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Old 12-02-2008, 02:22 PM   #1
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I'm getting a rattle outdoors that's coming from the basement A/C unit when the outdoor fan is running. Sounds like loose sheet metal somewhere inside the A/C. Looks like it may be a challenge to get the unit disassembled to make a repair. Anyone had a similar problem?
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Old 12-02-2008, 02:22 PM   #2
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I'm getting a rattle outdoors that's coming from the basement A/C unit when the outdoor fan is running. Sounds like loose sheet metal somewhere inside the A/C. Looks like it may be a challenge to get the unit disassembled to make a repair. Anyone had a similar problem?
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Old 12-02-2008, 02:39 PM   #3
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Hi Ho: Rattles make you nervous because it could just be a loose screw, but more likely it has to do with the blower. Blowers are notorius these days for coming apart. The squirrel cage blowers are mostly just assembled from metal parts that commonly just separate. (They are not welded, just fit together). In the last few months I have had a swamp cooler on a rental unit and our furnace self-destruct in this manner.

The other problem is that many (most) blowers are direct drive which means that they are turning about 1725 rpm (fast) as a rule.

Well, having said that I don't know how the basement A/C is made. I don't even know for sure if they have squirrel cage blowers, but suspect they do.

I would get the service manual out and then go online with a search for the specific model that you have.

Asking here on this site is a good idea because there is usually someone who has had the same problem. Sorry I couldn't help. Good luck.

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Old 12-02-2008, 03:52 PM   #4
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I had the same problem. I had a bad bearing on the squirrel cage blower. The bearings that they install require oiling, and the only way to get to them is to pull the unit and remove the top cover. I replaced the bearings with some good sealed bearings from Grainger.
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Old 12-02-2008, 04:39 PM   #5
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KIX, I went thru this nose-bleed last summer.
Your basement air has two squirrel cage blowers ... a smaller indoor blower and the larger outdoor blower. The outdoor blower is on a long shaft that has a brass bearing and these are supposed to oiled every year but that's a big job in these basement units. Anyway I believe the bearing goes out and then the added vibration stresses out the metal squirrel cage. You end up with either a bearing howling or the squirrel cage rattling. I had both. The good news it that the new blowers are composite plastic and the brass bearing can be replaced with a sealed ball bearing.

Here's a LINK to my website where you can download a step-by-step procedure to replace it. Your UA 40J basement unit may drop down and not slide out like my Chieftain, but the rest of the steps should be about the same process.

This is the posting for the topic discussion we had last July.

Good luck,
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Old 12-02-2008, 05:56 PM   #6
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Hi Ho again: What a great document, Duner. I have learned that this type of squirrel cage blower is pretty standard for air movement these days. I had to replace one on my 5 year old furnace and the parts guy said that most all manufacturers have gone to this design. He gets a lot of business replacing them when they fail.

What happens is that the fins move a little, particularly in the center due to centripetal force. This eventually causes the hub to separate from the fins and it's off to the parts store. Some have tried to use screws etc. to secure them, but the blower is then not balanced and self destructs. The bearing failure probably follows in most cases.

Anyway, gone are the days when a furnace could last for 20 or 25 years and the failure was usually cracks in the heat exchanger.

Duner, I'm really sorry about your wife. I'm curious about your nickname. If there were an umlaut over the "u" you would be named after the most popular Turkish sandwich in Germany. Not very complimentary, but they are really good.

Tschuess, Dirk
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Old 12-03-2008, 06:02 AM   #7
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Duner, Thanks. KIX
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Old 12-03-2008, 11:45 AM   #8
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The unit slides out the side on my '03 UA, yours is most likely the same. It's no big deal to pull it as long as you have something about the right height to slide it out onto. One shop that did mine 18 months ago had a little wheeled cart about the right height ...and the really neat thing is that you don't have to disconnect the power wiring unless you want to. The tech had the unit out of the coach and diagnosed in about 20 minutes. He kind of swiveled it as he pulled it, and there was enough extra wire in the connection to allow that. Once out of the coach, there are a couple of dozen screws to remove on the top lid. With the top removed, you can see blowers, compressors, and all. It was easy to test run since the wiring was still connected.

My unit has had both blower motors replaced ...started with a squalling noise at start up and stop, and eventually became full-time squalling. I'm starting to hear a rattle occasionally, so may be coming to a blower replacement.
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Old 12-03-2008, 03:52 PM   #9
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Paul, Thanks for the info. It will be helpful. Did you happen to notice how the unit was fastened to the coach other than the obvious. I've removed the obvious fasteners and it's still solid. I beginning to think they glued it in place.
By the way, if you haven't d/led Duner's pdf file instructing how to remove and work on the A/C it's fantastic.
There's a link to it in a post above this one.
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Old 12-03-2008, 04:38 PM   #10
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Did you happen to notice how the unit was fastened to the coach other than the obvious. I've removed the obvious fasteners and it's still solid </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
As I recall, mine has a piece of metal across the top edge and a piece or maybe a couple of pieces of metal across the bottom edge, both held on with screws ...those are the "obvious" fasteners on mine. THEN, you have to remove a bunch of screws holding the output duct (that then goes up the rear cap) on the left side (rear of the coach) of the unit. After that, mine simply slides out. It is not fastened to the intake duct on the rear of the unit ...the unit seals to that duct when slid into place on the support shelf.
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Old 12-03-2008, 04:59 PM   #11
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For some reason the forum has decided I no longer "have permission to edit" my own post, so I'll add another. I looked at Duner's document. My setup is virtually identical to his, but mine has a lot more screws holding the out duct to the unit!!
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Old 12-03-2008, 07:46 PM   #12
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KIX,
You're welcome and good luck with the repairs. Maybe we can hookup next April in Florida.

Dirk,
Yes, having Marie gone has been really tough to accept. At least we got to spend almost one year together fulltiming around the country. Spending time on the iRV2 forum helps to take my mind of the sorrow in my heart.
I got my iRV2 nickname from my wife in 2002 when I asked Marie to research the internet on how to take out-of-state delivery on my parent’s new motorhome to avoid California sales tax. She discovered the forum & registered me as “Duner”, meaning a guy that owns a dune buggy and spends time playing in the sand dunes. In my signature, I tried to make more meaning out of this adding “Dune’r”. I’ve been going to the Glamis sand dunes now for 40 years and have seen 3 generations get hooked on the sand dunes. Here’s a satellite view of our favorite camping spot Roadrunner Campground @ Imperial Sand Dunes National Recreation Area (zoom out to see the big picture):
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AFChap,
Sounds like we need to pull that baby of yours and put in a new upgraded squirrel cage ($67) and bearings ($14 ea x 2). We could have it in & out in about 2.5 hours. You don’t want to wait til it’s July and the heat factor is 114 deg like I did.
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Old 12-04-2008, 10:13 AM   #13
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I think bills instructions should be a permanent topic. I made 2 copies for myself. It took me less than 45 min to pull my unit with no help(all of my friends still work and I didnt want to wait) and I was taking my time reading step by step. I had the same noise and my tbl was the metal top of the unit was not installed right by the last tech that worked on it and it would rattle when running.
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Old 12-04-2008, 05:04 PM   #14
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Paul, I spoke with Winne service and they advised tat the unit can be taken out just as you say.......horizontally out the compartment door. However, there's a "trick" to freeing the unit from it's "cradle". Under the outer side of the unit you will notice 2 bolts with pretty long threads at either end of a "C" channel. The heads of the bolts are down (as in towards the ground). The "cradle" the A/C sits in is pushed upwards by tightening these 2 bolts. The inboard side of the cradle is a hinge. So, loosen the 2 bolts enough to free the unit (maybe .5" or so) the the unit will slide out horizontally. With this info and Duner's instructions I think this will be an easy project.
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