Replace Trane XL80 blower or entire system?

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  #1  
Old 12-27-08, 06:18 PM
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Replace Trane XL80 blower or entire system?

Hello,

We have an 18-year-old Trane XL 80 gas-fired hot air furnace. A week ago I started hearing noise from the blower bearings. We had a service guy over, and he said that a new integrated blower-motor would cost about $500, and it was time to replace the entire furnace.

But it turns out the price tag for entire replacement is more than $6,000, and the model they're suggesting is basically a new model of the existing one. I'm wondering what the point is? If everything else seems fine, why not just replace the blower and keep it running a few more years?

Also, does anybody out there have an experience with these? Is there just a bearing that can be replaced, or is an entire new unit blower required?

Is it something that should be done, or hard to do oneself?

And if it can be done at home, how? Thank you!

SteveSeattle
 
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Old 12-27-08, 09:05 PM
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It requires a little mechanical ability to replace a blower motor. You will have to deal with the wiring and will need to remove the entire blower assembly to make the repairs. You may be able to take the whole assembly to a buisness in your area that rebuilds motors and they will take care of it for you. It will be a lot cheaper than you were quoted.
 
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Old 12-28-08, 07:15 AM
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Id say it is time to get a better furnace get three prices.
 
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Old 12-28-08, 12:16 PM
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This is nuts. I'm tired of hearing such rip-off stories.

The HVAC guy should tell you WHY the furnace needs replacing EXACTLY. If the heat exchanger is not bad, ask him why you should spend that kind of money (thousands) to replace!

He could have SUGGESTED you replace it IF you can afford a new one, say, if it would be advantageous to get a higher efficiency one. But to make is sound like since the blower job will be high anyway, you may as well just spring for a new furnace, is - nuts.

Changing out blowers is so simple I can do them in the dark blindflolded with one hand tied behind my back (not quite, but you get the drift). Very DIY-able job! I have even had to modify stuff on them and all it takes is common sense. These units usually pull right straight out after you remove 2 screws! - and perhaps some electrical stuff/board in your way. There is nothing to rewire. You simply plug wires back into to where they came out of. I do these jobs for cost of motor about $85 - 115 or so, and a little of my time. Been doing these for years on trailer blowers and old furnace blowers and new high efficeincy blowers, both direct and belt drive.

If you have mechanical abilty I give the difficulty a 3 out of 10. That is because I had to reserve a 1 for changing the furnace filter and 2 for taking out and polishing up the flame sensor rod! It is just very straight forward. No complicated steps/parts to keep track of, etc.
 
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Old 12-28-08, 08:24 PM
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ecman51, thanks much. That's what I was concluding, and I slid out the blower just as you suggest, with two screws, yesterday. Got the motor off with a gear puller, and now I'm trying to decide if I try to get a new motor, or this one rebuilt.

We're warm enough with electric heaters, and it seems I can just put it back together.

SteveSeattle
 
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Old 12-29-08, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by SteveSeattle View Post
ecman51, thanks much. That's what I was concluding, and I slid out the blower just as you suggest, with two screws, yesterday. Got the motor off with a gear puller, and now I'm trying to decide if I try to get a new motor, or this one rebuilt.

We're warm enough with electric heaters, and it seems I can just put it back together.

SteveSeattle
I'd shop around for the manufacturers replacement motor for your furnace. Rebuilding blower motors for home furnaces isn't done in my experience by pros. You might find an outfit to do it for you, but if it were me I wouldn't bother.

I'd be interested to hear if you find someone to replace the bearings for you. That might be worthwhile for a DIYer, especially if it's not too cold outside!

And it IS a little warmer out there today! Last night my power was off for six hours here in Seattle. I broke out my emergency preparedness gear which included a propane light fueled off a large tank of propane, a reachargeable florescent camp style light which was fully charged plus flashlights, and my wood stove for heat (for which I had ample wood)

The power came back on at 4AM. I was pleased that my preparartions all worked.

By the way --- does your blower motor have oil ports that would have avoided this problem had they been used?
 
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Old 12-29-08, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by SteveSeattle View Post
ecman51, thanks much. That's what I was concluding, and I slid out the blower just as you suggest, with two screws, yesterday. Got the motor off with a gear puller, and now I'm trying to decide if I try to get a new motor, or this one rebuilt.

We're warm enough with electric heaters, and it seems I can just put it back together.

SteveSeattle
Motor shops have identical/near identical replacements at their shop. Like I said in my last post, they cost like (around in my neck o woods anyway) $85 -125.
Trying to just replace the bearings is one of those calls where, well, you replace just them, and maybe failure of motor windings is around the corner. Who knows. Your call.
 
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