1976 Eleganza II

pvfjr

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Oct 3, 2019
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Aumsville OR
Sorry to hear about your ceiling panels! I'd hate to think about starting over with sheet metal, and wasting all that headliner material. Could you reinforce the plastic with a thinner sheet metal and sandwich it all together? You used the 3/16 paneling, right? Did your corrugations run transverse or longitudinal? Were they hard to snap into place, or do you think you could've cut them a little longer to get them to stay up? Could the ends be shimmed with a strip of something to increase the compressive forces and keep it from inverting?

I'm wondering if the heavier thickness of Coroplast would do better as well. Hasn't someone had luck with it already? Hopefully your lower wall panels will be fine.
 

tmsnyder

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Oct 7, 2019
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Buffalo NY
Once the upper cabinets go back in, it should get a little better. And I'm considering some hockey puck LED lights running on AA batteries as additional support. Last resort might be a support rib on every roof rib.

I just wanted to get this info out there in case others are thinking about using plastic cardboard.

Yes it was 3/16 polypropylene plastic cardboard.
 

tmsnyder

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Oct 7, 2019
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Buffalo NY
Working on the dash A/C:

A Four Seasons rebuilt compressor from AutoZone, stock A6 version. They come prefilled with 3 oz of PAG oil from Four Seasons, not sure about the viscosity, couldn't determine.
So my choice was to drain the oil, maybe try to flush it? and then refill with mineral oil for R12, or stick with the PAG oil and refill with either R134a or R12a, Duracool. I chose to go with R12a which is compatible with PAG oil.

The expansion valve was AC Delco 15-5780, comes with an adapter and that fit fine. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001O7WZDS/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The drier is a Four Seasons 33211 and fit fine but there's no sight glass:


I put 4 oz of PAG 100 in the drier to make a total of 7 oz in the system.

The whole thing was apart so I flushed all the old components with 5 gallons of gasoline. I set the container up on a ladder, siphoned through the components and collected the gas. I did the evaporator, condenser, and all the hoses. Some stuff came out in the initial flush then they ran clear. I blew them out with compressed air and I'll feed the gas to my lawn mower, or maybe my parts washer.

This was all assembled with new green o-rings, lubed with PAG oil.

Initially tried to pull a vacuum and seemed like I had a major leak. So I charged it with 80psi of air pressure and sprayed everything with soapy water looking for bubbles. Couldn't find any. Hooked the vacuum back up and it pulled down to 28" Hg and is holding steady with the pump off.

One remaining problem is that the low pressure service port has a broken off schrader valve in it. It leaks, it's toast, and there's no way to get it out. I do have good brass caps for them so I can seal it off and abandon it. I'm going to install a line piercing valve from Grainger on the low pressure line to get a working service port. https://www.grainger.com/product/JB-INDUSTRIES-Line-Piercing-Valve-3DXG1

Once it's installed and the rv running I'll try charging it with about 14 oz of Duracool.
 
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Matt Colie

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Oct 25, 2019
322
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South East Michigan near DTW
Rich,

If you look around, there are some very specific and good tools for extracting broken valve cores. At this time, I do not actually remember where I acquired the one that I have, but I did need it and have used it success more than once.

Matt
 
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tmsnyder

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Oct 7, 2019
422
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Buffalo NY
I looked around and couldn't find one to borrow locally, tried pulling it out with dental picks, it wouldn't budge. I mean, it's wedged in there tight enough that it broke right off the top part of the core so not much chance for me to get it out with tweezers etc.

After installing the piercing fitting and pulling a vacuum prior to actually running the piercing tip in, it held a vacuum and didn't leak down so seemed good. Pierced it and pulled a vacuum on the system . Installed 2.25 cans of Duracool and darned if the thing doesn't work pretty well. All kinds of condensate dripping out of the evaporator box.

Had a bit of a time getting the fan to blow on any of the settings. Took off and examined the resistor pack, looked good. Cleaned the terminals a bit, nothing crazy . Examined the high speed relay, that checked out. Pulled the A/C Heater controls from the dash, those probed good. Put it all back together and all the lower speeds started working. Miracles do happen. Whatever I did must have done something.

Plugged in the vacuum to the damper controls and that stuff all started working. Another miracle.

Discovered that my fresh rebuilt alternator wasn't putting out any voltage, so that was the problem with having no Hi speed fan. Changed that and now the Hi speed works.

It may have mostly been that the electrical connections throughout the fan system were all just so oxidized and cruddy. Just by yanking them off, cleaning and putting them back on seems to have solved the fan problems.

So now that the A/C is working pretty decent and blowing cold and hard from the plastic under dash plenum (on Recirc) it seems as described, OK but still somewhat marginal on hot days. Luckily I'm in upstate NY, we've never had a triple digit day. Today it's a pretty hot day and sitting in the driveway it seems like it might be ok as long as we don't get up in the mid 90s. jmo

Before putting in a monster A/C box I'll give it a try, we'll know this summer.
 
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tmsnyder

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Buffalo NY
This was my instrument panel cover, it will not come off b/c the glass doesn't allow it to get past the flange. I've drawn on a pencil line where I'll cut it. There's a crack in the middle part b/c I was trying to get it up and over with no luck.
20200624_172750.jpg

Started cutting with my oscillating cutter but ran out of clearance and had to switch to a acksaw blade taped to a dowel, cuts on the pull stroke. Got to the crack and the whole cover could be removed up and over without removing the rest of the planned material. Took out the old dead radio and ordered a basic CD player with bluetooth etc. :
20200624_195611.jpg


Was able to get seat belts in, and wall panels, and seats installed. Starting to come together:
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tmsnyder

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Oct 7, 2019
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Buffalo NY
My wife really likes the way the front is more open air feeling without the upper cabinet over the dinette. No cabinets were on the bunk / couch side either. The old yellowed plastic trim shattered when removing, I literally walked along and smashed it with a hammer to get it out. So the aluminum is exposed, this is my way of covering it up using scraps of headliner material and scraps of 1/2" plywood left over from the rear bed platform recently built. The bits of adhesive will clean right off with thinner/gas.

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tmsnyder

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Oct 7, 2019
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Buffalo NY
I wish the window rubber trim would have cleaned up better but this was as good as I could get it. Some of the pieces are better than others. If I do a window blind box it will cover up a lot or all of the rubber trim.

20200628_153403.jpg
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JodyPackerfan

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Feb 2, 2020
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Racine, Wisconsin
My wife really likes the way the front is more open air feeling without the upper cabinet over the dinette. No cabinets were on the bunk / couch side either. The old yellowed plastic trim shattered when removing, I literally walked along and smashed it with a hammer to get it out. So the aluminum is exposed, this is my way of covering it up using scraps of headliner material and scraps of 1/2" plywood left over from the rear bed platform recently built. The bits of adhesive will clean right off with thinner/gas.

View attachment 3315
View attachment 3316
I like it
 
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tmsnyder

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Oct 7, 2019
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Buffalo NY
Had an interesting observation this weekend. Traveling along thinking that the engine seems to be buzzing along more than a little over 2000 rpm expected for 60mph on my 3.07 FD, and not having a tachometer installed. I know it's a 3.07 b/c I had the pan off and counted teeth, it's definitely a 3.07, left me wondering, what RPM is that? I tried to get one of my kids to pull out a musical tuner to figure out the frequency but got no traction with them.

Curious about it and having nothing better to do I downloaded an audio tachometer on the smart phone, changed the settings to 4 stroke, 8 cylinder and sure enough it was turning 2600 RPM at 60mph. The mph was measured with Waze on the smart phone. Definitely not 2280rpm expected by the 3.07 gears.

This coach came from Southern California via El Paso and had a lot of money spent on it at one time. Lots of Ragusa parts, lots of options. So it wouldn't surprise me that someone put a PowerDrive in it. I have not had the rear cover off to look. But the numbers make sense, the power drive results in about a 3.50 overall drive ratio. 60mph at 3.50 ratio is right on the money at 2600 rpm.

Anyways I thought that was interesting.

Now to figure out why I'm running power steering fluid on the ground, and going through about 1 quart of motor oil every 100 miles. :(
 
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tmsnyder

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Oct 7, 2019
422
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Buffalo NY
I've fixed the power steering pump leak. Was going to swap it out for a rebuilt one but no one has it! Ended up removing the reservoir (two bolts and the high pressure port), tapped off the reservoir, cleaned everything and reassembled with new orings from a cheap HF oring set. Put it back on and no leaks! Them not having it on hand made me save $50 on the rebuilt unit. Now I just need to steam clean off the engine and start looking for motor oil leaks.
 

tmsnyder

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Oct 7, 2019
422
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Buffalo NY
Also, we just got back from a 3 day trip to the Adirondacks. First trip with the new interior. Thinking about the storage, or lack of storage in the GMC's and how we as a family will pack. To make matters worse (or better?), I ditched the big ugly roof top storage and since with no storage up there and it wasn't needed, also ditched the Ragusa ladder. And to further reduce our storage options, we opted to not install the fairly long overhead cabinet at the front dinette, so there's no overheads forward of the galley at all, making it nice and open.

In the rear I ditched the side facing dinette and built a bed platform with multiple storage areas under the bed and removed both the skinny OEM cabinets under the windows in the back. In the new permanent bed platform, the main storage area is in the middle, accessed by lifting up the mattress, but there are other smaller areas over the water tank, over the generator, and a skinny one near the propane tank. Those require folding the mattress over on itself in order to access them. Storage yet to build in the back is going to be a fairly good sized cabinet at the foot of our bed, since both old under window cabinets are gone and we sleep with our head under the passenger side window. What used to be two skinny cabinets is going to be one good sized one at our feet. This will put the hallway near our feet, making it really easy to get in and out of the bed.

The three kids packed in duffles, and my wife and I packed the two overhead cabinets in the back.

We got all done packing for the trip and I found two cabinets unused in the galley area, one front dinette was unused, both front seat bases were empty, the smaller storage areas under the back bed were empty, the center area had 5 folding chairs but was mostly empty, and under the bunk/couch was mostly empty.

The hallway closet only had a single rubbermaid tote in it. We're planning on putting in shelves and they will be spaced to match the height of TBD storage bins, we just need to find bins that will efficiently use the width and length available. So there will be a ton of clothes storage space there as well.

Long story short, we were worried about the GMC working for us space-wise, since we came from a Class A Holiday Rambler with all its basement storage. But it seems like the GMC can work just fine, we just can't bring along a bunch of stuff we don't use like we did with the HRC.
 

tmsnyder

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Oct 7, 2019
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Buffalo NY
I've ordered a 22k btu under dash evaporator to go under the front couch/bunks. 90F weather last weekend and the dash air plus roof air couldn't keep up. Will post pics of the install.
 

tmsnyder

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Oct 7, 2019
422
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Buffalo NY
Are you traveling with a family? If it is just you and the significant other, put a curtain behind the front seats to isolate the cockpit. Dash air will easily Cool the cockpit. JWID
Yes, us and 3 kids plus dog. We did this in our previous class A, a curtain just aft of the galley. Block off the hallway, bathroom, and rear bedroom to keep the cool air in the front. 3 years ago we traveled to Yellowstone and down into Utah to Vegas in 105F heat. It works!

We could still do that with the curtain to block the hallway, good idea!