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Old 11-24-2020, 07:27 PM   #101
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Join Date: Nov 2020
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New to the schoolie

So I sold my camper. And bought I believe a 1990 blue bird. Flat front 31ft diesel. Iím getting ready to rip this stop sign flap and some seats out. What can I do with these seats because they look like they were just redone. What kind of pump do you use for the plumbing? What kind of tanks and where do I find them? I have so many questions.
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Old 11-24-2020, 07:35 PM   #102
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Northern California (Sacramento)
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Year: 1999
Coachwork: El Dorado Fiberglass
Chassis: Ford E450
Engine: V10 Gas
For conversion: perhaps start with: does my bus leak when it rains?
For overall happiness: do I know how good mechanically the bus is? Engine, Tranny, Brakes, Tires?
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Old 11-25-2020, 11:48 AM   #103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rucker View Post
For conversion: perhaps start with: does my bus leak when it rains?
For overall happiness: do I know how good mechanically the bus is? Engine, Tranny, Brakes, Tires?
So to start off. It’s raining today. And so far so good it’s dry inside. So that’s a big hurdle. I’ll keep checking throughout the day as it rains.
I drove the bus home from Nashville TN to Harriman TN. It’s governed out at 57-60 mph. It went fine down the high way. Till traffic hit so we started down a backroad that took us way out of the way. We turned a 2.5 hr drive into a 4.5 hr drive. It only used a quarter tank of diesel . And it was a little sketchy at first but I think it’s got a better turning radius than my 94 gmc k3500 dually diesel.
I do think I’m going to have to find new front tires. And I wanna jack it up to check the control arms and ect. Any suggestions???
What should I start doing next? Pulling seats and the floor? ???
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Old 11-25-2020, 12:19 PM   #104
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Update. I spoke too soon. I got a leak from a back emergency hatch.
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Old 11-25-2020, 12:32 PM   #105
Bus Geek
 
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emergency hatches always leak. a lot of people rivet metal over them or replace them with homemade skylights, or vent fans, etc.. its almost always the sun-baked plastic flange on the outside root has cracked or is crumbling away.


pulling seats and floor is your preference.. if you want to clean up and insulate your floor (and thats the best way) then definitely pull it. once the floor covering and any plywood is up you can really get a sense of any hidden leaks your bus may have. where the water ends up below the rubber floor covering.
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Old 02-25-2021, 12:32 AM   #106
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: EastCoast
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Year: 2000
Engine: 6.5
I'm in a little bit of a rut. Hope someone can help me out. I have a 2000 Chevrolet 3500 Express short bus that I've decided to put up for sale due finding alot of rust (it also has quite a few minor issues). It seems like it may take awhile for it to sell. It hasn't been driven or started since I bought it over the summer (2020). While I wait for it to sell I'd like to get it up and running so that I can drive it (having it drivable will also of course be better for a buyer) and hang out in it.

Prior to wanting to sell I decided to remove the heater and air conditioner. I'm not familiar with mechanics what so ever. The coolant from the heater was drained and there wasn't anything in the air conditioner line to drain. I didn't move on to the next step of the heater/ac removal process because I honestly wasn't sure what was suppose to be done next.

After reading this thread I realized that it's probably best to cap off the heater and Ac. If I still have the bus well into the spring/summer I plan on relocating the heater and Ac. Maybe it was a good thing that I got stuck, lol. The heater and ac however have been outside uncovered because I planned on taking them to the dump. The heater has been rained on and sitting outside for a few months and the Ac has been sitting in the snow for a few weeks.

1st question) To be able to drive again is it correct that all I need to do is cap off the heater and ac lines and refill the coolant? As far as capping I just connect the hoses with a pipe (going to go to the auto store for it) and then clamps both ends? If the ac lines are long enough to reach the heater lines can I connect them? Is there anything I need to do to the heater and Ac electrical lines?

2nd question) Is the heater and Ac still useable considering they've been sitting out in the rain and or snow?

3rd question) I was thinking of rerouting the rear heater lines to the front and putting in a small heater below the dashboard. I looked at a few and just wanted to make sure that these were the right kind?...

20,000 BTU Auxiliary Heater
24 Volt Auxiliary Heater
Auxiliary Heater

4th question) If the Ac is reusable is it possible to put it on the outside of the bus either on the roof or above the back door? If so is there anything special I need to do?

- Thanks
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Old 02-25-2021, 02:18 AM   #107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkooleeGrl View Post
I'm in a little bit of a rut. Hope someone can help me out.

1st question) To be able to drive again is it correct that all I need to do is cap off the heater and ac lines and refill the coolant? As far as capping I just connect the hoses with a pipe (going to go to the auto store for it) and then clamps both ends? If the ac lines are long enough to reach the heater lines can I connect them? Is there anything I need to do to the heater and Ac electrical lines?
The heater and A/C need not work or be connected to restore drivability. Bare minimum, A/C compressor must be bolted in place with the belt properly routed over the pulley, and cooling system must be refilled. The heater need not be connected, you can simply take a U-shaped pipe fitting of the correct diameter and loop one heater hose into the other to bypass the core without even reinstalling it (with proper clamps securing the hose to the fitting, of course).

Though in this cold weather, it might be better to reinstall it as well. Also, be sure to use the correct type of coolant. Dex-Cool is generally incompatible with ethylene glycol and WILL clog up the cooling system, causing engine damage. There are, however, Dex-Cool compatible genericsm but to further cloud the issue, are green like the standard ethylene glycol it is not meant to mix with.

And yes, I would cap off the A/C refrigerant lines to avoid contamination of the system, should someone desire to restore it to working order, or perhaps use the parts on another vehicle. If you elect to reinstall the heater to restore functionality, check it for function before buttoning everything up, some heater cores have a flow valve that allow flow in only one direction, which means that if the hose connections are reversed, you'll have a burst of heat followed by lukewarm-to-cold air as the coolant trapped in the core cools, unable to flow and maintain heat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkooleeGrl View Post
2nd question) Is the heater and Ac still useable considering they've been sitting out in the rain and or snow?
The heater is likely not affected. The A/C parts could likely have filled with moisture / dirt. The lines could certainly be blown out with compressed air and capped with no long-term issues. If the compressor has taken on water and dirt, however, it is likely trash. You may get lucky, but if there is doubt in this area, this model likely shares the same compressor with any 90-degree gas V-6 or V-8 of this vintage, and can be easily sourced at any salvage yard for not a lot of money. It is not, however, critical that it function for the engine to run, it merely need be bolted in place and able to turn freely with the belt routed properly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkooleeGrl View Post
3rd question) I was thinking of rerouting the rear heater lines to the front and putting in a small heater below the dashboard. I looked at a few and just wanted to make sure that these were the right kind?...

20,000 BTU Auxiliary Heater
24 Volt Auxiliary Heater
Auxiliary Heater
I really wouldn't recommend replacing functional factory heaters with aftermarket that requires modifying the vehicle unless it's absolutely necessary. It is very easy to accidentally drill or cut through something else like engine or other electrical wiring in the process of making something else work. Skoolie owners do this all the time by accidentally driving screws through wiring inside the walls, causing anything from a blown fuse to a fried electrical system. If the original worked as it should, I would simply reinstall it, fill the system, purge it of air and call it good. No sense in putting more time and money into something you're already likely to be selling at a lost. The rear heater doesn't even really need to be connected, its fittings, too, can be looped into each other to bypass it without reinstallation. It may also be equipped with a flow valve, so be sure to check for this if reinstalling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkooleeGrl View Post
4th question) If the Ac is reusable is it possible to put it on the outside of the bus either on the roof or above the back door? If so is there anything special I need to do?
I'm confused about this one. Why would you want to put the A/C on the outside of the vehicle?
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Old 02-25-2021, 08:35 AM   #108
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Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Mt Vernon, WA
Posts: 502
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Bluebird, Collins
Chassis: G30 Bluebird Microbird, E350 Shuttle Bus
Engine: 1995 Chevrolet 350, 1992 Ford 460
Iím not clear from your description. What you want to do can be done but why? Iíd leave them out of the vehicle and get it running. Are you referring to the rear heater ( if it had one)? If so, the rear heater tubing can simply be looped back in the engine compartment connecting the supply to the return. I did this and have no regrets removing the rear heater. Took me about 20 minutes.
And if it was my bus I would not reinstall the air conditioner. Iíd just get the belt made for a van without air conditioning. My preference is a inexpensive window mount A/C that can be used whether parked or driving and be powered by solar ,generator, alternator power, or a combination of these sources. But Iíve learned what I want to do is often very different than what others do. But Iíve built a lot of vans and buses and like them for my use. So thatís what matters. My 2 cents worth. Best wishes.
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Old 02-25-2021, 09:14 AM   #109
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Location: Columbus Ohio
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Coachwork: Carpenter
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Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
this seemed a little cryptic.. so di you remove the dashboard heater and A/C system too? seems there is no need to put a heater up front by running the hoses up from the back.. that bus should have a regular van style dashbaord heat, A/C.. if it were my bus i wouldnt install any crappy window A/C units, and unless you have occupants in the back you can leave the rear heater and rear A/C out.. re-pipe the front system with a radiator mounted condenser and then you use the front dash heat, A/C just like you would in a van or car.. it will easily cool, heat you while driving.. you can put a up a curtain behind the front seat if needbe.. if you ripped out the dashboard heat and A/C then you effectively ruined the vehicle for anything but perfect weather as you no longer have defrost either.. but im guessing you just took the rear stuff out.. which would break the front A/C but that is pretty straightforward to fix
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Old 02-25-2021, 10:56 AM   #110
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Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Mt Vernon, WA
Posts: 502
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Bluebird, Collins
Chassis: G30 Bluebird Microbird, E350 Shuttle Bus
Engine: 1995 Chevrolet 350, 1992 Ford 460
Itís a confusing original post and I assumed they were referring to the A/C on the engine. My bad. If itís a separate A/C inside or mounted underneath Iíd get rid of it. I have a shuttle bus with A/C under the vehicle. After I tear it out I can use that space for something else. Donít want anything I canít run on solar personally. My choices are colored because Ive always lived in the Northwest. Where A/C was not standard until recently. I understand if folks in other parts of the country value it differently.
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Old 02-25-2021, 08:12 PM   #111
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: EastCoast
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Year: 2000
Engine: 6.5
Thanks for the responses guys. The dash has heat but no ac unless I'm mistaken.


The only reason I wanted to relocate and reconnect the heater and ac was because of the posts talking about freezing in the winter and heat exhaustion while driving. It totally went over my head that most people here are talking about bigger buses where the initial heat and ac tend to only be in the back via the factory units .

Quote:
Originally Posted by CHEESE_WAGON View Post
The heater and A/C need not work or be connected to restore drivability. Bare minimum, A/C compressor must be bolted in place with the belt properly routed over the pulley, and cooling system must be refilled. The heater need not be connected, you can simply take a U-shaped pipe fitting of the correct diameter and loop one heater hose into the other to bypass the core without even reinstalling it (with proper clamps securing the hose to the fitting, of course).
Thanks. I tried reading threads and watching videos on what I was suppose to do after removing the heater and ac but nothing I read or watched was "dumbed" down enough for me to understand lol. I think I'm finally slowly comprehending now.

I didn't think the rear heater and ac needed to work or be connected for the bus to be drivable. I remember reading that if the rear heater and ac lines were cut and not capped off and changes weren't made to the A/C compressor that it would be problematic to drive. I think it was said that coolant would leak and that overheating would occur.

I briefly looked under the hood today from standing view and ground view. When you say that the A/C compressor needs to be bolted in place do you mean literally? I only saw one belt. Am I rerouting that belt or am I buying a belt? My niece's boyfriend said something about an AC Pulley Delete.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CHEESE_WAGON View Post
Also, be sure to use the correct type of coolant. Dex-Cool is generally incompatible with ethylene glycol and WILL clog up the cooling system, causing engine damage. There are, however, Dex-Cool compatible genericsm but to further cloud the issue, are green like the standard ethylene glycol it is not meant to mix with.
Got'cha. I didn't see any green liquid. If I remember correctly one hose drained out pink liquid and the other drained out orange. Would be best to just contact Chevy to see what's the right coolant, right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CHEESE_WAGON View Post
If you elect to reinstall the heater to restore functionality, check it for function before buttoning everything up, some heater cores have a flow valve that allow flow in only one direction, which means that if the hose connections are reversed, you'll have a burst of heat followed by lukewarm-to-cold air as the coolant trapped in the core cools, unable to flow and maintain heat.

The heater is likely not affected. The A/C parts could likely have filled with moisture / dirt. The lines could certainly be blown out with compressed air and capped with no long-term issues. If the compressor has taken on water and dirt, however, it is likely trash. You may get lucky, but if there is doubt in this area, this model likely shares the same compressor with any 90-degree gas V-6 or V-8 of this vintage, and can be easily sourced at any salvage yard for not a lot of money. It is not, however, critical that it function for the engine to run, it merely need be bolted in place and able to turn freely with the belt routed properly.
Understood. I briefly looked at the heater and ac today. They still look good but I will take a better look tomorrow and will also wrap them in a tarp. I don't plan on reinstalling them now that I know there's no point to doing so however I will keep them in case the next owner wants them.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CHEESE_WAGON View Post
I'm confused about this one. Why would you want to put the A/C on the outside of the vehicle?
Kinda doesn't matter now since I'm not reinstalling it but I saw a bus that had what I think was a standard window ac. It was install on the back of the bus above the door. Half of it was inside and the other half was on the outside. It made me think if it was possible to do the same with the factory ac. I figured that if I was going to reinstall it that maybe I could preserve space by somehow turning the factory ac in a outside mounted ac.
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Old 02-25-2021, 08:29 PM   #112
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: EastCoast
Posts: 19
Year: 2000
Engine: 6.5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doktari View Post
I’m not clear from your description. What you want to do can be done but why? I’d leave them out of the vehicle and get it running. Are you referring to the rear heater ( if it had one)? If so, the rear heater tubing can simply be looped back in the engine compartment connecting the supply to the return. I did this and have no regrets removing the rear heater. Took me about 20 minutes.
Yes the rear heater. Sorry all for not being clear on that. I think I kind of assumed that it would be known that I was talking about the rear heater and ac. Kind of forgot that most short buses tend to have dashboard heaters and ac.

I did read about looping the heater tubing to the engine compartment. That means cutting all the excess tubing right? If so I thought what if I change my mind about wanting or needing the rear heater as well as what if the next owner wants heat in the back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doktari View Post
And if it was my bus I would not reinstall the air conditioner. I’d just get the belt made for a van without air conditioning. My preference is a inexpensive window mount A/C that can be used whether parked or driving and be powered by solar ,generator, alternator power, or a combination of these sources. But I’ve learned what I want to do is often very different than what others do. But I’ve built a lot of vans and buses and like them for my use. So that’s what matters. My 2 cents worth. Best wishes.
I've looked over a few posts and videos on different methods of air conditioning. Windows ac is on the list, especially since some have remotes now (I'm a big fan of being able to have a remote for certain things). However I haven't really came to a definitive decision yet especially since I don't plan on keeping this bus.
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Old 02-25-2021, 09:19 PM   #113
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SkooleeGrl - In a nutshell, all you need to do is loop your heater coolant hoses back into each other, properly clamped, maybe top off the system and it should run and drive fine. As far as the heater goes, anyway. As to the A/C, that depends on whether the compressor is engine-driven. If engine-driven, it must be bolted in its place with the serpentine belt correctly routed over its pulley to restore drivability. If the A/C is completely electric and powered by the alternator, you really don't need to do anything other than tape off any unused wires or connectors.
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Old 02-25-2021, 09:51 PM   #114
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: EastCoast
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Engine: 6.5
Quote:
Originally Posted by CHEESE_WAGON View Post
SkooleeGrl - In a nutshell, all you need to do is loop your heater coolant hoses back into each other, properly clamped, maybe top off the system and it should run and drive fine. As far as the heater goes, anyway. As to the A/C, that depends on whether the compressor is engine-driven. If engine-driven, it must be bolted in its place with the serpentine belt correctly routed over its pulley to restore drivability. If the A/C is completely electric and powered by the alternator, you really don't need to do anything other than tape off any unused wires or connectors.
Lol I was just adding on to my post about the compressor. We must have been typing at the same time. I wrote... I briefly looked under the hood today from standing view and ground view. When you say that the A/C compressor needs to be bolted in place do you mean literally? I only saw one belt. Am I rerouting that belt or am I buying a belt? My niece's boyfriend said something about an AC Pulley Delete.

The clamping of the hoses seems pretty straight forward now that I understand exactly what it entails and the taping of the wires is no biggy. I think I'm going tackle that tomorrow. Will take another look at the a/c compressor tomorrow as well. I tried to taking video when I looked at it today but jeez it's such a tight angle regardless if I'm standing or under the bus.

-Thanks
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Old 02-25-2021, 10:12 PM   #115
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SkooleeGrl - Let's start over here.

Most factory air-conditioning uses a mechanically-driven compressor, usually grouped in with the other normal engine-driven accessories such as the alternator, water pump, etc.

Being that the base van this bus was built on did not have factory-installed A/C, it would have been less likely to have this, but some coachwork manufacturers either order the base vehicle with an engine-mounted compressor to be used with the units they install as part of the coachwork, OR...

They simply use completely self-powered electrical units that simply use power from the vehicle's electrical system and don't bother with an engine-driven compressor at all. This is what you need to look for...




As you're looking at the picture, just off dead-center, you'll see one large pulley attached to a cylindrical device almost like a tank toward the top of the engine. Yours may or may not have this, but that is the A/C compressor GM used on these engines. It may or may not be in that exact location on this particular application, but if you have not removed or loosened anything in the accessory drive, you should be fine. The compressor only needs lines and refrigerant if the sytem needs to work, which is not necessary simply for the vehicle to run and drive. The compressor (if equipped) can simply be capped off either at its own ports or at the ends of the lines it supplies. The engine will run perfectly fine.

The heat, however, must either have its coolant supply hoses looped into each other and clamped to prevent leakage, or reinstalled.
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Old 02-26-2021, 08:13 AM   #116
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
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Coachwork: Carpenter
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Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
you are correct that dash has no A/C..unusual most van busses have it if they have rear A/C.. yours likely had its A/C added.



..a window unit wont begin to cool you while driving.. id put the original air conditioner back in unless you plan to sweat while driving in the summer.. a minisplit or a rooftop camper A/C woiuld have a mnuch better chance of cooling a shortbus while driving but still not as good as an engine driven system. if you always plan to chase the nice weather (70s and below) then you will be fine but if you plan to travel in summer anywhere but the mountains or the always-rainy northwest then it might get a bit hot..



if it were my bus I would probably rebuild the engine-driven A/C or sell the bus and get a different one that still has working A/C..
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Old 03-04-2021, 01:13 PM   #117
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Good OP CadillacKid! I cant stress that enough to people new to buses.
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Old 05-16-2021, 09:21 PM   #118
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Removing unit just to insulate

Any suggestion for how to temporarily remove the AC units just to insulate the roof and install wood plans on the ceiling?
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Old 05-17-2021, 09:41 AM   #119
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loloscanly View Post
Any suggestion for how to temporarily remove the AC units just to insulate the roof and install wood plans on the ceiling?
If you can get some play in the hoses and wiring I would see if you could set them on a sawhorse while you finish up the ceiling and the space behind it.

They are VERY heavy, fair warning!!
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Old 05-17-2021, 10:30 AM   #120
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Moving AC unit?

Thank you so much for your reply! Is it possible for me to extend the hoses on it to move it forward a little?
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