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Old 02-07-2016, 02:02 PM   #11
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: West Kootenays, BC
Posts: 24
Year: 2003
Chassis: Type-C Conventional
Engine: DT466
Rated Cap: 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT IDLE A DIESEL ENGINE FOR LONG PERIODS OF TIME!!!!!

Even if you are able to kick it up to a higher speed idle, idling for long periods of time is a sure fire way to reduce the life of your engine.

Diesel engines need to get hot in order to keep them healthy. It is impossible to work a diesel engine at idle hard enough to get it really warmed up.

If the engine is not up to operating temperature it will tend to not burn all of the fuel. The unburned fuel will wash past the rings and pollute the lube oil. It will also tend to wash lube oil off of the cylinders causing excess wear on the rings, pistons, and cylinder walls. You will also cause moisture build up in the oil sump that will further dilute the lube oil which can cause damage to the top end of the engine--valve train, cam shaft, lifters, etc.

The only real way to keep a diesel engine healthy is to get it out on the road, get it up to road speed, and give it good run of more than 50 miles at highway speed.

If you are in the middle of your conversion and your bus is not able to get out on the road the best thing you can do is to make sure critters can't get into the intake or exhaust, add fuel stabilizer to the tank and run the engine long enough to get it into the pump and injectors, and then just let it sit. When you finally are able to get it out on the road, before you head out, drain the oil, change all of the filters, and hope the fuel stabilizer you put into the tank will have kept the everything moving in the fuel system.
This is great advice. I have a bus in great condition with a meticulously maintained engine, and I don't want to ruin it while it sits as I work on it. Do you have any other suggestions to improve the longevity of a good bus while it sits patiently as it is being transformed?
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Old 02-07-2016, 03:24 PM   #12
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Denver
Posts: 489
Year: 1982
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: International S1800
Engine: DT466 Trans: MT643
Rated Cap: 65
Cover the tires to keep the sun's UV rays from breaking down the rubber, keep the fuel tank full with an additive in it to keep algae from happening and condensation to a minimim. Make sure the fluids are topped off before you start it, and if ever possible, use an engine block heater for a couple hours to warm it before starting if the outside temps are below 40*. Keep the battery on a trickle charger/maintainer, and if you do have to start it, take it out for a run at good speeds and loads to get the engine up to full operating temp and keep it there for at least 10 minutes to let any water in the oil steam off.
The majority of the wear and tear on an engine in our cases happens at startup when the engine is cold and the oil isnt yet warm and flowing well and the combustion chambers are too cold to burn all the fuel injected into them. The unburned fuel will wash down the cylinder walls, past the rings into the crancase oil, diluting it.
I once had a leaky injector that was so bad it cause my oil level to rise by almost 2 quarts on a 500 mile roadtrip. Diluted oil = excess wear.
Make sure to drain your air tanks regularly, if not after every trip, especially in humid climates where higher moisture content in the air finds its way into the air system and can freeze and cause rust problems. Some climates are much worse than others. We advised our drivers to drain at the end of every day. It's a good habit.
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Old 02-08-2016, 09:49 AM   #13
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Year: 1984
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Engine: 6.9 International
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Cowlitz nailed it. Diesel engines don't produce heat while idling like gasoline engines will. So starting a diesel engine cold, and letting it sit there at idle, it will take forever to get any temperature into the engine. Especially if ambient temperatures are frigid and you have the heaters on. After you've driven so many hours, the engine will already be warmed up, and at idle it should be able to maintain that temperature.

If you need to have heat, but aren't driving, get a furnace for inside the bus, because the engine will never get warm enough.
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Old 02-08-2016, 11:54 AM   #14
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: West Kootenays, BC
Posts: 24
Year: 2003
Chassis: Type-C Conventional
Engine: DT466
Rated Cap: 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by charles_m View Post
Cover the tires to keep the sun's UV rays from breaking down the rubber, keep the fuel tank full with an additive in it to keep algae from happening and condensation to a minimim. Make sure the fluids are topped off before you start it, and if ever possible, use an engine block heater for a couple hours to warm it before starting if the outside temps are below 40*. Keep the battery on a trickle charger/maintainer, and if you do have to start it, take it out for a run at good speeds and loads to get the engine up to full operating temp and keep it there for at least 10 minutes to let any water in the oil steam off.
The majority of the wear and tear on an engine in our cases happens at startup when the engine is cold and the oil isnt yet warm and flowing well and the combustion chambers are too cold to burn all the fuel injected into them. The unburned fuel will wash down the cylinder walls, past the rings into the crancase oil, diluting it.
I once had a leaky injector that was so bad it cause my oil level to rise by almost 2 quarts on a 500 mile roadtrip. Diluted oil = excess wear.
Make sure to drain your air tanks regularly, if not after every trip, especially in humid climates where higher moisture content in the air finds its way into the air system and can freeze and cause rust problems. Some climates are much worse than others. We advised our drivers to drain at the end of every day. It's a good habit.
Very helpful information. TY so much!
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Old 02-08-2016, 01:21 PM   #15
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Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Belgrade, MT
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Year: 1999
Coachwork: AmTran
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466E International
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Eek. Thanks, everybody. I haven't let her idle for more than an hour at a time, but since it's cold out (winter in Wisconsin, go figure), I've been wanting to make sure that my batteries don't die, but can't just disconnect and bring them inside because I'm trying to get the rear lights hooked up and need to be able to test circuits etc. But I'm almost there! I'm just stuck on one circuit, and I can't for the life of me figure it out.

I have all the rear lights hooked up and working except for the brake lights, and that page (along with all other even-numbered pages) is missing from the scanned electrical circuit diagrams I got from the original owner. I can't find a circuit which energizes when the brake is depressed with my multi-meter, but I didn't remove any wires from anywhere but in the main electrical compartment. ?!?!?!?! Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks again regarding the new information on idling...luckily she has probably idled for a total of 10-12 hours in the last four months, so not a whole lot.
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Old 02-09-2016, 12:03 PM   #16
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
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Year: 1997
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: B3800 Short bus
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 36
While I can't help you with your wiring problems, I can recommend the purchase of an automotive battery charger. It's an important tool to have for anyone who has vehicles and especially for vehicles with big, expensive batteries. A 25 amp unit should do just fine.

Do all the electrical tinkering you want and you can top up the batteries with the charger instead of the (much less efficient) engine.
Connect it monthly to top the batteries up so they don't freeze while sitting for the winter.
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Old 02-09-2016, 12:28 PM   #17
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And a solid state "Trickle" charger can keep your batts up without cooking them.
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Old 03-26-2016, 06:43 PM   #18
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
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Engine: DT360
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my father let his IHC scout diesel (nissan 3.3) idle for days at a rtime during exgtreme cold snaps every winter... even with jumops and a battery charger it would never start in below zero weather.. it got driven some but sat many hours just idling..

that engine went on to drive 375,000 miles before he finally swapped it because it smoked.. he didnt know better and thought the rings weere shot.. turns out it was just the injectors needing a rebuild... that old engine is still just fine and would run if put back into a scout.. its compression was darn high for a 375K mile engine....

semi drivers stop and idle over night all the time.. only the lucky ones that have pro-pak's shut their m,ain engines down in reallty cold weather.. in hit weather im sure the engine statys at operating temp as the A/C adds load and heat to the engine...

are these small truck engines different where idling at a rest stop hurts them as opposed to large semi's or small passenger diesels?
-Christopher
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Old 03-27-2016, 01:56 AM   #19
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
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There is a big difference between idling in the middle of a trip and idling in the backyard and not going any place.

Idling without going anywhere tends to load things. The combustion chamber and compression rings start to get all gummed up with excess carbon.

The excess carbon can, over time, reduce compression making it more difficult to start regardless of the ambient temperature. The reduced compression will also tend to make the exhaust smoke a lot.

The reduced compression can also lead to unburned fuel leaking past the rings and diluting the lube oil. Extended run times with diluted oil will tend to cause premature wear on all of the hard surfaces.

In order to not get things all gunked up you need to get the engine up to operating temperature for at least 30 minutes. Taking your bus for a 50-100 mile spin at highway speed is some of the best exercise you can give your bus. It is impossible to get a diesel engine up to operating temperature by running it at fast idle in the back yard.
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Old 03-27-2016, 04:47 AM   #20
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 7,950
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International S3800
Engine: DT360
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
So by nature do aliot of school buses live hard lives when they are in school use? I live in a suburb, and most every day I doubt a high number of buses every see 45 mph at all unless they run a field trip. In the subdivisions the speeds are 20 and under with a lot of idling and stops, the feeder streets are 35 mph speeds with traffic lights.. On really cold days with all the heaters on is be surprised if a normal route opens the thermostat. In Spring abd fall the afternoon routes likely warm them up since it's warm out abd the heat is off.. 90% of them never have more than half the seats full on a daily basis.

So maybe buying higher mileage buses makes sense from a standpoint if ones used in outlying areas where they get brought up to 50+ mph daily ?? Not that you can know unless you search the history of a before buying it?
Christipher
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