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Old 12-15-2020, 04:43 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 14
Year: 1994
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner ER
Engine: 6.6L CAT 3116
Question Identifying Heater System - 1995 Thomas

Howdy folx! I'm the proud new owner of a 1995 Thomas Pusher and I'm super stoked to get the conversion going. I'm currently in the process of grinding out seats and am trying to get some planning done regarding my build. I'm new to the mechanics of large vehicles, especially diesels. I know that my heat is coming from a line of coolant piped up to the front of the bus, but I don't know if there is a heater involved or pumps or anything. Looking under the bus I see a few tanks and tubes etc but nothing that looks like the coolant heaters I see online (webasto/espar/etc).

Will everything become obvious to me once the floor/walls are removed or is there an easy way to be able to identify what things do under the bus?
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Old 12-15-2020, 06:35 AM   #2
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 14,425
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
auxilliary coolant heaters were optional, in 1995 not too many had them, if the bus was run up north it may have but they were not real common. most of them were located in the engine compartment or in a small bay along the driver siude of the bus on the RE models.



your heater hoses for the rear to front will be inside the bus alongthe driver siide floor in usually a silver colored chaseway.. it will be easily apparent when youy take the seats out.. those are what transport the hot coolant from the engine up front for driver heat / defrosters, etc.. thiose lines may pass through a rear and a mid underseat heater on the way as well./.



bluebirds often have the aux pump in a box on the floor near the front of ther bus on FE and near the rear on RE.. ive seen thomas do similar or put it on a bulkhead in the engine compartment.
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Old 12-15-2020, 06:36 AM   #3
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 14,425
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
the tanks and tubes you likely see under the bus are your air system for the air brakes, air suspension, etc..
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Old 01-01-2021, 03:33 AM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 14
Year: 1994
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner ER
Engine: 6.6L CAT 3116
Interesting. So I've been getting some seats out and have identified the coolant lines. I bought the bus in california but asked the seller about heat since I was taking it back to Minnesota and he rigged something up. I appreciate him doing that but I do worry that installing a fancy espar/webasto kit from Heatso will be more difficult with his modifications
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Old 01-01-2021, 01:43 PM   #5
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: NM USA
Posts: 387
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE 40 FEET
Engine: Cummins 8.3
I'll second what cadillackid just said. The standard bus heating system is quite simple. Being from California where the weather is mostly mild I would assume that you don't have any auxiliary heating. Also I would highly recommended that you DO NOT remove the existing system. This is both unsafe and violates fmvs standards. Also learn where the heater valves are located. Mine has 3. Transit style coaches with their large windshields need a lot of warm air to keep them clear in bad/cold weather. The rear heater or heaters are comfort items. My bus came with 4 heaters, one by the front door, one under the drivers seat, one in the middle and one in the rear. I deleted the rear heater because I thought the heat from the engine bay would keep it warm in the back and it does. Not hot in the winter but not cold either. It is very nice to drive in cold weather you could drive it in a bathing suit and not get cold. When my cousin did his crown conversion he removed the rear heater and left the just the front heater/defroster. This arrangement is good for the first 8 foot of bus. At 10 foot back you will freeze to death. My son now owns this coach and we are going to add the heater I deleted from mine.
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Old 01-01-2021, 09:37 PM   #6
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 14,425
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
I did some heater work on my DEV bus.. my rear heater on that Carpenter bus had a regular blade fan in it as opposed to a blower.. it was noisy and had a somewhat low BTU rating.. (I took it out and gave it to a friend who is restoring a similar vimtage carpenter that had a leaky one).. and I replaced my rear unit with a Jegs unit. my reasoning was I wanted more BTU out of the rear heater since when iom mobile-officing I sit in the middle of the bus.. my Mid-heater A/C is a power hog, the Jegs heater is quiet and ductable.. you can duct it however you like, and it has a mucbh better heat output than the old single-fan underseat heater did.. with my 12kw coolant heater, that single heater will heat my whole work area.. occasionally I turn on my stepwell heater for a little extra..



thye only thing about the Jegs heater is the lines are 5/8 so they do work best in a parallel flow system where slowing the flow at the rear is actually desired.. however you'll still get decent flow through a series system, it just may lack a little at idle. (slightly cooler air)..



https://www.jegs.com/i/JEGS/555/70602/10002/-1


if you want to duct it.. (theres a TON of other things for ducting.. i have used these kits for ducting my custom A/C and heat installs.. although I like the coyote vednt louvers better these are good ones too..



https://www.jegs.com/i/JEGS/555/70606/10002/-1
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Old 01-22-2021, 12:50 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 14
Year: 1994
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner ER
Engine: 6.6L CAT 3116
Interesting, s2mikon, I haven't seen many people advise against removing the existing system... it seems like they usually delete all the heaters and just make the hoses a short loop somewhere. I think I'll leave mine in for the dash/defrost but will delete the front and rear heaters as I have an auxiliary system I want to install. This is the kit I grabbed. Do you think leaving the current hoses for defrost/dash heat only will work out? I imagine I can just find a male/male hose fitting for after removing the heaters. I think i've identified the shut-off valves in the engine compartment (3 knobs so i gotta figure out which one is different lol). I presume there's an easy spot to refill the coolant after removing the heaters - i'll browse some threads to figure that out
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