Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 12-07-2018, 01:27 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Tanker Pilot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Oregon
Posts: 62
Year: 2005
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: Blue Bird
Engine: 8.3 L Cummins, MD 3060 Trans
Rated Cap: 50
Opinions sought - Air Cond & heaters.

I brought my bus home and got the seats and overhead bins out.

1. Air conditioning:

The bus has two evaporators. They are mounted across from each other about 2/3 of the way aft from the drivers seat. The “duct” for the conditioned air was nothing more than an open channel that ran behind the overhead bins and had eyeball diffusers along the bottom panels. I have not tested the system yet to see if it works, but assuming it does, I need to decide whether it is worth keeping or if I would be better served by removing it. If I keep it, I am thinking I will fabricate new boxes around the evaporators, and run the conditioned air through insulated flexible ducting with diffusers positioned where I think I need them. I did not want to keep the original “duct” as it made no sense to have all those outlets the entire length of the bus, and it does not work with my budding floor plan. What do you think? Should I keep the A/C if it works, or remove and replace it with something else?

2. Heaters:

The bus has three heaters located along the floor on the driver’s side of the bus. In September I read a thread here that discussed removing them. The thread was referencing an FE bus that had a valve under the hood that one could close in order to avoid losing the coolant while removing the heaters. Mine is an RE, (8.3 L Cummins) and when I opened the engine compartment to look for such a valve, not only could I not find it, but I am not 100 percent sure what I was looking at among the hose jungle was even the heater hose. It was in a very rigid jacket, but looked like it came from the correct area. I have inquired Blue Bird about getting the manuals and build sheet for this bus, and am waiting to hear back. Anyone removed heaters from a similar bus? How did you do it? With what did you replace them? Did you replace the heater hose as well? This bus is a 2005. I would hate to complete my conversion only to have a hose burst shortly thereafter. Thoughts?

Thanks, in advance!!!!!
__________________
It only costs 70 percent more to go first class.
Tanker Pilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2018, 02:56 PM   #2
Bus Nut
 
TJones's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Rapid City, SD
Posts: 519
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: CS RE
Engine: ISC 8.3 L 260 hp
Rated Cap: 36
I am planning on keeping my AC. If it working I'd keep it. Even if it needs repair it would be the best option to keep you cool while going down the road. I would check it out while you have the interior stripped down. The lines will be easy to access if repairs are needed.

Ted
TJones is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2018, 02:57 PM   #3
Site Team
 
Johnny Mullet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Ashtabula, Ohio
Posts: 1,377
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: T444E 7.3L
I don't have A/C, but I kept all my heaters and glad I did! It gets cold inside in the winter when driving down the road.
Johnny Mullet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2018, 07:16 PM   #4
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 453
Coachwork: Gillig
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tanker Pilot View Post
I brought my bus home and got the seats and overhead bins out.
1. Air conditioning...
2. Heaters...
Congrats on your bus. Just to be clear, your bus' factory AC and heat only work with the engine running, yes?

1. AC - If my bus had working AC and I was able to integrate it into my build plan, personally, I'd keep it. To me it equates to FREE air conditioning with the engine running. My bus has no AC and I will be relying on a mini split for cooling, even while underway.

2. Heat - my bus had 4 heaters, one up front for driver heat and windshield defog, and 3 passenger heaters. Again, FREE heat with the engine running; I decided to retrofit the crusty old heaters with new and modern units (from Jegs). I am installing a 40K BTU unit up front and 2 28K BTU units in the rear. And for me and my 1986 bus, I am replacing all hoses...
ComfortEagle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2018, 09:13 PM   #5
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 12,859
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
keep it if you want A/C for driving.. if your system is dual compressor / dual condensor you can probably take one system out and keep one.. insulating the bus will make it so that one system will cool you nicely.. if the system inoperable and needs recharged anyuway, you can move that evaporator unit closer to the front if you are willing to make new hoses.. might make it easier to integrate into your comnversion.. most full size school busses run 2 complete systems.. so removing one doesnt affewct the other.. there are however some busses that use a single compressor.. you can easily tell if you have 2 sets of controls and 2 compressors on the engine..



minisplits. window units, camoper A/C. asre all great for being parked but it takes much more cooling capacity to keep you nice n cool in the driver seat on a summer day into the sun..
-Christopher
cadillackid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2018, 10:26 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
Tanker Pilot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Oregon
Posts: 62
Year: 2005
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: Blue Bird
Engine: 8.3 L Cummins, MD 3060 Trans
Rated Cap: 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by ComfortEagle View Post
Congrats on your bus. Just to be clear, your bus' factory AC and heat only work with the engine running, yes?

1. AC - If my bus had working AC and I was able to integrate it into my build plan, personally, I'd keep it. To me it equates to FREE air conditioning with the engine running. My bus has no AC and I will be relying on a mini split for cooling, even while underway.

2. Heat - my bus had 4 heaters, one up front for driver heat and windshield defog, and 3 passenger heaters. Again, FREE heat with the engine running; I decided to retrofit the crusty old heaters with new and modern units (from Jegs). I am installing a 40K BTU unit up front and 2 28K BTU units in the rear. And for me and my 1986 bus, I am replacing all hoses...
Thanks! Yes, the heat and A/C only work when the bus is running. I think it will be easy to integrate the A/C into my build plan. I have 35 feet to work with, not including the area for the driver. I forgot to include the heater/defroster for the driver/front window, so yes, I have four as well. I think The heaters that are in the bus now are pretty bulky. They are in a rectangular boxes that are about 10 x 10 x 18". I will check out your Jegs units.
__________________
It only costs 70 percent more to go first class.
Tanker Pilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2018, 10:31 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Tanker Pilot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Oregon
Posts: 62
Year: 2005
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: Blue Bird
Engine: 8.3 L Cummins, MD 3060 Trans
Rated Cap: 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
keep it if you want A/C for driving.. if your system is dual compressor / dual condensor you can probably take one system out and keep one.. insulating the bus will make it so that one system will cool you nicely.. if the system inoperable and needs recharged anyuway, you can move that evaporator unit closer to the front if you are willing to make new hoses.. might make it easier to integrate into your comnversion.. most full size school busses run 2 complete systems.. so removing one doesnt affewct the other.. there are however some busses that use a single compressor.. you can easily tell if you have 2 sets of controls and 2 compressors on the engine..



minisplits. window units, camoper A/C. asre all great for being parked but it takes much more cooling capacity to keep you nice n cool in the driver seat on a summer day into the sun..
-Christopher
The system is dual compressor/condenser. They each run on their own dedicated belt, separate from the serpentine belt, so it should be a fairly matter to remove one of them. Since I have not tried them yet, it could be that one does not work anyway, in which case removing one as opposed to repairing it might be a really good option. I don't think I would bother making new hoses unless their location turns out to be a serious obstacle to my plan, but again, a good option should they prove to be. Thanks!!!
__________________
It only costs 70 percent more to go first class.
Tanker Pilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2018, 10:36 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
Tanker Pilot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Oregon
Posts: 62
Year: 2005
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: Blue Bird
Engine: 8.3 L Cummins, MD 3060 Trans
Rated Cap: 50
Yes, having heat on the road is a must for this warm weather lad. I am sure I will want to at least relocate one if not all of them. Since I will move them, I am curious as to whether there are less bulky options out there that are not ridiculously spendy. Any thoughts on the age of the hoses?
__________________
It only costs 70 percent more to go first class.
Tanker Pilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2018, 10:39 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
Tanker Pilot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Oregon
Posts: 62
Year: 2005
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: Blue Bird
Engine: 8.3 L Cummins, MD 3060 Trans
Rated Cap: 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mullet View Post
I don't have A/C, but I kept all my heaters and glad I did! It gets cold inside in the winter when driving down the road.
Thanks. Any thoughts on the age of the hoses?
__________________
It only costs 70 percent more to go first class.
Tanker Pilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2018, 06:40 AM   #10
Site Team
 
Johnny Mullet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Ashtabula, Ohio
Posts: 1,377
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: T444E 7.3L
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tanker Pilot View Post
Thanks. Any thoughts on the age of the hoses?
The hoses are as old as the bus which is a 1996. Not concerned with them really.
Johnny Mullet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2018, 08:17 AM   #11
Bus Geek
 
brokedown's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Weeki Wachee, FL
Posts: 3,019
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: Cummins 5.9
Rated Cap: 72
My bus had a similar setup when I bough it. Given the cooling power of those things compared to what you could do with a rooftop unit, it's a no brainer to keep them if they work. They're big and they take up space, no getting around that!

I've got my driver's feet heater and mid ship heater removed at the moment as I do construction on the bus. I actually drove it briefly yesterday and am wondering if they're worth the space given the amount of heat put out by the dashboard/defrost system. We have a LOT of insulation which helps on both sides.
__________________
Keep up with us and our build!
Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter
brokedown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2018, 10:20 AM   #12
Mini-Skoolie
 
Tanker Pilot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Oregon
Posts: 62
Year: 2005
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: Blue Bird
Engine: 8.3 L Cummins, MD 3060 Trans
Rated Cap: 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mullet View Post
The hoses are as old as the bus which is a 1996. Not concerned with them really.
Thanks. Maybe I'll leave mine be. I'll get a good sense of their condition when I move/replace the heaters.
Tanker Pilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2018, 10:37 AM   #13
Mini-Skoolie
 
Tanker Pilot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Oregon
Posts: 62
Year: 2005
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: Blue Bird
Engine: 8.3 L Cummins, MD 3060 Trans
Rated Cap: 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by ComfortEagle View Post
I am installing a 40K BTU unit up front and 2 28K BTU units in the rear. And for me and my 1986 bus, I am replacing all hoses...
I like the units you chose for the rear of the bus. They are more compact than my stock units, and it looks like they can be installed under a cabinet or other component such that the heat is directed into the interior of the bus. My current units disperse heat through an arc of 270 degrees. They would have to be further boxed in/modified or placed in an open area, which I will likely not have at floor level.
__________________
It only costs 70 percent more to go first class.
Tanker Pilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2018, 10:50 AM   #14
Mini-Skoolie
 
Tanker Pilot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Oregon
Posts: 62
Year: 2005
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: Blue Bird
Engine: 8.3 L Cummins, MD 3060 Trans
Rated Cap: 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by brokedown View Post
My bus had a similar setup when I bough it. Given the cooling power of those things compared to what you could do with a rooftop unit, it's a no brainer to keep them if they work. They're big and they take up space, no getting around that!

I've got my driver's feet heater and mid ship heater removed at the moment as I do construction on the bus. I actually drove it briefly yesterday and am wondering if they're worth the space given the amount of heat put out by the dashboard/defrost system. We have a LOT of insulation which helps on both sides.
Yeah, they’re big. We’ll see if that’s an issue as I move forward with my plan.

Yes, the stock heaters are very bulky. I was told by the dealer that sold me the bus that he would not bother with additional floor or ceiling insulation. He said buses with stock A/C already are substantially insulated. Thinking about it . . .
__________________
It only costs 70 percent more to go first class.
Tanker Pilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2018, 11:17 AM   #15
Bus Geek
 
brokedown's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Weeki Wachee, FL
Posts: 3,019
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: Cummins 5.9
Rated Cap: 72
He basically lied about the insulation. They all have roughly the same token amount of batting between the ceiling and roof that provides basically no insulation. Those metal panels are all connected together, think of them as a single piece. Inside and outside are the same if you don't have a thermal break.
__________________
Keep up with us and our build!
Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter
brokedown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2018, 01:54 PM   #16
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 12,859
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
Quote:
Originally Posted by brokedown View Post
He basically lied about the insulation. They all have roughly the same token amount of batting between the ceiling and roof that provides basically no insulation. Those metal panels are all connected together, think of them as a single piece. Inside and outside are the same if you don't have a thermal break.

depends on the bus.. my red bus has MUCH better insulation than either of my other 2.. it was factory order with its air conditioners as opposed to being dealer installed.. from what I understand a bus ordered without A/C and then having it dealer installed results in standard insulation but a bus ordered from the factory with it has more insulation..



its a toss up of whether busses are ordered withg A/C or not.. typically the factory has one A/C company they use for factory installs. (which often the bus is sent out to have the A/C put in during the build).. vs a desaler who can often save the customer $$ by offering competitive brans of A/C..



for bluebirds they offered Trans/AIR as the factory systems.. but T/A cost mire than a carrier or ACC or MCC branded system..



the only way the dealer who sold the OP his bus would know is if the manutfacturer of the bus listed it on the Build sheet for said bus..

-Christopher
cadillackid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2018, 02:25 AM   #17
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
Posts: 2,198
If the bus had factory A/C it would probably have had either the desert or artic insulation package.

I had a Thomas Saf-T-Liner RE that had factory A/C and the whole underside of the bus had been insulated with spray foam at least three inches thick. With the white roof and tinted windows it was always measurably cooler inside than a bus parked right next to it that wasn't equipped the same way.

In my experience I would ditch the factory A/C set up and do what Christopher suggested and move the evaporator. I have driven RE school buses with evaporators and cooling ducts like that. By the time the cool air makes it up front there isn't enough to offset the greenhouse effect of the huge windshields. If you want to be cool while driving a bus you need to have the cold air start near to the driver.

As far as the underseat heaters are concerned, they came in a lot of different sizes and shapes. I have seen them with the fans mounted on the front, rear, top, sides, and bottom of the box to blow or suck air through the heater core. It all sort of depended upon who made the heater and how it was mounted. The top and bottom mounted fans tended to not suck as much dirt and debris into the heater core as the front, side, or rear fans did. But the problem with the top or bottom mounted fans is it tended to not move the heat away from the box as well. If you were sitting over the heater you got warmed up really well. If you were a couple of rows away, not so much. The top mounted fans tended to have the lowest profile and the bottom mounted fans tended to have the highest profile.
cowlitzcoach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2018, 09:50 AM   #18
Mini-Skoolie
 
Tanker Pilot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Oregon
Posts: 62
Year: 2005
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: Blue Bird
Engine: 8.3 L Cummins, MD 3060 Trans
Rated Cap: 50
Reconsidering. . . .

Took the evaporators down and am begining to remove the ceiling for insulation. I did a preliminary floor plan and really don’t think I am going to be happy building around those units. I am going to look into replacing them with something else. I have not decided with what yet, but I am going to investigate two roof top units. If you ask me today I’d tell you I’d rather drive nekkid and sweatty than keep these units.
Tanker Pilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2018, 10:37 AM   #19
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 12,859
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
It’s really a personal preference , another option is to ditch the inside evaporators for a different inside unit that is much less ugly .. personally I drove a 1000 mile trip on May south to north and sweated a gallon in my DEV bus.. that dash was in pieces to get AC, on that bus my rear unit is in a nice cabinet and I integrated the front into the dashboard so there is no ugly ceiling units.. I personally travel in the south in summer and wasn’t gonna go back to 1949 with a bandana on my head .. again it’s all a preference.
Christopher
cadillackid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2018, 05:58 PM   #20
Mini-Skoolie
 
jofred99's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Arkansas Ozark Foothills
Posts: 61
Year: 2002
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: TC2000-8 Window
Engine: Cumm ISB/Allison 2000
I have not started a build yet, but have been thinking about sectioning off the front of the bus and only cooling the front for drive time. Install a mini split unit for cooling the rear area and use a small generator or power hookup.
jofred99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:59 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×