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Monaco Cayman Engine Air Intake Grille Problem

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I’ve recently discovered a major design flaw with my 2003 Monaco Cayman’s diesel engine air intake grille. What has been happening is water migrates through this poorly designed grille and it has warped my bedroom floor behind the closet. I’ll pull up the wooden floor and replace it with marine grade plywood, but first I’ll need to address replacing this worthless factory installed air intake grille [see pics]. BTW, the cracks you’ll notice in the pics were recently created when I took off this grille to inspect behind it [grille is old and brittle]. These cracks have nothing whatsoever to do with water migrating into the interior of my Cayman.

I’m thinking about having a custom made 1/16” [0.0625] thick aluminum grill fabricated and welded. The overall dimensions “horizontal outside of flange lip” to “vertical outside of flange lip” are: 10 ½” H x 22” V.

Has anyone had a similar experience? Additionally, anyone out there know of someone with experience that actually custom manufactures such grilles?

Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance...

Eddie

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Is that one fiberglass or plastic? If fiberglass, you can purchase glasscloth and two part resin at most auto parts, boat repair, and Walmart stores. As handy as you are, you can repair that one and make a good looking repair of it. Most good sheetmetal shops should be able to make a good replacement using the old one as a pattern, that is of course they are willing to do so. I have such a shop that I do business with here, they don't do shipping, but if you are interested, PM me and I will try my luck for you. Are the louvers fixed position, or do they open and close by air or hydraulic? You could easily make a new one out of Fiberglass, just pour a plaster reverse mold using the old one, then refabricate the new one out of fiberglass.

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Good morning kaypsmith,

The brown grille is made of aluminum, and it’s housing receptacle is made of plastic. I’ll need a complete redesign. If you’ll notice the grille itself, does not have much of a slope to allow water run off. Additionally the grille louvres are much too short to do any good keeping water out. I’ve attached a very simplified sketch of something that might work better in preventing water migrating into interior of my bedroom area.

So, bottom line is an exact replacement will not resolve my issue.

Thanks so much for you input...

 

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Eddie, thanks for the update, I did send a PM back and will be awaiting a reply. I do computer work these days, and I do the upkeep of the sheetmetal shop. I'm sure that something can be made to happen. The drawing is very good and .125 aluminum will outlast both of us. Of course, I do need exact opening dimensions, and maximum depth both top and bottom. Oh yes the standard aluminum is brushed, I am not able to get anodized unless it is diamond plate, which will not look very appropriate for your application. The brush finish can be primed and painted though.

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Kaypsmith,

The fact that you work with someone you trust, as well as having a familiar understanding of how the various components on a motorhome function, I’m feeling pretty confident your suggestion of using the metalshop close to you just might work out. I’ll PM you later today. As always, thank you kindly...

Eddie

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Eddie, good luck to you.  Please post a finished photo!  Good, clean drawing!  Looks (in your photo) like the factory over tightened the upper left bolt/screw and caused a stress fracture in the plastic!  That's beyond a poor design.

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Good evening Manholt,

Yes, this plastic Air Intake box is awful. What a mess it has created. Once the stainless steel replacement air intake box and grille is fabricated and installed, I’ll most certainly post updated photos. After that, I’ll begin the drudgery of having to pull ruined carpet and flooring. Not to mention disassembling my entire rear closet with drawers, wardrobe and sliding mirrored doors. I’m not looking forward to this at all, but it must be done. 

Thanks very much for your encouragement.

Eddie

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Eddie.

Just a thought as for the air intake box is concerned.  take it to a 3D Plasma Shop,  we got them, so I would be surprised if So. Cal., did not.

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Hi all, it has taken me the better part of six months to find a reasonably priced CNC machinist to fabricate and weld my custom aluminum engine air intake grille. I was discussing my air intake situation with my auto mechanic, and he mentioned he might know someone who could fabricate and weld the air intake grille. As it happened I had a set of drawing prints in my shoulder bag so I gave those to him. Two days later my mechanic calls with his CNC contact guy which he handed his phone. Long story short, my custom 1/8" thick aluminum air intake grille was CNC fabricated, formed and welded for $650. Sounds like a lot, but considering it was a one off, not so bad in my opinion. I found my CNC contact only 4 weeks ago. Saturday late morning I received the final product. I was more than satisfied, as the quality is superb. The factory installed air intake box water drain hose which was pinched was removed. A new hole drilled up through the floor directly under drain tank fitting. Then, reusing the drain hose, I switched ends of hose, installing the formerly outside bottom up through the newly drilled floor hole, snugly attaching it to air intake box drain fitting. I then used a 1/8" thick 4"x8" aluminum plate with 5/8" diameter hole to allow drain hose to pass through. Applying a liberal amount of silicone sealant before securing with 4 wood screws. I have a few smudges which you can clearly see in the uploaded pics. I will rub those out this coming weekend with a red Brillo pad. I will upload some photos tonight with more to come later in the week. I'm very happy with the overall installation. It is now time to get my Cayman back out on the road again. Eddie   

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All this time I thought I had previously uploaded pics of my Engineering Drawings of the custom engine air intake grille. They are probably much too small to see any detail, but here they are nonetheless. Eddie

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