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Old 08-02-2013, 03:24 PM   #1
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Beaver Contessa Dash A/C Evaporator

Anybody ever removed the dash A/C evaporator/heater core/fan...assembly from a Beaver Contessa or similar? Looks like the A/C evaporator is leaking. There's no way it's coming out from the front/underneath as there's no room with the front fiberglass cap 6" from the back of the dash. Accessing from the cab will require serious disassembly...destruction of the console area...

Thanks, Dave

1999 Beaver Contessa
CAT 3126B, Magnum Chassis
Toad: 1987 Ford Bronco
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Old 08-05-2013, 01:04 PM   #2
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Dave, has the system been " dye tested " to check for Freon leaks. To try and pinpoint the leak. Before trying anything from the dash side, you need to know the brand of the unit , because removal from the dash side may not be possible. I've heard of owners having to remove front caps or do major surgery on the cap to access A/C parts, manufacturers were not always concerned with repair access during construction.
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Old 08-05-2013, 01:11 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TSchmelt View Post
Anybody ever removed the dash A/C evaporator/heater core/fan...assembly from a Beaver Contessa or similar? Looks like the A/C evaporator is leaking. There's no way it's coming out from the front/underneath as there's no room with the front fiberglass cap 6" from the back of the dash. Accessing from the cab will require serious disassembly...destruction of the console area...

Thanks, Dave

1999 Beaver Contessa
CAT 3126B, Magnum Chassis
Toad: 1987 Ford Bronco
Leaking what??
water?
air?
refrigerant?
Coolant/anti-freeze?
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Old 08-06-2013, 09:51 AM   #4
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Skip-- Long story...no, couldn't add dye because I could not locate the low side service port initially.

I've owned the coach almost 3 years and am now tackling the dash a/c. It's an Acme Air unit; Acme Air is no longer in business.

Because the system leaked down in just a few days after evacuation and charge a few weeks ago when testing, I opted to replace the compressor, coupled with the fact the condenser fan wouldn't turn on, (which I troubleshot to a bad ground). My suspicion is something happened to the compressor like it blew a seal, when the condenser fan failed. During troubleshooting trying to get the fan to turn on, I watched high side pressures climb to almost 300psi before shutting the thing down. No telling how high it would have gone and what kind of damage that can cause. On Saturday I completed compressor installation and hose crimping, evacuation and charge. Located the low-side service port on Sunday after blindly groping behind the dash... It seems to be holding a charge...knock on wood.

Agree with your assessment regarding installations. Mine looks like a cap removal should the Acme unit ever need to come out.

Thanks-- Dave
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Old 08-06-2013, 09:59 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by mel stuplich View Post
Leaking what??
water?
air?
refrigerant?
Coolant/anti-freeze?
Mel,

My post stated a possible leak from the a/c evaporator. Evaporators contain refrigerant, R-134a in this case. Refrigerant leaks are often manifested by an oily residue at a connection, tube, compressor, etc.

I tried to be specific in my post..."a/c evaporator".


Dave
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Old 08-06-2013, 10:18 AM   #6
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Dave , if the system had been totally empty for some time , the possibility of humidity in the system, is there. The system was vacuumed out, did you consider a new , receiver/dryer , to protect the new compressor.
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Old 08-06-2013, 12:21 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by TSchmelt View Post
Mel,

My post stated a possible leak from the a/c evaporator. Evaporators contain refrigerant, R-134a in this case. Refrigerant leaks are often manifested by an oily residue at a connection, tube, compressor, etc.

I tried to be specific in my post..."a/c evaporator".


Dave
Dave
In your OP you said, "Looks like the A/C evaporator is leaking".
That sounded like you where unsure what was leaking.
Sorry
Mel
'96 Safari
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Old 08-07-2013, 09:25 PM   #8
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Mel,

No worries. 14-year old RV with no room to work and no documentation makes things harder than they have to be. Chasing a/c leaks is always painful. At least the pressures make sense (190 psi high, 35 psi low with an ambient temp of 80F), even though the air out of the vents is about 50F.

Dave
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Old 08-07-2013, 09:34 PM   #9
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Skip,

Yes, replaced the receiver-drier. Found an equivalent part number at Summit Racing for $17; it was installed same time as the new compressor. Am now wondering about the trinary switch on the high side downstream of the receiver drier. Looks like a drip of compressor oil appeared on the shell of the switch but it's hard to tell the real cause as connecting and disconnecting the high side gauge causes oil to spew everywhere. Will return to the project in a few days. Hopefully anybody with an Acme unit from the late 90s can get a data point from endeavors-

Tested earlier today...80F ambient temp, high side was 195psi and low was 35 psi...which makes sense. Discharge temp at the vent was about 50F. At least the big pieces seem to be functioning correctly.

Dave
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