Repairing a Vintage Airstream A/C (Part 3): Replacing Parts

While my contractor, John, was researching and buying parts for the A/C repair, I needed to help him figure out how to power the A/C so we could test it throughout the process. Up until this point, I’d spent the majority of my time working on structural elements and making the interior livable, and had entrusted the systems work to my contractors. Fortunately, I’d purchased some vintage Airstream manuals on eBay for my trailer as a reference, and shared my findings with John:

This shows the 12 volt connection between the thermostat control and the air conditioner.
This shows the connection between the main power source (the plug at the rear of the trailer) and the A/C, with the thermostat locations. John later discovered that the circuit breaker for the A/C was actually at the front of the Airstream.

John’s first step was to disconnect the compressor and remove the fan motor, then remove the unit from the top of the trailer so that he could work more easily on the ground:


Once we got the unit on the ground, it was time to remove the original compressor & install the new one.

Connecting copper lines to the new compressor.

The following day, while John went to work installing a new filter (for protecting the refrigerant system from foreign matter), and dry fit the new fan motor, I prepared for us to reinstall the unit on the roof:

John measuring the original fan shaft so that the new one can be cut to the proper size.
Connecting copper lines to the new filter.
TremPro 635 sealant used around roof penetrations to prevent rainwater from entering when the unit is reinstalled.

Lastly, we reinstalled the unit on the roof and John connected the new copper lines to the existing ones running through the roof of the trailer:

Reconnecting the lines.
Testing the connections for leaks.

Once that was done, what remained was to put in the new fan motor with blades, install new capacitors and a thermostat, then test the system…


  • The work was all done by a professional, so the tools were part of his personal kit (various / unknown)


  • Fan Motor: GE 3651 Permanent Split Capacitor, Multiple Mount (Model: 5KCP39DG5826ET)
  • Compressor: Tecumseh AK Model
  • Filter / Drier: Sporlan Catch-All (C-052-S, 1/4 ODF Solder)


Up next: Repairing a Vintage Airstream A/C (Part 4): Final Installation

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