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Old 03-03-2011, 12:11 AM   #1
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Posts: 439
Repairs to Our '88 Itasca

When we were on the road in Wyoming last Sept. the radiator decided it wanted to leak. Did some temporary repairs but then noticed the carb was starting to leak fuel.
So after recovering from several surgeries I decided to tackle the MH. Pulled the radiator and carb. Bought a new radiator ($633) that was close but no cigar, so had a new larger 4 row core ($443) installed between the old tanks. The old core was 4 row but only about 1/4" wide tubes, new core must have 3/8" or larger tubes.
Took the carb to Rod's Carbs here in Phoenix and had him rebuilt the old Quadrajet. New float, choke coil, throttle shaft bushings, etc. Rod's is known for doing good work and the price was good at $195. They have an engine in the shop that they run these on after they are done with the bench testing.
Changed the trans fluid and filter while it is down.
Also converted the a/c system to 134a from Freeze 12. Good thing I had to change the compressor oil as there was only 1/2 ounce in it, supposed to be 5 ounces. I cleaned all the bugs out of the condenser and straightened any bent fins.
The guys at the a/c shop I buy my parts at said 134a is going to be scarce this year and the price has already started to go up. They are at $12 a can my cost. I bought a case of 12 cans at Sam's for $83.
I just about have the area surrounding the radiator insulated with Reflix insulation. Don't know for sure this product will stand up so it is an experiment. Hope it cuts down some of the fan noise when the clutch is engaged.
Tomorrow will be carb install and hopefuly the radiator also. May not get it all done tomorrow as I want to rewire the condensor fans to come on with the a/c or high coolant temperature and also have a manual override switch on the dash. The fans did not work when we bought it so I wired them to a dash switch but now want to change it.
I have left the fans running on purpose when we stop for fuel or make a quick store run, etc, the airflow seems to help cool the engine and carb.
Well, time to see if I can get to sleep now.
Drive careful and have fun!

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Old 03-03-2011, 10:34 AM   #2
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Gary - K7GLD's Avatar
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You sound like someone who knows their way around an engine bay - your efforts are bound to be very helpful - wanna come work on mine?

John Day....|'88 Winnebago Super Chief 27ft. Class A
Eastern .....|'88 KIT model 240 24 ft. 5er
Oregon ......|'02 Dodge/Cummins 2500 Quad Cab
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Old 03-03-2011, 11:24 AM   #3
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Conway, AR
Posts: 70
Can you give some more information on the AC work? What kind of AC unit do you have?

If I have the same or a similar unit it would be great if you could give some more details on the servicing process. Or if you know of any internet links to this kind of data it would great also!


Carl McGehee.
|97 Holiday Rambler Vacationer Class A
|96 Ford F53 chassis
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Old 03-04-2011, 09:59 AM   #4
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After graduating from high school at 17 I went to work for Cummins Diesel as an apprentice mechanic, spent time in the Army as a Heavy Equip. mechanic, worked for several fleets and truck dealers, finally retiring at 55 from the City of Phoenix as a Shop Foreman.
Worked on a vast assortment of equipment and vehicles over the years. Problem now is my body is shot! Still enjoy the end results of my labor though.
The a/c dash unit in our MH uses a Sanden rotary compressor with the factory evaporator unit in front of the passenger. The condenser fans were added by Winnebago along with a fairly large condenser.
I had to change the oil in the compressor from mineral oil to an Ester oil that is compatiable with 134a. Different compressors use different types of oil. The o-rings on the fittings also need to be changed as the 134a will damage the old black o-rings. I flushed residual oil from the lines, condenser, and evaporator. A new drier should be installed as there is dessicecant in it. Sometimes all the rubber lines need to be replaced as 134a can leak thru the walls of the old lines. Mine already had the new "barrier" hoses with a plastic layer in them.
Pressures with 134a will be higher than with R12 so if your system does not have a high pressure cut-off switch it should be added. Mine already has one. A marginal compressor may fail due to the higher pressures.
If you do not have electric condensor fans these may be needed if the pressures are too high and the system does not cool well. Many newer pick-ups and other vehicles have both an engine fan and electric fans.
I did a google search for "134a conversion" and found many links, even one from the EPA which had some good basic info.
A conversion can be fairly cheap like mine, or involve replacing most of the system. With a predicted shortage of 134a this year and disappearance of R-12 any a/c repair is going to be higher cost than previous years. I was at an auto parts store yesterday and they are selling 134a for $15 a can, about double from last year.
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