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Old 07-25-2019, 05:18 PM   #813
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More progress.


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If I get time tomorrow I'll move Peanut out of the way and lower the AC unit down to the shop floor. After that it's roof prep time for painting. Then the new AC unit will be installed.

Did I mention it gets hot working up in the rafters?!

Brad
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Old 07-25-2019, 06:22 PM   #814
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Originally Posted by bkahler View Post
More progress.


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If I get time tomorrow I'll move Peanut out of the way and lower the AC unit down to the shop floor. After that it's roof prep time for painting. Then the new AC unit will be installed.

Did I mention it gets hot working up in the rafters?!

Brad
Boy, that sounds horrible having to deal with all that vulcum to access the mounting screws. Never seen or heard of one mounted that way. BUT, what a great platform to work off of! Glad you figured a way to tweak it to get different heights to work off of. I would imagine that you want to be closer to the roof when actually installing or working on the ac units but then the platform needs to be high enough to clear the shroud when you are ready to move the rig. I'm sure you'll engineer something that will work. You will possibly run into the same situation in the future when doing anything that requires you to get your hands on the roof surface...camera install, antenna, ac maintenance, vent or fan install, etc etc.. it would be a long reach if your platform was at a height that cleared the ac shroud when pulling your rig under it. Should be fun to see what you come up with, you're awfully good at thinking those situations through and solving tricky challenges.

Nice wench by the way, nice shop all around!
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Old 07-27-2019, 06:07 AM   #815
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Boy, that sounds horrible having to deal with all that vulcum to access the mounting screws. Never seen or heard of one mounted that way.
Yeah the screws were a pain. I eventually got into a routine that simplified removing each screw but it was still a pain!

I think this was an Armstrong unit and I believe that's how they were all mounted until Airstream switched to a different brand.

Quote:
BUT, what a great platform to work off of! Glad you figured a way to tweak it to get different heights to work off of. I would imagine that you want to be closer to the roof when actually installing or working on the ac units but then the platform needs to be high enough to clear the shroud when you are ready to move the rig. I'm sure you'll engineer something that will work. You will possibly run into the same situation in the future when doing anything that requires you to get your hands on the roof surface...camera install, antenna, ac maintenance, vent or fan install, etc etc.. it would be a long reach if your platform was at a height that cleared the ac shroud when pulling your rig under it. Should be fun to see what you come up with, you're awfully good at thinking those situations through and solving tricky challenges.
The original height was just way too inconvenient to work off of. I suspected that would be the case when building it but until I had a point of reference I didn't really know what to do.

With the extension I added it's pretty easy to raise the plants to the top supports or lower them to the lower supports. I'm still a little off on the lower ones, they need to be raised about 1-1/2" to allow for sagging planks. Also since my Argosy is empty it rides higher than Peanut.

I rather enjoy these sort of challenges. I do at times have a tendency to over do things like I did for my engine test stand. I put way more effort into that stand than I really needed to

Quote:
Nice wench by the way, nice shop all around!
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Old 07-27-2019, 06:21 AM   #816
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Air conditioner is down and out of the way now.

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Next is removing all the old Vulkem, putting rivets in all the screw holes, adding a framework inside the shell to support the new AC unit and prepping for paint.

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Ernie has finished removing the dents from the galvanized rear cap and it's now ready to be painted.
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Brad
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Old 08-04-2019, 04:23 PM   #817
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Alright, guys... this is getting a little weird for me now. The minute I read this about how you removed the rooftop A/C unit, mine suddenly develops a leak from the A/C unit, which is coming from where the control knobs are located. Seriously?! It's like "reverse deja vu" or something!? Instead of feeling like "this has happened to me before", I feel like "this is going to happen to me next"!

In regards to the radiator, what would be a good replacement for it? I don't think mine is repairable. The bungs for the transmission cooler lines both literally popped out of the radiator when I touched them, so I used some JB Weld-like epoxy to seal them, because I ALWAYS use "external" transmission coolers on ANY vehicle... and it still leaks as fast as I can pour water in it!! The core is "missing" on the lower passenger's side... So, it needs a new core AND a new bottom tank... basically, a new radiator.
I'm thinking about an all-aluminum, vertical one from Flex-a-lite because they have these mounting grooves along the tanks for one's electric fans, transmission/oil/power steering coolers, etc... . Or, Flowkooler (make high-volume water pumps... read more below) said they make custom ones out of brass tanks & copper cores (like the old days)... any advice? I only plan on doing this hopefully once... no plastic tanks allowed in my vehicles!

I will be using electric cooling fans (like Flex-a-lite's #295 or similar?) with a B&M plate-on-plate transmission cooler for the transmission & another one for the power steering with high-end hose & AN fittings (ie. No leaks!). I also like the idea of using that newer-designed A/C condenser (35% more efficient than the old one) but at the size of the radiator's core, along with a high-volume waterpump from Flowkooler. These water pumps work AWESOME!! When an electric fan had a catastrophic malfunction (not of it's own fault) on a buddy's '99 4.0L Jeep Wrangler which I had installed one on, I drove for 30-45+ minutes, without shutting the motor off once, in Friday evening rush hour stop & go traffic... without going over 220 (factory operating temp was 205, I believe?)!! I could drive up to 40-45mph indefinitely before it would move up slightly off of normal operating temp. This is IMPERATIVE in a vehicle like a Jeep/offroad vehicle (but especially important for an RV), where one is off the beaten path, nowhere near a mechanic shop... or even civilization! I also used stainless steel flex hoses with silicone ends & t-bolt clamps in place of the factory rubber radiator hoses with weak worm-gear clamps. Plus, I used Evan's Cooling Products waterless coolant (NPG Plus C??) in place of the normal anti-freeze/water mixture. It doesn't produce high pressure in your cooling system, yet has a boiling point of 375F-400F!! On top of that, it doesn't rust/oxidize/corrode your engine, radiator, waterpump, thermostat, etc... AND eliminates electrolysis, due to having NO water in it!! It lasts longer than your vehicle most likely will. They call it a lifetime coolant and it keeps your motor cool!! It's like $50/gallon, but well worth it!...especially if you always drain your antifreeze between uses.

Oh, and about starting problems on your 454, your factory fuel pump's internal diaphragm is probably cracked or perforated somewhere and is not letting the system get good suction/prime. Just replace the manual fuel pump with a new one. I just did this on mine ($20 from Advance Auto, can't beat that!), but that darn rod was a thorn in my side... haven't cursed this much in years!! I tried what many other said with using thick wheel bearing grease (specifically, I tried the "Lucas High Tack"). DO NOT USE THIS STUFF TO KEEP THE ROD FROM SLIDING DOWN!! It just made the rod extremely slippery and actually made it slide down even faster than WITHOUT it!! It took me HOURS to get that darn fuel pump in place!!

Another mod you should ABSOLUTELY consider is going with a high-performance ignition set-up, SPECIFICALLY an MSD. Either simply buy a whole new billet distributor & spark plug wires (specifically their "8.5mm Superconductor wires" [$100], NOT the lower-end MSD wires [$30-$40]... with some AC Delco R44TS copper plugs & gap them about .010 wider than stock if using the MSD 6A as well) from MSD & drop it in OR at least buy the MSD cap & rotor, along with a new ignition module (which is underneath the rotor). I used this setup on a buddy's 30'+ Allegro, with the same 454, along with a high-performance Pertronix ignition module, and the MSD cap/rotor/8.5mm Superconductor wires, and an Accel HEI Supercoil (all the local stores had on hand... it was a time crunch thing) and it worked excellent!! I will be doing this to mine as well, but I will also be installing an MSD 6A box to help burn almost ALL of the fuel IN the cylinder... better throttle response, better fuel economy (if you don't jump on it because of it's increased hp/performance & better driveability)... it's like adding an expensive car audio amplifier to upgraded, aftermarket high-end speakers... it makes a world if difference, trust me on that one!

Well, now I need to buy a new starter for it ($40-$50 from Advance Auto, again... can't beat that for value!). Was thinking about one of those high-torque starters ($150-$200+ from Summit or ???), not that the motor is high-compression or anything special, but simply because of it's MUCH smaller physical size, lighter weight (better MPG's is always on the brain when dealing with a gas-powered RV), stronger power, & "clock-ability" (ie. you can swing the case closer to or farther from the block, for header clearance). Any thoughts?

I might as well upgrade my anemic 80-something amp alternator to a 275+ amp version while I'm in there, if I'm doing all the rest anyways?! Mean Green Alternators makes some killer, one-wire alternators (ask for Paul, he is the "Guru" of alternators and just a really nice guy)... they produce the full-rated amperage at a much lower RPM (like 1,500 rpms, or even less, iirc?) than many of their competitors (some at 5,000+ rpms, where our motors will never see for very long).

One more thing, how do you actually change the window seals?? Is there a video of it somewhere? ALL of mine need redone, BADLY! And do you have a name, phone number, & part number(s) for the company who sells the seals?

Oh, & one last thing... I need both banana flares (front & rear) on the passenger side of my 24' Argosy motorhome. Where do I find them??? Anybody have a source?? Or even extras lying around the garage they might sell??

(Thanks again for showing us your journey, step by step!! I just wish I was there to help out if I could... looks like a lot of work but also a lot of fun!)
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Old 08-05-2019, 07:33 AM   #818
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerstripe View Post
Alright, guys... this is getting a little weird for me now. The minute I read this about how you removed the rooftop A/C unit, mine suddenly develops a leak from the A/C unit, which is coming from where the control knobs are located. Seriously?! It's like "reverse deja vu" or something!? Instead of feeling like "this has happened to me before", I feel like "this is going to happen to me next"!
At some point it WILL happen to anyone owning one of these rigs....

Quote:
In regards to the radiator, what would be a good replacement for it? I don't think mine is repairable. The bungs for the transmission cooler lines both literally popped out of the radiator when I touched them, so I used some JB Weld-like epoxy to seal them, because I ALWAYS use "external" transmission coolers on ANY vehicle... and it still leaks as fast as I can pour water in it!! The core is "missing" on the lower passenger's side... So, it needs a new core AND a new bottom tank... basically, a new radiator.
I'm thinking about an all-aluminum, vertical one from Flex-a-lite because they have these mounting grooves along the tanks for one's electric fans, transmission/oil/power steering coolers, etc... . Or, Flowkooler (make high-volume water pumps... read more below) said they make custom ones out of brass tanks & copper cores (like the old days)... any advice? I only plan on doing this hopefully once... no plastic tanks allowed in my vehicles!
Here's an aluminum radiator on ebay that sure seems like it should work.

Quote:
I will be using electric cooling fans (like Flex-a-lite's #295 or similar?) with a B&M plate-on-plate transmission cooler for the transmission & another one for the power steering with high-end hose & AN fittings (ie. No leaks!). I also like the idea of using that newer-designed A/C condenser (35% more efficient than the old one) but at the size of the radiator's core, along with a high-volume waterpump from Flowkooler. These water pumps work AWESOME!! When an electric fan had a catastrophic malfunction (not of it's own fault) on a buddy's '99 4.0L Jeep Wrangler which I had installed one on, I drove for 30-45+ minutes, without shutting the motor off once, in Friday evening rush hour stop & go traffic... without going over 220 (factory operating temp was 205, I believe?)!! I could drive up to 40-45mph indefinitely before it would move up slightly off of normal operating temp. This is IMPERATIVE in a vehicle like a Jeep/offroad vehicle (but especially important for an RV), where one is off the beaten path, nowhere near a mechanic shop... or even civilization! I also used stainless steel flex hoses with silicone ends & t-bolt clamps in place of the factory rubber radiator hoses with weak worm-gear clamps. Plus, I used Evan's Cooling Products waterless coolant (NPG Plus C??) in place of the normal anti-freeze/water mixture. It doesn't produce high pressure in your cooling system, yet has a boiling point of 375F-400F!! On top of that, it doesn't rust/oxidize/corrode your engine, radiator, waterpump, thermostat, etc... AND eliminates electrolysis, due to having NO water in it!! It lasts longer than your vehicle most likely will. They call it a lifetime coolant and it keeps your motor cool!! It's like $50/gallon, but well worth it!...especially if you always drain your antifreeze between uses.
I installed two 10" fans on my Argosy and a 16" fan on Peanut. In hindsight I probably should have installed a 16" on mine as well. From what I've noticed is if the cooling system is in good shape then cooling is not an issue. It's when people let things go, especially the radiator, when things start to go south. Also the fan clutch needs to be functional. When the clutch kicks in the temp drops pretty quick.

Quote:
Oh, and about starting problems on your 454, your factory fuel pump's internal diaphragm is probably cracked or perforated somewhere and is not letting the system get good suction/prime. Just replace the manual fuel pump with a new one. I just did this on mine ($20 from Advance Auto, can't beat that!), but that darn rod was a thorn in my side... haven't cursed this much in years!! I tried what many other said with using thick wheel bearing grease (specifically, I tried the "Lucas High Tack"). DO NOT USE THIS STUFF TO KEEP THE ROD FROM SLIDING DOWN!! It just made the rod extremely slippery and actually made it slide down even faster than WITHOUT it!! It took me HOURS to get that darn fuel pump in place!!
Modern fuels play havoc with these old fuel systems. I don't think it's the pump, I believe it's the combination of modern fuel mixed with a carburetor not being touched since it left the factory. Martin had the same starting issue on Bella and the addition of a electric suction pump near the tank solved his issues. If I'm not mistaken he had Bella's carburetor rebuilt, still had issues, added the electric pump and problem solved.

Quote:
Another mod you should ABSOLUTELY consider is going with a high-performance ignition set-up, SPECIFICALLY an MSD. Either simply buy a whole new billet distributor & spark plug wires (specifically their "8.5mm Superconductor wires" [$100], NOT the lower-end MSD wires [$30-$40]... with some AC Delco R44TS copper plugs & gap them about .010 wider than stock if using the MSD 6A as well) from MSD & drop it in OR at least buy the MSD cap & rotor, along with a new ignition module (which is underneath the rotor). I used this setup on a buddy's 30'+ Allegro, with the same 454, along with a high-performance Pertronix ignition module, and the MSD cap/rotor/8.5mm Superconductor wires, and an Accel HEI Supercoil (all the local stores had on hand... it was a time crunch thing) and it worked excellent!! I will be doing this to mine as well, but I will also be installing an MSD 6A box to help burn almost ALL of the fuel IN the cylinder... better throttle response, better fuel economy (if you don't jump on it because of it's increased hp/performance & better driveability)... it's like adding an expensive car audio amplifier to upgraded, aftermarket high-end speakers... it makes a world if difference, trust me on that one!
A fresh ignition system would be beneficial. I'm not a fan of deviating from a stock arrangement unless the benefits far out weigh the OEM setup. I switched my Argosy over to a GM TBI setup and am glad I did. However I've kept it a stock system so I'm not dependent on some third party vendor going out of business. I like to keep things simple when I can.

Quote:
Well, now I need to buy a new starter for it ($40-$50 from Advance Auto, again... can't beat that for value!). Was thinking about one of those high-torque starters ($150-$200+ from Summit or ???), not that the motor is high-compression or anything special, but simply because of it's MUCH smaller physical size, lighter weight (better MPG's is always on the brain when dealing with a gas-powered RV), stronger power, & "clock-ability" (ie. you can swing the case closer to or farther from the block, for header clearance). Any thoughts?
I and several other people on the forum have installed this high torque mini starter.

Quote:
I might as well upgrade my anemic 80-something amp alternator to a 275+ amp version while I'm in there, if I'm doing all the rest anyways?! Mean Green Alternators makes some killer, one-wire alternators (ask for Paul, he is the "Guru" of alternators and just a really nice guy)... they produce the full-rated amperage at a much lower RPM (like 1,500 rpms, or even less, iirc?) than many of their competitors (some at 5,000+ rpms, where our motors will never see for very long).
Why so big? The original was a 95 amp alternator which is what I put back in Peanut. On my Argosy I had a 140 amp CS144 alternator laying around so I used it. I did make sure the wiring was upgraded appropriately.

One wire alternators are a bad option for these rigs. The one wire alternator doesn't sense what the real system voltage is so it will never put out the appropriate amount of current at the right time. The hot rodders love one wire alternators for the simple reason you only have to deal with one wire. If you want your system voltage to be at the correct level throughout your system you need a 3-wire setup.

Quote:
One more thing, how do you actually change the window seals?? Is there a video of it somewhere? ALL of mine need redone, BADLY! And do you have a name, phone number, & part number(s) for the company who sells the seals?
No videos that I'm aware of. For most (all?!) of us it's been a learning experience as you go. In the Classic's forum under the sticky threads there is a thread on part numbers. I'll see if I can find the link and post it.

Quote:
Oh, & one last thing... I need both banana flares (front & rear) on the passenger side of my 24' Argosy motorhome. Where do I find them??? Anybody have a source?? Or even extras lying around the garage they might sell??
NLA. About your only option is to mix up a slurry of ABS pellets and MEK and repair them yourself. There are several threads where members have done this, myself included.

Brad
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Old 08-12-2019, 07:43 AM   #819
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Ernie has been plugging away at prepping the rear cap, which was severely dented, for painting. In order to reach some areas he found that taping his DA sander to the end of a broom handle. Rear end cap painting should take place sometime this week along with possible painting of the center section later in the week or coming weekend.

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Brad
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Old 08-12-2019, 08:34 AM   #820
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Looking good Brad

One question the photo does raise is around the ability to retro the pano windows. It looks to me like the single window 'cuts' into the end cap, whereas the pano lies along the edge of the end cap.

What do you think? To me it looks like an exchange would require some detail metal work. See this montage from your coach to Peanut.

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Old 08-12-2019, 09:44 AM   #821
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Martin,

Here are pictures showing the dimensions inside the rear of my Argosy and Peanut.

On mine it is 24-3/4" between the upper and lower panel sections.
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On Peanut is it basically the same at about 24-5/8" or so (don't know why the picture is upside down!)
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Back when I was measuring for comparison I believe I determined that the galvanized cap on Peanut would need to be trimmed on the upper section to fit the pano windows.

I'll measure again when I have the opportunity.

Brad
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Old 08-12-2019, 05:39 PM   #822
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Added this patch tonight so I wouldn't be holding Ernie up.

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For some reason a PO decided to put a 1/2" and a 5/16" hole in the roof for some unknown reason. Problem solved


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Old 08-13-2019, 05:55 PM   #823
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Getting closer to painting the rear cap and center section.

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Old 08-15-2019, 10:27 AM   #824
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Peanut certainly has a smooth butt.....just saying
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Old 08-15-2019, 03:18 PM   #825
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Originally Posted by martin300662 View Post
Looking good Brad

One question the photo does raise is around the ability to retro the pano windows. It looks to me like the single window 'cuts' into the end cap, whereas the pano lies along the edge of the end cap.

What do you think? To me it looks like an exchange would require some detail metal work. See this montage from your coach to Peanut.

Attachment 349210

I would proceed with great caution, since it is apparent that the single style window with the rounded corners is a completely different style than the center window of a pano set.
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Old 08-20-2019, 09:32 AM   #826
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Peanut certainly has a smooth butt.....just saying
Plastic surgery can do amazing things.....

While I was out of town Ernie made progress on the end cap and roof painting.

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