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Old 05-07-2017, 10:38 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Tepme AZ
Posts: 97
Year: 1976
Coachwork: Crown
Engine: Detroit Diesel 6-71
Rated Cap: 52 pax
Summer is almost here, Coolant exchange

Hello all. Summer temps are almost here in AZ. With record setting temps well over 100 already here and summer road trips looming it is time to change the coolant in my bus, which has not been done since before it was parked in 2009. While I have the system open, I'm going to change all of the rubber hoses in the system. I'm also going to remove the piping for the rear heater and replace the ball valves the control the water for the front heater.

My question is does anyone know how much coolant this bus holds? I believe I read once that they can hold as much as 55 gallons. Last time I got coolant for my truck, it was 18 bucks a gallon. 18x55= nearly a grand for coolant? If it needs to be done, it needs to be done but I just want to make sure I have it all on hand when I go to do it so I will be able to run and move the bus if necessary and not have a dead bus until I can afford coolant you know?

Also, I know PH in 2strokes is very important. Would anyone know exactly what coolant to get for an old DD671?
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Old 05-07-2017, 11:08 AM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Colorado
Posts: 1,595
Year: 1993
Coachwork: bluebird
Engine: 5.9 Cummins, Allison AT1545
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wowsa!

i just replaced the coolant in my bluebird and went through a similar (smaller) scare.

my system only holds about 6 gallons, at 50% i only bought three bottles of antifreeze.

getting the right hoses in a timely manner was my biggest problem. it spread out over 3 weeks even tough i walked in with a list of the hoses needed. some numbers were wrong..... returns....

it worked out for the best in the long run. i flushed the system several times between each fill and hose. i used a flush product on 2 in between fills and enough residual antifreeze persisted until the 5 or 6th flush.

i a lot of time passed between purchasing the anti freeze and actually using it in the final fill.
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Old 05-07-2017, 11:47 AM   #3
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Location: Columbus Ohio
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Year: 1991
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I just recently did mine.. I bought 12 gallons of special AMSOIL ELC poly-organic coolant.. its a pre-mix.. I had my cooling system completely apart.. and flushing while in pieces makes the most sense..

I flushed the engine block while the water pump was off.. I flushed with the garden hose until it completely ran clear, then I took an air hose and blew the block out as much as I could.. then poured distilled water until I saw it run on the ground for awhile.. then poured my new coolant into the engine until I saw the runout of the other side start to turn pink..

for the heater loops, I flushed wit ha garden hose into the inlet until it ran nice and clear.. then blew out with an air hose until I had air blasting out.. I couldnt get distilled water to flow into the loops super easily.. I stood up nice and high to get some pressure and eventually got a flow going.. I let some water run on the ground. but was having issues.. so i blew it out with the air hose again..

upon refilling I installed the radiator (I had it boiled out at a shop), connected the hoses EXCEPT i didnt connect the heater loops from main just yet.
once I had the engine asnd radiator parts filled.. heater lines OFF and heater valves closed.. I cracked each heater valve just a bit and air came out.. I kept pouring coolant and distilled water into the system until I saw coolanr start out of the lower heater valve.. then I closed that valve and went to the upper.. and then closed it..

next I connected the heater INLET hose.. (water system OUT from engine TO heater)..

I started the bus with the pressurized reservoire cap OFF.. I kept pouring some coolant in.. then I slowly cracked open the connected heater valve..

the bus idling..

as the level i nthe bottle dropped I added more coolant and water.. once I saw coolant start running out of the disconnected heater line, i connected it, clamped, and opened its valve.. the bus was warming up.. I was adding coolant as needed.. cap off, and using the little bleeder valve on the upper heater pipe... once my temperature got near 180 the T-stat started to open and the coolant level dropped a bit again, I topped it off, put the cap on and let the bus run for close to an hour...

when it warmed to 205, the fan came on.. all my heaters were working.. then I drove it around, took it home, shut it off and let it cool..

once cool, I topped the coolant off one last time and Done!

my 6 row Bluebird T-444E took a total of about 8-9 gallons of fluid...
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Old 05-07-2017, 02:59 PM   #4
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Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Orange County, CA
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With one or two heaters and a front defroster/heater, I doubt you have anything close to 55 gallons! I'm thinking more like twenty-something gallons, maybe? When ABC Bus changed out all my coolant a few years ago they used 12 gallons of concentrate, so theoretically I have a total of 24 gallons in my bus. My bus has only one rear heater. plus the front one, but it's 40 feet long, so it may take a bit more than your Crown. Do you have a surge tank for the radiator? If so, if you also have a drain hose to let excess coolant out when it gets hot, you could do what I did and run that hose into a gallon plastic jug to catch the excess. By doing this you can then mark on the surge tank's sight glass the correct level to fill it when cold - anything more than that will simply drain out, and when it's next cold you can easily se what the maximum cold level is. Easy!

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Old 05-07-2017, 03:54 PM   #5
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Join Date: Jan 2016
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Year: 1976
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iceni John View Post
With one or two heaters and a front defroster/heater, I doubt you have anything close to 55 gallons! I'm thinking more like twenty-something gallons, maybe? When ABC Bus changed out all my coolant a few years ago they used 12 gallons of concentrate, so theoretically I have a total of 24 gallons in my bus. My bus has only one rear heater. plus the front one, but it's 40 feet long, so it may take a bit more than your Crown. Do you have a surge tank for the radiator? If so, if you also have a drain hose to let excess coolant out when it gets hot, you could do what I did and run that hose into a gallon plastic jug to catch the excess. By doing this you can then mark on the surge tank's sight glass the correct level to fill it when cold - anything more than that will simply drain out, and when it's next cold you can easily se what the maximum cold level is. Easy!

John
12 gallons sounds much better than 55! No surge tank on my rad. Thanks for the info!
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