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

884 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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2021 1500 136"WB High top
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We took the heat shield off. I had the advantage of being at my friends garage where he has a lift. Putting it back on was a bitch.

If the heater is placed like @phil says you can get away with leaving the heat shield there. You want it placed as close to the driver's side as possible, and when you cut the hole, watch out for the bundle if wires toward the front.

You want to attach all the stuff to the heater before you drop it through the hole because you won't be able to get to it with the heat shield there.

And the seat has a rail. We had to raise the mounting plate.
 

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This could be the answer I was looking to hear. Would love to not need to take it all out.


Did the exhaust have to drop down as well when you take the heat shield off? I was expecting it to be a "standalone" thing but how mine appears bolted in it is also holding up the exhaust.
With what you, @phil, and @DETstru said I might just make sure I run it all the way to the left of the passenger seat (left toward driver side that is if I'm reading this right) and not worry about the heat shield.

I got one of the bigger mounting brackets for it, versus the flimsy one that comes with it, and I'm using riv nuts to attach to the floor so it should be easy to pre-attach everything to the mounting plate before I drop it into the floor. I'm hoping y'all may have just saved me some headache with this heat shield business!

If youre still reading this - any pointers on where to run the exhaust out from there? Trying to figure out safe mounting locations since it's right by the gas tank there and want to make sure i run it all at a downward angle without bends as much as possible.
own.
Thank you, Great Promaster hivemind!
It dropped down a little, but that's what made it so hard to get back up -- getting the bolts to match the holes. This was me and very competent car person. I could not have done it on my own. Get the perfect placment and you'll be fine.

I made a video of the install. I think there's some good shots to show the placement. None of the heat shield because we both had our hands on it, trying to line up the bolt holes. But really, you don't need to remove it.

 

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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.
Had I been smart enough during my build to plan for a heater to be added, I totally would have chosen someplace else. I really think everyone converting a van should consider that they might add a heater at some future time, and plan a place where it will fit. One season with the van and I realized I needed one and under the passenger seat was the only option.
 

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I'm using riv nuts to attach to the floor
I could be wrong, but the floor is thicker metal than muck of the van. Will a riv nut work? There must be something like it because the van comes with those d-rings that are screwed in.

Also, there's a bunch of sealant we applied that I think needs to be applied. That might interfere with the vivnuts. We drilled holes and bolted mine (the advantage to removing the heat shield), and the sealant was covering the holes.

If mine breaks, I can't imagine actually removing it. That would be a nightmare.
 

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Five years after we installed the Webasto in the rear, we installed the B2B charger under the seat. I have no idea where we could have put the B2B if the Webasto had been there. Considering that when we built the van, we weren't contemplating either addition, I’d say we got lucky.

So I crawl upon my soapbox again. No matter how simple you think you want your van, or how empty your pocket book is when you begin, when you design, contemplate beyond the present.
Exactly!!!
 

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This is where I am 100%. I would do it different in van 2.0, but as my heater was an afterthought, I too am taking the under seat route.
my dinette is slightly raised, with a step up to the floor between the benches. This was so I had room in the benches for the water tank. I would have made the raised floor 1" higher and put the heater under there.
 
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