Ford Transit Autosleeper flair 1988

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Ford Transit Autosleeper flair 1988

Post by newbee on Mon Mar 09, 2015 2:14 pm

Hi, I have just purchased an old 1988 ford autosleeper flair with diesel engine. This is my first van and i think i paid a little over the odds for it. It has 166000 miles on the clock but apart from a minor engine oil leak that seems to come and go, it seems to run pretty ok. Maybe its had a replacement engine at some time, I dont know but there are no receipts for one. It came with a new MOT and there were no mention of any rust problems requiring attention so Im relieved because ive heard that rusting is a problem with these vans...even later models.
           I spent a night in it last night and it was freezing outside. The water heater has been removed at some point so no heating atal! Is it possible to buy replacement water heaters for these vans and how much would one cost approximately? 
    Also I have been trying to get hold of a handbook or workshop manual for the van but to no avail. Can anyone help with this?.. It would be much appreciated if someone could upload a copy on here and Im sure that many owners of this van would also be very grateful as its difficult sussing things out without a manual and info on the internet seems very limited. I can only assume that there arnt too many vans of this type and era around anymore. Ive also noticed that most of those that are available are fitted with a 2L petrol engine rather than the 2.5 diesel engine that mine has. 
      I must say that im very impressed with the design. I like the fact that the sleeping seating area is seperate from the kitchen area.
           Any advice regarding this van from other owners would be much appreciated.

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 Auto-Sleeper: Ford transit flair D
 Vehicle Year: 1988

 
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Re: Ford Transit Autosleeper flair 1988

Post by -mojo- on Mon Mar 09, 2015 3:07 pm

The Ford 2.5l diesel engines are typically very reliable - 166000 on the original engine should not be surprising, and it should if maintained properly go on for a good many more.

I owned a Flair for 8 years and my experience of the manual (it came with complete documentation from the original purchasers) is that it wasn't that useful - mine was full of errors, and half of the "fitted equipment" referred to the wrong model - typically older versions of the same equipment.

Generally you can figure out what's what with a bit of trial and error, and anything you're not sure about can ~probably~ be answered by someone here.

I would guess that the original water heater in your van would have been a Carver Cascade, and you can get replacements these days that will fit in the same space, but they aren't cheap. Mine had the Cascade 2 but TBH I hardly ever used it, and I value built-in hot water so little (compared to just boiling a kettle of water) that I don't have it on my current van.

Not sure what heating a '88 van would have had, but it might have been a Propex gas blown air heater. If so it would not be surprising to find it still in place (buried under one of the units) as IIRC they have an air intake under the van and so are hardly visible unless you go looking for them...
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Re: Ford Transit Autosleeper flair 1988

Post by newbee on Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:17 pm

Many thanks for your response. Yes the engine seems fine, although quite noisy (but not deafening) as i would expect. Its just the apparently intermittent oil leak which is bothering me a little. Im hoping that it wont get any worse as Im worried about how much it may cost to fix, or if it would be more economical for me to get a replacement engine fitted if it comes to that.  Perhaps Im just being a little pessimistic!

        Yes I agree about the water heater being hardly worth the trouble. I was a little confused because i thought that the water heater also somehow powered the warm air heating (please excuse my ignorance but ive never come across such a system before). Yes the van does indeed have the propex gas blown air heater as you mentioned but i don't seem to be able to get it to work unless i have the engine running which is of course impractical if I'm at a campsite. I thought that it would work with the electrical hookup but it doesnt...unless maybe there is a switch somewhere that im not aware of?                     
         
         Ive bought a little 240v blow heater now so im ok if im at a campsite with a hookup but if im parked offsite somewhere and its cold then i need the propex heater to be working at night. I was so cold last night that dew was forming on my fleece cover, i was breathing smoke and my nose and feet were like lumps of ice!
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Re: Ford Transit Autosleeper flair 1988

Post by Sue68 on Mon Mar 09, 2015 7:36 pm

I found Propex very helpful with my heater. I phoned for the price of a new one and was told to call in and they would get it working, which they did. Hot water bottles are good.

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Re: Ford Transit Autosleeper flair 1988

Post by -mojo- on Mon Mar 09, 2015 9:53 pm

I had a Propex in a previous A-S conversion of about the same year as yours and I found that the leisure battery had to be in good condition and in a pretty good state of charge to keep the heater running. As soon as the battery voltage dropped to (IIRC - it's around 10 years ago) 11.5V it would stop working - hardly surprising really as at that voltage it's well on its way to being fully discharged... I replaced the leisure battery and never had problems after that.

The Propex heaters of that time are very effective, but a bit expensive on gas - especially if you're using Camping Gaz! If so and you're planning to keep the van for a while it may be worth changing to the smallest Calor cylinder, if one will fit.

And yes, it should work Ok when you're on hookup without the need to run the engine, so it sounds as if your 12V charger/power suppy is switched off or there is a fuse blown somewhere.
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Re: Ford Transit Autosleeper flair 1988

Post by newbee on Tue Mar 10, 2015 8:07 am

Thanks very much for your expert help Mojo... I was wondering if maybe the leisure battery wasn`t fully holding its charge and thats why it wouldnt work. It makes sense that by starting the engine it boosts the power enough for the heater to start working. I`ll get that checked out because i`ll need the battery power when i dont have a hook up. 

Im pretty sure that everything was switched on for the power supply. Theres an electrical panel above the fridge and the main switch was on, along with the a 6A and 10A mcbs in the `up`(on) position.  Then there are 2 switches for the fridge and water pump which were both on and the appliances were working ok. I noticed that there were about another 4 or 5 fuses to the right which i think are spare ones because it doesnt specify what they are for. I think they are labeled as `replacement fuses` and they are all all 7.5A

The propex heater unit is below a panel at the bottom of the wardrobe so im thinking maybe my next step is to unscrew/remove the panel and check the connections or for any switches that might need turning on or maybe a fuse that needs replacing.

Also thanks to Sue for the advice to contact propex. If all else fails I`ll do that.

With a bit of luck in a couple of months time the weather will be so warm that it wont be an issue.  I`ll be thinking of ways to cool the van instead!  It would be nice to get it sorted for when i need it though.
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