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Old 06-23-2015, 08:33 PM   #1
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On trip and 1978 Armstrong compressor quit

I am from Ohio and am now in Yosemite park in CA. We have a 1978 Airstream with the original Armstrong A/C unit. Never any trouble out of it until today. Left the trailer this morning with A/C working fine on low and came back to warm trailer and only fan blowing. I have 117 v reading at the campsite. Shut it down and hoping for ice up but doubt that is it. Called the local RV Doctor who told me he can't help on an old unit. So thinking of buying a new A/C unit if I can find one or just heading for home. Any suggestions? I can't get up on roof and check start capacitors, etc. To old for that and roof crazy hot. Thanks.
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Old 06-23-2015, 08:43 PM   #2
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In your position I'd look for someone who does commercial refrigeration work (truck reefer units, walk-in coolers, etc.) Current RV practice it to remove-and-replace since that's what the current RV units are designed for, so most of the current RV service people aren't prepared to service an AC unit.
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Old 06-23-2015, 10:29 PM   #3
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I had the very same thing happen a few weeks ago on my '73 Armstrong AC. I found this thread http://www.airforums.com/forums/f427...tat-61649.html which talks about the Thermostat heat anticipator in the thermostat and has a good picture of it. I removed the original thermostat and noticed the anticipator appeared to be stuck wide open. After awhile when I looked at it again, it had almost closed. Don't know if my jostling of it caused it to do that, but didn't really care. When I reinstalled thermostat and turned on AC, the compressor came right on. Good luck!
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Old 06-23-2015, 10:46 PM   #4
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Thanks much. We are within reach of an A/S dealer if we have to so might give them a call tomorrow as well as Jackson Center.
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Old 06-23-2015, 11:41 PM   #5
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No airstream dealer or the factory will attempt any repair and will tell you to replace it with a new dometic
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Old 06-23-2015, 11:58 PM   #6
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Yeah...I think you are right. Have decided to just do without it. It's cool enough at night and when we hit the high humidity of the midwest we will grab a motel I guess. Will get home and evaluate. Thanks to all for your responses. Has helped me work through exactly what I need to do.
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Old 06-24-2015, 01:38 PM   #7
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We have a 73 Overlander with an Armstrong. It quit like yours, and I took the top off. With nothing to lose I tapped the compressor with a hammer, and it started working. It happened once again, and I was able to start it by hitting the bottom of the ac from inside. Good luck!
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Old 06-24-2015, 10:59 PM   #8
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It had to be ordered, but 15 yrs ago, I got a compressor for my Armstrong AC at WW Grainger. At the time, they had it listed in their paper catalog.

You'll need to get the brand name and model number off the old compressor.

Tom
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Old 07-12-2015, 05:46 PM   #9
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Will look into that Tom, thanks. I still need to talk with my local A/C repair shop but am thinking of replacing start relay, start capacitor, and run capacitor. If that works, great...if not those things probably could stand to be replaced after 37 years anyway. Does anyone know where to source these items? I am mechanically inclined but with air conditioners I am in a total fog. Does anybody know of a shop that repairs Armstrongs? Somebody could make a nice living rebuilding these. I would certainly take a trip to such a shop. Jackson Center quoted me $2300 to replace for a 15,000 Dometic. P&S $1600. Quite the difference. Luckily I live within an hour to both. Any advice would be kindly accepted.
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