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Old 05-19-2021, 11:41 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Smile Front defroster thoughts?

Greetings and Salutations

I am doing demolition on my 40' 2003 Bluebird pusher.
Since I am doing a conversion I don't need any of the heaters.
I am worried I might need a defroster/defogger for the windshield.
This would mean removing the heaters and running the coolant lines all the way from the back to the front just for that.

Do I need the front defroster and heater after converting? I am going to drive it around, I live in Washington State. Part of me thinks if the air in the bus isn't humid then I shouldn't have condensation when driving and thus not need a defroster? Is this thinking sound?

Basically, if the defroster isn't needed and there is a great workaround I would love to just remove the tubes and be done with it.

What has worked for other people?
Do people just close the loop and not use the defroster?
Are there other well-known work arounds? I could buy a small diesel heater and mount it in the undercarriage and have it output to the existing defroster vents?

Any help and experience would be most appreciated.
Thank you!!!

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Old 05-19-2021, 12:00 PM   #2
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The defroster I would consider essential. Without it when you get weather that fogs up your windshield you won't be able to drive, and will be stuck wherever you are waiting for the weather to change. Or worse yet you will drive anyway and get someone hurt. Don't underestimate how important it is to be able to see where you are going.
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Old 05-19-2021, 12:08 PM   #3
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Just a thought - but could you leave the defrost vents in-place on the dash and hook up ducts from your heat source?
I.e. if using a diesel heater, could you duct the heat up through the dash so you still have defrost capabilities if needed?

I took out all heaters EXCEPT for the defrost unit, but I have front engine so don't have to worry about the coolant lines running the length of the bus.
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Old 05-19-2021, 01:02 PM   #4
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Do you find your windshield fogs up and you need to use your defroster?
I'm 95% sure I will keep the coolant lines but for some reason, my brain is telling me humidity might not be a problem when driving if the rest of the bus is already climate controlled??
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Old 05-19-2021, 01:04 PM   #5
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Quick defroster poll

Who here has done a full conversion and do you end up using your defroster?
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Old 05-19-2021, 01:07 PM   #6
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I really like the idea of leaving the vents and hooking up the diesel heater to it.

It would most likely be less trouble than unhooking the coolant lines making a channel for them under the carriage not in the cabin, insulating them and then re-hooking them back up.
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Old 05-19-2021, 01:10 PM   #7
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As long as there's heat, of some kind, inside the bus you should be fine with a fan like the coach and transit buses use. Like this, in our MCI. The switches are, usually, labeled "defrost fan" even...so it's an intended use. If the bus is so cold inside that a fan won't work, then you're probably not driving it around.

photo_2021-05-19 11.08.01.jpeg
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Old 05-19-2021, 01:14 PM   #8
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We are still building so we don't have any real-world defrost experience with the bus, but I can say when we lived in our Tacoma I used the defrost in almost every state, not always heated but definitely helped to have some air up on the windows. (the Taco might fog us worse than a bus, not sure there)

Are the coolant lines currently under the bus?
Removing my lines wasn't as hard as I thought it would be, just VERY dirty, more than anything else in the demolition for sure.
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Old 05-19-2021, 02:10 PM   #9
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bear Gerschafer View Post
We are still building so we don't have any real-world defrost experience with the bus, but I can say when we lived in our Tacoma I used the defrost in almost every state, not always heated but definitely helped to have some air up on the windows. (the Taco might fog us worse than a bus, not sure there)

Are the coolant lines currently under the bus?
Removing my lines wasn't as hard as I thought it would be, just VERY dirty, more than anything else in the demolition for sure.
The coolant lines run through the cabin except at the emergency exit door.
So if I decide to keep the front defrost I need to run the lines under the carriage.

This could mean as it passes the wheels (not in the cabin but underneath) I would be attaching them to the top of wheel wells near the tires. This would mean making a raceway to protect them for the short distance they cut through the wheel well.
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Old 05-19-2021, 06:13 PM   #10
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Wheel well and coolant hoses

Do not. The skin coming off a tire will take out you heater hose and that means engine coolant loss also. If you don’t notice it in time, then you have an overheated engine, shredded tire, no defroster and damaged cooling system to take care.

The hoses are a bit more protected running along the frame rails. Go inboard of wheel wells right next to the frame.

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Old 05-19-2021, 06:48 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chromaglow View Post
the rest of the bus is already climate controlled??
How is the rest of the bus climate controlled while driving?
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Old 05-19-2021, 09:03 PM   #12
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Keep your defroster
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Old 05-19-2021, 09:19 PM   #13
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49 CFR 571.103 S 4.1 “Each vehicle shall have a windshield defrosting and defogging system.” It is a federally required safety devise do not remove it. It is getting hard to insure these conversions as it is please don’t give the insurance companies any more excuses.
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Old 05-19-2021, 10:27 PM   #14
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Defroster plan

Great news everybody,
I have devised a plan to keep the factory defroster. I really appreciate everyone chiming in. I am going to build a raceway over the tubes in the cabin and add other water, electrical, and data cables inside. It will be partially built into the floor and thus appear to be smaller than it really is. Again thanks for the help!!!
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Old 05-19-2021, 10:29 PM   #15
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Keep your defroster. I have the same bus and routed my lines using new hoses underneath in the same way you were planning. I put a steel protection barrier even though the hoses are up high and away from the tread path. I also insulated the full length of both hoses. It wasn't easy to go inside the chassis and then come back out. The fuel tank and spare tire up front are in the way. (There were other obstacles by going on the inside of the frame at the engine side). I didn't want to keep the lines inside the bus although it would have been much easier. My thought process is that even with a new hose, if it were to develop a leak, I would be hard pressed to find it once the build is done and at that point, I would just bypass the defroster and go with another avenue.
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Old 05-20-2021, 12:18 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chromaglow View Post
Great news everybody,
I have devised a plan to keep the factory defroster. I really appreciate everyone chiming in. I am going to build a raceway over the tubes in the cabin and add other water, electrical, and data cables inside. It will be partially built into the floor and thus appear to be smaller than it really is. Again thanks for the help!!!
You are going to want to replace the hoses eventually also. You kids think 10 years from now is forever. In 10 years you will be thinking "why didn't I plan for the future?"


I seriously would not run the radiator/heater hoses in the cabin for any reason. They can leak, also.
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Old 05-26-2021, 03:48 PM   #17
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I built a 5kw diesel heater into our dash. I kept the controls for operating the various ducts and vents, and it does a good job not only with defrost, but also heat for the front of the bus.
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Old 05-26-2021, 04:31 PM   #18
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I live in Wa too for now and live in my bus, its about 85% done. I kept my front defroster heater core intact and even put back in one of my underseat heaters for when driving in cold climates i can heat up the inside without having to use my diesel heater driving. Also after owning many VW vanagons i know how valuable the heaters are for summertime driving and dumping heat from the radiator by turning in on while driving up mountain passes when the temp starts to rise. I did this a lot in the bus last summer while traveling, even though my busses cooling system works great as of now its nice to have a backup. Good luck on your build! @raventhebus
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Old 05-26-2021, 04:54 PM   #19
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Oh, I can help with this one! To those saying pull the defrost and put a diesel heater in BussyMcBusface did this and ended up cracking their windshield. It's a fine line you need to walk by having enough heat but not too much.

As far as pulling heaters and keeping the defrost working we ran new lines down the middle of the bus from our engine to the front. Sorry for the Instagram link but it's the easiest way to show you.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CF8CFZzh...dium=copy_link
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Old 05-26-2021, 08:08 PM   #20
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I kept all heat A/C when I did my conversion, a pain to work around but damn glad I did so. We have driven in all extremes, no problem with comfort. I also have a hot air diesel heater like you mentioned as a suggestion. I drove Mercedes-Benz busses in Germany and these had diesel fired heat. Worked whether driving or not. You might regret not having warmed air on front window while driving??
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