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Author Topic: bus air conditioning compressor repair or remove?  (Read 4406 times)
white-eagle
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« on: July 20, 2007, 10:58:42 AM »

i tried searching to see if this answer was already given and didn't find anything.

i have the bus air and heat system still installed.  the A/C doesn't blow cold air.  when i bought the bus a couple years ago, i was told it didn't work due to blown seals.  various people have said pull it and use house air with generator but last week in 90 deg heat, house air just wasn't keeping up going down the road. (two 15k units).

i called a local auto A/C and radiator shop who was going to check it for $220, but they backed out when i told them r-22 coolant.  they said call a home A/C guy.  i don't think the home guy is going to work on it.

pull it or fix it, if it's seals?  Help. again.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2007, 11:08:39 AM by manasst » Logged

Tom
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« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2007, 11:21:16 AM »

When working, an R22 system will freeze you out, its more effective than any of the others.  But it sounds like it will cost you.  Wouldn't hurt to continue trying to get an estimate so you can make your decision.  I ahve seen other buses with R22, so someone works on them.  Although they were in the desert area and needed the extra cool.

Bus air works so well when running, I would not want to be without it.  My 3  15,000 btu roof airs will cool, but not so you can hang meat which is how I like my temps.  And especially not while driving, the air leaks and higher heat gain while moving, the roof airs just can't keep up.

don't gve up on it yet.
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Jim Stewart
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« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2007, 11:43:55 AM »

I also vote for keeping that bus air! Ten tons of air is impossible to get via rooftops or even basement units. And your R-22 is easy to find folks to work on vs. the older R-12 (that's been phased out and must be converted to 134A). Search for shops that service transit authorities near you and you'll find qualified R-22 refrig. techs. I'd deal with them vs. home A/C techs that might not understand the mobile applications. A shop that services refer trucks might also be able to help.

If it were mine, I'd spend upwards of $1500 to repair it. After that, it becomes "the law of diminishing returns" and might be better spent with an aftermarket system.

My bus air was removed long ago by the previous owner... so now we sweat when underway!

My $0.02,
Brian B.
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Brian Brown
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« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2007, 11:47:57 AM »

Should you fix it?  My understanding from the board is, it depends on how much you drive it.  If it sits a lot, then you may have a problem with seals again.  When ask about repairing mine, I was quoted $1100 to rebuild the bus compressor.  My bus sits most of the time, with a move arcoss county every three months.   Granted my two (wish I had four) roof airs can NOT keep up with the desert heat.  I have removed most of the bus A/C system.

Now, has anyone taken a cheap window A/C unit and rigged it in a bay.  Just for the little extra you need from time to time.

Lord,, get me out of the desert.....

Bill

Still in Phoenix
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TomC
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« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2007, 12:24:00 PM »

Personally- I say get rid of the central air.  I have a 40ft x 102" transit with huge windows (as you can see by the picture) that are just lightly tinted.  The key here is that I have 2.25" of sprayed in foam on the walls and ceiling.  The floor is not insulated, but does have carpet on it.  Last weekend I went to Bakersfield where it topped out at 102 degrees with surprisingly 40% humidity (Mex monsoon weather coming up).  I have three roof airs, bus were only running two and it stayed a comfortable 68 degrees inside-I actually have to turn the thermostats up on the 13,500btu Colemans, or it gets too cold.  And this is when I was driving.  If the two won't work, all three running will-I have yet to have an instance where it was more than 70 degrees inside, no matter what the outside temp is.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
white-eagle
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« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2007, 01:05:12 PM »

i just talked to a local "commercial" and residential A/C repairman with a lot more grey hair than i have.  He looked at it, said he could test it by filling with r-22, but would probably leak out in a week from old seals.  rebuild based on another recent repair of similar unit but not from a bus, was $2500+.

i think i'm going to remove it, replace it with an inverter and battery bank, and sweat thru the hot driving days.  TomC, i obviously don't have your insulation.

just not enough cost justification for the repair.  thanks for all the hints and comments.  anyone got a gotcha suggestions on what to do first or not to do first when taking it out??
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Tom
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Fran was called to a higher duty 12/16/13. I lost my life navigator.
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« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2007, 02:42:44 PM »

First thing to remove it is to have an A/C guy come over and evacuate the system.  Then just take it apart.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2007, 05:16:37 PM »

We had the 4107 out last weekend for a short trip, and had been running the two roof airs (off the generator) for about an hour while working on the interior.  One of the reasons was to see how the roof air would do - it wasn't real hot, around 90 outside (Texas).  Cooling was not adequate in the front of the coach.  The rear bedroom was fine, but I don't drive from the rear bedroom. 

When I get back from this business trip, I'm taking the coach to ABC Bus for some work, and for estimates on some optional work.  One of those options is restoring the functionality of the road A/C.  Supposedly it worked the last time the previous owner used it, but they didn't keep it up (not much need in New England). 

My results - I wasn't happy with the temps in the front of the bus with the roof air.  So, I do intend to get the cost estimate, but, and here's the important but, from a company that's familiar with bus A/C's.  I can't make a decision based on what something else cost.  Back in the early 1980's, when I was buying a fleet for a transit system, we had to use life-cycle costing (a new concept at that time).  One bidder who had just entered the market (and who has now left the market) submitted their proposed costs (brake life, engine/transmission life, etc.)  However, since they didn't have the experience, the costs submitted were based on another manufacturer's buses - and if I remember right, that manufacturer had already gone out of the bus business.  The moral of the story is that I want an estimate based on my bus, my compressor, my evaporator, my lines - from someone who knows my bus.  Only then can I make an informed decision. 

Arthur 
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Arthur Gaudet    Carrollton (Dallas area) Texas 
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DavidInWilmNC
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« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2007, 05:29:58 PM »

I'd at least try to keep the bus A/C.  Mine is 134A and I had to add 5-6 cans to it this year.  When it was 102 inside and 90+ outside, I was getting a tremendous amount of lower 60's air.  It'd be colder if I had added enough refrigerant, but I was tired of messing with it.  It was hot and muggy when we used it over the 4th, but it was quite chilly inside the bus.  I only used the driver's A/C for about an hour out of a 7 hour (each way) trip and ran just the coach air - a lot of it blows forward anyway.  I'd hate to have a trip ruined because of being hot.  I think the redundancy of it is great; I can always run the generator and other A/C's if needed.  I'd sure get another estimate.  I know most get rid of their OTR A/C's, so finding a good used compressor shouldn't be too hard.

David
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« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2007, 05:40:37 PM »

I'd also give Welch Industries in Stockbridge, GA a call! They air are Motor Coach A/C specialist! They have been in business a long time and know all buses inside and out when it comes to A/C.
Grin  BK  Grin
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
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maria-n-skip
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« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2007, 05:59:19 PM »

  Some of use didn't have to worry about making a choice it had already been done.
 Mine looks like they backed a skidder up to the lines hooked up a choker and ripped the ac out.
 I'm fairly far north but the old addage of 3 roof ac for southern buses and 2 for northern just doesn't seem
 to be holding up any more (no this is not a plug for Gore). We have been hovering around high 90 to 100 for the
 last 2 weeks and there is no end in site. In other words the game is changing.

  Your bus probably has a bigger inverter than mine but I currently can only run 1 ac going down the road. not
 much good on 160+ degree asphalt. Normally one doesn't do a return on investment when it comes to comfort.
 But this is about a certain level of comfort or we'd all be driving Yugo's.
 Maybe with some good leads and searching you can find a replacement.

   I wish I still had the orig AC.   FWIW

    Skip
« Last Edit: July 20, 2007, 06:21:04 PM by maria-n-skip » Logged
Jerry32
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« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2007, 06:45:10 PM »

It don't look any harder to overhaul one of those compressors than thos that are replacing engines. I certainly want to keep the bus system. I read the book on it and I think mine is low on refrigerant . It ssays ine manual that you should be able to see the freon in the lower sight glass on the reciever and I don't see any Do you have to pump it down to see that?Huh    Jerry
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Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
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« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2007, 06:47:51 PM »

Hi Jerry,

While the compressor is running, look at the lower sight glass for refrigerant flow.

Let us know how much of the sight glass is liquid, and how much is bubbles.

Nick-
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white-eagle
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« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2007, 07:08:15 PM »

good suggestion BK!  i looked at welch's website and they seem to have some knowledge of bus A/C alright.

i will send them a note about mine and see what they have to say.  if nothing else, maybe they want to buy the parts i take out.  better than hauling them to the scrap yard.
i do agree that my roof air ain't doing the job in high heat while moving.  it's probably a trade off as far as running the genset fuel vs using the engine horsepower to run the bus air, so it's just a matter of cost to fix the bus a/c and keep it running.
if it's just bad seals like the previous owner said, can anyone tell me why it would be so expensive just to replace some gaskets or is a rebuild required when you replace compressors?  seems like you could just unbolt it, put a gasket on, and re-seal.  sounds easy enough??
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Tom
1991 Eagle 15 and proud of it.
8V92T, 740, Fulltime working on the road.

Fran was called to a higher duty 12/16/13. I lost my life navigator.
Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
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« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2007, 08:10:11 PM »

hi Tom,

The seal on the clutch end is much more complicated. It concists of a seal, spring loadedguide assy, and a bolt through gasket.

The entire clutch and pully assy needs to be removed to expose the inner shaft seal. It's not hard, just alot of time to do it right.

the rear seal is much easier.

Nick-
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« Reply #15 on: July 20, 2007, 08:17:50 PM »

I only see one seal in the compressor and that is the cranksshaft seal. lots of gaskets though

can I put 134 in like I do oon a car in liquid form?   Jerry
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« Reply #16 on: July 21, 2007, 12:39:04 PM »

If you can get to Texas I will donate the required labor just to see you keep it.
The only bus I have driven that would stay cool without OTR a/c was a Prevost with FIVE (5) roof units.
Please keep it.
Justin

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« Reply #17 on: July 21, 2007, 04:37:28 PM »

i just talked to a local "commercial" and residential A/C repairman with a lot more grey hair than i have.  He looked at it, said he could test it by filling with r-22, but would probably leak out in a week from old seals.  rebuild based on another recent repair of similar unit but not from a bus, was $2500+.

i think i'm going to remove it, replace it with an inverter and battery bank, and sweat thru the hot driving days.  TomC, i obviously don't have your insulation.

just not enough cost justification for the repair.  thanks for all the hints and comments.  anyone got a gotcha suggestions on what to do first or not to do first when taking it out??


Sounds like a good choice on how to spend your money.
                            Good luck,  Merle.
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luvrbus
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« Reply #18 on: July 21, 2007, 05:22:55 PM »

I removed my bus air on a Eagle and installed a Red Dot air for the drivers area it has a 33,000 BTU remote condenser with a fan and a 27000 BTU evaporator 3 speed fan with a Denso compressor.I live in AZ where its a 110 plus in July my coach has 3 Cruisair so i run the middle air that has 2 evaporator off my inverter with the dash air while traveling and have no problem keeping cool,the dash air has about the same BTU as 2 roof airs.

just my way
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« Reply #19 on: July 21, 2007, 06:37:26 PM »

Justin25Taylor, you visiting California anytime soon? I have an MCI 9 and would like to keep the OTR AC system. I have two 05 compressors. The installed compressor has a leak at the seal and the other is supposed to be ready to go? I would like someone knowledgeable to work on the system and get it running well. I have the 30lbs of 134A. 

Want to visit Sacramento, the wine country and Yosemite?

Lets barter!

Grant
Sacramento

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Grant Goold
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white-eagle
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« Reply #20 on: July 21, 2007, 08:02:54 PM »

what is red dot air and what does it cost and look like?  maybe that's still a better option than no air except the roof units.
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Tom
1991 Eagle 15 and proud of it.
8V92T, 740, Fulltime working on the road.

Fran was called to a higher duty 12/16/13. I lost my life navigator.
Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
1989, MCI 102C3, 8V92T, HT740, 06' conversion FMCA# F-27317-S "Wife- 1969 Italian/German Style"
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« Reply #21 on: July 21, 2007, 08:13:25 PM »

Hi Tom,

Red Dot is a aftermarket automotive A/C system manufacture.  With lots of sizes and options for evaps and condensers.

Widely used in the Hot Rod industry.

Nick-
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« Reply #22 on: July 22, 2007, 09:32:55 AM »

Grant,
I will get to California but it will be Oct-Nov ish.

I drive entertainer coaches part time and do bus repair work the other part. "tour" season is on us right now and lasts until about the end of September. After that I finish up the stuff I have going here, then check my own bus out and spend the final part of the year traveling in my coach stopping at all the places I saw earlier in the year but could not stop. Napa Valley is one of those places.

Merle Haggard's MCI died again in Lake Charles, La a month or so ago and due to him being in a bind I agreed to finish his tour in my friends Model 5 eagle. (My 10 does not have bunks) Anyway, he lives in Redding and I cant wait to get over there to see that country.
You have my phone number. If I can get that way I would be more than happy to help you out.
Best,
Justin

I got your PM but it was blank.
 
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grantgoold
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« Reply #23 on: July 22, 2007, 03:22:41 PM »

Justin, love you meet you and see what we can do with my compressors. Part time mechanic and traveling driver, that sounds pretty cool.

I will send you a private message again and see if I can get you my phone number.

Thanks

Grant
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Grant Goold
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white-eagle
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« Reply #24 on: July 23, 2007, 01:25:21 PM »

I took my bus over to a retired wrench who said he has worked on reefers.  he put in some r-22 and then held some sort of sniffer by the clutch/seal area.  it sounded like a geiger counter in a nuke plant.  so we assumed it to have a bad seal.  still have a problem in that i guess it takes a special tool to get it off, but i guess it shuoldn't be that expensive.Huh   Undecided  just for general info, i have an 05g compressor.  Since the auto temp control in driver's area seems to work, the fans all blow ok and i don't see any leaky hoses or bad belts, i'm hoping that's the only issue.

welch's told me the r-22 it says on the side door to use in mine, can easily be replaced with R134 which is cheaper and easier.  no changeover kit required.  someone earlier asked if they could and i guess that's a yes.

so now i'm back to no battery bank cause i don't want to use any other space just yet.  need it for the antenna systems we carry for installations and to rallies.

justin, if i could get to texas, i'd be happy to hold the light and watch it done so i can learn.  if you can get Merle to Ohio, i'll see if i can find an audience for him while you and I fix my a/c.  Wink   you are one lucky dog to be drivin' that kind of talent around.  Obviously, you've got some talent yourself.

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Tom
1991 Eagle 15 and proud of it.
8V92T, 740, Fulltime working on the road.

Fran was called to a higher duty 12/16/13. I lost my life navigator.
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