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Old 07-23-2015, 08:53 AM   #1
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Changed cabin heater hoses, no coolant circulating?

I replaced the cabin heater hoses in my 2003 T444 AMTran rear engine bus. As a result I lost the coolant that was in the hoses. Since I have added coolant, started, let run, turn off, add coolant, repeat. So far coolant isn't circulating through the cabin hoses? The valves by the engine are open and I have opened the bleeder screw by the valves a number of times while running. Confused, am i missing something?
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Old 07-23-2015, 09:02 AM   #2
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Hmmmm....
I know my amtran takes a long time to get warm. A long time.
Have you left the cap off the radiator and ran the bus for twenty minutes?
I'm just throwing ideas out there. I haven't done this on my bus (yet). But I did just totally replace a cooling system and heater core on a fullsize truck and it took a few tries to really bleed it. Especially after the heater core was replaced.
I'd imagine a bus would be a pita to bleed.
Just my 2cents.
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Old 07-23-2015, 09:12 PM   #3
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To get everything circulating properly you have to run the vehicle
until the thermostat opens which can take up to an hour. Diesels
don't produce much heat unless they are working hard. Once it
comes up to temperature you will feel the hoses getting hot to
the heaters when the thermostat opens and allows full flow.
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Old 07-23-2015, 10:10 PM   #4
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In addition to that, keep an eye on the overflow reservoir. That's where the coolant will drop as it's replacing the air in the system especially when you bleed the air out as the engine is running. It's a pain, but beats overheating when you're in a critical situation down the road.
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Old 07-24-2015, 12:26 AM   #5
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Did you bleed the air out of the heaters inside the bus?

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Old 07-24-2015, 08:45 AM   #6
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I had the covers of the heaters to clean them and I don't recall seeing bleeders on the heaters themselves, I'll double check. I've run it for about 20 minutes each time and perhaps the thermostat didn't open, thanks guys!
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Old 07-24-2015, 11:04 AM   #7
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It takes a lot to get the coolant circulating!
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Old 07-25-2015, 12:43 PM   #8
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Most have bleeders, some don't.

You can loosen the hose clamp on the highest hose to bleed air from the lines.

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Old 07-25-2015, 06:08 PM   #9
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There's a good chance that in just 20 minutes it didn't even lift the needle off "cold" on the dash temperature gauge.. If it has an electric block heater, you could plug that in for a few hours and then take it for a drive for as long as it takes to get the temperature gauge to its normal position -- maybe as short as half an hour with block heater assistance.

Bleeding high points is necessary also because air can be trapped there and never make its way to the pressure cap to be bled by the automatic overflow bottle means. I haven't found any bleed points on mine yet.. but I guess one would pressurize the system (by heating the engine) and then carefully crack open the bleeder until only coolant comes out.
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Old 07-25-2015, 09:41 PM   #10
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Thanks guys, makes sense. Its not registered while I'm converting so I can't drive it. Have to ferry some cans of fuel and let it run for longer.
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Old 07-25-2015, 09:54 PM   #11
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Thanks guys, makes sense. Its not registered while I'm converting so I can't drive it. Have to ferry some cans of fuel and let it run for longer.

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Old 12-17-2015, 05:39 PM   #12
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Sounds an awful lot like what I'm trying to do with my 03 Thomas HDX. I replaced BOTH thermostats in the Cat C7 (yes, there are TWO t-stats) and have added about 3 gallons of coolant. The old t-stats were part of the problem. I couldn't get enough heat out of their to make a tepid cup of tea, let alone heat that beast. Now, it gets warm after about 30 minutes. If only I could bleed those cabin heaters easily.
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Old 12-18-2015, 08:44 AM   #13
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Always wondered what the chains did?

I've seen those chains hanging from buses and fire trucks and was not quite sure what they were:
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Old 12-18-2015, 11:53 AM   #14
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Has this issue been resolved?

One thing I didn't see mentioned is to check that the heater cut-off valves are open under the hood. All buses I've driven have one under the hood and another down by the drivers left foot.
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Old 12-18-2015, 04:39 PM   #15
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What's a hood? Is that a new invention? My HDX doesn't have one.
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Old 12-18-2015, 05:00 PM   #16
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Geez, is this amateur hour or what? In the 15 posts, I don't think I saw the electric coolant pump mentioned once.
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Old 12-18-2015, 05:44 PM   #17
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I don't seem to be having a problem with the coolant pump. It was the generation of heat within the system that gave me problems. I feel that the addition of one more gallon of antifreeze will give me some real heat.
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Old 12-18-2015, 06:04 PM   #18
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Quote:
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What's a hood? Is that a new invention? My HDX doesn't have one.
Hood = engine hole ☺
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Old 12-18-2015, 06:22 PM   #19
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Is there a better term for the body panel that conceals a rear engine? Engine door, perhaps? In the spirit of Randall Munroe's Thing Explainer, I'm in favor or at least accepting of calling it a hood.
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Old 12-18-2015, 06:34 PM   #20
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Try HATCH.
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