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Old 07-20-2021, 08:36 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Milwaukee, WI
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Year: 1993
Coachwork: THOMAS
Chassis: 3800 series
Engine: DT360, Spicer 5 speed manual
Rated Cap: 72
Factory bus wiring help, and heater questions

Hello, I couldn't really find an answer so I'm making a new post. Mostly electrical related but this goes along with the coolant heater core.
Question 1 here is, Can the control panel be removed completely and then whatever I am keeping just run new wires and switch to the existing items outside of the control panel, I dont see why not since it has a main power terminal which looks like that's feeding the panel itself. I'm including pictures along with what I'm talking about. Is there anything I need to keep in that control panel? Theres a big relay in there. And I was reading up about no start situation when removing electrical items, I dont believe it has a "vandalock" system (1993 thomas bus) because there are no emergency exits besides the rear door and it starts when it's open and disconnected.
I would like to just remove all that wiring mess in there besides marking off certain wires I'm going to keep, and rewire my own switches and fuses.
Question 2 is, the heater unit box underneath the control panel. I would remove the control panel completely on top of it and build a smaller new one. Most likely from wood or even sheet metal. I would keep the heater unit underneath but remove the rear heater, the one that would be under a seat. Do the lines need to be looped or just capped off? And is the coolant pump (which I've never tried) need to be there or can that be removed as well? Or Should I be keeping that in there? I wanted to remove the whole thing from the front lines so I could sand and repaint the unit before reinstalling because its rusty at the the bottom.
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Old 07-20-2021, 08:50 PM   #2
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I think the answer is yes

You could solder a cap on those TEE fittings and be one less likely leak point. I have seen rubber caps get blown off when coolant system pressure goes out of sight. Hot coolant inside the cab could get ugly.

I kept all my heaters in my bus... I even added one to the fire wall

I pulled out all of the stuff to the left of driver and redid all that was there... mind you 1954 school bus had less stuff, now it has almost as much as yours..

I have fans fans and more fans, three heaters, two air conditioners two compressors etc.

I moved the pedals, steering column, and drivers seat to the left several inches so that I could put a co pilot seat up front.

I added a heater booster pump... more than the water pump on the engine could deal with.

sounds like you know what you are getting into.

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Old 07-22-2021, 08:08 PM   #3
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Yeah I'm only removing the rear heater because itll be in the way, I'm doing a toy hauler conversion. Soldering caps on would be the best idea I've heard because I've dealt with those rubber caps dry rotting and cracking off within a year on another vehicle.
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Old 07-22-2021, 08:38 PM   #4
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I would recommend that you discard those T's and just install NEW properly sized metal splices in the hoses. I pulled three heaters out of my bus and simply installed metal splices from the local ACE hardware.


I've also pulled tons (okay literally several hundred pounds) of wire and cable out of my bus. I am a former ASE certified mechanic in electrical systems and it was more of a physical challenge than anything. The trick is take your time, make sure the circuit you're removing isn't critical, disconnect it and verify that the rig still functions, then tag it and go to the next circuit. Do a few then pull the wires.


I wouldn't "rewire" anything existing unless there is a problem such as worn insulation, broken wires, etc. no good reason to mess with it. Relocating panel locations is another matter and there are a lot of opportunities and good reasons to relocate control panels in these buses.
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Old 07-23-2021, 07:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HamSkoolie View Post
I would recommend that you discard those T's and just install NEW properly sized metal splices in the hoses. I pulled three heaters out of my bus and simply installed metal splices from the local ACE hardware.


I've also pulled tons (okay literally several hundred pounds) of wire and cable out of my bus. I am a former ASE certified mechanic in electrical systems and it was more of a physical challenge than anything. The trick is take your time, make sure the circuit you're removing isn't critical, disconnect it and verify that the rig still functions, then tag it and go to the next circuit. Do a few then pull the wires.


I wouldn't "rewire" anything existing unless there is a problem such as worn insulation, broken wires, etc. no good reason to mess with it. Relocating panel locations is another matter and there are a lot of opportunities and good reasons to relocate control panels in these buses.
Sounds like a plan thanks, I'll buy some 90 elbows I'd hate to have a capped off Tee fail. And for the wiring I didnt mean like actually rewiring just removing what I dont need after I figure out wiring and then leaving what I'm gonna keep in it.
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Old 07-24-2021, 12:51 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Kenny7 View Post
Sounds like a plan thanks, I'll buy some 90 elbows I'd hate to have a capped off Tee fail. And for the wiring I didnt mean like actually rewiring just removing what I dont need after I figure out wiring and then leaving what I'm gonna keep in it.

From the pictures it looks like you can eliminate the T's with straight splices. Not sure why you'd need 90's.
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Old 07-24-2021, 10:58 AM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Because I'm eliminating the rear under seat heater. I would need a 90 in there to use the heater core inside that box pictured. It feeds the drivers side defrost, side & under seat heat (floor) and then used to feed a air duct that ran the length to the wheel well for heat. Which is why I dont feel the rear heater I'm removing will be necessary.
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Old 07-24-2021, 05:04 PM   #8
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It's hard to tell in pictures some times.



We figure that we will be parked a whole lot more than we will be driving so we have no need for engine heat systems beyond the driving area (Pax will be up front as well) because those systems won't be available most of the time but will always take up the space they occupy.


We do however, have concerns about cold weather and how cold the bathroom will be when we are on the road and make a "facilities" stop. The woodstove will not be operating when driving. Not sure what the parking heaters say about operation while in motion. But we will also have a Mr Buddy. We have redundancy in systems so we will be fine but I do wish I KNEW the requirement while building.
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Old 07-30-2021, 09:12 PM   #9
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These 2 relays?

I removed the inside of the control panel and have these 2 big relays left over. Do I need them or what are they for? The bus starts and everything else lights wise work. Only things that dont now are anything that uses those switches (because its removed from the bus) there was one main HOT going to the left relay which then has the same gauge wire jumper to the other relay
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