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Old 09-30-2020, 02:26 PM   #1
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Removal of rear AC while keeping front one when compressors share a belt, Possible?

Hey there. This is my first post here on Skoolie.net but I've been lurking for sometime. Originally my partner and I were planning on keeping both of our AC units in our 2006 mid length Frieghtliner Thomas Build. But after deciding a Mini split was our best option for parked AC to run off our generator or shore power we concluded the best location for the condenser/air handler would be in the rear over back exit where the rear AC is now. Both of our ACs work great and I really would like to utilize them both but I think theoretically we would get by with just one in the front while driving. The problem we've encountered is that while both units have their own fans underneath (condensers)they also have seperate coolant and compressors but both compressors are mounted on the engine with one belt. (I am no mechanic or HVAC expert so bear with me I'm just learning all of this stuff as I go). So our plant was to have a HVAC pro remove the refrigerant from the compressor of the unit we wanted to remove. But after showing him a photo of the two compressors he said that since they share the belt with the engine he wasn't comfortable doing it bc it could mess up the other one. Is there anyway to remove or render the one compressor off or bypass it somehow so to keep the front unit but have the refrigerant of the rear unit removed so to safely remove the handler from inside the bus? Or does the system require the two to remain (one can't function without the other). We are trying to be as DIY as we can with this but if we have to have it worked on at mechanic does anyone recommend any in North East Florida/ Jacksonville area??
Thank you!
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Old 09-30-2020, 04:02 PM   #2
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If the two systems have separate compressors and separate closed systems that do not share any common joints, then it should be possible to get some caps to plug up the lines from the unused compressor, leaving it to spin free but not functioning. I generally would not recommend removing the second compressor, but it happens that cadillackid is looking for a dual compressor bracket setup, maybe the compressors too... Perhaps something could be cobbled up to completely eliminate the secondary system and convert to a single setup if he is interested in the setup you have...

Oh, cadilackid .... This has you written all over it...
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Old 09-30-2020, 04:13 PM   #3
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If the two systems are completely separate, it should be as simple as removing the unused compressor and getting a shorter belt. If there is no way to properly route the shorter belt and keep each pulley running the correct direction, you should be able to have an idler pulley made to take the place of the compressor you are removing and retain the original belt.

I have done this in a similar situation when removing the air pump from various '80's big block gas engines. Some of those Ford 460's ran 2 air pumps and we removed both. Fairly simple process when you get it figured out.
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Old 09-30-2020, 04:16 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHEESE_WAGON View Post
If the two systems have separate compressors and separate closed systems that do not share any common joints, then it should be possible to get some caps to plug up the lines from the unused compressor, leaving it to spin free but not functioning. I generally would not recommend removing the second compressor, but it happens that cadillackid is looking for a dual compressor bracket setup, maybe the compressors too... Perhaps something could be cobbled up to completely eliminate the secondary system and convert to a single setup if he is interested in the setup you have...

Oh, cadilackid... This has you written all over it...
Thank you! Good to know I sent a DM to cadilackid
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Old 09-30-2020, 04:18 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by JackE View Post
If the two systems are completely separate, it should be as simple as removing the unused compressor and getting a shorter belt. If there is no way to properly route the shorter belt and keep each pulley running the correct direction, you should be able to have an idler pulley made to take the place of the compressor you are removing and retain the original belt.

I have done this in a similar situation when removing the air pump from various '80's big block gas engines. Some of those Ford 460's ran 2 air pumps and we removed both. Fairly simple process when you get it figured out.
so would simply removing the coolant and the power to the unused compressor and leaving it in place would not be a feasible option, or is this an alternative option?
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Old 09-30-2020, 04:20 PM   #6
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so would simply removing the coolant and the power to the unused compressor and leaving it in place would not be a feasible option, or is this an alternative option?
It could be done, and it's refrigerant, not coolant, to be technical. But ONLY if each compressor serves its own system with no refrigerant connection between the two.
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Old 09-30-2020, 04:41 PM   #7
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It could be done, and it's refrigerant, not coolant, to be technical. But ONLY if each compressor serves its own system with no refrigerant connection between the two.
Ditto on what Cheese said. It's very likely both of your compressors are identical. If you cap off the unused compressor with some good rubber caps, I'd use some duct tape on top of that too, you will be carrying around a spare compressor in case yours ever fails. Not quite how I would do it, but it could be done this way.
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Old 09-30-2020, 04:45 PM   #8
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I think they should talk to CK to see if they have what he is looking for. Not wanting to speak for him, but he might be willing to help them out in order to get what he needs, as he is looking for a dual-compressor setup, I believe for a T444E, but wouldn't swear that's the engine in question.
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Old 09-30-2020, 06:43 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by CHEESE_WAGON View Post
I think they should talk to CK to see if they have what he is looking for. Not wanting to speak for him, but he might be willing to help them out in order to get what he needs, as he is looking for a dual-compressor setup, I believe for a T444E, but wouldn't swear that's the engine in question.
Yes I did send him a message. Sorry I thought I posted a reply here before saying that. New to this forum so not sure what I'm doing with posting and stuff. it seemed to not have gone through. Thank you everyone for your help its really exactly what I needed to hear. and the spare compressor is a great idea! Thanks everyone.
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Old 09-30-2020, 08:31 PM   #10
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Something you might consider is getting an electric motor to spin the compressor on the second unit, so you can keep it all in place and use it when parked.
It would need to be removed from the engine, and as said, replace it with an idler pulley might be simplest. You might be able to move it off the engine without even needing to disconnect any lines and release any freon gas too.
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Old 10-01-2020, 02:50 AM   #11
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That is a pretty good suggestion, BeNimble. I wonder how much power would be needed to drive a belt-driven compressor like that.
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Old 10-01-2020, 07:25 AM   #12
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it takes a LOT and the compressors are on the same belt.. the C7 CAT dual bracket system uses a couple idlers and a tensioner with a PV8 belt..



the minisplit for being parked is a much better option when you can keep your front system for A/C while driving..



the compressors are identical but you can just switch one off and switch another on.. you have lines and pressure and such.. not to mention if you break anything on an A/C compressor other than the clutch disc you need to flush, and replace the filter / drier as well or you will ruin the other compressor right quick..



unless you want to buy a single bracket kit then your best option is just to leave the 2nd compressor on the belt and disconnect it electrically.. put covers on the ports so that compressor would stay clean if you do end up having a use for it later..
-Christopher
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Old 10-11-2020, 08:28 AM   #13
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I just did mine I just unhooked the hoses from the compressor and remove the condenser.
Remove the wire at compressor it will just spin like a pulley.
You could leave it like that And consider it a spare. Or you could replace it with a altenatior
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Old 10-12-2020, 07:11 PM   #14
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Update

So our removal went smoothly and we kept our compressor in place. I was able to get a part for the compressor from a local school bus repair ac shop in Jacksonville. The part comes with the new compressor and plugs up the two inlet and outlet holes for the Freon. It bolts in place to close them up. They usually just throw them away so it was free.
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Old 10-12-2020, 07:56 PM   #15
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Yeppers that’s the manifold plate I keep a couple around myself for capping lines if I have to leave a system torn apart for awhile for repair..
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