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Old 01-18-2020, 02:05 PM   #21
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Hydro carbon refrigerants, scary? To some yes. However if you really think of it almost all rv's use propane for the stove, heat, and hot water. Most new household fridges use hydro carbon refrigerant. Not hearing of many houses going boom, or many rv's going boom.

I have been using hydro carbon refrigerant for many years and it works great, no loss of efficiency. In a system as large as the fishbowl bus the loss of going to r134 could be a bit much and end up with poor a/c.

Something else to think of if you were to change the a/c compressor to one that needs the oil in the refrigerant, is the system designed so the oil will circulate properly? I am thinking of at least the older thermo king systems that there is no oil in the refrigerant, and the compressor has the oil in the crankcase instead. The york compressor has it's own oil, and at least in my old Mercedes there was no oil in the refrigerant either. Oil in the refrigerant does reduce the cooling ability, as it is not a refrigerant gas.

So in the fishbowl does it actually circulate the oil in the entire a/c system? That would seem odd to me, but Christopher's comments make it seem like it may?

Hope I do not have everyone mixed up now....
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Old 01-18-2020, 02:51 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
the coach compressors are similar to york but not totally..

and yes I meant Propane, butane, etc.. Notice i didnt say recommend it.. im just saying in a tight system where the evaporator is easily testable as are the lines and compressor it "could probably " be used..



to me 47 degree air is Bleh.. thats just me.. a bus isnt gonnas stay cool inside with 47 degree air esp not a fishbowl.. a scout wont stay cool except in the front seat with 47 defgree air.. (yes reme,mber I grew up with scoiuts too.. ours blew out 39 consistently and the back seat was liveable...



and yes there are non-flammable drop-ins for R12 that work pretty well and dont require Barrier hoses.. (of course ALL mobile A/C systems really should use barrier hoses jiust because they are better and do a much better job against permeation as they age..



perhaops im too much of a perfectionist that I expect to be able to fog the windows up on the outside of a bus in a florida summer day... or at least push cold enough air that im right there on the verge of freezing the coils without axctually freezing the coils.. lol thats just me.. A/C isnt a utility for me, its a Passion..
-Christopher
That's why I'll redue the Scouts a/c with a sanden conversion when I reinstall it -- mandatory for humid OH imho...

If I get the chance to make you coffee it WILL be better than 47F a/c!
(and then you can ask me about my 7 months in Kuwait and how I feel about a/c and life!)

Now getting back to the op's BUS!

I should think... you'll wanna convert the system to a more efficient modern Sanden type compressor. And the much cheaper R134. R12 being all but banned is harder to find and usually very pricey when you do...
But I can't recommend specific parts for you 'cause I'm not familiar with the FishBowl Bus...
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Old 01-18-2020, 02:54 PM   #23
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Sorry i didnt mean to confuse folks.. thats my point the normal operating compressor doesnt circulate a lot of oil thgrough the refrigerant.. although it does a little.. they all do a little.. its how the valve plates stay lubricated.. but not nearly the amount you get circulating through an axial or radial compressor system..



im not here to recommend anyone put flmmables in their A/C.. but i can say myself that I wrecked a car that had such.. and the A/C was on.. and said refrigerant leaked away and nothing burned..

R134a is flammable under pressure mixed with oil..



but thats my end on the subject.. again i dont recommend people install the stuff.. but I can say in a test lab that it is wickedly cold.



All A/C systems tend to try and pick up the oil if the system goes low on refrigerant.. its natural if the crankcase pressure goes low or negative and the system continues to run.. you can and will suck the oil right out.. (esp a compressor that is aged with worn rings) that oil will end up leaking out of the lines and over time of poor maintenance or guys just gassing it back up and going.. run the compressor crankcase out of oil..
(many old vehicles lacked Low pressure cutoff switches).. in fact I dont think our scouts had them..



I have yet to see a vehicle with a low oil cutout switch on the compressor. the same style compressors used in fixed refrigeration do...
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Old 01-18-2020, 03:01 PM   #24
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converting that system to sanden is difficult.. fishbowls used a Single system and not dual.. in fact many many coaches of today run a singfle large compressor that is crank-case type.. Sanden doesnt make a compressor that is non crankcase large enough to drive that fishbowl system correctly..



yes a modern coach compressor could be fitted.. hoswever if the one in there is good, let it stay... replace the TxV to one suitable for 134a... or if the one there is adjustable it can be set up to work with 134a.. I honestly donrt know all the parts that are in their fishbowl.. thats a 1961.. I worked on the A/C in a couple late 70s / early 80s units...



of course the OP could install a modern engine - driven A/C system in that bus and sans the original system.. in fact people might buy the paerts from that original system... there are quite a few A/C'd fishbowls in the bus collector groups im a member of.. hoswever very few people seem to have them functional.. maybe they just dont care.. .



I dont yet know the state of the A/C in the fishbowl that im working on getting.. but I'll definitely be making a valiant effort for it to push out cold air if ? when I get it..lolol
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Old 01-18-2020, 04:47 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
Sorry i didnt mean to confuse folks.. thats my point the normal operating compressor doesnt circulate a lot of oil thgrough the refrigerant.. although it does a little.. they all do a little.. its how the valve plates stay lubricated.. but not nearly the amount you get circulating through an axial or radial compressor system..



im not here to recommend anyone put flmmables in their A/C.. but i can say myself that I wrecked a car that had such.. and the A/C was on.. and said refrigerant leaked away and nothing burned..

R134a is flammable under pressure mixed with oil..



but thats my end on the subject.. again i dont recommend people install the stuff.. but I can say in a test lab that it is wickedly cold.



All A/C systems tend to try and pick up the oil if the system goes low on refrigerant.. its natural if the crankcase pressure goes low or negative and the system continues to run.. you can and will suck the oil right out.. (esp a compressor that is aged with worn rings) that oil will end up leaking out of the lines and over time of poor maintenance or guys just gassing it back up and going.. run the compressor crankcase out of oil..
(many old vehicles lacked Low pressure cutoff switches).. in fact I dont think our scouts had them..



I have yet to see a vehicle with a low oil cutout switch on the compressor. the same style compressors used in fixed refrigeration do...
OK Thank you, this explains things better. For a thermo king my book instructs putting in the refrigerant dry, no oil . The oil sump on the compressor gets filled itself, with a pressure pump to get it in, and has a sight glass to check the level. I can see how some oil will get around the system from the rings. This would just be burned off in an engine.

By the way R-290 in a R-12 system gets the evaporator right down to just above freezing measureing the air coming out.
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Old 01-18-2020, 05:42 PM   #26
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R-290 will waste a lot of R-12 compressors... I actually think 65% propane / 35% Butane is a perfect mix for R-12.. and oh yeah its wickedly nice and cold!..



ronnie exactly on charging the oil... you only put it in the crankcase.. sight glass half full.. and most of it stays there unless the freon gets low then it will suck some out.. the issue comes about when a system is run constantly low... the layman mechanic that punches enough freon into a unit till it "blows cold".. still has a leak and gets run till its blowing near hot air again.. repeat..



in a full system you generally dont pick up much oil.. thus why these systems when properly maintained casn run and run and blow cold sair.. as was previously mentioned.. oil is a non condensable.. only condensables make cold air..
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Old 01-19-2020, 09:24 AM   #27
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Quote:
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the "liquid" is Freon... asnd some used R-12, orhers R-22.. both of whiuch there are direct drop-in replacements for... no idea whether the whole system is there or not without seeing it.. ive worked on a few Fishbowl Air-conditiooning systems... each and every one is somewhat different. from what ive seen...



whether you try to keep it or not depemnds alot on how much of or all of it is there.. me being the modern guy who thinks driving through summer heat in 2020 is barbaric without A/C would fix the A/C at all costs.. well OK a big part of it for me would be the challenge of making it work... (and if you dont keep it, then be very careful about taking it and all of its components out.. there are likely fishbowl collectors looking for good A/C parts to fix their systems)..



alot has to do with whether you are keeping the bus windows and whether you are going to gut the interior walls out or not..



-Christopher
THANK YOU EVERYONE!! This is all really great information and we really appreciate all of your thoughts!!

*cadillackid - The whole system is there. Parts of the ducts running the length of the bus were already removed, where someone had put plumbing to grey and black water tanks. We're definitely keeping all of the windows and the walls were bare down to the insulation.

It might be useful for us to create a video in the near future, just on the a/c unit to show the inner-workings and a possible revival of the system. May be helpful for others?

We're about to pull the bus into the big shop on the property it's at and the guys we're working with were talking about taking down the shroud to look into it further. Is that a good idea? Here's a photo of the back-end of the bus, showing the shroud:



We're also curious about the black rubberized cover underneath the a/c unit, on the inside of the bus. Can it be easily taken off and put back on?



Thanks again for everyone's thoughts!!

- Peace & Love
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Old 01-19-2020, 12:04 PM   #28
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Black cover is insulation to keep water from condensing on the cold AC housing and raining on the passengers
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Old 01-19-2020, 02:54 PM   #29
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Black cover is insulation to keep water from condensing on the cold AC housing and raining on the passengers
Right on! Any thoughts on if it can be easily taken off and put back on?

- Peace & Love
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Old 01-19-2020, 03:00 PM   #30
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For as much desert dust as you removed from inside the bus -- I highly recommend removing the shroud to clean and inspect the parts that lie within.

Checking for corrosion and metal fatigue of the mounting structure I think is imperative. Weights and objects up high in the slip-stream tend to vibrate more than down low and protected.
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Old 01-19-2020, 06:41 PM   #31
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For as much desert dust as you removed from inside the bus -- I highly recommend removing the shroud to clean and inspect the parts that lie within.

Checking for corrosion and metal fatigue of the mounting structure I think is imperative. Weights and objects up high in the slip-stream tend to vibrate more than down low and protected.
Okay, cool! We will be sure to do that. Do you imagine the rubberized interior cover would be simple to put back on?

Thank you so much for your thoughts!

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Old 01-19-2020, 09:07 PM   #32
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I went just a little newer because I am Lazy
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Old 01-19-2020, 10:01 PM   #33
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Okay, cool! We will be sure to do that. Do you imagine the rubberized interior cover would be simple to put back on?

Thank you so much for your thoughts!

- Peace & Love
I haven't a clue how that part attaches...
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Old 01-20-2020, 09:41 AM   #34
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I went just a little newer because I am Lazy
Too cool! That looks solid! What year is it? What are your plans?

- Peace & Love
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Old 01-20-2020, 10:19 AM   #35
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I haven't a clue how that part attaches...
We'll do some more research and we'll ask our Fishbowl bus contact about the rubber cover.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

THANK YOU again to everyone who has contributed to this post!

*We're going to keep adding the bus progress to this thread as we go!

We haven't had much money to put towards this dream, so we've had to get creative along the way. It's taken so much patience, faith and effort over the past 8+ months. Thankfully, the universe stepped in on multiple occasions and had our backs in times we didn't know what to do. The ups and downs have been wild, but we're determined to convert this bus into a real home of our own.

We've been getting a lot of questions about the cost of the project so far, so we're going to be sharing our expenses for each step of the conversion. In this video, we cover the expenses of getting the bus, working on it, shipping it 1,800 miles, getting some work done to it and finding a place to park it to begin the conversion.



- Peace & Love
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Old 01-20-2020, 12:54 PM   #36
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1998 MCI 102-D3, just Going to put a bed and a few other things in it, not a full conversion
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Old 01-20-2020, 01:22 PM   #37
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That's awesome! It doesn't look like it needs much. Great find!

- Peace & Love
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Old 01-22-2020, 03:37 PM   #38
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Great job. Only wish that we were up to this. Love the VW also. If ever traveling thru or near St. Louis, feel free to connect and stay awhile.
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Old 01-22-2020, 04:11 PM   #39
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Fantastic!!!
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Old 01-22-2020, 07:07 PM   #40
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wow what a cool project. . and really interesting build album.. I am for sure going to be following this .. I also have a old bus (1946 white) that I have been building.. but I sure don't have your talent for making a cool build album..
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