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Old 10-30-2017, 05:22 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
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Year: 2004
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Removing my air conditioner

I have a 5 window 2002 Chevy/Blue Bird Micro Bird.

It has a large ac unit above the driver, mounted above the rearview mirror.
It also has the standard ac that is aimed for the driver himself.

I am looking to remove the large one mounted high up.

I am not completely sure how to go about this.

Any help would be appreciated.

(We are removing it to create storage and we have plans for a different more efficient ac in the future)

Thank you

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Old 10-30-2017, 07:11 PM   #2
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Welcome,

I would be cautious about removing the air conditioner. It takes a LOT of cooling capability to cool a bus running down the road in warm weather.

I pulled the big road air out of my first bus and hated myself for it.

Hopefully Caddilackid will chime in. He is our resident A/C Guru. He can speak much more intelligently than I can when it comes to all things A/C.

Good luck with your project.
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Old 10-31-2017, 12:00 AM   #3
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I agree: unless your different more efficient future a/c is going to be usable while the bus is underway, you'll probably regret removing that. But if you plan for that other a/c to operate while driving, then go ahead!

To answer your question, it's almost certainly using R134a refrigerant. Start by taking it to an auto repair shop to have the refrigerant captured. If the engine has two compressors then things are easy: remove the one that went to that now-evacuated system and all the hoses and whats-its that go along with it. You'd need to figure out how to re-route the serpentine belt after removal of that compressor. It might require buying an idler and a bracket to go where the compressor was, or it might be as simple as choosing a shorter belt.

If the engine has only one compressor things could be more difficult. You'll still have to remove the refrigerant, but you'll have to figure out how the two evaporators work on the one system and come up with a plan to cap or eliminate the connections that the larger overhead evaporator was using. When it's all sealed up again it could go back to a shop to be evacuated, leak tested, and try to figure out much refrigerant to put back in.
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Old 10-31-2017, 07:52 AM   #4
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if that bus has a dashboard A/C, you can remove that upper unit and still keep the dashboard A/C. most of these are set up where you'll have the condenser unit on the outside under the bus skirting, you'll need to keep that.. many times the coach builder installed whats called a "tie-in" system where the fittings are simply screwed onto the existing lines..

DONT JUST UNSCREW STUFF!! yes! get the freon removed first.. then look at how that upper unit ties in.. there will be 2 lines coming from it.. if its done right then under the hood will be T fittings thats can be nscrewed, removed, and re-fitted to the original factory A/C.. if its carrier then chances are they hacked it all up (grrr!) and hard-tied it in.. however its still doable, just takes a few more parts to keep the dashboard A/C and yank the upper unit.

if you are SUPER LUCKY then they will have used a complete separate compressor and system for that upper unit making it very easy to keep the dashboard A/C.. (this is very unusual ifthey did that).
-Christopher
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Old 11-12-2017, 09:03 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
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My question is, is it worth taking out? I'd really enjoy the storage space it'd provide.
But is there an A/C unit that would be more efficient, and quieter, and able to run while driving?


I uploaded pics of the A/C and if any of you could help me better understand what I have going on here that'd be awesome.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 20171112_151731.jpg (223.6 KB, 28 views)
File Type: jpg 20171112_151742.jpg (221.1 KB, 20 views)
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Old 06-03-2018, 09:13 AM   #6
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AC and heater removal

Do the AC and heater removal has anything to do with the engine or its coolant system? I saw a Youtuber say that they cut the hose and there was coolant everywhere. We are just starting our demo and would like to see if anyone can help, please.
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Old 06-03-2018, 11:32 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AraS View Post
Do the AC and heater removal has anything to do with the engine or its coolant system? I saw a Youtuber say that they cut the hose and there was coolant everywhere. We are just starting our demo and would like to see if anyone can help, please.
Yes they are tied together, they also run the front heat/defroster. So you want to cut the line and connect a loop to direct the coolant back to the front.
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Old 06-04-2018, 06:40 AM   #8
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thank you!
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Old 02-17-2021, 12:45 AM   #9
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AC removal vs heater removal-

Hello All ! I just pulled out the larger of two AC units from the rear of my bus and have all the tubes and wires pulled from back to front & still connected to everything in front of battery bar (I disconnected the wiring from the removed AC from battery bar but left anything else attached to the bar that wasn't part of that AC wiring). I planned on disconnecting the rest tomorrow and then debating on heater. Now that I began doing heater removal research I continue to learn about the need to redirect/loop heater coolant back into itself- 1) Is this something I need to do with regard to the AC coolant lines too? 2) If so which one? Both?
My plan is to disconnect everything from the condenser unit but to leave it in place to serve as a pulley (EVERYTHING connects to that belt) 3) Any issues or advice regarding leaving the disconnected condenser to engine? 4) Anything else I need to do to it other than disconnect everything from condenser?
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Old 02-17-2021, 08:56 AM   #10
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Hi Going4it... it sounds like your nickname is right! But, with respect, it sounds like you're a bit over the tips of your skis here and need some professional assistance on this. Cadillac Kid, the resident A/C pro, might be able to help you remotely...but first he'll need to get you speaking on the same terms. The compressor is what's attached to the engine. And the air conditioner system isn't anything like the heater system, where a simple return connection can be made. I'm no air conditionerologist, so I'll defer to the experts on the details...but, until they can chime in, don't cut anything!
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Old 02-17-2021, 12:30 PM   #11
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What do yo plan to use for ac on the bus while driving?
Run a generator to power a rooftop or a window mount? I would stop right now and revaluate. Search the archives on postings by Cadillac Kid on keeping your ac.
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Old 02-17-2021, 12:36 PM   #12
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[QUOTE=IAmGuadalupe

(We are removing it to create storage and we have plans for a different more efficient ac in the future)

Thank you[/QUOTE]

What, exactly, are your plans for a different more efficient AC ?

What is going to run on? Or, will it still use an engine driven compressor?
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Old 02-17-2021, 03:53 PM   #13
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There appear to be two camps when it comes to A/C and heater systems: those who can't wait to remove them, and those who have driven route 50 across the Nevada desert in July.

If you are travelling in your bus I suggest strongly considering keeping your existing rear heater and A/C systems in place. There is absolutely no substitute for engine-driven heat and air when you are driving. If you are worried about cost, the heat is zero cost and the A/C is only a cost if running. If you travel the West at all there will be days when you will want the blast of arctic air in your bus to take it from 105 to something less.

When camped, it's a completely different thing. I'm eager to look at a split system, when I can afford the solar panels and battery bank to match. Even the smallest split system seems to need a huge amount of sustained power. And someone pointed out elsewhere that there is an inherent conflict in the need to keep the panels in the sun while the best way to cool the bus is park it in the shade. Alternatives include running a generator, of course.

I think that's why you're seeing some of the other folks here suggest you carefully consider these removals that are prohibitively expensive to reverse.
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Old 02-17-2021, 04:41 PM   #14
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lets start with what type of bus and chassis.
an example from my perspective?
i am currently working on a chevy van cutaway that had the A/C at the rear and the dash A/C. but unlike a regular vehicle or passenger van that has a split radiator or condensor mounted to the radiator it has an underskirt condensor that serves the auxiliary rear A/C that i deleted and the dash A/C.
so in order to keep the dash A/C i had to loop the lines that ran to the deleted auxiliary A/C unit together just after the under skirt condensor to close the loop up again.
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Old 02-21-2021, 07:22 PM   #15
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The bottom line is you might want to consider plan B before removing an inplace and functional A/C system which was the builders plan A.
Ripout without planning can be very expensive to replace. On the bright side that unit can be relocated or replaced with a similar model that would work for you. The evaporator is only limited to location by the length of the hose. You could put it all the way in the back if you were willing to spend the money.
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Old 08-22-2021, 02:49 PM   #16
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Hello! Thanks for all the helpful information thus far in this thread. We are converting our 2003 International 3000 bus and have started the process of removing the rear AC. (thanks for all the caution! we thought it through and are sure that we want to remove the AC!)

I am not well-versed in AC vocabulary and am definitely learning as I go, so bear with me, please. We've removed the inside unit from the ceiling and traced the hoses under the bus up to the firewall. I initially thought I would just remove the hoses from the compressor and plug up the compressor somehow so dirt doesn't get inside. However, now I'm wondering if I should remove the compressor entirely and replace the belt with a shorter one. The belt isn't in bad shape, but the bus is almost 20 years old and I have no idea how long that particular belt has been on there. If I leave the compressor there, will it continue to pump (is that what it does?) or can the belt just spin on it freely without it running? I read a warning that the compressor could potentially lock up, and I certainly want to prevent any future problems.

I really appreciate any insight you have to offer!
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Old 08-22-2021, 03:18 PM   #17
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do you also have dash A/C that you want to keep?
if so the condensor and compressor have to stay. if not you can delete it but will have a hard time finding the correct belt if it runs multiple pieces under the hood at the same time. and with any belt whether special order or not i recommend buying 2 at a time and put the spare somewhere on your bus to have when needed.
in your case anything on your engine can lock up and bust a belt at anytime tensioner pulley water pump anything that requires a belt.
for the A/C compressor if you dont want and you cant do the work then keep it in line and disconnect the power to it so it free wheels.
yes it could still lockup but with it freewheeling that is the most common belt size you will find for that in a hurry because that is what any dealer will pull from your VIN number. to get a belt for a non AC bus from the dealer you will need a VIN from a bus without A/C whether a part number from a member on here or finding from a dump truck mechanic that works on medium to heavy trucks and equipment.
for example.
i just drove an old school forklift at work that has the exact same powertrain in it that my big bus does except it had the PTO transmission instead of the 545 it was the 1540 or something like that.
my point is you get in touch with the medium to heavy duty mechanics in your area as well to talk about your question
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Old 11-22-2021, 04:41 PM   #18
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I just wanted to say thank you so much! Your advice was super helpful! It was a long, ongoing project among many other projects, but the power is disconnected, the compressor is plugged, and it spins freely. I will buy 2 belts just to have in case when we are finished with renovation and ready to hit the road. Hope all is well with you!
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Old 11-23-2021, 11:03 AM   #19
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Greetings all. Very similar to several above, but looking for advice. I have a 2004 Bluebird Vision style. It has 2 ac systems. I am looking to relocate on of them over the driver to provide cabin cooling while driving. I am having a hard time finding anyone local (Houston TX) to recover the freon. Total they have over 10 lbs according to the labels. Any recommendations?
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Old 11-23-2021, 11:30 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WTF+1 View Post
Greetings all. Very similar to several above, but looking for advice. I have a 2004 Bluebird Vision style. It has 2 ac systems. I am looking to relocate on of them over the driver to provide cabin cooling while driving. I am having a hard time finding anyone local (Houston TX) to recover the freon. Total they have over 10 lbs according to the labels. Any recommendations?
Any shop that advertises as "vehicle AC repair" or "vehicle AC service" should be able to vacuum your system.

On a side note, anyone looking to familiarize themselves with basic AC components, I found this to be a great video. It is not in the basis of the automotive world, but still all the same components. And as always, Adam Savage is entertaining.

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