Part 36: Air Conditioning Installation Part 2


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Part 2 of the air conditioning installation involved completion of the sheet metal work; attachment of the unit to the hatch and then the truck; and finally system checkout and charging with coolant.

The photos below are what we saw.

The cutting of the cover plate for the hatch was completed.

Next the mounting studs for the actual a/c unit were added.  The large holes in the plate are to accommodate the hatch locks.

Rob elected to braze the edges both to protect from warping and due to the thin metal thickness.

The completed brazing job took about an hour and when it was done the heat of the torch fried the paint close to the joint.  Above, the hatch before it was cleaned up for new paint and primer.

When the hatch was completed and painted,  we moved on to completing the mounting for the compressor.  Rob took a 1"x1" length of square tube and welded on a 3/8" ear for the tightening bolt.

Two small tits were welded onto the front and back of the hatch to cover the latch mechanisms.  The whole hatch was smoothed out with some body filler, sanded, primed and painted.

The compressor is now fully installed with the compressor end of the hoses attached..

The hoses were routed under the cab and up the back wall.

The hoses were draped over the cab as the required lengths were determined for each hose.

The hatch was test-fit to the a/c unit prior to fully bolting the hatch to the unit.

The hoses were routed along side of the cargo bubble on Thor's cab.  Nutserts were installed through the sheet metal of the cab to allow use of bolts.

Nuts and lock washers were added to the studs to attach the roof unit to the hatch.

We added the control panel to see what it would look like when it is installed.

We examined the insides of the roof unit to determine what needed to be done to rotate the hose fittings to the correct angle for the compressor lines.

The roof unit was picked up with the fork lift.

The fork lift made easy work of lifting the 100+ pound unit to the roof.

The unit was placed right on the hatch opening.

From the inside, things look good.  The photo above shows the hatch before the control cover and modesty panel were installed.

The hose ends were crimped on and the fittings adjusted to the correct geometry.

Rob got his vacuum pump out to evacuate the air from the compressor system and check for leaks.  No leaks were found.

Due to the size of the system and the length of hose, many bottles of refrigerant were added.

Once the system was fully charged and checked for correct output temperature, the control wiring harness was installed and cinched up with tie-wraps.

Several fuel delivery lines had to be moved as part of the installation and some were in danger of abrasion damage due to the vibration of the engine.  So, rubber hose was strategically placed to prevent damage.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, or so they say.  I am guessing in the metric world they would say "a gram of prevention is worth a kilogram of cure".

Once the air conditioning was proven, we moved on to repairing a large stone chip in Thor's windshield.  Rob had a professional kit and installed resin and then treated it with UV light to cure the resin.

Thor was locked down and all the cab electrical connections were re-installed.  The oil and filter were changed and the front differential oil was flushed and refilled.

This was a pretty big effort that spanned a few days.  Rob did a great job and the a/c unit now puts out air at 35 degrees.  It will freeze us out if we are not careful.  But, given that we are heading into a large heat wave in the southwest, the a/c will be heavily used.  Many thanks to Rob for his hard work.

Tomorrow, we leave La Junta for points west in the comfort of our newly air conditioned cab.

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Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2012, all rights reserved.
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