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Old 09-18-2012, 11:32 AM   #1
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1971 31' Excella 500
Lake worth , Florida
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Repair or replace, Armstrong tr 21-12

Hello all, have been lurking here for some time. I recently purchased my first airstream! Well my first order of business is the a/c as we are in Florida. I turned the Armstrong on after many years of sitting and it started blowing cold immediately. Was quite pleased when suddenly I began smelling that all familiar smell of electrical components burning. So I shut the breaker and pulled the panel and found the transformer rusty and smoking. I also noticed the fan would not run with out the ac set to on as well. So should I try and change some parts or bite the bullet and spring for a new unit.
Thanks in advance
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Old 09-18-2012, 12:06 PM   #2
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1974 Argosy 28
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Welcome, former Lake Worth resident here. Smith Farms was no place for an Airstream.

Anyway, parts can be had to fix your Armstrong it will take a bit of looking on your part, but the unit holds up over time and is worth fixing. Sounds like you may need a relay and have the wiring checked as to why you burned something up in there.

Blowing cold is a good sign your compressor and motor is good. There isn't too much going on up there and if you have a home AC guy you trust, ask him to look at it. A replacement for me was quoted at $1k with labor, a fix should be well less than half of that.
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Old 09-18-2012, 12:12 PM   #3
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Those Armstrongs are noted for running and running and running. If you don't have a leak in the freon you may be ahead of the game by fixing.
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:09 PM   #4
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I vote for "change some parts"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Natestravels View Post
Hello all, have been lurking here for some time. ... I turned the Armstrong on after many years of sitting and it started blowing cold immediately. Was quite pleased when suddenly ...

So should I try and change some parts or bite the bullet and spring for a new unit.
Welcome to the forums.

I am maintaining the original Armstrong Bay Breeze unit in my '67 Overlander, and it's cooling like a champ.

Not without cost though. Details can be found in my Overlander's web site & my blog (link in my signature).

I'm still happy with my decision to maintain the unit - It blows cold, and does not drip condensate down the side of my American Classic like many of the modern-day units do.

Tom
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Old 09-20-2012, 08:01 AM   #5
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1971 31' Excella 500
Lake worth , Florida
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Thank you all for the quick replies! You have all convinced me to repair the Armstrong. I have a close friend that's an hvac tech who is going to come help me with the unit. I will post back the results. Thanks every one!
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:44 AM   #6
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1971 31' Excella 500
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Well I just wanted to let you all know that I put a 13 dollar transformer in my Armstrong and it's blowing ice cold!! Glad you all convinced me to keep it. Thanks again!!
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Old 10-03-2012, 03:53 PM   #7
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We broke down today A/C-wise

We're almost half-way through this year's trip to Disney World, and when we got back from EPCOT today the fan motor was ka-kunking like no one's business. The unit was switched off amid the worry that something would fly apart & take out everything.

Then I all but broke my arm patting myself on the back because, at the last minute, I decided to bring along the window A/C unit purchased in Key West earlier this year simply because there was room for it.

The fan motor is only eight years old - I think it should have lasted longer. They just don't make things like they use to. The motor will be replaced once we get back home. I still have tons of faith in my Overlander's Armstrong A/C.

Tom
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Old 10-03-2012, 05:36 PM   #8
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Tom I believe there is a known problem with the only newer replacement motors now available generally not being sealed at the top of the shaft like the original motors. No fix for this but that explains the early failures, and its more a matter of the proper part being unavailable than one of overall lower quality.
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