Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 07-11-2019, 11:13 AM   #1
Bus Nut
 
Drew Bru's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Minnehaha Co., SD
Posts: 548
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466
Rated Cap: 65
DT466 slowly losing coolant

Hey all,
I believe our bus is using coolant, it may or may not be getting burnt by the motor. About 1000 miles ago I marked a level line on our coolant reservoir, it's now down about 1/2" (not sure how much that is in volume). We're currently around elevation 10K, whereas we were around 1K when I marked it....not sure if that's relevant or not.
Kristen was following me in the car and had said there were a few times when puffs of white smoke came from the exhaust. That could be when I was accelerating from a downhill coast, but I'm not certain of that either or whether or not that's relevant.
I've done a cursory check for signs of leaking hoses and whatnot, but I haven't found anything. I suppose I should look more closely. Too, there has always been a faint coolant smell in the cabin, so maybe a small heater line leak behind the panel?

We did have an overheat (oil/water light) while pulling a hill outside of Denver. I pulled over right away and let the engine cool down. White smoke and coolant level changes were noticed the day after this overheating when the engine was cold. Didn't think to check the level before we headed out.

My question, I guess, is whether or not this is a normal loss of coolant or if it's something to worry about. Could this be a result of the overheat? I didn't see any coolant overflowing.....it was boiling, and at the Full line on the reservoir. I had an oil sample done about 2K miles ago and it showed no coolant in the oil. Anything I should check before I take it to someone who knows diesel engines? Should I give it more miles and watch the levels, or take it in right away? We're outside of Steamboat Springs, CO right now and not sure how to proceed.
__________________
Our Build: https://dazzlingbluebus.wordpress.com/
Drew Bru is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2019, 11:38 AM   #2
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Georgia
Posts: 1,520
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 14
1/2" of coolant level difference could be as simple as checking on a different slope than before ... I'll go with an assumption that it's level ground before-and-after. It could be cool-and-warm level differences (many tanks do have cold and hot level markings) ... again, I'll go under an assumption the level has actually dropped and not a temperature difference level. As for the elevation difference, it could affect the reading a little, not sure if it would be 1/2" or not. That would probably be ... maybe a quart of coolant? If it were me, I'd keep a gallon or two on hand and check it regularly. Now if it ends up in the oil .........


I would definitely spring for an oil analysis next time it's due. These engines don't like being overheated and tend to drop coolant in the oil if they do. A quick shutdown may have saved you from this.
Brad_SwiftFur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2019, 11:51 AM   #3
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Picton,Ont, Can.
Posts: 1,674
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: GMC
Engine: Cat 3116
Rated Cap: 72
Could be simple evaporation too from the tank.



Does the white smoke go away after warming up from a cold start?


Mine does that on a cold start till the engine starts to arm then goes away.


Just keep tabs on it I guess is all I can think of if no leaks visible anywhere.


Keep us posted and good luck.


John
__________________
Question everything!
BlackJohn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2019, 11:54 AM   #4
Bus Nut
 
Drew Bru's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Minnehaha Co., SD
Posts: 548
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466
Rated Cap: 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad_SwiftFur View Post
1/2" of coolant level difference could be as simple as checking on a different slope than before ... I'll go with an assumption that it's level ground before-and-after. It could be cool-and-warm level differences (many tanks do have cold and hot level markings) ... again, I'll go under an assumption the level has actually dropped and not a temperature difference level. As for the elevation difference, it could affect the reading a little, not sure if it would be 1/2" or not. That would probably be ... maybe a quart of coolant? If it were me, I'd keep a gallon or two on hand and check it regularly. Now if it ends up in the oil .........

I would definitely spring for an oil analysis next time it's due. These engines don't like being overheated and tend to drop coolant in the oil if they do. A quick shutdown may have saved you from this.

I hadn't thought about the level ground factor. Ambient temp might be a factor as well. I'll check it in the heat of the day as opposed to evening and see if it's different. Oil didn't look milky last time I checked, but I shall check again. I'll also send in an oil sample when i get a chance.

I've got a gallon of Peak Fleet Charge as a backup.
__________________
Our Build: https://dazzlingbluebus.wordpress.com/
Drew Bru is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2019, 12:03 PM   #5
Bus Nut
 
Drew Bru's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Minnehaha Co., SD
Posts: 548
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466
Rated Cap: 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackJohn View Post
Could be simple evaporation too from the tank.



Does the white smoke go away after warming up from a cold start?


Mine does that on a cold start till the engine starts to arm then goes away.


Just keep tabs on it I guess is all I can think of if no leaks visible anywhere.


Keep us posted and good luck.


John

There's a bit of white smoke at startup, but it goes away. This is the first time we haven't both been riding in the bus....she's never followed me until the other day when she noticed some white puffs of exhaust....so I'm not sure if this is something new or not. I guess I should check it out while idling, to see if the white smoke goes away or remains after the engine is warm.
__________________
Our Build: https://dazzlingbluebus.wordpress.com/
Drew Bru is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2019, 03:40 PM   #6
Bus Nut
 
CHEESE_WAGON's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Virginia
Posts: 340
Year: None
Coachwork: None
Chassis: None
Engine: None
Rated Cap: None
I don't think a 96 would have an EGR cooler, but if it does...
Not sure when EGRs and EGR coolers became a thing.
__________________
"Cheese Wagon" <anomaly.va@gmail.com>

Former owner - 1989 Ford B700 64-pass Blue Bird (Rest In Peace, Cheese Wagon)
CHEESE_WAGON is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2019, 04:07 PM   #7
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 11,460
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
EGR didnt come into play on the 466E until 04/05 model years..



was the coolant added after or before your opver-temp event? coolant expands as it gets hot... and the coolant reservopire cap is designed to vent pressure in excess of the rating on the cap... 10 PSI I think on the 466E.. getting it hot enough to turn on the overheat alarm is enough you may have been venting steam / coolant from the cap.. these busses typically dont have recovery like a car so it just goes on the ground..



checking your oil.. to make sure it is still diesel engine black and not milki-ness looking is something to do... a puff of white smoke every now and then could be an injector misfiring ...


I wouldnt be ready to worry about it yet.. however I also wouldnt allow it to run up above 220 on the temp gauge either.. you do only get so many of those alarms before a liner seal will let go... by the time you get close to 215-220 you should be hearing that fan Blazing under the hood...

-Christopher
cadillackid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2019, 09:30 PM   #8
Bus Crazy
 
roach711's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Farmington Hills, Mi (Detroit area)
Posts: 1,825
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Eldorado Aerotech 24'
Chassis: Ford E-450 Cutaway Bus
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 19
I've noticed my coolant level varies about 3/4" from a cold day to a hot day.

An oil analysis is a great idea if only to tamp down the paranoia.
__________________
The Roach Motel
roach711 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2019, 09:46 PM   #9
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Picton,Ont, Can.
Posts: 1,674
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: GMC
Engine: Cat 3116
Rated Cap: 72
"these busses typically dont have recovery like a car so it just goes on the ground."


Just so I could keep an eye on such a situation, I ran the drain hose from the rad cap into a water bottle. Never seen a drop of coolant in it ever but it serves my purpose of determining if any coolant was getting lost.

John.
__________________
Question everything!
BlackJohn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2019, 03:48 AM   #10
Bus Nut
 
CHEESE_WAGON's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Virginia
Posts: 340
Year: None
Coachwork: None
Chassis: None
Engine: None
Rated Cap: None
I re-read the thread (with a little more sleep this time). You're probably on to something about a heater line leak, however, it may well be the heater core itself, and if it is a small enough leak, it could take a long time to drop enough coolant to be noticeable. A heater core can sometimes fool you on a pressure test -- but it is not something that can be left alone without consequence. Under no circumstances should you ever smell coolant in the interior of any vehicle.

Fumes from hot coolant (especially green ethylene glycol) can kill you in sufficient quantity, and at a bare minimum, make you very ill. As a taxi driver, an assigned car I leased developed such a leak and it continually made me sick, because the company was too cheap and the mechanic was too lazy to fix it right. They kept throwing stop-leak in it, and it failed within minutes every time I picked the car up again.

A simple way to diagnose a heater core leak is to bypass the heater core (either under the hood or inside) by using an appropriately-sized U-shaped pipe joint loop the feed hose back into the return hose to the engine without entering the core itself. Then run / drive again to see if you still smell coolant. It may take some time for the coolant smell to disappear, but if it does go away after bypassing the core, you have a bad heater core and it should be replaced ASAP.

Also, make sure your bus is not equipped with a secondary heater somewhere that you may not know about (unlikely, but still worth checking). If so, that could be leaking and be the source of the smell.
__________________
"Cheese Wagon" <anomaly.va@gmail.com>

Former owner - 1989 Ford B700 64-pass Blue Bird (Rest In Peace, Cheese Wagon)
CHEESE_WAGON 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


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:57 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.