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Old 08-10-2021, 10:37 PM   #41
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 19
Year: 1972
Coachwork: wayne
Chassis: international
Engine: 345
Just got your pm and sent you a text. RWC Yakima is shorthanded right now so don't be in a hurry..
RWC Spokane is where I work and also the IC/bus dealer. I was up in Winthrop today working on a 4300 with a DT466E of the same era as your bus. It was a no start with several issues and one of them was I unplugged the wiring connector between the IDM and ECM and plugged it back in and it started. I LOVE me International wiring!!

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Old 08-11-2021, 04:30 PM   #42
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: East TN
Posts: 162
Year: 1999
Chassis: International
Engine: T444E
Good luck, hope it isn’t too costly. Plus one btw for getting invaluable help from Christopher!
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Old 08-11-2021, 07:06 PM   #43
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I was advised to contact Truckdown.com. Tell them whatís going on, what youíve tried, etc. A mobile mechanic will come to you, bring parts & get your vehicle back on the road. Iím new so please be kind to the messenger!
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Old 08-11-2021, 09:19 PM   #44
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 16,557
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
I used truckdiwn , it’s a referral type site that at least gets you in cotnact with various mobile options . I have used it before and it was a bog help.
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Old 08-11-2021, 09:20 PM   #45
Skoolie
 
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Location: Fredericksburg, VA...for now
Posts: 152
Year: 2005
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466E
Rated Cap: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by shortbus4x4 View Post
...check your clean power and ground connections on top of your batteries. They are the 10 guage wires with plugs and fuses. I've seen them fail before and cause some weird hard to find problems. I've seen corrosion where they are crimped into the battery cable ends too under the factory tape...
We recently broke down in Nebraska on the way from Washington to Virginia and one of the mechanics mentioned this same issue. He also mentioned the three-wire plug (the waterproof connector) in the battery box can also go bad so he recommended removing it and hardwiring with heat shrink butt connectors. This didn't resolve the issue for us, but it is worth taking a look at in your case.
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Old 08-11-2021, 11:36 PM   #46
Bus Crazy
 
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Location: Fraser Valley British Columbia
Posts: 1,036
Year: 2007
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: C7 Cat
Quote:
Originally Posted by judykerfoot View Post
I was advised to contact Truckdown.com. Tell them whatís going on, what youíve tried, etc. A mobile mechanic will come to you, bring parts & get your vehicle back on the road. Iím new so please be kind to the messenger!
Welcome Judy
All info is good info.
Thanks for the share.
Cheers
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Old 08-12-2021, 06:26 AM   #47
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Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 6,296
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: CE 300
Engine: DT466e
Rated Cap: 65C-43A
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDanger View Post
We recently broke down in Nebraska on the way from Washington to Virginia and one of the mechanics mentioned this same issue. He also mentioned the three-wire plug (the waterproof connector) in the battery box can also go bad so he recommended removing it and hardwiring with heat shrink butt connectors. This didn't resolve the issue for us, but it is worth taking a look at in your case.
Hey man, glad to see you made it home finally. My bus is part your bus now, as of two days ago. Thanks again for the rail piece.
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Old 08-17-2021, 07:13 PM   #48
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Location: Auburn, WA
Posts: 779
Year: 2000
Coachwork: IC / Amtran
Chassis: 3000 / 33' Flat Nose
Engine: IC T444E / Allison MT643
Rated Cap: 72 Kids / 48 Adults
UPDATE:

The bus has been in the shop in Yakima for a week. I was on a return trip from Reno and swung by to pick up something out of the bus and see what the dealership had to say. They have 3 hours at $175 an hour and stated that they got it to run, but when they jiggled the small bundle of wires out of the rear panel and up into the rear of the bus, the bus died.

The service advisor said "We're going to have to rewire it. It can be costly. We have one vehicle with 40 hours into it already.". Wow! Really?

So, I'm going to call them tomorrow and ask if they can simply (and safely) jump power to the ECM so it will keep running so I can drive it 2.5 hours home.

If they can't, I need to figure something out. Here's some of my initial ideas:

Tow - One company, $350 per hour, so 5 hour round trip, $1,750!

Tow to a RV storage lot in Yakima for a month, then travel each weekend to work on it.

Any other thoughts/ideas are appreciated.
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Old 08-17-2021, 07:42 PM   #49
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Location: Rapid City, SD
Posts: 878
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: CS RE
Engine: ISC 8.3 L 260 hp
Rated Cap: 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simplicity View Post
UPDATE:

The bus has been in the shop in Yakima for a week. I was on a return trip from Reno and swung by to pick up something out of the bus and see what the dealership had to say. They have 3 hours at $175 an hour and stated that they got it to run, but when they jiggled the small bundle of wires out of the rear panel and up into the rear of the bus, the bus died.

The service advisor said "We're going to have to rewire it. It can be costly. We have one vehicle with 40 hours into it already.". Wow! Really?

So, I'm going to call them tomorrow and ask if they can simply (and safely) jump power to the ECM so it will keep running so I can drive it 2.5 hours home.

If they can't, I need to figure something out. Here's some of my initial ideas:

Tow - One company, $350 per hour, so 5 hour round trip, $1,750!

Tow to a RV storage lot in Yakima for a month, then travel each weekend to work on it.

Any other thoughts/ideas are appreciated.
I would see if you could run a temperary wire to the ecm so you could drive it home. That should work fine just make sure to fuse it with whatever size it has in the fuse panel.

If it is the power wire to the ecm that is the problem I would pull the connector to the ecm and put a test light with a good ground on the pin or socket in the connector. I would then work my way down the harness away from the connector wiggling the wire to see if the test light will blink or go out. You may be able to determine if the problem is in a connector or the wire itself.

Ted
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Old 08-18-2021, 09:15 PM   #50
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Location: Auburn, WA
Posts: 779
Year: 2000
Coachwork: IC / Amtran
Chassis: 3000 / 33' Flat Nose
Engine: IC T444E / Allison MT643
Rated Cap: 72 Kids / 48 Adults
Quote:
Originally Posted by TJones View Post
I would see if you could run a temperary wire to the ecm so you could drive it home. That should work fine just make sure to fuse it with whatever size it has in the fuse panel.

If it is the power wire to the ecm that is the problem I would pull the connector to the ecm and put a test light with a good ground on the pin or socket in the connector. I would then work my way down the harness away from the connector wiggling the wire to see if the test light will blink or go out. You may be able to determine if the problem is in a connector or the wire itself.

Ted

Hi Ted, thanks for the suggestion. Yes, I basically stated the same thing to them. Fortunately, another Skoolie member who is a mobile mechanic for the same company helped out and talked with the service supervisor and I had a good clarifying scope of work and "make her run so I can safely get her home" talk with the service advisor.

Tomorrow is supposed to be the day they will tell me what the verdict is.

If they can't do either of the things I've asked, I have a semi with a low boy who can haul it home. Expensive, but I don't want to keep pouring money into something I can do when it's in my driveway.
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Old 08-20-2021, 11:07 PM   #51
Bus Nut
 
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Location: Auburn, WA
Posts: 779
Year: 2000
Coachwork: IC / Amtran
Chassis: 3000 / 33' Flat Nose
Engine: IC T444E / Allison MT643
Rated Cap: 72 Kids / 48 Adults
UPDATE:

Simplicity is home!

I still haven't gotten an official explanation of what the mechanic did, but was told it was a loose connection.

Looking at my rear panel, the mechanic did a nice job of untangling the rats nest of wires and grouping them neatly. I believe he also checked each connection going into each splice box, into the relay sockets and probably tested the drag of each relay terminal connection to assure all was tight.

Maybe I'm imagining this, but it did seem to start stronger and run smoother.

Why coolant overflowed:
I also discovered why it most likely was releasing coolant.

First, it's a 10psi system (per the embossed info on the expansion tank) and I had a 16psi cap (replaced it based on the one that was on it). Since I couldn't find a 10psi cap for the trip home, I tightened the cap, but did not tighten it so it "clicked".

Secondly, and most likely, based on my research, if the fluid level is much above the seam of the tank, it will overflow. This is apparently a known issue.

My coolant temp rose and fell from 208 - 210. It would climb to 210, sit there for a minute, then the thermostat would open, drop to 208 and the whole process repeated itself. Just like it should.

I pulled over three times early into the trip home and checked the coolant and looked for any overflow, nothing. Good to go.

Performance:
The bus ran strong all the way. I was impressed how it handled some decent grades with the cruise control on. Anytime it goes below 1800 rpm, I intercede, slow it to 50, downshift into third and then run it between 2100 and 2400 rpm to keep my EGTs mostly below 1100.

She really loves running at 2100-2200 rpm.

I climbed three summits, 2200 - 2600', and one pass, 3,000' at 47-50mph.

Unfortunately, 30 minutes from home, my heater fans and windshield wipers would not work. They've always worked. Ug!

Systems:
Even though this was a really harsh first trip, I did get a chance to test my systems.

*Composting toilet - Thumbs up!
*Westinghouse 4500 Inverter Generator - Thumbs up!
*Pioneer 9k btu mini split - Thumbs up for the AC, not as impressed with the heat pump for quick hot air, but good for long term consistent heat.
*Suburban 19k btu propane furnace - Thumbs up. Although, I think I would go with a higher btu and ducted for my 33' bus.
*Water - I was using my water tanks, but for some reason was only getting hot water. It may be a design flow. I'll hook up to my city inlet and see if it works.
*Hot Water Tank - Thumbs up. Propane, Excel ventless, HOT! Had to turn the size of the flame and the water temp down pretty far. It really generates a lot of waste heat, so I think I would place it in a more open space.
*Cook top - Propane, two burner, only used it a couple of times. Did its job.

What I learned:
I need to:
*Learn how to remove and add wires into the back of a relay socket to assure the connections are good.
*Add to my electronic testing kit for single person testing. Mostly leads, alligator clips, blade connectors, lengths of 10 - 18 gauge wire, etc.
*Add a rear ignition switch for single person testing
*Degrease my engine so I can clearly see wires, origins of leaks, etc.

Thankful:
So thankful to Michael, Ross, Glenn and my build partner Rob for all the time and energy in trying to get me un-stuck from Yakima.
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Old 08-21-2021, 01:17 AM   #52
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: topeka kansas
Posts: 1,312
Year: 1954
Coachwork: wayne
Chassis: old f500- new 2005 f-450
Engine: cummins 12 valve
Rated Cap: 20? five rows of 4?
good hear about a success story

A happy ending.... well that does not seem to occur here that often.

thanks for telling us how it ended.

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Old 08-21-2021, 08:50 AM   #53
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Near Flagstaff AZ
Posts: 1,282
I'm so glad Simplicity is finally home with you, Steve! It was great to finally meet you in person and enjoy a nice meal with you...you are a truly kind and genuine soul.
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Old 08-21-2021, 09:58 AM   #54
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 16,557
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
fantabulous that you got it running and drove it home!!!!!
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Old 08-21-2021, 10:04 AM   #55
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Fraser Valley British Columbia
Posts: 1,036
Year: 2007
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: C7 Cat
Congrats on getting things sorted out and making it back home safe.
And thanks for the detailed follow up and keeping such a positive spirit through such a trying ordeal.
Cheers
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Old 08-21-2021, 02:49 PM   #56
Bus Crazy
 
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Posts: 1,222
Year: 1999
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: TC1000 HandyBus
Engine: 5.9L 24V-L6 Cummins ISB
Rated Cap: 26 foot
Man, I was really worried for you. Dealers are not always the best at diagnostics. Took mine to a dealer day one and complained the brakes were failing. I was told they were all good. Three days later they failed on the interstate highway. I think they repaired the bus for the school system, based on their comments about it. Improper alternator, improperly wired charging system, improper Schrader vales in the AC system, just off the top of my head. "We may need to rewire the whole thing" was telling me "we don't have a clue, and don't want the job, so we are going to price it out of your league."


Now I'm smiling.




Aloha!
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Old 08-21-2021, 04:07 PM   #57
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Auburn, WA
Posts: 779
Year: 2000
Coachwork: IC / Amtran
Chassis: 3000 / 33' Flat Nose
Engine: IC T444E / Allison MT643
Rated Cap: 72 Kids / 48 Adults
UPDATE:

She won't start. Not even a click from the solenoid.

Batteries 12.7v

Front panel:
12.7v to main battery lead into panel
12.7v main battery lead to starter solenoid
0v from starter solenoid switch terminal when key in accessory or crank positions
Driver fans, heater fans, windshield wipers, etc. dead
12.7v at ACC terminal on ignition switch

Trouble shooting:
Tones from starter solenoid switch terminal into socket under dash
Does not tone from ignition switch ACC terminal to plug terminal (plug that goes into socket that tones)

We are going to start unbundling and physically tracing the ignition switch ACC wire. Obviously, it shoots off to many accessories.

Hind Sight:
After leaving the dealership, I made one stop. Bus restarted no problem.

When driving home yesterday, I was going around a 270 degree freeway ramp in a right hand turn. A buzzer beside my driver seat went off. It stopped after I straightened out.

This happened again on the freeway during a long sweeping right turn, and again when turning right at a stop sign. It never did it again.

It started again after I got gas.

Heading over the pass, it was getting cold. I turned on my driver and defrost heater fans and they were blowing hot air. Then, they stopped after a few minutes. Then, going over another pass, it started to rain a bit. The windshield wipers would not work. I was hoping it was a fuse.

So, while the accessories were failing, the bus was running great. I think the work the mechanic did at the rear panel is only part of the problem. So, as long as the bus is running, whatever is wrong now isn't about the bus running, just starting.
It's interesting that it started twice before I used any accessories, but after using the heater fan, issues arose.

History:
When I bought the bus three years ago, the owner stated that they replaced out the front ignition switch because they were having intermittent problems getting it to start, but they could not find an actual problem.

So far, here's my electrical no crank/no start issues:

Approximately 6 months ago, a lead on a diode that is part of keeping the front and rear ignition switches broke. Replaced the diode and all worked great.

About two weeks ago I was doing errands in the bus. It started three or four times, but then, would not. Replaced the start relay, started right up.

A light bulb just went off! Before the start relay issue, I had turned on the drivers fan. I did this again after replacing the start relay and the bus died, but restarted.

Two days later, I headed out on my trip. About two hours in, I started getting "Wait to start" light flashing, then "Water in Fuel" light, but even then, the bus started. Then, the next stop, the bus started, I went about 20' and it died. I removed the diode connections for the front and rear switch, jumped directly from the front switch to the common that went to the positive coil terminal on the ignition relay. The bus started and I started to drive home. A few miles out, I started getting the "Wait to start" light, then the bus simply died.

A week later, the dealership finally got the bus running and I drove it home, with the previous mentioned buzz during right hand turns and accessories issues, and then to where we are today, no crank.

Diagnosis:
Based on light bulb moment about drivers fan and now the heater fan, I have some kind of an accessories electrical issue. How the buzzer during right hand turns comes in, I'm not sure, but I'm not going to be surprised that it's related.

I had removed and disconnected a lot of wires from the front above driver area. I reconnected the ones that I needed and have all the others bundled. This would include the drivers fan.

This is making more sense, because these problems started months after the initial diode lead issue, bus not long after I reconnected the wires.

This is why this forum is so awesome. I start to tell you what's going on and these light bulbs start going off.

I'm kind of excited now!

What I really need is the schematics for a 2000 Amtran/IC 3000 model RE bus.

If anyone has these, or knows where I can get them, please PM me.
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Old 08-21-2021, 05:26 PM   #58
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Communist State of New Jersey
Posts: 742
Year: 2004
Coachwork: IC
Engine: T444e
Rated Cap: 27,500
Thanks for including a comprehensive final report. Since I have a 2004 with a t444e your experience was extremely interesting to me. In fact what you just went through is part of the reason I decided to NOT rush to get Leavuntaun ready to drive to Daytona Beach by November. I think I'll just cool my heels (or freeze my ass off) here in Jersey till next summer so I can do some short runs closer to home - just to be safe - or at least safer.

Regarding the cooling system, I also found the wrong cap on my system. If I recall correctly it was the same as you found, 16 lb. cap on a 10 lb. system. I swapped it when I did a major service. I'll keep this in the back of my mind for future reference.

I also liked your report on your systems. I'm about ready to start making my choices on that stuff so your report was timely for me. Thanks.

I liked your "What I learned" section too. Aside from the rear engine part (mine's front engined) I think they're all good for the rest of us as well.
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Old 08-22-2021, 03:40 PM   #59
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Auburn, WA
Posts: 779
Year: 2000
Coachwork: IC / Amtran
Chassis: 3000 / 33' Flat Nose
Engine: IC T444E / Allison MT643
Rated Cap: 72 Kids / 48 Adults
UPDATE:

We took the long way around, because we thought we toned all the front panel blade fuses, but found one that was blown. We replaced it and my accessories worked again. Why that fuse blew in the first place, we're not sure.

The bus still would not crank, yet we jumped the start relay and she started right up and ran great.

We are getting 12v to the ignition relay, but the same issue I had, no crank, is back.

We are assuming the start process goes:
1) Key on
2) Ignition relay powers up, ground out of ignition relay wakes up ECM
3) ECM does self check
4) Ignition crank
5) Start relay powers up and sends power to crank relay
6) Crank relay powers up
7) Engine cranks

If that's the case, and we can jump the start relay and all works, then we are not getting power to the start relay.

That's our next journey.
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Old 08-22-2021, 09:35 PM   #60
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Mar 2021
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 638
Year: 2009
Coachwork: Gillig
Chassis: G27E102
Engine: Cummins ISL 280
Rated Cap: 26,000 lbs
Oh man. You got yourself quite a source of excitement there - and not always in the intended way of course.

I hope you get it all sorted out eventually.
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