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Old 07-06-2016, 06:12 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Overheating / engine warning light.. Bad day.

So my bus has been running hot on the hills so I thought I would do it a favour before I hit the mountain pass and treat her to a nice radiator clean. No luck, so today I replaced the thermostat... Now she's reading hot even at idle (previously idle around 170 and highway driving around the 210 mark) today's outcome has her reading 210 at idle. I hit it with a inferred thermometer and the temps were reading much lower, back in the 150's range... So I took it for a spin up a big hill, 4 miles of 7% grad. Whilst on my way up the coolent alarm came on, never did the gauge drop below 210 so I was kinda hoping it was a disrepency and a bad sensor. Well then it happened and for the first time my engine warn light came on (and remains on) I pulled the bus around and brought her Down the hill. She now sounds funny, a strange glug to it.... I hit it with the IR thermometer again and it seemed hot but nothing out of the of ordinary for that kind of pull. Now the engine is a t44e international turbo deisel 7.3
Could anyone please guide me through how to change my temp sensor (is this an easy task?) can anyone tell me what the engine warn light relays too.... I have no idea why it's sounding like the way it is... I'm getting close to 30k in the hole, in the middle of nowhere and feeling so exhausted and helpless right now. Any advice would be appreciated.
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Old 07-06-2016, 08:06 PM   #2
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Can I try removing the thermostat all together? Imput please I'm pretty desperate.
Have tested the radiator for exhaust fumes and not getting anything. Other then replacing The whole radiator which would cost me close to a grand and I have no idea how I would even source one in the middle of nowhere.....
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Old 07-06-2016, 08:20 PM   #3
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Offhand, it sounds like your thermostat is dead. I couldn't tell you if any damage has occurred, but a 'glug' sound doesn't sound promising.
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Old 07-06-2016, 08:37 PM   #4
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Do you now if your water pump is good? A reasonable test is checking if the cabin heaters in the back are getting hot water which would prove you have circulation. The serpentine routing of the 7.3 is pretty complicated.

I would run it without a thermostat and see how hot it gets. heck also for white smoke out of the exhaust . That indicates a head gasket or worse.

Does it run on all 8 cylinders? Does the engine shake , vibrate,
Is the exhaust flow nice even or can you feel / hear puffs?

May some of the experts can chime in about 7.3 .
Can the overheat alarm disable some cylinders and force it into a limb mode?

Good luck
Later J
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Old 07-06-2016, 08:49 PM   #5
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You say you've put in a thermostat and cleaned the radiator. It's still running hot. It's likely one of 3 things.

1. Low coolant, which I assume you've checked/filled.
2. Fan (or fan clutch) is not doing its job. Or something is not letting air move through the radiator.
3. Failing or failed water pump. It might be accompanied with a slipping/squealing belt.

You should not need a new radiator (hopefully) unless the old one is losing coolant.
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Old 07-07-2016, 11:07 AM   #6
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Ok so it was a hell of a day yesterday for me and thanks to those who got back to me.
I had a hard time locating a thermostat from where I broke down, the one I changed out must of caused more problems then the original one. In the end I let it cool down, gutted the thermostat and reinstalled the empty ring so it's just on open circuit. This seems to have helped Immensely. Back down to my comfortable driving temps but still need to avoid any big pulls. Fan resistance was good as far as I could tell, current radiator doesn't seem to be leaking at all, fins are fine. After Cooling down the engine warning light clicked off, the 'glug' disappeared and audiably the engine appears to be running normal again. As for my heaters I have them isolated under the engine bay, the rear heater Lines were cut at an earlier date and two quarter turn valves were installed to bypass that route. Maybe I'll look at repairing that circuit as a form of additional emergancy cooling when I have acess to the tools.
Thanks for your input, it was a stressful day for me, great to have acess to this awesome comunity when stuck in the middle of nowhere. Cheers, Buka (made it safely to Salt Lake City)
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Old 07-07-2016, 01:05 PM   #7
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Welcome to Salt Lake! Give a shout if you need help finding anything in the area.
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Old 07-07-2016, 03:14 PM   #8
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There are a bunch of vintage buses being used as Hippie camping rentals down in Monroe at a wonderfully wacky camping & RV area called Mystic Hot Springs. That is where I found my '46. He planted a bunch of old cast iron tubs on the hillside where the springs spew out 125 degree water and the minerals have encrusted them into the hillside. Very...unique.
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Old 07-07-2016, 04:17 PM   #9
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Oh wow this sounds amazing, saddly my day has taken another turn. Pulled over down town and noticed coolent leaking once again. Turns out my thermostat housing was damaged in the process so needs to be replaced... Oh and I finally identified my overheating problem, it's my fan clutch as you guys suggested so will need to get one air freighted up from Vegas tonight... There goes another $1500
Thanks for the tip I think I'll need a long hot soak in one of those to take my mind off things.
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Old 07-07-2016, 04:17 PM   #10
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fan resistance by finger isnt a good judge of the fan clutch... you have to warm it up and see what the RPM of the fan is... if you ruin a moderate pull and you see the temp approaching 210.. stop, open the hood, rev the engine and see if the RPM of the fan blade stays constant in that 300-450 RPM range.. measurew the AIR TEMP of the air coming from the radiator.. if its really low you have circulation issues.. if its really high (170 or above) and your fan still wont spin up with revs then your clutch is bad.. my bad clutch stayed in that low RPM range all the time which moved planty of air at idle or city traffic but a highway pull and I got warm... believe me when the clutch engages youll knoiw... the fan will slowly spin up to a roar over the engine.... and then slowly spins down as the air temp decreases (usually decreasing coolant temp)...

an air solenopid fan clutch kicks on and off instantly with a higher pitch wait due to a different fan blade in use than ob a viscous clutch..

-Christopher
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Old 07-07-2016, 04:19 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nomadbuka View Post
Oh wow this sounds amazing, saddly my day has taken another turn. Pulled over down town and noticed coolent leaking once again. Turns out my thermostat housing was damaged in the process so needs to be replaced... Oh and I finally identified my overheating problem, it's my fan clutch as you guys suggested so will need to get one air freighted up from Vegas tonight... There goes another $1500
Thanks for the tip I think I'll need a long hot soak in one of those to take my mind off things.
fan clutch shou;dnt be $1500.. I got mine from kit-masters.. its a biorg warner clutch... in my cooling thread you can see how I adjusted its temperature..
-Christopher
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Old 07-07-2016, 04:28 PM   #12
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$1500 for a fan clutch is nuts and a rip off! What engine is it again? Check the truck salvage joints and you can probably find one for a tenth that price.
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Old 07-07-2016, 04:30 PM   #13
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Thanks Chris. That's what has been happening to me exactilly. Slow driving is fine, but as soon as I'm on a highway around the 55 mark it can't keep up. Since I've owned it I havnt once heard this roar of the fan I have read about, it just runs at a smooth constant but not really enough for pulls or high speeds.
Removing the thermostat was enough to get me into SLC, now I just have to bite the bullet and do the repairs.
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Old 07-07-2016, 04:31 PM   #14
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Engine is the international 7.3l power stroke, or t44e
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Old 07-07-2016, 04:32 PM   #15
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I agree that a fan clutch shouldn't cost $1500, not even having a shop do it.
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Old 07-07-2016, 04:34 PM   #16
Mini-Skoolie
 
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$1500 was for parts to be air freighted up including new thermostat housing and 4x hours of labour at $100 p/h
I don't have tools and no mechanic so im no way competent to tackle this myself and exhausted from trying tempory fixes that seem to make things progressively worse
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Old 07-07-2016, 04:59 PM   #17
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Keep your chin up, buka. After the new clutch is in, it'll be smooth sailing. Keep us updated!
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Old 07-07-2016, 06:26 PM   #18
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I'd put in a electric one for around $150.00
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Old 07-07-2016, 07:59 PM   #19
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I'd put in a electric one for around $150.00

depending on the engine there may not be an electric one available as a retrofit.. borg-warner does make a front air clutch now that is designed for retrofitting from a viscous clutch... the big issue is if the hub for the fan is the water pump shaft vs a timing gear driven water pump or an offset fan..

if the bus was built for an electric-air clutch (and has air brakes) then its not a bad swap but it can be a bad swap if its set up as viscous already..


to the OP!! is the grill area 1/2 radiator 1/2 turbo cooler? if so please tell your shop to adjust the on temperature of the fan clutch down a few degrees or you may have similar issues...

mine was pre-set at 170-175 degree air from the radiator.. I adjusted it to 150-155... now I get the fan roar whemn I see my dash temp gauge reach about 185 or so.. (thats when my bus isnt in Pieces..)
-Christopher
-Christopher
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Old 07-07-2016, 08:46 PM   #20
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What would be wrong with something like this???

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/der-16927
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