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Old 07-15-2017, 12:29 AM   #1
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Charlotte , North Carolina
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89 AS 345 Newbie with so many questions!!

Newly acquired RV thru an auction, Chevy 454, Quadrajet. Has been sitting (car covered) approximately 16 months, I believe prior to that it also had been sitting for awhile. PO changed fluids, drove it less than 800 miles. Suffered hail damage to the roof thru the car cover, insurance sale.

Would this be the Serial # 847040BP? VIN:1GBKP37W0J3317xxx

Initially sounds like a dead battery as it turns over, but cranks & runs, temp gauge on dash is broken, but HOT light comes on indicating overheating after about 10 minutes of road driving, power is great, some carb issues. PO says they had no issues with overheating.

I've removed the thermostat to eliminate that as an issue, need to replace damaged coolant recovery bottle. Have aftermarket temp gauge which will be installed in place of current setup, will replace filters & install 19" Auxiliary fan, just to get it back to my locale.

Are there other known problems that would cause the overheating I've experienced?

Needs: Owners manual-trying to figure out how stuff operates has been daunting.

6.5 Onan NHE genset will crank & run for ~10 minutes & shuts down. While running it shakes the entire AS.
Any suggestions as to the problem(s)?

At some point would like to remove the "Smog pump" & its accompanying hardware as the number of rotten vacuum hoses will require a reel of new hose.

Look forward to getting all the mechanical issues handled, then deal with the front water leaks, then the niggling issues with drawers that open while driving, etc.

Thanks in advance for your input.
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Old 07-15-2017, 03:02 AM   #2
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1984 27' Airstream 270
Scotia , New York
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First, get a good engine temp gauge to be sure you have a problem.
2nd put the thermostat back in, never run without it except in a emergency.
3rd, check the radiator for plugging of the tubes, that is the most common overheating problem.

If the radiator checks good, make sure all the radiator air diverters and shrouds are installed.
Beyond that it could still be a bad water pump, bad engine timing or some sort of excessive vehicle drag.
As for the smog stuff, my 84 only had a air pump which was not much drag on the power but I removed the pump and capped off the tubes so I could install a TBI fuel injection kit.
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Old 07-15-2017, 05:04 AM   #3
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Wimpy, welcome to Airforums!

Quote:
Originally Posted by wimpy View Post
Initially sounds like a dead battery as it turns over, but cranks & runs, temp gauge on dash is broken, but HOT light comes on indicating overheating after about 10 minutes of road driving, power is great, some carb issues. PO says they had no issues with overheating.
The overheating could be real or imaginary. Wayne gave some great advice. I always carry a laser thermometer for verifying temperature. Just point it at various places on the engine and radiator to determine what the temperatures really are.


Quote:
Needs: Owners manual-trying to figure out how stuff operates has been daunting.
1986 310/345 service manual

1986 310/345 owners manual

Quote:
6.5 Onan NHE genset will crank & run for ~10 minutes & shuts down. While running it shakes the entire AS.
Any suggestions as to the problem(s)?
More than likely the three rubber motor mount isolators have deteriorated. When that happens the generator can really shake in it's mounts.


Brad
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Old 07-15-2017, 08:43 AM   #4
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Charlotte , North Carolina
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I had found the service manual from an earlier post, but thanks for the owners manual. I have a laser thermometer and will be using it. I'm trying to avoid using the insurance road service.
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Old 07-15-2017, 09:01 AM   #5
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
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Looking for an adapter to retain the OE oil sending unit but have the mechanical gauge which will be installed prior to driving again. The initial 8 mile drive only created some coolant loss. The 2nd 10 mile drive had coolant loss & steam, but after a stop to try & get permission to use their parking lot, she started right up and I was able to drive to another location close by.

Could you tell me what the pieces between the hose & AIR pump are in your top picture? Do you know if the top on the EGR (the round top) turn?
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Old 07-15-2017, 09:14 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wimpy View Post
I had found the service manual from an earlier post, but thanks for the owners manual. I have a laser thermometer and will be using it. I'm trying to avoid using the insurance road service.
Yeah, getting your moho flat bedded home can take the shine off ownership, especially if on a trip. Do your due diligence and look at a systems entirety and not just one obvious problem.

For example, fuel system:

Fix or rebuild the carburetor may fix your immediate running problem, but not fix problems in the future.

Drop the tank and flush out old varnished fuel and crap, inspect, and now's the time to reline the tank. Also look into the possibility to install an in tank fuel pump which will aid in fuel delivery and ward off fuel starvation, or vapour lock.

Change all fuel lines to Ethanol friendly lines as the OEM lines in these old queens are getting old and Ethanol will eventually compromise them. We have lost a number of these old queens to fuel fires as that 454 gets really hot.

Change the fuel filter and heat wrap any fuel lines that are directly over the engine.

Each system will have its own things to check and fix, but skimping and not looking at the entire system front to back will cause you problems.

Good luck and welcome
Tony
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Old 07-15-2017, 10:11 AM   #7
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1984 27' Airstream 270
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wimpy View Post
Looking for an adapter to retain the OE oil sending unit but have the mechanical gauge which will be installed prior to driving again. The initial 8 mile drive only created some coolant loss. The 2nd 10 mile drive had coolant loss & steam, but after a stop to try & get permission to use their parking lot, she started right up and I was able to drive to another location close by.

Could you tell me what the pieces between the hose & AIR pump are in your top picture? Do you know if the top on the EGR (the round top) turn?
One thing I did not mention is that if the radiator cap is not holding pressure properly, you will loose coolant, generate steam & overheat.
The pieces in the center of that photo are the air pump bolts and the one way valves that were screwed onto the exhaust injector port manifold and went to the Tee hose to the air pump. I used a threaded cap to seal the injector manifold.
As for EGR, my 84 did not have one. It is actually a 83 P30 chassis and somewhere in those years they started using the EGR hardware.
At 89, yours must be one or two years short of fuel injection hardware
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Old 07-15-2017, 12:43 PM   #8
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345 Overheating

I had an '86 345 that got to overheating so bad that you couldn't drive it ten miles. Discovered that the outside of the radiator between the engine radiator and the a/c radiator was caked up with greasy dirt and crud. It was running well under half a radiator. After I cleaned it out, it would run at 160 degrees all day.

Something to check.

Neal
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Old 07-15-2017, 02:06 PM   #9
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Using your IR thermometer scan the radiator from top to bottom and left to right. Any cold areas indicate blockage in the radiator.

A garden hose directed through the radiator from the engine side will remove a lot of debris that may be blocking air flow.

Ten minutes seems like a very short time for an engine to actually over heat.

What does the coolant look like? Is is nice and clear with possibly only some rust color or is it milky and looks like a chocolate malt? Same with the oil. Look at the inside of the oil cap. It should only have clean oil on it. If it is milky or the coolant is milky you possible have a serious problem. It is either oil in the coolant or coolant in the oil. Neither one is good. The worst would be a cracked head or block. I sure hope it isn't that. Head gaskets will cause the coolant and oil to mix.

U-Pull-R Parts or Pick a Part are good sources for parts. It is a bit chancy but most of those places will take returns because "it doesn't fit, I measured wrong". You need to bring your own tools, of course.

There are many sources of information about repairing dash instruments. They aren't terrible complex.

The information already given above is spot on.

Lyle
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Old 07-15-2017, 09:18 PM   #10
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
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That's what's so weird, the oil looks like it just came out of the can and the antifreeze that was puked initially was bright Prestone green. I've played shade tree for a lot of years and seen the milky oil & rust-red coolant.

Pullapart will be the 1st stop on the way to get her fixed tomorrow.

Thanks to everyone for their input.
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Old 07-16-2017, 03:12 AM   #11
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Fan clutch. Replace with heavy duty Delco.
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Old 07-16-2017, 10:12 AM   #12
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Similar overheating issues when I purchased my 350LE. Have since replaced the radiator, installed twin electric thermostat operated fans, heavy duty Delco clutch fan (as mentioned by Boom sounds) and finally, a high flow water pump. The engine will now stay more of less at 200 degrees unless in Texas 100 degree plus heat when it will nudge 210 degrees with all fans running at full bore!
Unlike "Koheleth" above, the only time I see 160 degrees is on start-up!
Ultimately, the 454 engine buried inside the cowl of an Airstream motorhome pulling 16,000 lbs is a bad deal...notice that Koheleth has since "upgraded" to a diesel which is the end game I'm afraid.
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Old 07-27-2017, 05:55 AM   #13
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
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Fan clutch. Replace with heavy duty Delco.
Had to get a coolant recovery tank as the existing one (looked to be non-OE), was rotten. Pullapart sourced from a V-8 C series.
Bingo!! After spending several hours trying to separate the extension from the water pump, finally looked at the online pictures of replacement unit to realize my mistake. Boy, am I stupid. Bought new fan clutch, replaced fan clutch, topped up the coolant.

Wired the AC fans to always be on. Drove 60+ miles in 90° heat. Analog gauge showed 230° max, but generally around 190-200°.

Next up is a carb rebuild as there was some spitting back, bogging with full-throttle acceleration.

1. Gas gauge bounced most of the trip, is this normal?
2. Should there be a kick-down under full throttle?
3. Has anyone fabricated a panel to force air flow from bumper into radiator (preventing air flow down & below the radiator) & would that be beneficial?
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Old 07-27-2017, 06:54 AM   #14
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Gas gauge shouldn't bounce

That panel is a discontinued GM part. I posted a part number not so long ago. I reckon you could pick one up from a breakers if you find a bread van 93 or newer
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