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Old 10-20-2012, 11:28 AM   #1
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2006 39' A-Series
Prescott , Arizona
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Changing air filter on 390/390

Anyone had experience in changing the air filter on a 390/396? It seems that Airstream built the coach body around the Freightliner chassis such that it is quite difficult to access the air filter for removal/installation. It seems especially hard to get to the filter body such that one can apply enough force to pull the short, straight tube that is the exit from air filter (leading to the turbo). I've tried swinging the filter up, but it just does not seem possible to apply though force to extract the tube from the filter. There is just no way to get the leverage. I guess I could resort to cutting the old filter in half and hoping that getting the new one one is easier than getting the old one off. Thanks.
Jeff
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Old 10-20-2012, 10:39 PM   #2
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Yours is a Cat. with the filter on the drivers side????
A picture would be nice.

Sorry, I have not suggestions.
Dave
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Old 10-22-2012, 02:41 PM   #3
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OK ... I guess I'm basically answering my own questions, but perhaps this info will help others in taking on the task of changing their air filter. Having spent the better part of a Sunday afternoon, I have now learned the secrets of air filter changing. My 2000 390XL has a Cat engine with the air filter (AF) on the driver side. I would think that many of these comments are generic to any diesel. The process is actually quite straight forward. The hard part is access and getting leverage. You will do virtually all of the work hanging head first into the engine compartment. Not comfortable. Depending on how Airstream and Freightliner oriented the clamps, you might need to get on the ground to do some of the initial loosening. But you will reinstall and tighten these same clamps from above to make the job easier next time (?). Loosening the inlet end of the AF from the flex hose is easy. Loosening the exit end of the AF is harder. The key is to completely loosen the clamp holding the AF to the aluminum tube leading to the turbo. Once this clamp is loosened and slid up the tube clear of the AF, you can aggressively use a sturdy blade screwdrive to pry the old AF off of the tube. Installing the new AF onto the tube is harder, because it is hard to find a way to apply strong leverage to force the tube into the rubber neck of the AF. I sprayed both the tube and inside of the AF neck with silicon spray. Then I rigged up two small sized ratchet straps (one on each side of the AF tube ... as close as possible to 180 degrees apart) to pull the AF onto the tube. This rigging was not pretty and the geometry/attachment points will vary based on your particular unit and ratchet straps, but if you decide to try this yourself, I think you'll figure out your own feasible rigging arrangement. For me, the key was to use the ratchet straps as opposed to just trying to use muscle power .. which I think would not be adequate. And there is not enough access room to try to recruit a second pair of arms to help. If someone else has figured out another way to do this besides (beside taking it to a dealer?), I'd love to hear about it. One more small point: I had to remove/re-attach a bare copper grounding strap that connects the power transfer switch to the chassis to permit clearing the AF removal/replacement. This only took a few minutes and required only a screwdrive. My AF is a part number 114810003, Parker Racor, 9.8”x19”, which costs around $70. Knowing what I do now, the job would probably take about 3 to 4 hours to do again. You can do the math to decide if you want to try it.
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Old 10-22-2012, 04:17 PM   #4
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Good detail. Thanks for posting.
Did you take any pictures???

Dave
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Old 04-13-2013, 10:05 AM   #5
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What about removing the bolts from underneath that hold the AF straps to the chassis? Then you may get away not having to slide the filter back and forth. Tgis definitely is easier with someone inside the coach and someone underneath to position
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