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Old 05-31-2008, 11:38 PM   #15
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The saga continues...at least some progress this week on upgrading our Ambassador...

Rec'd the Fantastic Fans from Vintage and have started to attack the three old vents. Quite a task here! Removing all the old sealant from the rivets...drilling them out...there's 48 rivets on each vent frame!

Then there's the trimming of the inner and outer skins to fit the new vents.

I have decided to install 11 new Dr LED, recessed 'spot' beam lights down the center of the ceiling. I'm doing this while the vent openings are clear, to install the wiring and switches.

Doctor LED, Dr. LED, is a designer and manufacturer of LED-based lighting solutions for landscape, marine, boat, RVs, cars, solar panel, interior, and outdoor applications.

I'm using the 'softer' light 'spot' type LED units. They give off a 'warmer' light, not the harsh blue/white of some LED units. I'm installing them 8 inches apart, 3 in the bedroom area, 3 by the stove/sink area, and 5 in the forward lounge area. Each section has it's own overhead switch. These LED units aren't as bright as the old lights on the underside of the vents...but they are a lot more efficient and 'stylish', and should do the trick!

I'll post some pic's when I'm finished.

I also attacked the leaking water tank...gained access to the supply line to the pump from the tank, under the street side twin bed. Only a few screws to get everything out of the way.

I found that the 90 degree nylon plastic fitting coming out of the tank had cracked, and the hose was just barely attached. I can't believe how 'thin' the cross section of that fitting is where the plastic hose attaches...not a very good design!

I got a brass 3/8 pipe elbow and a barbed fitting. I coated the barbs with silicone sealant, then heated the end of the plastic hose with a blow drier to soften it up before attaching...then tightened up a new hose clamp while the hose was still plyable....put some water in the tank...no leaks from the new connection...BUT, alas I've still got a slight leak from somewhere in the bottom of the tank...CRAP! I can now see where a PO has 'tapped' the tank enclosure on one spot and folded in the metal slightly on one corner while backing into some obstruction! The 'fun' continues!
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Old 06-01-2008, 07:26 PM   #16
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I'm looking forward to seeing the pictures of the vent replacements. I plan to eventually do the same and our models are very close. Also I'm planning on doing the same thing with the lights, like your ideas there, so I'm very much looking forward to seeing your progress. Oh yes, don't forget about the fun!
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Old 06-02-2008, 01:28 AM   #17
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Here's some pics of today's progress...

Mid twin bedroom lights...

Pic from the floor looking up...here's also the first of the three new Fantastic fans. I'm putting in the Thermostat type in the bedroom. I'll install a plain Fantastic Fan over the galley, and just a plain Fantastic, matching Vent only (no fan) forward over the gaucho...my feeling that two Fans are plenty in a 28 footer!

Here's a pic facing Aft, showing the three lights I put in today over the galley, with the three bedroom LEDs in the background.
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Old 08-13-2008, 12:41 AM   #18
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Well, our new axles arrived from Inland RV last week while we were over on the coast enjoying the cool weather, and taking a break from the valley heat here below Sacramento!

I brought the AS down to work Monday to give her and our 'new' Excursion TV a good fresh water bath after that salt air last week!

I assembled the outer ends of the new axles today and got started on the swap...I'm using Kodiac oil bath seals instead of grease packing the bearings, if I got the seals installed correctly, that set up should keep things lubed and trouble free for a long time, he said with fingers crossed!
It was nice to be able to assemble everything out in the open, used a pallet on our fork lift to get the axles up in the air...no bending over! Did an initial bearing 'load' and 'back off' set up and brake adjustment.

I got the old rear axle out without much trouble...dropped right out...I sprayed all the bolts the previous day, as Inland RV suggests, and they came loose with my battery powered impact gun, no sweat.

Hey that was so easy, I decided to go ahead and tackle the job of slipping in the new axle...well, I was lucky to have a platform dolly that was just short enough to allow me to slide the axle assembly forward and into position. Once I got the axle jacked up in the rear to get one bolt on each side installed, it was rather easy to swing it up forward and install the second bolt...

The new axle fit as advertised, I did measure it before the installation, and the match was perfect all around. I installed new shocks before sliding the axle under the frame. I also bought new grade 8 hardware all around...it's good to have new stuff to assemble!

When I got the wheels back on and then on the ground, the old fwd axle's wheels are slightly off the ground! Talk about that 30 year 'sag'...it will be great to have that much more ground clearance and additional 'bounce' factor to boot!

I plan to reattach the electric brake wires by soldering the connections and using some silicone and heat shrink tubing to keep things tight and corrosion free.

One 'down' and one to go....
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Old 08-15-2008, 02:17 AM   #19
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Got the second axle changed yesterday...went off without a hitch, and quicker too...

I had to move the hitch mount up one set of holes to compensate for the elevated stance of the trailer with the new axles.

I soldered and heat shrinked all the electrical brake wires today, gave it a test drive...everything seems fine...don't know exactly how I can tell for sure that all four brakes are operating though...guess I could drive on the blocks and alternately check each axle with someone hitting the brakes....any other suggestions?

Tracking is true and streight...and the additional clearance should help with those driveway irregularities....

Glad this 'job' is done!
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Old 08-15-2008, 07:44 PM   #20
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....don't know exactly how I can tell for sure that all four brakes are operating though...guess I could drive on the blocks and alternately check each axle with someone hitting the brakes....any other suggestions?...!
You can hear them. They "sing" when power is applied. Just set the brake and listen closely to each one.

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Old 08-15-2008, 08:09 PM   #21
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Zep,

'Sing' you say...Classic, Rock, Country, Hip Hop...how about a Dean'o Ballad....

Thanks for the hint...I'll see if I can pick up a 'tune' from each hub....

Ray
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Old 08-16-2008, 09:15 PM   #22
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You can hear them. They "sing" when power is applied. Just set the brake and listen closely to each one.

Zep
Or for the folks that spent way too many Friday nights jammed into the back seat of a car with the radio cranked to 'Bleed'...
Grab a compass and hold it next to the hub and have the assistant hit the brakes. The compass will swing when the electric brakes energize.
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Old 08-16-2008, 10:50 PM   #23
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Kemosabe.

Thanks for the compass hint...it 'sounds' like a winner, what ever the 'tune'...
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Old 08-17-2008, 09:11 AM   #24
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I would really like to see some before and after pictures of the axle lift. We are looking at new axles and I am wondering just how far they will lift the trailer as compared to the old axles. 1inch? 2 inches? 3 inches? And of course how does it pull on the new axles? Man, I hope my switch goes as easy as you have described. Thanks for the info!

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Old 08-18-2008, 03:36 PM   #25
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I would really like to see some before and after pictures of the axle lift. We are looking at new axles and I am wondering just how far they will lift the trailer as compared to the old axles. 1inch? 2 inches? 3 inches? And of course how does it pull on the new axles? Man, I hope my switch goes as easy as you have described. Thanks for the info!

63silver
Mine went up 2 1/2 inches with 32 degree down angle Dexters as the replacements.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f437...-39688-11.html
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Old 08-19-2008, 08:51 PM   #26
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HHAg...I tried the 'compass' trick you suggested, tonight...and it worked great! I could stick a compass inside the alum wheel slots and get a slight movement when the brakes were actuated...I could also hear them 'sing'....you have to get the compass very near the drum to see the movement, but it's there....Thanks.

I didn't take any before pics directly at the axles, but I went and took a couple pics tonight of the 'after'. I got about 2-1/2 to 3 inches increase in height after the change. I have 700-15 tires, and the top of the tire is just about even with the top of the fender well...I tried to take the pics about even with the axle center line. The other pic is of the Kodiak oil bath hub cap assy.
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Old 08-02-2009, 07:35 AM   #27
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We are the proud new owners of a very well maintained 78 Ambassador. Really the only "flaw" is the vista view windows. Did you tackle those? The way the heat comes in we keep the shade closed anyway. I love the fans and the lightening that you put in yours.
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Old 08-02-2009, 09:40 AM   #28
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Really the only "flaw" is the vista view windows. Did you tackle those? The way the heat comes in we keep the shade closed anyway.
If they are double-pane windows, repairing them is not for the faint of heart, but it can be done. You'll have to drill out the rivets that hold the windows in place, remove the windows, break out the glass of the inner pane, clean the glass out, clean the inside of the outer glass, put something in the window channel to take up the space the inner window was in, and reinstall.
While the window is out and sitting on your workbench, it would be the ideal time to get a roll of Limo window tinting, and tint the window to keep the glare and heat down, then maybe you can use the windows.
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