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Old 04-17-2017, 09:43 PM   #1
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Stock Heater Troubleshooting

Hey all,

We've only had our bus for just over two weeks so I'm still learning all there is to know about it. We are in the midst of demo at the moment but I realized recently that I simply cannot get the heaters to actually blow hot air.

We've got a 71 passenger Bluebird International. I removed the heater in the back and looped the hoses as can be seen in the photo below. I'm fairly certain that there is coolant moving through the system because after I completed the loop there was a steady leak out of one hose until I tightened a clamp. I bled the system of air after changing the lines.



There are three valves in the system; two under the hood and one under the steering wheel. As far as I can tell they are all open but this brings up the question, "If only one valve is closed will that completely shut off they coolant flow? If so... why are there three and not just one?"

As far as I can tell, my coolant moves in a big loop through the door heater/blower and the heater/blower by the driver's seat and then back.

Under the hood I can feel one hose that is warm when the bus has been running but once it get's inside the cab the hose goes cool. The blowers all work but are just pushing cool air.



So that's where I am at. I've tried just about every switch on the dash and every combination of open/close valve position I can but still no heat...

I'm wondering if there's just something obvious here that I am missing? Any input anyone might have would be appreciated otherwise I'll be back out working on it/troubleshooting tomorrow.



Thanks in advance!
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Old 04-17-2017, 09:54 PM   #2
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is it a blower problem or lack of heat?

the red valve in the first picture is turned off. find all of those and turn them on.

my bus has 2 of those valves. they both need to be open for fluid to make the loop. ones is on top of the engine block, one is underneath on the transmission cooler.

the engine cooling system runs no matter how those valves are turned. they are to turn on the interior heating loop.
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Old 04-17-2017, 09:59 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply, turf! I appreciate the confirmation on the valve orientation. Knowing which way is open for certain will definitely make troubleshooting easier.

The blowers definitely work, they just blow cold air, not warm.

Thanks!
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Old 04-17-2017, 10:19 PM   #4
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Sometimes I'd like the valve to be inside where it was easier to reach.

Are your three valves each controlling a seperate heater loop?
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Old 04-17-2017, 10:34 PM   #5
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The three valves are all in the same loop; One on each side of the engine and one by the driver. I can't for the life of me understand why there needs to be three but I'm sure there's a good reason.

At this point I'm assuming the problem boils down to me just having a valve closed or some such thing. (I'm not proud of that fact but it's probably true) so tomorrow I'll sort it out.

Thanks everyone for your consideration.
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Old 04-17-2017, 10:40 PM   #6
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Hose coming out of engine and into door heater. First valve is here.

hoses come inside, though heater, and back out. you can see the hose coming out in the first picture. it goes across the "nose" of the bus under the windshield.
.
after crossing across the bus, the heater lines go back inside to the driver's side heater.

this is the second valve by the driver. the lines go through this heater and would go back to the additional heater had I not removed it.They then return back outside and to the engine with one more valve along the way.

Just figured I'd share a few pictures in case that changes anything. At the very least it might clarify my system... and everyone likes pictures... right?
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Old 04-17-2017, 10:44 PM   #7
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I think you're exactly right. At least one of the valves is closed. It's kind of comical in a way, you've got to admit. It's like playing an old slot machine to get heat. It's good to get the old bubble gum out of those heaters.

Of all the junk I cleaned out of my bus there was not one coin hidden anywhere. Just gum and wrappers.
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Old 04-17-2017, 11:04 PM   #8
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Haha well the humor of the situation is not lost on me. Of all the serious problems I could be having with the system... I just can't seem to find which way a valve needs to be for open/close. Its moments like these where I can only laugh at myself and be thankful it's nothing to serious (yet)...

Side note: is the button on my dash labeled "HTR PUMP" actually a heater pump? Because I've discovered that the "HTR MASTER" button has nothing to do with heater and now I'm questioning the alleigence of all my buttons...
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Old 04-18-2017, 08:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rengald View Post
Haha well the humor of the situation is not lost on me. Of all the serious problems I could be having with the system... I just can't seem to find which way a valve needs to be for open/close. Its moments like these where I can only laugh at myself and be thankful it's nothing to serious (yet)...

Side note: is the button on my dash labeled "HTR PUMP" actually a heater pump? Because I've discovered that the "HTR MASTER" button has nothing to do with heater and now I'm questioning the alleigence of all my buttons...
Usually with a valve, the orientation of the handle tells whether it is open or closed, unless it's a wheel naturally. If the handles like you have on your bus heating are in line with the hoses they should be open and if at right angle to the hoses, they be closed.

The HTR PUMP is not always installed but a definite possibility, like an option. You have to physically locate it then check for power, valves open through it etc.

The HTR MASTER switch may provide power to the pump as well as the fans when in the "ON" position. Could be that it is just in the dash to fill that space or hole in the dash panel. You would have to open the panel and do some investigating and testing. Maybe disconnect the batteries first because the chance of shorting something out is high with so many wires to the back of that panel. Just check for 12v to ground on the master and pump connections once you can connect the batteries back up after opening the panel and letting it rest so you can see the wiring without disturbing anything. Post some pics if you are able.
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Old 04-18-2017, 10:11 AM   #10
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I've heard the larger buses often have auxilary pumps for their rear heaters. It makes sense that there would be a switch so when the heating loop is shut off, during the summer months, the pump isn't automatically running all the time.
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Old 04-29-2017, 08:33 AM   #11
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Hey Regald, my name is Nate. So about a little over a month ago we went to a place called the voyageur bus company in Duluth MN to look at school buses for our conversion. We spoke with a guy named Ryan. when we first showed up, asking to look at their school buses to do a conversion, the front desk guy and Ryan both looked at each with kind of a smile. I asked them both, what's up? Is it unusual for people to come here to ask if you sell buses? Ryan said no, your just the second couple this week to come look at a bus for a conversion. He said it was a couple that are living in Duluth. If I'm not mistaken you are the couple he was talking about. We are currently in the process of purchasing our bus from there and would love to meet up and exchange ideas and tips. Contact me if you are interested. Thanks! Also this is my first time using this forum so I don't really know how it works.
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