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Old 10-15-2011, 08:38 PM   #1
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Dash air - warm

Anybody have their dash air start pumping warm air?? Needs a recharge w/freon? Where is the compressor and place where the thing gets recharged?
Thanks for the info.
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Old 10-15-2011, 09:11 PM   #2
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The compressor is on the engine. The fill is in the front under the hood. The fill is on the outlet line on the cooling coil. Install the guage here and check the pressure. If it is just low enough to shut off the compressor, just refill. If it is out of freon, you will have to find the leak. Repair and refill.
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Old 10-15-2011, 09:29 PM   #3
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Check the fuses first.
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Old 10-16-2011, 08:24 AM   #4
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Automotive A/C is pretty simple to explain but hard to diagnose and fix--epecially on MHs. Alot of auto A/C shops dont even want to work on MH A/C. On our Alpines, the compressor is on the engine and most of the other serviceable components are amidships on the front firewall, above the genset when you open the front slide. [recall seeing service port[s] on the evaporator {next to radiator} on my friends 05--I think]. Harder to find [for me], the fuses on the Vansco equipped models but need to confirm first that the clutch/shaft on the compressor is turning when the A/C calls for cooling, ie the fuses. Another good check is the wire connection for the clutch on the compressor--sometimes it comes apart at/near the compressor. Once you have validated that the compressor is turning, freon leaks [dirty/oil spots at line connections] and recharging is the next step. There is some chance the dash heater valve has failed causing it to heat the cooled air--like when you use the defrosters--unlikely but possible.
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Old 10-16-2011, 02:36 PM   #5
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IMHO the dash air is worthless...Gets cool, but not COLD

Maybe mine just doesn't work right...
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Old 10-16-2011, 06:17 PM   #6
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Mine was working okay for several years. Now it's just barely cool. I have it scheduled for a recharge Tuesday. I'll let you know if I find out anything useful.
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Old 10-16-2011, 08:03 PM   #7
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Yep, It was GREAT for a while, but now is just mediocre..
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Old 10-16-2011, 08:43 PM   #8
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Us 03 owners have to stick together--prior to the 04s, WRV used a mechanical wax valve to control engine fan cooling. Accordingly, our A/C's requirement for airflow/ cooling are not connected to the fan controller. The result is that 03s [especially those that operate in warmer climates experience a lot of high freon pressure cycles waiting for the engine fan to come on. Cant prove it but over time, I think these repeated high freon pressure cycles impact the compressor's efficiency and also lead to leaks--so you are constantly checking/ adding freon [repeatedly trying to fix leaks and recharge the system leads to uncertainty about just how much freon is actually in the system and how much oil--the wrong amount of either can/will result in poor dash A/C performance]. Having said all this, I cant explain why some 03 and ealier owners say their dash A/Cs work just fine--so go figure? .....WRV did come up with a wax valve by-pass solution that I installed a few years ago with mixed results.
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Old 10-16-2011, 11:35 PM   #9
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FWIW -- On the compressor or up front should be a data tag. That tag will list the type, amount of freon, compressor oil, working pressure and maybe more stuff. The tech, should be prepared to hook up all his hoses, especially if he is going to add stuff. They have to figure out how much oil to add with the amount of freon they add as well, there is a ratio for them both. Please do the above checks before you "give it a shot of Freon" as them might be the reason, and the system is fine. This would especially true because you have an 05 coach, and the post from Old Scout says it all, our coaches work a little different.
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Old 10-18-2011, 04:17 PM   #10
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I took my (new to me) '03 36 MDDS to my local diesel shop to have them check out the dash a/c. An RV repair shop in Texas put a couple of cans of refrigerant in the system that lasted all of 3 days. Even right after putting in the additional refrigerant, it didn't really blow as cold as I thought it should have. When I got back home to southern Utah, and had my local diesel shop check it out, they found 2 leaking hoses and one leaking fitting. Also, the exact scenario that Old Scout mentioned above was what they described. They said that, like mine, they had seen other similar vintage Alpine coaches with no independent switching for the engine fan or extra cooling fans for the dash a/c which causes excessive heat pressures in the system when turned on and the engine fan is not running which causes component failure. They replaced the defective hoses and other parts and installed a bypass on the engine fan relay so that it comes on whenever the engine is started. This completely fixed my system and it now blows nice and cold. So, if everything else checks out OK, be sure to check that you have air being sucked through the radiator when the dash a/c is on or it may never work properly.
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Old 10-18-2011, 08:09 PM   #11
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Rdownward,

Can you describe the "by-pass" [a picture would be better] they installed and under what parameters it works? The "by-pass" designed [really] by WRV is linked to an extra freon pressure sensor on the Acme dash A/C [sensor was not used by WRV-- but was designed to operate aux. electric cooling fans on the radiator stack].

The problem I have with the design is that it activates the engine fan [at full rpm] when the freon pressure reaches about 250 psi and shuts off at about 175 psi. So like most new cars with electric radiator fans, the engine fan goes on an off until diesel engine's need for cooling overrides the by-pass parameters and the fan runs continuously thereafter. Albeit at a modulated speed as the wax-valve senses heat levels in the water radiator and gradually dampens the flow of hydraulic oil in the fan motor control loop.

Two concerns about a by-pass: 1--having the fan run continuously at full speed will reduce fuel mileage and increase hydraulic pump/fan motor component wear; and 2-- sudden on/off of the fan motor could create undo torque on the hydraulic pump.
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Old 10-19-2011, 04:51 PM   #12
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I would almost have to refer you to the owner (Doug) at Southwest Diesel in St. George, Utah to get the particulars regarding the bypass they did. I expressed my similar concerns about the engine fan running full time and he said it would have negligible effects either on fuel mileage or component wear. This is my 3rd diesel pusher that these guys have taken care of for me and they have never steered me wrong yet. But, I guess time will tell if this "fix" is more of a problem than a real cure.
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Old 10-20-2011, 09:57 AM   #13
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Definitely think the solution Doug in St George came up with is on the right track--similar to what WRV was recommending as an OEM fix. My interest was with regard to whether their solution had any features to prevent the fan from constantly running at max speed. Based on other posts, failure of the electronic fan controller on newer models resulted in a noisy fan and a substantial reduction in fuel mileage [perhaps 1-1.5 mpg]. Arguably, any impact on MPG would be circumstantial based on ambient air temps and the diesel engine's need for cooling Vs dash A/C usage. Again, I am not totally satisfied with using the aux pressure sensor on the Acme system but it does provide some degree of modulation for the engine fan. I will probably call Doug at Southwest Diesel to get his thoughts.
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Old 10-21-2011, 11:21 AM   #14
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Old Scout, I'm not 100% sure exactly what Doug did to bypass the fan controller. I took a peak under there yesterday and it looks like they simply plugged off the bypass hose that would normally allow the controller to divert the fluid from the motor to control the fan operation. If that's what was done, it would seem that some sort of an electronically controlled valve could be installed in the bypass hose that could be activated to close the hose off when the a/c in turned on. I'm not a rocket scientist or diesel mechanic (right next to rocket scientists in my estimation!) and I'm not very familiar with the engine hydraulics on these coaches so my analysis of what was done may be totally off base. Logic tells me that was what they did. Do check with Doug for the accurate info. The phone number there is 435-673-6342.
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