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Old 07-21-2018, 11:06 AM   #15
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1987 32.5' Airstream 325
ETOBICOKE , Ontario
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Truthfully I think the loud engine is due to some kind exhaust leaks. I love the power sound but at times the ears are painful. I have always been told that it should be powerful -"passes everything but the gas station" and mine is slowing down when climbing a lot.
So from your post, greatly appreciated, I will still try to figure out what is blocking the power and start with vacuum leak. If all fails maybe think about converting it to diesel. Where I live its really hard to find a mechanic that knows big block and what to work on MH. Have an appointment next week but today will do the propane vacuum test. Have you done it?
Thanks for your help and adviece
Peter
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Old 07-21-2018, 11:23 AM   #16
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1987 32.5' Airstream 325
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Hi Sidekick Tony,

Are you a mechanic?
Have you converted 310 or was it original diesel?
I have to do something to it now even if I want to have a conversion so I know it will drive to the shop. Just got back from a long (8Kmiles) trip and barely made it home. Overheating- engine coolant leak overflow in Las Vegas, did the coolest flash at the shop but the engine was always rising since. Then the gaskets were burning between manifold and muffler making the engine super loud and the spark plugs cables were melting.
I love the machine as is but would like to improve the reliability.
Another thing are my rear leaf springs. Creaking and popping sound while driving.
I have had my kwikee step replaced and the Camping World installed it so every time I open and close the door it goes in and out. Do you know anything about the wires by the main door?
Would like to hear more about your plans about converting where, when and of course how much? As I am open to the idea of converting myself only where I am they don't do it. Heard about the guy in Hamilton.
thanks
Peter
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Old 07-22-2018, 06:01 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4airsteam View Post
Hi Sidekick Tony,

Are you a mechanic?
Have you converted 310 or was it original diesel?
I have to do something to it now even if I want to have a conversion so I know it will drive to the shop. Just got back from a long (8Kmiles) trip and barely made it home. Overheating- engine coolant leak overflow in Las Vegas, did the coolest flash at the shop but the engine was always rising since. Then the gaskets were burning between manifold and muffler making the engine super loud and the spark plugs cables were melting.
I love the machine as is but would like to improve the reliability.
Another thing are my rear leaf springs. Creaking and popping sound while driving.
I have had my kwikee step replaced and the Camping World installed it so every time I open and close the door it goes in and out. Do you know anything about the wires by the main door?
Would like to hear more about your plans about converting where, when and of course how much? As I am open to the idea of converting myself only where I am they don't do it. Heard about the guy in Hamilton.
thanks
Peter
Peter

I got lucky and bought a factory converted Isuzu powered 310. The engine isn't the most powerful beast in the world, but it gets me there and back with few complaints and 15 mpg.

I'm not a mechanic, but a DYI'er with just enough knowledge to make myself dangerous. That being said, I just took the struts out of my little Zippy, took the struts apart and reassembled them with no problem. I do brakes and whatever else I can do.

As for converting the Argosy, I'll be working with Deboss garage. Rich only likes to work on vintage machines and Cummins engines, so I'm hoping it is a good fit. I'll be helping out as much as I can redoing the dashboard electrics to incooperate new instruments for the conversion, but I don't have a forklift, shop or the heavy equipment that Rich has.

The conversion gets rid of sparkplugs and other engine electrics, heat, high revs, and gives you a true three wire diesel with a great sound, long longevity and higher resale. Once she starts, as long as she has fuel, air and good coolant flow, she'll never stop.

There is a thread on Kwikee step installations that goes through the wiring process. Google Kwikee step installation, classic motorhome, airforums. It sounds like the switch should be converted to closed from open, or open from closed; I forget what it is.

read post number 37

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f311...n-98451-3.html

Cheers
Sidekick Tony
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Old 07-22-2018, 07:15 AM   #18
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1982 31' Airstream 310
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Many many folks here have complained about the 454 lack of power especially when climbing a grade. If I'm not mistaken many times it is due to poor fuel delivery from the tank all the way up to the carb. It seems that most have added an electric fuel pump back near the tank to adequately deliver fuel up to the mechanical pump on the motor. Do you know if you have an auxiliary electric fuel pump in the fuel line back near the tank? Is it working? May have nothing to do with your other problems but it sure seems to be a common thing when having power issues......might be worth checking it out
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Old 07-22-2018, 07:17 AM   #19
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You find that you do have an auxiliary pump, turn your key to the on position but don't start and go under the rig and listen to or feel the pump to see if it's working.
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Old 07-22-2018, 07:49 AM   #20
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An often overlooked area in older engines with cooling issues is the water pump. Over time they do loose their ability to move water resulting in reduced flow and increased heat. Especially under heavy loads such as climbing hills and towing. So if you are at a point of scratching your head consider replacing the belt driven water pump.
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Old 07-22-2018, 12:03 PM   #21
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One thing many overlook is these coaches weigh nearly three times the cars and trucks we are used to driving, they are slow on the hills... The Isuzu is even slower, but it will get you there. Back off the throttle a bit, sit back and enjoy the ride.
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Old 07-23-2018, 06:52 AM   #22
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1987 32.5' Airstream 325
ETOBICOKE , Ontario
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Thank you for your advise,

how are your rear leaf springs my are pretty loud with popping and squeaking. Any remedies for that?

I was looking into installing a headers have you heard of anybody doing that to 454?

Best Regards

Peter
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Old 07-23-2018, 10:39 AM   #23
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Only the front of your rear leaf springs is attached to the coach. The rear part of the springs has been cut off and is supported by air bags. You need to make sure that the bags are holding air and supporting the coach. If they are flat the coach will not be safe to drive and you will get noise.

The stock cast iron manifolds are known to develop problems, headers are an improvement. Both of my coaches have them, and I will be replacing one set with new Doug Thorley headers soon. If you get them, make sure that the fuel line passing near them on the right side of the coach is far enough away and/or protected from heat.
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Old 07-29-2018, 11:04 AM   #24
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To the engine overheating question...

Here is my $0.02 based on what I know, and have experienced personally:

1/ The stock cast iron exhaust manifolds are known to be restrictive, hold and radiate heat. Then they warp.

2/ When they warp, it blows the gaskets, and/or pulls the header bolts out or breaks them. The localized superheating warps the manifold worse.

3/ The hot exhaust gases then blowtorch the plug wires, but even without blowing gaskets, the wires are vulnerable to heat damage.

A few things to think about:

1/ Exhaust Manifold, will need to be checked for flange warp, and machined if needed(99% certainty). Bolts need to be replaced and high quality/correct length. High quality gaskets, I heard solid copper gaskets are best. Retorque after a few heat cycles.

2/ Airstream side shields between chassis and body MUST be in place. See notes about cooling and exhaust manifold warpage in the GM P30 Chassis Manual. Without them, the manifolds loose cooling air flowing over them.

3/ Plug wire protective metal shields were installed originally for a reason! High quality, high heat silicon plug wires are mandatory.

4/ I think the '87 had twin smog pumps. Make sure they are present and correct, and working properly... they inject cold air into the exhaust manifold, which cools it. Had a friend who removed his, and he had multiple header warpage issues.

Moving forward....

High quality tubular headers/exhaust are well known to aid power/torque on the 454, and ceramic coating is the best thing you can do. Banks Power kit is expensive, but the best.

Make sure your upper radiator shroud is in place?
Good correct, AC Delco Viscous fan clutch?
Is your ignition timing correct?
Is you engine running too lean?

If the 454 engine has an issue and is ready to be replaced, it makes sense to weigh a Cummins swap, but not before, unless you have money to burn.
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Old 07-29-2018, 11:43 AM   #25
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Ok, will do. I am also thinking to replace it with two headers. What do you think? I don't have a CAT converter as it goes straight into the pipe but I haven't heard anything regarding is this engine powerful enough to tow a car and drive comfortable 2500rpm at 65mph?
Thanks
Iím towing a 3,500 lb Chevy Volt with no problems. Usually sticking to 60 mph on flat terrain and slowing to about 20-25 uphill.

The two engine problems I had were 1) fan clutch failed and 2) heater hose burst. With 1) engine was super loud and sounded like it was stuck in first gear. Power and speed were both affected, and I canít remember for sure but I think RPMís were normal. Maybe check that?
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Old 07-29-2018, 12:12 PM   #26
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1999 35' Cutter Diesel Bus w/slide
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Owned a 87 Pinnacle 33' very similar coach, added Banks headers, gear venders aux trans. Made a big difference in power and mileage (not that it's any good). Being a carberated non cat chassis you need a good tune to keep it running right. Don't know how many miles on yours but you might want to check when it's if the radiator is evenly hot if not you'll need to recore. You might want to add additional electric cooling fans up front. You can get a lot of miles off that chassis, good luck.
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Old 07-29-2018, 12:28 PM   #27
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Peter,

Although we now have an A/S diesel pusher, we had an '85 Classic 345 for several years. We bought it when the odometer was around 66K miles and put another 60 on it.

The performance shop advice you've gotten is good; we used one and the advantage was that they not only understood carbureted Chevy engines, but they could fabricate parts for which no replacements could be found.

Here's what we did to get our 454 running cool and purring: installed transmission cooler, thermostatically-controlled superfan, Banks system + all-new exhaust, and new radiator core.

All that said, you really need to calculate your rig's towing capacity and then compare it to what you're asking the 454 to do. (Don't forget to include the weight of your dolly in your calculations.)

Even with all the mods we made, and towing our relatively light-weight 2007 Subaru Forester 4-wheels down, our 345 still slowed appreciably in the mountains. You may need to sell the dolly and switch to a lighter-weight, flat-towable passenger vehicle. You may also need to reconsider if you really need all the gear you're packing into the coach and toad, and may want to avoid traveling with full tanks: all that stuff just makes the engine work harder.

Happy trails!
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Old 07-29-2018, 03:22 PM   #28
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1992 35' Airstream 350
Ennis , Texas
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When we got our 1992 350LE in 2010, we added a Banks system. This year we developed a backfire and seem to have cured it with a new distributor, spark plugs and wires. We are currently on our second trip since the last replacements and are hoping we have cured the backfire on long pulls up hills permanently.
Good luck
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