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Old 03-24-2024, 02:05 PM   #1
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2004 DT466 No Start No Crank

Howdy y'all,

I've got a bit of a conundrum I'm being faced with that I'm hoping for some more experienced insight into. Apologies for the long story.

Bus is a 2004 Blue Bird International 3800 with a DT466. Went to start her up after a couple of months of sitting to do a short test drive in the storage lot now that I've made some new additions inside.

Dash lights up, gauges move, but not much crank. Grabbed new batteries and it fires right up, drove around for a bit and everything seemed fine.

Go back the next day, gauge cluster lights up but no crank. Load tested the batteries and they check out. Look under the hood and it seems like the alternator is ungrounded as shown in the attached photo. Allegedly the alternator had been replaced before purchase.
I had never noticed the negative wire just hanging in space so perhaps it was just slipped over the bolt as a hurried check by the seller and slipped off while I drove around?

I disconnect the batteries, remove the nut, place negative over the bolt, add nut, and while reconnecting the batteries get a spark and see smoke coming from the engine bay. Now when I place the key in, there's no power at all. No lights, no movement on the gauge cluster, and obviously no crank.

It appears as though a wire down by the starter got fried as you should be able to see in the attached photos as well (hopefully!).

At this point I'm just trying to see where I went wrong and what some possible tests and solutions may be. My thought is start with replacing said starter wire and moving from there but more experienced minds may have some better input!

Thank you for taking the time.
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Old 03-24-2024, 02:37 PM   #2
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Central Tx.
Posts: 2,077
Year: 1999
Chassis: Amtran / International
Engine: DT466E HT 250HP - Md3060
Ouch...
First things first, disconnect that white wire from the alternator and also the battery connections too.

First thing is look for the fuse for the ECM and see if it is still good or it has blown.

Where the wires melted/smoked...unpeel any tape separate any wires that fused together when they overheated.

Next, follow that white wire from the alternator to see where it goes as it might not be connected properly on the other end or maybe it is shorting somewhere on another wire or ground spot.

You got to do a real good visual looking for other burnt wires.

You can simple test the starter by using jumper cables and a battery, disconnecting all other wires first from the starter. This will at least tell you if the starter is toast or not without removing it...or you just could remove it too.

Before you test starter with jumper cables, test you 12V "Hot" wires from the starter, test for shorts to ground. Remember to disconnect batteries.

With both ends disconnected you should not hear any beeps from your ohmmeter.

I'm gonna look for a wiring diagram, maybe that might be helpful.
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Old 03-24-2024, 02:41 PM   #3
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Central Tx.
Posts: 2,077
Year: 1999
Chassis: Amtran / International
Engine: DT466E HT 250HP - Md3060
Just realized you got a BB.
Grab your vin number and plug it in to see if there is a wiring diagram available on the BB website.

https://vantage.blue-bird.com/Portal/Vantage-Home.aspx

(cut n paste from webpage)

Use Bus Lookup to find your unit.
Under the Unit Details tab you will find the Wiring Schematics button.
Click the Wiring Schematics button to get a list of all available schematics.
If you donít know your body number, it is usually located inside the bus above the windshield on the Body Data Plate or you can use the VIN.

If you don't want to post your vin number (which I would not) PM it to me so I can also download a wiring diagram, to help you out more...
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Old 03-24-2024, 03:22 PM   #4
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 19,007
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
that burnt wire may be a fusible link, they are wires designed to act like a fuse and burn up in the event of an overload.. Navistar uses quite a few of them coming off of that starter terminal.. (at least on both of my 3800s they did)
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Old 03-25-2024, 08:32 AM   #5
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Join Date: May 2023
Location: Canada
Posts: 370
Year: 2001
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: T444E, Allison 2000
Rated Cap: 72
Correct. Those wires are fusible links.

You will need to replace those, one of those are likely feeding the power to your cab. You will need to replace with the correct gauge fusible wire.

Generally white is ground. However you never know what other people do sometimes. Use a test light and check first to a good positive.(Charge wire on alternator)

Disconnect batteries. Replace your links. Soilder, heat shrink and lug end needed.

Lube that starter stud now with penetrating fluid, looks corroded and rusty. If you can remove that nut without breaking the stud.....clean it and rock it.

I'm looking at that alternator. What kind of alternator do you have? Does not look like a Leece Neville or Delco Remy from this vantage point.

My gound wire is installed on a case bolt as per "negative" marked on the plate.
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Old 03-28-2024, 09:37 AM   #6
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Thanks so much for the input y’all! I’ve been caught up at work dealing with an “emergency” by a client, but I’ll add some updates this weekend after I apply some of this advice to the bus.
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