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Old 02-16-2006, 09:36 PM   #1
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I need heat!

I know well enough from my years of riding a bus as a student that one shouldn't expect it to be tropical inside a bus, but this one I bought is quite literally frigid!

I took it out for a test drive and we let it high idle for an hour while I did the paperwork as it hadn't been run in some time. Still, on the way home that 6.6 barely stayed in the "normal" range on the temp gauge leaving us with very little interior heat when we had any at all.

I understand that with temps between 0-20* F I shouldn't expect much and should be thankful the thing even starts, but it seems like with the weather front closed up tight and that slipping AT545 dumping some heat into the radiator (I would assume the tranny cooler is in the radiator tank....for now) I should get SOME heat. I left the rear heater off and only turned on the front heaters and still got little or nothing out of it.

The bus has the switch (as well as the mounts underneath) from an old Webasto heater that is long gone but it was used in the iron mines here in Minnesota as transportation for the workers to and from the pits so it seems the Webasto was used more as a block heater than to help heat the interior when it was running. Still, I can't help but wonder a little...

Anyone out there have some advice as to what I should be looking for in terms of a problem or something? I plan to use this thing in the summer mainly so heat isn't THAT big of a concern, but if it's a problem, I'd sure like to solve it now.
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Old 02-16-2006, 11:18 PM   #2
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A lot of old trucks have valves that shut off the water to the inside of the bus. That way when you are driving it in the summer it doesn't heat the bus up (and it will even with the fans off). Are you sure the water is circulating?

Also on my bus it seems to not move enough water to heat the bus when at idle.
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Old 02-17-2006, 02:07 AM   #3
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The water is circulating. That was the first thing I checked. Interestingly enough, this thing apparently had two webasto heaters. The front one is gone, but the rear one is there....now if only it worked. I need to crack out my multimeter and see if it's just an electrical issue or what, but I need to wait until a warmer day.

As a side note...how many cca's do you think I should have if I want that bus to start down to about 0*? I have a block heater, that webasto if I can get it working, and a Ranco fuel heater along with a can of ether so it SHOULD start, but the 750 cca battery the place I bought it from put in the is NOT going to do the job. The battery compartment can easily fit three group 24 or 27 batteries....
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Old 02-17-2006, 02:05 PM   #4
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I always get the largest CCAs that come in the stock size. Remember your engine is only 6.6L and that is pretty small. I have to Chevy Suburbans with larger engines (a 454(7.44L) and 492 (8.1L))

If your having problems starting the engine it is probably time to tune it and replace the plug/wires on gas engines.

You consideration should be made on what 12V accessories you want to run when you are using the bus. If you will be running an inverter while the engine is not running you can drain a single battery rather quickly.
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Old 02-17-2006, 03:34 PM   #5
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Plugs and wires aren't an issue on this motor

I think it might be the 6 gallons of frozen 15w40 in the sump and the fact that it has to turn 0* outside air and some diesel fuel into a boom without the aid of glowplugs or an intake graid heater
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Old 02-17-2006, 10:23 PM   #6
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When I got my bus last fall, driving it back I didn't get any heat at all for the first couple hundred miles and then I got tired of being cold and looked at it and determined I had a plugged hose. Since I didn't have all the needed tools to dig in to it, I just by passed the driver side and rear heaters and just used the heater by the door. Now this was temps around 35f at the time. It worked good. But I also have a half pint bus.

Based on what I had, I'd suggest checking for a plugged hose or heater core. It happens when they sit and the antifreeze gels up. It can often be unplugged using compressed air or a garden hose. Also my first thought was that my thermostate was stuck open but it wasn't.
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Old 02-17-2006, 10:31 PM   #7
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I drove several thousand miles and a couple of years driving around in my 6.6 liter......

Are you sure your fan isn't spinning all the time? (if it is equipped with a fan clutch)

Try covering the radiator with cardboard.....make sure it doesn't overheat though!

Even when it's below 10 degrees, the bus should get up to operating temperature when you're driving (about 170-190 degrees) When you idle the bus parked during cold weather, it is normal for the gage to fall below the "normal" range.

My guess would be that the thermostat is stuck open....
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Old 02-18-2006, 01:00 AM   #8
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I think the thermostat might be stuck and I KNOW it needs more coolant. I've given up for the short term though. Until the temps get back above
-20, I'm not touching that key

Do you really think the cardboard is necessary when it has a weather front closed up tight? I did get a warm left ass cheak from the heater so the coolant is getting that far atleast. I have a feeling I need to bypass that webasto until I can figure out how to make it work because it plumbs in between the front and rear heater hoses. I also know that bus needs another battery...

I'll let you know how it goes in a week or so. By then the temp is supposed to be back above 0 on a regular basis. If nothing else, it can sit where it is and I'll just do the other work like taking out the seats, floor, etc with the kerosun in there.
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Old 02-18-2006, 09:28 AM   #9
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as far as batteries, both of my buses including the one wit hthe 6.6 liter came with the 8 D battery. The 8d is utilized by many large truck manufacturers as well as most skoolies i've seen. This battery is heavy 140 pounds or something if memory serves me correctly, and they are big! Obviously if your bus didn't come with one of these, they will not fit into the battery tray. The 8D is physically about the size of 3 regular pickup truck batteries.

A well charged 8D will crank the 6.6 liter for more than a minute straight near zero degrees. The starter is a little hot by that time! She will start without a block heater even when the temps are in the single digits, but it takes a lot of cranking. She's a lot happier if you plug in the 110 volt block heater for an hour prior.
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