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Old 08-14-2010, 11:49 PM   #1
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1971 31' Sovereign
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Removing a/c unit from my 1971 Sovereign

I recently purchased a new a/c unit. I removed my original a/c cover and found that the a/c is different looking than what I was expecting. It appears to have approx a gallon of epoxy around the edges and is anchored down by numerous screws. The a/c unit appears to be original as does the epoxy.

There are also aluminum shrouds that the old cover mounted to. Do these come off???

Any ideas on how to remove this epoxy????

It's hot in Dallas, I need a/c.
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Old 08-15-2010, 12:19 AM   #2
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Use a knife to *carefully* cut channels into the epoxy, then use a gallon or two of Jasco paint and epoxy remover. Remember, if you have a clearcoat it'll remove that too. Once you've removed what you can, with gloves, put as much of the epoxy remover in there to soften the epoxy, wrap in aluminum foil and keep shaded, so it can soften some more, then try easing the base panel off.

Once you get the panel off, use yet more epoxy remover to completely clean the surface.

Don't get electrocuted. Remove the A/C breaker.
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Old 08-15-2010, 09:14 AM   #3
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Underneath the epoxy am I seeing the screws that hold the unit on or is that something else?

Thanks
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Old 08-15-2010, 09:37 AM   #4
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This thread,

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f478...oof-66345.html

And the blog titled air conditioner:

Air conditioner - Airstream Forums

shows what I found when replacing my air conditioner on my 76 Sovereign.




The old Vulkem came off easily with a heat gun and a sharp putty knife. Below the Vulkem was just a bunch of screws. They all came right out except one that I had to drill the head off of. I just scraped the surface after I got the old AC out and washed it with acetone.
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Old 08-15-2010, 09:38 AM   #5
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On my 75 TW there were around 40 screws holding the drip pan and unit to the roof. Mine were covered with several tubes of vulkem. All of the sealant needs to be removed as well as the screws. The old unit should lift off the roof once everything is removed. I used olympic rivets to fill the old screw holes. A 14" x 14" reinforced hole is all you want when putting the new unit on.
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Old 08-15-2010, 04:06 PM   #6
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I appreciate your help. What about the fins that the shroud screwed to? Do they unscrew and are able to be taken off?

Mine looks like your plus the epoxy.

Thanks, Judd
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Old 08-15-2010, 04:11 PM   #7
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polish

I see your from Texas. Do you have any contacts for polishing an Airstream. I just east of Dallas and have had no luck with finding someone.

Thanks, Judd

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Park View Post
Use a knife to *carefully* cut channels into the epoxy, then use a gallon or two of Jasco paint and epoxy remover. Remember, if you have a clearcoat it'll remove that too. Once you've removed what you can, with gloves, put as much of the epoxy remover in there to soften the epoxy, wrap in aluminum foil and keep shaded, so it can soften some more, then try easing the base panel off.

Once you get the panel off, use yet more epoxy remover to completely clean the surface.

Don't get electrocuted. Remove the A/C breaker.
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Old 08-15-2010, 04:30 PM   #8
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I heated the old Vulkem with my electric heat gun, removed the screws, picked up the old air conditioner and sat it on the scaffold deck and it all looked just like this:





This is just how it looked before I cleaned up the Vulkem line and plugged the screw holes. Notice the old air conditioner left picture. The shiny aluminum is where the old air conditioner sat. The hole was there and it wasn't a big deal to remove, clean up, or install the new air conditioner. I did it all alone except for when my son helped me set the old unit in the loader bucket.

The new one is a 13.5 and it makes it so cold on a 95 degree day that I could hang meat in there.

Gary
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Click on the link to see a picture of the Sioux River falls near my home.
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Old 08-15-2010, 09:44 PM   #9
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Okay guys the old unit is off and I hope to have the the unit cleaned and the new one installed tomorrow night. The new one just bolts to the the inside part of the unit. Only 4 bolts??? I guess back in the day more was better.......

Thanks for all the help
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Old 08-15-2010, 10:09 PM   #10
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The original hole on mine was unsupported. For the gasket to compress and seal on the new unit I framed the existing hole on three sides back to the first rear rib. I reinforced with 1 1/2" dried untreated ribs and cross supports. I cut the ribs to the profile of the old air conditioner trim. They were 1 3/4" thick and 20" long. I installed three hoops and two lateral roof supports, so the roof is supported back to the first body rib behind the air conditioner. From the top, the body has a nice visual radius under the new unit.

There were just 4 bolts to draw the gasket down on the new unit.
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Click on the link to see a picture of the Sioux River falls near my home.
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Eastern South Dakota is very pretty with hills, rivers, and trees.
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Old 08-15-2010, 10:55 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JKnight View Post
I see your from Texas. Do you have any contacts for polishing an Airstream. I just east of Dallas and have had no luck with finding someone.

Thanks, Judd
There's someone who posts regularly of their Airstream polish service on Austin craigslist - they may well be willing to travel. I would even be interested myself, but my polishing is merely acceptable and I wouldn't feel right charging - it's a real skill and I truly appreciate the quality and technique of the skilled workers...
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Old 08-16-2010, 07:13 PM   #12
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Okay, What are you calling the untreated dry ribs? What material are you using, wood, steel, aluminum, etc?

I noticed on mine it seemed to be weak around the hole. is this normal or do folks just typically bolt it down with the 4 bolts and role on?

Thanks, Judd
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Old 08-16-2010, 07:54 PM   #13
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If you try and bolt it down without support, the skins will buckle and deform. This will most likely leak and not sit level.

On my unit Zep (Roger) cut some wood strips to match the curve skin around the hole. The strips were the same shape and size of the gap between the inner and outer skins and about 2" in width. These 4 pieces of hardwood were then screwed in place from the top and the bottom skins. With these in place you have a very solid area to mount the new unit on. Two holes were then drilled into the wooden frame to allow the power and drip line connection to be attached.
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Old 08-16-2010, 08:25 PM   #14
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Untreated kiln dried wood.
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Click on the link to see a picture of the Sioux River falls near my home.
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Eastern South Dakota is very pretty with hills, rivers, and trees.
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