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Old 01-31-2014, 05:18 PM   #1
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1973 25' Tradewind
prospect , Connecticut
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Posts: 31
Holy Moly, the furnace works!

I was bored today and seeing how it wasen't 10 degrees outside I decided to play with furnace in my 73 tradewind. It hasent run in I'm guessing probibly 15-20 + years. I had removed it during my renovation last year and it was just sitting there and I figured what were the chances? I blew out the mouse nest from in between the heater elements than hooked up the propane lines and a car battery to the proper terminals. Had to light the pilot the first time with a long lighter, connected the 2 thermostat wires together and the blower turned on and gas burner lit up and out came heat!!! My motto is if it aint broke dont fix it, but is there anything i can do to just like, give it a tune up?
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Old 01-31-2014, 07:36 PM   #2
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1977 Argosy 24
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Milltown , Wisconsin
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First read this post about the safety recall: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f427...call-2889.html
If yours is not in the recall then you could remove and clean the burner. Even if they are not used they can rust up. Good luck, Brian
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Old 01-31-2014, 08:10 PM   #3
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1974 Argosy 20
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Kooskia , Idaho
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The rubber crossover tube in the back should have a RED STRIPE on it. If it does, it has had the recall done on it, if not it is the original and there is danger associated with it, as the tube can crack and combustion gasses may leak. Suburban no longer supplies the recall tubes, or any other parts for the old NT series furnaces.

Check the combustion chamber for rust with an ice pick type tool, especially along the bottom. It may be quite hard to see it to check without careful disassembly. Press the tip of the tool against the metal and be sure it does not punch through. Any indication of that happening tells you that the combustion chamber is bad.

If it passes those tests, I would remove the cast iron burner from the back of the unit and run a hack saw blade through each of the slots in it to remove the rust which often clogs up the burner slots. Then reinstall. Most of the old cast iron burners clog up with rust after a while.

All in al you are dealing with a 40 year old furnace, the proper operation of which has your life at stake. Please be careful.

A final story: I had a '71 Caravel with a difficult furnace. I finally got the parts and got the pilot light system fixed. It ran fine, made good heat. I replaced it in the trailer. Every time I used the furnace for a while I would get headaches and feel crappy. The windows also fogged up more than they should have. I put two and two together and figured the combustion chamber had a leak in it that I could not see. I replaced the furnace with a new one. No more headaches. Vastly reduced condensation on the windows. The gasses from burning the propane were the problem, water vapor is one of the products of combustion, and the leak was putting lots of additional water into the air in my trailer. And obviously, there was some CO getting inside too, causing my headaches.

Again, please be careful.
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Old 02-03-2014, 10:08 AM   #4
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1973 25' Tradewind
prospect , Connecticut
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I will check for rust, but I did see the bypass hose had a crack in it. It will just give me a reason to disassemble it to inspect it further and clean it up better.
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Old 02-03-2014, 10:15 AM   #5
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Toronto , Ontario
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Personally speaking, I would always replace an old furnace. The risk is just too great. If you decide to rehab, then please make sure to install a good, reliable, CO2 detector.

This stuff kills.
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Old 02-03-2014, 11:04 AM   #6
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1973 25' Tradewind
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Carbon monoxide and smoke detectors for sure.
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Old 02-03-2014, 11:25 AM   #7
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Arvada , Colorado
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I inserted a bore scope inside of the combustion chamber of the unit I took out of my 71 Gt. There were multiple pin holes from rust. It went from the test bench right to the dumpster.
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Old 02-03-2014, 11:29 AM   #8
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1973 25' Tradewind
prospect , Connecticut
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That's a very good idea, I have one of those cameras! Good reason to finally use it.
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Old 02-03-2014, 12:33 PM   #9
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However, since the combustion chamber is in 3 or 4 segments you will only be able to see the first and last ones, not the center one or two.
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