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Old 07-03-2009, 05:12 PM   #1
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Re: Overheating! Help me out.

Quote:
FYI the mechanical fan is working dandy.
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Looks like a Electric fan clutch might be the solution, unfortuantely, I don't even know what the hell that means, much less how to install one.
An electric fan CLUTCH releases the mechanical fan from turning along with the engine until the temperature reaches a set turn-on point. Then it engages the mechanical fan. The idea is to save wasted horsepower and fuel when cooling airflow isn't needed. It gives LESS cooling in total. I don't think this is what you want.

While they were rare 30 years ago, most cars now have electric-motor driven fans. This saves horsepower and fuel, plus they do not follow engine speed, so they could possibly have higher airflow at low engine RPM. I haven't scoped out the availability of aftermarket conversions, but there used to be a ton of them available for cars.

Nick Russell of http://gypsyjournal.net uses "misters" (water sprayers) aimed at his radiator to climb hills in his MCI bus conversion home. The older posts describing the installation are gone, but read this from January 14:
Quote:
Now that were out here in the mountains of the West, I can really tell how much of an improvement the repairs that Christopher Best did on our engine have made. From Deming to Tucson, we were climbing most of the way. The road ranges from long gradual inclines to a couple of pretty steep climbs. The bus handled them all well.

In the past, on the climb up to Texas Canyon on Interstate 10 just east of Benson, we would drop down to about 35 miles per hour. Yesterday I kept it floored and we topped out at about 60. I had the radiator misters on as we made the climb, and the temperature gauge stayed well down in the comfort zone.

The one place where we did slow down a lot was coming out of the San Pedro Valley at Benson. This is a long, hard pull in a heavy rig, and in the past wed drop down to about 18 miles per hour on the westbound grade. Yesterday we were down to 33 miles per hour, which was still uncomfortable with all of the high speed traffic flying past us, but a significant improvement from the past.
I think I recall they were homebrew with garden sprayer nozzles, some plumbing and maybe an electric windshield washer pump for propulsion. I would think oil burner nozzles might also be adapted by someone who is handy.

I would try Vanguy's suggestions, then consider either an electric fan or fans, or else homebrew misters.
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Old 07-03-2009, 09:30 PM   #2
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Re: Overheating! Help me out.

I would try cleaning the exterior of the radiators, crud builds up between the fins which can cause you to loose cooling capacity. Just be careful about throwing water on hot items, the instant cooling can cause metal to crack. I am not really familiar with the Amtran setup but in general terms, make sure your fans are kicking in as they are supposed to, the belt is not slipping and the tensioner is good. On the Cummins, 9 times out of 10 on an overheating service call for our 8.3 and 5.9 powered machines, it is the tensioner going bad and causing the unit to overheat, we just bring the parts with us. Try simple things first, also replace your radiator caps, they do not last forever and not allow the pressures to properly build. Get the spec from Navistar on your coolant and have it tested, if it looks clean and is where it is supposed to be then there is no reason to change it.
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Old 07-04-2009, 10:57 AM   #3
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Driving with 85 degree plus temps

Buses are designed and built to be operated in warm to hot temps. There are many patches or "fixes" for about any bus repair. Trying to cool a big diesel engine with an electric fan will not be successful. Adding water spray to a hot radiator is not the answer. A biproduct of water on the radiator is.. the radiator will develop a hard mineral coating that will impede any heat transfer. To effectively operate a big heavy bus requires some planning and knowledge of what to do when overheating occurs. The cooling fan is designed to keep the engine radiator temps to a predetermined temperature. The fan needs to turn faster to remove more heat. The road speed needs to be reduced by using a lower gear. If the engine temp gets real high, move off roadway, stop bus and hold engine speed at about 1000 rpm. The temp will drop very quickly. Do not stop engine, just monitor all the gages. When an engine gets warm or hot the oil becomes thinner in viscosity and the oil pressure will show a lower pressure. When starting a big engine in cold weather, the oil pressure is always high. A radiator cap's job is to prevent coolant/water boiling. A radiator pressure cap of 15 pounds raises the water boiling point 30 pounds to 242 degrees as water normally boils at 212 degrees F. Changing all the fluids is normally not necessary unless after the engine cool down there is a lot of junk/trash in the radiator or the engine or trans oil smells foul and burned or ya just wannna spend money and time. Most engines can withstand a few over heats but an engine seizing is a different problem, to be examined by some real mechanic. I am constantly saddened by guys who make declarations about any thing with no real information. Rear engines are not more prone to overheating. Be careful of all blanket statements as this or that is bad. All buses are good. All buses require repair with knowledge. Learn more about your bus/hobby. There is always a price to be paid to do any activity. In most cases, the factory made the best choices for the dollar spent. Every time the engine is started, use the tools our maker provided, as sight, hearing tasting, talking and touching. Have fun, Frank
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Old 07-05-2009, 11:45 AM   #4
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Re: Driving with 85 degree plus temps

Quote:
Originally Posted by frank-id
... Every time the engine is started, use the tools our maker provided, as sight, hearing tasting, talking and touching. Have fun, Frank
This is all good advice, bar one part - I think if you're tasting your bus, you might be doing something wrong!
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Old 07-05-2009, 12:17 PM   #5
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Re: Overheating! Help me out.

I am no sure what the cfm is on the bus fans but I have considered adding or maybe even repalcing the hydraulic fan on mine with a electric fan from a Ford Taurus of the '90's vintage that came with the 3.8l v6. I know that sounds crazy but I have used them on four of my vehicles. They are a two speed fan with low speed pulling around 2800cfm and high speed pulls an amazing 4600cfm. I have never had to use the high speed on my vehicles because the low was more than enough cooling. The great thing about them is, they are compact and you can buy them used from a salvage for less than $50.

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Old 07-05-2009, 08:50 PM   #6
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Re: Overheating! Help me out.

if it were my bus, i would do as others stated and make sure the radiator fins are clean and free of little debris. I would also consider adding an electric fan. Not getting rid of the factory engine driven fan, but just adding electric fan(s) from the scrap yard to the exterior of the radiator making sure that they move air in the same direction as the mechanical fan already on the bus. The simplest thing to do is to wire them to a switch the driver can turn on when it's necessary.

another thing you can do when you engine begins running hot, if you still have your interior bus heaters you can turn them on full blast the help remove heat from the engine. Turning on the heat inside your bus when it's already hot outside can be uncomfortable, but can make a big difference in engine temperature.

a jacuzzi is also really good at removing heat from an engine!
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Old 07-06-2009, 12:05 AM   #7
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Re: Overheating! Help me out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by luno
Quote:
Originally Posted by frank-id
... Every time the engine is started, use the tools our maker provided, as sight, hearing tasting, talking and touching. Have fun, Frank
This is all good advice, bar one part - I think if you're tasting your bus, you might be doing something wrong!
He's not exaggerating. I swing wrenches for a living and I can tell you that sometimes the only way to identify what a leak is is to taste it. Every fluid on a vehicle has a different flavor and texture and rest assured that none are pleasant, save for some fresh ethylene glycol. Loc-tite also has a surprisingly decent taste.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tfdfyrman
I am no sure what the cfm is on the bus fans but I have considered adding or maybe even repalcing the hydraulic fan on mine with a electric fan from a Ford Taurus of the '90's vintage that came with the 3.8l v6. I know that sounds crazy but I have used them on four of my vehicles. They are a two speed fan with low speed pulling around 2800cfm and high speed pulls an amazing 4600cfm. I have never had to use the high speed on my vehicles because the low was more than enough cooling. The great thing about them is, they are compact and you can buy them used from a salvage for less than $50.

Chad
Taurus fans are nothing short of amazing. The ones off the Lincoln Mark VIII are even better.
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Old 07-06-2009, 08:19 AM   #8
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Re: Overheating! Help me out.

I would not remove the stock fan, they pay the engineers alot of money to design these busses and would think they have it figured out. Without the current specs on the Amtran setup and specs on the fans Case is being told to go buy, is not going to do him one bit of good. 2 14" fans will not nescessarily move more air than 1 16", its just not that simple. I would also seriously doubt that any automotive electric fan would come near the same power as any hydraulic fan. Would Amtran, considering busses are bought on low bid, really spend the extra $$$ on hydraulic or belt driven fans when a cheapy electric would do the job better?
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Old 07-06-2009, 09:07 AM   #9
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Re: Overheating! Help me out.

Frank offered the best bit of advice. But any electric fan that he did choose to add should be used in ADDITION to what's already there. The claims of the power of Taurus fans are not inflated either. Those things move as much air as a herd of tornados in a trailer park. Do a little google search and you'll see that they are used extensively by the offroad crowd which tends to be notoriously cheap while expecting bulletproof performance.
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Old 07-06-2009, 07:02 PM   #10
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Re: Overheating! Help me out.

I dont believe it is not the same as you blazer fan. A hydraulic fan (dont know if the Amtran uses one) is driven by pressurized hydraulic fluid. You will see these in various applications but typically in larger off road machinary particularly excavators. When the engine is mounted front to back as in many rear engine busses and the radiators are on the sides (excavators there is not enough room and the radiators are remote mounted outside of the engine bay) there is no good way to use a belt driven fan off of the engine. The best way to get the power you need to spin a larger fan with a decent blade pitch that moves a ton of air is with hydraulics. You can generate alot of consistant power while needing less HP using a hydraulic system than a direct mounted system. The old MCI busses had a belt driven fan system that I believe they referred to as a squirrel cage but if you look at them the belt is very long and the fans are mounted above the engine, an intersting design to say the least.
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