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Old 07-25-2012, 05:33 PM   #1
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Air Intake - a local solution

This is such a good story that I just had to share it.

Symptom:
While installing a new air filter (see signature for configuration), I examined all the plumbing, in and out. I never was very pleased with the input hose. There is a backward facing cowl on the roof right next to the back cap which has a hose that comes down inside the cabinet wall, out through a big wad of foam and hung by electrical ties before it connected to a pipe leading to the air filter next to the frame rail. Closer inspection showed that the plastic had worn though just about every place it touched the wire sping inside on the bottom. This pretty much defeats the purpose of sucking air from above the roof.

ATTEMPTED REPAIR
I ordered a new piece of hose from Freightliner. It was the same 6' as the existing hose and I assumed that it attached at both ends with hose clamps. When I pried away the foam, however, it was clear that the old hose is one piece that goes all the way to the roof. Furthermore, the Freightliner part is heavy rubber - exactly what I would have expected to be there in the first place, since it is so close to the muffler. It looks like the coach maker simply used the stuff from the roof vent instead. That hose is just a larger version of a clothes dryer vent hose - plastic covered wound wire construction.

WHY I WAS AFRAID.
With the original hose deteriorating, I was afraid that it might sag, come in contact with the very nearby muffler and start a fire. I'm paranoid about engine compartment fires. I really want to put the heavy rubber hose and properly support it.

THE PARTS DILEMMA
How do I connect the old hose and the new hose? Both are 6 inch ID. I just needed a 4-6" coupler. I tried local NAPA, muffer shops, etc. and no one had anything like it. Plumbing supply stores only had 6" ID and that wasn't going to work. I drove to Dallas and worked my way down Irving Blvd, stopping at every OTR truck parts and specialty shop. No joy. They all had 5" and nothing larger. I did find a coupler at a local hose shop but it weighed 20lbs and cost $80. I figured that there had to be something better and cheaper. A chrome truck muffler shop might have been able to order something in for me but it was going to have to cut in order to fit and it was another $90 part.

THE SOLUTION
The hose company had given me a business card for a one man machine shop. I was hoping that he could help me with a scrap. He looked around and didn't have anything. He could order me a piece of pipe and cut it for me but again we were looking at an $80-100 result. I left, wondering where to turn next. It so happened that the machine shop owner had a connection with a propeller shop and they had a piece of 6"OD aluminum pipe. For $20, he was able to slice a 6" length of it of and I'm now in business. It is perfect. It fits exactly and doesn't weigh much. It will definitely not be affected by its new environment.

I must have talked with 20 businesses today Most were very courteous but just didn't have the part for me. The guy in the machine shop went the extra mile to help me with a solution. I'll be singing his praises to anyone who will listen for a long time.

I'm not out of the woods just yet. I still have to cut the old piping, eliminating all of the parts with holes. I have to route the new hose and probably figure some way to add some strain relief to my new aluminum coupler. It definitely will not stay in place just be putting foam around the floorboard area. I figure that I'm going to have to find some heat resistant ties. I was able to order some thinner ones for the engine area but the ones for the new hose need to be much wider.

I'm going to feel much better about my solution, even if it did cost me a day in parts search. Freightliner has used the rubber hose on 1,000s of units and, until I ordered it, had never had anyone request a replacement for it. I guess it is just a fact of life for those of us with entry level DPs that we get to re-engineer what the coach maker didn't do right in the first place. I'm still glad that we bought our RV in spite of all of this. I feel like I significantly reduced the chances of a fire and that is always comforting.

Comments and questions are welcomed.

Charlie
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Old 07-25-2012, 06:00 PM   #2
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Wow. Neat story. Glad it's working out for you somewhat.

About the ties...the black plastic ties use to be higher temp back in the days when I was in the industrial electronics industry. But...couldn't you use plumbers tape? The galvanized stuff?
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Old 07-25-2012, 06:45 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim_HiTek View Post
Wow. Neat story. Glad it's working out for you somewhat.

About the ties...the black plastic ties use to be higher temp back in the days when I was in the industrial electronics industry. But...couldn't you use plumbers tape? The galvanized stuff?

I'm thinking about the galvanized stuff. It is wider and provides better support than the ties. Tomorrow (hopefully) is installation day and I'll know what I need better than. I'll probably get everything positioned the way that I want it with temporary support and determine the final methods from there.

High temp is relative. The muffler, running in Texas on a 105 degree day gets really, really, hot. I don't want anything anywhere near that area that isn't very resistant to burning. Some of the original electrical ties melted on one of the daytime drives a couple of years back and scared the pants off of me. After I installed the high temp versions, there is no sign of deterioration and we've driven in a few 110 degree days since.
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Old 07-25-2012, 07:00 PM   #4
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Charles, saw some smaller (8") version of these in HomeDepot. These may work. Now I need to look at my intake hoses.......
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Take care--
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Old 07-25-2012, 07:30 PM   #5
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Try here. I'm going to increase my intake size from 6" to 7" with a larger filter. Will have to have new fittings welded on to some 7" alum tubing.
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Old 07-25-2012, 07:49 PM   #6
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Hi Charlie,

I have the same situation with my 2001 GB Cruisemaster DP. This must have been a common design with Georgie Boy DP's. Mine has actually been patched up with duct tape but has no evidence of heat damage. The duct tape appears to have been on quite a while. Like you I ordered a new hose but haven't done anything with it yet because right now this is a low priority for me. I have found several different elbows on the internet I was going to secure the elbow to the floor using brackets and sheet metal and wood screws and clamp both hoses to the elbow on their respective ends. How about posting some pictures of your project if you have time.
P.S. There was a thread on the forum a while back where a DP owner (not a GB) actually replaced the hose with metal tubing. It was a month or two back. He posted pictures on the forum and it looked very professional. You might try some searches to see if you can find it. Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 07-25-2012, 08:26 PM   #7
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This is a side by side comparison of the hoses. Obviously, the new one is on the right. What doesn't show clearly in the picture is the holes in the old hose where the wire meets the plastic.

Thanks, Hooligan for the clamp reference. I'm afraid that those might be too rigid for the points where I can hook them versus the places where the new hose can be routed.

I'm going to cut the old hose tomorrow, hookup up the new one and the look at how to handle the strain relief.

Charlie
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Old 07-25-2012, 08:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wimberleyman View Post
Hi Charlie,

I have the same situation with my 2001 GB Cruisemaster DP. This must have been a common design with Georgie Boy DP's. Mine has actually been patched up with duct tape but has no evidence of heat damage. The duct tape appears to have been on quite a while. Like you I ordered a new hose but haven't done anything with it yet because right now this is a low priority for me. I have found several different elbows on the internet I was going to secure the elbow to the floor using brackets and sheet metal and wood screws and clamp both hoses to the elbow on their respective ends. How about posting some pictures of your project if you have time.
P.S. There was a thread on the forum a while back where a DP owner (not a GB) actually replaced the hose with metal tubing. It was a month or two back. He posted pictures on the forum and it looked very professional. You might try some searches to see if you can find it. Good luck and keep us posted.
Thanks for your information. I probably should have posted this problem when it occurred and before I ordered parts from Freightliner. I'm not sure how easy it would be to get a rigid pipe to fit in this area. I think that I'm going to have enough problems with the flexible pipe. The main issue I expect is that there are not 6' of distance between the place where the hose comes down the wall and the pipe which goes into the pipe for the intake manifold. Even if I went back and got the machine shop to cut another coupler, with the idea of eliminating the existing pipe, I'm not sure that everything would fit together.

Charlie
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Old 07-25-2012, 10:44 PM   #9
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Just a WAG, but how about using hose clamps? If you can't find one the proper size, you can 'chain' together a few to get the proper diameter. You could also trap a wire or Perforated Pipe Strapping under the clamp to support/hang the hose.

Perforated Galvanized Steel Pipe Strapping

Next time you need a coupler for large hoses, I'd make one out of a sheet of aluminum flashing rolled into a sleeve to fit inside the two hoses. It could be pop riveted to hold it's shape.
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Old 07-25-2012, 11:24 PM   #10
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Just a WAG, but how about using hose clamps? If you can't find one the proper size, you can 'chain' together a few to get the proper diameter. You could also trap a wire or Perforated Pipe Strapping under the clamp to support/hang the hose.

Perforated Galvanized Steel Pipe Strapping

Next time you need a coupler for large hoses, I'd make one out of a sheet of aluminum flashing rolled into a sleeve to fit inside the two hoses. It could be pop riveted to hold it's shape.

I actually bought a piece of flashing with exactly that in mind. After starting to work with it, I got concerned that it won't retain its shape and that the constant jiggling on the road would knock the joint loose. I'm mildly concerned about that even with the pipe that I have. The right way to handle it would be to turn grooves in the pipe with a lathe to give the pipe clamp something to bite into. I can still probably get that done if the clamps don't want to hold.

I might try to hang the new hose with pipe clamps strung together. Unfortunately, there are precious few places to attach anything in that area and I would to control the directional pull on the rubber hose. It wasn't as much of an issue for the old hose which was very pliable.

Thanks for your ideas.

Charlie
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Old 07-25-2012, 11:33 PM   #11
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Try here. I'm going to increase my intake size from 6" to 7" with a larger filter. Will have to have new fittings welded on to some 7" alum tubing.
Your reference shows the same problem that I ran into all day. When the size gets near 6", it is an ID not an OD measurement. That appears to be true for both the silicon and the rubber versions. I had seen those rubber "hump" hoses in one of the catalogs and thought that they would have been perfect. Unfortunately, they don't get close enough to the 6" OD that I need.

Changing the size would be a problem for me. The input to the air cleaner is 6" along with the two parts that lead to it. It might be better to expand to 7" if I could do that the whole way along the path. Right now, that isn't cost effective for me.
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Old 07-26-2012, 01:02 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by chasfm11 View Post
Your reference shows the same problem that I ran into all day. When the size gets near 6", it is an ID not an OD measurement. That appears to be true for both the silicon and the rubber versions. I had seen those rubber "hump" hoses in one of the catalogs and thought that they would have been perfect. Unfortunately, they don't get close enough to the 6" OD that I need.

Changing the size would be a problem for me. The input to the air cleaner is 6" along with the two parts that lead to it. It might be better to expand to 7" if I could do that the whole way along the path. Right now, that isn't cost effective for me.
A piece of 6" OD tubing will fit into a elbow with a 6" ID just fine. For me it'll work just fine.
My filter is an Eco-Farr canister unit with 6" inlet and 6" outlet. I'll buy a new filter with 7" inlet and outlet, then change out all the tubing/elbow's. The I need to go down from 7" to the turbo inlet which I haven't checked for size yet. I will have to have fitting welded into one section of 7" tubing, one for the filter minder and one for the crankcase breather tube. I can buy the larger filter holder and the larger filter is the same length as the stock one.
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Old 07-26-2012, 06:53 PM   #13
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I'm really close now. Here are some pictures.

This is where the old hose came down from the roof and dropped below the floor in the driver side rear. I've chipped away the foam that was around it.




Here is the other side. The metal pipe is inserted into a large rubber "el" which connects to the bottom of the air filter




I cut the old hose off, inserted the new coupler and applied a hose clamp around it. I shoved the results back up into the space at floor level




I connected the new hose to the new coupler.




The next step was to connect the new hose to the input pipe.





I have electrical ties holding it in place temporarily. I've applied new foam around the joint at the floor line and will let that setup overnight. I'm going to get some metal strapping and fasten the new hose at two spots, one at the rear at metal member and the other directly over top of where I have electrical ties. I want see how the foam bears up under the the twisting of the new pipe that I'll have to do while installing the metal straps. The new coupler was pretty snug without anything. My fear on any project like this is starting off on a trip and having what I thought was snug fall apart. The rubber hose laying across the tailpipe would not be a good thing.

I'm pleased with how the hose fits into the space and feel that it is going to be a lot better than what I had. When I looked inside the old hose, it looked like the perf pipe that they use for French drains. I tried to capture that in a picture but couldn't. The plastic was so brittle that once I got a tear in it, it almost shattered. The wire was the only support left. I know that some makers leave the intake pipe below the chassis but I'd prefer not to suck any more road dirt into the air filter than necessary. I don't believe that can happen now.

After I have the strapping on and am satisfied everything is secure, I'll probably test drive it on my favorite bumpy road. If it remains secure after that, I figure that I'm good to go.

Thanks again for all the help and suggestions. I'm just pleased to have gotten my problems solved from a local merchant.

Charlie
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Old 07-26-2012, 07:10 PM   #14
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Thanks for all the pictures Charlie. You put a lot of thought and work into that. I'll do something similar when I tackle mine (when it gets much cooler). One question. Is picture number 2 from the top looking down? If so, it looks like the top part is metal or some other type of rigid tube.
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