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Old 07-12-2021, 06:47 PM   #1
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First motorhome owner

Hello Everyone,
My name is Jim, my wife and I retired in November. So due to budget, the demand and cost for coaches today we decide to roll the dice on a fixer upper. It is an '04 Journey 34H with 35K miles on the Cat C7 motor. It looks like it sat for a while, but She's in pretty good shape and runs great. We took her from our place in NorCal to Albuquerque, NM for our first trip out.
FYI and with all due respect to Arizona, traveling Hwy. 40 is a great way to find out if you have anything loose...or need anything shaken loose.
Anyway, the trip went very well with just a couple of issues. 1)The engine oil would heat up on long uphill runs even without a dingy. That was cured by cleaning the radiator with soap and water, then learning how to drive the hills. 2) The chassis AC quit putting out any cool air. This one will be a bit more daunting as I can barely see the compressor let alone put hands on it. I will get into that this week.
Anyway, this forum is awesome, I have already picked up a lot of helpful info. and tips. Thank you all.
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Old 07-12-2021, 08:23 PM   #2
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Welcome to this forum. For information on how you might be able to get your Coleman-Mach Basement AC working for less than $100, you should learn how to check your AC Start & Run Capacitors by typing this into the Winnebago search bar above: imnprsd ac hard start kit

or

you can copy and paste this to your google search bar: imnprsd ac hard start kit site:winnieowners.com

Hopefully all you need is a $7 PTCR, and you can re-use your WSX5 Motor Starter ceramic housing, but it's more likely no one has tuned-up your basement AC in the past, so you may need to spend $100 if your capacitors are not within spec. TBD

This service is easier than you think. And it is preferred you use a multimeter with the ability to read capacitance, but if you don't know how, you can just order all new parts and then replace each component 1-by-1 so you don't get the wires mixed up. (No previous experience required after you read the thread on how to replace your basement capacitors and "hard start kit.")

Note: Before you check your capacitors, I recommend you watch a YouTube video on how to test a capacitor first... or just touch the capacitor connectors with a screwdriver to discharge them as a safety precaution.

PS If your alternator is not charging your House Batteries then you can solve this by adding a Keyline VSR. For more copy and paste: imnprsd keyline VSR site:winnieowners.com
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Old 07-12-2021, 10:30 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EPIJim View Post
The chassis AC quit putting out any cool air.
That's the dash air conditioner... right?
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Old 07-12-2021, 11:12 PM   #4
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Right... You are probably right. That being the case what do you recommend for the OP to do relative to his chassis (dash) AC problem?
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Old 07-13-2021, 08:10 AM   #5
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Chassis air conditioning is something I’d see a specialized service tech for. I don’t consider that a DIY project. Others may feel differently.
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Old 07-13-2021, 08:32 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imnprsd View Post
Right... You are probably right. That being the case what do you recommend for the OP to do relative to his chassis (dash) AC problem?
From Jim's comments, it sounds like he's pretty knowledgeable since he wants to get access to the compressor, but, for the record, here are my thoughts.

1. Is there sufficient airflow? If not, it could be the fan and/or the airflow doors or another glitch in the airflow system

2. Is the compressor is running (ie. Is the belt OK)?

3. Is there an accessible sight glass, if so, what does it show? https://autoacrepair1.com/auto-a-c-s...ass-diagnosis/

Unless 1. or 2. is the problem, I've usually ended up going to an automotive A/C shop. Other than 1. or 2., or a bad compressor, in my experience, the system needs to be checked for leaks and recharged. Most recently, my 2005, Ford E350 had a pinhole leak in one of the refrigerant lines and it took two trips to the shop for them to find it after their initial recharge leaked out over the next few days.
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Old 07-27-2021, 03:51 PM   #7
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'04 Journey Dash AC problem.

Thank you all for your responses.
Well, I finally got back to my dash AC issue, after finding the compressor and verifying that it was turning and the clutch is engaging I bought a cheap set of gauges from Harbor Freight to check the pressures. The pressures held held steady for a day so I decided recharge the system. I put 36 oz. of R134A in it and I have cold air again. I may have a high pressure leak issue so I also added some dye and will check for leaks when we get her back out on the road.

EPIJim
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"no toad yet"
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Old 07-27-2021, 06:13 PM   #8
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DASH AC SERVICE NOTES - For DPs

Here's some things I discovered when bringing my AC back to life:

* -45F is about all you can expect at 90F OAT, but at 101F I got a -47F drop; and every -2F is meaningful.

* Don't try to service your AC in 75F weather or below.

* Dry air will give you better results than humid air.

* And it pays to clean your condenser back by the engine. Note: You can point an infrared temperature gun at the condenser and sort-of pinpoint temperature blockages if you system is not performing very well, but to clean the inside of the condenser is a PITA and expensive to replace.

* Most AC techs will tell you -40F is typical for RVs, but that's because they attempt to use the same type of AC service on a car as they do on an RV. So don't be satisfied with -40F. Your RV AC system can do better.

* There is a placard on your firewall (above the generator) that should specify from Freightliner how much 134a your AC system should use. In my case it's 40oz, but I recommend putting in +10% more or 44oz. The system can handle 10% more and maybe you will not need a recharge 2-3 year later as some 134a will leak out over time. So the extra 10% may buy you 1-2-3 years more service time.

* Sometimes your AC will start blowing cold when you overfill it, and add 2x the amount of 134a to the system, but you will never reach optimum cooling. I.e., when you lose track of how much 134a is in your system you have to start over and evacuate your lines... and then add 40oz... let the system stabilize for 15-30 minutes; and then after you can add the extra 10%.

* I cheap digital meat thermometer will work fine for determining the AC drop in temperature.

* If you need to evacuate your system, I recommend you replace your AC-Delco Air Drier-Receiver. It's only $30 and and the desiccant inside can block or restrict flow, which maybe the reason why your system is not blowing -45F colder than the OAT.

* The real tip is that you want to get the old "brown" PAG-100 oil out of your lines. So if work with an AC shop make sure they do this... using a high power vacuum device... and then you can replenish your PAG-100 oil using the PAG-100 cans you can get from Freightliner or Amazon that include the "ICE ADDITIVE". My guess is that you will need 4 or 5 3oz cans (12-15oz total), which is another $30 I would guess. (Depends on how much PAG oil you can get out of the system so try to reclaim it to know for sure, then add 3oz more.)

For more tips you can download the attached .pdf. Note: I just slapped this information together for reference, but it still should help you know what part numbers you need and a bunch of other things.

Here's a basic video for on how to evacuate you lines, for all of you who don't know how to service your AC. It's not rocket science, until you AC system does not want to work right. Then it sometime does take an experienced AC tech to know where to look.



The parts are relatively cheap, and if your 10-15+ year old RV is not blowing cold enough, but it is working, I.e., not leaking 134a, my guess is that you can do your own AC service: replace AC-Delco Receiver Dryer & Mercedes TxV for $60 and then buy 4-12oz cans of 134a (but only use 44oz) for $25; and $100 at Harbor Freight for the evacuation pump... just don't forget to order the adapter so you can tap into the 134a cans from Amazon.

Attachment: Dash AC Service PDF
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Attached Files
File Type: pdf DASH AC NOTES (KEEP) short PDF, 2018.pdf (1.54 MB, 3 views)
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