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Old 05-04-2008, 09:14 PM   #1
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1979 31' Excella 500
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How to fix air conditioner shroud

Hi,

I have a 1979 31' International that I basically use as a "park" model. This winter there was 3' of wet heavy snow on the roof and I decided to pull as much of it as I could with a plastic shovel. Unfortunately I hit the brittle shroud and took out this chunk.



I had hoped to find one solid piece to epoxy back in this spring when the snow melted. Unfortunately the largest intact piece I found was about the size of a quarter. I really don't want to spend the money on a new one and it doesn't look like the old one would be too easy to get off since someone siliconed all the bolts into the shroud:





Is there some sort of bondo/plastic resin that could be used to repair such a hole in place?
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Old 05-04-2008, 10:09 PM   #2
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Others have successfully used fiberglass repair kits. Right next to the Bondo at your favourite auto parts store.
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Old 05-04-2008, 11:15 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wacnstac
Hi,

I have a 1979 31' International that I basically use as a "park" model. This winter there was 3' of wet heavy snow on the roof and I decided to pull as much of it as I could with a plastic shovel. Unfortunately I hit the brittle shroud and took out this chunk.



I had hoped to find one solid piece to epoxy back in this spring when the snow melted. Unfortunately the largest intact piece I found was about the size of a quarter. I really don't want to spend the money on a new one and it doesn't look like the old one would be too easy to get off since someone siliconed all the bolts into the shroud:





Is there some sort of bondo/plastic resin that could be used to repair such a hole in place?
At best, a patch is a patch. In time, more areas will break.

We have fiberglassAC shroud replacements.

Andy
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Old 05-05-2008, 08:44 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
At best, a patch is a patch. In time, more areas will break.

We have fiberglassAC shroud replacements.

Andy
I know you sell the replacements Andy but I'm not sure I want to put that kind of money into this old bird. Is it an exact replacement for this unit? How does it bolt on there? What if the nuts and bolts are all rusted and seized up?
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Old 05-05-2008, 10:12 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wacnstac
I know you sell the replacements Andy but I'm not sure I want to put that kind of money into this old bird. Is it an exact replacement for this unit? How does it bolt on there? What if the nuts and bolts are all rusted and seized up?
Our shrouds are exact replacements, since we have the original molds from Airstream.

However, our shrouds are made with fiberglass, not plastic.

They mount the same way as the originals.

Replace the bolts as necessary, which you will have to do regardless.

Andy
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Old 05-05-2008, 10:21 AM   #6
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So this part: http://www.inlandrv.com/parts/69831-acshroud.jpg is the exact replacement? Doesn't look the same. Mine looks like it is a one piece part. Also what does one do to screen in the holes on one of your new parts?
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Old 05-05-2008, 10:22 AM   #7
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I fixed mine 4 years ago using coarse weave fiberglass cloth impregnated with gorilla glue. All screw holes were reinfored and all holes filled. Cost was less than $15.00 and it is holding on great. 1970 original schroud.
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Old 05-05-2008, 10:41 AM   #8
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Just did a similar repair last week! A tree branch shattered the rear corner(with a little help from me). I used laminating resin and fiber glass cloth on the inside and bondo to finish the surface on the outside. I replaced the hardware with stainless. A peculiarity I noticed was that the front mounting holes appeared to have pulled the shroud downward, that is, the shroud apprears to have about an inch clearance above the air conditioner, based on the two interior rear baffles and the height of the sides. Your pics. also show a bowl like depression just like mine. I put a pair of standoffs between the unit and the shroud to make up the difference. I think it's better, but I don't know why it wasn't done that way to begin with?
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Old 05-05-2008, 10:42 AM   #9
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Fix 29 year old plastic that sits outside in the UV? I'd bite the bullet and replace it.
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Old 05-05-2008, 10:46 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wacnstac
So this part: http://www.inlandrv.com/parts/69831-acshroud.jpg is the exact replacement? Doesn't look the same. Mine looks like it is a one piece part. Also what does one do to screen in the holes on one of your new parts?
Your AC shroud is 2 piece.

If you took the molding off, you will see how the 2 halves are joined together..

The mold that made your shroud, is the same mold that we have.

Patching the old plastic is OK, but you still have the old plastic, that will continue to crack in other places.

Andy
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Old 05-05-2008, 10:46 AM   #11
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Mine did not seem excesssively brittle or frangible. I think it's probably beter than new.
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Old 05-05-2008, 11:27 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
Your AC shroud is 2 piece.

If you took the molding off, you will see how the 2 halves are joined together..

The mold that made your shroud, is the same mold that we have.

Patching the old plastic is OK, but you still have the old plastic, that will continue to crack in other places.

Andy
What do you use for screen material in your new shroud and how?
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Old 05-05-2008, 12:23 PM   #13
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Take a look at the web site of forum member TomW. He describes a method (that I also used) to rebuild his cover. Worked well for me.

Jim
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Old 06-26-2009, 11:28 AM   #14
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At best, a patch is a patch. In time, more areas will break.

We have fiberglassAC shroud replacements.

Andy
Yes but $165 for shipping seems a little over the top.
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