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Have to drop exhuast when removing heat shield for under passenger seat diesel heater install?

880 Views 33 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  phil
Hello great hive mind,
I am planning on installing a diesel heater under the passenger seat as so many people have also done. I've watched a lot of videos and everyone seems to skim over "just drop the heatshield" during the install videos/documentation.
I was expecting to just find the black plastic pins that you put wood screws into to pop up but found that I dont have those and everything is bolted in in a way that seems I'll also need to drop the exhaust for this procedure however I've never heard anyone mention that during install videos (or I'm maybe not paying enough attention?).

I have attached some pictures and circled the bolts and mounts holding the heat shield and the exhaust up that I believe need removed to get access to drill my hole under the seat and run the heater exhaust and intake hoses, fuel line, ect.. I would love some confirmation that I'm not too crazy here and that letting the exhuast dangle for a bit while I do this install shouldnt hurt anything. I got the van with 19k on it but I'm guessing someone had to drop the heatshield at one point and just bolted it back in since there are not any of the plastic pins holding that part in.
Anyway, thank you for any advice or confirmation on what I have pictured. I'm also happy to get more pictures if needed.
Automotive tire Tire Motor vehicle Automotive exterior Mode of transport

Four bolts towards the middle of the van holding the exhaust and heat shield (the black push pin that is pictured is for a separate part of heatshielding)

Automotive tire Automotive wheel system Gas Auto part Automotive exterior

The mounting piece of hardware and bolt that is supporting the exhuast and holding in the heatshield. There is another single bolt on the right hand of the picture that is out of view but it looks the same. I couldnt get a pic with both bolts in it from under the van.

Tire Wheel Vehicle Automotive tire Tread

This seems to be the whole area that needs dropped. 4 bolts in the back and there are two bolts in the front. Those 6 seem to hold in the heat shield and the exhuast. Am I good to drop this all out while I'm doing the install or are there some precautions I should take with supporting the exhaust while it's unbolted from those mount points?

Thanks in advance! Hope this makes sense.
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My opinion is install your heater somewhere else. When it breaks, AND IT WILL BREAK, it's a total pita to remove it so you can service it. I'm going through this right now and trying to figure out what how to get around the heat shield problem.
 

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I'm not trying to stir things up. I designed my van, but had a company build it out for me. My original design had the heater installed behind the driver's seat. During the build, my builder said "hey, I can install the heater under the seat if you like." I said sounds good, but wasn't thinking about future maintenance and how unreliable these things are. I'm just pissed and frustrated. I understand that it may be too late for the OP and others in the build process, just a heads up for folks in the future.
 
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