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Author Topic: Fantastic Fan lid wont raise  (Read 1025 times)

Jason Worman

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Fantastic Fan lid wont raise
« on: August 27, 2018, 04:32:27 AM »
Hi again, I have my endless questions. So I got the fan to work after I changed the broken vent lid. Now the arm won't raise but it will close. It raised and lowered for a week or so. I think I will just have to replace the fan but it does work great. Thanks
2018-
91 Contessa 36 Foot
3116 CAT

Mike Shumack

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Re: Fantastic Fan lid wont raise
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2018, 12:33:51 PM »
Jason, I don't know if you have the old style fan with the clutch mechanism of the new style without it - but if you have the old style be sure the "knob" is pushed in fully so it is in automatic mode (the second paragraph in screenshot below reflects this).

- Mike

'05 Beaver Patriot Thunder 525, Vicksburg, CAT C13, Allison 4000MH, HydraLift
Orlando, FL
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Roy Warren Co-Admin

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Re: Fantastic Fan lid wont raise
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2018, 03:28:32 PM »
Jason,
Many times the fan will not raise because the seal sticks to the vent lid.  Make sure that it is loose and then see if it works.
Roy Warren
Roy Warren
2005 Patriot Thunder
Cat C-13

Jason Worman

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Re: Fantastic Fan lid wont raise
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2018, 05:56:41 PM »
I think the arm is bent, it's pretty loose and slightly bent. Anyway.to just replace the arm mechanism? The fan itself works great. Thanks
2018-
91 Contessa 36 Foot
3116 CAT

Joel Ashley

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Re: Fantastic Fan lid wont raise
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2018, 09:33:45 PM »
What commonly happens is the vent lid adheres to the roof due to time, temperature, and debris chemistry.  Then when the drive system again tries to open it, the resistance is too great and either the arm bends or the drive gear sprocket strips... or both. 

The company used to supply free repair kits with good instructions and preventive Aero 303 protectant.  Since the company was sold, I hear it’s no longer free.  Regardless, after gear/arm replacement, Aero 303 should be regularly used between lid and frame.  In my experience that’s not a fail safe, although I respect Aero 303 as a lube-protectant in general. 

More of a resolution is seeing to it that the lids aren’t ever tightly cranked down, especially when storing the coach.  Let the lid close via motor, then pull the knob and manually turn it just enough to overcome a squeezed shut seal.  Then push the knob back up, ready to go via motor next time.  Also use caution for example if camping in extra-cold environs where the lid might be iced shut overnight;  opening it in the morning by motor or manually to vent cooking fumes, etc., could break things again.

Just be aware if you hear the unit straining, shut off the switch and resolve whatever is restricting the gearing and arm before it breaks.

Joel
Joel and Lee Rae Ashley
Clackamas, Oregon
36.9 ft. 2006 Monterey Ventura IV, aka"Monty Rae"
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Jason Worman

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Re: Fantastic Fan lid wont raise
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2018, 01:17:41 AM »
We are having the fan replaced, after 27 years it's time to let it go. Pretty.amazing longevity.
2018-
91 Contessa 36 Foot
3116 CAT

Gerald Farris

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Re: Fantastic Fan lid wont raise
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2018, 05:55:01 AM »
Jason,
If the only problem with your fan is the lift motor, you will be much better off to just replace the lift motor and arm. It will be a lot cheaper, give results that are just as good, and there is no chance of causing a leak.

Gerald
2002 Solitaire (2017 -  )
2000 Marquis, C12 (2004 - 2017)
1993 Patriot  (2000-2004)

Joel Ashley

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Re: Fantastic Fan lid wont raise
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2019, 04:44:37 AM »
Just to add to this topic, one of my fans failed to lift this week when I tried to open it.  It had been stuck continuously running which it shouldn’t.  On automatic it apparently couldn’t shut all the way down, so the fan wouldn’t stop until it did.  The rig is just parked by the house and in hot weather the fans on automatic ventilate it when it gets hot enough inside.

The lid would raise, manually or electric, 2 inches and stop, and drop back down, but I guess not long enough to shut down the fan.  Watched some videos on related fixes, then took mine apart with their guidance.  Found the steel lift arm had 2-3 worn teeth where it engages the drive pinion. Reckon a new lift gear assembly is the answer, but seems these soft steel arms should be made stouter.  This isn't this particular fan’s first rodeo, and it’s not as if we’re full timers, using it ceaselessly.

It’s tempting to have a machinist make a new arm out of a stronger alloy.

Joel
Joel and Lee Rae Ashley
Clackamas, Oregon
36.9 ft. 2006 Monterey Ventura IV, aka"Monty Rae"
C9 400HP Cat
towing a 1997 Ford Explorer Limited, aka "Pearl"

Fred Cook

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Re: Fantastic Fan lid wont raise
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2019, 12:57:24 PM »
Are’t these fan units available on the market? Why not just replace the entire fan with a new one?
Fred & Cindy
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David T. Richelderfer

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Re: Fantastic Fan lid wont raise
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2019, 02:28:39 PM »
Joel - Since you have the mechanism all removed, the fan lid should be free to lift with your hand.  Does it move freely through the whole movement from fully closed to fully open?  I have noticed both of our fans seem to catch when about an inch above fully closed.  From that point, the closing arm has to pull the lid down that last inch or so.  I fear that will wear out the last couple of teeth on the closing arm.  I think the lid is coming down to the exterior rim seal and catching on the seal when the lid is still an inch above being fully closed, so the lid must have warped or its hinge-fastening-point has shifted just a bit.
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Fred Brooks

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Re: Fantastic Fan lid wont raise
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2019, 02:58:11 PM »
     Jason,
   If your fantastic fan is the original, It has the slide lever that disengages the lift motor and allows you to manually rotate the knob to lift or lower the lid. They do not make a replacement for that motor and lift mechanism any more. If you want to replace the vent with the latest version with all the whistles & bells, it is about $300.00 plus labor. If you want to fix it like a lot of us, one more thing to consider is how the automatic part of this works. Inside the vent is a 12 volt amperage monitor device. when the lid approaches fully open or closed, the motor starts to bind and the increased amperage tells the fan to shut down. Got to love the adventure & challenge of fixing older coaches. Fred
Fred & Cindy Brooks
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Joel Ashley

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Re: Fantastic Fan lid wont raise
« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2019, 10:12:06 PM »
Fred (Cook), a whole new fan is a lot more than $12.88 for a lift arm, not to mention a lot more installation time.

David, you are probably right about there being a spot along the lid’s guidebar that binds the arm a bit, just enough to stress pinion worm gear and arm teeth, despite lots of grease.  It has been awhile since I lubed the guidewheel and guidebar track or treated the rim and seal with Aerospace 303.  But the lids haven’t been sticking down and I leave them barely touching down over the winter, never tightly drawn down for long periods.  That’s a good rule for any owner to practice.

Fred (Brooks), I’m not sure about them not making replacements for the lift, as I saw plenty of the parts online.  The lift arm mechanism for mine fits many other of their domed lid models;  the only common difference is that the guidewheel for flat lid ones is on the opposite side of the arm.  And I’d bet one could find an individual motor easily enough (from Newmark, Element 14, etc.) even if the Fantastic Fan module it’s in was no longer available.

Joel
Joel and Lee Rae Ashley
Clackamas, Oregon
36.9 ft. 2006 Monterey Ventura IV, aka"Monty Rae"
C9 400HP Cat
towing a 1997 Ford Explorer Limited, aka "Pearl"