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 Cold weather and idling
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Dvorak
Senior Member

United States
52 Posts

Posted - 11/26/2013 :  05:28:13 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Our district has an anti-idling policy of not more than 5 minutes in "normal" conditions. Most of that policy was put into place because of the obvious fuel costs and the pollution concerns, especially near the school buildings. It's my belief that we should increase that to a max of 10 minutes at high idle to make sure everything's well lubricated and warmed up especially in colder weather. We're in Minnesota and our anti-idling policy becomes invalid only when the temps are below zero. What do you guys have as idling policies and are there any cold-temp cut offs?

Fastback
Top Member

954 Posts

Posted - 11/26/2013 :  05:40:36 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ours is a 7 minute limit with an exception for "extreme weather conditions" "when its below 30 degrees F and the purpose is to warm the interior of the bus"

I would add that our buses are parked in the open(so many times we have glass to clear) at school building sites and we use 5W-40 oil year around.

Why yes, the ORIGinal CHARGER is a Fastback

Edited by - Fastback on 11/26/2013 05:43:56 AM
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bwest
Administrator

United States
2266 Posts

Posted - 11/26/2013 :  06:42:04 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here I go again but, my propane unit can idle for 5 minutes and be a lot warmer than my diesels ever thought about being. Just another advantage.

You might think about changing your block heater to a higher wattage. I know ours are 1500 and I have always said if they were more the coolant would be warmer to start with. I know the 1500s make a difference as opposed to not having them on at all. My drivers make that comment all the time.

Bryan
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Fastback
Top Member

954 Posts

Posted - 11/26/2013 :  12:08:27 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The inefficiencies of the spark ignition engine are celebrated at the heater core...

Why yes, the ORIGinal CHARGER is a Fastback
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bwest
Administrator

United States
2266 Posts

Posted - 11/26/2013 :  8:35:46 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Fastback

The inefficiencies of the spark ignition engine are celebrated at the heater core...



Never thought of it that way before. I guess the old Detroit 8.2 fuel pinchers I used to have were really efficient, they never wormed up in the winter. lol The kids especially like it when a skating rink formed under their seat.

Bryan
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second.flood
Advanced Member

USA
346 Posts

Posted - 11/27/2013 :  05:05:30 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We idle 10 minutes or less, although this is not policed at all.

bwest, how many propane units do you have and how often do you change spark plugs?

Memories of a propane fleet and the labor required for routine pm's gives me a headache.

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Fastback
Top Member

954 Posts

Posted - 11/27/2013 :  06:03:01 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by bwest

quote:
Originally posted by Fastback

The inefficiencies of the spark ignition engine are celebrated at the heater core...



Never thought of it that way before. I guess the old Detroit 8.2 fuel pinchers I used to have were really efficient, they never wormed up in the winter. lol The kids especially like it when a skating rink formed under their seat.



Bought a couple of used buses out of Springfield, Illinois years ago. One of the things I remember most was no plywood floors, it was a cold slip and slide on the frosty floors.....do your buses today have plywood floors?

Why yes, the ORIGinal CHARGER is a Fastback
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bwest
Administrator

United States
2266 Posts

Posted - 11/27/2013 :  06:20:55 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by second.flood

We idle 10 minutes or less, although this is not policed at all.

bwest, how many propane units do you have and how often do you change spark plugs?

Memories of a propane fleet and the labor required for routine pm's gives me a headache.





I have one and it has 58k on it. The only engine problems I've had was injectors at about 40k. They cost right at $175 each. (The bus I just ordered with the Ford engine would have been covered under warranty) I have not checked the plugs, they are suppose to last over 100k.

Bryan
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bwest
Administrator

United States
2266 Posts

Posted - 11/27/2013 :  06:24:27 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Fastback

quote:
Originally posted by bwest

quote:
Originally posted by Fastback

The inefficiencies of the spark ignition engine are celebrated at the heater core...



Never thought of it that way before. I guess the old Detroit 8.2 fuel pinchers I used to have were really efficient, they never wormed up in the winter. lol The kids especially like it when a skating rink formed under their seat.



Bought a couple of used buses out of Springfield, Illinois years ago. One of the things I remember most was no plywood floors, it was a cold slip and slide on the frosty floors.....do your buses today have plywood floors?



You know, to be perfectly honest with you, I don't know. I haven't given that much thought. I'm embarassed to say I don't think it's on our specs., so I guess plywood wouldn't be on them unless it was. I guess that would make a difference though. The problem I had with the old 8.2s were that you had to be pulling a hill with the wind headed toward you to get it to work enough to heat up. lol

Bryan
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Fastback
Top Member

954 Posts

Posted - 11/27/2013 :  09:05:59 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Plywood floors have been required in Iowa for many years, if Illinois also now requires them, you would not need to have it in your specs.

Why yes, the ORIGinal CHARGER is a Fastback
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bwest
Administrator

United States
2266 Posts

Posted - 11/27/2013 :  12:49:28 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Fastback

Plywood floors have been required in Iowa for many years, if Illinois also now requires them, you would not need to have it in your specs.



That's what I was thinking. I'll have to check out of curiosity. Hope you have a great Turkey Day Fastback!!

Bryan
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second.flood
Advanced Member

USA
346 Posts

Posted - 11/27/2013 :  1:11:36 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I spec 5/8ths marine grade plywood.
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second.flood
Advanced Member

USA
346 Posts

Posted - 11/27/2013 :  1:28:32 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wow! They sure have improved the plugs then! I was told you still change them at 30,000 miles.

It sounds like you are our tester for the Roush Propane system here on SBF.

Maybe soon I can be the Lion guinea pig.




quote:
Originally posted by bwest

quote:
Originally posted by second.flood

We idle 10 minutes or less, although this is not policed at all.

bwest, how many propane units do you have and how often do you change spark plugs?

Memories of a propane fleet and the labor required for routine pm's gives me a headache.





I have one and it has 58k on it. The only engine problems I've had was injectors at about 40k. They cost right at $175 each. (The bus I just ordered with the Ford engine would have been covered under warranty) I have not checked the plugs, they are suppose to last over 100k.

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C.HARDY
Advanced Member

350 Posts

Posted - 11/28/2013 :  06:14:22 AM  Show Profile  Click to see C.HARDY's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
I would think plugs would last twice as long with propane. We used to run our 8.2s in 3rd gear around town to get them warm. Loved those engines but not in cold weather..

"Hardybusman"
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bluebirdvision
Top Member

USA
992 Posts

Posted - 11/28/2013 :  08:10:31 AM  Show Profile  Click to see bluebirdvision's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
oil changes last longer in a propane bus as well because the oil stays cleaner. General Motors uses iridium plugs which lasted 150,000 miles in my Buick before i started having a slight skip and had them changed.

Back on topic, I idle my bus for 30 minutes, but I have noticed these Thomases do not warm up until the bus is driven down the road, so it doesn't help much.

Shane Kirley
New York Bus Sales Delivery Driver. (I know its not much, but its a start)


Facebook Page: Blue Bird Corporation Fans
https://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_212311114614&ap=1


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offroadwolf1
Active Member

33 Posts

Posted - 12/11/2013 :  05:42:11 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here we have a diesel idling ordinance in effect when the days reach over 90 degrees. Because of the high temps we have its only in effect during these times. But ressearch the ordinances in your areas. Our diesel idling ordinance does not apply in the case of vehicle repair or maintenance, and the longer idling time is required for passenger comfort. This means school buses and public trasit buses do not have to meet the diesel ordinance when the bus is being heated or cooled for passenegr comfort. Just my two cents.
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wcfpusher
New Member

2 Posts

Posted - 12/18/2013 :  10:51:46 AM  Show Profile  Visit wcfpusher's Homepage  Reply with Quote
we idle as long as needed...keeping the children and driver warm is more important than an extra few minutes of fuel consumption. And yes its better for the bus to warm everything up to proper operating temps.
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wlanphier
New Member

5 Posts

Posted - 04/25/2014 :  1:25:38 PM  Show Profile  Visit wlanphier's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I have been considering going to 5w 40 and was wondering if it is an issue with Cummins or IC on warranty?
quote:
Originally posted by bwest

Here I go again but, my propane unit can idle for 5 minutes and be a lot warmer than my diesels ever thought about being. Just another advantage.

You might think about changing your block heater to a higher wattage. I know ours are 1500 and I have always said if they were more the coolant would be warmer to start with. I know the 1500s make a difference as opposed to not having them on at all. My drivers make that comment all the time.

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Fastback
Top Member

954 Posts

Posted - 04/25/2014 :  1:42:18 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by wlanphier

I have been considering going to 5w 40 and was wondering if it is an issue with Cummins or IC on warranty?



No issues with 5W-40. Its on both ICs and Cummins recommended viscosity charts. We have used it year around in all our diesels since 2005, including a 190,000 mile 6.0 Powerstroke that still has its original injectors.

Why yes, the ORIGinal CHARGER is a Fastback
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