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Old 03-11-2020, 09:17 AM   #1
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Exclamation Dead in Liberty, PA : any gas mechanics around?

Hi all. I have a 1997 GMC P3500 gas engine short bus. I had to get towed to a gas station after the engine quit on 15 North in the mountains.

I am not mechanical. The bus may have run out of gas. The tow driver added 5 gallons. We tried jumping it. It wouldn’t turn over. Once it tried to but then just “click” and nothing. I fear the engine may be cooked. When I was pulling over the engine cut out. I popped the hood and it sounded like angry boiling. The coolant hose was hot. No fluids were leaking though.

In the past the engine has sometimes not turned over because the belt was under too much tension. With some effort I was able to get the belt to move a smidge and then it would start. I tried getting it to move last night/this am and that was the one time it tried to turn over.

Is anyone in the area who could come look it over for me? The driveshaft is still disconnected in case I need it towed the 150 miles home. It’s my home until the end of June and I have animals so I need to get the bus home one way or another.

Thanks!

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Old 03-11-2020, 09:30 AM   #2
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Year: 2002
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Chassis: Freightliner FS-65
Engine: 7.2L Cat 3126 turbo diesel
Rated Cap: 71 passenger 30,000 gvwr
If you can remove the belt you can easily test a few things:
Can you spin by hand easily all the pullys that the belt contacted? The crank pulley won't spin by hand of course...

With the belt off, does the engine turn over easily or still hard?
If the engine starts, don't let it run with the belt off for more than a minute!

Pix will help.
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Old 03-11-2020, 10:03 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by banman View Post
If you can remove the belt you can easily test a few things:
Can you spin by hand easily all the pullys that the belt contacted? The crank pulley won't spin by hand of course...

With the belt off, does the engine turn over easily or still hard?
If the engine starts, don't let it run with the belt off for more than a minute!

Pix will help.
Thanks. Now to get the pulley off. Lol.
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Old 03-11-2020, 10:37 AM   #4
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Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Moved to Zealand!
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Year: 2002
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Chassis: Freightliner FS-65
Engine: 7.2L Cat 3126 turbo diesel
Rated Cap: 71 passenger 30,000 gvwr
Quote:
Originally Posted by PalominoMorgan View Post
Thanks. Now to get the pulley off. Lol.
You're just taking the belt off. This takes the tension off the pulleys so you can see (feel) if one of the bearings is rough or seized up -- either the idler or tension pulley or one of the engine accessories -- ie, water pump, alternator, p/s pump etc... whatever the belt turns.
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Old 03-11-2020, 11:41 AM   #5
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Location: SW USA
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Year: 2003
Coachwork: IC / Amtran
Chassis: CE300
Engine: International T444e
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I feel it would help us help you if you could clarify a few issues:


1) Did it or did it not run out of gas? You say it 'may have'. Why are you stating this as an uncertainty?



2) I don't understand how you're able to move a belt to get the bus to start. If the belt is so loose you can pull it up by hand - which it shouldn't be - I can't imagine it's offering significant resistance to starting even with a bound-up component. I also don't understand how you're performing this act. How is the bus being turned over while you're manipulating belts? Is someone else turning it over? If so that sounds like a really great way to lose body parts. If not, I'm confused as to what you mean by moving the belts a smidge.



3) What components is the belt you're referring to driving? Is the alternator one of them?



If at all possible, I'd check the battery condition if possible. Just checking the (DC) voltage would be a start. Should be ~12.7V. One possible suspicion is that if your belt is loose enough to pull up by hand, & it's driving the alternator, it could be slipping & not charging your battery(ies). But this is pretty much a wild guess based on the available info. Please clarify if you can.


Also, if economics put you in a position of either getting towed home or trying to fix it yourself and perhaps then not having enough money to get home, it might be best to go the former route. No reason you can't learn to fix things like this yourself, but this particular scenario might not be the best time to start.
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