Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 09-29-2003, 02:49 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
 
Impala SS Guy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 49
How would you rebuild the motor if you had to?

One of the reasons that I decided to sell our bus was that I'm not really comfortable or equipped to handle the mechanical end of it. Being a pretty decent "car guy", this is very hard for me to swallow - especially when it comes time to take it somewhere else for repairs. I do know, though, that you can't put a price on peace of mind or the avoidance of an anurism. This is why I had decided to sell our bus and get an A/S trailer to pull - thus eliminating the exorbidant costs of industrial sized labor for most typical repairs.

My problem is this - we have already fixed almost everything EXCEPT for the motor and trans. It has new disk brakes all the way around, a new steering bracket, a new alignment, a fresh rebuild on the carb, recent tranny service, very good tires, everything with the suspension checks out OK, and we only have 86k on a 454 that SHOULD live forever. It still (knock wood) runs awesome and has never given any indication of anything different.

The thing that scares me the most about keeping it would be the event of HAVING to rebuild the motor or needing major service done to it. The trans doesn't really even scare me, but the motor does - and it wasn;t anything I thought of at the time we bought it.

So my question is this. How would you even remove the motor from the chassis for a theretical rebuild?
Or do most of you rebuild the motor by leaving the block in the frame?
Also, stuff like replacing the waterpump while laying UNDER the motor does NOT sound like fun either?
Are there tricks to doing things like WP's and radiator replacements since we don't really have the opening hood that these chassis's were intended to have?

These are just a few of the questions I have that run through my mind when I've had to shell out the big bucks for a repair that I could have done at home myself if it weren't a bus. Like $225 for rear brake pad replacement!

A few good/right answers just might give me the courage to keep on truckin.

Sorry this rambling turned into such a long snoozer of a post.
__________________

__________________
1977 Argosy 28' Motorhome -Outgrown and SOLD, but not forgotten.
1980 Bluebird Wanderlodge 35FC - FOR SALE!!!
Impala SS Guy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2003, 03:10 PM   #2
Just a member
 
thenewkid64's Avatar
 
1978 28' Argosy 28
Tampa Bay , Florida
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 4,539
Images: 21
Send a message via AIM to thenewkid64 Send a message via Yahoo to thenewkid64 Send a message via Skype™ to thenewkid64
The simple answer is that the front grill and hood comes off with less than a dozen bolts and it comes out the front. A little wiggling is required but an engine hoist should do the trick. The 60 bucks for the serivce manual is a steal IMHO.

I know I just had a new 454 installed in my 78. I have a picture of it with the nose off. :eek Transmissions are replaced the normal way, disconnect the cross brace and drop it out the bottom.

Now for the bad news. Engine 2400.00 for a long block, GM Crate with warranty. Installation at an ASE shop with all new accessories including a new AC compressor 4500.00.

This did not include doing anything to the transmission to speak of.

Balance that against the cost of a new motorhome, or even the trailer and a newer tow vehicle. Yeah it was a crap shoot picking a mechanic in Dallas when we live in Florida, but all in all I am happy with the way it turned out.

If your current engine/transmission is OK, I would maintain it and watch it, but if it ain't broke don't fix it. My 76 had 87K on it (original engine) when I sold it and it was running like a top. The 454 is a hard engine to kill if it is properly taken care of.

There are many threads regarding transmission service on the forum. Most say leave it alone unless something goes wrong. Even then a new/rebuild is less than 1000 bucks installed and most shops have a fresh one on the shelf.
__________________

__________________
Brett G
WBCCI #5501 AIR # 49
-------------------------
1978 Argosy 28 foot Motorhome

Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something. -- Plato


thenewkid64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2003, 03:18 PM   #3
2 Rivet Member
 
Impala SS Guy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 49
So the motor can just slide right out the mouth of it? Hell, I could probably handle that! I was worried I'd have to drop the front crossmember out the bottom or something stupid like that and couldn't figure out how to make the bus hold a 5 foot wheelie to get it done. I'd love to see a pic of yours with all that off if you don't mind.

I still might sell it due to the sleeping arrangement situation, but I'm def. not in as big of a hurry.

Thanks a ton, it really has helped.

John
__________________
1977 Argosy 28' Motorhome -Outgrown and SOLD, but not forgotten.
1980 Bluebird Wanderlodge 35FC - FOR SALE!!!
Impala SS Guy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2003, 03:33 PM   #4
Airstream Driver
 
PeterH-Airstreamer's Avatar

 
1997 30' Excella
1983 31' Airstream310
Austin , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 3,373
Images: 51
Re: How would you rebuild the motor if you had to?

Quote:
Originally posted by Impala SS Guy
One of the reasons that I decided to sell our bus was that I'm not really comfortable or equipped to handle the mechanical end of it. Being a pretty decent "car guy", this is very hard for me to swallow - ........
I found that it is a state of mind and a few new tools. ( Like a good jack, ramps and few new wrenches and sockets bigger than 1")
The next step is a plan of attack. In my case it sometimes starts with trying to find someone to do the real hard stuff, like i.e. the rear drum brakes. After two shops turned me down, I just set my mind to it and made plans. Turned out, i probably did more and a better job than I ever could have gotten at any shop. The side benefit is that you get to know the rig from top to bottom and can troubleshoot problems on the road without going into panic mode.
__________________
1990 29' Excella Trailer
1996 Airstream B190
1997 30' Excella Trailer
AIR #13
PeterH-Airstreamer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2003, 04:18 PM   #5
RivetAddict
 
swebster's Avatar
 
1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Louisville , Kentucky
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,861
Images: 4
State of mind for sure. I was a wrench head in high school, rebuilt a small block, setup a 280Z for SCCA, etc. and when we bought the AS I was VERY intimidated by the sheer size of everything. Wasn't sure I could handle things myself (which was key to keeping the cost of ownership where I wanted it to be).

But after tackling a few smaller repairs, then some bigger repairs with the back up and advice of forum members and manuals it turned out to be a big truck...a really big truck.

I recently replaced the WP and all of the belts and hoses exactly they way Brett described...took the nose off. There are some tricks to removing the radiator but really once that was out of the way everything was right in front of me...no big deal.

There are still things best left to a professional, but IMHO the AS/Argosy on the P30 is a perfect combination for the shade tree mechanic/rv'er.
__________________
Steven Webster
1986 Airstream 345 Classic Motorhome
AIR 1760
swebster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2003, 08:03 AM   #6
2 Rivet Member
 
Impala SS Guy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 49
You guys are right on the money about the state of mind thing. It's only the bus that I'm scared of. I frickin dive right into everything else. I just figure on this thing that it will be ususally worth the money to avoid the hassle and stress. Not to mention that I had never realized there was a forum to have my back.

If anything else comes up, I probably will be more likely to try it myself now that I have this site for reference and support.

Thaks again guys.
__________________
1977 Argosy 28' Motorhome -Outgrown and SOLD, but not forgotten.
1980 Bluebird Wanderlodge 35FC - FOR SALE!!!
Impala SS Guy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2008, 01:16 PM   #7
2 Rivet Member
 
Normin storm's Avatar
 
1982 31' Excella
1982 31' Airstream310
Moccas , herefordshire
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 46
Images: 7
I am not sure if you looked at my pictures of what happened to my engine but reading what you said gives me hope but I am not sure what engine to go for maybe you could give me a few clues thanks foryour time Norman
Quote:
Originally Posted by thenewkid64
The simple answer is that the front grill and hood comes off with less than a dozen bolts and it comes out the front. A little wiggling is required but an engine hoist should do the trick. The 60 bucks for the serivce manual is a steal IMHO.

I know I just had a new 454 installed in my 78. I have a picture of it with the nose off. :eek Transmissions are replaced the normal way, disconnect the cross brace and drop it out the bottom.

Now for the bad news. Engine 2400.00 for a long block, GM Crate with warranty. Installation at an ASE shop with all new accessories including a new AC compressor 4500.00.

This did not include doing anything to the transmission to speak of.

Balance that against the cost of a new motorhome, or even the trailer and a newer tow vehicle. Yeah it was a crap shoot picking a mechanic in Dallas when we live in Florida, but all in all I am happy with the way it turned out.

If your current engine/transmission is OK, I would maintain it and watch it, but if it ain't broke don't fix it. My 76 had 87K on it (original engine) when I sold it and it was running like a top. The 454 is a hard engine to kill if it is properly taken care of.

There are many threads regarding transmission service on the forum. Most say leave it alone unless something goes wrong. Even then a new/rebuild is less than 1000 bucks installed and most shops have a fresh one on the shelf.
__________________
Normin storm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2008, 07:14 PM   #8
3 Rivet Member
 
Kajtek1's Avatar
 
1965 22' Safari
Currently Looking...
Orinda , California
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 217
State of mind is right.
My motto is, that the best professional will never care about the repair as much as an amateur owner.
It is easy for me to say, since I have mechanical degree, although I never worked directly in the trade.
So when I bought vintage motorhome with 2-cycle Detroit 8V71, I was scared. The engine not much shorter than my height? And I am not small guy to start with.
But the engine has 1 mil miles life expectancy, so I am not worry about the main block. Fuel leaks, 150 lb radiator, cooling fan clutch that is mere 70 lb. Those are the tings that once you get to know your babe, will give you weird pleasure to fix.
__________________
Kajtek1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2008, 08:56 PM   #9
Desert Fox
 
1985 31' Sovereign
Tucson , Arizona
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 250
Smile Hi All,

Your motor home schould be a P30 chasis if it is a Chevrolet. So it schould be easy to pull out trough the front. You schoud have a dog house so you can get to all the bolts. When I was a Mac Tool dealer I did my engine twice. I bought a spare and kept in the garage.
When you do the engine freshen up the trany. You can buy a rebuilt from GM for less that you can have it rebuilt. When the engine is out the trany comes out with very few bolts.
Also check you u joints to make sure they have grease fittings if not replace them with aftemarket with grease fittings.
There not to many places that rebuit engines any more do to tyhe fact that the auto makers wanted that business. New is better anyway.
Regards to all Russell from Tucson Az.
__________________

__________________
RUSSELL is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Thetford valve rebuild mkeith54 Waste Systems, Tanks & Totes 17 10-15-2007 03:37 PM
big monkey thread wheel interested Off Topic Forum 31 01-08-2004 12:03 AM
New Axles vs Old Picture Pick Axles 63 03-26-2003 10:35 PM
Dump Valve Rebuild wagsrp Waste Systems, Tanks & Totes 2 10-12-2002 02:01 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:47 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.