Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 06-06-2016, 02:07 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Cypress, Texas
Posts: 52
Year: 1996
Coachwork: International Thomas
Engine: DT466E
Rated Cap: 71
Bus won't start, help with batteries

Hello All!
I have been busy and unable to work on the three buses recently. I have the newest bus, the 1996 Thomas International,in the warehouse. I was about to crank it up this morning to move it so I could move my RV out and one of the older '88 Wayne International in its place so I could start painting. The Thomas has always started immediately. This morning it would not turn over. The lights came on and the instrument gauges came on and the alarm for the air brakes came on, and then started to get faint and the lights dimmed. I pulled the batteries and took them to NTB. They don't have those batteries, but checked the batteries. They said they looked good according to cranking Amps for a diesel truck,but they didn't know the cranking amps for a diesel bus. I am going to try a place that has diesel batteries.
Does this sound like a battery problem or something more significant like a starter or alternator? I have not run this engine much, but it seemed to run so smooth with easy starting and now suddenly this problem.
HealthyPetsBus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2016, 02:36 PM   #2
Site Team
 
crazycal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 4,087
After you solve the battery problem if that is what it is, you should get something like a battery tender to keep the battery topped off.

Have you checked the bus for possible sources for battery drain? One bus I bought had a light that stayed on because of a broken door latch. Another bus had one of the overhead lights from the 8 ways that stayed on.
__________________
I'm hungry!

You Gotta Let Me Fly
crazycal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2016, 02:51 PM   #3
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Salt Lake City Utah
Posts: 1,330
Year: 2000
Chassis: Blue Bird
Engine: ISC 8.3
Because the lights and alarm got faint it does sound like the battery was under-charged, though it's possible there was a bad connection instead. Begin by ensuring the batteries are fully charged and we'll go from there to figure out whether it's a battery, starting, or charging problem. The test result from the parts place may not be reliable: if they estimated what battery capacity should be for a diesel pickup truck, but your bus batteries were 8D size for example, then the battery may not have been tested with enough load to really indicate its condition.
family wagon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2016, 03:20 PM   #4
Skoolie
 
RHOMBUS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 196
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner HDX
Engine: CAT 3126B250
Rated Cap: 84
Also, check your ground wire connections from the battery to the starter and to the alternator to make sure they are tight and corrosion free. That's what killed my bus on it's trip home.
__________________
My project: The Cruel Bus
RHOMBUS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2016, 03:26 PM   #5
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 7,925
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International S3800
Engine: DT360
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
first thing id do is charge em up wit ha good battery charger for a few hours and see if the bus kicks over...

commercial trucks and busses are notorious for losing charge on their batteries... my Bus has a complete battery shut off that kills everything when i flip the knob... you could install one of those as well if you continue to hve issues..

and like others have said, a battery tender is a very small charger that will keep your batteries charged but not over-charged when your busses are parked..

-Christopher
cadillackid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2016, 03:52 PM   #6
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Georgia
Posts: 922
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 14
Over the years I have observed something else about multiple battery setups. I have had one battery develop a "dead cell" (where it will develop about 10 volts), it had a tendency to kill 3 good batteries as they were tying to charge the dead one. Batteries should be "matched" as much as possible. What does this mean? Well, if you have 4 batteries and one of them is weak, the others will discharge trying to bring the 4th one up to the same level as the rest. Overnight this may not be a problem, after a week or so, you'll have 4 weak batteries. A trickle charger or battery tender can help prevent this.
Brad_SwiftFur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2016, 07:17 PM   #7
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 7,925
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International S3800
Engine: DT360
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
one dead cell can definitely run the other batteries down... since a dead cell causes a battery to actually use itself up.. it will also discharge good batteries.. sometimes to a level they shouldnt be discharged to..

-Christopher
cadillackid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2016, 07:29 PM   #8
Skoolie
 
NowhereFast's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Sarasota, Florida
Posts: 171
Year: 1995
Coachwork: International
Chassis: Carpenter
Engine: d466 mechanical
Are all the windows up? And emergency exit closed? My bus won't start unless they're closed and safe.
__________________
Nowhere Fast - Sarasota, Florida
NowhereFast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2016, 02:03 AM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Cypress, Texas
Posts: 52
Year: 1996
Coachwork: International Thomas
Engine: DT466E
Rated Cap: 71
Well folks.... Much to my chagrin, I found that the batteries are ok. The rear emergency door was not closed!!!😳

However, one of the two Waynes does indeed have dead batteries. I found this out by trying to steal it's batteries to start the Thomas. Ugh. At least I was able to move the Thomas out of the warehouse and move the RV out to make room to bring the Wayne in for painting. I will be playing battery switcheroo to bring in the dead bus to paint. Called around and two batteries are $700 or I can buy a charger for $100.

What is a battery tender?

Feeling a little stupid, but happy the Thomas is running great.
HealthyPetsBus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2016, 02:29 AM   #10
Skoolie
 
Roadrunner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Johnstown, PA
Posts: 248
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC 2000
Engine: 5.9
Rated Cap: 83
A battery tender is a maintainer. It only puts out a small charge. You leave it hooked up all the time so your batteries are charged up when you want to start the vehicle.
__________________
Hopeless Busaholic!
Roadrunner is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:34 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.