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Old 03-14-2002, 08:57 PM   #1
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Question Dash A/C

Soon this will be the hottest subject of the year.
Let's try to keep this thread to the point and informative.
Can the condenser unit be repaired, as in soldering a small leak?
Are their replacements available?
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Old 03-15-2002, 08:53 PM   #2
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The A/C place that is going to rebuild my pressure hose, said they could possibly work on the condenser unit as well. If it's not too far gone, he said. As in what? Corroded, plugged up?
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Old 03-18-2002, 06:32 PM   #3
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The condenser unit can be pulled out from under the front of the MH. I drove it on 2 stacked 2x12 to get extra clearance.
Just as I thought, the A/C unit is aftermarket, according to the GM dealer. No help from them.
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Old 03-21-2002, 04:30 PM   #4
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rebuilt pressure hose, condenser unit checked for leaks and flushed, system recharged. Cold A/C! Total $ spent 260.-
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Old 03-21-2002, 06:34 PM   #5
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Peter,

I would be interested to know what the difference in your MPG is when you run the dash air vs. generator and roof air.

I have heard some motor home owners say that the dash air uses more HP, therefore more fuel.

Overall fuel costs are not the only costs to be considered, regularly scheduled maintenance on the generator is also an expense to be factored in.

I must say that your parts cost seems very reasonable. Yours is the least expensive AC repair I have heard of!!
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Old 03-21-2002, 08:06 PM   #6
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Brett,
that was parts and labor to charge the system.
A/C is the biggest automotive rip-off.
Once you understand the system, you can gather all the parts and have a pro charge it.
The hottest part of the coach is the cabin, the roof A/C does not give you cooling comfort.
I even have a shut-off valve for the heater core. A lot of heat is coming from the motor alone.
This is Texas!
you got to be cool
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Old 03-21-2002, 08:18 PM   #7
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Peter,

Where did you install the heater core shut off valve? My PO just disconnected the heater core from the cooling system due to the heat.

I may need some heat on the windshield in the fall or winter so it is on my to do list to reconnect. A shut off valve sounds like the way to go.

Brett
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Old 03-21-2002, 09:39 PM   #8
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The shut-off valve is just inline.
I am still considering building a 2 way valve, so the coolant circulates, by-passing the heater core. I am not sure at this point, if I actually restrict coolant flow into the intake manifold, by shutting it off. Do the 454 waterpumps have the coolant ports, where they are mounted to the block? Anyone?

I would be careful connecting the heater core, without having it checked first. The reason for the disconnect might be heater core related.
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Old 03-22-2002, 09:27 AM   #9
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Air Conditioning

The laws of physics says nothing makes cold... We can only remove heat with the result being cold. Evaporators and condensors can both be repaired. Mostly they suffer mechanical damage. One of the most critical components, but over looked, is the receiver filter drier. The most damaging contaminate to a refer system is water. The receiver stops and trapps water and dirt. Belt tension is a very important part of maintence as well as cleaning all fins and tubes. Lots of A/C systems have been greatly improved by cleaning the evaporator with cleaner for same or water and soap. A/C tune ups are required. Checking vacum and lever positions as to door operations is critical for maximine cooling operation. Using a shut off for the heater core is not the best method of stopping heater operation. It does stop the flow of hot water, but allows water to become stagnate and may create corosion and possible core failure. The best long temp method is to connect heater hoses together and allow core to be dry and have some air circulation. The down side is more work is required and heater cannot be placed into service instantly. Using the roof a/c and the gen set is in many ways better because gen sets love lots of exercise, and the cost is less to operate. Many gen sets suffer from non use. A great way to winterize a gen set is to allow the gen set to use all fuel is system and "run out of fuel". This may be accomplished by installing a small pet cock type gas valve in the supply line at any point. Modern gas changes chemistry in about 4 months storage as additives evaporate. Diesel fuel can last years. Gas will change aroma as it ages. A/C sytems must be inspected and filters washed and cleaned. The roof units have filters inside RV.......... Frank
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Old 03-23-2002, 02:10 PM   #10
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Frank- are you saying that the Roof a/c is more efficient than using dash a/c? I would assume so, and since my dash a/c doesn't seem very effective, I had considered not charging it this season. It was charged last spring, but is weak at this time. The heater works like gangbusters ..but of course the 2 are seperate.
As this will be my first sumer of long distance travel in this MH I want to be ready for the hot weather.
I notice that the generator runs a long time on very little fuel.
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Old 03-23-2002, 02:20 PM   #11
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Once you hit 1/4 tank, the gen is going to shut off. Could get toasty in the summer, looking for the next gas station.
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Old 03-23-2002, 02:30 PM   #12
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Roof ac versus dash ac

The numbers usually given to rate ac units are 15 btu for roof and 16-18 btu for dash air. The roof air has lots of serious advantages. The compressor and evaporator are located in a position for a good heat exchange, the blower motor is of a good size and blows cool air in a very large pattern. I think the roof air will reduce interior temps faster. The dash air works better in motion but at a penalty for the RV. Some where I saw an articl that indicated that dash air used about 22 horse power in a standard automobile with no window coverings. The many variables are because of the many RV conditions and location. While in Florida one year, our dash and roof air were very ineffective...... Frank
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Old 04-16-2002, 11:20 AM   #13
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a/c condenser

The Surplus Center in Lincoln, NE has a new 15 x 36 inch Modine ac condenser in their catalog for $29.95. It is for heavy trucks and is not far from the size of the one in my '86 345. Doesn't look like it would be much work to make fit. Their phone is 800/488-3407. Call for a catalog if you like strange and wonderful mechanical things. Lots of hydraulic stuff. No connection other than happy customer. Neal
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Old 04-16-2002, 01:36 PM   #14
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Frank _ I would guess you are right on the HP usage for a/c.
I am going to run the roof a/c for awhile in the hot georgia springtime and see what happens. I also have two front mounted small fans that move air pretty well and might help the a/c circulate. Gas mileage is such a bear anyway.........thanks to the latest gas price increases, even more so.
Peter- by the way I wanted to mention that if you bypass the heater core, you could possibly run your motor hot. I have used the heater core to cool down engines that were on the verge of overheating, by putting on the heater, and watch the temp drop on the gauge until I could get to a pit stop to change a leaky hose or add a belt. You might have to bypass, run it and watch the gauge for awhile to be safe.
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Old 04-16-2002, 10:26 PM   #15
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Dash air

Hi Peter and Alan
The manual for my 87 reccomends using the generator and roof air in hot weather.
In cold weather, go ahead and use the dash air ?
Go figure
Cliff in Indiana
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Old 04-17-2002, 12:16 AM   #16
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Heater bipass, t-stats...check-up

I hope NOT to step on any toes........ But using ball vales to bipass a heater core is not wise........... because.. the water in the heater becomes stagnant and foul smelling. This is not a good mix for any coolant. Stagnant water will grow some bad stuff. The price of the valves is not of much value. An easy bipass is to just use a plastic or brass coupling to couple the in and out hose together. It is good to flush out the core with the garden hose and finally blow out the remaining water with air. Replacing a heater is nearly as costly as a radiator replace because of the R&R labor. Any one who can get an engine over heat to run cool using the heater needs some serious cooling work. In many cases, a lower heat number can be used in place of the recommended temp t-stat. Lots of smog built Chevy V-8 350 engines call for a 192 degree t-stat. We install 180 degree t-stats with no problems... With a 192 degree t-stat and and a 15 pound cap, the engine cooling system can operate as high as 220 degrees. A good cooling system uses 60% distilled water, like in a clothes iron, and 40% coolant. Coolant test strips are available to check for correct chemistry. The best cooling system will not do any cooling with bad belts and adjustments. Not real tite...just rite. Lefty...loosey Righty ...tighty... Frank
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Old 04-17-2002, 01:11 AM   #17
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General post about my 345LE dash AC

Anyone else who has had AC issues might find this of interest...

I bought my 1990 345LE from a gentleman in his 70s who had bought the coach and driven 28,000 miles in 10 years, with most of the mileage in the first 2 years he had it.

When I got it all rubber items were perished, as well as brakes, shocks, hoses, belts, airbags etc. The drive train and pistons and gear box etc were perfect (the expensive stuff, or should I say the more expensive stuff...) and the tires had been recently replaced too.

The dash heater/AC didnt work at all and the guy told me it never had and to use the gennie/roof AC

The problem is driving here in CA I am often on the 5 between LA and SFO and the evening sun is on my face and the roof air is on the back of my neck...

So I tried to get it fixed. I replaced or fixed all vent hoses, and the compressor. This kind of fixed it. At least I had hot air and vented air but the AC wasnt working at all. It turned out that the new compressor was faulty.

Next the service tech found a vacuum hose loose under the hood, the one that goes to the little globe shaped vacuum pump on the passenger side.

This fixed the air coming through better and also returned my vacuum gauge to working ok.

Next the facia plate with the air controls broke and fell into the dash itself. This got fixed by epoxying it together and remounting it - a royal pain to get it in the right place. I was told the part is not available any more.

The faulty compressor is still not replaced as I haven't been back to the GM dealer yet but I do have some cooled air. I think this fixed should do the job.

It makes a big difference for driving comfort to have the dash air working.

I guess my take on it is that the roof AC is obviously much more powerful and if you need to recharge batteries well it's a no brainer to use it.

Funny though I actually prefer the dash AC when on a 600 mile trip.

Anyone have any real figures on how much more HP and gas is used up by running the dash AC? I think my gennie (the one that this coach comes with..a 6.5 Onan I think) uses about .7 galls per hour...

Best wishes

Will Henshall
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Old 04-17-2002, 06:46 AM   #18
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some simple facts (measured in 2001, Texas summer)
outside temp 100
inside with roof A/c ~80
cab temp with roof A/C, without dash A/C ~95
cab temp with roof A/C, with dash A/C ~80-85

driving all day in 95 degrees with the sun blasting through the large windows gets very old.
Generator shut-off @1/4 tank will send the temperature to 110 degrees within a few minutes.
A great recipe for cranky drivers and passengers!
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Old 04-17-2002, 11:40 AM   #19
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Improve cooling

To improve cooling requires some patience and work. A good a/c unit may be working to the max and still not provide good interior comfort. To maximize the a/c performance a auto a/c tytpe probe temp gage is required. Some basic temp readings in any given area should be recorded to make later comparisons. A a/c unit that produces 40-44 degrees F at the front dash discharge duct is doing good. This temp discharge air should not change after established. Cooling usually improves after vehicle is moving forward. After getting a low air temp, the trick is keeping low temps in cab area. Some RV's use a curtain behind the occupants to creat a smaller area to cool. The a/c unit is in fact just removing heat, lots of it, at the rate os about 18000 per hour.Covered side windows also help keep hi temps out. It requires a helper to see if the control linkage is traveling to the full on position for the air door. A person inside and one out side can observe linkage travel and adjust for max. Most linkage are adjustable with just a single hold down screw. When the a/c unit is operating, the heater hoses can be checked to notice any temp change to determine if the control is stopping water flow. It is hard to reduce any temps when the heater is also heating incomming air. It is good to check the control vacuum at several places to observe any leaks or poor conections. The fan clutch is an important part of the a/c system along with drive belt tension. Frank
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Old 04-17-2002, 01:14 PM   #20
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visit Idaho the skies are great!!
also nice workshop on the other post...
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