Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 05-28-2015, 10:27 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Florida
Posts: 30
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International
Engine: 7.3L T444E
1998 Bluebird International quits!

Last Fall I bought a 1998 Bluebird International T444 (3800). My cousin and I worked furiously to convert it for our trip out West from Florida.

We have a problem where it slows down and quits. We were driving on Interstates and felt we were a danger always being so slow or stopped on the side of the road. If you let is sit awhile it will start. We have changed the fuel filters several times. It would be really bad if it did this in the middle of a big city! Yikes!
And it seems to have no power going up a hill, is that normal?

And the second thing is it is very bad about fishtailing. We were flat towing my sons Jeep behind it. When I bought it one king pin had been replaced and someone said you should never replace one. It has air ride and a mechanic adjusted the bags so they don't deflate below about 110 pounds. He thought that maybe the sensor in the bags was making it inflate and deflate too much and causing the fishtailing. That helped some where it was tolerable but... It is VERY hard to keep it in the lane!

The inside of the bus is very nice. My son works in Wyoming for the Summers and it is built for off grid. Has 180 gal. of water under the bed (we traveled with 60 gal only) 4 6v batteries, a solar frig and freezer composting toilet and shower and a sink and stove.
We did not even get it out West. Had to leave it in MO and had it shipped home I do not know how it would get up the mountains in Wyoming when it struggled so with the hills in Tennessee. The last day out it took us 9 hours to go 275 miles as it kept quitting!

A part of me wants to abandon the project and sell it but my cousin put his heart and soul into the build. And it is perfect for what my son needs. Or the next crazy idea I had was take the engine off and make a 5th wheel out of it. That would require a new super duty truck!
Did we buy the wrong bus for traveling across the country? It has to have high ground clearance so the pushers would not work. I thought I did my homework.
Any suggestions?

Thanks, Leslie
lbranin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2015, 10:51 PM   #2
Site Team
 
crazycal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 4,087
I had a similar problem with loss of power on my Excursion on my way back home from Texas. It has a 7.3 Power Stroke which is basically the same engine as a 444E. I changed the fuel filter and fuel pump. I also changed the ICP sensor. None of that helped with the problem. Now that I am home, I am getting ready to drop the fuel tank. It turns out that there are screens on the fuel pick up that get clogged. My tank has never been dropped and I know the screens are filled with crud. I don't know if it is the same as your bus but it wouldn't hurt to check.
__________________
I'm hungry!

You Gotta Let Me Fly
crazycal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2015, 10:52 PM   #3
Site Team
 
crazycal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 4,087
I don't understand what you are saying about the kingpins. When they are worn, they need to be replaced.
__________________
I'm hungry!

You Gotta Let Me Fly
crazycal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2015, 10:56 PM   #4
Bus Crazy
 
gbstewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,171
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: 3800 International
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 72
where you getting any smoke out the tail pipe? blue color? black? you could have bad injectors, how many kms on the motor?
my t444e runs like a champ and i have driven it all over, and I would take it anywhere, no you didn't buy the wrong bus, just have a hick up to fix
gbstewart
__________________
my bus build viewtopic.php?f=9&t=5931
gbstewart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2015, 11:04 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Florida
Posts: 30
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International
Engine: 7.3L T444E
I suspect the gas tank. I will check into that.

The king pins had to do with why it is so hard to steer, maybe? The bad one was replaced and the other one is OK. The front end has been aligned, tires rotated and balanced and the steering is still squirrelly! Had an anti-sway bar put on the front and that did not help at all. The guy that adjusted the air bags so they can not deflate so much was on the right track and that help with the steering.
lbranin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2015, 11:06 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Florida
Posts: 30
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International
Engine: 7.3L T444E
The bus has about 120,000 miles on it. Not sure about the smoke. I didn't notice any but when it is slowing down and getting ready to quit I am just trying to get to a safe place and not noticing smoke.
lbranin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-28-2015, 11:06 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Florida
Posts: 30
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International
Engine: 7.3L T444E
I hope it is not injectors that sounds expensive!
lbranin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2015, 01:58 AM   #8
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Snowflake, Arizona
Posts: 323
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: All American Rear Engine
Engine: C-8.3-300 Cummins MD3060
Rated Cap: 40 Prisoners
As far as the fishtailing I would check to see if the air bag suspension has a
track bar attached to hold the suspension from moving side to side in the
frame. If it does have a track bar you may have some worn out bushings
allowing the suspension extra movement.
Dragonpop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2015, 05:23 AM   #9
Site Team
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: southwest lowsyana
Posts: 542
Year: 1988
Coachwork: ward
Chassis: international
Engine: dt360a
Rated Cap: 65
libranin, my bus has a pre-filter that was clogging and causing the very same symtoms. cleaning it would restore power. i dont know if you have a pre-filter, but if not, its going to be in the tank pickup as stated above.
claydbal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2015, 06:46 AM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Florida
Posts: 30
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International
Engine: 7.3L T444E
Dragonpop you might be on to something. The mechanic that adjusted the air bags so they keep higher inflation said at first he was going to to it the other way so they could not inflate over 90 pounds. But he said "that made the whole chassis move" I should have questioned that farther.
lbranin is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:00 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.