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Old 03-03-2018, 01:21 PM   #1
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Is there an inboard Starcool filter?

I've got a 2001 E350 RB50, pretty much original stuff. It's got Starcool AC in the rear that I just got repaired at much cost. One thing I never did figure out is if there's anything I need to do for maintenance on it.

If you've got the RB50 I assume you've got one of these units under the bench seat on the drivers side. This one's covered in dust and appears to have a ratty old filter taped on the starboard side. It's inline with the blowers above but I am not sure what part of the AC system this is. I've looked at the Starcool info that came with the van and checked out their website but still have not identified this component or filter.

So I guess my first question is what is this unit, and second, do I need to clean or replace this filter on what schedule? I'm at least going to vacuum the heck out of it.

You can teach this old dog new tricks.

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Old 03-03-2018, 02:26 PM   #2
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That dusty old filter is mostlikely in front of the evap coils and helps to keep the coils, fan and ducts cleaner. Without that filter, everything behind it would have the same amount of dust inside it. Dust coatiing the coils will decrease the efficiency of the entire unit and reduce total airflow. A lot of dust could possibly, clog the coils completely. I don't own a Starcool, but I'm pretty sure you could remove the filter and blow it out, or perhaps better yet simply get a home furnace filter, cut it to size and install after vaccuming everything out. Other than an occasional cleaning, I'm not aware of any other routine maintenance needed, but if there is something, I'm sure someone will chime in.

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Old 03-03-2018, 02:49 PM   #3
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Mine has a foam filter placed over it. I have removed it and cleaned it before and stuck it back in place. You could just buy some foam and cut your own.
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Old 03-04-2018, 08:46 AM   #4
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Scott, may I ask where you had your Starcool system repaired? I also live in SLC and have a 2001 SMB which has nonfunctioning Starcool.
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Old 03-04-2018, 12:22 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by KTMRIDER View Post
Mine has a foam filter placed over it. I have removed it and cleaned it before and stuck it back in place. You could just buy some foam and cut your own.

I just wash it and throw it back on. You should blow out the evaporator once an a while. Also check the one that sits just below the driver on the frame. I use a hose on it and check for any small rocks that might lodge in the fan housing.
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Old 03-04-2018, 01:47 PM   #6
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Hamhock, I tried 3 places in Salt Lake to work on that AC system. First, Little Garage (who ran an AC test with dye on the front of the system, which didn't help since it's tied to the Starcool, too), then AAA Speedometer (never go there), then to Mike Palmer. The jury is still out on it it's really been fixed, though. They found a leak in the front and "fixed" that, but since it's winter I really haven't been able to test it out- last 2 times the Freon leaked out in about a month or two. I sure hope they fixed it for real, really sick of paying for fixes that aren't fixed!
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Old 03-05-2018, 05:21 AM   #7
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In another thread here on SMB Forums I suggested finding a shop more dedicated to servicing shuttle buses and similar commercial vehicles that have any sort of added A/C or refrigeration units. They tend to not be "cheap" but are far more dedicated and knowledgeable to making the correct and long-lasting repairs.

Too many automotive service outfits that offer A/C service do so more as an afterthought, one more offered service to create an invoice. FWIW I'm refitting a stock Ford A/C system with the auxiliary A/C-heater system, eliminating the rear A/C function. I'm lucky in having as a customer a big truck shop that installs and services the APU systems so often found on those vehicles these days. Their A/C mechanics have worked at servicing all sorts of systems including huge commercial building units.

Just an idea---I also hate paying for service that doesn't fix a thing.

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