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Old 06-10-2017, 09:02 AM   #1
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1956 26' Cruiser/Overlander
1977 20' Argosy 20
Hope to roam free again soon , North Carolina
Join Date: May 2011
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1977 20ft Argosy Motorhome - new to me

It runs! :-)

There are some things that I need to get sorted out right away without spending too much money. I already have 3 other Airstream/Argosy projects sitting in my backyard but I am crazy about this little motorhome.

1. I can't reach the pedals to drive it
2. gas pedal is hard to push
3. exhaust coming inside - a lot of it - non-stock dog house might be cause?
4. brakes - 3 work - mostly - sort of - maybe
5. steering feels loose and sloppy

I found an ad for it for sale or maybe sold in 2010 where it had a different kitchen and contact paper all inside but the giant chop/patch out of the side is pretty distinct in a faded pearl blue. Makes me wonder a little bit.

It will be and adventure for sure. ~Shanna
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Old 06-10-2017, 10:21 AM   #2
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1974 20' Argosy 20
Richmond , Kentucky
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Shanna, congratulations on your little Argosy purchase

Based on the pictures it would appear this one started out life for some other purpose besides camping. It appears to have some sort of large door right behind the driver and it has a window on the right side rear that I haven't seen before.

Can you post more pictures of the inside and outside?

The doghouse cover could very easily be the cause of exhaust smells but the other thing to look for is a leaky exhaust system. I think in general if your exhaust system is solid you should notice heat and noise more than exhaust smell.

As far as brakes and steering go more than likely they all just need to be completely rebuilt.

If the gas pedal is hard to push then you will likely need to replace the cable. Replacement cost for the cable is in the $30-$40 range. The cable isn't all that hard to replace.

As far as reaching the gas pedal, sorry I can't help you there

Brad
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Old 06-10-2017, 10:37 AM   #3
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2017 30' Classic
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Hi

On anything of this age, find a mechanic you can trust and work with. Give him the time to go over things carefully. Expect there to be a few surprises. Also don't expect everything to be found and fixed on the first pass. If you intend to keep the MH (I certainly hope you do !!) now is the time to start the systems rebuild process. It is *much* easier to do up front than to work out at some small garage 2,000 miles from anywhere on a Sunday afternoon in the snow

Bob
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Old 06-10-2017, 12:35 PM   #4
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1956 26' Cruiser/Overlander
1977 20' Argosy 20
Hope to roam free again soon , North Carolina
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I really want to keep it and enjoy it. The cute factor is high and it seems like a good size for maneuvering. Bashing on the seat rail seemed to make it movable again and now I can reach the pedals. It slides forward/back really nicely now.

It started up this morning after the long ride from Arkansas to North Carolina as I was tinkering. Then it refused to start again. The heat soak solenoid issue was revealed on the ride but it started no problem after wee cool down. Now, it won't jump or anything. :-(

I haven't opened any exterior compartments or exposed where there used to be compartments yet. I am pretty sure that Fred's has early versions of this motorhome. How many have this odd chop out on the side.

http://www.viewrvs.com/motorhome/arg...rgosy_20_g.php

I have added some more images and a video of what happens when I try and turn it over. I am guessing it needs a new starter.
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Old 06-10-2017, 12:43 PM   #5
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1956 26' Cruiser/Overlander
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Here are a few more images. I don't know why they are sideways and upside down. I haven't found a generator yet but have not done any really invasive exploring. the large patch is definitely made of plywood and I am a little scared to see what it is hiding. I do have a donor Excella that I can harvest ribs or use to make patch panels.

~Shanna
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Old 06-10-2017, 01:18 PM   #6
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1991 25' Airstream 250
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Might be a faulty starter solenoid. You can short the terminals with a large screwdriver, but obviously be extremely careful and I am in NO WAY suggesting you want to try that at home.

Looks cute. I shall watch with interest as you fix it up.
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Old 06-10-2017, 02:23 PM   #7
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Richmond , Kentucky
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That's quite an arc that shows up while you're trying to start it

The engine looks like a 350 which should be a little easier to turnover and start.

The possibilities are, bad starter and/or solenoid, poor battery ground, poor positive connection at battery or if it has one the remote hot start solenoid is bad. It doesn't look like you have the remote hot start solenoid so that would be something you want to look into installing when you have the opportunity.

The easiest thing to do at this point would be to check and clean all of the connections between the starter and the battery. That includes all battery cable ground connections.

The coach certainly has a unique floor plan compared to other 20 foot Argosies that I've seen.


Brad
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Old 06-11-2017, 06:37 AM   #8
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Hi

In about 40 years since it left the factory, there probably have been quite a few owners. Each has had their own ideas about what to do. One thing to dig into on the floor plan is to work out if it is a factory mod or not. The patch over it likely was not done at the factory

We're in the middle of "build a pipeline mania" around here. One of the features of this is watching all sorts of very highly customized vehicles drive around the streets and through the fields. There are a lot of reasons to do customization ...

Bob
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Old 06-12-2017, 03:03 AM   #9
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1973 31' Sovereign
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You have a loose or a bad connection where that arcing is coming from! Clean and tighten and you should be good to go. More photos please!
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Old 06-12-2017, 05:27 AM   #10
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1956 26' Cruiser/Overlander
1977 20' Argosy 20
Hope to roam free again soon , North Carolina
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Thanks for the help and advice folks! I have so much to learn! This is going to be fun.

I squeezed in a little time for the motorhome yesterday afternoon. After some poking around, we have discovered a remote start solenoid in the area near the 12v fuse panel. I wonder if the AC Delco starter on the motor is wired correctly taking account for the remote start solenoid.

I hope to be able to work on it for an hour or two this afternoon. I will see if I can get a few more pictures then and uploaded.

Shanna
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Old 06-12-2017, 10:33 AM   #11
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This will be an adventure. I have done many of the things on my 1973 Dodge Cayo that you will encounter.

Dave
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Old 06-12-2017, 10:46 AM   #12
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1974 20' Argosy 20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxbrook View Post
Thanks for the help and advice folks! I have so much to learn! This is going to be fun.

I squeezed in a little time for the motorhome yesterday afternoon. After some poking around, we have discovered a remote start solenoid in the area near the 12v fuse panel. I wonder if the AC Delco starter on the motor is wired correctly taking account for the remote start solenoid.

I hope to be able to work on it for an hour or two this afternoon. I will see if I can get a few more pictures then and uploaded.

Shanna
Shanna,

I'm not so sure that is the remote start solenoid. I believe that is the solenoid that joins the house and start batteries together in the event that the start battery is dead. There should be a momentary toggle switch somewhere on the dash that if you flip the switch the solenoid is energized.

Typically the remote start solenoid is mounted on the alternator top adjusting bracket. The one 77 Argosy that I have worked on did not have the hot start solenoid.


Brad
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Old 06-12-2017, 11:31 AM   #13
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Looked like starter solenoid


Sent from my iPhone using Airstream Forums
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Old 06-12-2017, 11:34 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boom Sounds View Post
Looked like starter solenoid


Sent from my iPhone using Airstream Forums
Yeah, both solenoids look the same, one should have #2 gauge or larger wires on it. That would be the hot start solenoid. The one shown in his picture is connected directly to the DC house battery fuse block.
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