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Old 07-23-2012, 12:50 PM   #1
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Surprises behind Refrigerator

I removed the refrigerator to gain access to the underside of my shower - see a different post for more about that.

It was not hard to remove the fridge - four screws in the front and two bolts in the back are all that hold it in - then just disconnect the propane and the 12V power and unplug the 120VAC cord.

Airstream had made some attempt to seal the cavity the fridge sits in. There was a massive amount of think caulking covering nearly every joint. Someone had also written "TT 99" in one foot high letters in caulk on the back of the cabinet.

For all the caulk they blasted in there, they also used metal sealing tape on some of the joints - the same kind of metal tape you use to seal up joints in home HVAC ducts - and the tape was split and torn apart from the movement of the trailer. So completely ineffective.

I assume the point of all of this sealing is that the fridge is a carbon monoxide source when it's burning propane - so you want to keep it in the compartment and not let it out into the living area.

It was about a 30 minute, easy project to remove the fridge, clean the coils thoroughly, and reseal the compartment with more caulk.

Seems as I'm taking more and more apart, I'm finding more cheap construction techniques and sloppy work...
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Old 07-23-2012, 01:24 PM   #2
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Seems like every time I go into a new void I find all kinds of ex-living material and examples of poor quality control. Definitely rough construction in the hidden areas. Poor line up of internal cabinets and furniture fixed with extra cuts of woods patches filling in the missing areas. In some areas pieces of cardboard cut and taped to fill in the miscut furniture. Rough hand cut and jagged cuts of metal pretty much everywhere. Attention to detail in fit and finish and quality control problems are definitely nothing new at the Airstream factory. Some very scary electrical work done over the years by previous owners and by the factory when the trailer was built so many years ago. But even with all that it was built to last and hopefully it will be good to go for many years to come.
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Old 07-23-2012, 01:33 PM   #3
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This seems like a somewhat opportune time to tell a story:

Some years ago, I was looking to use some kind of light adhesive in the engine compartment of the MG. British technology. It gets really hot in there. So I grabbed a piece of sheet metal and put a dab of every sealant I could find along it and let them dry overnight. Next day, I used a propane torch to apply heat to the underside of the sheet metal to see the effect on the adhesives.

Ah, it wasn't pretty! Among other things, the standard caulks I used practically exploded in flames. Lesson learned.


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Old 07-23-2012, 01:35 PM   #4
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This seems like a somewhat opportune time to tell a story:

Some years ago, I was looking to use some kind of light adhesive in the engine compartment of the MG. British technology. It gets really hot in there. So I grabbed a piece of sheet metal and put a dab of every sealant I could find along it and let them dry overnight. Next day, I used a propane torch to apply heat to the underside of the sheet metal to see the effect on the adhesives.

Ah, it wasn't pretty! Among other things, the standard caulks I used practically exploded in flames. Lesson learned.


Lynn
What exactly was the lesson? Not to buy MGs?
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Old 07-23-2012, 03:44 PM   #5
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Nope, it's to watch what kind of caulk you use in a known-hot compartment!

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Old 07-23-2012, 03:50 PM   #6
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Nope, it's to watch what kind of caulk you use in a known-hot compartment!

Lynn
Either that's WAY too obvious, or you're just rationalizing why you didn't give up on Lucas electrics before you developed that nervous tic...

(Full disclosure: I used to have a Sunbeam Alpine Series 3... I know something of the horror of British electrical systems, though the worst of it was remedied by repowering with an Isuzu 4-cyl and transmission because the Sunbeam transmission and Laycock de Normanville OD were TOAST.)
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Old 07-23-2012, 04:56 PM   #7
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I owned and road raced MGs for years. Still have boxes of race parts tucked away in the attic. First thing we would do was pull out and replace the Lucas electrical system and the crappy factory carbs. After that they ran great. One of the most fun factor cars I had was a Sunbeam Tiger with a small block Ford V8, poor man’s Cobra. That thing was scary fast in a straight line but just plain scary when running on a slalom course. It had a tendency to end up going backwards in a hurry. To own an early British Leland car of any kind it helped to be a tinkerer, be a master of multi carb tuning and it certainly helped to have a sense of humor.
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Old 07-23-2012, 07:26 PM   #8
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I had a LOVE/HATE relationship with my '64 Triumph GT-6+.... (sorry for the hijack... but couldn't resist).
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Old 07-24-2012, 10:29 AM   #9
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Ah, memories. I bought a BRAND new 1978 MGB. The second week of ownership, the backup lights were on permanently. A visit under the car revealed a terrific design: the back-up light switch was on top of the transmission and when you put it in reverse, the shifter pushed the button to close the contact. UNFORTUNATELY, Lucas provided a design that allowed water entry into the switch, instantaneous corrosion and a malfunctioning switch. This was the start of around 18 months of constant minor (and major) issues with a British Leyland product. Happiness was the day I sold it to a judge in Leavenworth, Kansas. I left town within months of the sale. I'm no dummy!
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Old 07-24-2012, 11:24 AM   #10
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Yep, owning a MG is almost as much fun as owning a boat or travel trailer. They all seem to break just sitting still. ☺
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Old 07-24-2012, 12:44 PM   #11
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I had a brand new Austin-Healey Sprite back in 1961...fun little machine back in my youth...! After a couple of years, I cured those LUCAS problems by yanking out the entire engine and transmission...

I cut down the toe boxes to gain more room up front and dropped in a small block CHEVY V-8 with 300 cubic inches (overbore 283 CI) and a 3-speed tranny with OD....!

It was a fun project that required some re-engineering work; heavier coils springs up front, chopped heavier rear axle, larger brakes, hand made exhaust system, etc...

I was able to cram all that 'iron' under the stock Sprite front hood, and with quiet mufflers, it was a real sleeper...I called it my Corvette 'killer' back in those days of stop light challenges on cruise nights!...Won my share of street drags in the SF Bay area till the word got around...

One fall, while visiting the Laguna Seca sports car races in Monterey, I happened to stay at the same motel as team Arcerio Bros. that Dan Gurney was driving for - early on in his racing days...He noticed the 'purrrr' of the Sprite and came over to take a look, as I was more than happy to show off! Gurney got a big 'kick' out of it and invited me to look him up at the track to take a couple of laps during practice - What a blast to take some hot laps in my Sprite there at Laguna Seca!

There's more than one way to correct those LUCAS electrical faults!

PS: I ended up selling the Sprite it a guy in Monterey, CA who installed an updated engine with a hot Eskenderian Cam...Esky even ran a pic of the car in their Hot Rod Mag Ad in the inside cover one month!
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Old 07-24-2012, 01:57 PM   #12
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Oh, jeez, I'm sorry, and with apology to Daniel, that I mentioned that my episode with caulks had to do with the MG, and I kindly ask that we stop discussion of British car and return to the topic!


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Old 07-24-2012, 05:29 PM   #13
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No problem in my mind - British sports cars are far more interesting than excessive caulk and crappy HVAC taping in Airstream refrigerator compartments...
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Old 07-26-2012, 02:41 PM   #14
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It's fun to get side tracked once in a while...🚉...Makes life interesting...🌵
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