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Old 10-13-2014, 04:10 PM   #1
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1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Grefrath/ Germany , NRW
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Re-animation of a 345

Hi,
We bought a 1986 classic 345 moho this year in Iowa, a very, very well maintained rig. (Thank you again Jane and Bill for your friendship and support!)
Now, back in Germany, we had a few nice trips, our "big baby" is allways a sensation on the road. We have some closed friends, they want to buy also a classic motorhome, tgeycasked me for support.
I found a 345 from 1985 (nice aircraftstyle inside!) with an extreme low mileage, but it's a "barn-find". She was 14 (!) years in a dusty storage, outside looks OK, but one hit from a blown tire driverside rear. Inside it seems dusty and will need a total cleaning. Also the carpet is totally dirty and look "abused".
All these interior fixings are not a problem for me.
I am concearned for the mechanical problems. What is urgently to check, after all these years without any trip? I am sure, all tires are to change. What about belts, waterhoses etc?
Can anybody give a checklist? What do i need to calculate to make this "sleeping beauty" roadworthy again! To ship to Germany (judt a small Sirstreamfamily here) the rig must be drivable, i also need to drive it to a port to ship.
Is anybody there, who can adwise us?
Thank you in advance!!!!
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Old 10-13-2014, 04:16 PM   #2
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Start with tires, belts, brake hydraulics, hoses, and fuel system cleaning. After that much, I'd just start trying to drive it around the block and see what breaks.

I'm sure others will join in with much more useful information.
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Old 10-13-2014, 04:59 PM   #3
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1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Grefrath/ Germany , NRW
Join Date: Jun 2013
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Thank's
How to start an engine, after all those years? Do i risk to "crack" anything inside the engine, will oilpressure be there, if starter cranks?
Do you have an idea of costs in the USA for a qualified mechanic (in Texas state) for these "to do" jobs?
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Old 10-13-2014, 05:04 PM   #4
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Congrats, You already have had trips in a perfectly maintained rig so are you should be aware of the problems a dusty barn find would have. Will the new owner be going to tour the USA first or just ship on getting it road worthy? With prices of mechanics and parts later it would be prudent to do a complete overhaul by a reputable shop prior to shipping.
All parts are available in this country and mechanics familiar with most stuff. Get a good road towing service like Sams, for those short excursions around the block, unless you do it short enough for the tractor to pull you back to the barn Iowa to a shipping port will definitely test any rig. Your initial trips should bring out any problems, before putting it in gear you will be able to tell if fuel system is working, short trip should show temp, and transmission, if it stops the brakes are good. Get an IR thermometer to check wheel bearings and brakes, can also give you a better idea of motor temps.
Good Luck and don't forget to post problems found and solutions used.
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Old 10-13-2014, 05:10 PM   #5
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Just saw your second post, If you make it to Texas from Ok you are driving a good to ship rig.
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Old 10-13-2014, 06:55 PM   #6
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"Do i risk to "crack" anything inside the engine, will oilpressure be there, if starter cranks?"

Should not be a problem. You will probably have to crank the engine for awhile before it starts, that will move some oil to where it needs to be. You could pull the coil wire so that it won't start at first to be sure.
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Old 10-13-2014, 07:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roquefort View Post
Hi,
We bought a 1986 classic 345 moho this year in Iowa, a very, very well maintained rig. (Thank you again Jane and Bill for your friendship and support!)
Now, back in Germany, we had a few nice trips, our "big baby" is allways a sensation on the road. We have some closed friends, they want to buy also a classic motorhome, tgeycasked me for support.
I found a 345 from 1985 (nice aircraftstyle inside!) with an extreme low mileage, but it's a "barn-find". She was 14 (!) years in a dusty storage, outside looks OK, but one hit from a blown tire driverside rear. Inside it seems dusty and will need a total cleaning. Also the carpet is totally dirty and look "abused".
All these interior fixings are not a problem for me.
I am concearned for the mechanical problems. What is urgently to check, after all these years without any trip? I am sure, all tires are to change. What about belts, waterhoses etc?
Can anybody give a checklist? What do i need to calculate to make this "sleeping beauty" roadworthy again! To ship to Germany (judt a small Sirstreamfamily here) the rig must be drivable, i also need to drive it to a port to ship.
Is anybody there, who can adwise us?
Thank you in advance!!!!
There may be someone on the forum that can inspect it for you. I am in Austin, Texas area and could do it, if the 345 is close by. Finding a good mechanic to work on these Motorhomes is not always easy or cheap.
If you can do it yourself, you should add a week to your trip and work on it here. I can offer you a space, tools and a lot of experience to do it, but first you have to be able to drive it to Austin from where ever it is.
Wuerde mich freuen dir helfen zu koennen! (Would be happy to help you!)
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Old 10-13-2014, 09:04 PM   #8
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Ditto what DrBoyd said plus change ALL fluids ... There is a risk to not running an engine & transmission & all other systems that depend on seals, gaskets, O rings & bearings ... These items will sometimes dry out and become brittle when they are not exercised.

There may be additives that could/might help bring them back to life.
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Old 10-13-2014, 09:11 PM   #9
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Looks like the 345 you are looking at is outside of Houston Texas.
This Airstream mechanic has been recommended to me and others before :

Bob Jones
713 910-2949
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f240...ic-101519.html
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Old 10-14-2014, 03:10 AM   #10
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1975 29' Ambassador
1986 34.5' Airstream 345
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Wow!
What a wonderfull comunity !!!! I am deeply impressed about all these reactions!
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Old 10-14-2014, 04:29 AM   #11
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1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Grefrath/ Germany , NRW
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Thank you!!
To make it clear, we bought in april OUR baby in Iowa! We drove without any trouble to Baltimore MD and shipped to Germany. The previous owner had it checked as much as possible, it was ckleaned, gas filled up, all oils fresh, water and LP tank filled. New bedspreads on it, towels on hangers. What for a hospitality for about 1 week. We were guided to see some touristic spots, to do shopping and we celebrated easter together.
We left with teardrops in our eyes, because we met new friends and not bought just an old motorhome. (Jane has prepared even lunchboxes for us the day we left!!!)

Now we found this "dusty barn camper" in TX, my time shedule does not allow me to fly over again to America, it's also a question of my budget...! (a trip with 4 folks to America is not that cheap...!)
We want to buy this, or an other 345 or 325, maybe also a small one, because some close friends saw ours and want to get a similar one.
It's clear, it will not be perfect as ours, but the rig i found is OK inside, outside i am not sure, nor the technics.
I will need an estimate for the re-animation of the main components and changes of belts, fluids, tires, brake hoses and lnes servived, levellers checked for leaks, fuel system cleaning and what else would be needed.
The next port, from where it can be shipped is Galveston, just about 100mls away.
I will need a driver to get it there, once we deide to buy it.
Also what would you think it is the price for this? It has a bad ding in the drivers rearside, from a blown tire. I know body repairs are very expensive.
Here it is close to impossible to have it repaired, no Airstreamservice arround 250mls! (only 1 for Europe !!!)
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Old 10-14-2014, 04:51 AM   #12
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Yes, as mentioned change all fluids and filters. The fuel system may be challenging after sitting so long. This may require dropping the tank for a cleaning of the sludge the the fuel turns into. Can you tell if rodents have gotten to the unit while sitting? That could really complicate things.

I just revived a Porsche 911 that had been stored for a slimilar period. This became quite the process of parts replacement and cleaning. I chipped away at this for two years to make it a good running reliable car. I'm a part time hobbiest mechanic.

Are parts available for these airstreams there in EU? Probably a good idea to get it sorted while close to parts supply here in the states. Or find one that is running well and has less needs.

Good luck to you and your friend. Glad to hear that your stream is going well for you.

Cheers Richard
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Old 10-14-2014, 11:46 AM   #13
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1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Grefrath/ Germany , NRW
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Yes, it's a great idea to let (you?) check the coach on behalf of me first. It's near Houston, about 200mls away from Austin...!
I asked for additional pic's and will tell the owners my concearns and what i got as informations here.
We really like this 345, just is a time issue now. Will see, how quick they need, or want to sell their coach.
If i take this low mileage rig as a "blank" for a later restoration, it will be maybe OK.
But it needs to be drivable, the major components need to work. Otherwise it's an endless challenge here. No qualified V8 Service, just a handfull "maniacs" with small workshops. I had to rent a hangar, before we can begin to fix our torque converter defect, our baby does not fit his workshop...!
We are a very small "comunity" here in Germany with Airstreams, motorhomes are extremely hard to see, i need to source EVERY PART in the US. Shipping is often more expensive than the parts are.
These big motorhomes are very unpopular here, because of size and gas consumption, our gas is twice (!) the price from the US.
You need to be a bit "crazy" to run a "Dinosaur" like this here. (i assume, i am, the "Rivet Virus" infected me and my family also!)
If anybody need any advice on german or european classics, let me know, i'll try to help!
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Old 01-21-2015, 05:28 PM   #14
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Hallo ich schraube seit einem Jahr an einem 325 von '86. vielleicht kann man sich mal austauschen😀
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