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Old 06-23-2021, 01:01 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: Northern California
Posts: 4
Year: 1987
Chassis: International
Unhappy Radiator reservoir replacement help!

Hi everyone, first post! I recently purchased a fully built off grid Skoolie and unfortunately, it broke down on the way home and has been at the shop ever since (almost 2 weeks now) :/.. The tank was rusted, cracked and leaked completely dry.(Only made it an hour down the road before it bursted) The mechanics tried to save the current radiator fluid tank but couldnít keep it from leaking again. So they said Iím pretty much out of luck because the bus is old (1987) so they donít know where to find the replacement part.

So does anyone know where I can find a radiator tank reservoir? Iím completely new to this and donít really know where to look....
My bus is a 1987 international, 7 window long, VIN-1HVLNHGM6HH527263. I donít really know anything else about it or the engine. If anyone could help guide me to find a solution Iíd be forever grateful! Thanks.
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Old 06-23-2021, 05:26 AM   #2
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 15,214
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
Well knowing the engine would help but I’m assuming it’s either a 6.9 IDI diesel or a DT466 inline 6.

On the diesels the bottle is pretty standard it’s a pressurized vessel with several lines and a cap. There’s not much special about them so retrofitting from a 3800 is likely your best bet. 3800s are all over in junkyards. Or the truck version which is a 4000 series. Yours is an S series.

The cap determines the pressure so you can look at it to see what psi you need (probably 10).

Someone here may be able to look at your vin and get a part number for your original but I’m thinking a retrofit may be in order.

I rarely see these die. I’d be most concerned about what coolant conditions caused it to fail
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Old 06-23-2021, 03:34 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: Northern California
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Year: 1987
Chassis: International
Thanks for the reply! I’m going to look around for junk yards and see what I can find. If I can’t find the right one I’ll retrofit something together.
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Old 06-23-2021, 04:53 PM   #4
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Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Auburn, WA
Posts: 682
Year: 2000
Coachwork: IC / Amtran
Chassis: 3000 / 33' Flat Nose
Engine: IC T444E / Allison MT643
Rated Cap: 72 Kids / 48 Adults
Call the International dealer, give them the last 8 of your VIN, ask them what the part number is for the tank and if they have it available.

Sometimes, even though generally expensive, in a pinch dealers can come through with a part.

Like CK said, there are lots of other vehicles that used similar parts, so if you get the part number (could be on the old tank) and Google it, you might find what you need.

Good luck.
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Old 06-23-2021, 05:00 PM   #5
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Join Date: May 2014
Location: West Ohio
Posts: 2,403
Year: 1984
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International 1753
Engine: 6.9 International
Rated Cap: 65
Does it look something like this?


Can't help you with a part #, that stuff hasn't been used in 30 years, and would be pretty much NLA as far as anything new goes. Best bet for a like component is to go with something used.

Here is one.
Tank in Idaho

And another

Tank in Iowa

If it was me, I'd rig up something new vs something used. All that is is an expansion tank, and there are a number of those on the internet. Count the ports and sizes you need, and browse away for the right one. Heck, if you're good at fabrication and welding, you might even try your hand at building one.
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Old 06-23-2021, 05:15 PM   #6
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Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Near Flagstaff AZ
Posts: 892
I recently had a few leaks develop in the metal coolant reservoir on a 1999 Freightliner...one at a seam and two where the top corroded right through. I ordered a replacement tank but it had a week lead time and I needed to leave the following day. So I went to O'Reilly Auto Parts and bought a can of Red Kote fuel tank sealant. It's similar to wing tank sealant used in aircraft.

I cleaned the inside of the tank with some acetone and smeared some JB Weld on the outside of the corroded holes. I then swirled some Red Kote around inside. I drained that and let it dry, then did that one more time. I only used 1/2 of the can for both coatings.

The reservoir worked fine and was leak-free for the entire HOT trip. And...I am kind of embarrassed to admit...I'm still driving with that reservoir about 2 months later. It's still leak free, and I have the new reservoir in the truck in case the original one failed, but it has held up so well I haven't gotten around to changing it at home. I should do that, though. What do they say about the cobbler's kids not having shoes?

My point is that it would definitely be worth a try, if you can't find a replacement tank.

Damon Industries Red-Kote Gas Tank Liner
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Old 06-24-2021, 03:49 PM   #7
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Year: 1987
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That looks almost exactly like mine! That one just mounts a little different.
I just found this new one online and it looks like mine. Hereís a picture of mine and the new one.

Do you think this will work?
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Old 06-25-2021, 08:15 AM   #8
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Join Date: May 2014
Location: West Ohio
Posts: 2,403
Year: 1984
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International 1753
Engine: 6.9 International
Rated Cap: 65
It should work so long as the mounts look right. You'll have to swap your hose elbow over on the forward fitting, but that's just a brass npt fitting, so it's not a big deal. Clean the threads, apply sealant, and screw it into the new tank.
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