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

889 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.
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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)

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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.

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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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2019 RAM Promaster 2500 136"
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When I installed my Webasto gas heater I saw no reason to remove the heat shield. I installed the wiring, exhaust, intake, and fuel line to the bottom of the Webasto and pushed them all through the hole from the top. Had no problems with the heat shield being there at all. There's tons of room.

Done on my driveway, alone, with no jacks or lift.

 

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2019 RAM Promaster 2500 136"
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52 Posts
I agree with Jlo that it should be installed elsewhere if possible. Best to install things were they can be serviced easily.

That being said, I still put mine under the passenger seat. It was best for my layout in my 136.

Some photos from my install below. I used rivnuts and they worked fine. One was a bit tricky to get in due to the corrugations in the floor. Rivnuts really make the no-heat-shield-removal plan possible. Because there's almost no way you could hold the nuts for the bolts without removing the shield.

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2019 RAM Promaster 2500 136"
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52 Posts
good to hear the rivnuts worked for you.
Yea they worked just fine! I was glad as well haha. Otherwise I'd be removing the heat shield.

Try to locate your heater in a spot that allows all the mounting bolts to not go through a sloping part of the floor corrugation. It's hard to get the rivnuts to work in locations where the floor is sloping. I didn't have this foresight and one of my rivuts didn't work so well. I got it to work by bending the floor a bit with a screwdriver but I doubt I can rely on it for much. Bit I'm fine with it even if I only had 5 of the 6 bolts well attached.

Also be aware that the floor has some kind of coating on it (not present in the back of the van floor, just in the front under the seats and front area). It's quite thick. I scraped it off around the rivnut locations before installing them. Most of it broke off while drilling the pilot holes.
 

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2019 RAM Promaster 2500 136"
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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.
In my Van 2.0 I'll probably put mine behind the drivers seat. But Van 2.0 will probably have a different layout and might even be a 159.

my heater was an afterthought so I took the path of least resistance and did the passenger seat.
 
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