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Author Topic: URGENT Technomadia - Overheated and stranded in SE Montana LOCKED DOWN 4 REVIEW!  (Read 20988 times)
technomadia
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« Reply #30 on: June 15, 2013, 10:07:41 AM »

Another update --

It looks like they are dispatching a wrecker from Billings to come get us, so 2.5hrs or so before they are here.

Some more troubleshooting thoughts on how things failed...

We were going up the hill, and I had dropped from third into second once the RPM's dropped to 1500, but once I was in 2nd gear I was able to maintain speed and the RPM's did not drop to the point of needing to go into first.

As usual on a hill my eyes were glued to the temp gauge, and it had started to move up but was barely above normal by the time we reached the crest.

I actually congratulated the bus on another big hill without getting hot.  (We had been much hotter in the past....)

But as we leveled off, I noticed the temperature had not started cooling off as normal, but was actually going up, and at an increasing rate.

The hill down the other side wasn't super steep so I wasn't using the jake brake or engine braking. The RPM's were up around 2000 in 2nd, and I shifted into 3rd.  Temperature kept going up.

At this point I started looking for a place to pull off, and I started slowing down.  The "Hot Engine" light came on, and I shifted into neutral and costed to a stop on the shoulder.  The engine overheat alarm had by this point automatically shut off the engine.

We stopped less than two miles from the summit, less than two minutes had passed since the first sign of anything unusual - other than perhaps the unusual sounds Cherie had heard.

We've been up and over a lot taller and steeper hills before, and the engine has gotten a lot hotter on the uphill before.

Something different happened this time.

The low oil pressure light never came on, but is there a chance that low oil or an oil leak might be the culprit?

Is there a way to diagnose whether this might have been a water pump or thermostat issues?

The oil dipstick is reading low now, but that might be in large part because we are tilted to the right.  Should I add oil now, or wait?

When we get back to the bus we'll try some more diagnostics before the wrecker gets here.

Any tips on what to try - let us know here or call 408-667-9022.

Thanks everyone!!!

   - Chris
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Cherie and Chris / www.technomadia.com
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technomadia
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« Reply #31 on: June 15, 2013, 12:33:05 PM »

Heading back to meet the wrecker. Will be out of touch for a bit. Will check in when we get to Billings.
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Cherie and Chris / www.technomadia.com
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« Reply #32 on: June 15, 2013, 04:05:08 PM »

In an early post it was said that after refilling the engine and restarting it it had no power and black smoke.

Is there a chance that the overheat shutdown triped the air damper?  Who knows wnat is wired to what after all these years.

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Dave5Cs
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« Reply #33 on: June 15, 2013, 09:07:39 PM »

If that was it it would not start at all.

Did you take a smell of the ATF to see if it has a burnt smell? You might pull the thermostats and refill with water to see if they might have stuck closed. Just some ideas!...

Dave5Cs
« Last Edit: June 16, 2013, 08:40:16 AM by Dave5Cs » Logged

technomadia
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« Reply #34 on: June 15, 2013, 10:19:35 PM »

28 hrs after our overheating in the middle of nowhere, and we're finally in Billings, MT!  Woohoo.

First of all.. a HUGE thank you to everyone who has replied here, written directly and called. We so appreciate the support, well wishes and help.

We were able to get CoachNet to tow us to IState Power in Billings - we've had contact with a couple folks who have dealt with them before and report they are straight up and fair. So crossing our fingers they can help us. We spoke with Larry of iState this morning, and he greeted us upon our arrival this evening! He and his guys will get started looking things over on Monday morning, and until then we are able to live in the bus on property.

Coachnet contracted Hansers Automotive out of Billings as our wrecker service, and we can not express how completely wonderful they were. They let us know when the crew hit the road, and they showed up right on time. And we were completely thrilled when they arrived with a 'low boy' style flatbed.  Chaz and Mike were fabulous - extremely professional, competent and fun. It was a 3-hr multi-step process of wenching us around to get in place, and they made us feel completely at ease. Chaz said 'my job is to make your day better' - and boy did he.

Chris is drafting a message right now with more information on the symptoms, results of our further testing and what our wrecker team's assessment was.  But I wanted to get a quick update out that we're safely here.

It's been a crazy time, but could not image a better experience of everything coming together.

- Cherie

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Cherie and Chris / www.technomadia.com
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« Reply #35 on: June 15, 2013, 10:45:17 PM »

The overheating transmission theory doesn't explain the 12 gallons of coolant and where that coolant went. It would take alot of time and heat to lose that much in my opinion. My guess is you may have been losing coolant for awhile and not noticed it and then when you put the motor under load it exposed the fact that you may have already had a pre existing issue. When they get it running get them to use an IR gun and search for hotspots. The weep hole on the water pump might be a good place to check for a leak

Good luck, keep your wits about you ( I can't tell you how many rash and wrong decisions I made at a number of interstate shops sometimes because of a poor mechanics rationale in diagnosing my issues.) and keep us in the loop. We're all pulling for you

Rick
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technomadia
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« Reply #36 on: June 15, 2013, 11:08:26 PM »

Following up on further symptoms...

The engine still starts easily, but sounds a little off when running. It has a bit of a "chug" to it, and the wrecker said it sounded like we had lost a cylinder or two.

While the engine is running, a steady stream of oil flows out the air box drain tube (aka slobber tube).  It does not appear to be mixed with fuel or coolant. In the past we only had a few rare drips from this tube.

The oil in the oil pan also still seems pure rich black, without coolant mixed in.

We captured some of the oil that flowed out from the air box drain in a jar for future analysis.

The engine has no power - flooring it barely generates any increase in RPM's while in neutral, and while in gear the bus did not have enough power to move itself.

To prevent further damage, we did not let the engine get warm enough to see if the radiator fan would engage.

Interstate will be diving in to troubleshoot on Monday AM, but I want to be as informed as I can before than.

Any further ideas on what all these symptoms adds up to?

Any thoughts on whether we will need a new blower? Head(s)? Entire engine?

Any other things I should check or try before Monday?

Thanks everyone!

  - Chris

PS: Just saw Rick's comment....  The coolant tank had been checked that morning, and we had added a half gallon to replace some that had been lost due to leaky hoses on a cold night.  We check it every day before we head out.
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Cherie and Chris / www.technomadia.com
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« Reply #37 on: June 16, 2013, 02:08:10 AM »

Chris,

I'm sure Clifford and others with more experience than me will chime in. First of all, glad you made it safely off the side of the road and that the recovery team they sent had the right equipment and knew how to use it. Always a good thing.

The steady stream out of the air box drain doesn't bode well, I'm afraid. Under normal circumstances, excessive oil in the air box could come from leaking blower seals, loose piston pin retainers, or worn out cylinders/oil control rings. The overheat and lack of power makes me think cracked liners and /or pistons. You might have lost the whole upper bank. The way to check for dead cylinders is to run the engine briefly and see which cylinders stay cold at the exhaust manifold. You can do this by feel, carefully, when the engine is cold. The working cylinders will warm the manifold pretty quickly.

Once you have an idea of the bad cylinders, you can remove the nearby air box covers, one at a time, run the engine at idle and see if you can determine where the oil is coming from. You mechanic may not want to fool with this. He may just want to pull the heads and have a look. The dead cylinder check, though, is easy enough to do and should give you an indication of the extent of the damage and where to look.

I hope I'm wrong,

Bob
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Bill B /bus
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« Reply #38 on: June 16, 2013, 05:58:22 AM »

Good luck with the repairs. We pray its a simple solution. It is a lonely feeling stuck on the side of the road with dead bus.

Again prayers are with you.

Bill/Lynn
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Bill & Lynn
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« Reply #39 on: June 16, 2013, 06:20:15 AM »

It is a tough call Bob but like you I think he lost the whole top bank the GM does not like no water on top I just hope he is good on the bottom end excess heat will break the webs on the main journals then it spins a bearing plus he may have the old style 71 and they are not worth rebuilding IMO I just hope he has the later style 71 series .

I am thinking worse case as always then something simple is a blessing I know a guy in Idaho that had 2 rebuilt 8v71 with rebuilt 730's from the City of Phoenix I just hope he has 1 left in case they need it  

I should have bought the 2 he was only asking 2500 ea with the transmission attached,it breaks one heart to see peoples dream go up in smoke and repairs cost more than the price of the bus it's a catch 22 game
« Last Edit: June 16, 2013, 06:38:02 AM by luvrbus » Logged

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« Reply #40 on: June 16, 2013, 07:36:09 AM »

Clifford dont worry about being a pessimist, it comes with your occupation and experience haha. These two will be fine no matter the outcome, met them a time or two in Arcadia. i would worry about the shop dragging their feet on the repair just to keep them around the shop lol.  I wanted to call my plumbing co "Can of worms plumbing" because i swear it seems the simplest things can go wrong in a hurry lol.
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technomadia
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« Reply #41 on: June 16, 2013, 08:47:34 AM »

No dreams going up in smoke here..  this is all part of the realities of bus life and life on the road we signed up for.  Everyone we consulted with along the way imparted the realities of this happening, and we carefully factored this into our decision to buy a bus. Especially a bus for which we would have so little access to the history of. Yes, the repairs will likely be more than we paid for the bus - but there's a reason we were able to buy the bus for little, because stuff like this happen. It's all perspective, and because we bought the bus for little we have the resources put aside to handle stuff like this (well, it's not an unlimited money hole.. but..).

We're actually thrilled that we've come 2 years and nearly 20,000 miles relatively trouble free.

Whatever the outcome, it will be the right thing. We have good heads on our shoulders, are in no rush and are so blessed to have so many years of experience here in the bus community to help us figure this out in a rationale way. And as upside, hopefully when we leave here we'll have an even fuller grasp on exactly what is in our engine bay - and remove the second guessing of what lurking problems might be left over from the time this bus last had a loving owner in the early 1990s.

We just want to use this opportunity to do the right thing to keep this beauty safely on the road.

We appreciate the reality check. If we can approach the worst case scenario as being more than acceptable, then the rest is a cake walk.

Clifford, if you have any contact info for the possible rebuilt in Idaho, that could come in quite handy.

 - Cherie
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« Reply #42 on: June 16, 2013, 08:53:23 AM »

    We're actually thrilled that we've come 2 years and nearly 20,000 miles relatively trouble free.

Whatever the outcome, it will be the right thing.

      Best wishes for whatever turns out to be the best solution.   A lot of people are keeping you in their thoughts and prayers.  Good luck!
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Dave5Cs
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« Reply #43 on: June 16, 2013, 10:49:18 AM »

My wife and i say "it happens for a reason. We may not know what that is at the time, but it does and you can't fight the universe".

The Bus and the Bus Life will provide many great stories especially for you guys with and for your Blog. It will also provide many learning experiences for the rest of us. Thank You for providing the answers we may need someday. Grin
Good Luck to you both with your new adventure. Keep us informed on the progress.

Dave5Cs
« Last Edit: June 16, 2013, 10:51:37 AM by Dave5Cs » Logged

Utahclaimjumper
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« Reply #44 on: June 16, 2013, 11:24:17 AM »

 The 4106 has a 4.5 gallon overflow tank mounted above the highest point of the engine, keeping this tank full assures that the top head will always have enough coolant and the water "tower" (the location of the water temp sender) is below the water line.. The tank is fabricated of brass and SOFT SOLDERED at the seams,, the seems will often split and the system will not hold pressure to raise the boiling temp. At each check of the water level a test of remaining pressure should be looked for from the last run of the engine. A system in good condition will hold this pressure for a long time.>>>Dan
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