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Old 11-21-2013, 06:41 PM   #1
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1966 20' Globetrotter
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Please help with a/c removal

all,

rookie here with extensive knowledge in porsche restoration but none in airstream

i have a 1968 26' overlander - i am restoring it with custom interior and now gutting and cleaning.

i want to install a new a/c unit and in the process of trying to remove mine, it seems to be different than the units i've searched on this forum. **photos attached**

the a/c units i've seen, who have posted threads/photos on removal, have a large square opening cut out of the roof - when i removed the outside cover and metal surround and then removed rivets inside around the perimeter of the a/c cover, i come to find there is a small(maybe 4" wide - **photo2)hole with copper tubes running up to the unit - no large square cutout like most airstreams i've seen?? **photo 4 shows the copper tubes up on the roof that go down into interior

in any case i want to remove and can someone tell me how to disconnect the lines so i can remove the inner surround - the surround is currently hanging in the interior and i am not able to see or get my hands anywhere into the area where the tubes are or where these tubes connect to inside the interior surround - do the lines get removed from above?? - there doesn't seem to be any way to do this but i am all ears.


**another important question: is there a similar replacement a/c unit with the same install using a small hole instead of cutting the roof?
thanks
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Old 11-21-2013, 06:53 PM   #2
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Looks like a 2 piece unit. I would guess you will have to break apart the 2 fittings shown in the last picture. You will loose all the freon, if any is left, when you do this. Then you can remove the inside and outside parts from the trailer. You should have someone with a freon recovery unit suck all the freon out of it first for the environment.
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Old 11-21-2013, 07:13 PM   #3
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please help with a/c removal

Greetings groovzilla!

It looks like you have an Armstrong Bay Breeze Air Conditioner. I would suggest considering having it overhauled as it is a much better built unit than any of its modern replacements. The compressor and other major components can be sourced from vendors supporting the commercial refrigeration industry. I didn't learn this lesson until it was too late and I had a perfectly good Armstrong Bay Breeze on my Overlander replaced when its compressor motor burned out in 1996. That was before the day of an active Airstream community on the WEB, and I was at the mercy of RV technicians who knew nothing other than replace the whole unit if a major component failed. In addition to being built with higher quality components, the Armstrong Bay Breeze on my Overlander cooled better and was much quieter than the Coleman Mach 3 that became its replacement.

Proceeding with the replacement of an Armstrong Bay Breeze will reveal three round holes through the roof that connect the interior and exterior units. The connections both electrical and mechanical must be severed to separate the two systems permitting their removal. To install a modern air conditioner or something like a Fantastic Vent, you will need to center the square 14" cutout over the three round roof penetrations.

Good luck with your project!

Kevin

P.S.: Be prepared for a very large number of rivets and screws as well as lots of Vulkem where the unit attaches to your Airstream's roof as well as a large number of screws that were used to attach the interior portion of the unit to the ceiling.
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Old 11-22-2013, 01:13 AM   #4
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kevin and ventport - appreciate your help and wisdom.

kevin, is there a newer designed model a/c to fit the current small 4" hole in the roof - i hate the idea of cutting on it - if nothing is available i will re-build this unit i am removing.

thanks
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Old 11-22-2013, 02:03 AM   #5
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kevin and ventport - appreciate your help and wisdom.

kevin - makes sense - i will keep this a/c and restore it.

can you please answer these 3 questions for me:

1. in the above post you say there are "3" holes going thru the roof for wiring and plumbing - did you mean (1) 3" hole? - all i see from the interior section is one hole

2. just exactly how do i disconnect the connections without damaging the wires or copper tube? there is hardly any room to see the inside of the interior section because it only drops slightly. is there somewhere on the exterior section where i can disconnect wires/copper tubes without damage?

3. just wondering if anyone ever made a newer direct replacement for this a/c with the same 4" hole design?

thanks in advance
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Old 11-22-2013, 02:39 AM   #6
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kevin & ventsport - please ignor above post and read this one

kevin and ventport - i re-read your posts and only have these questions - i wasn't able to edit the above post because the 30 min time limit ran out.

kevin - makes sense - i will keep this a/c and restore it. when i turned it on it worked but then stopped and would only work if spun(helped)the interior fan - it would then run ok.

kevin/ventport - can you please answer these 3 questions for me:

1. i see where the copper tubes connect at the union on the outside roof photo and they look simple enough to disconnect - but just exactly how do i disconnect the wire/power connections in the lower inside section of the unit without damaging the wires?
there is hardly any room to see or get my hands inside of the interior section because it only drops slightly. any access panels on the outside of the surround? or does it come apart somehow?

3. i'm buying a heat gun to help remove the vulkem when attempting to remove the exterior roof portion of the a/c - do you know just exactly where the hidden screws are that secure it to the roof or are they random?

4. just wondering if anyone ever made a newer direct replacement for this a/c with the same 4" hole design?

thanks in advance
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Old 11-22-2013, 07:24 AM   #7
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I think those old units were actually riveted to the roof. If you are going to keep it do you have to take it all the way off the roof? Have you done any trouble shooting?

Perry
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Old 11-22-2013, 08:36 AM   #8
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If it cools, and you need to move the fan to get the cold air to blow, it sounds like your compressor is fine, and you need to replace just the blower moter. That should be something you can do without changing out anything else. It could even be a lubrication problem. Sometimes a motor shaft needs oil, and when they get stuck, it starts overheating the wiring so eventually the motor has to be replaced.

A fan motor is much cheaper than an AC.

As far as your question about replacing with a similar unit, I've not seen anything. For the most part all AC's now are adapting the 14" hole and clamp system, but there are variations. Haven't seen something like what you have in a modern system.

I picked up a new motor from Grainger for my outdoor home unit. The motor should have the specs on the side on a sticker or plate, then you can search for an appropriate replacement.
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Old 11-22-2013, 09:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by perryg114 View Post
I think those old units were actually riveted to the roof. If you are going to keep it do you have to take it all the way off the roof? Have you done any trouble shooting?

Perry
i have a leak so i need to remove it.

**in the close up i shot of the exterior copper tubes/wires, you can see where the electrical conduit 90 degree angles thru the roof.

** does anyone know where the electric wire connects to on the inner portion of the a/c unit and is it accessible? - as mentioned above i can't get my hands or a good sight line to feel/see where the wire connects and i would rather not cut the wire to remove a/c unit.
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Old 11-22-2013, 09:35 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by perryg114 View Post
I think those old units were actually riveted to the roof. If you are going to keep it do you have to take it all the way off the roof? Have you done any trouble shooting?

Perry
there were rivets on the white outer cover - when removed there were 3 large slotted screws and rivets holding down the inner housing metal housing - are there any other hidden screws under the metal housing?
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Old 11-22-2013, 10:18 AM   #11
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Hear is some info that might be helpfull: Bay Breeze Air Conditioner

Tom is a buddy and he chose to keep his old unit. This past year he had a freon leak and still was able to fix it rather than replace the unit. These old things just cool so well it is hard to give them up if they are working. Yes they are loud. I kept my Bay Breeze but I have had trouble with water leaks. I cleaned all the old sealer from around the hole on top where the lines go in and resealed and that stopped my problem.
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Old 11-22-2013, 02:03 PM   #12
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1966 20' Globetrotter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 68 TWind View Post
Hear is some info that might be helpfull: Bay Breeze Air Conditioner

Tom is a buddy and he chose to keep his old unit. This past year he had a freon leak and still was able to fix it rather than replace the unit. These old things just cool so well it is hard to give them up if they are working. Yes they are loud. I kept my Bay Breeze but I have had trouble with water leaks. I cleaned all the old sealer from around the hole on top where the lines go in and resealed and that stopped my problem.
bruce thanks so much - i am in the process of removing the a/c - found connections in the exterior unit and also connections at the switch on the interior unit - real PITA removing the interior fan but finally got it with some penetration oil

going outside not to remove exterior unit
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Old 11-22-2013, 02:52 PM   #13
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got everything removed that i thought needed to be done before i could yank out the exterior a/c unit BUT there is still something hanging up where the fan rod goes thru the roof - hard to see but will investigate and struggle more tomorrow

thanks everyone for the help!
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Old 11-22-2013, 05:28 PM   #14
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I think the one unanswered question may be moot, but answer is that none of current generation roof air conditioners have a mount like yours. All use the 14" square opening, with foam gasket around the opening to seal out water...

Several Armstrong owners seem happy with theirs, and newer units tend to be less reliable and offer less cooling (in part because they use refrigerant OTHER than Freon...). If you decide to go new, you are likely to have to cut a hole in roof, unless you go with residential unit and duct it into trailer from another hidden location. Several members here have installed ducted units under side beds or behind cabinets, and used flex ducting to distribute cold air...
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