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Old 07-11-2018, 04:40 PM   #1
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Bus won't start

1993 international bluebird
Mechanical DTA466

Preface:
We removed the rear heaters, keeping the front drivers side heater, but we forgot to shut the coolant valve next to the engine, although we did manage to shut the valve next to the driver-side front heater. Forgetting to shut the valve next to the engine could be the issue here but were not sure how to fix it if that is actually the case. The coolant line is currently looped on the left rear side of the driver seat.

We drained a little over 5 gallons of green coolant from the heaters. Since then we've added about 2 gallons of orielys brand green coolant to the radiator, the radiator appears to be full now.

The current issue:
Now when we turn the ignition without trying to actually start the bus, the "oil/water" light comes on.

Then when we turn the ignition all the way to try to start the bus, the "water in fuel" light comes on and nothing happens.
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Old 07-11-2018, 05:11 PM   #2
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Iím not an expert on that exact situation but it sounds like there may be a sensor that is telling the computer if it there is not coolant in the system and therefore that prevents a start. Also it sounds like maybe the water separator needs to be drained.
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Old 07-11-2018, 05:13 PM   #3
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Sorry, just reread and saw that yours is fully mechanical so it would not have a computer. Regardless there may be sensors preventing a start.
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Old 07-11-2018, 05:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david.dgeorge07 View Post
I’m not an expert on that exact situation but it sounds like there may be a sensor that is telling the computer if it there is not coolant in the system and therefore that prevents a start. Also it sounds like maybe the water separator needs to be drained.
You think it's a bad sensor? Any way to find out for sure? At this point should we keep all the valves shut or closed?

We've tried draining the seperator; we found a filter under the hood next to the engine, that filter has a transparent bottom on it, with a peacock under it. On the filter it says "drain regularly to remove water", so I'm pretty sure that's a seperator. We drained as much as we could, came back later and it filled itself back up even tho it hasn't actually started, so I've gone back and drained it about 3 times now. I think there maybe an other separator somewhere along the fuel line, I'll have to get under the bus to hunt it down.

I'll try to post some pics tonight
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Old 07-11-2018, 05:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kandall View Post
We drained as much as we could, came back later and it filled itself back up even tho it hasn't actually started, so I've gone back and drained it about 3 times now. I think there maybe an other separator somewhere along the fuel line, I'll have to get under the bus to hunt it down.

I'll try to post some pics tonight


One drain of the separator should be fine. In fact you usually only need to drain partially to remove water (will be at the bottom). If it is empty then you have no fuel.

As far as valves open or closed, I think that you should have all valves that went to accessory parts closed. If there are any valves that appear to shut off some section of the primary cooling system than that should be open but as far as I know thatís not a common thing.

You may need to bleed the cooling system. Often times in one of the upper lines there is a petcock that you can open when adding coolant that allows air to escape. If it doesnít have one of those you may need to disconnect one of the upper lines to allow air to escape. Itís possible that an air bubble is keeping your system from filling up, even though the radiator is full.
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Old 07-11-2018, 06:08 PM   #6
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Not sure how many heaters you had, but when I took mine out I donít think I got 5 gallons out.

You may want to consider doing a full flush and fill if you donít know when it was last done. Then you can fill based on a factory spec for capacity to know if you are in the ballpark or if there are bubbles. You probably need to change your coolant filter as well. If the PH is off it will start corrosion in you engine.

I imagine you really want to solve the starting issue right away and that may seem like a side project, but it will need to be done and you are already knee deep in it.

Hope you solve soon!
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Old 07-11-2018, 06:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david.dgeorge07 View Post
One drain of the separator should be fine. In fact you usually only need to drain partially to remove water (will be at the bottom). If it is empty then you have no fuel.

As far as valves open or closed, I think that you should have all valves that went to accessory parts closed. If there are any valves that appear to shut off some section of the primary cooling system than that should be open but as far as I know thatís not a common thing.

You may need to bleed the cooling system. Often times in one of the upper lines there is a petcock that you can open when adding coolant that allows air to escape. If it doesnít have one of those you may need to disconnect one of the upper lines to allow air to escape. Itís possible that an air bubble is keeping your system from filling up, even though the radiator is full.
We havnt been able to find a bleeder valve or a petcock to get air to escape, if it turns out to not have one, what upper line do we disconnect, and where?

Thanks so much for trying to help!
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Old 07-11-2018, 07:48 PM   #8
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I'd think on a mechanical bus you're looking more for interlocks than anything. Not a lot of things should prevent the starter from spinning. If it was spinning and not firing up that would be a deeper dive but there should only be a few things preventing your starter solenoid from triggering the starter to spin.

Do you have the wiring diagram for your bus?
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Old 07-11-2018, 08:40 PM   #9
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When my bus would not start, the same lights came on. It ended up being the starter...

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Old 07-11-2018, 08:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kandall View Post
1993 international bluebird
Mechanical DTA466

Preface:
We removed the rear heaters, keeping the front drivers side heater, but we forgot to shut the coolant valve next to the engine, although we did manage to shut the valve next to the driver-side front heater. Forgetting to shut the valve next to the engine could be the issue here but were not sure how to fix it if that is actually the case. The coolant line is currently looped on the left rear side of the driver seat.

We drained a little over 5 gallons of green coolant from the heaters. Since then we've added about 2 gallons of orielys brand green coolant to the radiator, the radiator appears to be full now.

The current issue:

Now when we turn the ignition without trying to actually start the bus, the "oil/water" light comes on.

Then when we turn the ignition all the way to try to start the bus, the "water in fuel" light comes on and nothing happens.
We did the exact same thing with our heaters. However, our dt466 cranked back up just fine. The oil/water light now blinks and there is a beeping sound (very annoying) but it runs and drives great. I just assumed I needed to take it to an international dealership or a commercial diesel mechanic to have the sensor/light reset.
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Old 07-11-2018, 09:21 PM   #11
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Find that low coolant sensor and check it out. Might just be some debris bothering it.

Get that light to go out and she should fire off first go at it.


Add your mixed antifreeze till the light or alarm go off. Just about any diesel or gas for that matter, have this to protect from engine start with low coolant.


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Old 07-14-2018, 12:26 PM   #12
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Well we found the bleeder valve for the coolant, but only coolant came out. We think we need to to start the bus to finish getting the air out.

Even tho we have only tried to start the bus around 10 times, the battery is dead. So maybe we need a new battery, we will see. But with what little juice is left in the battery, this is what happens when we try to start the bus.

We turn the key halfway- the "oil/water" light AND the "do not shift" light comes on.

Then when we turn the key all the way to start the bus- the "water in fuel" light appears to flash for just a second, then the battery dies.
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Old 07-14-2018, 12:40 PM   #13
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Ok you better charge the batteries up at least for 24 hours but make sure the electrolyte is up in them to recommended fill volume.
Yes, you definitely need to run the engine to bleed the air. Run till it warms up on the guage and when you see bubbles are finished coming out, then put your antifreeze in and run some more. You shouldn't see any air bubbles, just the fluid circulating and then you can put the rad cap on and test drive.


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Old 07-14-2018, 12:41 PM   #14
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A good hot battery is the key to start or even start troubleshooting any Diesel engine especially a picky old mechanical one.
On most of the mechanical version's all the warning lights came on with a turn of the key. Kind of like a self check.
A weak battery could also be setting some of these off also.
Charge or get a good hot battery and KNOW that just because you buy a brand new battery off the shelf (anywhere) does not meen that it is fully charged.
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Old 07-15-2018, 12:03 AM   #15
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Well it turned out to be a dead battery after all. Our bus, Emporio Ivankov, is still mechanically sound, to our knowledge. Thank you all for the insight!
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Old 07-18-2018, 03:37 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kandall View Post
.....On the filter it says "drain regularly to remove water", so I'm pretty sure that's a seperator. We drained as much as we could, came back later and it filled itself back up even tho it hasn't actually started, so I've gone back and drained it about 3 times now. .......

I'll try to post some pics tonight
Drained it of what??? Was there any water in the Separator??

It is easy to see i( less messy if you are wearing rubber gloves) cause any water will drain first then the fuel comes out
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Old 07-20-2018, 12:30 PM   #17
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I am glad you got your bus going.

A good fully charged battery is always a good thing to start with when you are trying to diagnose a non-starting issue.

I was also going to suggest disconnecting the battery leads to get everything to reset to nothing.

Sometimes while messing around you can inadvertently trip something that will prevent the starter from energizing. Disconnecting to clear everything can be helpful
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Old 07-28-2018, 04:52 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kandall View Post
1993 international bluebird
Mechanical DTA466

Preface:
We removed the rear heaters, keeping the front drivers side heater, but we forgot to shut the coolant valve next to the engine, although we did manage to shut the valve next to the driver-side front heater. Forgetting to shut the valve next to the engine could be the issue here but were not sure how to fix it if that is actually the case. The coolant line is currently looped on the left rear side of the driver seat.

We drained a little over 5 gallons of green coolant from the heaters. Since then we've added about 2 gallons of orielys brand green coolant to the radiator, the radiator appears to be full now.

The current issue:
Now when we turn the ignition without trying to actually start the bus, the "oil/water" light comes on.

Then when we turn the ignition all the way to try to start the bus, the "water in fuel" light comes on and nothing happens.
Normally the " Murphy" system won't prevent a bus or truck from turning over. My guess is you've knocked loose a wire. If its rear engine, BLUEBIRD has a box in the engine compartment with a 3 way switch. Front, off, and rear. Its possible that might be in wrong position.
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