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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

MOTORHOME REPAIR - Air Conditioning Compressor Replacement (part one)

Yup---- that time again. Time for a motorhome repair.

When you own a 20 year old vintage rig, you have to expect repairs from time to time.
And from time to time.
And from time to time.....
 heh heh.

Grab the Tools N Git Er Dun
(I think this is just about my most favorite pic of my hubby Steve....)

Our Cat engine has a large Seltec air conditioning compressor unit in the back that runs the little Acme box up front to cool the dash vents. A while back, Steve noticed that our compressor clutch hub was broken into bits!  He can still let the belt run on the pulley, without the clutch hub operating. We just went without any dash air the last few trips.

If you know anything about Steve, you will know that just will NOT do... he needs to fix it!  He did some research and some conversations back and forth with a few folks on the Safari Yahoo Group we own:  SafariMotorhomes  

It was difficult to determine which unit we had, as various ones were used over various years during the Safari manufacturing.  There is a label but its way up high inside the engine compartment. He got the model and part numbers off the unit with my help.  I had to lay on my back under the rig, scoot myself into position and then I could get my arm up inside there to aim the camera at the label.  It took five or six photos before I got the full label in the frame. 

Now to find the replacement parts for a 20 year old unit.....

He found a great place to order from (thanks to fellow Safari owner John Ruff)  and the air compressor was ordered toot sweet.  In his talking with Richard, the guy in charge of sales, he mentioned that the drier unit should be changed at the same time.  We ordered that too, and it was shipped free of charge because of the shipping on the big compressor when it fit in the same box.  Nice! 

For the technical guys queries and also in case someone googles up my blog post for the part numbers, here they are: 


4526121 8 Groove Clutch New TM-16 AC Compressor
NEW Seltec 4526121 8 Groove Clutch 12 volt Vetical # 8 & 10 fittings 10 cubic inch.435-56121, 2521196, 10046121.  TM-16
$225.00 plus $23.50 shipping

4103052 Drier 3/8 x 3/8 male o-ring fittings.
Replaces: 4103050, 4103052, 4107316, 804-297, 085266-00 , 054-00001.
3/8 male o-ring drier with female & male switch ports.
$38.50 free shipping

The parts arrived in two days! 

First step was to rip out the old compressor.

We are very fortunate that our whole king sized bed lifts up to access our engine compartment.  Motorhomes with slides do not offer that ability, and you can only access the engine from small trap doors here and there in the bedroom floor or closet.  That is why many diesel repair places charge higher rates of labor for the motorhomes.  Honestly, as our friend Mel says, why charge more?  If it takes longer to work on those kind of motorhomes, the repair place makes more money!  But for rigs like ours that take less effort, why not charge us like the trucks and get it done faster?  Hmmmmmmm??

Here is my hero, busy at his task

While working on removing the old one, Steve had previously applied some PB Blaster spray fluid to help loosen the fittings on the two high pressure lines.  He applied the spray three times a day, during the two days waiting for the parts.  Now the time to tell if it worked? 

No such luck. 
 He had to cut off both lines to get the old unit off.

We have a local guy who is going to make up two new lines with new fittings next week. Then we can drive the rig over and he will install them, and evacuate the system of any debris before filling it back up with freon.

Speaking of debris....  It is a good thing Steve checked the tiny expansion valve for any debris.... 

OH MY!  
Seems the dessicant bag in the old drier unit broke
and all the little BB particles made their way into the valve!

Sure is a good thing he checked it! 

Later this week or into next week, the guy should be calling us to drive the motorhome over and get the new fittings and lines installed. I will post more on the blog about it then. 

Please stay tuned for Part Two!

Of course, the AC will be fixed, just in time for the part of the year when we do not need it?  haha  We are really looking forward to autumn, cooler weather, colored leaves and fall camping with less bugs.  As I am writing this, we were having a day full of hot muggy humid awful weather.  Now it is blasting gusty winds, pouring rain, and lightening flashing across the black evil looking skies. A storm front is going through, with a blast of cooler air behind it.  We hope. 

This is us, at the tip of the red arrow. 
Looks like it is gonna be a busy night! 

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