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Old 11-25-2003, 09:53 PM   #15
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Kevin,

I put the Banks exhaust on my 454, made a BIG difference in power. Won't spin the tires, but has plenty of pulling power now. I imagine that less the expensive headers and free-flowing mufflers will do good, and you can get a K&N airfilter locally.
Hey and it runs on 87 @ $1.37 here, what is 100LL now ? $250 gal

Don
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Old 11-25-2003, 10:11 PM   #16
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Prop,

I would reattach the couch. But when you do be sure the screws go into ribs, unlike the way Airstream did it. You will be hard pressed to find something that will fit and work without sacrificing storage space. I have had to reinstall every couch in all of our units
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Old 11-26-2003, 12:52 PM   #17
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My experience with my '74 Argosy 24' was similar to yours. I thought I had a sound engine, then BLAM! One broken piston and a replacement was in order.

I went with the 502/340hp GM crate engine. I also added a Banks full stainless exhaust system and a Howell port EFI system. The results are amazing. The thing absolutely flies. It doesn't feel like a 10,000lb rig at all.

Until it was stolen, I often towed my 6,000lb race trailer, too. That slowed the acceleration a good bit, but I could still cruise comfortably at 70mph+.

I've also redone the suspension (new front springs, Bilsteins, SuperSteer bellcrank, new steering gear, bushings, ball joints, etc.)

I soundproofed my doghouse with some high-tech multilayer stuff from JC Whitney. It has a top aluminized layer and an intermediate vinyl layer between two thicknesses of foam - very effective.

The advice you've gotten here is good. If you're going to keep your motorhome, do it right. I'd probably do some things a little differently if I had it all to do over, but I love the way my Argosy runs now, and I can't imagine a motorhome driving or riding any better than mine does.

I consider it all a long-term investment. That's the beauty of these motorhomes. The basic structure will last almost forever, so it's not a waste to use the best mechanicals you can afford.

Bob McKeown
Nashville
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Old 11-26-2003, 02:57 PM   #18
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Once again, I find myself humbled by the good people even better intentions of the board members.

Brett:
Thank you, I will go searching for a couple of ribs and reattach the couch. I figure some nice structural blind rivets should hold nicely.

Bob; I'd love to talk to you. How much did the whole upgrade cost? How much of this did you do yourself? I have some very good friends in Clarksville, I'm through there from time to time. I just flew a Russian trainer from Atlanta to Vegas, and stopped over in Nashville.... we'll have to get together next time!
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Old 11-26-2003, 08:15 PM   #19
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Not Knots but . . .

Hi Propstrike,

In terms of Airstreaming it's MPG not Knots that the flush riviting would improve!

Simply putting on a well designed exaust header and proper system to route the gasses out really is only a minor improvement over the stock 454. It's too anemic in terms of cam timing to do much good. Should you decide to rebuild, a cam and porting, along with a good dual plane intake manifold, are in order to make best use of the clean exaust path. Easy to equal or exceed the 502, but it takes planning.

However, the 502 tow motor is a decidedly better alternative if the funding is available. It is a bolt up to the transmission and the motor mounts. It loves the Thorley's and a good manifold and new carb would make the perfect tow engine.

Concerning the rivets they will be in tension vice shear. Traditional blind rivets: Huck, Cherry, et. al. are designed for shear applications. Consider the Olympic style with a larger contact area on the blind side. Might hold better, longer. Then again, 'might not!
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Old 11-28-2003, 05:02 PM   #20
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Kevan, I 'feel' your pain! Believe it or not, the same thing happen to me (perhaps-read on)! While traveling to Las Vegas from LA, I too heard a terrible noise from 'underthehood'. I was able to limp into vegas and stall in front of MGM Grand (our distination). One tow-truck latter, many hundreds of dollars and three days I picked up our rig. It wasn't the engine after all. On(of more) of the impeller blades in the torque converted 'left home' completely trashing it and part of the transmission. Not that bad considering I thought I was facing a hugh engine repair/replace bill. As I recall, I paid about 650 dollars for everything. So, my point here is-and I'm not challanging your analysis-if you haven't truly confirmed that you 'thru a rod', look again most closely or have a mechanic take a look for you. Good luck! Tony
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Old 02-04-2006, 08:22 AM   #21
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Re-engine update please

I still remember my wife's needle fists impacting my ribbs after I bought the Beech 18. She was a little less out-of-control with the Maule and now she positively supportive of the1984 A/S MH we just bought. Thirty years ago we drove our VW bus into the Sahara and we have shared happy memmories of that trip and in her imagination there are effortless days of touring ahead in this '84 infantastic original condition(75M)...in mind is a lengthy list of mechanical goblins. So! I would like to update the writen history of this tribe with input on a thread that has been idle since '03. Would Propstrike,thenewkid64,peterh-79mh,donnall,mcneon,et al please update us on their progress. Tom
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Old 02-04-2006, 09:00 AM   #22
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Tom,
I was not on that list since my engine problem came after that post but I am a survivor of an engine meltdown and a complete new engine.
I purchase a motor home which was well maintained but still have regular system breakdowns. I always tell the prospective and new owners of these wonderful classics that the purchase price is just the down payment. The other piece of advice is that every penny we have invested has paid us back with dollars of enjoyment.
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Old 02-04-2006, 11:01 AM   #23
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No news from me, mine just does exactly what it is supposed to do. Start every time I turn the key and allow me the freedom to go where I want to and take my home with me
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Old 02-05-2006, 08:50 AM   #24
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My 280 has been very reliable now for the four years plus that I have owned it. We slowed down a little on the longer trip as other obligations get in the way, but still ue it often, and I still get out and drive it once a week or so to keep things charged up and ready.
After replacing the starter and alternator, I have not had any mechanical issues. Done regular maintenance of course as needed.
My only problem now is a leaky exhaust manifold which could be repaired but I am holding out to put on headers when I am able to do that.
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Old 02-05-2006, 02:08 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 87MH
"....any words of experience would be happily received, greatly appreciated.........

I got into my 345 at a pretty good price, but have since spent about twice the entry price in "personalizing"....and very little of that on the engine.

I know I will never recover the full cost of the makeover, but I went into it with eyes wide open.

The following comments are made considering you apparently have a healty list of expensive repairs.

If you have the funds, and the desire to stick with AS instead of taking the next step up to Diesels, there are several cherry 345's for sale in the Houston area. One has a recent Banks installation, and another is a practically new '92. There is also a late 80's with a 5.9 Cummins.......

As far as a "Diesel Kit" for it, you may want to weigh each wheel prior to considering going diesel. Any decent (read adequate horsepower) diesel and accompanying transmission will be significantly heavier than your stock engine. On my 345 I have almost no weight available for anything heavier than the 454.
I would like to know more about the 345 with the cummins. Or, specifically, talk a lot to someone who had done this sort of repower successfully. I recently bought a 350 with an OK 454 in it, but would much rather have a diesel. I got the 350 for a good enough price that I could justify re-powering and might still be close to a normal market price, and I already have 3 Mercedes 5 cyl diesel autos, so its not like learning a new language. Can we start a diesel thread?
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Old 02-06-2006, 11:51 AM   #26
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Propstrike....I just finished the engine work on my 79 28'...lucky for me the bottom of my motor was sound...I changed to a power pulling type cam, variable lifters, the old taller intake manifold and a rebuild on the carb...while at it we put in a new radiator, power steering pump, motor mounts cam chain and pulleys...this engine pulls like crazy can't wait to get headers and the msd going...I bought the older Airstream knowing it would require a lot of work and money (I owned a sob and knew i loved the life of rving) I did it because of the look, design, quality of construction and floorplan....I am in the middle of interior restoration (huge job for me) so I havn't driven it a lot...I removed my couch and installed a new modern couch that makes a larger bed...it is not rv specific...but I found one that just fits from Euroway...I have the same interior as yours in fron but center bath and rear bed...good luck on your endeavors...joe
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Old 02-06-2006, 12:10 PM   #27
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Hey rvlover- we motorhome heads would love to see some photos, ongoing resto stuff ...
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Old 02-07-2006, 11:22 AM   #28
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photos coming as soon as i learn to use both my camera and computer...joe
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