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Westfalia A/C vents & removing plenum
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Zeitgeist 13
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2020 4:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Westfalia A/C vents & removing plenum Reply with quote

Baby Cheebus weeps salty tears whenever someone removes A/C from a van. Sad.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2020 1:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Westfalia A/C vents & removing plenum Reply with quote

After a few years of making my own faceplates that were okay, I installed the Rhino designs faceplate. It's an easy and attractive solution. I didn't bother installing speakers. I have nice MB Quart speakers/amps/equalizers up front and typically listen to a bluetooth speaker when camping.

https://rhinodesignstudio.com/product/westfalia-a-c-vent-cover-board/

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2020 1:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Westfalia A/C vents & removing plenum Reply with quote

Curious, did you attach it to the original face or does it replace the original face? I'm about to the point where I ready to reinstall the evap and both cabinets.

And more important? How does it blow? Thanks.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2020 1:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Westfalia A/C vents & removing plenum Reply with quote

I attached it to the original A/C faceplate. Louis suggested attaching it using screws that retain the speakers. Since I didn't install speakers I replaced the 6 screws securing the grill with longer screws that reached into the original faceplate. You can see the rubber bumper trim of the original just below the new one. The Rhinodesigns product has a nice grey t-moulding on the bottom, vinyl piping on the other sides.

It still seems to blow every bit as well as before after the plenum removal.

Now my brain is going to putting small storage cabinets where the speakers were. Maybe two boxes about 6"x9"x6" - 7" or so deep. The resistors for the fans would be in the way which would prompt replacing them PWM controllers that I've seen several folks add...
https://www.amazon.com/JIUWU-Modulator-Governor-St...mp;sr=1-17
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shizzon
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2020 1:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Westfalia A/C vents & removing plenum Reply with quote

Has anyone tried filling in the area where the speaker wiring went with instatrim?

https://www.amazon.com/InstaTrim-Flexible-Self-Adhesive-Caulk-Solution/dp/B07VWS41YQ?th=1
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2020 1:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Westfalia A/C vents & removing plenum Reply with quote

On my 90, the speaker wires are attached with tiny aluminum clips. The groove is where the vent assembly seats against the cabinet face.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2020 2:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Westfalia A/C vents & removing plenum Reply with quote

MarkWard wrote:
On my 90, the speaker wires are attached with tiny aluminum clips. The groove is where the vent assembly seats against the cabinet face.


I already routed the speaker wires behind the panel face, so was thinking about some kind of thing to fill the gap where the speaker wires were and possible cover the vent.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2020 8:18 am    Post subject: Re: Westfalia A/C vents & removing plenum Reply with quote

No experience with the groove filler, but the aftermarket grill and face board got me to thinking over the weekend. There might be a way to adapt it so you could actually service the blower motors without taking it all apart. The VW replica grill is just not my taste, but maybe with the speakers installed it would stand out less.

What they are charging for the board and grill seems very reasonable to me. I doubt they are getting rich from them.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2020 7:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Westfalia A/C vents & removing plenum Reply with quote

^^^ I was thinking a out that as well: how to make the faceplate hinged to allow easy access to the a/c box to get ta the motors, resistors, drains, etc. Give them a call to see if they have a non-VW grill. Louis was very helpful when I chatted with him.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2020 7:07 am    Post subject: Re: Westfalia A/C vents & removing plenum Reply with quote

jimf909 wrote:
I attached it to the original A/C faceplate. Louis suggested attaching it using screws that retain the speakers. Since I didn't install speakers I replaced the 6 screws securing the grill with longer screws that reached into the original faceplate. You can see the rubber bumper trim of the original just below the new one. The Rhinodesigns product has a nice grey t-moulding on the bottom, vinyl piping on the other sides.

It still seems to blow every bit as well as before after the plenum removal.

Now my brain is going to putting small storage cabinets where the speakers were. Maybe two boxes about 6"x9"x6" - 7" or so deep. The resistors for the fans would be in the way which would prompt replacing them PWM controllers that I've seen several folks add...
https://www.amazon.com/JIUWU-Modulator-Governor-St...mp;sr=1-17



I've held my new faceplate up to the cabinet a few times. I like it a lot! The design is well done, and I also agree it is a good value for the dollars. I am just trying to come to grips with the need to cut it for speakers. One thing I have been toying with is adding a short section of plywood to form a slightly longer A/C cabinet with the faceplate sitting like 3 or 4 inches further forward. Perhaps even have the speakers facing downward from the extension rather than cutting the faceplate.

On the PWM, I think that position 1 and 2 on the front dash selector go straight to the A/C blower, and the resistors in the cabinet are for positions 3 and 4. Is this how you trace that circuit? I am wondering how to reduce the stress on the circuits in the D pillar, as I have melted one relay back there and I am concerned that the wires are a bit toasty already. That was from running position 3 for ~90 minutes, and it stunk really really bad, and I was quite frightened. Now I only use position 3 or 4 for at most 5 minutes, usually only 1 minute. I guess, my question on the PWM would be in regards to how to use it, where to put it, etc. I could see having it in the back, and setting from there depending on the season/weather so that the front selector would essentially be 1-3 where the rear controller would then adjust the blast of the blower when on the high setting up front(on setting 3 or 4).

Perhaps the PWM would be up front to replace the front selector? I'm just curious about the thinking here.

Thanks,

-bobby
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2020 9:59 am    Post subject: Re: Westfalia A/C vents & removing plenum Reply with quote

Not sure about your question. The resistors slow the blower not speed it up. At least that's my understanding.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2020 11:16 am    Post subject: Re: Westfalia A/C vents & removing plenum Reply with quote

Mark, thanks for that, as usual, I read thing backwards.. I hate dyslexia. Of course somewhere in my brain I did know that is what resistors do...
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2020 11:31 am    Post subject: Re: Westfalia A/C vents & removing plenum Reply with quote

No problem.

My impressions are the camper AC factory install is ridiculous. It might have been fine new and under warranty, but its just not mechanic friendly on many levels. Too many pieces and to many big parts to remove.

I keep thinking I am overlooking the trick. There was no way to replace the AC hoses back there without removing the side cabinet. I can't see a way to reinstall the side cabinet with the evaporator attached to the ceiling and connected to the hoses. Its quite the jig saw puzzle.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2020 11:33 am    Post subject: Re: Westfalia A/C vents & removing plenum Reply with quote

bobbyblack wrote:
I am wondering how to reduce the stress on the circuits in the D pillar, as I have melted one relay back there and I am concerned that the wires are a bit toasty already. That was from running position 3 for ~90 minutes, and it stunk really really bad, and I was quite frightened. Now I only use position 3 or 4 for at most 5 minutes, usually only 1 minute.

I guess, my question on the PWM would be in regards to how to use it, where to put it, etc. I could see having it in the back, and setting from there depending on the season/weather so that the front selector would essentially be 1-3 where the rear controller would then adjust the blast of the blower when on the high setting up front(on setting 3 or 4).

Perhaps the PWM would be up front to replace the front selector? I'm just curious about the thinking here.

-bobby


Bobby, running the fans on 3-4 and getting a smell/heat is a concern. If the fans are gummed up they'll draw more current to run at higher speeds and may overload the wires leading to heat and unmentionables. I think the start is to check your fans for resistance by putting an ammeter in the circuit to see how much current they're drawing (subject to advice from the experts).

As for the PWM, Ron Chandler and ItalJohn have posted on that. Yes, it's located in the dash. Here's a Youyube from ItalJohn on his install for the front blower.


Link

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2020 1:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Westfalia A/C vents & removing plenum Reply with quote

The video by ItalJohn does explain it quite well. Looks like what is needed is a pair of fat wires from the dash back to the blower. As it was built, seems that smaller wires run back there, and the relay does the job of switching power on to the fat red wires from the Alt to the D pillar up to the blower.

As for gummed up blower... well, not sure if that is the case, but I can stick my finger in it now and spin it pretty easy, its not stiff at all. I can borrow a meter to check draw though.

The problem I had was the relay in the D pillar that shunts power to the blower was corroded internally, or at least had that look after I pulled it out and dissected it. Perhaps it was the wrong one, installed after the PO had a similar issue. Certainly was different looking than the one in the D pillar in the blue/white '86 Vanagon in my yard. When I was going over the in-op A/C in 2016, I did see that the wires in the D pillar were showing some age or having been warm before. I did make sure all the connectors were tight, as this would be a common problem with loose connections. When I eventually found the source of the in-op, I did go back and look/feel the harness in the D pillar, and was assured by what I felt -- not hot to the touch. Perhaps the ticking time-bomb was the relay itself. Certainly could have been the end of the road. Good reason to go with a modern solution like the PWM seems to be. I wonder how long a run of wire can be used between the on/off/% switch and the PWM. Would be good to place the PWM inline with the air flow, to provide cooling to the unit. Keeping in mind, of course, that air flow in an A/C vent can get moist in certain conditions.

-bobby
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 12:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Westfalia A/C vents & removing plenum Reply with quote

Ok, this is directed to those that have modified the cabinet with slots for the drain hoses.

Are you attaching the drain tray to the evaporator somehow prior to installing the cabinet housing? My drain tray wasn't attached that I could tell, but it does seem to index on the blower housings on my 90.

I like the idea of being able to drop the cabinet without disconnecting the drain hoses. I also could connect the drain tray to the evaporator core.

Thank you for any insight. My drain hoses are too stiff to really use them again. I noticed the "funny pipe" used in irrigation sprinkler systems is the same dimensions. Its not really flexible, but could be molded I bet with heat. Otherwise I'm thinking clear tube as long as it doesn't kink.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 4:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Westfalia A/C vents & removing plenum Reply with quote

MarkWard wrote:
Ok, this is directed to those that have modified the cabinet with slots for the drain hoses.

Are you attaching the drain tray to the evaporator somehow prior to installing the cabinet housing? My drain tray wasn't attached that I could tell, but it does seem to index on the blower housings on my 90.

I like the idea of being able to drop the cabinet without disconnecting the drain hoses. I also could connect the drain tray to the evaporator core.

Thank you for any insight. My drain hoses are too stiff to really use them again. I noticed the "funny pipe" used in irrigation sprinkler systems is the same dimensions. Its not really flexible, but could be molded I bet with heat. Otherwise I'm thinking clear tube as long as it doesn't kink.

Yes, on mine the tray is suspended below the evaporator with the aid of plumber's tape, perforated metal tape, one piece on each side running from the front to the back and supporting the tray. Once in place, you can attach the hoses and route them, then lift the upper cabinet into position. Vast improvement. It's not exactly attached to the evaporator, but bolts to the ceiling just in front of and behind it.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Can you use fuel line for your drain hoses?
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Last edited by campism on Fri Jun 12, 2020 4:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 4:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Westfalia A/C vents & removing plenum Reply with quote

Iím going to the local marine supply tomorrow. Iíve got the tray and one of the hoses.

I had to google plumbers tape. We call it plumbers strap. I donít suppose you took a picture of the tray supported. Thank you.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 4:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Westfalia A/C vents & removing plenum Reply with quote

I had that cabinet out and reinstalled before I realized how important that setup can be. I'll see if there's any reasonable way to get a pic without full disassembly.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 5:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Westfalia A/C vents & removing plenum Reply with quote

No need to do that. I was already imagining what you did. What surprised me was when we took the cabinet down a scrap of cabinet material fell out. Upon inspection itís a support for the bottom of the tray. Tiny staples held it
to the floor of the cabinet. I have since glued it back to the floor of the cabinet. It even had a strip of headliner material on it.

Iíll post up what I come up with. Thanks.
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