Bus engine doesn't warm up

I know this is a 4x4 Chevy group, but a motor is a motor and I thought someone here might shed some light on my problem. I drive a school bus. It is a 2004 on an International Harvester frame. When it is
above 32 degrees the heat gauge reads 190. When it is 5, like here today in Wisconsin it wanders between 165-170. All heaters are going full blast and the passenger area never warms up. Removed the thermostat, tested it, tested a new one and put the new one in. Same thing. It's almost like the radiator is too big for this engine in cold weather. Any suggestions on what else to look for and any solutions. Lots of kids will thank you.
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Block part of the radiator. There should be a winter cover made for it.
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Thanks Roy. It already has a "bra" on it.

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Then put some cardboard right against the radiator. Keep a close eye on the temp though.
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I would consider installing a higher temp Tstat too. ALso you need to insulate all the water lines from engine to heater(s) and back because a lot of heat is lost in the lines in cold weather and you want it lost in cab area not under bus or outside the cab. The water returning to engine from insulated lines will be warmer because less heat is lost in path and engine will run warmer and heaters will deliver more heat in cab. I do agree with the carboard on core itself too. When I lived in Montana thay had a terriible time getting heat out of heaters in diesel school buses when it was well below zero. Increasing the hot idle speed will help a bit too because it will burn a bit more fuel and more fuel means more heat to play with. One more thing if engine has a fixed fan on it (no clutch) it will cool it a lot in cold weather just from cold air being blown over engine. ----------------- TheSnoMan.com
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What temperature thermostat are you using? Being it is a 2004, I assume it is a 466 or 444 diesel. If so then jump over to the diesel stop and post your message there. The diesel stop link I have posted is for 7.3l Powerstorke diesel, which is the 444 international diesel.
If it is a gasoline engine then don't bother with TDS.
http://forums.thedieselstop.com/ubbthreads/postlist.php?Cat=&Boardsdrivetrain1
You may consider calling the outfitter (Thomas, Blue Bird, so on) and see what they say.
Good luck, mark
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Thanks for the input. All the buses we own with the Intl chassis and body (ex All American) have the 466 engine and they stay toasty warm. This bus has the VT365, a smaller 215 hp engine.
We did call International and their response had to do with the gate valve for the heater control having a known problem. That effects the heat going to the interior but doesn't answer the question about the block not getting warm.
This afternoon I duct taped the remaining openings in the front. It ran about 190 on my route, but the outside temp was 32. I'll see what it does in the morning when it will be minus 5.
On Tue, 16 Jan 2007 16:50:29 -0500, "r_d"

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International will not know because they just supply a running chassis to the outfitter (American in your case) and they ones who run the heater lines. Post a message to the link below at the diesel stop. It is for the VT365 engine (6.0 Powerstroke engine). Some of the members are ford truck or international mechanics. You may want to let it warm up a little (just showing on the gauge) and feel the hoses leading to the radiator. See which ones are warm or warmer then ambient temperature. This will give you a hint as to where the warm coolant is going when the thermostat is closed. Is this the first season you are having problems or has this been a constant problem. If the bus is new to you, you may consider calling the previous district/school. Maybe they were also having problems....
http://forums.thedieselstop.com/ubbthreads/postlist.php?Cat=&Board 03Drivetrain1
Good luck, mark
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Turns out this bus, which is new to me because I just started there (they said it was cold last winter too), has a BOOST switch. I asked what that was for when I started and they said ignore it. Someone on another forum mentioned that with 100 feet of heater hose the engine wasn't strong enough to push the water that far so it needed to have an auxilliary booster. So I turned the boost on yesterday and the kids begged me to turn the heat down. And taping up the remaining holes got me 20* more temp so it has been running around 190*. I mentioned the boost thing to the boss and he said that was the only bus that had one so they never bothered to figure out what it was. DUH!!!

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EXCELLENT! Nicely done! I guess there is a small electric water heater under there somewhere... Anyway good job.
mark
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What really has impressed me about your question is that you are thinking of the kids.... I remember my bus driver could care less about us in the back freezing. Keep up the good work!
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Laughing. Yeh, I do consider them my paying customers. You give them consideration and respect and you get it back. The big kids read stories to the little kids. It is really a joy to be with them. Glad they are warm now too.
wrote:

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First, the kids should be wearign coats and such designed for the weather. So, if you heat the bus too much, they will sweat. And that's much worse than being dry and cold.
Since the engine temp is dropping, you likely have too much cold air flow over the engine. Also, the hoses from the engine to the heater in the back may need more insulation. Foam wrap is a good idea.
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Christopher A. Young
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