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Old 12-31-2010, 12:55 AM   #1
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1984 34.5' Airstream 345
Foothill Ranch , California
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Refurbishing the Auxiliary Heater

My Auxiliary heater under the sofa on my 345 was not working..
The fan motor was not working from the dash control switch, and there was no heat. The heater control knob was stuck too(Valve was seized).
A closer investigation under the doghouse revealed why no heat...
It was disconnected from the coolant supply.
I have to assume that it was either leaking or the pipes were toast.


It was time for an intervention...
Here it is under the sofa..


The plastic deflector/cover is held in with a few screws... I pulled that off, then removed the 2 screws holding the heater box to the floor duct. This is tricky, as they behind the box, difficult to reach, and you need a stubby screwdriver.
Once it was loose, I had easier access to the heater valve. the pipes were so hard and old I just cut them.

Once I had the unit out, I was puzzled by why the rear of the vent was shut off with duct tape...


Here it how it looks when its out...
Interesting stuff..





Screws out, I pulled it apart...
First set of screws take off teh mesh...
Second set of 4 screws takes the support off holding the heater core in.


The core pulls out.


I find its date stamp... 1984, so its is the original!


I take a few measurements to find a replacement, as i am pretty sure its a stock unit.




Some online research tells me that a INTERNATIONAL SCOUT heater core looks to be very close, apart from the thicness, and I think that will not effect the heating too much. I would have to make a spacer or use weatherstrip to pack out the 1/2" diffence.

1971-1980 TRUCK SCOUT, SCOUT II
MEASUREMENTS: 7-3/4" X 7-7/8" X 2"
INLET: 5/8"
OUTLET 5/8"

Lets see if it works..
I will ry to get one locally so I can take the Airstream one in and compare, but $70 sounds reasonable.

That put aside I tested the fan... it works fine on both speeds, so I will have to work back thru the wiring and fuses on the airstream.


More to come!
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Old 12-31-2010, 01:21 AM   #2
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Foresthill , California
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Cool, I mean HOT!

That thing should pump out heat.

Looks as if you like projects so:
RANCO heater control valve kits are available.
NAPA #660-1000 seals fix many old car control valves.

That heater core looks repairable.
Radiator shop!
Perhaps find an old radiator shop that still can clean, rod, test & braze brass tank radiators. The one in Auburn CA did several for me.

I've had worse 1940's truck heater cores and old tractor radiators than that rebuilt and always told "they don't make them like this anymore".

When not leaking those old core heaters work great!

Enjoy project, stay warm.
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Old 12-31-2010, 01:22 AM   #3
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
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Interesting, They put the same heating unit in custom Vans and suburbans done by Conversion Co's. in and around Elkhart also.

thank You for the detailed information.
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Old 12-31-2010, 11:45 AM   #4
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I love our Aux heat. Our heater hoses supply hot coolant to the dash heater, the Aux heater, and the water heater. I learned the hard way that you should replace all the heater hoses each 4 years. It takes about 70' of hose.
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Old 12-31-2010, 12:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robfike View Post
I love our Aux heat. Our heater hoses supply hot coolant to the dash heater, the Aux heater, and the water heater. I learned the hard way that you should replace all the heater hoses each 4 years. It takes about 70' of hose.
Now That is a VERY GOOD TIP

Thank You Rob
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Old 12-31-2010, 12:48 PM   #6
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Thanks for the encouragment!
Money is tight being out of work, so I need to wait to buy the new core, but I did think about having the original checked out, but in my mind, I would worry about it springing a leak! I read in other threads, that Radiator places charged $200 plus to recore it.
I am thinking about replacing the majority of the rubber hose with hard pipe. Copper or schedule 40 ABS, or even metal. It would be sweet to have 2 hard pipes where it runs around the doghouse rail, but I have not looked at where it goese after that. Doing the whole thing in rubber hose seems crazy! SEVENTY FEET???? Wow, last time I bought it locally, 3/4" heater hose was $1.50 a foot! 5/8" premium heater hose is $30 for 50' on Ebay, but it still adds up quick!
Maybe the way to go is hardpipe the long straight runs and use silicon hose for the tricky bits... nThe silicon hose lasts a long time, but costs $3.50/foot.
The heater valve is stuck fast and I dont think you can repair it, so will find a replacement.
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Old 01-02-2011, 07:12 AM   #7
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Talking

The thing with hard pipe is vibration tolerance. Replacing all the hose is not that big of a deal. I learned from other posts on this forum that it is a good idea to also add a couple of shut-off valves in the hoses from and to the engine. In this way if there is a leak problem somewhere in the system, you can shut off everything and continue your trip.
This is an area that also sets the Airstream's off from the SOB's. We have free hot water while on the road, and extra free heat for the passengers!
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Old 01-02-2011, 10:40 AM   #8
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Good idea Rob, what are people using for the extra shutoff valves?
My 345, sadly does not have the coolant water heater... either it never had or its gone.... unless I am not looking in the right places!
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Old 01-02-2011, 07:11 PM   #9
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Keyair,
I picked a good pair of brass bodied 1/4 turn ball valves at Lowe's. I put them in the plumbing so everything beyond about 1 foot from the engine can be shut down. The Aux heater in our 345 is under the rearward end of the sofa. The hoses then go behind a wall panel in the dinette to the water heater. There is an aluminum tube on the water heater that they attach to.
There are some here on the Forum that have added two sets of shut-off valves. One pair will kill everything down stream from the dash heater. The other pair kills everything from the engine like mine. The thinking is if you develop a leak in the engine compartment, or under the sofa, etc., you can kill that part and still have the dash heater.
Do a search on my name and you will find my old thread on replacing the water heater. In the pictures you will see the aluminum tube that the heater hoses are attached to.
Rob
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Old 01-02-2011, 08:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robfike View Post
I love our Aux heat. Our heater hoses supply hot coolant to the dash heater, the Aux heater, and the water heater. I learned the hard way that you should replace all the heater hoses each 4 years. It takes about 70' of hose.
How Much Time does it Take ? Rob
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Old 01-03-2011, 06:01 AM   #11
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I did mine over a weekend. If you pull the sofa, dinette seat bottoms, and the lower wall panel between the dinette seats first it is much easier. I had to figure it out as I went. It sounds like a lot more work than it really is.
Rob
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Old 01-03-2011, 10:56 AM   #12
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Rob,
I looked at your thread(took me some time to find it as you are a busy boy!).
Am I confused, is the "Coolant" water heater integrated into the LPG Water heater or is it a seperate unit?
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Old 01-03-2011, 03:54 PM   #13
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Rob,
I looked at your thread(took me some time to find it as you are a busy boy!).
Am I confused, is the "Coolant" water heater integrated into the LPG Water heater or is it a seperate unit?
It is all one unit with dual methods of heating.
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Old 01-03-2011, 03:56 PM   #14
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OK, thanks John.
Is the dual unit available still?
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