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Old 05-21-2024, 08:07 PM   #1
New Member
 
Join Date: May 2024
Location: Merritt Island, FL
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Year: 2004
Coachwork: International
Chassis: RE3000
Engine: DT466E
To remove or not remove dash AC

New here! My fiancťe and I purchased a 2004 International RE3000 40 footer about two weeks ago. We have removed everything except one roof panel (darn camera is seized on) and some dash parts. We want to utilize that space for storage. The bus has a dash AC unit that isnít working. Based off of what Iíve read everyone says donít remove. Iím not an AC guy. I have very basic knowledge of working on them and all comes from small vehicles.

Do I keep it and try to trouble shoot it? Or do I scrap it for more dash space? If I do scrap it is there a correct way to remove it and the lines down the inside driver side of the bus to the rear engine compartment?
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Old 05-22-2024, 08:34 AM   #2
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if you remove it then buy a box of sweat rags to place in the small amount of "storage" you gain... unless you plan to never drive the bus in warm weather...



that "dash" air is likely a bulkhead unit located above the windshield im guessing? or is it a ProAir Conversion unit located near the door?



I ask as I dont see any condenser coils on the bus skirts or roof..(unless they are on the right side) trying to figure out what it may be...
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Old 05-22-2024, 08:40 AM   #3
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Bring it to an AC shop and ask them to troubleshoot. It might just need a charge; and they can pretty quickly identify whether there's a leak in the system.

You really, really don't want to strip out the AC if you plan to drive it anywhere in the summer.
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Old 05-22-2024, 11:16 AM   #4
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Ha I drove it home 3hrs on a day that was 97 outside. Might need more then a box of rags!

After doing some disassembly of the dash today I’ve found out that there is no actually AC. The vents in the dash were solely for heat/defrost. I assume that can easily be deleted. My biggest concern is building over the coolant lines run down the left hand side of vehicle. Can I put a heater core bypass on the engine and get rid of that all?

Options if bus isn’t currently equipped with AC that won’t break the bank too bad?
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Old 05-22-2024, 11:41 AM   #5
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Those defrost vents are legally required on a road-going vehicle. So unless this is going to be parked permanently, they're required to be there.

Probably isn't smart to remove anyways, or the front heater loops at all for that matter, unless you're in the Keys/Miami and are never going to leave.
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Old 05-22-2024, 11:46 AM   #6
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I'm with Booyah. There are electric defrost options, but if you have to move it in the cold you'll want that heat.

Can you map out a path underneath and reroute the hoses under your bus, possibly sheathed? That way they're not part of your build out.
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Old 05-22-2024, 01:19 PM   #7
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I appreciate the information. I’m still going to need to remove it to get cleaned up and find a way to get it running.

I’ll check the undercarriage and see if I can move those lines. I’d love to hear what others with this model did with theirs. Can’t imagine building over the lines.
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Old 05-22-2024, 09:21 PM   #8
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I am struggling to cobble together a replacement. FIX IT ! Don't dump it.
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Old 05-23-2024, 10:07 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SunnySideUp View Post
Ha I drove it home 3hrs on a day that was 97 outside. Might need more then a box of rags!

After doing some disassembly of the dash today Iíve found out that there is no actually AC. The vents in the dash were solely for heat/defrost. I assume that can easily be deleted. My biggest concern is building over the coolant lines run down the left hand side of vehicle. Can I put a heater core bypass on the engine and get rid of that all?

Options if bus isnít currently equipped with AC that wonít break the bank too bad?
It's unclear to me from your description what is going on.

Do you have a heater in the back of the bus, and that's what the 'coolant lines' are?

Or do you have an AC unit in the back of the bus, and the coolant lines feed the AC unit?

Pictures help in these discussions.
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Old 05-23-2024, 11:10 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rucker View Post
It's unclear to me from your description what is going on.

Do you have a heater in the back of the bus, and that's what the 'coolant lines' are?

Or do you have an AC unit in the back of the bus, and the coolant lines feed the AC unit?

Pictures help in these discussions.

he has a rear engine bus, sounds like he thiought the front heat / defrost was also an air conditioner but its not.. the bus has no A/C..



that front defrost is non functiuonal apparently. (probably a bad motor)..


the bus has heater hoses that run from the rear engine compartment to the front of the bus which he apparently doesnt want inside..



the answer is yes they can be run under the bus but those hoses are not designed to be out in the weather.. he will need to run them inside some type of chaseway to be protected.. a burst hose would be bad as he would never know it happened till he lost a bug chunk of coolant and overheated the bus..



taking out the front defrost is a horrible idea.. I recently got a call from soneone who bought an already converted bus from out of state and during pennsylvania vehicle entry inspection they noted the lack of defrost and fasiled the bus.. so now he is scrambling to build a front defrost system from scratch where the original was completely ripped out..


1 inch heater hose brand new is about $2.50 / foot.. 90 feet of it plus having to make a chaseway under his bus amongst the plumbing and tanks and such plus a heater and ducts and vents and wiring all running a good bill up quick..


it might rather be easier to inspect the existing hoses and if in good shape put them back where they came from in the metal chaseway and convert around them.. they dont take up much space in that little corner..



just thoughts around removing factory systems that are rather simple in nature yet effective when fixed..


everyone is so quick to rip out the heat and A/C.. its **NOT** a house folks, its a VEHICLE first and foremost... thus why its called an RV... and registered to the state as an RV..
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Old 05-23-2024, 11:32 AM   #11
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IF you will ever drive in a thunderstorm, High Humidity or cold weather... YOU NEED THE DEFROSTER. I am hunting one right now for my 2002 AARE.
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Old 05-23-2024, 06:31 PM   #12
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Engine: DT466E
Now that I know what I’m working with I have no intention to remove the defroster. The old coolant hoses are really hard and in some spots starting to crack. I’m going to replace them and rerun in the channel it came in.

I come from the automotive collision industry and know those hoses are not a forever solution. Is there a better longer life span hose I could use that someone might recommend before we do our build?

Lastly, any recommendations to add an A/C? It there a combo unit that could replace my current heat/defroster that doesn’t take much altering to the current dash setup/area?

I appreciate all of your insight!
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Old 05-23-2024, 08:36 PM   #13
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Posts: 19,035
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Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
Quote:
Originally Posted by SunnySideUp View Post
Now that I know what Iím working with I have no intention to remove the defroster. The old coolant hoses are really hard and in some spots starting to crack. Iím going to replace them and rerun in the channel it came in.

I come from the automotive collision industry and know those hoses are not a forever solution. Is there a better longer life span hose I could use that someone might recommend before we do our build?

Lastly, any recommendations to add an A/C? It there a combo unit that could replace my current heat/defroster that doesnít take much altering to the current dash setup/area?

I appreciate all of your insight!

ProAir DID make one, however they are out of business.. comfortairmfg may still have one. though I dont see it on their site..


here it is on another site but out of stock
https://buspartexperts.com/collectio...s-applications




I used one once a few years ago and it was pretty slick.. it mounted under the windshield and you ducted vents to the driver .. the bus I put it in, its owner wanted to deleted the front side evaporator on the ceiling (keep the rear one).. but still have good A/C up front.. that unit isnt real powerful but with their rear unit running and the front they stayed cool up front..



to correctly air condition a bus you need a lot of BTU.. less if you are solidly insulated your bus.. ie spray foaming the walls and ceiling, insulating the floor and replacing the windows with RV windows, etc.. you can get away with lower BTU on the road..



im not sure what type of conversion is planned.. and also what type of parked-A/C you will want.. road A/C is typically driven by the bus engine.. what you use while parked will be run by batteries, shore power, generator, solar? not sure your plans..



while you can run your parked-A/C on the road if you have the electricals to do it, generally the BTU isnt high enough to properly cool the driver area... you have to think that most times when people park in the summer they park in the shade if possible, whereas on the road you are in the hot sun..


on the road is like driving into a 65 MPH wind plus road heat plus radiant sun energy (you cant curtain the windshield whiole driving like you can while parked)..



if it were my bus i'd probably install a bulkhead evaporator above the front windshield..


this is an example...



https://buspartexperts.com/products/...khead-bh20-rac


there would be a plastic grille covr that goes over it..


that would use a 3 fan condenser to be safe on capacity... I use an ACT CS3 (ACT has since gone defunct..)..


here is an example of a 3 fan condenser.


https://buspartexperts.com/collectio...unt-rifled-a-c


we would want to use a sanden SD7 Enhanced compressor and an engine mount kit for your DT466E.. the mount kit is different if you have an EGR engine vs a Non EGR..



prob have $800 in the mount kit and compressor..
an additional $300-$500 in lines and fittings and misc hardware..
some cost for a thermostat and fan switch.. thats not a lot unless you want a sigital control then its a couple hundred bucks..



thats parts for a custom system which would keep you cool..


keep in mind even if you go with the smaller BTU built in unit i first showed (if you can find one).. you still need a condenser (that one would be a 2 fan model).. and the same compressor, engine mount kit, and lines and controls..



I have built quite a few Bus A/C systems from acratch and they arent cheap.. this why I stress to people who want Air conditioning for the road to find a bus that has it.. and if it has it dont yank it out... its often not a super expensive repair to make a bus A/C work again if it had it but is non working..



case and point my red bus had factory A/C but didnt work right.. I cleaned its coils, replaced a fan on the condenser, flushed the freon circuit.. changed the belt , vac and recharge.. all told I had a couple hundred bucks in it and that was back in 2017.. i havent touched that A/C since.. it just works perfect now..



in my DEV bus I added a custom setup using both new parts and free parts i collected from skoolies that really decided they didnt want their factory A/C.. I took it out for them.. so I have 2 new sanden SD7 conpressors at $250 a piece.. my engine mounts are mix of 2 kits and me modifying and making pieces to fit a 30 year old engine..that was like $600.


an ACT CS-3 condenser and a Proair 3 fan condenser.. $1000 for both (really 800 for the proair and 200 for the CS3 I got on a liquidation sale of a bus company).. a free carrier EM-1 evaporator and brackets.. , a custom heat / cool unit for the dash from ProAir - $800, a bigger mid-ship heat / cool unit from Proair LLC - $1000..


a bunch of wires and hoses and bolts and ducting and such that I sourced and made.. $1000..


and a good number of those prices i gave were 2016 prices.. some of the stuff I did later and I got some parts free or cheaper than market.. I bought 4 condensers in a liquidation sale during COVID.. normal cost was $1000 each. and I got 4 for 800
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Old 05-24-2024, 07:05 AM   #14
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Join Date: May 2024
Location: Merritt Island, FL
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Year: 2004
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Chassis: RE3000
Engine: DT466E
Cadillackid THANK YOU! Not just for the information but letting me know there are good people out their willing to share their knowledge and experiences.

We plan to have a 16” raise on the roof, full closed cell spray foam, RV windows but not nearly the amount the bus came with, and a front and rear mini split. We have not decided on which units we want yet as we are still deciding our solar/electrical setup. I don’t need it to be cold AC like a car off the lot. We are just looking to be a bit more comfortable as we will have our two dogs with us as well.

Appreciate all your info. I’ve got some more homework to do!
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Old 05-27-2024, 02:36 PM   #15
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Year: 2004
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Engine: DT466E
To bring this full circle, I fixed the issues. Someone had previously been inside the unit and took it all apart without reconnecting everything correctly. The relay wasn’t plugged in along with other wiring being sliced. I cleaned it all up on the inside as it was a mess and correctly ran all the wires. It powers on and gets warming. Fan blows nicely.

THANKS FOR EVERYONES TIPS!
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