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Old 04-18-2022, 10:37 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Mar 2021
Posts: 28
Year: 2003
Chassis: Thomas Built
Engine: Ford E-450 7.3L Diesel Super Duty
Finish previous rear AC deletion

I'm looking for some feedback from anyone who either has removed the rear carrier handler and skirt condenser or knows more about this than myself.

I have a 2003 Ford E450 cutaway with a Thomas Built shell and the 7.3L PowerStroke Diesel.

The previous owner had this skoolie built out by a company out west. They removed the handler in the rear of the bus but left the skirt condenser, which I don't blame them. However, I see valuable space under the skirt for storage and/or the mini split condenser which is installed on the rear at the moment and I would like to remove the carrier condenser. I've seen almost all threads here regarding this but not a whole lot of how-to's.

What I know about this so far:
  • It has 1 compressor for dash and rear AC
  • I have to have a shop recover the refrigerant before I do anything
  • I need to install the stock condenser in the front engine bay
  • I will probably need a new set of manifold hoses

What I'm looking for from you:
  • Which manifold hoses?
  • I cannot locate the stock sticker for proper filling weight of both refrigerant and oil, but there is a Carrier sticker under the hood.....BUT, it's completely blank from info. It has all the fields but it's not filled out at all. Does anyone know where to find the stock info for this?
  • If I remove the condenser, how am I to know how much oil is in it and how much I need to add back?
  • I read somewhere about heater hoses that head to the back. Is that the same as coolant hoses from the radiator? And can/should I get rid of those too, or just cap/recirculate them?
  • There's two different-sized radiator looking parts that looks like they sit in front of the stock condenser. I haven't tried to follow the lines to where they lead yet but does anyone know if they are stock? I want to say they might be an after-market transmission and oil cooler but I don't think I'll be that lucky. It's certainly not the evaporator for the AC system because I know where that is already.

Thanks for any input!

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Old 04-18-2022, 12:22 PM   #2
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Northern California (Sacramento)
Posts: 1,407
Year: 1999
Coachwork: El Dorado Fiberglass
Chassis: Ford E450
Engine: V10 Gas
Pictures would be good. I have a very similar rig, so if yours is anything like mine this may help.

If the evaporator is gone but the condenser coil is still under the skirt I wonder where the refrigerant lines were capped. Might be good to call the company out West and ask them what they did.

From what you describe, if there were only one compressor they would have needed to truncate the line set to the back to eliminate the rear unit-I just don't know a single-compressor system is configured to tell you where to look.

Here's a nice link from Trans Aire describing the system. Might help with tracing the lines to see what was cut and rerouted:
https://www.transairmfg.com/basics-o...nditioning.cfm

Heater hoses are pretty easy to identify: find the heat exchanger and look underneath to see where the supply and return lines come out, then trace them back to the engine. If you plan on removing the heat exchanger, find a convenient place as close to the engine as possible and connect the two hoses together, then take out the unit and remaining hoses.

Having said all that, how do you plan on heating and/or cooling the bus when driving?
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Old 04-18-2022, 01:25 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Mar 2021
Posts: 28
Year: 2003
Chassis: Thomas Built
Engine: Ford E-450 7.3L Diesel Super Duty
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rucker View Post
Pictures would be good. I have a very similar rig, so if yours is anything like mine this may help.

....

Having said all that, how do you plan on heating and/or cooling the bus when driving?
Thanks for the reply/link.
I think I can figure out where the lines are capped. I'm not too worried about that part. Even then, I know I'll need to find the T where the lines are split to the rear. I think what I really need is info on the Ford stock AC system, rather than on Trans Aire, and I'll just remove what's not in the stock system.

I don't think I'll need the heater in the rear. I think it's under the couch now behind the drivers area. I say this because you ask what I'll use for driving. The dash AC/Heater works splendidly well. Furthermore, I know there's debate about running a mini split while driving but I've done this already with no issues. Although, by itself it is not enough. The inside unit is mounted in the rear, but with both AC's running, it works great. I also run the mini off of 800AH LifePo4 with 1.2kw solar. Eventually I will get a DC-DC charger so I can tap into the alternator while driving as well.

I'm assuming you mean pics of the two radiators.
Not easy to get a good pic here but there's a large one in the middle, and a small on to the upper right side on the pic. Both have rubber hoses with hose clamps so these don't seem to be part of the AC system. Until I can crawl under and trace the lines I'm still leaning towards Trans/Oil cooler.

I found that if you open this image in a new tab, it's easier to see them:




Here's the blank Carrier label, but the stock label is nowhere to be found.

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Old 04-18-2022, 03:42 PM   #4
Bus Geek
 
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Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Swansboro,NC
Posts: 2,965
Year: 86
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Ford B700
Engine: 8.2
Rated Cap: 60 bodies
i am in the middle of doing exactly what you are wanting to do but on an o5 chevy 3500 collins body.
i am moving the condensor behind the grill in front of the radiator.
at the underskirt condensor on mine is where the to was to the rear and the round thing is a filter drier.
save any fittings and extra length of hose you cut out.
both are hard to source anywhere local even if you can tell them what they are.
BURGACLIP fittings.
even any of my hydraulic shops cant match the fitting or internal hose diameter.
one benefit for me is i have been mechanicing for a long time including construction equipment and i work for a commercial HVAC company.
downside is i cant answer how much compressor oil or what type and anyone i ask just says you dont need to add any because the freon has it in it.
i got side tracked on my relocation because when i got to my compressor i found that it had lost the belt and was froze up and one one of my hoses at the compressor is in bad shape at a hydraulic pressed transition.
got a new compressor to install so thats why i was looking into oil.
i know my equipment at work needs oil added sometimes for various reasons.
good luck
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Old 04-18-2022, 06:12 PM   #5
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: topeka kansas
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Year: 1954
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Chassis: old f500- new 2005 f-450
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Rated Cap: 20? five rows of 4?
Professor

Try a black light on the label, or ultraviolet- looks like there was writing at one time.

Just a thought.

William
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