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Author Topic: Coolant testing procedure help  (Read 1716 times)
Scott & Heather
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« on: October 29, 2017, 12:51:05 PM »

So my coach has been running cool and fine in 90°F heat as of a month ago. I weep a little coolant here and there especially when it's cold out. So I added 3 gallons before we left on our trip out of Texas. Temps today in the upper 60's to low 70's and I'm struggling with heat. Is it possible I've been constantly adding coolant (some 50/50 premix and some just straight concentrate) and have too much coolant and not enough water and I'm getting hotter because of it? I need to test the coolant/water ratio but where can I pick up a coolant tester with a really long pickup tube? Or do you guys just add a longer tube to it and take a sample of your overflow tank? Can I really overheat with too little water and too much coolant concentration? Is that a thing?


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Scott & Heather
1984 MCI 9 6V92-turbo with 9 inch roof raise (SOLD)
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« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2017, 01:20:17 PM »

https://www.amazon.com/Antifreeze-Refractometer-Measuring-Automobile-Condition/dp/B01CQVHTCW/ref=pd_lpo_vtph_469_lp_t_2?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=P1H80Y40WM5V33PKQKM9



you can use anything to get a sample...chopstick or tubing works.





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Donald PH
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« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2017, 02:21:14 PM »

Awesome! I just ordered one. So my question really is if I have an over concentration of coolant, and not enough water, well it actually cause the coach to overheat? Or at least run hotter than it normally does? Only thing that is changed in the last several weeks between it running just fine and now running hot with me adding 3 gallons of straight coolant.


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Scott & Heather
1984 MCI 9 6V92-turbo with 9 inch roof raise (SOLD)
1992 MCI 102C3 8v92-turbo with 8 inch roof raise CURRENT HOME
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« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2017, 03:32:26 PM »

Awesome! I just ordered one. So my question really is if I have an over concentration of coolant, and not enough water, well it actually cause the coach to overheat? Or at least run hotter than it normally does? Only thing that is changed in the last several weeks between it running just fine and now running hot with me adding 3 gallons of straight coolant.


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the one i posted is centigrade... Sad this one is Fahrenheit... https://www.amazon.com/Ade-Advanced-Optics-aaogabf100atc-Refractometer/dp/B00GDH4YCO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1509315716&sr=8-1&keywords=Refractometer++Fahrenheit

you may not care... tho this one shows coolant %.

if you are a prime member (or not) u can return one if it matters...
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Donald PH
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« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2017, 04:22:24 PM »

Yes, it can run hotter if your antifreeze percentage is too high. But it would be 65 to 70 percent or higher of coolant to water. Straight antifreeze doesn't conduct heat as well as straight water, but then you don't get rust or water pump seals protection. Usually, 50-50 is what is commonly used. Man, that would take a lot of straight coolant in a system in your coach to get it that high, but possible. You should also get an IR gun and check temps on rad cores. Maybe they need cleaned or rodded out. Also fan drives, shrouds, etc. If your fans are operated by belts, make sure they aren't slipping. Maybe this problem has been creeping up over time. BTW, IR guns are cheap nowadays. Even harbor freight carries them.
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« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2017, 04:52:53 PM »

Ok so I just figured out what's going on. I have a passenger side cold radiator. Used the temp gun and realized my right Tstat is stuck closed. Probably from sitting in the cold weather for a month. Ugh. How hard is it to do this in the field?


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Scott & Heather
1984 MCI 9 6V92-turbo with 9 inch roof raise (SOLD)
1992 MCI 102C3 8v92-turbo with 8 inch roof raise CURRENT HOME
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« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2017, 05:21:04 PM »

All right I just talked to Clifford on the phone, but I forgot to ask him for NAPA part numbers for my 8V 92 thermostats. Can anybody quickly post those for me? I need a thermostat in the gasket. I'm going to do a field repair on this possibly tomorrow.


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Scott & Heather
1984 MCI 9 6V92-turbo with 9 inch roof raise (SOLD)
1992 MCI 102C3 8v92-turbo with 8 inch roof raise CURRENT HOME
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« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2017, 06:05:12 PM »

All right I just talked to Clifford on the phone, but I forgot to ask him for NAPA part numbers for my 8V 92 thermostats. Can anybody quickly post those for me? I need a thermostat in the gasket. I'm going to do a field repair on this possibly tomorrow.


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Scott - did this on my 692 was pretty straight forward.  A hammer and 1"x4" piece of wood helped me seat them. (There is a special tool for this but the wood and hammer works great) 

I'll see if I can find my post and link it here.

-Sean

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« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2017, 06:10:25 PM »

http://www.herdofturtles.org/2013/02/05/while-your-at-it/

-Sean

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« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2017, 11:26:08 PM »

You might want to test your coolant's SCA's too. Your '92 would be much happier.
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« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2017, 11:30:33 PM »

A coolant test strip will show freeze point along with other things. Read the instructions carefully and test the coolant when it's cool for best results.
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« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2017, 02:22:34 AM »

Thanks guys. Any chance anyone has a NAPA part # for these tstats? I'm going there tomorrow morning.


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Scott & Heather
1984 MCI 9 6V92-turbo with 9 inch roof raise (SOLD)
1992 MCI 102C3 8v92-turbo with 8 inch roof raise CURRENT HOME
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Iceni John
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« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2017, 07:31:20 PM »

When I replaced the thermostats in my 6V92 last year I used
Weir Stat 23503825 thermostats (180°), 5132155 t'stat seals and 5117786 t'stat housing gaskets.   These numbers are also in my Detroit engine parts manual.   I don't know for sure if they are the same for an 8V92, but maybe they are?   Before I installed the thermostats I tested them in hot water, and they both began to move at about 180° F.   (I always test my thermostats and temperature gauges before installing them.)

John
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« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2017, 08:15:16 PM »

   (I always test my thermostats and temperature gauges before installing them.)

John


i definitely test the old ones...often there is nothing wrong with them..
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Donald PH
1978 Model 05 Eagle w/Torsilastic Suspension,8V71 NA, DDAllison on 24.5's 12kw Kubota.
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« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2017, 08:40:45 PM »

Ok got the one side RR'd. Anyone have a trick on getting the tstat housing out from under the DDEC computer tray?


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Scott & Heather
1984 MCI 9 6V92-turbo with 9 inch roof raise (SOLD)
1992 MCI 102C3 8v92-turbo with 8 inch roof raise CURRENT HOME
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« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2017, 08:41:24 PM »

Thanks guys. Maybe my old one was fine but I definitely had something funny going on...


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Scott & Heather
1984 MCI 9 6V92-turbo with 9 inch roof raise (SOLD)
1992 MCI 102C3 8v92-turbo with 8 inch roof raise CURRENT HOME
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« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2017, 08:53:27 PM »

Thanks guys. Maybe my old one was fine but I definitely had something funny going on...


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and that is why i test the old ones too Smiley
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Donald PH
1978 Model 05 Eagle w/Torsilastic Suspension,8V71 NA, DDAllison on 24.5's 12kw Kubota.
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« Reply #17 on: October 31, 2017, 05:48:59 AM »

I do have some pretty interesting corrosion inside the tstat body...hard tiny nodules stuck to the inside that look like tiny welding splatter. Will have to pull the radiators this summer and make sure all is well in them.


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Scott & Heather
1984 MCI 9 6V92-turbo with 9 inch roof raise (SOLD)
1992 MCI 102C3 8v92-turbo with 8 inch roof raise CURRENT HOME
Click link for 900 photos of our 1st bus conversion:
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« Reply #18 on: October 31, 2017, 05:52:59 AM »

Don I just now actually read your post that the Amazon refractometer is in Celsius. Boo lol. It arrives today. I'll swap it out for a Fahrenheit unit.   


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Scott & Heather
1984 MCI 9 6V92-turbo with 9 inch roof raise (SOLD)
1992 MCI 102C3 8v92-turbo with 8 inch roof raise CURRENT HOME
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« Reply #19 on: October 31, 2017, 06:37:19 AM »

I do have some pretty interesting corrosion inside the tstat body...hard tiny nodules stuck to the inside that look like tiny welding splatter. Will have to pull the radiators this summer and make sure all is well in them.


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That is silica drop out from the wrong type antifreeze and not keeping the system balanced
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« Reply #20 on: October 31, 2017, 09:25:23 AM »

Don I just now actually read your post that the Amazon refractometer is in Celsius. Boo lol. It arrives today. I'll swap it out for a Fahrenheit unit.   


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sorry.
i kinda was just illustrating.
back in the day they used to give you one with every drum Smiley
Amazon can afford it, the stock just broke $1000.00
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Donald PH
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« Reply #21 on: October 31, 2017, 12:58:03 PM »

Ok got the one side RR'd. Anyone have a trick on getting the tstat housing out from under the DDEC computer tray?


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Yup, that stumped me too, until I realized there are also two hidden 5/16" bolts on the backside of the DDEC tray.   And don't forget to undo the clamp for the turbo boost sensor as well, but try to not bend its hose too much.

And when you button everything back together, the long 3/8" bolt on the driver's side for the DDEC tray is a royal PIA to get threaded back into the t'stat housing  -  it took me ages until everything lined up right.

John
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« Reply #22 on: October 31, 2017, 09:28:27 PM »

Bummer. I've never messed with the cooling system so this was prior to my ownership. Yikes


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Scott & Heather
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« Reply #23 on: November 01, 2017, 04:34:34 PM »

So now would be a good time to ask Cliff or some other knowledgeable individual how we go about testing the SCA's in our antifreeze. I know I have the right antifreeze, but it hasn't been tested since I purchased the bus which is now going to draw me some more flack. But it sounds like you (Scott) haven't tested yours yet either so I'm not feeling just too bad about it. Mine still runs cool, even when climbing fully loaded and with a toad. But I know it's been mentioned many times on here about pitting the liners and stuff in a wet block if it's not PH'ly correct.  Wink
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« Reply #24 on: November 01, 2017, 07:25:45 PM »

they make filters that dispense and balance SCA ... iirc.

http://www.acustrip.com/sca.html



Too Much SCA

While SCA will protect your system from corrosion and pitting, a lower level will help prevent the buildup of particles that SCAs often cause. This buildup can become loose or flake off the water jacket walls, and because it can be abrasive, it will cause damage to your water pump or even clog certain parts of the cooling system like the heater core. It is recommended to maintain SCA concentrations below 3.0 to avoid this problem (it is best to maintain a lower level and test frequently to maintain a minimum of 1.5). A preventative measure that can be taken to eliminate overly high levels is the use of a coolant filter.

Too Little SCA

The pistons in your engine move up and down about 2,000 times a minute. While they move vertically, the crankshaft is performing a completely different movement by rotating horizontally. These contradictory movements will cause your engine's liners to vibrate a lot. Although the outer wall of the liner is surrounded by cooling fluid, its inertia creates tiny vacuum pockets, causing bubbles of vapor to form on the liner wall. When the liner vibrates back, these bubbles collapse under an enormous pressure and take small chunks out of the liner. Eventually you will have block failure.

To prevent this, a supplemental coolant additive needs to be added to the cooling system and monitored regularly. Basically a chemical concentration of 1.5 - 3.0 UPG (Units Per Gallon) should be maintained in your cooling system at all times. As a point of reference, a one pint bottle of DCA4 additive is equal to five units. A single unit of SCA raises a single gallon of coolant by one unit. So if you have a five gallon coolant system with an SCA reading of 1.2 and you wish to raise it to 2.2, you would add one pint of SCA to your system. You can use the calculator above to determine how much SCA to add in your particular case.



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Donald PH
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« Reply #25 on: November 01, 2017, 11:26:50 PM »

At the very least I think Scott should change out his coolant to the proper diesel stuff. A flush would be nice to do too. I'd would also be good to test the current coolant for combustion gas before changing. Combustion gas leaks can cause weird coolant problems.
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« Reply #26 on: November 02, 2017, 04:13:07 AM »

"Weep a little coolant here and there, added three gallons". Maybe leaks should be addressed.
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« Reply #27 on: November 02, 2017, 06:46:06 AM »

  The test strips are also dated and need to be replaced often,,so when buying make sure you get a current date.>>>Dan
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« Reply #28 on: November 02, 2017, 08:25:10 AM »

Test strips are good but the silica drop out is from silicone that has done the job protecting the engine once the antifreeze is spent it almost impossible to add enough SCA to bring it back to life that is why you change the antifreeze 
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« Reply #29 on: November 02, 2017, 08:33:46 AM »

  Test strips are good but the silica drop out is from silicone that has done the job protecting the engine once the antifreeze is spent it almost impossible to add enough SCA to bring it back to life that is why you change the antifreeze  

     What is the change interval for the antifreeze change, please?   Thanks,  BH
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« Reply #30 on: November 02, 2017, 11:02:16 AM »

Arg. Still running hot.
Going to have to pull the radiators and inspect and if they are clean, water pump is next.


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Scott & Heather
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« Reply #31 on: November 02, 2017, 11:39:28 AM »

Arg. Still running hot.
Going to have to pull the radiators and inspect and if they are clean, water pump is next.


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might as well tank the radiators...
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Donald PH
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« Reply #32 on: November 02, 2017, 11:57:17 AM »

    What is the change interval for the antifreeze change, please?   Thanks,  BH


All depends on the brand and how it is monitored anywhere from 1 to 7 years DD wants it changed every 2 years regardless,Cummins wants the antifreeze tested once a year and replace when the the test is - which is about every 2 to 3 years     
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« Reply #33 on: November 02, 2017, 03:15:48 PM »

Ok, so if indeed I need to clean out these rads, what's the best method? Pull them, fill will vinegar, let sit for a day, then rinse?


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Scott & Heather
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« Reply #34 on: November 02, 2017, 04:39:38 PM »

Detroit used to have a 2 part cleaner.

You used the acid mixture first, then the neutralizer to rinse, you drain all of it into a drum, and at the end it is all neutralized mixed together.

Each powder comes in a gallon plastic jug. Use hot water to mix the powder, dissolves better.

And, HUGE PPE warning! Mono goggles please, you don't want this stuff splashed into your eyes!!!

happy coaching!
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« Reply #35 on: November 02, 2017, 04:43:38 PM »

Thanks! Now to find this stuff...


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Scott & Heather
1984 MCI 9 6V92-turbo with 9 inch roof raise (SOLD)
1992 MCI 102C3 8v92-turbo with 8 inch roof raise CURRENT HOME
Click link for 900 photos of our 1st bus conversion:
https://goo.gl/photos/GVtNRniG2RBXPuXW9
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« Reply #36 on: November 02, 2017, 05:53:38 PM »

Be careful if you have marginal radiators.

Here's one:    https://www.cumminsfiltration.com/south-pacific/cooling-system-cleaners
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« Reply #37 on: November 02, 2017, 07:31:39 PM »

Thanks for that link! I'll be getting some of this stuff. The radiators are in really really good shape from the outside. I had bad radiators on my old MCI 9 and replaced them with new ones so I know the visual differences. The inside may be a different story.


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1992 MCI 102C3 8v92-turbo with 8 inch roof raise CURRENT HOME
Click link for 900 photos of our 1st bus conversion:
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