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Old 07-03-2012, 01:50 PM   #1
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1972 25' Tradewind
McKinleyville , California
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 64
Keep or Remove Original Armstrong Pan

I have decided not to go forward and invest in maintain the Armstrong unit on the 72' Tradewind. I just think the ongoing maintenance will quickly consume any savings of keeping the old 40 year old unit. The original Armstrong pan (more like the mounting plate) is riveted to the top as has been described elsewhere. It appears I have two choices, 1) to remove everything and install Olympic rivets to fill the holes then block the 14"x14" opening, or 2) leave the aluminum pan riveted to the top and just break the spot welds that hold the sheet metal to the aluminum pan. I tested that approach on a few welds and they do appear to break relatively easily. It also appears that the old compressor is bolted through the pan so I would need to plug those holes; that is the only downside I can see. Does anyone have educated opinions about either approach? If I leave the plate, do I still need to block the opening?

Also, I am not sure what to do about trying to remove the old compressor. If I do so then R22 will be released. Is there a way that a non-technican can evacuate and save the freon?
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Old 07-03-2012, 03:53 PM   #2
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1972 31' Sovereign
Lexington , Minnesota
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We just removed the old Armstrong unit from our 72. A few comments:

There is no way for a non-technician to release and save the Freon. It’s under quite a bit of pressure. R22 Freon is quite valuable now, as the only way to get it is from old units. Bring it someplace that will recycle the unit and save the Freon.

The bottom plate holds the a/c together. There is no way to remove the a/c off the bottom plate without dismantling the a/c and releasing the Freon as far as I can tell.

We removed the entire unit including the base plate. The base was held on to our roof with sheet metal screws, most of which were covered with a ˝” layer of vulkum. After removing the old unit, the screw holes were filled with Olympic rivets and a dab of vulkum to seal them. The holes needed to be drilled out slightly, which also served to clean them out for the rivets.

If you leave the base plate on the roof, you’ll still have a 14 x 14 inch hole in your roof.
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Old 07-04-2012, 05:08 PM   #3
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1972 25' Tradewind
McKinleyville , California
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Minno View Post
We just removed the old Armstrong unit from our 72. A few comments:

There is no way for a non-technician to release and save the Freon. It’s under quite a bit of pressure. R22 Freon is quite valuable now, as the only way to get it is from old units. Bring it someplace that will recycle the unit and save the Freon.

The bottom plate holds the a/c together. There is no way to remove the a/c off the bottom plate without dismantling the a/c and releasing the Freon as far as I can tell.

We removed the entire unit including the base plate. The base was held on to our roof with sheet metal screws, most of which were covered with a ˝” layer of vulkum. After removing the old unit, the screw holes were filled with Olympic rivets and a dab of vulkum to seal them. The holes needed to be drilled out slightly, which also served to clean them out for the rivets.

If you leave the base plate on the roof, you’ll still have a 14 x 14 inch hole in your roof.
Did you use the 5/32" Olympic rivets with the neoprene washer to seal the holes?
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Old 07-05-2012, 07:33 AM   #4
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1972 31' Sovereign
Lexington , Minnesota
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Yes to the rivets, no to the washers. Use vulkum to seal them and not the washers. Recommendations from many on the forums is to never use the washers as they will deteriorate over time and start leaking. After installing a few with the washers when we started a few years ago, and then replacing them last year with non-washered Olympic rivets because the washers did indeed break down, I understand what others are saying about not using them. You can find Olympic rivets with and without washers at Vintage Trailer Supply, Out-of-Doors Mart, and InLand RV. Sometimes we end up ordering the ones with washers because the non-washered ones are out of stock. Then we spend a few minutes and pull all the washers off when we open the package. Takes about 5 minutes to go through a pack of 100.

Chris
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