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Old 08-10-2017, 04:49 PM   #1
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1979 24' Airstream Excella 24
Timonium , Maryland
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1979 24'exella motorhome engine question

Hello everybody just purchased 1979 24' exella motorhome with the blown motor ,
cant find out what kind of motor was there originally ,454 two bolt or four bolt is the any thing different about that engine .
What kind chassis in my airstream on ?
Is also possible to put different motor, newer perhaps in to it ?
Artur
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Old 08-10-2017, 05:24 PM   #2
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2007 22' International CCD
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Some have replaced with a "502 crate motor" whatever that is. Try the forum search, I'm sure there is someone in your situation...
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Old 08-10-2017, 06:12 PM   #3
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1983 31' Airstream310
Hillsburgh , Ontario
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Welcome to the asylum!

A 24' Excella....can't be too many of them around....

http://www.viewrvs.com/motorhome/air...tream-1979.php

You have the venerable P30 chassis. Parts are cheap and plentiful, but they can be a pain in the a$$ to work on.

Blown motor hey; I hope you got a great deal on the coach because to re&re a motor in these coaches is a royal pain in the pitoot and takes a lot of time. So here goes.......

Question number 1. Is the motor you have rebuildable or does it have a hole in the block?If the engine is rebuildable then doing a core return will save you some money.

All 454's are not created equal and you'll be looking for one with a RV cam and built for an RV. A rebuilt 454 with installation and you're talking $10,000+. I would also think about possibly going with the 4L80e transmission.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f160...up-163466.html

Yes you can get a crate 502 with or without fuel injection. These motors are great and RV ready, with big power, decent mileage (especially with fuel injection) and good reliability. However, you are looking at $15,000 for carb and a thousand or so more for fuel injection. A 4L80e would be a slam dunk. Cheifair replaced his 454 with a 502 carb crate engine.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f311...-a-140290.html

The next possibility is the Chevy 8.1 with an Allison transmission. This powertrain was used in early 2000+ Chevy 3/4 ton pick ups. The below link shows the install. Again you're talking $15,000.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f311...-a-163471.html

Last but not least is the Cummins swap or Isuzu 6BD1A or T....now these swaps are not for the faint of heart or people with shallow pockets as these swaps take a lot of time and money but are incredible if done right and work well. Back in 1983 the turbo diesel option in my 310 cost the buyer $15,000....IN 1983 DOLLARS!!!

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f159...ns-141299.html

Cheers
Tony
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Old 08-10-2017, 06:50 PM   #4
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1969 31' Sovereign
1982 28' Airstream 280
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the scary prices not necessarily applicable if you know someone..... hopefully you do.
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Old 08-11-2017, 12:38 AM   #5
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1971 18' Caravel
Nokesville , Virginia
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NVA/DC Craigslist? Looked like it was in good shape.
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Old 08-11-2017, 12:51 AM   #6
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1975 20' Argosy 20
Chestfield , Kent
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First ask a fundamental question; do you want to change the engine (straight swap) or more?

Straight swap (ie keeping a carburetor, bolt in) could be a replacement 454 through to a 502.

From this point on it becomes 'how long is a piece of string'; there are options for same basic engine + fuel injection. But if you add the fuel injection electrics and have the engine out you could also change the transmission to electronic controlled unit with 4 speed. But if you are doing that you could change to a later model engine with an different transmission (Allison) and there are 5 and 6 speed versions of that. But if you are changing the drivetrain you could also swap to diesel which means changing the fuel tank and adding a separate fuel tank for the generator etc etc etc etc.

Its a case of how far down the rabbit hole you want to go!
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Old 08-11-2017, 08:01 PM   #7
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1977 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
1973 21' Globetrotter
1975 26' Argosy 26
Vista , California
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My 75' had a 2 bolt main. If you aren't planing to tow or mountain climb a lot a Chevy 350 will bolt right in. So you could find a used engine and be driving for less than $1000. I had a 74' 24 ft. that was given to me with no engine, and I did just that. Seemed to get up and go just fine.
When I swapped engines I found that it was easier to jack up the coach and drop engine and transmission out the bottom in one unit. I used a sheet of plywood and pipes to slide it out to the side. The Replacement took about 45 minutes to bolt back in place
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Old 08-12-2017, 12:25 AM   #8
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1975 20' Argosy 20
Chestfield , Kent
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bibbs View Post
My 75' had a 2 bolt main. If you aren't planing to tow or mountain climb a lot a Chevy 350 will bolt right in. So you could find a used engine and be driving for less than $1000. I had a 74' 24 ft. that was given to me with no engine, and I did just that. Seemed to get up and go just fine.
When I swapped engines I found that it was easier to jack up the coach and drop engine and transmission out the bottom in one unit. I used a sheet of plywood and pipes to slide it out to the side. The Replacement took about 45 minutes to bolt back in place
The pre-face lift Argosy (1974-1976) had the 350CID as the standard option engine, with the 454 as a $288 upgrade. Bella has a 350 and we have no issues, but a 20ft is 1100-1400lb lighter than a 24ft.

1975 Argosy Schedule.pdf
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