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Old 04-07-2003, 04:38 PM   #1
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Post Armstrong RV Air conditioners

I have been surprised at the small amount of archives regarding the famous Armstrong Air Conditioners found in many vintage Airstreams.

Chas (of Austin Texas) brought them back to my mind with his shroud replacement thread. http://www.airforums.com/forum...1542#post31542

I am hoping this thread will become a depository of any and all questions and anecdotes concerning Armstrongs.

Apparently they are mighty long-lived and thereby durable units.

*Is Armstrong still in business?
*Which components are not available or replaceable by substitution?
*john hd mentioned upgrading them (electronically I assume) Is that feasible? How?
*How can I determine how many BTUs one is?
*Is there a boneyard of the old ones anywhere that anyone know of?
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Old 04-07-2003, 04:48 PM   #2
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Pap,

I will impart what I know.

The Armstong company is long gone out of business.

I have heard the Factory was still installing them after the companies demise due to in stock units.

They were built with what are considered to be commercial grade components. This is why we still have working ones! It could also be why they went out of business, no planned 5-7 year obolesence.

I belive there are 3 models (there may be more).

Standard roof air with celing mounted controls
Roof Air with a wall mounted thermostat
Roof Air with wall mounted thermostat and a heat strip.

As to a boneyard, you would need to find a RV boneyard with Airstreams that still have the units, and hope the Freon has not been scavenged. Opening up the sealed system to the outside elements will ruin the compressor and dryer.

As andy mentioned in another thread the motors can be gotten at grainger for the fans, and I belive someone has a cross reference for the compressor. Hope that whets your desire for Armstrong knowlege.
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Old 04-07-2003, 05:25 PM   #3
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I know the first one I saw I chucked off the roof of my Argosy from the get go. Sad thing was it still worked. Found out just how tough it is to supposedly slap a Coleman on an A/S, the Armstrongs were made the way they are for a reason.

(I am learning to appreciate some of the older finer things in life now, such as Inland Andy and a few other geezers around here)

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Old 04-10-2003, 10:15 AM   #4
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Arrow Links for Armstrong A/C

I will return here and add links as I stumble across them;

http://www.airforums.com/forum...=&threadid=244
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Old 04-10-2003, 10:43 AM   #5
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Info on Armstrongs

I just bought a new AC for our new to us old railer from Carlie Burke at American Way here in Boise. The 19 year old Colman unit wasn't worth fixing. Snow birds havn't returned to the northern rockies so it was still quiet in the parts deparment. Since it was quiet Charlie decided to tell me why if I had had an Armstrong it would have been worth fixing. He said that they really are very heavy duty industrial products. The company is still around, under another name but the stopped making RV ACs. There is a guy someplace backl east who is now making replacement compressors. He said a dead compressor used to mean the end of the unit, but not anymore. The big difference with an Armstrong is it will freeze you out of your trailer, the things just flat out do the job.

Charlie said the biggest reason for Armstrongs being replaced is that the "kids" at RV repair shops don't know what they are, and instead of fixing them talk the owners into replacing them with a modern (I think that means disposable) unit.

So if anybody has an Armstrong on their trailer, DONT LET SOME IGNORANT MECHANIC DO SOMETHING FOOLISH. Call a real airstream shop and have them send the guy the parts. If they havn't ben mangled they can be fixed.
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Old 04-10-2003, 03:19 PM   #6
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Thumbs up Armstrong stock rises !

Thanks rc, that's the kind of news I like to hear. Course the stock in Armstrong replacement leftovers just went up.

And Chas what became of the carcass of the Armstrong that you "tossed" off the roof (the old gravity express check out service)? You being an HVAC guy too, shame

I will make it a project to find who that compressor rebuilder is, but don't let that stop anyone else from beating me to it.Please!

Was amazed that replacement shrouds for Penguins are 40 dollars and for Armstrongs are 265.00.
If you own a Armstrong with shroud make sure it is ship shape. If not take it off and try to patch or beef it up.

BTW I saw where Kevin (Overlander64)also stated that he thought Armstrong was not defunct but just out of RV's. We need to establish the facts about that I suppose. Theymight be a distant asset to us in some way...never know!
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Old 06-29-2003, 07:24 AM   #7
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-- repair shroud

What wonderful information is available on this forum!

My '73 A/S has an Armstrong. The shroud was cracked, checked and split. After checking the price for a new shroud, I decided to attempt a repair.

A concurrent project is a plywood and epoxy 14' skiff. So, I had epoxy (System Three) available. The details aren't of particular interest, but some generalizations may be helpful to others.

- use the fiberglass cloth to reenforce any breaks, straight epoxy won't hold

- Bondo or other auto body stuff is too brittle to withstand the flexing of the shroud

- fender washers embedded in the epoxy to reenforce the wear of screws passing through the body of the shroud will necessitate a longer screw (by about 1/4")

- the blotchy "repaired" look can be minimized by lightly sanding the shiny epoxy and painting the entire shroud with aluminum paint
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Old 07-02-2003, 06:44 PM   #8
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caulking or sealer?

When I replaced my A/C shroud, I noticed that the caulking-like sealer on the trailer top, upon which the shroud sits, was missing in a few places. Some screws (rusted) were exposed.

What is that material? Any special care needed to replace the defective areas?
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Old 07-02-2003, 07:44 PM   #9
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The factory installed it using Vulcem, so that is what I would use to repair it. The cracked missing sealant can allow water into the coach. There is no real "gasket" under the AC, so the Vulcem is all that is keeping the water out.
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Old 07-18-2003, 08:07 AM   #10
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Armstrong A/C 32 yrs. Old

Mine still works as advertised. Very cold but at 32 years old I wonder just how much longer it will go. I've cleaned it, repaired the cowling and Imroned it, replace all the screens and hardware with SS.

What is the pressure suppose to be when fully charged? R-12?

Dave Spann
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Old 07-18-2003, 12:06 PM   #11
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Armstrong A/C

Hello to all;
My A/C is still working on my 66 Overlander, but it is getting tired. The inside coils are in need of replacing and I am considering a replacement. I haven't decided to replace the inside coils ( if I can even find them!) or the whole unit. My drain pan is on the inside with a wall mounted thermostat. The drain lines were not hooked up and there was no sign of any place to connect them. I have installed the clear soft tubing and ran it to the roof vent pipe. I did form a slight trap in the pastic tubing for water to prevent any odors ) I really did not expect any from the gray water, but just in case!). It sounds like most of the units mentioned here have the evaporator coils outside on the roof?
I did replace my double shafted blower motor with a general replacement GE motor purchased from Johnstone Refridgeration for less than $100 . They are affilliated nationwide with many local shops.
I also had to repair my shroud after it almost blew off. I riveted aluminum strips on for reenforcements ant fiberglassed over with coth and resin. I did all my repairs on the inside of the shroud, as there was plenty of room. That huge shroud still seems like it needs more and better mounting than what it came with!
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Old 07-19-2003, 06:22 AM   #12
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I'm going to try it for the first time this week-end...hope it works...
Where does the condensation drain

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Old 07-19-2003, 06:33 AM   #13
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The condensation "should" drain out of a small black tube that sticks out of the belly just in front of the wheels on the roadside (oppisite the door).

Good luck!
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Old 07-05-2004, 05:11 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pap
...I am hoping this thread will become a depository of any and all questions and anecdotes concerning Armstrongs...
To that end, I will add the dry, technical data learned as I went about restoring my Bay Breeze unit to operation after a 23 year hiatus.

First, some food for the Google Spiders, and local search engine:
Fan motor, P/N 3213010002, Redmond CY 6
Condensor fan, P/N 463-13, 14" dia.
Filter pad only, P/N 601-01, Scott Foam

The fan motor was rusted in two after years of being covered by pine straw. An Internet search provided the obituary for The Redmond Electric Motor Company. So, armed with information from both the unit's spec tag & the original Service and Trouble Shooting Guide, I visited an extremely helpful, local motor shop.

The man at the counter got the biggest kick out of that rusted-in-two motor. All in fun, he advised me that it "looks like warranty work".

Examining the motor's remains, he determined the last piece of information I did not have - the operating speed of 1075 rpm. Checking the books, he found A. O. Smith Electrical Products Company's Stock number 105 motor was identical in electrical characteristics, form & function. The only modification needed for "fit" was trimming the motor shafts to the correct length. Also, #105 is a three speed motor, whereas Redmond's motor was only a two speed. A wire cap on the "medium" speed wire resolved the issue. He was impressed with the way my motor mounted, and shared some war stories of how poorly RV A/C makers do it nowadays.

My condensor fan itself was okay. But a chunk of it's mounting hub had rusted away, and the two were manufactured as an assembly. Fearing the worst, I replaced the fan assembly. Nowadays, fan blades are screwed on to the hub. The man at Kelsey Electric Motor determined the blade pitch to be 23 degrees CCW.

The A/C's dust filter had...turned to dust. While I probably could have found a more exact replacement filtering element, I had already purchased something suitable to rebuild my kitchen's exhaust fan filter.

Below are some pictures to go along with the words.

Enjoy!
Tom
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