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Old 04-22-2013, 09:44 PM   #1
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'67 30' Airstream, mystery part

We're removing all parts from the exterior of the Airstream in preparation for polishing. One of the parts we've removed is one that I'd never understood -- and still don't.

PICTURE 1: This part was attached to the outside aluminum of the rig with rivets just above the battery compartment. The first picture below shows what it looks like from the outside. (That's paper background, standing in for the aluminum.) You can see that it has a small shelf of sorts, hole in the center below. After cleaning out prehistoric gook, I discovered what appears to be a threaded inside.

PICTURE 2: On the inside of the exterior aluminum, the part has a nipple, to which is connected a plastic hose that leads down through the wall and into the battery compartment. There is nothing in the hose (except some dirt).

PICTURE 3: This is the part in profile as removed from the Airstream. (On edit, I just noticed that I reinstalled the hose upside down, so the aluminum part should be rotated 180 degrees.)

So what the heck is this?


Lynn

PS: Please excuse the quality of that last pic. Obviously, I'm having trouble switching from a DSLR to a point-and-shoot.
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:46 PM   #2
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Vent for battery. Shelf provided a break so rain water would not run into vent hose.
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:49 PM   #3
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If that's a battery vent, it's tiny! The inside of that plastic hose is 1/4 inch.

Lynn
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:54 PM   #4
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Older ( not low maintenance ) batteries would have had a nipple that small hose slipped on to. I seem to recall most batteries had them around the mid eighties or before.
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:58 PM   #5
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Then I'd think that the battery would be in some kind of box arrangement to capture off-gassing and lead it out? Also, any idea on why the inside of the part would be threaded?

Lynn
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:03 PM   #6
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Pre-Nader days didn't have the safety concerns of today, but the regular batteries would pop their cell caps without the vent on the battery. Audi's of that era and later had batteries mounted below the rear seat and had a similar arrangement to vent to the outside.

Not sure on the threading on the inside. I hadn't noticed that on mine.
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:40 PM   #7
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Then I'd think that the battery would be in some kind of box arrangement to capture off-gassing and lead it out? Also, any idea on why the inside of the part would be threaded?

Lynn
Lynn.

That plate held the vent hose for the battery.

The batteries back then had a plastic cover that covered just the top of the battery and was held in place with the battery hold down bolts.

Andy
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Old 04-22-2013, 11:07 PM   #8
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Ok, so I guess the mystery is solved!

I'll reinstall the part after the polish job. Not that it does that much, but there are three holes to cover (two rivet holes plus the larger nipple hole), and the outer part does so nicely.

This job is going to take a number of weeks, in good measure because we still don't have decent outside work weather every day. April in the high mountains are sometimes nice, but, well, for example, tomorrow it's supposed to snow.


Lynn
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