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Old 01-16-2008, 10:49 PM   #21
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Re: 1985 Blue Bird 'Micro Bird'

you probably don't have a shut off valve on your rear heater, which is fairly common. Get yourself a few hose connectors, they look like this and a few feet of hose. (2 pieces, one to loop the hoses and one to loop the heater itself) with a cold engine remove your radiator cap to release any pressure. Leave the cap off, remove the hose clamps from your heater connections, now remove the first hose (it might be baked on there due to time-heat etc. and be easier to cut off then pull off, what helps to pull it off is warming the rubber up first with a heat gun, hairdryer, torch or what ever you have.) and quickly connect the extra pieces of hose and hold it up. (make sure you got the right size )You want loose to much fluid if you hurry up. maybe have a second pair of hands handy. Remove the other hose and connect the two. Now remove or move your "hated heater".
If you wanna get rid of the heater all together, just loop from one inlet to the other in your engine compartment. Looks like you could just use a hose connector and some hose clamps on these 2 hoses.
I would not worry about removing the hoses under the truck, just loop them together too, then they are there and ready to be used again if you decide down the road that you do need a heater.
Tip: if you park your Bus on a downhill slope to do this procedure your heater in the back will probably be higher then the radiator and you want loose that much fluid.
When all done fill your rad with 50/50 (thats for us in the cold Canadian north, you might be ok with 75/25 mixture) water / antifreeze and tighten the radcap, fill the expansion container to the cold line and start your engine. Check for leaks. after the first drive you might need to refill some antifreeze mixture.

Good luck and happy converting.

add on: the most fluid loss will be coming out of the heater core, so if you are able to remove the bolts that hold the heater do that first. make sure you got them all so that the heater is free to move. Then when you disconnect the hoses simply put the heater on its back so the inlets are facing the ceiling.
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Old 01-16-2008, 10:57 PM   #22
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Re: 1985 Blue Bird 'Micro Bird'

A pair of radiator hose pinching pliers will go a long ways. They will clamp off the line and save you from getting leaks without doing damage. Mine are Snap-On, but I know there are cheaper ones out there.

These are $23.70 on Snap-On's website....

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Old 01-17-2008, 12:13 AM   #23
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Re: 1985 Blue Bird 'Micro Bird'

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShortBus
experience03, I truly appreciate your guide to the leaf springs, but I don't think it's something I can do myself.
I'd do it for you if you lived closer, but that's not the case. Convince my boss to give me a weekend off and I'll come do it for you. How about that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShortBus
I'm thinking about bringing the bus into my mechanic sometime this spring so he can look the whole thing over and give it a tune-up. He works for about $20/hr which isn't too bad for mechanics these days (most of the ones around here are $60/hr+.) Perhaps I will get a quote from Husky Spring and compare the two, thank you for the recommendation!
It's a good idea to have your guy do it. Husky Spring is capable of doing the swap for you, but just have your guy do it. However, you're going to need new springs and Husky is still a great place to source them from. They will ship them if you want. I just can't imagine that the springs will be cheaper from a dealer or parts store. Like I said before, they can rebuild your current pack as well. Every leaf they reuse is a few bucks less you have to spend.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShortBus
I definitely want to get rid of the heater all-together, if it would have been a normal seat it would be in the junkyard as we speak. Where do you guys think a good spot would be to disconnect the hoses at?
I'd just do it under the hood. The less extra plumbing you have the better.

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Why would I need to buy a few feet of hose if I'm just looping the hoses already there together, wouldn't one hose connector and two clamps be all I'd need, or am I missing something? Equally stupid question: are the radiator hose pliers supposed to be used to pinch a hose while you're cutting it, if so would it be better to have two of them?
Yes, you could probably get away with just one fitting. Just make sure the hoses don't collapse. A pair of those pliers would be ideal. Regular vice grips also work well. Just wrap a rag around the jaws to keep them from damaging the hose. I just really like the pliers I have, but it might be tough to justify the cost for a one time deal. I'm using mine all the time.
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Old 02-24-2008, 07:59 PM   #24
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Re: 1985 Blue Bird 'Micro Bird'

I just looped mine together. Being that you are removing it in the engine compartment why don't you just remove the hoses as well? The coolant level will drain down when you disconnect in the engine compartment, but I'd still expect to see some of the green stuff inside too. It's just nature of the beast. Some towels will make short work of it and ethylene glycol is water soluble so you can just clean it up with a wet rag. It will not leave a mess.

On the other hand you could leave it connected in the engine compartment and then just loop it in the passenger compartment. This is what I did knowing that I would like to add hydronic baseboard heaters or some other heat source based on engine coolant at some day. Heck, maybe I could even tie it into a boiler that would serve as a block heater of sorts as well.

Make sure you top off the cooling system after you do the surgery. Run the engine long enough to get up to operating temperature with the radiator cap off. It's going to bubble out the air, but eventually the thermostat is going to open. When it does you will see coolant pumping out and getting ready to geyser out of the fill tube. Screw the cap back on, turn off the engine, and top off the overflow tank. Best of luck.
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Old 03-11-2008, 09:59 PM   #25
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Re: 1985 Blue Bird 'Micro Bird'

The cap turns that first half a turn to a pressure release position. To actually remove it you will have to push down on it fairly hard and continue turning. Sometimes they can be a real bear, but it should come off. The overflow tank really isn't going to do you much good when it comes to bleeding that thing out. When I was talking about bleeding basically I was just saying that you are going to want the whole system filled. Air makes a pretty poor coolant in a water jacket.
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Old 03-11-2008, 11:49 PM   #26
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Re: 1985 Blue Bird 'Micro Bird'

I used the barbed style plastic fittings to do mine, but the factory used copper fittings to connect the rubber hoses for what it's worth.
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Old 03-14-2008, 04:34 PM   #27
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Re: 1985 Blue Bird 'Micro Bird'

also handy in the summer on long hill climbs when your engine begins to overheat. Turning on both heaters inside the bus will help remove a lot of heat energy from the motor.
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Old 03-14-2008, 06:26 PM   #28
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Re: 1985 Blue Bird 'Micro Bird'

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShortBus
In the meantime, does anyone have any advice for safely clipping the wires going to the old heater?
As long as the fan's are off (turn the ignition off to be safe) the wires wont have any power going to them. Just clip them and put electrical tape on the ends (where you see bare wire) then if you accidentally turn on the rear fans nothing will happen. I'd leave the wires in place.. down the road if you ever wanted something 12volts back there (fan, light, ect..) you already have wires & switches to run it.

12Volts wont hurt ya anyway. It's not like handling live 110 (house) wires. Worse thing that'd happen if the wires were live and you cut them is if they touch metal (ground) they'd spark and blow a fuse or ckt breaker.

Also both wires are most likely + wires (one for low and one for hi) the heater usually grounds through the body of the bus. Thats how my bus was, I found that out when I mounted my heater in my wooden closet and the fans didn't wok.
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Old 03-15-2008, 12:49 AM   #29
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Re: 1985 Blue Bird 'Micro Bird'

I can't tell you specifically what's going to work on your floor other than a lot of elbow grease. It's tough work, but I'm sure you'll find a trick.

As far as painting the floor the only option really is to roll it on. I spot painted a few parts of my floor with a spray can and even that was tiring and expensive. The roller was so fast and left a really nice coat. I didn't actually use Rustoleum, but rather an industrial oil based metal primer. It was cheaper than Rustoleum and has held up great so I can only surmise that there is no need to pay the extra for the "professional" stuff.
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Old 03-31-2008, 11:36 PM   #30
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Re: 1985 Blue Bird 'Micro Bird'

Looks like the floor coating went down well. Are you going to caulk the holes in the floor? What about the metal skin under the windows, are you going to peek behind there for rust? Just asking because I am just to be on the safe side.

Re your heater, I'm not sure what you could get from it, maybe call your local auto salvage yard??
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