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Old 12-22-2020, 05:34 PM   #21
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 15,604
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
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Originally Posted by Crown_Guy View Post
I love all the creative solutions. The most important part is that you're thinking and planning ahead for the nasty conditions. Done correctly most anything can be tamed and made easier. All it takes is the initiative to anticipate and make preparations.

Most are already there mentally or they wouldn't have the special vehicle and going into harms way in the first place. At least I would hope so. If not prepared, they will soon learn the hard way, and thus add to their collection of bitter lessons, which is another way of just saying "Experienced". That's how most of us learn, but if we're smart we'll try to learn from others and their hard Lessons......

But I'm pretty sure most of us aren't looking to operate in the extreme conditions, which is why the bus in the first place, so we can all escape South for the Winter. Those us who did it for a living all appreciated the extra advantages of the properly equipped cold climate vehicle.

I never was planning for my bus to be my mobile coffee-shop, mobile dining-room, covid-bug-out-unit.. and here it happened. im glad I built it with the fact i can use it in cold conditions away from home.. also have to look at the bus too.. the old mechanical IH engines. (and i thinkl the detroit 2 strokes too) have no glow plugs or grid heater.. i didnt want to be stuck in a place in freezing cold and not be able to go.. thus why the diesel fired coolant heater.. I started my DT down at 0f. and she was rough going without being plugged in or without coolant heater

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Old 12-22-2020, 11:00 PM   #22
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: SoCal
Posts: 290
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Crown Coach
Chassis: 40ft 3-axle 10spd O/D, Factory A/C
Engine: 300hp Cummins 855
Rated Cap: 91
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Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
I never was planning for my bus to be my mobile coffee-shop, mobile dining-room, covid-bug-out-unit.. and here it happened. im glad I built it with the fact i can use it in cold conditions away from home.. also have to look at the bus too.. the old mechanical IH engines. (and i thinkl the detroit 2 strokes too) have no glow plugs or grid heater.. i didnt want to be stuck in a place in freezing cold and not be able to go.. thus why the diesel fired coolant heater.. I started my DT down at 0f. and she was rough going without being plugged in or without coolant heater
Nope. No glow plugs, thank God. They just work. If they need help starting I usually used ether. Always carry a can with you. Having a block heater or even an oil pan heater was a real luxury, but then again I live in So Cal and my trips into the cold regions were usually short and I returned to sunny So Cal. The equipment didn't typically have the nice extra cold weather gear installed so we just relied on the ether cans to get us going. Did the trick for us. The 2-strokes are very good and simple engines and they fire right up down to very cold conditions even though they may need a squirt or two of ether. Still, no glow plugs to fail, and then you're really in trouble. I had a car or two like that and always dreaded losing battery power so the things wouldn't start, always needed the glow plugs for a normal start in balmy weather.
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Old 12-23-2020, 10:01 AM   #23
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: Missoula, MT
Posts: 236
Year: 1990
Chassis: Crown Supercoach
Engine: Detroit 6-71TA, 10 sp.
Rated Cap: 90 (40')
Quote:
Originally Posted by Native View Post
Regular motor oil has a slight smell and a slight TASTE. You can put your finger in the PS box, then wipe it off and taste your finger. If it is shart, chamical, nasty in taste, it is PS fluid. If you can *almost* not taste anything, it is the motor oil.
My taste buds aren't very perceptive, but I see what you mean that regular oil has no real taste, whereas PS fluid tastes like chemicals. It kinda tastes like how ATF smells. I tried out fresh oil and PS fluid to tune my palette before sampling the stuff in the PS reservoir.

Aaaaand... the stuff in the PS pump isn't oil or PS fluid, but ATF after all. The taste test was all for nothing (well, not really - at least I learned something). This is my mistake - I was trying to identify the thin, clear-to-slightly-brownish liquid at the very tip of the PS dipstick. Once I got a longer stick and dipped further into the PS reservoir, the sample came up red and with the unmistakable smell of ATF. So, the reservoir was less full than I though, and the stuff at the tip of the dipstick was probably mostly condensed water or something.
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Old 12-23-2020, 10:13 AM   #24
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Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: Missoula, MT
Posts: 236
Year: 1990
Chassis: Crown Supercoach
Engine: Detroit 6-71TA, 10 sp.
Rated Cap: 90 (40')
Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
the magnetic pan heaters are a good "second" heater, however the coolant heaters are what do the real magic.. the coolant is all around the engine anmd through the metal does heat the pan and the oil in it enough for it to flow.. the oil already up inside the engine and which clings to the engine parts after it is stopped is the most important oil to heat .. the reason your starter will turn over extremely slow in arctic conditions is the oil that is sitting in the rods, mains, cam, etc creates a lot of friction so the starter has to overcome it.. this also means the engine takes a lot more batter yand a lot longer to fire as your compression is lower.. and thirdly havign the coolant warm means the cylinders are warm.. the engine will fire off much quicker..



all important on the 2 stroke is that the top area is war mwhere the rack control is.. as the engine starts woit hthe rack wide open.. you want that oil warm enough as to not impede the rack from cutting down thus you dont high-rev the engine on a cold start.. the oil in the pan will be viscous but still will flow, esp as the warm oil drips into it.. doesnt take long for oil pressure to build..



when we had -25f weather a few years back, i used both a block heater and a magnetic pan heater on a diesel truck i had and of course it fired off just like it was summer..



in both my diesel busses I have plug-in block heaters and diesel-fired coolant pre-heaters.. if im travelling I cant count on being able to always plug it in.. just like now im in chicago.. (now fortunately the hotel we are at let me bring my bus INSIDE THE ENCLOSED GARAGE!! and just park it here for my duration.. its like 65 in the garage.. so no worries here..
This is good to know. Though our home base will always be in Montana, we plan on chasing good weather. But you never know what will get thrown at you next year or the year after that. 2020 has been a good reminder of that...

Anyway, the bus started right up at 20F the other day with no help. If temps are consistently down in that range, we're going to move somewhere warmer! I'd just like to get the existing coolant heater working as a backup option in case we end up somewhere colder than we're currently envisioning. We'll already have a backup generator for other reasons, so if we're boondocking and need to fire up the cold engine, we could always run the genny for a few hours to plug the coolant heater into.

There are too many people flooding to Montana lately for my taste, but at the risk of encouraging more incomers... the winter here isn't all that bad. Sure, the high elevations and places out East on the plains get pretty frigid, but a lot of the lower elevation places in Western Montana are very enjoyable. It's a dry cold
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Old 12-23-2020, 10:27 AM   #25
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 15,604
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
I hate anything to do with cold and I live in frickin ohio.. if its not 70 outside im shivering.. im a heat lover (exceot when im drivinf then i want my A/C)...

I sit outside and work in summer on my computer to the point the comoputer shuts down from over-temp before I go inside...
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