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Author Topic: Engine Coolant Problem - Need Help!  (Read 5083 times)
rv_safetyman
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Jim Shepherd


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« on: June 24, 2009, 07:43:54 PM »

I think I have a major problem related to my cooling system and need advice!  Since I think I am in trouble, I am posting this to both the BCM  and Eagle International boards.  I know both boards have members with great technical knowledge.

Ever since I got the bus running with the Series 60  (over 50K miles ago), I have had to add coolant to the surge tank at about 1500-2000 miles.  Usually had to add about 1 gallon.  I assumed I had a small leak somewhere.  On my last trip I installed a temporary catch bottle on the hose coming from the surge tank pressure valve.  It filled up in a few hundred miles (1 quart).

I had been wanting to convert the Eagle system to from the over-center locking cap with the remote pressure valve to a typical automotive radiator cap.  I blocked off the pressure valve opening and adapted an after market radiator filler.  I installed a 7 pound cap and a temporary 1 gallon catch bottle. 

On our trip today, I checked early for leaks and then sat back to enjoy the trip.  Less than 100 miles into the trip, the check and stop engine lights came on.  Turned out to be low coolant level.  I checked the catch bottle and it was nearly full.  To make matters worse, I had only filled the surge tank about ¾ full, so expansion was not an issue – besides the surge tank had emptied itself regardless of the amount of fluid in the tank.

To make matters worse, the antifreeze was gray in color.  That can't be good Angry Angry.  Tonight I drained a bit of antifreeze from the bottom of the radiator and it was gray as well.

I have no other signs of problems.  Engine runs cool, no water in the oil, power seems reasonable.

My guess is that I have a bad head gasket.  What do you folks think?
 
Is this a show-stopper?  I can nurse the situation by emptying the catch bottle back in the tank, but I wonder what the bad antifreeze will do to the engine. 

I think the situation is worst today because of the 7 pound cap.  I suspect that pressure valve had a higher pressure release.  I don't want to put a higher pressure cap on the system unless you folks think that is the thing to do.  However, that will only mask the problem.

I should add that after the first event, I checked the bottle quite often.  I would go for quite a ways with no significant filling.  Then after some long pulls in the Wyoming hills on I-25, it would all of a sudden be pretty full.  I pulled into Douglas tonight and the bottle had very little in it (refilled about a bit less than 100 miles ago.

I welcome any thoughts!!

Jim
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Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
’85 Eagle 10/Series 60/Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission
Somewhere between a tin tent and a finished product
Bus Project details: http://beltguy.com/Bus_Project/busproject.htm
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bobofthenorth
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« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2009, 07:55:26 PM »

I can't help you with the loss of coolant issue Jim and what I have to offer is anecdotal and likely irrelevant but here goes anyway.  We had a 3406E in a Freightliner that started putting coolant into the fuel tanks.  The injectors, the common rail fuel system and the water jacket were separated by o-rings and the coolant was going by the o-rings into the fuel return.  We never had trouble with our S60s and I don't know how the fuel rail is set up on them but it might be worthwhile putting a bit of your gray coolant in a glass jar and letting it sit overnight. 

I tell you what - our fuel dealer lit right up when I told him we had mixed coolant and fuel in the truck.  We both initially thought it had come from the dealer's tanks that way and it took a while before we figured out what was actually happening.
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« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2009, 08:08:01 PM »

Jim, your engine oil cooler is going bad and leaking ,I checked the Eagle manual and it calls for 7# for the 2 stroke or the 60s series     good luck
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rv_safetyman
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« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2009, 08:37:32 PM »

Clifford, I wish you were correct.  That would be fairly easy to fix.

The anitfreeze does not have an oily appearance.  It sort of looks like exhaust soot to me.  Almost like someone added a gray dye.

Thanks, Jim
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Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
’85 Eagle 10/Series 60/Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission
Somewhere between a tin tent and a finished product
Bus Project details: http://beltguy.com/Bus_Project/busproject.htm
Blog:  http://rvsafetyman.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2009, 08:43:12 PM »

Jim, let it set over night it will start turning oily. Jim you may know this but Interstate Diesel has locations in Casper and Gillette and they are good folks to deal with.        good luck
« Last Edit: June 24, 2009, 08:52:50 PM by luvrbus » Logged

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rv_safetyman
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« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2009, 09:11:35 PM »

Hi Clifford.  I pulled a sample tonight and will take a close look at it tomorrow.

Bob, thanks for the phone call!!!

Jim
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Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
’85 Eagle 10/Series 60/Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission
Somewhere between a tin tent and a finished product
Bus Project details: http://beltguy.com/Bus_Project/busproject.htm
Blog:  http://rvsafetyman.blogspot.com/
poppi
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« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2009, 10:01:32 PM »

   Taste the oil if it has a sweet sweet taste then there is anti freeze in the oil. Not to be grimice but that
 will ruin your bearings. If your gut feeling is a head gasket then it won't matter what # cap you put on it.
 
   I have seen people change out the anti-freeze for straight water and run it to a more conveinent place
 to have it worked on. (ran a ford 460 that way for 6 months ymmv)

   oil in the coolant can be grey.....it will have a greasy feeling (more than straight anti-freeze).
    (if you can air pressurize the radiator then listen to the oil cooler for air leaking into it(no more than 15 #))
   Good luck to you.
 Skip
« Last Edit: June 24, 2009, 10:04:35 PM by poppi » Logged

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DaveG
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« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2009, 10:06:58 PM »

I'm with the oil cooler camp.
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Sojourner
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« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2009, 11:15:39 PM »

About oil cooler problem getting oil in coolant…that mean it would be coolant in oil as well whenever the is shut down. Pressure from cooling system will force coolant into the oil as well.

Also Jim quoted this….

I think the situation is worst today because of the 7 pound cap.  I suspect that pressure valve had a higher pressure release.  I don't want to put a higher pressure cap on the system unless you folks think that is the thing to do.  However, that will only mask the problem.

I should add that after the first event, I checked the bottle quite often.  I would go for quite a ways with no significant filling.  Then after some long pulls in the Wyoming hills on I-25, it would all of a sudden be pretty full.  I pulled into Douglas tonight and the bottle had very little in it (refilled about a bit less than 100 miles ago.

I welcome any thoughts!!

Jim
Which is more likely that the higher combustion pressure cause more leakage thorough head-gasket or very fine crack in the combustion chamber to add micro bubbles mix into coolant raise coolant level to exit.

I could be wrong but that my take on this.

Sojourn for Christ, Gerald

BTW…you can still oil in the coolant with combustion leaking…so have the oil sample chec

« Last Edit: June 25, 2009, 06:57:20 PM by Sojourner » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2009, 05:30:51 AM »

I think it might be his water pump starting to go south on him. Smiley  No water in the oil, doesn't look like oil in the water, i think i had a car that had gray stuff in the water and it was from the water pump starting to fail if i remember right. Ain't armchair diagnosis fun? Can't wait to see what the cause is. Hopefully nothing major or expensive.
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« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2009, 06:17:10 AM »

60 series blow head gaskets very seldom they have to be run hot for a long period and knowing Jim that didn't happen. FWIW the engine has 36 head bolts 6 for each cylinder for comparison the 8v92 has 10 on each head and the 6v92 has 8.The 60s did have head bolts problems at one time Jim proably has the new style.     good luck
« Last Edit: June 25, 2009, 06:28:45 AM by luvrbus » Logged

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rv_safetyman
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« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2009, 07:07:31 AM »

Hi Guys.  Thanks again for giving me your thoughts.

Ed, thanks for the call last night.  We are not in the best cell phone area.  I think I was on the phone with Bob Evans.

When I installed the engine, I replaced some of the typical parts that might fail.  Installed a new air compressor and water pump.  That does not mean that after 50K miles, the WP could be going bad. 

Clifford gave me the name of a Detroit repair shop in Gillette and I will contact them today.  I just looked and I don't see any separation of oil and antifreeze. 

On the other board, Van asked if there is any water in the exhaust.  I don't see any and there is no white smoke.

I did check the engine oil last night and no sign of water/antifreeze that I could see.  Just straight black oil.  When I changed oil this past spring, I did not see any signs of a problem.  Sample still sitting on shelf for analysis.

My engine has never gotten hot that I know of.  It runs about 190 to 195 on a hot day with the AC on.  However, recall that I do have CAC problems and I know that I the charge air has been as high as 250 degrees a few times.  I now have the ability to read the inlet temperature with the SilverLeaf, and I keep it under 170 degrees, but that is still high.

Someone asked about miles.  I think it has about 670K miles when I bought it.  Had rod and main bearing rolled in.  For what it is worth, it is a '96 with serial number 06R0297730.

I have my Series 60 service manual on my computer and it looks like there were two designs.  Mine should be the newer style.

Keep the ideas coming!!!

Jim

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Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
’85 Eagle 10/Series 60/Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission
Somewhere between a tin tent and a finished product
Bus Project details: http://beltguy.com/Bus_Project/busproject.htm
Blog:  http://rvsafetyman.blogspot.com/
poppi
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« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2009, 07:14:12 AM »

   Just 2 cents...........

   I would get it looked at in Casper... Gillette is al lot farther off and out of the way (unless you go up 59 to wright)
  There is a lot of nothing between Douglas and wright(gillette) BTDT not fun


   Sorry I didn't realize Gillette was your destination.   (still nothing inbetween you and there)

   Be safe

   Skip
« Last Edit: June 25, 2009, 07:47:30 AM by poppi » Logged

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junkman42
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« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2009, 08:45:33 AM »

Jim, someone may have already mentioned this but anyway have You smelled the coolant to see what it smells like?  Perhaps draw a sample from the system and get away from the bus and see what it smells like.  If there is soot in the coolant it should smell like diesel.  Hope You get up and running quickly. Regards John
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mikelutestanski
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« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2009, 09:29:55 AM »

Hello:
       First my experience is limited but I will add my thoughts in FWIW..
    Think about what is happening.  1 using coolant.   2 at a later time oil or fuel getting back into antifreeze.
   problem one the coolant is going somewhere and if you cannot find it in the oil or fuel it must (may) be getting into a combustion chamber and released thru combustion???   make sense?   
   problem 2 whatever is going on with problem one is now going the other way fuel or oil is getting back into a coolant passage.
    I suspect something in the head which may be an injector O ring or a head gasket or  Huh.  Hopefully it is an o ring or something trivial but Huh
   Since the coolant system surrounds the engine and ancillary devices all is suspect.
    During the troubleshooting process you need to consider what pressures you have at what particular time. Fuel rail pressure is probably high in that head so that would account for the fuel getting into a coolant passage passing by a nicked o ring.. coolant pressure is usually lower than the other systems so that accounts for the flow into the coolant. When the engine shuts down then it is over time what system remains pressurized the longest to see which way the leak will flow.
      You may want to check your records to see what was done when to try to figure if an  oring or seal could be leaking.  AN oring is very easy to nick whilst installing.
    Just a few thoughts and I hope your troubles are small..
       My one experience with an L10 I bought at an auction turned onto  nightmare when I dropped a valve on the way home and a mechanic told me it was ok to drive   50 miles later I had to find a landall to get home..
     Not a cheery thought but take care ...    And I really hope your experience is better than mine.
    Regards and happy busssin   mike
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Mike Lutestanski   Dunnellon Florida
  1972 MCI 7
  L10 Cummins  B400R  4.625R
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