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Old 01-18-2004, 12:50 PM   #1
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AC cover [shroud]

I have researched the data base on this subject and unless I overlooked some sections, I was wondering if any one tryed repairing there " egg shell thin", cracked or just time worn AC cover.
I have some polyester resin and thought bout " laying up the inside " of the shroud and then paint the outside with a premium marine deck paint. or something along those lines.
I know epoxy would be better but.......
any one?

~markus~
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Old 01-18-2004, 01:06 PM   #2
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I have seen a 'heavy-duty' replacement shroud sold at Camping World. I'm not sure I would go the resin-repair route unless it was a vintage restoration issue IMHO.
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Old 01-18-2004, 02:03 PM   #3
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AC shrouds

Airstream used 4 different Air conditioning models.

All the shrouds they made were plastic.

We have replacements for all of them but they are made with fiberglass.

That eliminates the cracking because of old age.

Andy
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Old 01-18-2004, 03:03 PM   #4
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Expense

The replacement shrouds available are, I'm sure, more durable than original equipment. The are also quite expensive due to a supply and demand situation ($200 - $400).

My AC cover looks like...bad; I'd love to have a new one, but will not buy a new one until I have at least made an attempt to repair the existing one, or my repair just doesn't hold up. Yes, my time is worth something, but I ENJOY working on things, especially my Airstream.

As long as a safety-critical function is not involved, my joy comes from repairing/refurbing my Airstream, not just dumping money into new parts.

Just a thought,
Tom
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Old 01-18-2004, 03:42 PM   #5
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I also have a plastic a/c shroud that needs repaired or replaced. The look of a plastic (or fiberglass) shroud on top of an aluminum airstream never has looked good to me. Has anyone ever seen or made a custom aluminum shroud? I've been considering making one - just wondering if anyone else has considered this option!

David
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Old 01-18-2004, 06:09 PM   #6
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How about trying to spray paint one using that aluminium paint? Just a thought, as the aircraft aluminium is so bloody expensive per square foot to make one...

Elizabeth in Iowa
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Old 01-18-2004, 09:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by davja
I also have a plastic a/c shroud that needs repaired or replaced. The look of a plastic (or fiberglass) shroud on top of an aluminum airstream never has looked good to me. Has anyone ever seen or made a custom aluminum shroud? I've been considering making one - just wondering if anyone else has considered this option!

David
David!
Do we think alike or what! I have been playing with the measurements to make one out of aluminum. Just trying to figure out what the venting requirements are My AS is a 1975, but according to the numbers on my AC unit it is a 1976 so apparently the AC unit was installed a little later, and 1975-76 was the change over year. As soon as we get a mock up designed I will post a picture of it here. We are building the mock up with poster board. We will probably build the actual cover out of .040 with some .063 stiffners welded in.

Aaron
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Old 01-18-2004, 10:04 PM   #8
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Aaron-
Excellent! I knew I couldn't be the only one with that idea. I probably won't have time to work on mine until this spring - good luck on yours & I look forward to seeing & reading results. Were you planning on a three piece design?

David
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Old 01-18-2004, 10:57 PM   #9
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Hell, just show a pic of the mock-up, squared corner, no wait how can we .. the alum,
ok I ...wonder if............markus
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Old 01-19-2004, 04:35 AM   #10
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Markus,
The current started mock-up looks like something out of battle star galactica, it follows the basic shape of the orginal but instead of rounded corners it is kind of hard edged. I would love to get an English Wheel and roll a new shell for the AC unit but that is beyond my capabilities at this point. Check out this website
http://www.tinmantech.com/ This guy knows how to do it! We just have TIG/MIG capabilities and a decent metal brake.

Aaron
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Old 01-19-2004, 08:36 AM   #11
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I hear that, having the right tools is half the battle.
looking foward to seeing how your project progresses.
good luck!

~markus~
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Old 01-20-2004, 10:44 AM   #12
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how can I repair the AC cover
can I use polyester on the inside
the cover has some small cracks
I already get sick if I only think of the shipping cost for a new one
to the netherlands
Remco
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Old 01-20-2004, 11:51 AM   #13
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Possible repair technique

Quote:
Originally posted by remcolent
how can I repair the AC cover
I'm lining up possible repair techniques for my A/C cover. Right now, I'm assuming the cover is ABS plastic, which means most glues and/or resins won't stick to it for very long. In the past, I have been able to repair similar things with fiberglass and resin by drilling a bunch of quarter-inch holes in the article, and fiberglassing both sides. The holes allow the resin to 'lock' both sides together. The A/C cover, however, may be a bit thin for this technique.

I'm getting ready to experiment with, in effect, "making" new plastic: Cut/Grind/whatever some ABS plastic into shavings. Put the shavings in small glass jar, and pour a small amount of methly ethyl ketone (MEK) in with the shavings. Cover tightly. Let set a while for the MEK to dissolve the shavings. Too thin - add more shavings; Too thick - add MEK. The right consistency should work well for cracks. Thin it a bit, and it will make excellent solvent weld to affix new pieces of plastic.

Keep in mind that, although you want it to look as good as possible, the height it's mounted will make it difficult to spot flaws.

Just some thoughts,
Tom
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Old 01-20-2004, 01:06 PM   #14
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Some repairs create a "liability" problem.

As an example, if the original cover fails, flys off and hurts someone while in transit, that's one thing, in that you didn't know it was cracked.

On the other hand, "IF" you had knowledge that the cover was cracked, and you repaired it, but the repairs failed, you now become totally liable if it comes off, and hurts someone.

Repairing somethings yourself, admittedly, is a great way to save money. However, if because a failure with that repair hurts someone else, we become instantly liable.

That may cause you far more headaches than you ever wished you bargained for.

Andy
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