Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 02-19-2015, 02:55 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
 
terrencecolp's Avatar
 
1976 25' Tradewind
Tulsa , Oklahoma
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 96
Images: 1
Rebuild or Replace A/C?

I have a 1976 Armstrong a/c that has a bad compressor. All things considered, should it be better to buy a new one or get the old one repaired. I can pull the old unit off and on, and as far as I know install a new one. My time is free, but I really only want to do it once and right. I would have to find a shop for repair work.
__________________

__________________
terrencecolp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2015, 03:24 PM   #2
Moderator
 
Kevin245's Avatar

 
Vintage Kin Owner
... , ...
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 9,385
Images: 9
Check out this thread for some guidance.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f427/rebuild-armstrong-a-c-on-69-ambassador-76432.html
__________________

__________________

"You wouldn't worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do."

Eleanor Roosevelt

Kevin245 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2015, 09:16 AM   #3
Rivet Master
 
Ahab's Avatar
 
2008 22' Safari
Oracle , Arizona
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,174
The new models are a lot more efficient than a 39 year old model.
__________________
Ahab is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2015, 09:20 AM   #4
Rivet Monster
 
wahoonc's Avatar

 
1975 31' Sovereign
1980 31' Excella II
Sprung Leak , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 7,174
Images: 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ahab View Post
The new models are a lot more efficient than a 39 year old model.
Not that much and to add insult to injury the new ones are not repairable. If they quit working they get tossed and a new one installed, regardless if they are in warranty or not.

Aaron
__________________
....so many Airstreams....so little time...
WBCCI #XXXX AIR #2495
Why are we in this basket...and where are we going
wahoonc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2015, 09:51 AM   #5
Rivet Master
 
J. Morgan's Avatar

 
1972 31' Sovereign
1975 31' Excella 500
Currently Looking...
Benton , Arkansas
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 5,038
Images: 11
Rebuild or replace a/c

It seems to me that it is not unusual for new units to only last five years or less.

Are you sure it is the compressor itself that is bad or might it be bad capacitors or a bad relay?


1/2 Ton 4WD Truck, 72 Sovereign Hensley Arrow
__________________
The fact that I am opinionated does not presuppose that I am wrong......

J. Morgan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2015, 12:14 PM   #6
2 Rivet Member
 
terrencecolp's Avatar
 
1976 25' Tradewind
Tulsa , Oklahoma
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 96
Images: 1
air conditioner

The fan capacitor went out and the unit continued to run for ten minutes without the fan. After replacing the capacitor the fan worked, but the unit now only cools half as well as it used to. I don't know the compressor is bad, but am thinking that I burned some windings. I am not an electrician, nor do I know a whole lot about hvac.
__________________
terrencecolp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2015, 03:14 PM   #7
2 Rivet Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 88
1976!

Quote:
Originally Posted by terrencecolp View Post
I have a 1976 Armstrong a/c that has a bad compressor. All things considered, should it be better to buy a new one or get the old one repaired. I can pull the old unit off and on, and as far as I know install a new one. My time is free, but I really only want to do it once and right. I would have to find a shop for repair work.
It has more than served a useful life. Buy a new one. Yes ; you probably burned some windings.
__________________
Howard Lefkowitz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2015, 10:03 AM   #8
4 Rivet Member
 
1977 31' Sovereign
Lynnwood , Washington
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 311
Your best bet, by far, would be to replace the whole AC unit.

New compressor + old components = guaranteed trouble in the not-too-distant future.

Trust me. Thinking I could save a few bucks, I've gone the "budget" route before. When dealing with refrigeration, it just doesn't pay.

Keep in mind, in terms of overall cost, there's not much difference between repair vs replace. And when you factor cost with overall performance & reliability, AC replacement is your best option.

Tom
__________________
TomKirk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2015, 10:38 AM   #9
Rivet Master
 
J. Morgan's Avatar

 
1972 31' Sovereign
1975 31' Excella 500
Currently Looking...
Benton , Arkansas
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 5,038
Images: 11
Rebuild or Replace A/C?

Repairing the old unit, the one that lasted for forty years, instead of replacing it with one that has a designed lifespan of five years is not really being cheap.

The old Armstrongs have a simple, rugged, repairable, and reliable design of which there is no modern replacement that is even close.

Yea there is an element of risk when repairing one of these units, but there is something cool about preserving the best RV air conditioner that was ever built in America.


1/2 Ton 4WD Truck, 72 Sovereign Hensley Arrow
__________________
The fact that I am opinionated does not presuppose that I am wrong......

J. Morgan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2015, 02:01 PM   #10
Rivet Master
 
J. Morgan's Avatar

 
1972 31' Sovereign
1975 31' Excella 500
Currently Looking...
Benton , Arkansas
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 5,038
Images: 11
Rebuild or Replace A/C?

I should note that it will be easier to pay someone $2,000 to replace the a/c than to find a competent person to replace the compressor of the old unit, because unfortunately, the entire American culture has gravitated toward a disposable society.

I guess my attitude of non compliance bleeds through as defiance through many of my decisions these days.

Lol, I defy the industry that sells entirely disposable RV air conditioners!


1/2 Ton 4WD Truck, 72 Sovereign Hensley Arrow
__________________
The fact that I am opinionated does not presuppose that I am wrong......

J. Morgan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2015, 02:08 PM   #11
King of the Zebra Speedo
 
Panama Red's Avatar
 
Obrien , Florida
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 1,405
Images: 7
I agree with Mr. Morgan to a point. The newer units aren't designed to last as long as the old ones were. The problem with a forty year old a/c unit will be the corrosion of the evaporator and condenser coil fins. You can spend a ton of money refurbing the old unit, only to have pinhole leaks start to develop in the sealed system, and I doubt you can find replacement coils for them... Maybe, but they'd probably be custom built, and stupid expensive. The only reason I would go for a refurb on the old unit is if I wanted to keep the aesthetics, or "classic" look... Which I don't care for anyways (personal thing, I know).

Newer units are more efficient by design, which will reduce the amount of current needed to run your air conditioner, or by using the same amount of energy, you will get more cooling capacity. The main weak spot you will find in the new units will be the use of plastics that will break down due to exposure to the sun, and the use of non serviceable motors for the fan motor, meaning sealed bearings, you can't oil them. I'm guesstimating the age of my replacement unit to be around the ten year mark, and the squirrel cage fan, made of plastic, cracked at the hub. A few bucks later, and an afternoons work, and I now have a metal squirrel cage replacement installed. I fully expect the new units to last longer than ten years, with a few tweaks here and there.

I personally like the look of the lower profile, more streamlined units.

So, to summarize, aesthetics, energy, sealed system... But it would be cool to take one of those old things and get it working again... I've rebuilt antique single cylinder gas engines, with the old hit/miss governor set up. Cool old engines, built to last forever, but I'd replace it with a Briggs and Stratton any day of the week if I had to do any work with it....

It's your baby, do what makes you happy!!! That's what really matters. If it makes a tingle run up your leg every time you see that old unit humming up there, then have at it!

-Red, indecisively decisive...
__________________
Somebody ought to clean these windows. There is a tremendous buildup of gook all over them...
Panama Red is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2015, 06:18 PM   #12
Rivet Master
 
TG Twinkie's Avatar
 
1974 Argosy 26
Morrill , Nebraska
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 5,139
Images: 2
Blog Entries: 5
If or when the 41 year old unit craps out and it is more than just a capacitor or relay. I will be seriously looking at a split A/C unit.


Sent from my iPod touch using Airstream Forums
__________________
Knowledge: "A gift to be shared. A treasure to receive."
TG Twinkie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2015, 01:55 PM   #13
2 Rivet Member
 
terrencecolp's Avatar
 
1976 25' Tradewind
Tulsa , Oklahoma
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 96
Images: 1
By split, do you refer to an a/c that also heats? I hadn't thought of that. That in itself is a good argument for a replacement.
__________________
terrencecolp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2015, 02:25 PM   #14
King of the Zebra Speedo
 
Panama Red's Avatar
 
Obrien , Florida
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 1,405
Images: 7
A split system is the design where there is an indoor and an outdoor unit, with the condenser and compressor located outside, and the evaporator located inside. They have "split" the system into two sections. The unit typically on a camper is known as a package unit...

-Red, letting out all the secrets...
__________________

__________________
Somebody ought to clean these windows. There is a tremendous buildup of gook all over them...
Panama Red is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Vintage Fisher Regulator Rebuild vs. Replace 69AirDream LP Gas, Piping, Tanks & Regulators 17 05-09-2013 10:33 PM
2 replace decal or not to replace? nustreamer Clearcoat, Exterior Paint & Trim 1 07-15-2011 11:28 PM
To replace or not to replace the axles airstrmkids Axles 17 01-13-2011 07:20 AM
Rebuild PAR 6800J (Jabsco 36800) or Replace with New Pump trevisgardne Water Heaters, Filters & Pumps 3 05-02-2007 10:20 AM
Rebuild or replace old Thetford dump valve? 63air Waste Systems, Tanks & Totes 7 05-21-2006 03:47 AM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:23 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.