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Old 07-03-2009, 04:12 PM   #1
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Re: Overheating! Help me out.

Quote:
FYI the mechanical fan is working dandy.
Quote:
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, 08:30 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, 09:57 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, 10:45 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, 11:17 AM   #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, 07:50 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 07-05-2009, 11:05 PM   #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, 07:19 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, 08:07 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, 06:02 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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Old 07-06-2009, 08:02 PM   #11
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Re: Overheating! Help me out.

OVERHEATING

A serious pet peeve of mine. I have had numerous vehicles that liked to overheat. First was a toyota truck which introduced me to thermostats. Make sure it is new. Second, 2000 landrover discovery. Wettable water, an additive. I am not sure what it does but it works. Third, "86 4runner, bad clutch fan. Fourth, 1969 Mustang w/ HiPo 302. This one was the real learning curve. Radiator too small. Sheared pulleys. Inadequate flex fans. I tried everything. I ended up replacing the radiator with an aluminum one with twin electric fans which required an electrical upgrade. I tried everything to cool this baby down in Texas and the electric fans are definitley your friends.
The taurus and mark VIII fans are the way to go in addition to your stock stuff. They can be had for cheap and installed with heavy duty zip ties. With a little research on the ford forums you will even see learn how to install a temp sensor and relay so the thing runs automatic. Change all your fluids, including tranny if the tranny does not have it's own radiator. I'm splurging on Schaeffer products. You may want to invest in rodding out the radiator as well. Do anything that will help transfer heat thru and away from the radiator.

http://www.fordmuscle.com/archives/2006/10/Mark8Fan/

Check websites/forums of people who like to increase horsepower. They all seem to have overheating issues. It makes you wonder if engineers have a fear of radiators
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Old 07-06-2009, 08:39 PM   #12
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Re: Overheating! Help me out.

Performance cars, hotrodding, dragracing etc have their own set of problems and solutions as well as their very different goals. Electric fans are put on to reduce the parasitic loss and save space, no real other reason. There is a HUGE difference between a 3k lb car that you are cooling and a 25k lb bus, its almost like telling someone to transplant their Mustang engine into their semi truck because it is so fast and powerful. I know everyone is trying to help but suggesting to throw money and parts at a problem on a stock bus that probably did not overheat new from the factory doesnt do a whole lot of good to him or anyone else reading. Fluids dont need to be changed until they are ready and it isnt cheap on a diesel. Just because oil has 10k miles on it or the coolant has 100k does not mean that it is bad, that is part of what sampling and testing will tell you. Its not a bad idea to try free solutions, its stupid to change parts without finding the underlying issue.
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Old 07-07-2009, 04:20 AM   #13
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Re: Overheating! Help me out.

The performance car example was just that....an example. The links were to give him an idea where the information is and more importantly "HOW" to deal with it. Perhaps I should have qualified my statements with "if all of the obvious has been done, then there are options." I have not dealt with a hydraulic fan but it doesn't sound cheap on time or money to retrofit.
I do not own a rear engine bus but it seems apparent they have their own set of overheating issues for obvious reasons. When engineers are overruled by the marketing department is is up to the individual to make it what it should be. In a rear engine it is apparent by comments made here that the cooling tolerances are tight and you will see problems if all is not perfect. The Landrover I owned was like this. Give it a cross look and it would give you the CEL.

So Case, by the numbers, these are the steps I would take(the list is flexible, change at will)

1. Clean the fins on the radiator(s)
2. Make sure all air flow within and into the the engine compartment is not restricted...at all. MAKE SURE THE AIR FLOW IS FLOWING THRU THE RADIATOR NOT AROUND IT. There should be foam material in between radiator and other items(acting like a sealer caulk) and usually a shround. CFM doesn't do anything if it is not completely directed THRU the radiator.
3. make sure belt is tight
4. New cap
5. New Radiator fluid...flush, flush, flush some more. Pay attention to what is coming out of the radiator.
6. New thermostat...probably ok but why not. They are not expensive and the fluid is already removed. (rule it out)
7. Clutch fan...if you have one. Check it. Make sure it is working as designed. They do fail.
8. If you have changed your other fluids or have accurate records when they have been changed don't sweat it. You can send a sample off to be tested for engine wear and peace of mind if you desire. I think its about $20.00 plus shipping.
9. It has been my experience that when a water pump fails...it's a big event. They bleed out or the shaft shears and craters the radiator. It is not cheap nor replacement friendly but it is a component that must be ruled out. I had a powerstroke with 290000 miles and never replaced the water pump.
10. If all those things are ok and you want piece of mind spend 75 bucks and a day to add air flow. It is not a reinvention of the wheel. It is insurance on a 108* day.

Think heat transfer and what would restrict that. You have water flow and air flow. Maximize both...and most importantly don't get discouraged. It is my belief that "some" cooling systems were designed to their lowest tolerances to save a buck so it has to be in perfect condition. If that is the case here we can fix it with stuff other people threw away. IMHO I will overkill the cooling capacity of any of my vehicles. As long as you can provide the power requirements of electric fans, more is always better...but fix everything else first....jumps off the soap box.
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Old 07-07-2009, 10:32 AM   #14
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Re: Overheating! Help me out.

Throwing in my 2 cents. Does the radiator have a fan shroud? I had one that had a shroud removed and it always ran hot. Did some searching and found the correct one and installed it. Temps. dropped 20 degrees and never overheated again.
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Old 07-08-2009, 04:57 AM   #15
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Re: Overheating! Help me out.

Probably a silly question, But couldnt you also put an air scoop on the radiator to help direct air into it?
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Old 07-08-2009, 09:51 PM   #16
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Re: Overheating! Help me out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sojakai
Probably a silly question, But couldnt you also put an air scoop on the radiator to help direct air into it?
Sure, as long as vehicle speeds are sufficient to move enough air and you aren't too wide legally. Fans are most important when the vehicle is moving slowly which is often caused by high load for us. Of course he needs to make sure there isn't an underlying problem with the base system before he goes on modificating (that's modifying and fabricating).
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Old 12-25-2009, 01:18 PM   #17
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Re: Overheating! Help me out.

Nick Russell had an MCI highway coach. I'm not sure were the radiator is on an MCI (he sold it earlier this month, by the way) but on our Eagle 05 it was on the side. Many coach owners have the mister system added onto their radiators.

Have you checked to see if your radiator is clean? We had to have our radiator in the BB rebuilt while on the way out to NM. The outfit in TX (great guys) had to resolder the top cap back on. They dumped a lot of old excess solder out along with a pile of sand & rocks. Our bus was used to transport whitewater rafters and we figure they just used river water to add to the radiator. Also someone had, many times in the past, soldered the radiator with out using flux. Even with a new cleaned & repaired radiator, we still built a mister system while parked overnight in Odessa. I had 2 garden kits for drip irrigation systems. We did have to buy new misters at Lowes (and added to the bus while parked at Lowes). Luckily we had packed everything we owned into the bus, so I had an extra 12VDC RV water pump and a 30 gal fresh water holding tank along. We also bought a toggle switch to turn the pump on/off as needed. I'm not sure if it is something we really need. Our bus seems to have governers on it (or the gas pedal is messed up... only moves about 1 to 1 1/2 inches when floored) and the hills combined with the 100F+ temps may have had something to do with it. When we start converting it, we will include a new (less leaky) mister system.

Don't trust a new radiator cap. We had to have the guys in TX replace the brand new one with another new one. We only got a few miles down the road before turning around to take it back to the repair shop. They said it happened all the time.
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Old 12-25-2009, 09:55 PM   #18
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Re: Overheating! Help me out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CHEESE_WAGON
And most would be surprised how common a bad radiator cap is. It's not so much the cap, but the rubber seal. If the system can't hold pressure, it won't hold temperature either....
The repair manuals from 40 years ago showed mechanics testing radiator caps with a hand-held device that had an air pump and a pressure gauge. You screwed the cap on one end, and pumped the handle on the other until the cap started to let off excess pressure, and read the pressure on the gauge.

I've never seen a mechanic use one, and most car mechanics today probably don't even own one. Of course, 40 years ago they had to set the ignition point gap, and there was no connector on each car for a cable from a computer that would tell you what was wrong.
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Old 12-25-2009, 11:47 PM   #19
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Hey, I have and use a radiator cap tester all the time. A radiator cap merely raises the boiling point of the water or coolant. Most water boils at 212degrees
F, but for every pound pressure the water will then boil at 2 degrees higher. A 10 pound pressure cap will allow the bboiling temp of water to boil at
232 degrees. The larger the cooling system, the lower the system pressure. Frank in Idaho
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Old 05-31-2015, 03:14 PM   #20
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