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Old 01-02-2019, 11:50 PM   #1
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Need advice: what parts to carry for T444E on Blue Bird 3800

I have a 1997 Blue Bird 3800 with a T444E 7.3L V8 engine with about 175k miles on it. We're in the process of converting it to a skoolie but for our planning purposes, if you have any experience with this engine, what parts would you recommend we have on hand so that we don't end up stranded on the side of the road?

Thanks in advance.
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danfutrell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2019, 01:18 AM   #2
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Year: 1954
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roadside prevention

I am answering this question as a guy that drives old cars since I have been driving - 30 years of experience driving 20 year old or older cars trucks and soon bus.
hoses... all of them make them new, big ones, little ones... likely to spend more than a couple of hundred and more

engine thermostat

engine, heater coolant flush, then distilled water with antifreeze

belts again, all of them.

Fuel lines, any fuel that is flexible replace it.

hydraulic brakes, any flexible line in the system, replace it.- flush brake fluid yearly by the way.

Engine batteries new....My favorite are the "interstate" brand batteries but a lower cost way is to buy the ones that have been taken off the shelf due to age- one year. They strip the interstate name off the battery and sell at lower cost.

All of these items have dumped me on the road when I did not replace them. I have cars and trucks from the 1970's and newer... I own 22 cars and trucks, the oldest is the 1954 school bus under going rebuilding right now. When I go through them, and do this kind of stuff, I have never, been stuck road side.Well that is not exactly true... in 2005 my 1970 pickup dumped a fuel pump... I put that pump on in 1988 or 1989, so about 15 years.


william
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Old 01-03-2019, 06:54 AM   #3
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Year: 1991
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Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
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with a T444E you carry a battery charger, a glowplug relay, a CPS, an ICP, and an IPR.
if you kill the batteries on a 444E they seem to want to be spun FAST to start the first time.. ive tried time and time again to "jump" my 444E if i kill the batteries.. anbd it will sound like its spinning over as fast as any car engine ever would be but wouldnt fire till i charged the batteries up nice and high.. then it would start extremely quick.


-Christopher
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Old 01-03-2019, 11:03 AM   #4
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Year: 1997
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I'm mostly carrying tools, not so much carrying parts... More like supplies. I've got a set of belts and a quart or two of each fluid, and a selection of fuses and light bulbs, and of course lots of duct tape.

But mostly I'm carrying tools. You need a good set of hand tools as a bare minimum, and your life will be a lot easier if you're carrying a cordless impact as well. On top of that I've got a big cordless impact for the tough jobs like lug nuts and a fairly large set of air tools... and a jack strong enough to lift the bus if I need to remove a wheel. Don't forget jumper cables!
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Old 01-03-2019, 03:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
with a T444E you carry a battery charger, a glowplug relay, a CPS, an ICP, and an IPR.
if you kill the batteries on a 444E they seem to want to be spun FAST to start the first time.. ive tried time and time again to "jump" my 444E if i kill the batteries.. anbd it will sound like its spinning over as fast as any car engine ever would be but wouldnt fire till i charged the batteries up nice and high.. then it would start extremely quick.


-Christopher


What are:
-CPS
-ICP
-IPR?
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Old 01-03-2019, 04:01 PM   #6
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Year: 1991
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Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
the CPS is Crank position sensor, tells the computer what roation and stroke the engine is in.. if this goes bad the engine will not start or run.



the ICP is the Injection Control Pressure Sensor - this tells the computer what the High pressure oil (which activates the injectors is doing) (HPOP pressure).. if this goes bad the engine may stumble, stall falter or go into Limp (very low power) mode.



the IPR is the Injection Pressure regulator.. it is what actually regulates the high pressure oil (that the ICP reads).. if this valve goes bad the engone may fail to properly actuate the fuel injectors.. or get stuck in an over-fueling scenerio..



these engines use the regular engine oil pressure (dash gauge) to fill up a secondary reservoire which uses a second pump that pumps up super high oil pressure used to actuate the fuel injectors.. many diesels had special fuel pumps for this.. navistar and CAT did it this way..



to leasrn more about this system you can read about HEUI on the ford 7.3, since the T-444E and ford 7.3 are similar engines.. (navistar made the 7.3 for ford. with just a few changes)..



those 3 parts are the most common failures on the electronics of these engines.. and are relatively easy to change...



now to be fair, i carry all of them on my bus. and have run over 35,000 miles and never changed any of them... although i did use one of my spares to get a guy starnded in a rest area going at one point last year.. (he bought me a replacement CPS)..



the CPS usually just dies... the IPR most often leaks oil or sticks intermittently setting a code and turning on the WARN light so you may have time to go get a new one.



the ICP is most often a progressive failure that causes wierd runnability issues at first that you cant figure out.. and eventually sets a code that its value is "out of range".. defaulting the engine.. which is limp mode..



so its not a hard and fast rule that you must carry these 3 parts.. i just do.. along with a serp belt along with the normal clamps, coolant, oil, tranny fluid, tie wraps, electrical terminals, JB weld, duct tape and tools.. oh and fire extuingishers.. 2 of them..

-Christopher
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Old 01-08-2019, 09:14 PM   #7
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To add to what magnakansas said about the thermostat and hoses. Be sure the cooling system is up to snuff, reasonably clean, ideally flush and replace coolant and even more importantly ensure thermostat is operating correctly.

It's pretty important on any engine and just as important for a diesel to operate at correct operating temp, Usually around 185f but varies from engine to engine. Too cool can do a lot of damage long term. Most of the time everyone only worries about overheating, not realizing the damage an over-cooled engine can endure. A partially stuck open thermostat will cause cool running in the winter/cooler times, and overheating in the summer.
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