Removal of the rear A/C

discus

GA Westy
Ted, for this one the surround did crack when we pulled the a.c.
I think this one of the first 100 models but it had alloys. It did not have the grab handle on the cabinet either.
We are installing a Dometic A.C. And did not want to install it backwards. So we cut a new hole, framed it and closed the old one. A metal sheet was installed on top and that followed the contour of the roof and provided additional structure.




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OldWest

2004 T1N Westfalia
1. Wondering if you (Discus) are doing this strictly as a favor for a fellow Westy owner, or are willing to do as part of a business? Wasn't sure what business services you offered (e.g., other Westy mods you've done, like SEM, Bedliner coating on plastic panels, etc.). If possible business services, any estimates? Would think that lots of Westy owners on East coast would like a retrofit resource.

2. In a posted photo on another thread, looked like your hot water heater disappeared--photoshopped or for real?
 

discus

GA Westy
1. Wondering if you (Discus) are doing this strictly as a favor for a fellow Westy owner, or are willing to do as part of a business? Wasn't sure what business services you offered (e.g., other Westy mods you've done, like SEM, Bedliner coating on plastic panels, etc.). If possible business services, any estimates? Would think that lots of Westy owners on East coast would like a retrofit resource.



2. In a posted photo on another thread, looked like your hot water heater disappeared--photoshopped or for real?

Old West,
The body shop that installed the metal sheet and painted it is a friend of mine. He helped us pull the old AC and dispose of it as well as lift the new A.C. In position. A quick shout out to David at Auto Image in Woodstock GA. He was the only shop that would do all these when the regular RV places wouldn't even want to touch it.

The owner of the westy pulled the wires.

I cut and frame the hole, cut the metal sheet and the wiring connections. Those are favors.

========

I replaced my water heater with a precision Temp instant hot water heater. My van got rear ended and we had to replace the quarter panel. Didn't want to cut a hole for the suburban anymore and since Insurance is paying for damaged heater I used the opportunity to revert the westy back to Euro look.

I will post my mod pictures in my profile when I have time.


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OldWest

2004 T1N Westfalia
Thanks. Also noted your European taillights. Ted had to do his to conform to German regs. Very fun to see these mods.
 

grozier

Member
An update here after almost six years without the A/C. The van still handles great without it, but on a recent overnight with snow/slush on the roof, we noticed a leak.

Over time, the white surround with for the original A/C developed very small cracks, allowing water to seep in. Unfortunately, my approach to sealing "both sides" of the hole trapped moisture in between both layers of the top. This caused some discoloration (fortunately not rot) of the wooden structure around the hole and some partial delamination of the upper cabinet.

Removing the white surround took a good hour with a sharpened putty knife and a mallet. (One of those multimeister tools would have been useful.) From this exercise, it's pretty clear to me that the silver on our van's top -- original -- is paint, not gelcoat. You can see a mask line around the hole.

I roughed up the area and used 3M 4200 marine adhesive sealant (basically like Sikaflex, but available locally) to bond a sheet of 0.04" 3003 aluminum to the roof. This gauge material is stiff enough to resist flex from snow, but still workable with tin snips and by hand to match the curvature of the roof.

I further secured the panel with eight special coated stainless self-tapping screws, then gave those screws healthy blobs of sealant. When the sealant fully cures, I will add a duct tape patch to each. (It doesn't have to be pretty up there -- it just has to work.)

Obviously if you have the talent to do what tneuer did, that's better. But this is working so far and I will report if there is a future failure.

Oh, one more thing: You can do all of this without a big ladder if you aren't broad-shouldered. The bath skylight dome pops off with two little hinge pins (be gentle) and a stepladder will grant you access. It's a bit of a contortion to get both arms up there, but it worked for me. You can also go through the main skylight, but be careful applying weight to the roof.

I will try to post a few pictures soon.

Stay dry,

Ted
 

grozier

Member
Here are a few pictures. For shimmying out of the bathroom, it helps to pop the screen off the skylight. Also, if you hang out of the main skylight, carefully pull the rubber seal out of the way first. And of course, shut the power off so that thing doesn't try to chop you in half.

In one of these you will see the gap where the forward section of the roof delaminated. I believe this happened pre-leak, due to age and the weight of the A/C (ca. 160 lb.) I tried to rough up the existing surfaces as best I could and used Gorilla Glue with clamps to get this back together. Time will tell. You can also see that in this section of roof (i.e., between the A/C and skylight) there is some fiberglass insulation.
 

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grozier

Member
The box that the aluminum came in turned out to be perfect for matching the curve of the roof. I used velcro on the camping pad to make it easily removable in case anything goes wrong, or to inspect as needed. Not sure if it will come out without removing the whole cabinet, but perhaps through the metal grate (original A/C intake) at bottom.

The insulation sandwich is a tight fit, but not watertight, so any leak should be noticed (wet linens) before it does damage.

Ted
 

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