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Old 05-22-2019, 05:25 PM   #1
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Adding engine driven A/C to a 2001 Thomas Saf T Liner MVP-ER

I知 just starting work on adding road A/C to my bus using a donor system from another bus. I already have two 1 ton mini splits which are great when parked but not very effective while driving.

Would you guys be interested in a thread that documents what I learn along the way, what it costs and how it turns out?

If so I値l get things started. I知 also hopeful that I can get advice along the way. I know enough to be dangerous basically.
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Old 05-22-2019, 07:01 PM   #2
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Learn something new everyday, why stop now? Bring it on. We need to get together soon.
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Old 05-22-2019, 08:03 PM   #3
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Dave, I値l definitely be up for that!!! I知 trying to add an engine driven a/c to my C2 but that seems to be a bridge that not too many people cross.
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Old 05-23-2019, 08:14 AM   #4
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Ok, so this all started when TeacherJoe posted that he had a system that he wasn't planning to use. That was a few months ago, but I finally found time to drive from TN to CT to pick the stuff up.

It was a pretty long haul and I put just shy of 2000 miles on my Jeep to get the stuff.

I'll go more specifically through what I picked up, but here are a couple of pictures from when I was loading up.

He had two complete systems and gave me everything related, with the exception of one compressor which he left mounted so he could add dash air to his bus.

I've goat a lot to figure you, such as where I can actually mount the evaporator without it taking up an enormous amount of usable space, but I have some ideas.

When I get a chance my next post will be to look through all the components that I actually have and figure out what they are.
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Old 05-23-2019, 08:23 AM   #5
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im always interested in A/C related threads.. there is one thing I'd change already though and that would be the evaporator... while i know its expensive, if useable space is a real concern, MCC, and ACC are both making Header panel mount evaporators.. (or did you mount a minisplit already in your front header panel?)


the header panel mount evaporators recess into that otherwise useless space above the windshield and only stick out a little.. I got to drive a brand new Bluebird bus with one up front.. was nice n cool in Texas heat..
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Old 05-23-2019, 10:31 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
im always interested in A/C related threads.. there is one thing I'd change already though and that would be the evaporator... while i know its expensive, if useable space is a real concern, MCC, and ACC are both making Header panel mount evaporators.. (or did you mount a minisplit already in your front header panel?)


the header panel mount evaporators recess into that otherwise useless space above the windshield and only stick out a little.. I got to drive a brand new Bluebird bus with one up front.. was nice n cool in Texas heat..

I am interested in a header mount evap ... Estimated cost?
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Old 05-23-2019, 10:55 AM   #7
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Brad the inwall evaporator is right around a grand brand new, that’s for a 50-60k btu.
I can check with my AC contacts for exact pricing if you are more serious about it.
Bus AC brand new isn’t cheap, these dual factory systems in busses that people throw away cost 10k new, of course the street value is near zero for them used. I bid on a broken bus the other day where the DT360 needs inframed but it has dual working AC, I was going to snag the ac and scrap the bus. One of my collector friends wanted it as it’s a Wayne so I backed off. I think the bus sold for 1100. But of course it had the usual ugly evaporators.
You can also custom build dash air into your existing driver enclosures like I did on my DEV bus. That won’t cool a whole busbut for someone like David it’s an option where he still runs his mini splits to cool the family and he has dash air for him driving
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Old 05-23-2019, 10:56 AM   #8
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I haven’t seen David’s dashboard but Thomas did make an evaporator at one time that mounted behind the heater core .. at least for the busses that have the whole row of square dash vents across the front . I thought it was for the MVP ER model.
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Old 05-23-2019, 11:08 AM   #9
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Mine's a T444E powered IH 3800 Bluebird. I believe the engine has a nice convenient place ready for a compressor. I'll poke around the boneyards in my area since I'm not into spending 2K on an AC system if I can get used stuff cheaper. Since this is a short bus but I need cooling for more than just myself, I figure I'll want a minimum of 50K BTU cooling (Of course more is better).


Should I go for a skirt mount, roof mount condenser? What about one in front of the radiator off of a straight-truck?
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Old 05-23-2019, 11:30 AM   #10
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The single 444e bracket is pretty easy to come by. You need the bracket idler and bolt on pulley. My RedByrd has a transair 45k system on it and after I rebuilt it and put bigger motors in the Evan it cools decent up front while people in the back freeze. I wish my evap was up front.. I’m considering buying a header unit for the front then using the current rear unit in my other bus.
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