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Old 05-26-2015, 05:00 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 18
Year: 1993
Chassis: Vista
Engine: Dt360
Over heating uphill

Helllooooo I've got a couple questions for the pros.

I've got a Thomas safe t liner 38 passenger, engine is strong, no coolant leaks and it does fine idleing and driving flat.

I drive a lot around California and am often going up steep gradual hills. If they are short hills it doesn't have a problem and can get over them nicely without heating up but if it's a long climb it starts to get hot pretty quickly until I have to pull over. First I thought I was pushing it too hard up and tried taking the hills slower, under 20rmp but this still doesn't help.

My bus maxes out at 55 on flat and uphill will go as slow as 30 if it's a big climb.

Wondering if there's a bigger issue a foot or if it should just be expect. I was gonna check the thermostat and see if that's the issue. It's a 93 and everything starting to need replacing soon, but the coolant hoses seem ok. Maybe they are a little clogged or the fan has an issue ?

Any more info would help, it can be scary to over heat and need to pull over on a steep hill with no pull offs.

Thanks yall!
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Old 05-26-2015, 05:07 PM   #2
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Location: Eustis FLORIDA
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Year: 1992
Coachwork: Ward/AmTran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466
Rated Cap: 78
Have you tried dropping it a gear, or from D to 3?
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Old 05-26-2015, 05:29 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
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Year: 1993
Chassis: Vista
Engine: Dt360
Yeah I've tried taking it up in 3 but never anything else be had the same issue. If I take it really slow it can usually make it but still gets noticeably warmer.
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Old 05-26-2015, 05:59 PM   #4
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Location: Montana
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Year: 1995
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Chassis: All-American R/E
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What engine? Front engine?
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Old 05-26-2015, 06:04 PM   #5
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
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Hills and inclines can do that. I did Monteagle in Tn with my bus and had to pull over at the top to cool off. Its only a 6% grade but its like 5 miles.
Sometimes going down two gears in needed.
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Old 05-27-2015, 07:26 AM   #6
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Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Florida
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Year: 1988
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: I.H.
Engine: DT360
Turn around and backup the incline. Maybe the bus will think you are going downhill.?
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Old 05-27-2015, 10:13 AM   #7
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Join Date: May 2014
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Year: 1984
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Check inside the radiator for core rot or solder bloom inside the tank. I would also check to make sure the fins aren't all closed shut or plugged up with dirt. I doubt your radiator hoses would cause this or the thermostat (as long as you have the right ones to begin with). If you have an RE, make sure the fan motor, and fan itself are in good shape.

It helps a bunch in diagnosis if you tell us if it's FE or RE, what kind of engine you have, transmission, etc. In these situations it's hard to provide too much information.
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Old 05-27-2015, 03:00 PM   #8
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The first thing I would check would be to see if the radiator is getting air flow through it.

Our church purchased a bus that had seen service in a school district where more than half of the roads were unpaved. I think I washed over twenty pounds of dirt out of the radiator.

The second part of the air flow equation is to make sure the fan is pulling the air through the radiator and not around the edges of the shroud. Air will take the route of least resistance--if there are gaps around the edges it will pull more air around through the gaps than through the radiator.

The third part of the air flow equation is to make sure the fan is actually working. All of the OEM's have used various ways of engaging a fan. Almost all of them used some sort of drive or clutch that would operate the fan only when needed--a fan will take upwards of 25 HP to turn. You need to make sure the fan is actually working to pull through air through the radiator.

If you are getting air flow through the radiator and the fan is pulling adequate amounts of air through the radiator I would then get an IR thermometer and check the temps on the radiator itself. Your gauge may or may not be telling you the truth about how hot things really are. The IR thermometer will also tell you if radiator is doing any cooling. You should see a minimum of 10% difference between the top and the bottom or side to side of the radiator. If you don't see a difference then you may have a coolant flow issue.

At the same time you are checking the temps of the coolant also check to see the temps on the transmission fluid. We had ten brand new IA built Blue Birds that arrived in WA state without sufficiently sized transmission coolers. Every one of the ten was overheating every warm afternoon as soon as they started up any hill.

If at this point you are still having overheating issues I would then start to be concerned about the water pump or exhaust gases getting directly into the coolant.

But I wouldn't worry about the last two until you have elminiated everything else.

Good luck and let me know if I can help.
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Old 05-28-2015, 12:00 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 18
Year: 1993
Chassis: Vista
Engine: Dt360
Thanks for your responses! It's a Thomson Vista with a international dt360 in it. I don't know too much else besides that it's all stock but am trying to inform myself.

I'm gonna go ahead and clean my radiator and check it out. Thanks for the info!
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Old 05-28-2015, 01:01 PM   #10
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As mentioned, check your fan clutch. You probably have an AT545 transmission. Depending on what shape it is in, it will generated A LOT OF HEAT. One of my buses would overheat if I just looked at a hill. If you have a 545, I think you want to keep the rpms over 2000 for the least slippage with your torque converter.
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