Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 08-06-2016, 09:04 AM   #1
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 12,623
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
how to tell the Health of a diesel engine??

i was changing my oil yesterday and noticed a lot of areas on my engine which are beginning to seep... I always have a few little drops of oil on the ground after I drive the bus on a long trip but nothing crazy like some of the threads I read..

I have done a lot of calling around to its previous owners and got conflicting information to an extent about the engine;s age.. but from all the pieces ive put together the engine is 10 years old and has 90,000 miles on it as does the transmission..

the schools used the bus fairly heavily from 1991 school year until 2006 when the engine overheated and was destroyed.. they bought a jasper engine for it and had the transmission rebuilt... they also bought a new bus at that time and made mine a secondary unit... it was run in service till 2015 school year and then sold.. they ran 85,000 miles on it in the 10 years..

it "aged out" even for a secondary as the district wouldnt allow them to keep a bus any older than 25 years no matter how well it ran..

anyway I drive it all over and it runs great.. I have friends into cars, some are truckers, etc.. we all ride around in the bus at times...

of course some say "wow that engine purrs like a kitten..".. and others say " dont you hear that high speed 'tapping... sounds loose'.. some say "its 10 years old seeping a little oil on a commercial engine that age is normal".. others say "oooh any poil seepage is bad you must have major issues"...

how do I tell the real health of the engine? of course I could just drive it everywhere and if / when I blow it up I rebuild it.. but then if I were to "blow it up" I might ruin the block.. whereas if its worn out its best to rebuild now..

of course an engine rebuild shop would love to take the 'Noobie' for a wash and rebuild an engine no matter what if I were to ask them...

how do you truly know?

it starts it runs it has good power.. only time it smokes is a little black smoke when I floor it.. but sure doesnt fog people out like some of the dodge trucks do... doesnt smoke on startup...

I was told I have a little exhaust leak somewhere around my turbo.. I didnt even know it.. I do notice the whoosh in the turbo is a little louder when its cold but goes away when im on it hard.. I guess metal expanding somewhere fixes the "leak" im told I have...

do oil samples sent to a lab give an indication of the engine internal health?

I drive this bus everywhere and pla to continuie to do so.. I dont want to work on an engine that doesnt need it... but i also dont want to scatter an engine all over the highway in the middle of nowhere if its not right...

i simply want to know... I suppose its no different than a used car is.. you really never know its health..

maybe im just over-thinking as usual?? bus runs great so just drive it everywhere like I do... and not worry about it??

-Christopher
cadillackid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2016, 11:32 AM   #2
Bus Geek
 
Tango's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 8,462
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
The information gained from oil analysis really is quite amazing. Commercial truckers and fleet operators rely heavily on the information they provide. It is money well spent. And any older diesel is subject to drips and leaks. Seals and gaskets just get tired over time.
Tango is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2016, 03:19 PM   #3
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 12,623
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango View Post
The information gained from oil analysis really is quite amazing. Commercial truckers and fleet operators rely heavily on the information they provide. It is money well spent. And any older diesel is subject to drips and leaks. Seals and gaskets just get tired over time.

im not too worried about a little drip or leak.. I see plenty of semi trucks runniung for many miles with a little drip here and there... im using ZERO coolant and not leaking any tranny fluid.. the seal on the steering bocks looks a little damp but the fluid is never low...

I dont use much oil..

I would however be upset if I spun a main or tossed a rod through the block all because I didnt know what to listen or look for..

I'd also be upset if I tore down an engine to find it perfect inside.. (ive done it before with a gas motor that simply had weak valve springs... tore it completelty down to find it perfect but the wrong valve springs installed..

im assuming blackstone labs is kind of the Goto for oil analysis?

I think I'll go the route of sending some oil in... I can run my bus on its fresh oil for awhile and then pull out a sample to send in.. or i may have enough of the old still deoending on required sample size..

-Christopher
cadillackid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2016, 03:29 PM   #4
Bus Crazy
 
milkmania's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Oklahoma aka "God's blind spot"
Posts: 2,368
Year: 1989
Coachwork: 1853FC International/Navistar
Chassis: 35' Retired Air Force Ambulance
Engine: DT466, MT643
Rated Cap: 6 souls and a driver
The redneck dodge mosquito sprayers have turned their pumps up to achieve more power

Shop owners love to see those trucks
__________________
I once complained I had no shoes....
Until I met a man with no feet
milkmania is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2016, 03:54 PM   #5
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 12,623
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
Quote:
Originally Posted by milkmania View Post
The redneck dodge mosquito sprayers have turned their pumps up to achieve more power

Shop owners love to see those trucks

?????
im lost.. LOL
-Christopher
cadillackid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2016, 03:58 PM   #6
Bus Crazy
 
Scooternj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: EHT New Jersey
Posts: 1,134
Year: 2003
Coachwork: AmTran
Chassis: International 3000RE
Engine: T444E/AT545
Rated Cap: 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
?????
im lost.. LOL
-Christopher
Those pickup truck owners who "roll coal"

__________________
Hey! That's not an RV, that's a school bus.
Well thank you for noticing, Captain Obvious

Captain Obvious on deviantArt
Scooternj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2016, 04:00 PM   #7
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Georgia
Posts: 1,882
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by milkmania View Post
The redneck dodge mosquito sprayers have turned their pumps up to achieve more power

Shop owners love to see those trucks
Doing so is hard on the engine and drivetrain, so they have higher rates of parts failures and breakages.
Brad_SwiftFur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2016, 04:16 PM   #8
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 12,623
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
I got it.. I wasnt sure what he meant.. but yeah I hear those guys Bust stuff alot.. though they are fun to watch at car shows and such...

im lucky that when my engine was replaced they used the Jasper higher HP / TQ variant of the DT-360 or maybe its all that jasper made.. but the hjasper plate is still on it so I got the original build date and specs from them on it... and I got the 190 HP variant instead of the 170 that the bus wouldve had originally.. built that way and not "turned up".. it runs my bus pretty nice on the highway so i havent found a need to turn it up... my "weak link" according to forum members is my AT545... though everyone that ive talked to in real-life says the AT545 is a work horse and if taken care of will last a lifetime.. esp one that was rebuilt and updated in the mid 00's as mine was.. im sure i lose HP and TQ due to converter slip with no lockup .. but for me theres somethung nostalgic about that cool shift "whistle" and "whine" from when I road the school bus to school in the late 70s through mid 80s.. so I'll keep that 545 for now... I did find a lead on a possible AT1545 which is a DIRECT drop in to a 545 and has Mechanical lockup.. it was never made for civilian use.. only military but someone who is a buyer and seller for the government vehicles (works at the DSCC here in columbus) can get a spare sold to me as they are starting to dump them since very few of their vehicles run the 1545 anymore they have spare surplus...

engine-wise they never really ran DT-360s in the vehicles he is familiar with.. but 466s were common... if I lost my DT-360 a DT-466 swap is a very labor intensive endeavor and not just the direct drop in one might think.. so i wouldnt attempt it..

as long as i never destroy the block for my DT-360 throyugh catastrophic failure it can always be rebuilt... rebuild kits are still plentiful and some companies even still make them... Jasper said they no longer keep stock on reman DT-360's but said they though they could still build one if needbe...

so i have options *IF* something happens to mine...

im from the gasoline hot-rod world so any engine that sounds "noisy" is concern to me.. but like ai say many people tell me diesel engines are "noisy" by nature esp truck engines like a 'DT'...

-Christopher
cadillackid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2016, 06:29 PM   #9
Bus Crazy
 
2kool4skool's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Spring Valley AZ
Posts: 1,314
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Bluebird
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 2 elderly children, 1 cat
My 545 is silent since I changed fluid. Went from unkown to Super Tech Dex 3 a few thousand ago.
__________________
Don, Mary and Spooky the cat.
2kool4skool is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2016, 11:09 PM   #10
Bus Geek
 
Tango's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 8,462
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
The only "right way" is to go by the manufacturers' specs for oil type & change schedule. Not saying other ways won't work, but...
Tango is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2016, 11:35 AM   #11
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 12,623
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango View Post
The only "right way" is to go by the manufacturers' specs for oil type & change schedule. Not
saying other ways won't work, but...
indeed I do that.. in fact jasper was nice and provided me the maintenance schedule they recommend for the engine..

interestiung that the person I talked to likes Dino oil better than synthetics.. even though tons of people run synthetics..

he recommended standard rotella T 15W-40 which what everyone else has mentioned a good diesel oil is..

I ordered a blackstone kit and will send a sample in and get a decent battery of tests to learn all i can...

to me knowledge cant hurt...

this bus project has been a lot of learning for me.. therefore making it more fun...

my old bus was quite familair as everything it had was just like a hotrod chevy big block car which ive seen and worked on many before...

in that bus the tranny was the only unknown.. and it worked so i never touched it...

I also never put many miles on that bus ... I think ive already put more oin this one in the 3 months ive had it than I did on that other one in 6 years..

-Christopher
cadillackid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2016, 03:32 PM   #12
New Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Georgia
Posts: 2
Keep in mind that this is a machine and a machine is not a living thing. If there is a leak, it is a leak. Fix it! There are test that you can run yourself or have a qualified diesel mechanic do it. These test will tell you about compression, electronics, and the cooling system. Learn how to run these test or pay the truck shop. Although I am not a full time truck mechanic, I have tooled around enough cars and trucks to learn one thing...learn how it works and then I learned how to fix it. Don't fear the machine, learn how it works. Diesel Engines are actually quite simple to operate. They do not like to be overheated so maintenance is crucial to its operation. They are very durable if you pay attention to the maintenance. I see too many people fearing the MACHINE because they don't take the time to understand it. Get on the internet, get some books, visit some truck shops and get rid of that fear! Please excuse me for putting in my two cents!
theorganloft is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2016, 04:40 PM   #13
Bus Nut
 
FlyboyHPD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Houston, Tx.
Posts: 399
Year: 1999
Coachwork: AmTran
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466E
Rated Cap: 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
interestiung that the person I talked to likes Dino oil better than synthetics.. even though tons of people run synthetics..

he recommended standard rotella T 15W-40 which what everyone else has mentioned a good diesel oil is..
-Christopher
I know an excellent mechanic who once told me that synthetics are no better than conventional oil. The synthetics just allow you to go longer between oil changes. I'd enjoy hearing what others think on this forum about that.

I've also heard that Shell Rotella is a great oil to use.
__________________
1999 International AmTran, DT466E, MD3060
https://flyboyrv.wordpress.com/
FlyboyHPD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2016, 04:58 PM   #14
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 20,222
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyboyHPD View Post
I know an excellent mechanic who once told me that synthetics are no better than conventional oil. The synthetics just allow you to go longer between oil changes. I'd enjoy hearing what others think on this forum about that.

I've also heard that Shell Rotella is a great oil to use.
You got it right. They're simply made to go longer in between changes. They do have better resistance to wear and are more stable.
Dino is definitely better for breaking in a brand new engine.
The only car I've ever had that came from the factory with synthetic oil burns that oil at a rate of 1 quart per thousand miles or so. Maybe just a coincidence, idk.
__________________
.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2016, 09:28 PM   #15
Bus Nut
 
Carytowncat's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Richmond Virginia
Posts: 932
Year: 1984
Engine: 366 Big block Chevy! :) w/ Stick shift
I know it's odd but i prefer Rotella regular.

The onoy experience i had with synthetic was that it made EVERY gasket in my Nissan leak. It's super lubri and small mollecule, i get it, and i bet if i owned a high performance machine i would see the difference in friction temp and power...

but i rarely break the speed limit and since i started putting Shell rotella in the GMC truck... its actually stopped leaking oil and seems to have better power. Magic sorcery? ...yea probably . curmudgeon set in his way and afraid of change? for certain. What's the topic?

I always judge the condition of a motor by how long the oil stays clean and how it pulls when i give it gas.

PS i am meticulous about checking the oil. Often every few drives, and oil rarely sees its exp date before i change it. I just like changing the oil. Makes me feel like i took the gal out for a night on the town, and spoiled her.
Carytowncat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2016, 12:27 AM   #16
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 53
Im happy with the AT545...........
ntrain6942 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2016, 12:33 AM   #17
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 53
I have a question............on a 97 mechanical dt466.......on way home from purchasing mine......going up a hill at highway speed......towards the top of hill the engine valves got noisy..........i realized the temp gauge was north of 230........on way down hill the engine quieted down n temps dropped into the 190-210 range..........had bout 15-20 miles till home.......engine remained relatively quiet(but i felt it was still a bit noisier)........when i got home i looked and the antifreeze reservoir appears dry..........did i do any damage? Not sure how low antifreeze is yet..........power feels same.........going to top off though.........possibly flush? And i read where i need special green fluid? And ph check?
ntrain6942 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2016, 01:05 AM   #18
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Georgia
Posts: 1,882
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by ntrain6942 View Post
I have a question............on a 97 mechanical dt466.......on way home from purchasing mine......going up a hill at highway speed......towards the top of hill the engine valves got noisy..........i realized the temp gauge was north of 230........on way down hill the engine quieted down n temps dropped into the 190-210 range..........had bout 15-20 miles till home.......engine remained relatively quiet(but i felt it was still a bit noisier)........when i got home i looked and the antifreeze reservoir appears dry..........did i do any damage? Not sure how low antifreeze is yet..........power feels same.........going to top off though.........possibly flush? And i read where i need special green fluid? And ph check?
I'm not sure what the temperature "redline" is on that engine, but there's a good chance you're OK ... check the oil and make sure there's no coolant in it.
Brad_SwiftFur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2016, 02:05 AM   #19
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 53
No coolant in the oil.........
ntrain6942 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-23-2016, 03:05 AM   #20
New Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Georgia
Posts: 2
They get hot pulling that weight but you cooling system should be able to cool it down. You must check it before every drive and during long drives. Look for obstructions in front of the Radiator, especially leaves and debris. Don't overheat a diesel. Bad news! If you are a good mechanic, you can change the head gasket yourself on the DT466. The engine is also sleeved so you can rebuild the engine in the chassis on a dog-nosed bus or a flat nose with the engine in the front. Rear-engine (pushers) you may be in trouble. There is not enough clearance to work underneath the bus.
theorganloft is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:50 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×