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Old 01-08-2003, 06:32 PM   #1
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1982 excella diesel airstream motorhome engine spec's


I am buying a 1982 excella diesel airstream motorhome and would like to know engine size, fuel capacity, how much load it can carry, meaning people and gear., fuel mileage and reliability, transmisson size and reliability.

Thank you for your time,


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Old 01-08-2003, 06:59 PM   #2
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1981 Diesel

Our 1981 Isuzu 6BD1 Diesel is 353 cu. in., the fuel tank capacity is 70 gal. The transmission is a Chevrolet 400 Turbo Hydra-Matic modified for the Diesel. We returned from a 6,500 mile trip with 10.65 average mpg.

We had the engine tuned at 108,000 miles and were told to return for another tune-up at 200,000 miles and for a rebuild at 300,000 miles. The transmission was serviced and adjusted at the same mileage; the shop owner told me that the transmission is a very reliable model.

The previous owner had a two speed underdrive gearbox installed which helps a lot on upgrades.

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Old 01-09-2003, 09:03 AM   #3
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welcome to our forum!! I wish you lots of enjoyment with your Airstream. You might search this site for posts on the diesel, as there have been discussions of some tyupical problems and fixes for these engines.
Isuzu still make diesels for GM as they are owned by GM so service and parts should be no problem.
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Old 01-09-2003, 02:36 PM   #4
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1982 excella diesel airstream motorhome

thank you so much for the info.. this was very helpful. wow, 70 gals.... we plan on running it on biodiesel and used vegetable oil which will improve performance, increase the life of the engine and safe a lot of money on fuel cost!

thank you again,

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Old 01-09-2003, 11:24 PM   #5
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Ours has a 60 gal tank and we have about a 600 mile range + or - a little we average 12-13 mpg and have gotten as high as 15 not to bad for a 31 foot rig I'd say.
What is biodeisel and Vegetable oil I have never heard that before.
Dave and Louise
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Old 01-10-2003, 02:42 AM   #6
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Bio Diesel needs special fuel lines and gaskets. Check with GM before using it, otherwise it will destroy your lines.
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Old 01-10-2003, 06:22 AM   #7
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Bio diesel / veggie oil

Louise / Lkappenman:
Biodiesel is an alternative fuel for diesel engines. It basically just replaces original diesel – BUT – your lines etc. have to withstand the more aggressive biodiesel (which is a veggie-oil-ester, really) – bubbla is very right !
Bio-Diesel is hence a processed veggie oil product and interesting for diesel owners here in Europe because typically you save on the heavy fuel taxes over here( it saves you same ct’s to the liter). It’s easy to use (bought at the gas station, no modification necessary) but in terms of the environment only second best to pure veggie oil as the refinery process consumes quite some energy.
Veggie Oil is the way to go (over here at least) if you want to save money and help the environment (balanced CO2 emission, no addtl. CO2). Most older engines (and a lot of the new high-tech turbo charged intercooled etc.) diesel can use it as a fuel.
Often you will need 12V in-line flow-heaters (just like in winter mode for most modern diesels to prevent clogging) to help the fuel and injection pump with the thicker veggie oil – at least in cooler climates (or with the long lines in a MH).
To find out about potential lube problems with injection pump (some models need diesel for lube puposes) ask the manufacturer of your vehicle or of the pump (or the www !) or simply TRY:
Start with 25% of veggie oil and work your way up to 100% if things work smoothly. Your old Isuzu should make no problems (not really a sophisticated design), but better be careful while testing.
Here in Europe veggie oil is considered food (true ;-> ) and thus you may save up to 50% compared to normal diesel. You have to buy it at the oil mill or the food discounter, though.
Expect your rig to smell differently, though – more like the french fries stand at the country fair …
Please keep us posted, if you do test veggie oil.

Great forum, great topic (I am an engineer – gotta love those AS) great people.

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Old 01-10-2003, 07:31 AM   #8
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We won't be trying it but just wondered what it was. Thanks for the info. We find the price albeit pricey isn't that bad compared to some of the other things. I should say YET. Your right this is a great forum. Dave
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Old 01-10-2003, 12:17 PM   #9
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re;biodiesel for diesel airstream motorhome

thanx for that info re: biodiesel. we relize that we need to replace all rubber parts and we plan on adding a second fuel tank to run on filtered waste veggie oil. we have the book "from the fryer to the fuel tank" great book, that explains all you need to know about this great alternative to diesel fuel. we have already made a few small batches and plan on making larger amount to use in the main diesel fuel tank than add the other tank for the veggie oil. we have heard of people traveling across the u.s. on $10.00 of diesel because they just used the diesel to start and stop the vehicle but ran the rest of the time on wasted veggie oil they got from donut shops and fast food resturants.
we are runniing our other Diesel vehicles on biodiesel from Yokayo in Ukiah, CA. The engines are preforming better, the fuel mileage is better and the exhaust smell like french fries!
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Old 11-02-2004, 08:24 AM   #10
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You had a post quite some time ago about bioe diesel and using vegetable oil.
Please send an update on how you got along with using the bio-diesel and if you did proceed with your plans on the vegetable oil.

Chaplain Kent
1994 30' Excella 1000, Chummy III- Ford Excursion- 7.3 Turbo-diesel
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