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Old 08-06-2016, 08:04 AM   #1
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how to tell the Health of a diesel engine??

i was changing my oil yesterday and noticed a lot of areas on my engine which are beginning to seep... I always have a few little drops of oil on the ground after I drive the bus on a long trip but nothing crazy like some of the threads I read..

I have done a lot of calling around to its previous owners and got conflicting information to an extent about the engine;s age.. but from all the pieces ive put together the engine is 10 years old and has 90,000 miles on it as does the transmission..

the schools used the bus fairly heavily from 1991 school year until 2006 when the engine overheated and was destroyed.. they bought a jasper engine for it and had the transmission rebuilt... they also bought a new bus at that time and made mine a secondary unit... it was run in service till 2015 school year and then sold.. they ran 85,000 miles on it in the 10 years..

it "aged out" even for a secondary as the district wouldnt allow them to keep a bus any older than 25 years no matter how well it ran..

anyway I drive it all over and it runs great.. I have friends into cars, some are truckers, etc.. we all ride around in the bus at times...

of course some say "wow that engine purrs like a kitten..".. and others say " dont you hear that high speed 'tapping... sounds loose'.. some say "its 10 years old seeping a little oil on a commercial engine that age is normal".. others say "oooh any poil seepage is bad you must have major issues"...

how do I tell the real health of the engine? of course I could just drive it everywhere and if / when I blow it up I rebuild it.. but then if I were to "blow it up" I might ruin the block.. whereas if its worn out its best to rebuild now..

of course an engine rebuild shop would love to take the 'Noobie' for a wash and rebuild an engine no matter what if I were to ask them...

how do you truly know?

it starts it runs it has good power.. only time it smokes is a little black smoke when I floor it.. but sure doesnt fog people out like some of the dodge trucks do... doesnt smoke on startup...

I was told I have a little exhaust leak somewhere around my turbo.. I didnt even know it.. I do notice the whoosh in the turbo is a little louder when its cold but goes away when im on it hard.. I guess metal expanding somewhere fixes the "leak" im told I have...

do oil samples sent to a lab give an indication of the engine internal health?

I drive this bus everywhere and pla to continuie to do so.. I dont want to work on an engine that doesnt need it... but i also dont want to scatter an engine all over the highway in the middle of nowhere if its not right...

i simply want to know... I suppose its no different than a used car is.. you really never know its health..

maybe im just over-thinking as usual?? bus runs great so just drive it everywhere like I do... and not worry about it??

-Christopher
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Old 08-06-2016, 10:32 AM   #2
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The information gained from oil analysis really is quite amazing. Commercial truckers and fleet operators rely heavily on the information they provide. It is money well spent. And any older diesel is subject to drips and leaks. Seals and gaskets just get tired over time.
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Old 08-06-2016, 02:19 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Tango View Post
The information gained from oil analysis really is quite amazing. Commercial truckers and fleet operators rely heavily on the information they provide. It is money well spent. And any older diesel is subject to drips and leaks. Seals and gaskets just get tired over time.

im not too worried about a little drip or leak.. I see plenty of semi trucks runniung for many miles with a little drip here and there... im using ZERO coolant and not leaking any tranny fluid.. the seal on the steering bocks looks a little damp but the fluid is never low...

I dont use much oil..

I would however be upset if I spun a main or tossed a rod through the block all because I didnt know what to listen or look for..

I'd also be upset if I tore down an engine to find it perfect inside.. (ive done it before with a gas motor that simply had weak valve springs... tore it completelty down to find it perfect but the wrong valve springs installed..

im assuming blackstone labs is kind of the Goto for oil analysis?

I think I'll go the route of sending some oil in... I can run my bus on its fresh oil for awhile and then pull out a sample to send in.. or i may have enough of the old still deoending on required sample size..

-Christopher
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Old 08-06-2016, 02:29 PM   #4
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The redneck dodge mosquito sprayers have turned their pumps up to achieve more power

Shop owners love to see those trucks
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Old 08-06-2016, 02:54 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by milkmania View Post
The redneck dodge mosquito sprayers have turned their pumps up to achieve more power

Shop owners love to see those trucks

?????
im lost.. LOL
-Christopher
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Old 08-06-2016, 02:58 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
?????
im lost.. LOL
-Christopher
Those pickup truck owners who "roll coal"

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Old 08-06-2016, 03:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milkmania View Post
The redneck dodge mosquito sprayers have turned their pumps up to achieve more power

Shop owners love to see those trucks
Doing so is hard on the engine and drivetrain, so they have higher rates of parts failures and breakages.
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Old 08-06-2016, 03:16 PM   #8
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I got it.. I wasnt sure what he meant.. but yeah I hear those guys Bust stuff alot.. though they are fun to watch at car shows and such...

im lucky that when my engine was replaced they used the Jasper higher HP / TQ variant of the DT-360 or maybe its all that jasper made.. but the hjasper plate is still on it so I got the original build date and specs from them on it... and I got the 190 HP variant instead of the 170 that the bus wouldve had originally.. built that way and not "turned up".. it runs my bus pretty nice on the highway so i havent found a need to turn it up... my "weak link" according to forum members is my AT545... though everyone that ive talked to in real-life says the AT545 is a work horse and if taken care of will last a lifetime.. esp one that was rebuilt and updated in the mid 00's as mine was.. im sure i lose HP and TQ due to converter slip with no lockup .. but for me theres somethung nostalgic about that cool shift "whistle" and "whine" from when I road the school bus to school in the late 70s through mid 80s.. so I'll keep that 545 for now... I did find a lead on a possible AT1545 which is a DIRECT drop in to a 545 and has Mechanical lockup.. it was never made for civilian use.. only military but someone who is a buyer and seller for the government vehicles (works at the DSCC here in columbus) can get a spare sold to me as they are starting to dump them since very few of their vehicles run the 1545 anymore they have spare surplus...

engine-wise they never really ran DT-360s in the vehicles he is familiar with.. but 466s were common... if I lost my DT-360 a DT-466 swap is a very labor intensive endeavor and not just the direct drop in one might think.. so i wouldnt attempt it..

as long as i never destroy the block for my DT-360 throyugh catastrophic failure it can always be rebuilt... rebuild kits are still plentiful and some companies even still make them... Jasper said they no longer keep stock on reman DT-360's but said they though they could still build one if needbe...

so i have options *IF* something happens to mine...

im from the gasoline hot-rod world so any engine that sounds "noisy" is concern to me.. but like ai say many people tell me diesel engines are "noisy" by nature esp truck engines like a 'DT'...

-Christopher
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Old 08-06-2016, 05:29 PM   #9
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My 545 is silent since I changed fluid. Went from unkown to Super Tech Dex 3 a few thousand ago.
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Old 08-06-2016, 10:09 PM   #10
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The only "right way" is to go by the manufacturers' specs for oil type & change schedule. Not saying other ways won't work, but...
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