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Old 12-15-2022, 07:31 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2022
Posts: 7
Coolant leak t444e

Hi everybody,

Iím on my way to Oregon, and am in Northern California experiencing sudden cooling system issues with my 2001 international 3800 with a t444e.

I noticed it running rougher than usual after I stopped for fuel a couple days ago, opened the hood, and saw large air bubbles bubbling in the reservoir tank. Checked under the oil cap, and no milky oil or whitish anything. No white smoke from the exhaust, and no water from the tailpipe either.Checked the oil levels, and theyíre in range. Continued on the road for about a half hour and was experiencing a seeming loss of power uphill and reduced fuel mileage. I parked for the night, took a look at it in the morning, and now itís leaking coolant. Itís leaking from the hose fittings going to the driver side interior heater, and itís leaking from what looks to be the front mount of the oil cooler. The oil cooler was replaced last summer.

I ran the bus at idle to check again for bubbling of the reservoir tank and found nothing. It seems the obvious first step is replace the older hoses and fittings, but before I start replacing anything, Iím curious if anybody knows what would cause all the air in the coolant system? Is it possible that itís over pressuring and blowing out older hoses/gaskets? Any ideas or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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Old 12-16-2022, 09:15 AM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2022
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 3
Year: 1994
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360
Rated Cap: 53
I would suspect combustion gases breaching into the cooling system.
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Old 12-16-2022, 10:16 AM   #3
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Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: Alabama
Posts: 296
Year: 1996
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DT 466 Mech. Spicer 5 speed
Rated Cap: 34
Not real sure about this-- but if you have air brakes-- I think it is possible to force compressed air into the coolant if you have an internal leak in the air compressor. Maybe the head or the gaskets.
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Old 12-16-2022, 04:12 PM   #4
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Thanks for your reply. I read another thread where there was a discussion about this issue. It seemed that the problem was diagnosed by the reservoir tank continuing to bubble until the air tanks are drained, which I haven’t observed yet. Is there a way the compressor could be sending air into the coolant line only while running? I honestly don’t know much about compressor components or general layout. Altogether confused about this issue, though I found a local mobile mechanic who is going to help me diagnose it.

I’ll let you know what we find as that process unfolds.
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Old 12-18-2022, 07:33 PM   #5
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Issue resolved.

Alright, I got a mobile mechanic to come take a look. The good news is that I had a large bubble in my coolant, causing the overpressuring. Not sure why it took so long to bleed the system, but everything held under 15 psi compression. The real issue, and cause of my engine performance issues, was a pinhole leak in my fuel lines going into and out of the fuel pump. Air was getting in the fuel, causing loss of power. Itís bad enough now that diesel is leaking, and the lines are getting replaced tomorrow.

The mechanic said my engine is completely solid, and the best condition t444e heís seen in a long time. Happy to get that report. And happy to be back on the road soon.
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Old 12-19-2022, 05:04 AM   #6
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Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: CA, USA
Posts: 147
Year: 1992
Coachwork: sturdivan
Chassis: E-350
Engine: 7.3l IDI
Rated Cap: 10,000lbs
that has got to be a big relief, thanks for keeping us up to date.
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