhile, stop, pop the hood and feel the return/supply heater core hoses. If they are similar temps, there is flow. If the return is much cooler than the supply, you may have a clogged core, or, maybe the frickin' idiot that sold me my old f-150 worked on your bus. I drove that damn thing through the betterpart of a winter with no heat. He said the heater core was clogged. Turned out that the dumb sumbitch forgot to remove the rag he jammed into the hose when he swapped out engines.
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Old 03-04-2007, 08:47 PM   #16
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even when it's cold, 20 miles is plenty of time for the bus to come up to temperature. Thats like a half our of driving.
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Old 03-04-2007, 11:46 PM   #17
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My 6.6 never really warms up below 10 degrees. I have a good thermostat and the weatherfront closed up tight and the only thing I notice is a loss in power from having the intercooler covered.
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Old 03-05-2007, 05:21 AM   #18
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one more thing about my 6.6.......

i used to pull the engine fan off in the winter. I found that when thebus was up to temp if i let her idle for a few minutes the temp guage would be down below the normal range. I think it was held on with about 6 bolts with a 7/16" hex head. The fan spins fast enough at idle that it moves a lot of air through the radiator. One summer i didn't put the fan on until july, and only because i was going on a road trip. I do agree that the 6.6 is a cold blooded motor!

but 20 miles! That's a long ways to drive to have your engine not warm up. I can't remember if i ever took that bus for a drive when it was that cold out though. My dt360 warms up pretty fast compared to the ford motor. I think the needle is near the normal range (when it's about 30 outside is the coldest i've driven i think) after about 5 minutes of idling, and 5 minutes of driving at speed.
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Old 03-05-2007, 09:14 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_experience03
My 6.6 never really warms up below 10 degrees. I have a good thermostat and the weatherfront closed up tight and the only thing I notice is a loss in power from having the intercooler covered.
I'd question that t-stat. No matter how cold it is, if the dang thing is closed, you should have basically very little water running through the block, or are the interior heaters so big that they keep the engine cool all by themselves?

Since the intercooler is right in front of the rad, maybe you should actually increase airflow as the heat from the cooler might actually warm the rad?

Or, maybe you could just park the damn thing till april.
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Old 03-05-2007, 11:35 AM   #20
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I don't know if ALL skoolies are plumbed the same, but my old one, the valves ONLY controlled the rear radiators/heaters, and the driver's compartment were ALWAYS tied in to the engine's cooling circuit.
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