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Old 06-16-2020, 12:23 PM   #1
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Location: Stanardsville, Virginia
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Help needed with heaters in Virginia

Anyone in Virginia who is willing to come help me remove my passenger heaters?

I have zero clue what I am doing with valves and hoses and really donít want to kill my bus.
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Old 06-16-2020, 02:02 PM   #2
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passenger heaters are one thing.. but unless you like to bundle up in a fuzzball you should keep the front driver and right-side heat / defrost systems..

the rear heaters you can pull out and loop the lines back together where they come out of the driver box and head towards the back..
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Old 06-16-2020, 02:53 PM   #3
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Well, specifically I have 2 of these bad boys that need to come out. Iím leaving the main heater in the front and the air conditioning in place. Just taking out these passenger heaters.

I donít have any idea how to find shut off valves, what they look like or if I even need to do that. Cutting hoses and combining them shouldnít be an issue.
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Old 06-16-2020, 03:15 PM   #4
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Just pinch off the hoses that go into the heaters so you can take them off without loosing too much coolant. Then connect the two hoses together with something adequate to handle the heat and pressure of the coolant system. It's really very simple, nothing to fret over.
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Old 06-16-2020, 05:48 PM   #5
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The hoses are in the metal "box" that runs over the wheel well. Take all the covers off and follow the hoses up the drivers side heater. Cut them where convievent to put the u bend in. They tend to be 1" inside diameter. So a 1" u bend(180 degree) and two hose clamps which you can salvage off the heaters is what you will need.

I would drain the coolant down a bit, and then once you have each heater loose, hold it up with hoses still on it to drain the antifreeze towards the engine. Then then cut the hoses. this will minimize the mess. Any antifreeze that gets on the floor can(and should be) be washed off .

I am kind of swamped at the moment but about a hour away....
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Old 06-16-2020, 06:40 PM   #6
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I have a 1998 Amtran RE (Rear Engine). In my bus, the engine coolant splits into two loops. One half of the system circulates back through the engine/radiator to regulate the engine temperature.

The other half of the system loops through all the bus heaters with scalding hot coolant. Each bus heater is a box with a coolant inlet and outlet. Inside, it consists of a whole bunch of loops of copper pipe and a fan. When the fan blows across the hot pipes, it transfers heat to the passenger compartment. If you turn the fan on high, it blows a lot of heat. On low or off, it transfers a little heat. After the coolant lines have run through all the heaters, the coolant has a return line back to the engine.

The bus heaters don't get much coolant flow unless you turn on the "heater boost pump." This is a 12 volt water pump that increases the flow of coolant to the bus heaters and is controlled by a switch. On many buses in warm climates, the boost pump failed and was not replaced. As a result, you'll only get a little heat from the bus heaters and defroster.

My bus has two ball valves in the engine compartment, one on the line going to the bus heaters and the other on the return. These are typically used in the summer and when doing any maintenance to the coolant system.

Additionally, I have a lever operated valve near the driver's seat to close off the line and stop coolant circulation. These valves are often defective and will neither fully open nor fully close. They are used to temporarily shut off heat, such as in the fall when you need heat in the morning but it gets hot in the day.

Bus heaters are a simple but highly effective system. My recommendation is you keep as many of the components as possible. When you need to move something, clamp off the lines, move the parts, and put it back together again. Just be aware that air pockets in the system will cause "vapor lock" and prevent your heaters from working. To fix, you'll need to bleed air or forcefully pump coolant through the system to use it again after doing maintenance - a pain but not the end of the world.
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Old 06-16-2020, 07:25 PM   #7
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An easy way to get rid of the heaters is to disconnect them from the floor (with the hoses still attached) then move the heaters a bit forward so you can get some slack in the hoses. Then tie the hoses to the ceiling so that the spot where you cut is held well above the engine; this will prevent the mess and coolant loss. Then connect the two hoses coming from the engine together and you will have removed the heaters.

... only don't use the bit of hose to join the two hoses from the engine. A brass fitting like this will work better:
Rusty 87 build thread
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Old 06-16-2020, 08:06 PM   #8
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My bus had a shut off value for the heater hoses in the engine compartment. I shut it off then took out all my heaters.

It was kind of a messy job because the hoses in the bus all have antifreeze in them so you will get some on the floor. Not that big of a deal if your floor is bare but you will want to make sure you don't have anything that can be damaged but it laying near.

The heater cores(the boxes) are copper and can be recycled for a few bucks.
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Old 06-16-2020, 08:45 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone. I’m probably just paranoid. Lots of good tips here.
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