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Old 01-17-2020, 01:37 PM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2019
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Radiator & Shutter

Hey all, Iím in the process of working on my very first conversion, a 2003 Blue Bird with a Cummins 5.9 ISB.
Iím doing some mechanical upgrades and preventative maintenance as Iím able in the cold Wisconsin weather, and while working on the front end of the bus I noticed that the piston which actuates the radiator shutters is disconnected from the pin it moves and missing itís retaining ring. Iíve searched the internet and canít seem to find a detailed drawing of this shutter system, so I wondered if any of you have a picture or schematic you could share?
Iím not sure how critical the functionality of this shutter is to the cooling system - which is one of the systems that needs attention. The aging plastic surge tank has a very slow leak when under pressure, and I am searching for a replacement. As well, it seems like I have a pinhole in the radiator; after highway journeys particularly there is some escaping steam from the radiator.
How many of you with the Cummins drive train have experienced and fixed similar issues?
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Old 01-17-2020, 03:39 PM   #2
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If it's disabled to be permanently open, I'd leave it. The only time you'll need shutters is when it's near 0 out and the engine can't build enough heat.

And when that happens, It's easy enough to just put cardboard on the front and run it like that until it's no longer needed to do so.

Most of the time, those shutters are disabled because they didn't open once and caused an engine overheat.

After a lifetime in school bus service, they can be worn out and hard to get operating correctly again. Mine, for instance, are disabled.
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Old 01-17-2020, 05:11 PM   #3
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I have a schematic I think but it's not uploading properly. I have a 2003 BB as well.

https://vantage.blue-bird.com/Portal/Vantage-Home.aspx

Type your VIN here and it will bring up a bunch of info on your bus, including a button that says Wiring Schematics. That's where I got mine from.
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Old 01-17-2020, 09:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Booyah45828 View Post
If it's disabled to be permanently open, I'd leave it. The only time you'll need shutters is when it's near 0 out and the engine can't build enough heat.

And when that happens, It's easy enough to just put cardboard on the front and run it like that until it's no longer needed to do so.

Most of the time, those shutters are disabled because they didn't open once and caused an engine overheat.

After a lifetime in school bus service, they can be worn out and hard to get operating correctly again. Mine, for instance, are disabled.
What he said,

BaconFarms
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Old 01-18-2020, 08:54 AM   #5
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I like my air shutters.. cardboard is a hack solution that can end up with you in trouble really fast if for some reason you do find yourself needing the cooling... cardboard ias great if you drive only in town like the school route busses do..



the air shutters are common.. I have them on my DEV bus.. i connected the thermostat in line to a dash switch.. so I can disable the shutters completely in warmer weather, they work fantastic in very cold weather esp if you ever plan to idle for ahwile.. the radiator is nice and full of hot coolant which stores heat.. shutters closed and that heat can be dispersed into the bus... once the engine cools of course the engine tstat closes and the shuters dont do much.. but I found driving with those shutters even on the highway in 0 degree weather my heasters pushed out much nicer warm air than without..



if you plan to travel in cold weather at all, fix them correctly and wire them to a disable switch on the dash so you can make sure they are off when you have no use for them..


-Christopher
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Old 01-18-2020, 11:42 AM   #6
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Christopher,
I like the idea of having control via a dash mounted switch. I’m WI based, so I idle and drive in cold weather enough that it’d be helpful to have shutter functionality. I’ve made friends with the school district’s head mechanic - he‘d probably have some input as to why my linkage may have been disabled.
As to the surge tank - has anyone had an experience with one of those aftermarket welded steel versions? mac’s radiator has one for $370 or so
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