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Author Topic: Coolant Loss - word to the wise  (Read 4099 times)
Tikvah
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« on: September 13, 2013, 06:09:16 AM »

I should say, "A word to someone wiser than me"  Smiley

I left the maintenance garage this morning feeling good that all the fluids are fresh, topped off and I'm ready to get my new tires and hit the road with confidence.  Just before leaving the driveway, I'm realizing that as cold as it is this morning, I should turn the heat on.  I haven't had heat in the driver compartment since I bought the bus three years ago.  Since then, I removed all the bus heat system and left only the driver area heat.  So, I did what I knew was right, I went back and opened both gate valves to allow the coolant to flow to the front of the coach.

I know what you're thinking... Seriously, I had capped off the lines to the old heat unit.  But, to be safe, I decided to check for leaks.  After-all, it's been three years.  No leaks.  I go jump in the driver seat, turn on the heat and proudly slip into drive and away we go to the tire store.  I got about ten miles before the engine shut down on overheat.  Now, this is frustrating.  I've got a freshly serviced coach and the thing leaves me dead on the road.  (you know how hard it is to steer without the engine running?).

I soon realized that I didn't have any coolant showing in the site-glass.  Then it hit me.  When I opened the gate valves I dumped all the engine water and reserve into the huge copper lines and driver heater and didn't leave enough for the engine.  So, my word to those wiser than me... remember to check your coolant fluids after opening the gate valves. 

Fortunately for me, I was just around the corner from two different auto-parts stores.  So, I picked up a couple jugs, dumped in a total of 4 gallons of water/coolant and continued to the tire store.  Later today I guess I need to pick up a couple more jugs.  The four gallons didn't get it back into the site-glass.  So, I'm sure 4 more should do it. 

At least I'll be sitting  on some nice new rubber this time  Smiley

Dave
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1989 MCI-102 A3
DD 6V92 Turbo, Alison
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Started in Cheboygan, Michigan (near the Mackinaw Bridge).  Now home is anywhere we park
Scott Crosby
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« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2013, 06:33:07 AM »

I installed an audible alarm buzzer and light combo for low coolant level warning before a temp change notification.   

Murphy gauge L150 I believe is the gauge hooked to a lighted buzzer from Cole H.

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61 GM Fishbowl 4516 102" 35'
Tikvah
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« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2013, 06:42:31 AM »

Quote
I installed an audible alarm buzzer and light combo for low coolant level warning before a temp change notification.   

Murphy gauge L150 I believe is the gauge hooked to a lighted buzzer from Cole H.

Scott, that's really a cool idea.  This is the second time I shut down from over-heat.  And both times I had been watching the gauge carefully, but it overheated faster than my eye.  Once the engine shut off, then the temperature climbed.  Your buzzer might be a great early warning device. 

I always fear damaging the engine.  Both times it wasn't an issue, it never got all that hot.  But, I don't want it be wrong... ever.

Let me know where you tied it.  How it's hooked up.

Dave
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I couldn't repair my brakes, so I made my horn louder.
1989 MCI-102 A3
DD 6V92 Turbo, Alison
Tons of stuff to learn!
Started in Cheboygan, Michigan (near the Mackinaw Bridge).  Now home is anywhere we park
Scott Crosby
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« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2013, 10:08:01 AM »

I went into the surge tank.  It's set pretty sensitive. About one gallon out of the system and it goes off.  That's still about 1/2 full on the surge tank.  At first I had it set a bit too sensitive and if I took a Corner too hard it would go off for a second, but it's adjustable.   If I lose a radiator hose or something I will know in about a second vs waiting for the temp to climb.  Early problem detection insurance.  I just drilled a hole, tapped it and soldered a brass fitting in. 
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61 GM Fishbowl 4516 102" 35'
wg4t50
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« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2013, 01:02:27 PM »

Indeed, the Murphy  L150 level switch is great, having installed many on generator radiators, need to comment on the installation.
Use a 5/16 or 3/8 hose on the lower side, it is common, using a larger hose, when the thermostat opens, the water pump can pull so much water, it can sink the Murphy float.
Using a smaller hose has solved he issue for us.
Another experienced opinion.
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John316
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« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2013, 01:54:10 PM »

Uh oh. Here is a can of worms, that I will pop the top on. What kind of coolant did you dump in?
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Lin
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« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2013, 03:39:44 PM »

I am a bit surprised that opening those valves would take up an estimated 8 gallons of coolant.
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Dave5Cs
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1979 MCI MC5Cs 6V-71 HT-740 Allison, Roseville, CA




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« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2013, 04:21:30 PM »

John ya beat me to it, LOL Truck stops have the correct coolant. Has to be low Silica.

Dave5Cs
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Tikvah
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« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2013, 04:21:35 PM »

It did indeed take almost 8 gallons.
 I used green antifreeze (all purpose). The brand varied.

I'm aware that there is some discussion among the pureists about the brand or the shade of green, but.....really?  I just needed to get on the road, and I'm positively sure the last batch didn't come from Detroit Diesel either.

Let me know if my radiators are going to rot out or my engine fall through the frame from wrong antifreeze.

Dave



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I couldn't repair my brakes, so I made my horn louder.
1989 MCI-102 A3
DD 6V92 Turbo, Alison
Tons of stuff to learn!
Started in Cheboygan, Michigan (near the Mackinaw Bridge).  Now home is anywhere we park
Scott Crosby
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« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2013, 05:55:15 PM »

The first time I opened mine it took 7 gallons away, but that was for the drivers heat and both big factory main cabin heater cores.  GM 4516
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John316
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« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2013, 06:05:11 PM »

Guys, I am guessing he was low anyways (no offense, Dave, but I am already suspect of your mechanic). It just took 8 gallons to get him where he needed to go.

Dave, if you put the wrong coolant in there, it can basically corrode your engine. Eventually it can throw something it shouldn't, and you need a new engine. You gotta get the right stuff in there. The only thing to that might be (Clifford, and some of the others would know), there are some of the 2 strokes that it isn't a big deal on (wet sleeve vs dry sleeve?). I think most everybody agrees you gotta run "truck" coolant in there.

FWIW

John
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Dave5Cs
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« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2013, 06:12:26 PM »

Wow Purists!... I guess he doesn't want to hear about using only Distilled water either. Don't blame us Dave if Frogs start coming out your tailpipe, It can happen?!..... Grin Shocked Roll Eyes Wink

Dave5Cs
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luvrbus
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« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2013, 06:17:09 PM »

92 series are a little more sensitive than the 71 series but a good green heavy duty antifreeze like the Zerex or Alliance works good just stay away from the WalMart and AutoZone house brands

 Cavitation is not a big problem with the 92 series just keep the system balanced and R/O water has worked for me for years  Roll Eyes there is no need for the designer colored antifreeze and distilled water in the 92 series

good luck  
« Last Edit: September 13, 2013, 06:35:07 PM by luvrbus » Logged

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Lin
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« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2013, 06:25:06 PM »

Okay, 'm sure that a real expert will come through at some point, but it is my understanding that coolant cavitation problems can happen in 4-strokes and 92 series engines; the 71's, not so much.  However, if one uses coolant that is not rated for diesel use, there are additives available like Napa Cool, that change the performance enough to make it safe.

When Don F. refilled my radiators, we used regular extended life coolant that we got at Walmart.  I do not remember the brand, but I'm sure we made a price based decision.  Yes, you really do want to use distilled or otherwise demineralized water.
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luvrbus
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« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2013, 06:41:15 PM »

Extended life antifreeze and the green are 2 different animals read the bottle on the Tech brand at Wal/Mart on the green stuff it says for light duty pickups the stuff is not much
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