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Old 03-14-2016, 07:17 PM   #1
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overheating! radiator? HELP!

Im not the mechanically-minded one in the family (husband is), but Im the one here on the forums so please bear with me if this post sounds like its written by a total know-nothing. (Because it is. )

We drove our bus about 300 miles yesterday down to my inlaws for the big building weekend. (They have a huge shop and everything necessary for us to do our remodel inside, etc.) Twice the engine overheated, going over 230 (whatever that means?).... Husband and another snowmachining, skoolie-owning guy we met in a parking lot looked things over and just added a lot of water (??? remember, I literally have no idea what Im talking about here) and if we kept it under 50pmh from that point on, everything was cool. I think? This was the first time we've driven it more than 40 miles since we bought it, and its been sitting all winter due to nothing but ice on the roads here.

Thoughts? Why is this happening? No leaks or anything husband and other skoolie guy could see. Someone said something about a radiator? Possibly a radiator being gunky?

If this makes any sense to anyone, please chime in. Happy to add more info if you need.

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Old 03-14-2016, 07:27 PM   #2
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Need more info. Not that familiar with a "1990 International/Wayne 8-window".

Front or rear engined? Diesel or gas? What engine? Does it have barn doors on the radiator? Was this on level grades or hills? At what speeds?

If a diesel...230 is indeed getting close to critical temps (about 250 is considered absolute max for many diesel engines and time to pull off). Can be less for some.
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Old 03-14-2016, 07:28 PM   #3
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Sounds as if you have a MAJOR coolant leak. Check the radiator/coolant level and then top it off. Run the engine with ALL heaters running and then look for leaks. I had the same problem with my Thomas. Turned out the T-stat housing wasn't seated completely. Bought some Blue RTV and no more leaks.
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Old 03-14-2016, 07:42 PM   #4
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OK. Front engine 7.3L diesel International Harvester, barn doors (I think. The ones that flip upwards?), started getting hot on level grades, at about 50, then overheated on the hills. Previous owners had this problem too.

ANother important thing I forgot: the previous owners removed the rear heater and cut the lines; not sure why? How will this effect things?

There is no leaking, no blown hose. We did lose some coolant out the vent, so thats why they did the water (I think).

Where is the thermostat on this bus? Does this sound like a thermostat problem? Or a radiator thing? Is it even possible to diagnose with this info? Hubby is outside putting in new flooring so I can run ask him whatever.

Thanks dudes!
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Old 03-14-2016, 07:45 PM   #5
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Not too bad of a place to overheat, though....

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Old 03-14-2016, 07:54 PM   #6
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You have a CONVENTIONAL bus, one with a HOOD. Barn Doors are usually in the rear and open exactly as they might be described - on VERTICAL HINGES.

The T-Stat housing connects between the engine block and the radiator with a big hose.

Do you have heat coming out of the vents or the rear heater? Buses of this length may have TWO rear heaters and one for the driver. Is the radiator getting hot? Turn on all the heaters at max-hot and then, carefully, attempt a short run and see what happens. The T-stats may not even be opening.
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Old 03-14-2016, 08:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptSquid View Post
You have a CONVENTIONAL bus, one with a HOOD. Barn Doors are usually in the rear and open exactly as they might be described - on VERTICAL HINGES.

The T-Stat housing connects between the engine block and the radiator with a big hose.

Do you have heat coming out of the vents or the rear heater? Buses of this length may have TWO rear heaters and one for the driver. Is the radiator getting hot? Turn on all the heaters at max-hot and then, carefully, attempt a short run and see what happens. The T-stats may not even be opening.
THe one remaining bus heater this has is in the front by the driver and has always been on (we live in Alaska) and blown hot air on all our previous drives and there hasn't been a problem. How can we find out more about the thermostat? I really appreciate your help!
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Old 03-14-2016, 09:09 PM   #8
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For that, we'll need the type of engine. Try looking on your vehicle data plate. You can also take your VIN to a local International dealer (even farm equipment) and they can help you.

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Old 03-14-2016, 09:34 PM   #9
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Did you make sure to downshift on the hills? Seems like a silly question, but some folks don't know. Keep those RPMs up above 2000 on a grade.

Check your oil dipstick and make sure oil isn't milky. If it is, you've got coolant leaking into your oil. Make sure you don't let it overheat. If the needle starts going up, STOP IMMEDIATELY and let it cool back down, otherwise overheating frequently will turn every piece of rubber in your engine into solid plastic. Including the cylinder sleeve O-rings, which will cause a major coolant leak. We had to overhaul our engine because the bus garage kept letting the bus overheat and ruined the O-rings.
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Old 03-14-2016, 09:38 PM   #10
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You also should check your fan clutch and belt tensioner. When the temp reaches +/- 210, your fan clutch should kick on. It makes a racket when it's working so there is no mistaking if it is working.
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