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Old 11-14-2014, 06:18 PM   #1
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Original Armstrong A/C keep, or buy new ..?

hi folks, i'm sure discussed a thousand times but can't really find the right thread. i have a recently purchased 1972 Sovereign.. it's in good nick, fridge works, a/c seems to still work .. (although furnace and water heater don't.)
my question; is it worth investing in a new a/c shroud ($$) and no doubt other parts as this unit hasn't been used in literally years... lots could go wrong or there again .. how long could this keep going ? are parts even available and in decent supply still? I'm not all that handy but could probably learn basic skills to fix when needed .. but if needed professional help it could get very costly, right ?
i don't plan on using the a/c very much as live in northern california and most camping will be in cooler regions. Inland seems to be the only place to get the shrouds and they are pricy .. when you throw on shipping.
so more cost effective to buy an entire new unit or keep the old one ? any thoughts much appreciated !!
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Old 11-14-2014, 06:31 PM   #2
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Keep the Armstrong. It is repairable, unlike the new units. I have the original Armstrong on my '72 and it gets a workout in the Texas summers. Best AC ever.
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Old 11-19-2014, 02:12 PM   #3
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hi folks, i'm sure discussed a thousand times but can't really find the right thread. i have a recently purchased 1972 Sovereign.. it's in good nick, fridge works, a/c seems to still work .. (although furnace and water heater don't.)
my question; is it worth investing in a new a/c shroud ($$) and no doubt other parts as this unit hasn't been used in literally years... lots could go wrong or there again .. how long could this keep going ? are parts even available and in decent supply still? I'm not all that handy but could probably learn basic skills to fix when needed .. but if needed professional help it could get very costly, right ?
i don't plan on using the a/c very much as live in northern california and most camping will be in cooler regions. Inland seems to be the only place to get the shrouds and they are pricy .. when you throw on shipping.
so more cost effective to buy an entire new unit or keep the old one ? any thoughts much appreciated !!
Your AC is a good unit.

Have someone check it out completely and then decide about the shroud.

Not using it for an extended time, is not a bad thing.

But, lube the fan motor.

Andy
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Old 11-19-2014, 02:36 PM   #4
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is it worth investing in a new a/c shroud ($$) and no doubt other parts as this unit hasn't been used in literally years
Find out whether it works first. If it works, the shroud is worthwhile. If it doesn't, it depends on what's wrong and is a judgment call.

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... lots could go wrong or there again .. how long could this keep going ? are parts even available and in decent supply still?
The parts that fail most often are the electrical controls (starting relay, capacitors, thermostat). All these are readily available with some parts substitution sometimes required. The second most common parts failure is the fan motor. These are out there but can be hard to find because of an unusual shaft configuration. Replacement compressors are available although finding a tech to do the work is problematic in some areas.

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so more cost effective to buy an entire new unit or keep the old one ? any thoughts much appreciated !!
New units require cutting and reinforcing a new 14x14" hole in the roof. The refrigerant from the old unit must be recovered and disposed of by an EPA certified shop before the old unit is removed. Usually it's a better choice to save the Armstrong.
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Old 11-21-2014, 04:13 PM   #5
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The Armstrongs are amazing machines that are built to last.

My 72 Armstrong works GREAT and I have worked it hard over the last two years.

IMO, even though the unit is just a thing, it deserves better than to be unceremoniously scrapped in favor of a new disposable unit that has a designed lifecycle of five years.

The unit on my trailer, placed there over forty years ago and still going strong IMO deserves a modicum of respect that I will recognize. When it breaks, I will fix it.


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Old 11-21-2014, 05:06 PM   #6
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good to know guys, thanks ..
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Old 11-21-2014, 05:13 PM   #7
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Keep the Armstrong.
I would look at a local sheet metal shop to see if they would be willing to make one (a shroud) out of aluminum. It could even be riveted.


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Old 11-21-2014, 07:48 PM   #8
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Keep the Armstrong.
I would look at a local sheet metal shop to see if they would be willing to make one (a shroud) out of aluminum. It could even be riveted.


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The shroud on my 1975 Armstrong is in pretty rough shape. We are going to fabricate a shroud in our shop from some Alclad that I have left over, might cost as much as a new fiberglass one, but IMHO will look much nicer. We did a mock up out of poster board a few years ago just to see how much metal it would take.

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Old 11-22-2014, 12:53 AM   #9
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It will take near about 2/3 of a 4x8 sheet in my quick guesstestimation..

IDK, I think the fiberglass ones can look pretty good...

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Old 11-22-2014, 09:21 AM   #10
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When I had a 73 it had a working Armstrong. I was able to patch up the shroud with fiberglass. I painted it aluminum and being on the roof the patches were not noticeable. The old fiberglass is probably very brittle being over 40 years old.
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Old 11-22-2014, 09:38 AM   #11
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The Armstrong on my '76 works like new. I will be cleaning, straightening, de-hornet-nesting, and, yes, keeping the shroud, which is a little worse for wear, but looks like it will be fine. I kind of like the "battle-tested" look.
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Old 11-22-2014, 10:03 AM   #12
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There was enough left of my shroud left that I could have patched it, but it was so brittle and fragile that it would have required a total coating of fiberglass or it would have in time busted past the many patches anyway. So I bought a replacement cover from Andy.

I don't know what my original cover was made from, but it wasn't fiberglass. Its replacement is fiberglass, and it is a high quality piece.


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Old 11-22-2014, 10:13 AM   #13
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There was enough left of my shroud left that I could have patched it, but it was so brittle and fragile that it would have required a total coating of fiberglass or it would have in time busted past the many patches anyway. So I bought a replacement cover from Andy.

I don't know what my original cover was made from, but it wasn't fiberglass. Its replacement is fiberglass, and it is a high quality piece.


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The original was made with plastic that was heat formed.

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Old 11-22-2014, 01:23 PM   #14
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Original Armstrong A/C keep, or buy new ..?

The fiberglass one you sell is many times better than stock, and the stock one lasted forty years.

I have bought plenty of aftermarket fiberglass pieces, this is by far the highest quality fiberglass repop I have ever had the pleasure of buying.

Unlike most fiberglass repops, this one is truly high quality and worth the money. I guarantee that these covers are not cheap to produce.

They are thick, well formed, stable, and well finished with plenty of gel-coat to facilitate a great finish without the need of primer. ( there is no need to paint if a person likes stock white, but they sure paint pretty)

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