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Old 02-07-2013, 01:44 AM   #1
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Dashboard draft

Took to Alpine Coach out yesterday. First time out since late October and it was still warm outside then. Yesterday, it was chilly enough to turn the heater on. But, I couldn't warm up the driver's area even though warm air was coming out the vents.

I had two cold air draft sources from under the dashboard.
---First draft: heater/AC/Vent and fan off, driving on the road. I could feel cold air coming down toward the floor on the drivers side, below the dash, left corner. I suspect this is a draft from the generator compartment coming up the windshield side pillar, cable/wire channel, as Engineer Mike pointed out in a thread on front door noise. Solution will be: stuffing the opening with some type of packing material preferably nonflammable. I'll do this on the passenger side also.
---Second draft: same location as the first. But, with the Coach stopped and the heater and fan on. With Fan turned off there is no draft. [Note: the heater was on but the draft was cold.] The driver's left side window vent appeared to be working normally. I suspect a hose duct has disconnected somewhere between the blower and the heater core.

Now to the questions;
---Dashboard Cover: How do you remove the top cover over the dashboard and console?
-Am I going to be so lucky that it is stuck on with Velcro? Or do I have to fish for fasteners? If fasteners what is the general location?
-Or, do I forget about top access and instead gain access under the dash from the floor?
---Is the wall behind the steering wheel and pedals removable?
-Is it just an interference fit like the access to the electrical panel in front of the passenger? I hate to start using force to remove the panels without knowing it will actually work.

Any insight on how to gain inside access behind the dashboard for the Alpine Coach and other ideas about the cold draft would be appreciated.
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Old 02-07-2013, 08:10 AM   #2
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Dave
On my '99 the panel in front of the driver is held on with a couple of screws, I had it out to run the wires for the P-3 brake controller but don't remember exactly where the screws were.

Dash cover just pulls off. There are a few press fit "pins" around the perimeter like those found on most door panels in autos. I didn't pull the entire panel off, just lifted the edges to access the wiring bundles coming down through the window pillars but it looked like the cover was primarily cosmetic and there was quite a bit of plywood under it for strength. Not shure how much access you will gain from removal.

My major source of cold air leaks was the main wiring bundle coming through the "firewall", easily fixed with a can of expanding foam insulation. WRV's original "fix" was a few layers of tape that mostly fell off over time. For some bizarre reason my air leak also seemed to be tied to the vent position/speed but I found nothing wrong with the duct system.

Good luck finding the air leaks, I discovered the leaks on the way home from PA in late Oct '11. They made the trip over Wolf Creek Pass fun at 25. The coach is much more fun once you plug them .
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Old 02-07-2013, 04:58 PM   #3
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If your year coach has the brake pedal through the floor you might find cold air coming in there. Not only is there a large slot for the pedal but on mine the boot had also split so I was getting a lot of fresh air. I added thin plywood over the floor and very carefully cut an exact slot for the pedal and put in a new boot. You may also want to check the boot around the bottom of the steering column.
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Old 02-07-2013, 08:02 PM   #4
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leak could be fresh air damper stuck open, check the fit of the vacuum tubing to the 4 or so nipples on back of the dash air selector switch to see if one came off, or it could be one of the vacuum pots that operates the damper door. This is all behind the center part of the dash where the HWH drawer lives.
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Old 02-07-2013, 09:42 PM   #5
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Dave, John and Mike, Thank you for the tips. I will go over tomorrow to the storage area and check the stuff you pointed out and report back.
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:49 PM   #6
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Went and checked the access and connections today. The access to the console area is improved by lifting the dashboard top cover off [Thanks Dave]. All the ducting hoses were connected properly at both ends. All-in-all, nothing suspicious was found.

I need to take a mirror to check the vacuum lines on the of the A/C Heater control panel. Then leave the mirror in the RV's tool box, I can see that is going to be used a lot. If I had the special DIN radio tool to release the radio, I could pull the radio out and see the A/C Heater controls directly. I may stop by a Car Stereo store and see if I can get one, I'll be they throw lots of those away. The radio in this Coach has been replaced by the previous owner and he didn't leave me the tool--manual yes, tool no.

I found a potential source of wind noise on the passenger side. The blocking plate installed at the bottom of the windshield pillar cable/wire pass through was sealed with caulk and all that caulk is cracked open. I'll seal it with Aluminum tape and hopefully that corner will be a lot quieter.

The drivers side windshield pillar is another story. The access is very limited behind the fuel filler box. In addition, looking up behind the fuel box with a flash light it is completely different from the what the passenger side looks like. It looks like there are several penetrations to the interior of the coach and almost none of them appear easy to reach. Going to have to get a smaller light to stick up in the area and a mirror to see better in there and hopefully find the main bundle Dave refers to.

The adventure continues. . .
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:59 PM   #7
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Dave, the main bundle on our '99 goes right through the firewall up over the generator. If I remember right (coach over in storage) it comes through just above the fuel pedal.

A strong light shown at the firewall with the gen slide open at night will show most gaps to someone inside if you have a helper.

Good luck in your hunt.
Dave
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