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Old 10-13-2021, 12:37 AM   #1
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 190
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DT466 / MD3060
1995 International - Winter Preparations

Skoolie Team!
Getting ready to head out in 28 days, hitting the Midwest for a few weeks before we head south.

What should I be aware of in cold weather with the '95 International DT466? Would it be good to look into installing a block heater? We'll only be in cold weather for a month or so. . .

Is diesel gelling a big concern? Is it safe to use a fuel additive, just while in the Midwest?

Lastly - do any of the stick-on oil pan heaters work for skoolies? I really don't want to drain the coolant AGAIN to install a coolant plug heater . . . especially since we'll only be in cold weather the one time this year.

I appreciate y'all - hope to see you on the road!

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Old 10-13-2021, 07:05 AM   #2
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 15,541
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
how cold is cold? my DTA360 will start easily down to 10-15f even after its sat a few days or longer..


ive fired it up at 0 to -5 without being plugged in.. It cranked over a good bit but still was able to start it without fear the batteries were going t ogo flat...



the block heater makes it start like summer even if its -15f..



in the midwest in november / early december you arent likely to encounter sub zero weather.. even if you do, its normally only at night and you could run the engine before bed, then start it when you woke up and drive it and it will still have held some heat for 8-10 hours..



im surprised that 466 doesnt already have a block heater.. on my 360 its on the driver side about 3/4 back.. you can look for a 3 pin "plug" on the side.. many of these engines got block heaters but the cords were never installed if the bus went to a warm weather location..



I run diesel-Kleen in the winter but most stations starting about now are swapping out their diesel for winter blended fuel, the modern winter fuels dont have much issue gelling.. unless you have a massive tank where you travel from a place without winter fuel way up north and dont fill up you should be fine. the diesel-kleen is an added "feel good".


id be more concerned about cabin heat and water tanks freeziong than I would the fuel. the oil pan heater help with getting the engine to spin over a little faster which helps starting.. some of that heat will translate to the cylinders too which will help firing..



I live in ohio so ive got multiple heating choices on my DEV bus.. (like your mechanical 466 my 360 has no glowplugs or grid heater)).. I have the plug-in block heater.. (and it pulls a good biut of juice..).. and I also have the diesel-fired coolant heater.. so if im out and about parked overnight with no place to plug it in I can fire up that heater to pre-heat my coolant loops and start the engine.. it works really well.. 30 minuites even of the coolant heater on and the engine fires right up.


good starter batteries are a must.. if your batteries are marginal get new ones before cold weather.. (or carry a generator that cna charge the batteries)..



just like I seem to end up in the south in july, i also seem to end up in the great north in january... so i make sure i can start in the cold...
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Old 10-13-2021, 11:39 AM   #3
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 190
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DT466 / MD3060
Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
how cold is cold? my DTA360 will start easily down to 10-15f even after its sat a few days or longer..


ive fired it up at 0 to -5 without being plugged in.. It cranked over a good bit but still was able to start it without fear the batteries were going t ogo flat...



the block heater makes it start like summer even if its -15f..



in the midwest in november / early december you arent likely to encounter sub zero weather.. even if you do, its normally only at night and you could run the engine before bed, then start it when you woke up and drive it and it will still have held some heat for 8-10 hours..



im surprised that 466 doesnt already have a block heater.. on my 360 its on the driver side about 3/4 back.. you can look for a 3 pin "plug" on the side.. many of these engines got block heaters but the cords were never installed if the bus went to a warm weather location..



I run diesel-Kleen in the winter but most stations starting about now are swapping out their diesel for winter blended fuel, the modern winter fuels dont have much issue gelling.. unless you have a massive tank where you travel from a place without winter fuel way up north and dont fill up you should be fine. the diesel-kleen is an added "feel good".


id be more concerned about cabin heat and water tanks freeziong than I would the fuel. the oil pan heater help with getting the engine to spin over a little faster which helps starting.. some of that heat will translate to the cylinders too which will help firing..



I live in ohio so ive got multiple heating choices on my DEV bus.. (like your mechanical 466 my 360 has no glowplugs or grid heater)).. I have the plug-in block heater.. (and it pulls a good biut of juice..).. and I also have the diesel-fired coolant heater.. so if im out and about parked overnight with no place to plug it in I can fire up that heater to pre-heat my coolant loops and start the engine.. it works really well.. 30 minuites even of the coolant heater on and the engine fires right up.


good starter batteries are a must.. if your batteries are marginal get new ones before cold weather.. (or carry a generator that cna charge the batteries)..



just like I seem to end up in the south in july, i also seem to end up in the great north in january... so i make sure i can start in the cold...
Thank you CK! I'll dig around on the bus to look for heater socket. I haven't seen one yet and my bus is from Los Angeles so not sure they would have installed one, maybe installed but not wired?

For fuel, you're saying the fuel stations change the type of diesel in the winter? So it is pre-winterized, in a sense? I'll keep a bottle of your mentioned fuel additive as a backup.

I purchased a 10w renogy solar battery maintainer/charger in hopes it would keep starter batteries topped off - have you ever used anything like this for the batteries?

We will be with family in Iowa, so I will probably drain all of the tanks and use their home plumbing to avoid any broken pipes in the bus.
So far our little diesel heater keeps the bus nice and toasty, but we have only dropped to 40 once here in Vegas this year (2 days ago) so I have minimal testing time on the heater.
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