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Old 05-28-2017, 08:17 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
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improving my cooling '96 T444E

This thing just had a new water pump replaced last summer, the mechanic said the fan clutch seemed tight, no play. But it still climbs to scary temps on hills with nothing in it, and were planning on going cross country this summer with it. Would love to upgrade the cooling system, possibly to an electric multi-speed fan system, but perhaps a complete cooling system flush is in order first?
Obviously, we changed all the coolant when the pump came off, and it didn't seem to have much sludge in it at all, but perhaps the radiator is clogging up? She's got around 130,000 miles i believe...

Ideas and suggestions very welcome.

Thanks!


- Ben
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Old 05-28-2017, 08:20 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bungeekord View Post
This thing just had a new water pump replaced last summer, the mechanic said the fan clutch seemed tight, no play. But it still climbs to scary temps on hills with nothing in it, and were planning on going cross country this summer with it. Would love to upgrade the cooling system, possibly to an electric multi-speed fan system, but perhaps a complete cooling system flush is in order first?
Obviously, we changed all the coolant when the pump came off, and it didn't seem to have much sludge in it at all, but perhaps the radiator is clogging up? She's got around 130,000 miles i believe...

Ideas and suggestions very welcome.

Thanks!


- Ben
How hot have you seen it go?
My 444E and pretty much everyone else's seems to run a bit on the hot side, especially over 55 mph.
Just the nature of the beast, really.
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Old 05-28-2017, 08:25 PM   #3
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what temps are you reaching? if i remenber right mine reaches 211 and the fan cuts in and shuts of 204 , I have a horton electric clutch fan.
You might want to try a engine\rad flush, and t-stat, as well as clean the rad fins, you may have a air lock , so bleeding the system may help
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Old 05-28-2017, 08:59 PM   #4
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^^ dang, and I get worried when mine goes over 180 or 190.
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Old 05-28-2017, 09:08 PM   #5
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ive been pretty much deep into this with my 444E..

for one, read the computer, dont rely on the dash gauge... mine reads too cold at lower temps and too hot at higher temps.. the dash gauge is just a representation of the computer sensor (the dash is on the CAN).. Navistar gauges are not real good..

Next, high RPMs will make it run hot.. seems a facxt of life.. to say navistar never built trucks that overheat from the factory is probably the case.. as these are school busses, designed for slow and go routes.. the 444E runs very cool in those circumstances..

Next, if you have a Viscous fan clutch. (it has the fins on it and the little coil on the front).. it is likely either no good, the wrong part, or misadjusted, .. if tyou arent hearing the road of a fan and tyou are approach 215 degrees.. the clutch needs attention.. 90% of the replacement fan clutches for 444E's are made and sold by Kit-Masters.. the clutches are built by Borg warner, but KM sets the temp too high..

the split radiator allows for too much "cool" air to enter thestream and never winds that coil on the clutch out to engage the fan...

if you have an ELECTRIC Clutch and its connected to the factory computer it will engage at about 212 degreesand drop out about 205-207.. thats an upgraded Horton clutch.. a working Viscous clutch should do the same or earlier...

the more I read o nthe subject the more I also learn that aftermarket replacement radiators. are reported nbot to cool as well as OEM.. not sure why but real-world school bus fleet masters came to that consensus.. a huge portion of aftermarket rads for these are made by MODINE...

I did some extensive measurements and upgrades to the cooling system on my bus.. I went from running close to 220 and having to slow down to 55 MPH in 90 degree heat to seeing a Max temperauter of 217 in 103 degree heat (not heat index, actual heat).. at 65 MPH.. so while it didnt completely solve it, it helped..

I replaced my water pump, oil pump, completely flushed my system and replaced with a 40% coolant / 60% water, + watter-wetter and (AMSOIL hugh performance ELC coolant), my MODINE radiator was boiled and cleaned.. I also repalced my viscous clutch with an electric Horton EC-450 and a 9 Bladed fan that moves more air..

my Now project is reducing my RPMs.. im installing a 6 speed allison overdrive auto transmission which will reduce RPMs and gives me Lockup... my guess is ill run cooler yet..

I have a thread somewhere where I chronicled my cooling system updates... and somewhere I know I pposted how to adjust a fan clutch temperature.. if not i need to do that...

-Christopher
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Old 05-28-2017, 09:22 PM   #6
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how do i "read the computer"? Ive just been relying on the dash gauges, but yeah last summer when we moved it was getting upwards of 215 then we'd pull over. Highway driving, trying to keep RPMS down but those hills in summer really made the temps climb...

On one particularly long and steep pass it made the alarm go off before I could pull over, it was not pretty, lost some coolant, but was able to cool down pretty quickly after that, replaced all fluids, etc. so hopefully there was no long term damage done (fingers crossed).

I dont hear real well, and it seems to me whenever I'd pull over and flip the hood to let it cool the fan was ALWAYS running, even once it got down to 180 or so (according to the gauge) so I'm not sure how the fan clutch works I guess. im pretty sure the thing spins even right after I start it!?!

Im interested in the electric option, but might look into getting the rad cleaned as well. how much should this run me?

thanks
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Old 05-28-2017, 09:26 PM   #7
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Yes...check the rad itself. It has probably never been flushed in its' career and could well be full of crud.
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Old 05-28-2017, 09:46 PM   #8
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I have a scan gauge and that's how get the temp readings, in all the kms I put on my bus, the temp is always run the same, up hill, hot weather, or running wide open hwy speed, high 211- fan cuts in , shuts off 204 you can hear that Horton roar when it cuts in.
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Old 05-28-2017, 09:51 PM   #9
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the alarm goes off at 235.. if it goes off when you are climbing.. theres a good chance your oil temp is at 245-250.. your oil loses viscosity and breaks down .. your Oil Pressure will begin to erode when you get up that high too.. the oil pressure alarm comes on if your oil P drops below 25 PSI and your engine is over 2000 RPM.

a viscous fan clutch will engage fully (fan roar) for the first few minutes you drive it when it is cold.. this is by design. if you dont hear that fan roaR again by the time you have 215 degrees then somethiong is broken.. either tha radiator is completely clogged (remember that clutch measure AIR TEMP from the rad.. and it shares that same air with the turbo cooler (noticve your radiator is split in the middle.. you only have a 1/2 a radiator... ).. or that clutch may be misadjusted or no good.. or the wrong part was installed..

here is what a kit-masters replacement clutch has for its temperature adjustment..



that green mark is factory at 170 degrees F AIR TEMP.. FROM A 1/2 RAD 1/2 turbo cooler.. each little notch is 10 degrees F.. you can move that down (to the left) to lower its ON temp..

below is the Horton Electric clutch.. its temperature is controlled by either the engine computer or by an external... these can be retro-fitted onto older busses.. if your chassis is 1997 or older then you use an external device to turn the fan on / off (or if you want complete control over it.. like i did)...




this is a demonstration of the Horton EC-450 as I test ran it right after installation.. Im using a Dakota Digital controller so i can controller when it turns on and off ..

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Old 05-28-2017, 09:55 PM   #10
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Year: 1991
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you can hear the Horton pulling in and out in this video.. its LOUD when it runs..



-Christopher
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