Obsolescence- finding parts

December 9, 2008 by
Filed under: Op-Ed, Service Issues 

I wrote a blog post about cleaning the Norcold burner on my RV.net blog. On the refrigerator I was working on at that time (a Norcold 662), I needed to simply replace the burner.
I grabbed a new burner off the shelf, installed it, and everything was good to go.
I then went to re-order that burner, and found out that Norcold now considers anything over 10 years old to be obsolete.
Now- our current travel trailer is a 1977 model- just over 30 years old. It’s still in good shape (though it does suffer a bit from the ‘shoe makers children’ syndrome)- but I can still buy

1977 Airstream

1977 Airstream

factory parts for it, though a door lock is a mind numbing $500+, simply because it is hand machined, but I can still buy one.
On the Norcold burner, there is a new burner that will fit right in. The only difference is the original uses a compression connection, with a ferrule and copper sealing ring, and the new one uses a flare connection. A modification to a flare connection should not be at all hard, and it really wouldn’t be hard for Norcold to come up with a retrofit kit- a more reasonable one than the $200+ kit they have for the 900 series. All the kit would need would be the burner and a new tube (soft aluminum). I just cannot see telling a customer that their perfectly good 1996 refrigerator is not repairable because I cannot get a $30 part, and they have to spend $1200-1500 for a new one. On the other hand- I take a bit of liability on my shoulders by modifying a part like this, so…..

Even though I grew up in a very affluent period (relatively), a large reason was my parents remembering and observing the old adage- “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”

I’ve also been running in to range parts being not available (safety valves and thermostats)- this time due to mercury content. While I understand this a bit more, it still isn’t easy to deal with.

Ah, well….

–Chris

Comments

12 Comments on Obsolescence- finding parts

  1. LLOYD STEWART on Thu, 25th Dec 2008 3:01 pm
  2. MANUAL ON Norcold “NoCo” reset ins new models site wii not open due to error on page

  3. Chris on Thu, 25th Dec 2008 3:10 pm
  4. It should work- I just tried it and it opened-
    try http://bryantrv.com/docs2/docs/newreset.pdf

  5. Richard Barter on Thu, 5th Feb 2009 12:44 pm
  6. I have a MC5A with a Hydroflame furnace with no numbers on it but thanks to the service manual avialable here I was able to identify it and order a new firebox from Atwood. They had one left at $199. I am also of the make do adage. I restore antique airplanes for a living and should have no difficulty making this thing work again. Thanks for making the manuals acessable for us do it yourselfers.

  7. Dennis on Sun, 6th Sep 2009 7:55 am
  8. I have a 93 Georgie Boy Cruise Air 32′ Ford 460 V8 I’ve just purchased. The owner says he has to tinker with the key to get it to crank (runs great otherwise) and that he’ll fix it before I pick it up. My question is do any of you Ford folks have a thought on what causes the problem. I’m thinking 1. bad solenoid 2. bad ground/connection 3. bad ignition switch – He says when he turns the key absolutely nothing happens.. after 3 or 4 tries or tinkering/jiggling… bingo it cranks. THANKS from a first time RVer

  9. Raymond Putnam on Fri, 25th Sep 2009 3:49 pm
  10. Need motor for Hydro Flame Furnace 1990 Teton 5th wheel trailer. Motor # PF 231290 12volt DC 3m. I Live in Illinois

  11. Mike ..blundell on Fri, 16th Oct 2009 7:00 pm
  12. I also need one of these motors. Have you found one yet? Let me know if you have and I will let you know what I come up with next week.

  13. Mike on Fri, 16th Oct 2009 7:02 pm
  14. I need one also. Have you located one as of this date. If so let me know. I let you know of any progress next week.

  15. Rick on Sun, 25th Apr 2010 12:06 am
  16. I have a MC5A with a Hydroflame furnace with no numbers on it but thanks to the service manual avialable here I was able to identify it and order a new firebox from Atwood. They had one left at $199. I am also of the make do adage. I restore antique airplanes for a living and should have no difficulty making this thing work again. Thanks for making the manuals acessable for us do it yourselfers.

  17. Patrick on Sun, 25th Apr 2010 2:22 am
  18. I need one also. Have you located one as of this date. If so let me know. I let you know of any progress next week.

  19. Adam on Sun, 25th Apr 2010 3:32 am
  20. Need motor for Hydro Flame Furnace 1990 Teton 5th wheel trailer. Motor # PF 231290 12volt DC 3m. I Live in Illinois

  21. Steven on Sun, 25th Apr 2010 7:15 am
  22. It should work- I just tried it and it opened-
    try http://bryantrv.com/docs2/docs/newreset.pdf

  23. larry on Mon, 13th Sep 2010 8:51 pm
  24. PF23129Q new part #32330 the Q looks like a 0 hope this helps

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