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Old 04-28-2020, 10:26 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Cooling system low operational temperature

Hello mechanics!

I think Iíve got an issue on which I canít find an answer or solution on this forum. My question is about a T444E from 1994 which is mounted in an international 3800, with a allison AT545.
My coolant temperature gauge was broken when I found out that I couldnít fix it I bought a ďscangaugeĒ to monitor the coolant temperature.
Now itís installed I mention a quite low operation temperature of the engine, it seems that the thermostat may be stuck in the open position.
Low temperature while driving is 152F and the highest temperature is 167F.
What do you guys think? It could be that the scangauge is not calibrated right (is this a common thing?), but it can also be that the thermostat is broken or stuck.
I can take the thermostat valve out to check it, but before I do that I would like to have a spare one. And because there are no international dealers in the Netherlands itís quite hard to find out which one I need.

So please guys can you give me some advice about what to do and if somebody knows, which thermostat is in my engine.

All the best!
Lorenzo
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Old 04-28-2020, 02:25 PM   #2
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You're on the right track, methinks. Definitely sounds like a stat stuck open. But could also be a flaky temp sensor.

I had a very similar experience with an Impala I owned (engine was bad when I bought it, had a low-mileage salvage engine installed). The engine only had 46k on it, but was 16 years old, and I noticed that the gauge never climbed over 170 even if it was allowed to warm up before leaving the yard. If I didn't allow it to warm up, it never went over 155. I wouldn't have worried about it, except the car was driving me nuts throwing engine codes over it.

I had to look very closely at the old one when I pulled it, but it had just a hint of gap between the surfaces. And that was at ambient air temp. I'm not sure if heavier diesel engines used the same type of thermostat (wax pellet) but I'm sure a bit of warmer coolant would have been holding it open a bit more. So it seems that these things get weak over time regardless of how much it cycles.

As for getting the right stat, you might pull out your old one and compare it to a new one for a 7.3 for a Ford pickup at the parts store, I should think they would be the same. CadillacKid will be able to confirm this, but he's said before that the T444/ T444E and the 7.3 that Ford markets are near identical, with the 7.3 having some differences so that it can rev higher under load. I can't see any reason the stat would be different between the two. Even if it looks a little different, it probably does the same thing.
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Old 04-29-2020, 02:14 AM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Thanks for your reply cheese wagon, so I guess itís the stat, gonna measure the temperature later on to know it for sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CHEESE_WAGON View Post
As for getting the right stat, you might pull out your old one and compare it to a new one for a 7.3 for a Ford pickup at the parts store, I should think they would be the same. CadillacKid will be able to confirm this, but he's said before that the T444/ T444E and the 7.3 that Ford markets are near identical, with the 7.3 having some differences so that it can rev higher under load. I can't see any reason the stat would be different between the two. Even if it looks a little different, it probably does the same thing.
The thing with pulling out my stat right now to see which one I need is a bit difficult. There are no shops in the Netherlands that sell these parts for this kind of engines. Ford is only selling European fords overhere. So when I pull it out and I break the gasket or something I canít put it back and I canít run the bus anymore. So thatís why I would like to know if anybody can tell me which thermostat I need.
I also heard about different operation temperatures of the thermostat.
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Old 04-29-2020, 02:39 AM   #4
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I can certainly understand that. I did a bit of poking around, apparently Ford's setup calls for a 190 - 195 stat for emissions, Navistar used a 203 according to some threads I found. I also found that some chain parts stores in the US are supposedly able to look up parts for such vehicles as these. While I can't make any guarantee as to accuracy of their database, you might look into these part numbers and see if they will work. I looked it up as a 1994 International 3800 with a T444 diesel V8. Bear in mind, this listing is for a 195-degree thermostat. I'm checking with a truck parts center to see if I can at least get a Navistar part number for you.

1994 3800 T444E Thermostat And Gasket.png
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Old 04-29-2020, 03:35 AM   #5
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Oh wow that would help me quite much if you can get the navistar part number. The only document I actually don’t have about the bus is the part catalog. Would be great if the truck parts center could provide the number. Thanks!
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Old 04-29-2020, 03:59 AM   #6
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Still poking around. I did run across this from MidWest Bus Parts.

T444 Bus Coolant Thermostat Part #s.png
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Old 04-29-2020, 10:59 AM   #7
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It appears that my previous post included part numbers specific to the site they were found on, they are not Navistar part numbers. This is info jotted down straight from a Navistar dealer this morning...
20200429_115618.jpg
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Old 04-29-2020, 01:12 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Thanks!! I just ordered one on eBay, if itís not the right temperature at least Iíve got a new seal I can use in case the current one breaks. I checked the temp sensor and that one gives exactly the same temperature as my infrared thermometer so Iím 99% sure itís the thermostat.
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Old 04-29-2020, 01:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadWhale View Post
Thanks!! I just ordered one on eBay, if it’s not the right temperature at least I’ve got a new seal I can use in case the current one breaks. I checked the temp sensor and that one gives exactly the same temperature as my infrared thermometer so I’m 99% sure it’s the thermostat.
Glad I could help. That's the weird thing, I've had multiple sources giving different information on the thermostat temp. Apparently there are some out there that are set up for 203 degree, which is what was being reported as the setting for the correct Navistar, as opposed to Ford setting it up at 190-195 to reduce emissions. But according to Navistar, the early engines that year are set up for 180, the later ones were set up for 190. And that's straight from a Navistar dealer parts department. Makes sense, though, as I have read that some people were having issues with oil temperature with the 203. I've also read that certain engines have to get an upgraded water pump with certain thermostats, I presume this to be on Ford trucks with this engine, as that is what I've seen on Ford related threads.
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Old 05-01-2020, 03:24 AM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
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I've got a small update from the workshop where my schoolbus always has been in maintenance. They did sent me a picture of the manual which gives the specifications of the thermostat:
Start to open temp.: 180ļF (82ļC).
Fully open temp.: 206ļF (97ļC).
So that will mean the normal operation temps will be between 190-210ļF.
I think the thermostat you'd send me has exactly the same temps as given in the manual so there's a big chance that its the right one. I'll keep you updated when it arrives!
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