Reducing Dust

Submitted: Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 10:16
ThreadID: 131063 Views:2414 Replies:11 FollowUps:25
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Age old question, but what do people do to keep the dust from getting into 4wds. Aircon on? windows open? Keeping seals clean? Any advice welcome. We live on a dirt road so a constant problem that drives me crazy..................Thanks
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Reply By: Jackolux - Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 10:25

Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 10:25
It hasn't really been a issue with any vehicle l have owned for many years , windows open of coarse will let dust in .
What vehicle do you have that lets dust in .
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Follow Up By: Tracey K - Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 10:45

Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 10:45
Hi, have a Prado and pretty bad for letting dust in. Rear door the worst but then if we ever lift the rear seats up they are covered in dust.
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 12:34

Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 12:34
Yes, I had a 120 Prado and it was pretty bad for dust. The replacement BT50 has no dust issues.

To answer your question, windows up, aircon on, fresh air, high fanspeed (if to much air on the face direct it to the windscreen), keep doorseals and where they contact the body clean.

In dust from another vehicle, change to recirculate and lower fanspeed or fan off.
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Follow Up By: HKB Electronics - Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 15:48

Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 15:48
What Frank wrote works for me to in the 120

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Reply By: Member - ACD 1 - Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 10:29

Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 10:29
Hi Tracy

Aircon on recycle, not fresh with the windows closed.

Air will come in via a cabin filter and leave via some form of clapper valve to release air pressure that builds up.

You will always get a bit of dust film, but I find the above keeps it out of pour vehicles.

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Follow Up By: Tracey K - Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 10:47

Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 10:47
Thanks again Anthony. Seems to be the consensus when I have asked around. Tracey
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Follow Up By: Notso - Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 11:40

Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 11:40
The Air Con will get a bit manky after a while if you run it on recycle, all the smells in the car and foot odour and food gets into the condenser and it'll smell like a piggery after a will! Well maybe not that bad but it will get smelly!
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Follow Up By: Notso - Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 12:22

Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 12:22
Hmm I meant while!
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Follow Up By: Member - ACD 1 - Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 12:50

Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 12:50
Notso

Not so! - I have always run my aircon this way and my cars, 4WD, tractors and trucks don't smell, and definitely not like a piggery! They are also used in dirty, dusty conditions on the farm.

My aircons are serviced regularly by the dealerships when the vehicles are serviced.

Also, my understanding is that the purpose of the condenser is to condense the refrigerant gases and is a completely closed system and will not/can not absorb odours. The filter is what traps dust and other particulates and is therefore a consumable that requires servicing and ultimately replacement.

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Follow Up By: Notso - Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 13:02

Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 13:02
Probably wrong word, but the piece of the Air Con where the cold gas exchanges it's cool to the air that is blowing through it. This is where all the body odours and other smell coat the cooling fins with the contents of the recycled air. As with any organic thing this will eventually develop various smells which are then recirculated throughout the vehicle.

So all I can say is you must be an incredibly clean fellow, either that or you sense of smell has become dulled by the continual assault of those odours!

Have a beaut Christmas and a Marvellous 2016!
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Follow Up By: garrycol - Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 13:10

Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 13:10
I run my aircon on recirc all the time and have no issues - maybe you are just stinky :-)
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Follow Up By: Notso - Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 13:20

Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 13:20
Could be, but they say a fox doesn't know how bad he smells!

In reality though I was a fleet manager in my previous life and odours in Air Cons were a major issue when swapping cars between consultants and trading in vehicles. I spent a bit of money getting odours removed. Maybe I just had finicky drivers though.
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Follow Up By: garrycol - Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 13:24

Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 13:24
Odours from A/c systems are usually caused when the drain holes get blocked and the bottom of the underdash unit is constantly damp and stinky smellie nastys begin to grow.
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Follow Up By: Notso - Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 13:31

Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 13:31
Isn't this foum great. It has just motivated me to read my car manual. It warns against using Recirculate for long periods of time as this may cause a build up of "Stale Air" which can result in drowsiness and other bad things!
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Follow Up By: Member - ACD 1 - Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 13:34

Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 13:34
Like I said - regular servicing and replacement of filters - no smells.

I suppose if I waited until the vehicle got to that stage before I exchanged to a new vehicle, they might smell as well.

Probably why I get top dollar when I on sell them and no I don't trade them on the new vehicle.

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Reply By: Ozi M - Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 10:56

Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 10:56
I think it depends if there is other traffic, if so and the air has dust in it, then vent closed AC on.

If no other traffic I have the vent on fresh air and the AC on, works for me.
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Follow Up By: Ozi M - Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 10:57

Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 10:57
No edit on this forum, I forgot to say I drive a Prado 150
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Reply By: Les - PK Ranger - Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 12:26

Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 12:26
Yep, last Simmo trip had the air cond on high, windows shut, and no problems, not even a little dust on the dash like there has been on other trips across.

Of course seals undamaged is a must.

Pressurising the back of my ute tub / canopy area is pretty easy with the ARB optional vent fitted, pressurises the back and I only get about a cm of dust around the edges of the completley open tailgate gaps.

With the Prado wagon a pressurising vent might not be practical.
Of course having the cabin pressurised with the air cond is probably the best bet for the back door/s too.

In situations where the air cond is not needed, you can leave the air cond switched off and just use fan on high, of dial down the temp to get air cond temp right for conditions.
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Follow Up By: equinox - Tuesday, Dec 08, 2015 at 22:20

Tuesday, Dec 08, 2015 at 22:20
Yes that works, but I like to smell the Acacia's as they flash by :-)
Admittedly the cab is similar to dust bowel after a big trip but that's just a by-product to having an great trip.
I generally would have windows up, AC on maybe every one trip every few years when I just feel like it but usually like to feel the wind, hear the noise, and see the terrain clearly so have the windows down.

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Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Tuesday, Dec 08, 2015 at 23:02

Tuesday, Dec 08, 2015 at 23:02
Yep, love the smell of those desert Acacias, though someones LPG was leaking first time it hit me :)
Personally I have too much to do cleaning when I get home, not having to blow out the interior, vacuum, wash down the textured dash (hate those pinholes !) is ok with me.
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Reply By: Robin Miller - Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 15:17

Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 15:17
Hi Tracey

I'm not a supporter of the pressurization theory , there simply isn't enough capacity of fan/vents to pressurize.

I suspect the cause will be that doors seals are not quite sealing all the way round.
And generally the big rear door is the problem as it moves around momentarily letting in little bursts of outside when you go over bumps/ corrugations.

If you look at a picture of airflow over roof it curls down massively as it exits back roofline and impacks dust laden air onto rear door. For this reason you can get aftermarket dust deflectors for rear door.

Of course the dust laden air will only get in past bad seals.

To test seals get a piece of paper 50-100mm wide and close door onto it, then gently tug at the paper and if it slips out easily yhen there is a seal issue at that point.

Often the rear door can be adjusted up to lessen effect of seals.

General dust will come in at a lower level via front of car if fans are turned higher , and recirculate reduces dust from this means.




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Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Tuesday, Dec 08, 2015 at 11:22

Tuesday, Dec 08, 2015 at 11:22
..
That's an interesting observation Robin (pressurisation not working for you).
It seems to work REALLY well in our canopy / tub area, maybe with the forward facing ARB vent (at the top rear of canopy) it gets the pressure well up and in a wagon with minimal air input from air cond / fan, it just doesn't have enough to pressurise the wagons space ??

Having the air cond / fan on full the Sept trip across Rig Rd route saw me finish back home with no dust in the cab, I could wipe my finger across the dash and nothing there.
I was pretty amazed about that really, have always had a little esp on some previous trips where I was concerned about fuel and left air cond off.

Have seen some need aftermarket pressurising vents (ones for boat look interesting as they keep water out), that may get pressures up to a decent level . . . but of course not an easy thing to fit neatly to a wagon with headliner etc to sort through and keep it looking good.
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Follow Up By: garrycol - Tuesday, Dec 08, 2015 at 13:27

Tuesday, Dec 08, 2015 at 13:27
I also fail to understand how the inside of the car can be pressurised - since about 1970 most cars have flow through ventilation where the low pressure area behind the car sucks air out through holes in the rear of the car - they normally have rubber flaps to stop dust coming back in.

So any increased airflow and pressure caused by the fans etc just gets pushed out the back through the vents - in my RRS they live behind the rear lights and vent into the back of the bumper.
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Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Tuesday, Dec 08, 2015 at 16:07

Tuesday, Dec 08, 2015 at 16:07
True, have seen the flaps pop opens with a door getting shut, so I guess the cabin might be unpressurizable :P
Having the fan / air cond on high and vent closed might have been enough to keep dust out for my experience ?
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Follow Up By: Member - pandora - Saturday, Dec 12, 2015 at 14:28

Saturday, Dec 12, 2015 at 14:28
have a 150 series prado, the dust drives me to distraction. agree with Robin. the large rear door has a lot to answer for, the dust settles thickly on the seals above the door and on the tailgate.it accumulates in the wiper housing and the light housing above the number plate.
open the door and theres no stopping it floating in and penetrating the cabin. the door sills always have a light dusting too. previously had a Hilux. 200000 klms and no issues whatsoever. I have no scientific knowledge of the air flow etc, I don't like airconditioning but drove the Hilux with the outside air on and turned to recirc when dust ahead. sorry cant help with the problem Tracey, just venting my annoyance at this bad design feature of the Prado. will look into the dust deflectors, thanks for the tip Robin.
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Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Saturday, Dec 12, 2015 at 15:01

Saturday, Dec 12, 2015 at 15:01
The rear wind deflectors would PROBABLY help reduce dust on the tailgate, OR, I have seen quite a few in various vehicles carry a dust pan brush next to the drivers seat, and before opening the back barn doors (or other) they brush away as much excess dust as they can, must make some difference I guess.
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Reply By: Hewy54 - Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 17:07

Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 17:07
Had problems in my 80 series on the last trip. Dust was getting in through two grommets at the back which were dislodged and also through the rear vents. Replaced the grommets and will try taping up the vents.
Now just need to go away again to see if the problem is solved.
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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 17:21

Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 17:21
What works for me is windows up and run the air cond on fresh to pressurise the cabin. Of course it helps to have good seals and all the grommets in the right places and not distrurbed by towbar installers and the like.
The only way to pressurise is to have fresh air coming in. Doesn't happen on recirc.

On my 200series the air cond defaults to recirc when you first turn the air cond on, so I have to manually change it to fresh.
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Follow Up By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 20:52

Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 20:52
I concur on the fresh V recycle
Pajero manual states to have it on fresh (not recycle) and increase the fan
It states in the manual that it sounds illogical to be on fresh, but it works best that way
I have to agree
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Follow Up By: CSeaJay - Tuesday, Dec 08, 2015 at 10:32

Tuesday, Dec 08, 2015 at 10:32
Phil
"air cond defaults to recirc when you first turn the air cond on, so I have to manually change it to fresh"

Phil, this can be changed next time you have a service. The default on mine has been changed to just be the same way it was when car was turned off. No cost user request.
CJ
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Tuesday, Dec 08, 2015 at 16:27

Tuesday, Dec 08, 2015 at 16:27
Thanks CJ - worth knowing
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Reply By: Hoyks - Tuesday, Dec 08, 2015 at 19:34

Tuesday, Dec 08, 2015 at 19:34
Find where the cabin vents are in the back end of the vehicle and make sure the little rubber flaps are actually still doing their job. If they get bent or stuck in the cage that holds them together, then they will let dust in. I'm not sure where they are on a Prado, but in behind the back wheel in the bumper is a popular choice..... right where the dust is worst.

Blocking off some of the vent with tape will allow the pressure to be slightly higher in the cabin and stop dust being sucked back in through the vent and seals as well as reduce the vent flaps ability to flap and suck dust if there is turbulence from winding down a window.


This bloke went all in, but it will give you an idea of what you are looking for:
http://www.livingoverland.com/2013/04/controlling-dust.html
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Follow Up By: Member - John - Wednesday, Dec 09, 2015 at 15:35

Wednesday, Dec 09, 2015 at 15:35
Hoyks, wonder if the bloke in your link looked at the other side also?????
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Reply By: Steve - Wednesday, Dec 09, 2015 at 02:11

Wednesday, Dec 09, 2015 at 02:11
I find it works best on my Prado to have plenty of outside air coming in and hit recirculate when a vehicle is coming the other way to avoid his dust. No issues for me this way.
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Reply By: JR - Wednesday, Dec 09, 2015 at 08:32

Wednesday, Dec 09, 2015 at 08:32
When on recirc, only a small portion of the air is brought from outside, therefore not much pressurization
On fresh then whole fan volume - significant - does pressurize cabin and helps reduce air and dust being sucked in around seals. Just try to close a door softly with fans on full and you will see the effect. Lower a window a little and try again.
In saying that some vehicles arent as well sealed as others.
I have seen some tape up exit vents (often near rear side windows) to increase pressure on seals in really dusty conditions. Works but reduces air volumes and therefore cooling on fresh.

Only time this doesnt work too well is if there is dust in air outside and your going to get dust in no matter what. Just avoid it is all can be done.
Stuffed seals, poorly sealing doors etc all leak this pressurized air and reduce the effectiveness

Not that many vehicles in AU spec have air con filters fitted and they arent designed to stop much dust, its too small. Often small in size and processing heaps of air. When clogged the air con doesnt work too well AND lots of dust comes in through lack of presurization.
Stinking air con systems from humid conditions, dirt, sweat, recirc smells is common, they sell stuff to clean them out by spraying into incoming vent.

There are for sure low pressure places on vehicles, around rear door is a good one. Dust can sit around seal and suck or fall in as door opened later on.
Rear dust deflectors do help with this issue
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Reply By: Member - Rob D (NSW) - Wednesday, Dec 09, 2015 at 12:49

Wednesday, Dec 09, 2015 at 12:49
If you want to see if your cabin is pressurised then you can make yourself a simple manometer to measure the pressure differential between the cabin and the outside air.

Purchase about 2m of small diameter clear plastic hose.
Half fill the hose with water.
Put one end of the hose outside of the vehicle. I simply hold it at the top of the door and shut the shut the door on it.
The other end of the hose and remaining hose are now inside of the vehicle.

With the fan off, hold the hose in one hand such that the water level is at the same height in both sides of the hose loop formed.
Now turn the fan on and measure the difference in height between the two.

This works for me and with the cabin air exhaust vents sealed I get about a 5cm height difference on 'Fresh air'.

Regards,
Rob
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