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Old 02-06-2012, 09:41 AM   #1
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Odd noises in basement heat pump

Ladies and gents,
Well, along with my next project that you nice folks have assisted me with so far, it looks like I've got another major one to contend with. While camping at Quartzsite a week or two a go, we used the basement heating system a few times and I personally think it's a great little unit. But, while laying in bed and it went on once or twice, the wife and I both think there's noises emitting from it that shouldn't be there.

It sounds like somethings loose. Like a pulley on motor or something similar. It's kind of a "banging around, clanging" type noise. So, after digging around a bit here on this part of the forum, it looks like maybe there's wear-able parts in, brass bushings, squirrel cage fan parts etc in there that might have to be replaced/upgraded.

The coach is a 2004 Itasca Horizon, 36GD, 330 CAT with 45K on the clock. We both love this rig. But, in the time we've owned it, about 10 months or so, I've had to fix, repair or replace a few items. It's really no big deal or complaint of any type. But, it sure seems that OF what I've had to do so far, no thing's been easy. That's the story of my life. Oh well, enough rambling. Time to get to work. Fix a "no preheat/pre start" situation on the generator and now this one.
Scott
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Old 02-06-2012, 11:10 AM   #2
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Yepper, these beasts are needy . I've always said I can't see how anyone who is not handy with tools and willing/able to do some of their own repairs could afford to own one of these things. Pulling the heat pump is about the only thing I haven't had to do in the 7 years we've had this rig. I suspect it will need to be done soon enough.

Let us know how it goes. I suspect you have found the excellent posts by Duner showing how to get the thing out and replace the fan bearings.
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Old 02-06-2012, 02:37 PM   #3
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smlranger,
Yep, I did find "duners" post on the total removal and repair of that unit. That is one outstanding writeup, including the detailed and labeled pictures. I can't say I'm looking forward to it. It must be an age thing. The older I get, the less I look forward to large repair/projects. Somehow though, I keep doing them. Must be a save money thing. I keep threatening to pay someone to do some of this stuff but, somehow, I keep doing them. Hmmmmm. I certainly will keep you boys that are interested, informed of the situation.
Scott
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Old 02-06-2012, 08:28 PM   #4
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When you get into the unit you may not feel like the metal squirrel cage is needing replacement. I highly recommend that you replaced it with the new and improved plastic version.
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Old 02-06-2012, 08:29 PM   #5
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I hear you about the age thing. I pulled the face off the beast a few years ago to replace a leaking heater core and that core only lasted three years. It is bypassed for now and I am pondering the job again. DW thinks we should wait until we go near the Winnebago factory again and let them do it. I'm considering her idea.
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Old 02-06-2012, 09:55 PM   #6
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It's been a bit since I've been on, but had I seen this post sooner, I would have offered to come help. We're in Santee right now, but leaving on Wednesday. I have a 2001 Horizon, and just removed my A/C a couple of years ago. Once you do it, you'll find it's not as big a job as it seems. I used a motorcycle jack with a bucket and a couple of blocks to jack mine up, then pulled it out the side. I had to do it a couple of times because of messing up the motor housing, and could probably get it out in 30-45 minutes now. Takes longer to put it back in!
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Old 02-06-2012, 10:30 PM   #7
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Fire Up,

You can do this, but it would be better to have someone help. My buddy and I did both of ours in one day, 10AM to 5PM, and while tired, it wasn't too bad. We agreed we would only do one a day in the future though. His fan bearing was completely shot and the end of the shaft was not attached to anything. He had noticed a noise when it was first turned on that would usually go away. It was fortunate we got to it when we did as I know it would have caused the motor to fail at some point. The only thing is there seems like a million screws and you need to have a place to set the unit next to the coach.

Good luck,
Dave
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Old 02-07-2012, 01:22 AM   #8
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Guys,
I want to thank all of you for your encouragement. As much as I'm painting a picture that it might be a daunting task, I suspect I'll handle it OK. It just so happens that I have a "Motor cycle Jack" that I use for the Goldwing. It might just work out perfect. I tackled my "no preheat" start issue today and as usual, I started working on the gen when I thought I'd try it one more time, before I started dissecting the electrical and, well, it started just right, preheat and all.

But, I don't suspect this issue will fix itself like the preheat one did. So, I'll dive into it in a day or so. Thank you all for your help here. And Batt Chief, your assistance would surely have been appreciated. Someday we'll make our way to Santee Lakes, and check them out for camping. Sure wouldn't be a long trip, about 25 miles, barely get the thermostat open on the 330.
Scott
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:51 AM   #9
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Have you confirmed the noises aren't normal? In heat mode mine makes a few bangs and thumps as it bring both compressors online. Always sounds a little strange, but been that way from day 1, and has worked fine the whole time.

Hate to have you tear into in and find nothing wrong....
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Old 02-07-2012, 12:02 PM   #10
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Fire Up;

I noticed you retired after 29.5 years with the SDFD. I retired in 2008 after 31 from a department in Oklahoma. I also have a Goldwing (2005) and occasionally take it with us. I have a Cruiserlift on the back of the coach. You're one of the few I've seen with a similar setup.

Back to the task at hand. I used the motorcycle lift to raise the unit above the crossbar at the bottom of the unit. It seems like it's too big to get out, but it fits through the opening tight. Using blocks, buckets and plywood, I fashioned a "table" just outside of the opening to set the unit on once out. If you are able to use the jack to get it up, two people can easily get the unit out. Once out, remove the top, and the indoor and outdoor blowers are easy to get to. I replaced both bearings and the squirrel cage while I was in there. With help, you should be able to do it easy in a half a day. While it's out, make sure you clean the area around the exhaust duct well. I replaced the foam that sealed both the intake and exhaust ducts, then retaped the duct when I put it back in. Make sure not to disturb the duct going up the back cap, as I have heard of many who had leaks there, reducing the efficiency of the output.

Good luck with the project. You sound pretty mechanically inclined, so I really doubt you'll have any problems.
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Old 02-07-2012, 04:25 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tderonne View Post
Have you confirmed the noises aren't normal? In heat mode mine makes a few bangs and thumps as it bring both compressors online. Always sounds a little strange, but been that way from day 1, and has worked fine the whole time.

Hate to have you tear into in and find nothing wrong....
tderonne,
Thanks for advice. No Sir, I've not confirmed the noises are "abnormal". That's a pretty good idea. It's just like yesterday, I got already for surgery on the generator because of "no preheat" start we were experienceing in Quartzsite and, after tearing off the top sheet metal, I thought I'd try it one more time. Well, I hit the start button on the panel of the generator and, it preheated just fine. So, I canceled that surgery.

It's probably a wise idea to try and narrow any and all "abnormal" noises on the heat pump/ac unit before I tear it out of the compartment. Not sure how to analyze it like that other than having someone who's familiar with those noises also listen to it. But, no one I know of, that has the same kind of unit, lives near me that can help me assess it. I'll do the best I can. Thanks again, I too would be ticked if I jerked that unit out only to find all is well in there. Been there done that, more than once.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BattChief View Post
Fire Up;

I noticed you retired after 29.5 years with the SDFD. I retired in 2008 after 31 from a department in Oklahoma. I also have a Goldwing (2005) and occasionally take it with us. I have a Cruiserlift on the back of the coach. You're one of the few I've seen with a similar setup.

Back to the task at hand. I used the motorcycle lift to raise the unit above the crossbar at the bottom of the unit. It seems like it's too big to get out, but it fits through the opening tight. Using blocks, buckets and plywood, I fashioned a "table" just outside of the opening to set the unit on once out. If you are able to use the jack to get it up, two people can easily get the unit out. Once out, remove the top, and the indoor and outdoor blowers are easy to get to. I replaced both bearings and the squirrel cage while I was in there. With help, you should be able to do it easy in a half a day. While it's out, make sure you clean the area around the exhaust duct well. I replaced the foam that sealed both the intake and exhaust ducts, then retaped the duct when I put it back in. Make sure not to disturb the duct going up the back cap, as I have heard of many who had leaks there, reducing the efficiency of the output.

Good luck with the project. You sound pretty mechanically inclined, so I really doubt you'll have any problems.
Batt Chief,
It was a great job huh? Always different. For the most part, I enjoyed every day. But, when it came time to leave, I was OUT OF THERE! There's a life to live out there, 30 years was enough. I had so many folks ask me, "What are you going to do with all that time?" Well, if you have to ask, you've not had to much of a task oriented life to this point.

Anyway, yep, I don't know if you've seen my posts on the install of the lift on the back of the coach but, long story short, I enjoyed installing it. A bit of calculations, some serious welding, and it was done! I chose the "Hydralift" due to it's lighter weight, less complicated lifting mechanism and lifting capabilities. I got if off ebay for was less than half price. All I had to do was do a road trip from San Diego to Scottdale AZ to pick it up. No biggie. The bike rides just fine back there and has very little to no effect on rig handling.

Now, as for the task at hand, well, as answered above, I'm going to try and make sure I actually do have "issues" as described in my first post. This is the first basement air we've had so, although it is not the quietest operation on these coaches, we think it's certainly tolerable. So, I'll run it again and see if I can tell if there's really problems back there.
Scott
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Old 02-07-2012, 06:11 PM   #12
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Batt Chief, How much did the bearings and new fan make with the noise. Did you use the plastic fan.
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:17 PM   #13
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FireUp, In your first post you reported a ""banging around, clanging" type noise." coming from your basement A/C. After having been into mine a couple of times I can assure you that a "banging around, clanging" type noise." is not normal. In fact, my best guess is that one of the squirrel cage fans are coming apart. Additionally, the fan shaft bearings are supposed to be oiled annually. Personally I think that's an unreasonable service requirement but it is a Coleman-Mack requirement. When you get yours apart you will notice the spring loaded oil service ports. I think you will find the A/C to be a pretty simple machine and easy to service once removed from your coach.
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:18 PM   #14
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KIX,
Thank you Sir for your tips here. I think I'm going nuts. When camping and in using the coach, the wife and I both heard things coming from that basement unit that, are not heard today. We heard them multiple times. Again, not today. I went out today and listened right at the grill for that unit when it was in operation (heat) and could hear the tinny, slight clanging (for lack of a better word) sound. And to me, based on all the years of experience of working on stuff, fixing, repairing, analyzing stuff and more, it would sound as you say, one of the fans is loose or, maybe coming apart somehow.

Even though I don't have the noises we heard while camping, based on dunners report/write up/pictures, I might just pull that unit and give it a good look over. And yes, while in there, lube the shafts and or take measurements to replace the "bronze" bushings with actual bearings, as dunner has in his pics. Thanks again.
Scott
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