M116A3 Build

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Re: M116A3 Build

Postby lfhoward » Wed Oct 14, 2020 9:33 pm

pchast wrote:Its difficult to access that board from this view.
I see no heat discoloration. When you check the
back of it are there any indications of a problem...
The burner setup looks Ok from that angle.

I'm glad you were able to get to one of their techs
to trouble shoot this.
:thumbsup: Waiting to hear its fixed.


Thanks Featherlite and Pete.

In terms of heat discoloration, there is a bit on the corner of the circuit board that’s the closest to the flame. Looks like the board is possibly a little delaminated in this corner, on the bottom. That could be the problem or it could be one of the little widgets attached to the board just gave up the ghost. To my eye, not being an electrical engineer, I can’t tell. I do know that the red LED that is supposed to be red when the heater is on, and also flash error codes, is not working well. It is often not lit, or it’s dim. Occasionally it’s bright. So there is some kind of tenuous connection in the board somewhere.

I’m really hoping that the new board will be plug and play and immediately solve the issue. :worship:
My off-road camper build on an M116A3 military chassis:
http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=62581
Tow vehicle: 2008 Jeep Liberty with a 4 inch lift.
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Re: M116A3 Build

Postby lfhoward » Sun Oct 18, 2020 7:23 pm

Did a little camping in the Poconos this weekend.

Campsite, trailer & side tent kitchen.
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Lots of quilts for nights in the 30°’s.
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Keeping us warm with the Little Buddy heater until the Propex is repaired & installed.
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My off-road camper build on an M116A3 military chassis:
http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=62581
Tow vehicle: 2008 Jeep Liberty with a 4 inch lift.
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Re: M116A3 Build

Postby lfhoward » Mon Oct 26, 2020 1:33 pm

Look what just arrived from England!

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Can you guess which one?

Whoot! Looking forward to installing it and test firing the Propex!!!
My off-road camper build on an M116A3 military chassis:
http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=62581
Tow vehicle: 2008 Jeep Liberty with a 4 inch lift.
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Re: M116A3 Build

Postby lfhoward » Mon Oct 26, 2020 4:41 pm

The new PCB for my Propex HS1600 arrived in the post today, so naturally I had to give it a try!

My heater works again! I couldn’t be happier about that. Now I can install it in my camper trailer just in time for cold weather.

Here is the heater set up on my back deck.
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The exhaust (silver) and combustion air intake (black) hoses will be under the trailer.
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I have a muffler installed and the exhaust is barely audible above the noise of the fan. I have an additional 4 feet of exhaust pipe that I’ll attach once it’s on the trailer.
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The intake cap discourages insects and water from being sucked in.
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And here is the hot air duct. It has no problem making tight corners like it will have to inside the heater cubby.
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The duct work is for an Eberspacher diesel heater clone, so not expensive at all.

The heat blasting out of this thing is very hot and dry. You can see in the first photo that I have a pressure gauge attached. After taking that photo I dialed in the propane pressure at the regulator to be 14.87 WC, or 37 mbar of pressure to match the British specs. Too high and I’d waste propane unnecessarily and too low and the flame might go out. It seems happy just under 15 on my gauge. If anyone is reading this and has a North American spec heater (from VanCafe or WestyVentures for example), yours is designed for 11 WC, not 14.9. I’m glad my regulator had that much flexibility. I won’t be running any other appliances on the gas line so no worries about over pressurizing anything.

Next up will be refurbishing the WV Westfalia propane tank and figuring out a way to mount it under the trailer. Stay tuned!
My off-road camper build on an M116A3 military chassis:
http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=62581
Tow vehicle: 2008 Jeep Liberty with a 4 inch lift.
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Re: M116A3 Build

Postby bdosborn » Mon Oct 26, 2020 6:02 pm

Way to stick with it! Nice job. :thumbsup:
Bruce
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Re: M116A3 Build

Postby lfhoward » Mon Oct 26, 2020 6:15 pm

bdosborn wrote:Way to stick with it! Nice job. :thumbsup:
Bruce

Thanks Bruce! I was thinking this had turned into a Propex heater troubleshooting thread instead of a trailer build thread! It definitely feels good to finally get the heater working. Even with the detective work and having to order a new circuit board from Propex's mothership in Britain, this used heater was probably something like 1/3 the cost of new. If anyone wants a Propex but the cost of a new one is a bit overwhelming, keep a close eye on EBay. I looked for mine for several months before this one showed up, but it's worth the effort. If you don't find what you're looking for on the American side of the pond, check https://www.ebay.co.uk. Since Propex is a British company, there are many more over in the UK on the used market. If you find one, ask the seller if they are willing to ship international.
My off-road camper build on an M116A3 military chassis:
http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=62581
Tow vehicle: 2008 Jeep Liberty with a 4 inch lift.
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Re: M116A3 Build

Postby lfhoward » Tue Oct 27, 2020 10:53 am

Moving on to propane tank refurbishment...

My 1987 WV Westfalia tank is overall in great shape for its age. The former owner told me that his van had been garaged for much of its life, and it shows. There are some places where nics from stones have chipped off paint and the bare metal underneath rusted a little.

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Some close ups of some of the toughest spots.
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I have the means to sand down the rust spots or to sand off all the paint and start from scratch. It seems a shame to go that far, since 95% of the original paint is still on it. Would you take the whole thing down to bare metal or just focus on the rust spots?
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Here is what I want to put on it after removing the rust.
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I’m interested in what people think in terms of prepping the tank and repainting. Would you strip off all the old paint before repainting or not? What are the pros and cons? How much work does it really need?
My off-road camper build on an M116A3 military chassis:
http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=62581
Tow vehicle: 2008 Jeep Liberty with a 4 inch lift.
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Re: M116A3 Build

Postby John61CT » Tue Oct 27, 2020 12:18 pm

No need to remove paint that is well adhered

just the loose flakey bits or where rust crept underneath.

Do remove the rust, use a "converter" asap afterwards, then primer then paint
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Re: M116A3 Build

Postby lfhoward » Tue Oct 27, 2020 1:46 pm

John61CT wrote:No need to remove paint that is well adhered

just the loose flakey bits or where rust crept underneath.

Do remove the rust, use a "converter" asap afterwards, then primer then paint

Hi John, do you have a rust converter that you recommend? This is different from a rust dissolver, correct?
My off-road camper build on an M116A3 military chassis:
http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=62581
Tow vehicle: 2008 Jeep Liberty with a 4 inch lift.
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Re: M116A3 Build

Postby John61CT » Tue Oct 27, 2020 1:56 pm

google ospho

also an etching primer

Por15
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Re: M116A3 Build

Postby lfhoward » Tue Oct 27, 2020 4:57 pm

John61CT wrote:google ospho

also an etching primer

Por15

I read up on Ospho, which turns Iron Oxide into Iron Phosphate, which is black in color. Looking at the tank, I wonder if this was already done? Many rust spots, with the exception of some of the speckles on the bottom side (2nd photo), are black instead of orange.
My off-road camper build on an M116A3 military chassis:
http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=62581
Tow vehicle: 2008 Jeep Liberty with a 4 inch lift.
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Re: M116A3 Build

Postby lfhoward » Tue Oct 27, 2020 10:59 pm

Openings and important safety labels masked off and ready.

Image

Edit: The tank has not been treated with rust converter and the dark areas you see are good old fashioned rust. I ordered some Ospho and will let you know how well it works. I’ll be wire brushing this first to remove loose paint flakes and loose surface rust. The Ospho will convert what’s left into a hard paintable surface.
My off-road camper build on an M116A3 military chassis:
http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=62581
Tow vehicle: 2008 Jeep Liberty with a 4 inch lift.
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Re: M116A3 Build

Postby lfhoward » Sat Oct 31, 2020 11:13 pm

Today I worked on the engineering for hanging the VW Westfalia tank under the trailer.

It will go here:
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There are no beams in the locations I need, so I will make my own.
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I’ll be using Superstrut across the trailer’s frame rails to suspend the tank. Here is a proof of concept. The tank bolts up nicely to the strut, which is the same width as the tank’s mounting feet.
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At each mounting point there are 2 nuts holding the tank on, one inside the strut and another on top. Red thread locker will ensure nothing moves.
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Each strut will be bolted to the side of the C-shaped frame rail using brackets, and held tight to the top with beam clamps. Having redundancy will increase the safety factor. The Superstrut reaches across to the other frame rail, about 4 feet to the right, where there will be another beam clamp.
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Now I just need to find time to cut the Superstrut to the right lengths, and prep and paint everything. That includes the tank itself! At least I am beginning to see how this heater project will come together now.
My off-road camper build on an M116A3 military chassis:
http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=62581
Tow vehicle: 2008 Jeep Liberty with a 4 inch lift.
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Re: M116A3 Build

Postby lfhoward » Wed Nov 18, 2020 4:57 pm

Not much of an update, I know, but I sawed the 10 foot Superstrut piece I had into 4 pieces.

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These lengths of strut will be used to mount the tank under the trailer. Next up will be repainting the tank.
My off-road camper build on an M116A3 military chassis:
http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=62581
Tow vehicle: 2008 Jeep Liberty with a 4 inch lift.
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Re: M116A3 Build

Postby featherliteCT1 » Wed Nov 18, 2020 5:59 pm

I like the way you have engineered your mounting system. Well thought out! Your build is fun to watch. :applause:
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