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Old 02-27-2017, 11:14 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 103
tarted her in the cold killed something

So who knows about diesels up in here? I tried starting my 12 degree weather and it seems as if after only 3 tried with a brand new battery and starter I smoked the starter this is a.97 bb all mechanical 5.9 6bt motor. I know it was too cold but.after warming up and having AutoZone charge the battery she stll goes click click click
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Old 02-28-2017, 03:56 AM   #2
Bus Crazy
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
Posts: 2,172
Oh dear, trying to start a diesel in 12* C is going to be hard if it has been awhile. Trying to start the same diesel when it is 12* F is going to be a real challenge.

As to your first issue, the clicking. That tells me you have a bad ground or a bad power cable from the starter to the battery. A fresh battery should spin that engine pretty quickly. But the hottest battery in the world won't get a starter to spin if it isn't making a good connection. Check both ends of both cables to make sure that both are making a good clean contact. Also check the cables to see if they have turned green inside the insulation.

You should be able to tell if the starter is smoked by getting an inductive ammeter to see how much juice the starter is trying to take to get things going. A starter like the one on your bus shouldn't take more than about 100 amps to turn. Anything much more than that and I would agree your starter is toast.

The starter on that engine is a gear reduction starter with very close tolerances. The same engine in a Case backhoe from the '60's would have had a big Delco-Remy starter that would have taken at least twice as much juice to turn the engine at about half the speed. The downside is if you try to run a gear reduction starter on a low battery it will heat up tremendously fast.

If it is at all possible you should try and plug the engine heater into 110-vac for at least overnight. By warming it up that much it will start as if it were 20* C outside. If plugging it in isn't possible you may want to try heating up the intake manifold. Using a propane torch and being careful not to melt anything or catch anything on fire just warm the intake manifold up until it is nice and hot. Warming the intake up is exactly the same thing is done on Dodge's with the same engine. The only difference is the heating grid used by Dodge is on the inside of the intake manifold.

Once you know you have a good fully charged battery of sufficient cold cranking amp rating and you have warmed the intake up your engine should start right up. If everything else is working okay.

With temperatures that cold your fuel could be out of liquid stage and it may have turned to the consistency of Jello. There are a few products on the market that will thaw things out enough to start but it isn't cheap and it is really nasty stuff, the sort of stuff you do NOT want to get onto your skin.

Unless it is really imperative to move the bus it might just be a better idea to leave it alone until the outside temperatures are more friendly.

Good luck and keep us posted as to your progress or lack thereof.
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Old 02-28-2017, 08:32 AM   #3
Bus Nut
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Utah
Posts: 266
Year: 1990
Coachwork: BB
Chassis: TC2000
Engine: Cummins
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That clicking noise is likely just the solenoid on the starter. If so, you simply are not getting enough amps to the starter. IF your batteries are good (a single should start a 12 valve cummins all day) . I would first inspect the cables at the batteries, make sure there is no corrosion on or IN them (look for green/white powder inside the wires, (you may need to even skin a little insulation off the wire to see). Then check the ground side, and make sure your grounds are good and clean. Do the same with the Positive side, and at the connection at the starter. (bigger cables the better).

A little trick that will help- try to jump it with another car or another battery. Hook the cables DIRECTLY to your starter. (ground the ground of course). Put the positive directly onto the positive cable on your starter, (Starter, not solenoid) . This will get more amps to the starter.

A 5.9 should start no problem in 12 degrees, I run all the time and in way colder weather. You should have a Heat-block in the intake system. It is usually activated by a push button. This will warm the air going into the engine, and help it start. Another trick is to put a heat gun or a hairdryer blowing into the air intake to do the same thing.
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Old 03-01-2017, 06:42 PM   #4
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 103
Thank you for the info I towed it to a friends property and me + my son are flying to sf for his b day with his mom so when I get back illcrawl under and follow your instructions and get back to you
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