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Old 12-21-2016, 09:29 AM   #1
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T-444E coolant overflow??

I ran the bus yesterday on a decent sized drive.. when I got back to the storage unit, I smelled coolant quite strong.. when I opened the hood I could see i had sprayed it all over the place..

im not sure where yet as I need to diagnose what broke.. it appears coolant got sprayed by the fan so I couldnt tell where it was coming from..

the top of the bottle was quite wet though with coolant running down the hoses.. I dont know if that was the source of the leak and it ran down to get blasted by the fan or not.. the radiator itself is dry and it still was pressurized (top hose was hard) when I shut it off..

however it did get me to wondering..

How does this Bus handle over-filled / overflowing coolant?

I did have a hose leak recently and filled the thing up on a pretty cold day..

looking at the bottle theres no vent hose going down to the ground or to another bottle.. so what happens when you over-fill by accident then run the bus out on the road? does it just build pressure till things break? does it vent out the cap and spill all over the engine compartment?

on my DT-360 theres the normal vent hose going off the top of the cap and down to the ground.. so an overfill and it blows a little on the ground..

on my T-444E theres not even a place for said vent..

there is a small hose near the top of the bottle that goes to the top of the radiator.. it looks like something that would help to get al lthe air to the bottle..

how are your Conventional T-444E's set up?

as for my coolant leak I'll look for it a little later.. although if it just blows out the cap, my whole issue may be that it was warmer yesterday and it vented excess.. just seems silly theyd build it to just blast it all over the place..

-Christopher
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Old 12-21-2016, 09:49 AM   #2
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I think you nailed it! If the expansion tank/reservoir is overfilled the coolant will come through the cap vent and make a bit of a mess. I've never had a problem as long as I respected the max fill line. Over that and things start getting messy.

Maybe with it being winter temps the tank should only be filled halfway between the max and min marks? I dunno..
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Old 12-21-2016, 09:57 AM   #3
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what is your cap? 10 PSI? thats what mine says it is on it.. of course without a tester I have no idea if im actually getting 10 PSI... I may replace the cap on general principle just because... although I ran it in texas and florida heat with my temp gauge riding the 210 line and never lost any.. but then I never filled it up till after I had a known hose-clamp leak around the T-stat housing.. I did have it changed when I got the bus..

interesting to know theyd build something that way.. no wonder the alternator is nice N shiny.. its probably been trashed by coolant before.. and replaced..

-Christopher
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Old 12-21-2016, 10:19 AM   #4
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Are you sure the reservoir tank does not have a molded in channel from the top to bottom that dumps overflow?
Siamesed with the reservoir.
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Old 12-21-2016, 12:28 PM   #5
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The cap on my 2000 7.3L Powerstroke is marked 16 psi. Coolant level in my overflow bottle will vary about an inch going from cold to hot. In my bottle if the level was, say, an inch over the "full cold" mark with a cold engine then I could easily imagine the bottle overflowing when hot.

I know the 7.3 and the 444 are set up similarly but I'd assume that cooling system psi should be the same in both. With that said, I do know what "assume" does to "U" and "me".
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Old 12-21-2016, 12:44 PM   #6
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the more I learn about the 7.3 / T-444E the more i realize how many differences there are...

the T-444E has no EGR on it, has a mechanical fuel pump, is plumbed factory with a return, the computers from 97-up are all different, the SERP belt setup is different, the turbo comes back a different part number, and just when I thought the internals are the same, i learn that the CAM is different due to the fuel pump lobe for the 444E, and even the head gaskets come back a different part number..

it appears things like the short block, heads, some of the sensors, injectors, lifters, pushrods etc are the same...

what is your red-line RPM on your ford 7.3? I know on my T-444E its 2700..

back to the coolant stuff.. yeah I agree on Assuming stuff... fortunately IH does a darn good job of stocking parts in columbus ohio and can look anything up by VIN... thus far theres been nothing done by its previous owner that wasnt stock..

and of course ALWAYS in the back of my mind with any coolant pressure issue is always the slight possibility a head gasket is starting to go... thats how my Peugeot diesel acted.. it started ever so slightly firing into the water jacket so id keep blowing coolant out the overflow... finally I figured out what it was when i started to get coolant in the oil... this one doesnt act like that.. (at least not yet).. but is something to keep in my mind..

-Christopher
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Old 12-21-2016, 12:49 PM   #7
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I used to have the same thing happen if I over-filled my coolant surge tank - the excess when it was hot would come out of the drain tube connected to the radiator cap and down onto the ground. I now have the tube going into a gallon jug to catch any overflow. I made marks on the surge tank's sight glass to indicate the maximum level it can be filled when cold, and the minimum level below which the Low Coolant Level sensor will shut down the engine.

John
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Old 12-21-2016, 01:01 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Iceni John View Post
I used to have the same thing happen if I over-filled my coolant surge tank - the excess when it was hot would come out of the drain tube connected to the radiator cap and down onto the ground. I now have the tube going into a gallon jug to catch any overflow. I made marks on the surge tank's sight glass to indicate the maximum level it can be filled when cold, and the minimum level below which the Low Coolant Level sensor will shut down the engine.

John
thats the thing there is no vent tube.. I looked and its not molded into the plastic.. my DT-360 has the surge tank with the sight glass and a vent tube off the cap that goes to the ground..

it seems like we could park 65 busses side by side and no 2 would be alike

-Christopher
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Old 12-21-2016, 01:02 PM   #9
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No idea on the 7.3 redline. There's no tach on mine but I drive it like an old lady for max fuel mileage.
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Old 12-21-2016, 02:23 PM   #10
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A leaking head gasket? Isn't that like a free "water injection system"?
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Old 12-21-2016, 02:48 PM   #11
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A leaking head gasket? Isn't that like a free "water injection system"?

ha! except when its the other way.. where the cylinder combustion pressure ends up in the coolant jacket but the coolant doesnt end up in the cylinder..

then its like having an automatic coolant flushing program.. you have ot keep adding it and your engine stays "clean" for being sprayed with coolant constantly..

usually will notice it starting to run rough at that point.. or act wierd.. this bus idles smoother (though noisier) than my 2015 Silverado..

other thing to check on these Air-equipped busses is the possibility that the air compressor head cracks and pumps air pressure into the coolant..

that generally does suck coolant in and push it through the air tanks.. alas if that was the case for me I likely wouldnt have had the air-line freezing issues I had..

of course i like the idea better that I just put too much in the last i filled it or the cap is bad.. or the crap IHC hose clamp on the lower hose is loose again..

I did get a lead on a Crashed (rear end BAD) local Bus with a 444E and allison 2000 in it with only 100k.. id already considered buying it just because other than the driveshafts it would be a direct drop-in to my bus.. just pluck everythign out of it..engine trans / computers, etc and scrap the body..

the school board said they arent going to fix it because of the body damage and it ruined about 8k replacement cost in A/C alone..

alas im not there yet... I look at any of these little things going on with my busses as a time to learn more about the inner workings of it.. and if something really is busted.. great time to UPGRADE!

perhaps comes from my background of building Hotrods.. its just a fact when you are dealing with old vehicles.. things are gonna break...

-Christopher
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Old 12-21-2016, 02:54 PM   #12
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..." its just a fact when you are dealing with old vehicles.. things are gonna break..."

And when it does, you will probably NOT find a replacement. But then, Hot Rodders are used to making stuff from scratch.
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Old 12-21-2016, 03:57 PM   #13
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might check the upper and lower hoses for a pin hole.
Or the hoses and clamps can't seal good any longer because the metal under the hoses is corroded and has pits.
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Old 12-21-2016, 04:24 PM   #14
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Start it up cold and pop the radiator cap. Watch for bubbles in the radiator fluid which would indicate a head gasket leak. Have someone rev the engine a bit to see if it appears at higher RPM's. It's a simple check that might eliminate that as a possibility.

Best of luck!

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Old 12-21-2016, 05:00 PM   #15
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An old hot rodders trick: grab one of those radiator flush kits with the garden hose fitting on the pressure cap. Snap a balloon around where the hose should go. Put this modified "cap" on the radiator and start it up. Rev it a bit. Give it a minute or two, squeeze the bottom and top hoses a couple of times to get some vapors into it and then tie off the ballon. Shut down the engine. Remove the balloon, aim the neck at your nose and sniff deeply while releasing the gas inside the balloon.

If the gas inside the balloon smells like exhaust and/or fuel, you have a big problem...
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Old 12-21-2016, 11:18 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreyCoyote View Post
An old hot rodders trick: grab one of those radiator flush kits with the garden hose fitting on the pressure cap. Snap a balloon around where the hose should go. Put this modified "cap" on the radiator and start it up. Rev it a bit. Give it a minute or two, squeeze the bottom and top hoses a couple of times to get some vapors into it and then tie off the ballon. Shut down the engine. Remove the balloon, aim the neck at your nose and sniff deeply while releasing the gas inside the balloon.

If the gas inside the balloon smells like exhaust and/or fuel, you have a big problem...
I'm definitely filing that one away for future use, that's absolutely brilliant!
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Old 12-22-2016, 06:41 AM   #17
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love this idea!!.. since my cap is a screw on andnot the normal style cap I'll likely just make my own test cap by drilling a real cap (my old one) and putting a hose nipple on it I can attach the balloon to. this is a great!.

I did find that my Lower radiator hose is leaking at the clamp.. its definitely possibe that if a little geiser from it started that the spray would go right into the fan.. since I have a Viscous clutch, even in cold weather my fan is spinning at its minimum which is about 450 RPM.. enough to definitely spray coolant all over..

Noted was evidence of coolant spray on the underside of the hood which would get the bottle wet too..

all this spray over everything is also a reason why it seems everythingis wet yet there wasnt coolant dripping all over the ground under the bus...

I'll replace the clamps and then drive it around again.. (not a problem since I like to drive it all the time..)

its a bit warmer too.. (40 or so) so that means its warming up fully as I actually turn the heaters down or nearly off ..

really cold weather has a way of making little issues identify themselves..

-Christopher
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Old 12-23-2016, 10:57 PM   #18
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Went out and found as i figired tjayxtje lower hosecamp was a tad loose so I replaced it as it looked beat up .

Then I started the bus and ran it hood up at high idle, alsozunder some brake torque load .. ( not enough to heat the tranny), after I thawedxout i shut the heat off.. the bus warmed to 195, tstat opened but no coolant boiled and the cap wasn't venting steam or gasses..

In essence it seemed to be perfect,
Except!!
That the coolant when Hot was right above the max line on the bottle..

Hmm out on the road that temp could easily go higher on a warmer day like today andxrunxit over the top ...

So it appears that the MAX line is max HOT! And not max cold?? I filled it to the max line when it was about 10 degrees out.. if that's the case then no wonder I sprayed coolant all over everything..

I'm having a Christmas party Saturday so I probably won't get to run it unless I use it to pickup and drop off people for the party.. then I go to Florida .. with no plans to return to Ohio in January! Lol

Anyway it appears right now my engine is fine and I just had a leaky clamp(showed up under higher pressures) and an over filled system...

Christopher
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Old 12-24-2016, 04:34 AM   #19
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Whew! Glad to hear.
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Old 12-24-2016, 07:09 AM   #20
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wow I see my phone really Jumbled up my post.. wierd..

but yeah definitely seems like it is fine.. I'll know most when I run it on a road trip next..

im still not sure why the system is plumbed like it is..

its wierd that the outlet of the air compressor head coolant line is plumbed directly into the top of the bottle, however it appears thats by design...

-Christopher
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