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Old 07-08-2014, 09:47 AM   #1
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1987 32.5' Airstream 325
dripping springs , Texas
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Engine compartment air dam

In the engine compartment of my moho is a rubber flap above the radiator tha essentially blocks air flow over the engine. My assumption is that a PO thought this would force more air through the radiator and help cooling. I think it has the effect of prohibiting air flow over the engine and increasing heat in the cab. It doesn't look stock, and was wondering if anyone else had similar issues or an explanation. My thought is to remove it and add a plastic piece in the wheel well (sort of liner) to direct air over the engine and out the existing side vents. Thoughts?
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Old 07-08-2014, 10:54 AM   #2
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I believe this is a stock item on the Classic Airstream Motorhomes.
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Old 07-08-2014, 05:43 PM   #3
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1985 32.5' Airstream 325
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Have you got a picture
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Old 07-08-2014, 10:46 PM   #4
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LOL, I don't think this applies to us furnace oil burners.
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Old 07-09-2014, 08:43 AM   #5
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A 454 is not an air cooled engine. It is cooled by water only. You want as much air going through the radiator as possible. That rubber air dam is oem to all gas powered classics. If you have heat radiating out from the doghouse you should reseal the lid and or add thermo insulation to the lid as well.


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Old 07-09-2014, 09:03 AM   #6
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1987 32.5' Airstream 325
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I understand the 454 is water cooled, my concern is less about the engine specifically, but the system as a whole. The dash under operation is very hot (heating the wiring and expediting the failure of the 12 volt system). Attached are a couple photos of the flap, if everyone seems to have one then I'll replace it, but it seems mighty janky for factory....Click image for larger version

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Old 07-09-2014, 09:09 AM   #7
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Also, just to share info, this all stems from rebuilding the AC (dash) system, and correcting some other issues (replacing thermostat, etc.). I decided to improve on the existing design by adding lizard skin to the areas I could access to reduce cab temp, and to try and preserve the 12 Volt wiring. Ill let you know how it works, but I used to on a 1960 cadillac build a few years ago and really like it. I've already replaced the doghouse seals and hold downs, but am going to lizard skin the bottom of the DH and reinstall the insulation for max heat reduction....
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Old 07-09-2014, 09:49 AM   #8
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I'm not familiar with lizard skin. What kind of product is it?


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Old 07-09-2014, 09:54 AM   #9
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It's a spray on ceramic coating insulation


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Old 07-09-2014, 09:55 AM   #10
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Lizardskin.com


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Old 07-10-2014, 10:04 PM   #11
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gaiaenviro, do you have the vents along the side, just behind front wheels? All P-30 motorhomes were notorious for operating at high temps.

I've got the flap, but I also have 2 electric auxiliary fans on front of the A/C 'radiator'. Never really had much of a problem with overheating, but of course, I haven't really gotten mine out on road lately while I work on the interior.

I do know the PO drove the Airstream from Charlottesville, VA to Saint Petersburg, FL with no overheating issues.

Still, use of Lizard Skin sounds like a great idea. I'm going with 'FatMat' on floors in living area of my motorhome to create a bit of sound barrier, as well as have some sort of insulation (albeit tiny R-factor) on the floors.

Getting rid of any heat soak out of engine compartment area is a great idea, but getting all the air you can over the radiator is important as well. Just a crazy thought, how about installation of some sort of small fan on the side vents to pull out the heat from engine?

Good Luck, Derek
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Old 07-10-2014, 10:33 PM   #12
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Derek, I have all of the above, I like the fan idea on the vents. I swapped out the Tstat for a 160 which helped on idle today. I also found sagging insulation. What I did note as I was charging the AC is the the fan is plenty strong ( very hot legs from breeze), so will replace the flap with something better....


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Old 07-11-2014, 10:03 PM   #13
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The dam on my classic seems to be some kind of glass reinforced rubber product. Over the years it has had some of the screws that hold it in place pull through and tear the rubber a bit. I would like to replace it too. Let us know what product you discover to replace it with. Thanks, Steve
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Old 07-12-2014, 07:35 AM   #14
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Steve,

The rubber air damn in the 310 I used to own appeared to be just a sheet of neoprene rubber. That's what I plan on using on my Argosy. I bought some .125 thick neoprene rubber on ebay a while back for my milling machine and I believe it would be good to use for the air damn as well.

Brad
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