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Old 03-25-2016, 05:36 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
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Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International S3800
Engine: DT360
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
anyone install and run Dash air?

in my last project I did a complete custom job for dash air / refrigerated Defrosters.. but wondered if anyone else has done this or if there are easier ways than completely designing a system for running A/C off the engine for the driver compartment out on the road...

and in areas like the north where you may have people in your coach you need to keep the windows clear.. (in a car the A/C does the trick) if its cold or raining..

what have you guys done for dash air if anything?
-Christopher
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Old 03-25-2016, 05:55 PM   #2
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Well... most of us like the KISS theory. If the windows are foggy and you have a bunch of people, hand then some towels.
Where you at anyway?
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Old 03-25-2016, 06:39 PM   #3
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Unless the bus is equipped with A/C, retrofitting everything isn't going to be easy.

If you have a Type 'D' FE bus finding space in the dog house for the compressor and all of the parts and pieces is going to be a real challenge.

If you have a Type 'D' RE bus you are going to spend a small fortune in hose/piping and R134a to make the system work. It is a long way from the dashboard to the "front" of the engine where the compressor will be mounted.

If you have a Type 'C' bus finding space to mount the compressor shouldn't be too much of a problem and the plumbing runs will be minimal.

Regardless of the type of bus, you will most likely have to install a different bottom pulley in order to get a place to run the drive belt for the compressor. You may not have enough room to put a pulley that can turn more belts so you will have to end up having to fabricate a pulley to go onto the alternator or air compressor to drive the compressor belt.

If you really need A/C it would be much easier and much less expensive to figure out a way in which to run the roof A/C units or the basement A/C while running down the road and duct some of the cold air to the driver's compartment and dashboard.
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Old 03-25-2016, 07:15 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
Unless the bus is equipped with A/C, retrofitting everything isn't going to be easy.

If you have a Type 'D' FE bus finding space in the dog house for the compressor and all of the parts and pieces is going to be a real challenge.

If you have a Type 'D' RE bus you are going to spend a small fortune in hose/piping and R134a to make the system work. It is a long way from the dashboard to the "front" of the engine where the compressor will be mounted.

If you have a Type 'C' bus finding space to mount the compressor shouldn't be too much of a problem and the plumbing runs will be minimal.

Regardless of the type of bus, you will most likely have to install a different bottom pulley in order to get a place to run the drive belt for the compressor. You may not have enough room to put a pulley that can turn more belts so you will have to end up having to fabricate a pulley to go onto the alternator or air compressor to drive the compressor belt.

If you really need A/C it would be much easier and much less expensive to figure out a way in which to run the roof A/C units or the basement A/C while running down the road and duct some of the cold air to the driver's compartment and dashboard.
my last bus I did some serious custom conversion for dash air... it was a ton of work... under the hood was easy I had a 454 chevy so HotRod air had parts ready to go for chevy big block.. making lines is easy I have the tools for that.. the evaporator set ups were the toughest... I did a closed loop Dual TxV type system which worked well but lots of fab and test and tune to get it right...

do factory air conditioned busses have A/C coils in the defrosters(like cars or light trucks do?)..

or is windshield defrosting just hot driver faces and little round fans when running full of people like in non A/C units?

-Christopher
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Old 03-25-2016, 07:52 PM   #5
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If the chassis under the bus had factory in dash A/C as an option it might have factory dash A/C if the bus has A/C. These would be typically be found in cut-away chassis like Type 'A' buses and commercial buses with cut-away chassis (cut-away is defined as having a driver's door).

Type 'C' and Type 'D' buses that have A/C have coach type A/C systems that have evaporators throughout the bus. The condensers are either skirt mounted or roof mounted with electric fans to move the air through the condenser to make them work. They rarely have in dash A/C vents. In fact, they rarely have much A/C going to the driver's compartment. Even very expensive motorcoaches that have coach A/C rarely have A/C vents in the dash or blowing anywhere very close to the driver. Which can become a very warm problem if you are heading south or west into the sun on a hot summer's day--all that glass up front can get things really warm at the very front and if you run the A/C to keep it cool in the driver's compartment it can get fairly cold in the back of the bus.
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Old 03-25-2016, 08:13 PM   #6
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yeah thats what I ran into before as the A/C was in the upper rear and I like to roast in the front in summer and in cold rainy weather same issue.. I roasted to keep the windows defrosted.. or I got the controls wet by opening the drivers window...

so I custom fabricated a dashboard cooling / defrost system and it was a ton of work and bus-specific... was hoping there was an easier way than a custom fab again but sounds like not.. im pretty good at mobile HVAC so I'll likely do another custom fab-up. I was just thinking there was another way..

my bus will be a "classic" style school bus.. the kind with a hood and engine up front.. not a flat front or pusher...

the compressor and condensor are pretty easy since most of the chassis were also pretty standard to the box truck using the same drivetrain.. of course the dashboards were very different on the truck version and the bus so evaporators are the tough part...

-Christopher
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Old 03-25-2016, 09:06 PM   #7
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after doing research about putting dash (driving, engine powered) AC in my 97 bus, I bought another bus with factory AC because it was cheaper which is why my 97 is for sale
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Old 11-28-2016, 05:11 PM   #8
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Year: 1997
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dash a/c

97 dodge 3500 accessory bracket and vintage air gen 4 street rod system from summit racing installing on 97 blue bird front engine cummins just baught e weeks ago
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Old 11-28-2016, 08:23 PM   #9
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Join Date: May 2009
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I posted about my old-old bus a few back.. but since then ive installed custom Dash air in my carpenter bus.. ProAir LLC evaporator / heater I fabbed into the original driver heater biox and ducted.. red-dot Compressor bracket for DT-360 and a selttec TM-16 runs my dash and rear coil.. under bus condenser..

soon im going to fit an underdash Jeep YJ evaporator unit in my RedByrd bus as it's compressor and condnesor have plenty of capacity..

-Christopher
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Old 08-08-2017, 04:27 AM   #10
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I have a 1998 international 3800 amtran with a dt-466 allison by the way

Think i fried the alternator again? I had only had the bus running for no mor than a few minutes if that. I guess im still running of the batteries smh
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