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Old 03-16-2021, 09:43 PM   #1
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Year: 2008
Coachwork: International Navistar
Chassis: 32' CE 300
Engine: DT466E
International Navistar DT466 No Crank

Hello! I recently purchased a bus to convert. It is a 2008 International Navistar with a DT466 (Not sure if it's E model or not? Not really sure the difference) Engine and an Allison Automatic Transmission. Here's the story: I went to pick up the bus, and the batteries were dead from sitting for a year. We charged the batteries and the bus started right up. I then drove it about an hour home. I've since started it a few times to move it/show people with little to no issue. Recently however, I have run into an issue where the bus no longer cranks over. Here's what I have tested and what I have found:
  • Battery is charged and jumped to a running car (just to be sure), volt meter on dashboard says about 13.7v.
  • No warning lights on dash, dashboard initialization sequence seems the same as when the engine still did run
  • When turning the key, I hear a few clicks from relays, none however seem to indicate that the starter is drawing any power (and amp meter hard drops at all).
  • I have removed power to the batteries and reconnected to cycle any soft safeties that may have been triggered (emergency exits, etc)
  • Tested Output of Starter Solenoid, appears to open properly, tests 12v on starter side when key is turned.
  • Starter Solenoid, when jumped with a wrench, only emits a tiny spark when bridged, I would expect a much larger spark if starter was attempting to engage. No sound is made from starter indicating it is trying to do anything
  • Attempted lightly tapping on starter in case that magically worked
  • Tested continuity between engine and the same ground point (a screw that attached a wiring harness passthrough to the firewall) I used when I tested the solenoid and got no continuity
  • Thus, Seems there is no ground to the engine?
  • Looked under bus by battery box, one thick cable appears to exit box and attach directly to frame
  • All battery connections are tight and voltage/continuity checks across all batteries and jumpers
  • The 175amp fuse under the hood and above the engine tests fine, but the terminals on either side are severely corroded/rusted
  • Checked every fuse/breaker in the side fuse panel beneath the drivers window, as well as above where the engine is located,
  • When removing the Accessibility lift, door was open for long period of time causing battery to die. Charged batteries again and bus started that same day. (Post-lift-removal) Lift worked before removal, and as such I can only assume the 2 power leads (pos/neg) worked as well. When measuring across the leads now, when the key is in the "on" position, I get no power. Didn't check when key was in accessory.

Any help is appreciated, as I am at a complete loss. Thanks in advance!

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Old 03-16-2021, 09:57 PM   #2
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You probably just need new batteries. Take them to Autozone, they can test them and sell you replacements if they're dead. If your experience is like mine, this will get you starting again until your starter dies a few months later.

Your 2008 is definitely a DT466e - unfortunately it's also known as a Maxxforce DT, a late stage of the descent of the DT466 from stellar workhorse engine to the reason Navistar quit making engines altogether. At least probably - if your engine is blue and not black, you're in luck and you have a pre-Maxxforce engine. Although you definitely have a post-2003 which means you have to deal with the emissions hardware.
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Old 03-16-2021, 10:02 PM   #3
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My engine is blue, I guess that is a good thing! Thanks for the note about the batteries. I will try that tomorrow.
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Old 03-16-2021, 10:05 PM   #4
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The bus currently has 3 batteries, will I be able to get away with just 2?
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Old 03-16-2021, 10:31 PM   #5
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My bus came with three, I got three new ones. You could do two or maybe even one, but it's a nice, cozy feeling to have three healthy batteries. It's only another $125 or so - you'll be shelling out much more than that down the road.
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Old 03-16-2021, 11:45 PM   #6
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Two batteries are enough if they are only starting batteries (I guess you'll have a dedicated battery bank for the house part of the bus).
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Old 03-17-2021, 12:03 AM   #7
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I do plan on having a separate bank for my solar setup later. What CCA are you guys running? I have 3 950s from 2018 in now.
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Old 03-17-2021, 01:28 AM   #8
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2x 950
On trickle charge h24.
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Old 03-17-2021, 10:04 AM   #9
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Turn the headlights on..If the starter solenoid clicks but no starter action and the head lights go out or dim a lot then weak batteries and or bad / shorted starte ,..if head lights do not dim then only bad starter..

On the starter there should be a fat wire from the starter solenoid going into the starter motor. If you bypass the big terminal then the starter motor should run..careful...you can have big sparks, use a big screwdriver otherwise it can melt and spray you with molten metal.

If the starter motor does not turn with the poles connected and the light do not dim then starter is defective.. open it up and check the brushes. Or get a new one.
Good luck.
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Old 03-17-2021, 12:09 PM   #10
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No headlight dimming, and no large sparks or noise when shorting the solenoid poles. I think I may have a bad starter 😕 Still don't really know how that could've happened, I mean, it hadn't even been 24 hours since it last ran.
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Old 03-17-2021, 01:05 PM   #11
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Clean all of your major ground cables, especially the one(s) from the motor to the frame, and frame to battery.


Clean those fuses that show corrosion.


Make sure those big cables (both (+) and (-)) are still flexible and not "crunchy". If they are crunchy, they are corroded internally, and need replacing.
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Old 03-17-2021, 04:56 PM   #12
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You can check if the ground strap from the engine to chassis did not break.
Or if you are handy with a multimeter then measure the voltage between the starter body and the starter motor wire. Should be zero.. then use your screwdriver and bypass the solenoid like you did before.. while bypassed the voltage should be at least 10.5 volt when the starter is running.. if much less, like 2 or 3 volt then measure between the starter body and good chassis mount.
Engage again. Voltage should be minimal ,like 0.5 volt. If more then check ground straps from engine.

Good luck,
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Old 03-17-2021, 06:31 PM   #13
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are you in neutral?
if my bus sits for awhile i have to wiggle the shifter in the neutral position to find the sweet spot.
i have also seen starters just freeze up from a brush coming loose and engines getting stuck in a compression stroke and the batteries, starter and associated wiring not good enough to turn it over.
for the latter issue you can put a cheater bar, ratchet and socket on the center bolt of the crank pully and turn it over clockwise by hand.
counter clock will work on older stuff thats been together for awhile but you also just loosen the bolt.
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Old 03-17-2021, 10:16 PM   #14
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Thank you all for the help and suggestions. I replaced 1 battery, charged all 3 separately, tested continuity everywhere, wiggled the shifter, alongside triggering every safety that I know of on the bus. Miraculously, it has now started. Thanks all!
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Old 03-18-2021, 12:41 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by techno_11 View Post
Thank you all for the help and suggestions. I replaced 1 battery, charged all 3 separately, tested continuity everywhere, wiggled the shifter, alongside triggering every safety that I know of on the bus. Miraculously, it has now started. Thanks all!
Hopefully it was just the battery and you'll have no more issues.

When you did all your testing, shifter wriggling, triggering safety stuff, did you do all that and then try to start it, or did you do each thing one at a time and try to start the bus after each thing?

Point is, if you did all those things, you don't necessarily know which one solved your problem. If the problem returns (fingers crossed it doesn't) then you won't know what solved the problem the next time.

Glad it's running!
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Old 03-18-2021, 12:45 AM   #16
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I'm really not sure. I walked around triggering safety's, the shifter, a hundred times at a complete loss, trying all different combos. If this happens again (and I hope it doesn't) I'll definitely write down exactly what I did to fix it.
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