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Old 05-15-2022, 06:18 PM   #1
New Member
Join Date: Nov 2021
Posts: 4
Question Skoolie won't start

We bought a 2001 40' international bluebird last September and drove it home. It was slow to start but didn't take long to do so. We didn't try to start it for a while as we worked on converting it. A couple of times we tried over the winter and it turned over fine but wouldn't fire up. Now we're trying to start it and it turns over but the batteries die quickly. We tried jumping it with a pick up but not enough juice. We just pulled the batteries out and two cells were missing their caps so we've refilled them but they were't very low.
We have a standard battery charger that we have been using to charge them but they are not holding a charge long enough to spark. Someone told me to check the glow plug relay which I would love to do but for the life of me can't figure out which part it is. Questions: can you use a regular battery charger on an extension cord to get a full charge? Have we ruined the batteries by continuing to try to start the bus and allowing them to fully discharge multiple times? Where the hell is the glow plug relay? Any other ideas before we call the mechanic? We did try diesel starting fluid, also poured an anti-goo diesel additive in the tank. The tank says that it is 1/4 full but it has been sitting on a slight incline the whole time so the engine is bone dry most likely.

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Old 05-15-2022, 08:11 PM   #2
Phantom5824's Avatar
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Southern Maine
Posts: 109
Year: 1988
Coachwork: Gillig
Chassis: Phantom 40'
Engine: DDECII 6V92T Allison MT647
Rated Cap: 37,400 lbs of potential
Hi There
Letting a battery die, even once, drastically shortens the life. Buy a cheap hydrometer to test the batteries. If a battery has one 'dead' cell, you've ruined it. Put a charger (even with an extension cord if needed) on it and charge it for 24 hours, then check all the cells. If your battery isn't responding, take them out and down to the parts store and have them load-tested.
Be prepared to replace your batteries.

All the best,
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batteries battery, fuel pump, glow plugs, starting the bus

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