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Old 10-15-2019, 12:00 PM   #1
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Oil or fluids in the engine bay

Last night I was moving the bus to a new location to work on it. It was about 30 minutes away, and 20 minutes into the drive there was white smoke coming from the engine bay.

I pulled over and turned it off and it looks like ATF fluid (reddish in color) is all over the left side of the engine bay. The transmission shifted fine and ran like it's always done, but the levels are low on the dip stick.

I noticed into the drive the power steering wasn't working, it was getting harder to turn if I won't moving forward at a decent rate.

Where I stopped at wasn't a safe place on the highway, so after it cooled down, I started it and drove it up the ramp/exit about 300 feet away and it shifted and drove and ran fine, but something is wrong, I just don't know what.

It was late and dark so I couldn't see much, although when I started it to move it off the highway, I started it from the engine compartment so check for busted hoses and oil being shot from anywhere and I saw nothing.

I am going back to the bus later today and check it out in the day light, but just wanted to see if anyone could direct me what I might be looking for.

It puzzles me that it looks like all the hydraulic pump and powering steering is on the right side of the engine, but the fluid was covering the panels and compartment of the left side. The two dip sticks, oil and transmission are on the left side, but I couldn't see them leaking of blowing off fluids when I started it to move it from the highway.

the entire engine compartment was clean except for where the red circle is on the image.

It has me puzzled... any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 10-15-2019, 12:07 PM   #2
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PS fluid is dex3 in many of these applications. Sounds like your high pressure ps line had a rupture or maybe a transmission line.
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Old 10-15-2019, 12:09 PM   #3
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Is your fan hydraulic?

Mine is, in my Bluebird RE. If the hydraulic lines or fan motor were leaking in mine it would show up in the area indicated in your picture. My power steering and fan share a common pump.

Good luck.
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Old 10-15-2019, 12:14 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
Is your fan hydraulic?

Mine is, in my Bluebird RE. If the hydraulic lines or fan motor were leaking in mine it would show up in the area indicated in your picture. My power steering and fan share a common pump.

Good luck.
Ah, that would make sense too. I'm betting its PS related since the op said their steering is affected.
I know on my friends' 90 Thomas the fan pump runs 30 weight.
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Old 10-15-2019, 12:20 PM   #5
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I believe my fan is hydraulic, but it's on the opposite of where the fluids were found. Do the lines snake around on the top of the engine maybe? I will have to look today in the daylight.
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Old 10-15-2019, 12:21 PM   #6
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That is what I am thinking too, I will know more in the daylight, but wanted to ask in the forums to get a running start on what to look for.

I will need to find the manual I downloaded for this and see where the lines and pump is located.
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Old 10-15-2019, 12:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieJackson View Post
I believe my fan is hydraulic, but it's on the opposite of where the fluids were found. Do the lines snake around on the top of the engine maybe? I will have to look today in the daylight.
My fan is on the driver's side.

I imagine that, with some daylight, you can follow the hydraulic lines and find out what is leaking.
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Old 10-16-2019, 10:07 PM   #8
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So today I went out to the bus and looked and didn't see any hydraulic or power steering hoses cut, burst or damaged. I went to go start it to check the code on the transmission for it's oil level and the low water light was on. BTW did you know you can check it by pressing the mode button and then the up and down arrows at the same time? Cool feature!

I looked over the coolant area and didn't see anything out of the normal there either, but check and the water level seemed low, so I topped it off and the light went out. Ran the bus for a while and everything seemed to be ok, so I decided to drive it the last 8 minutes to the lot.

About half way into the drive, there was white smoke coming from the back, when I stopped there was water spraying on the motor, so it's a coolant leak coming from somewhere I couldn't quite see, on top and behind the engine. When it's daylight again and the engine is cool, I will search around and find it.

I am glad it's not the transmission, oil or hydraulic systems.. I don't know, but I would think a coolant problem will be easier and cheaper to fix.

I am guessing that the oil I saw the other night on the pavement was from the water washing off the motor.. The PO did have a hydraulic line replaced right before I bought the bus so it was dirty when I got it, so I am thinking all that grim just got washed off the other night.

This has taught me a lesson...

1. I need to get more familiar with this rig if I am going to one day be driving it daily.

2. Before I take off on trips I need to make sure I have an emergency fund to cover the towing and repairs and common things that might happen along the way... a skoolie fund.
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