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Old 11-14-2014, 09:18 PM   #1
Grant and Katie
 
1983 31' Airstream310
Gardner , Kansas
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1983 Airstream 310 electrical and fuel line diagrams

Hi all,
We recently got a 1983 Airstream 310 with 170,000 on chassis and 10,000 on engine for $3,500!! (good deal?) but has been sitting for 8 years. Having some electrical and fuel line issues. First problem the part where the fuel lines all meet is broken (what is that called and where do i get a new one or can i just make one?) and also I have no idea what lines go where. It will only run when there is gas in the aux tank but that soon somehow ends up in the main tank, with the vehicle shuddering and backfiring and very low power all around and leaving us stranded a few times now. Second big issue is that while trying to camp out in it at my parents I was jumping the dead and bad coach batteries off the engine battery that had a charger on it, something happened and now none of the coach electrical work. Also the break pedal will not come all the way back up, will this go away with use or do i need to fix something? Also where do I find a repair manual for the chassis and is it a p30 or p32? Sorry for all the questions thanks for any help.
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Old 11-14-2014, 11:33 PM   #2
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Oh, grasshopper, you have a lot to look forward to and learn.

The Chassis is a P30 but Airstream modified the rear suspension on the 310's with a replacement air bag system. They can be tricky.

The fuel system is fairly simple on those beasties. One line went from the tank to the fuel filter located along the inside of the curb side frame rail. It is small and often plugs up. I always carried spares when I had my 310. The line then went to the fuel pump on the engine, and then up to the carb. There is another very small fuel filter in the line where the carb is connected to the fuel system.

There could also be a "pusher" electric fuel pump near the tank added by some previous owner. They are common.

My 310 only had one large 60 gal fuel tank. If yours has more than one, I cannot help you.

There was a second tap on my main fuel tank for the generator, set so the tank could not be run dry by the generator alone.

The brake return problem indicates that you need some brake work, probably fairly major if the rig has been setting for years and may have had little attention prior to that.

Best to you, you are going to find lots more surprises I am sure.
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Old 11-15-2014, 04:44 AM   #3
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Congrats!!! It took me about three months of tinkering before I took mine out for its shake down cruise. You still got it for a steal!
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Old 11-15-2014, 05:15 AM   #4
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champaign , Illinois
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That is a great price! Youre gonna have to evaluate what your skill set is as far as making repairs to your rig. When i started on mine, i chose to debug the chassis systems first and then start on the coach systems. Addressing the basics and safety related issues, such as your brakes. The brakes on these chevys are hydroboost assist and the pedal is notoriously strange feeling. Read all the posts here under the "classic motorhomes" forum and you will see many many threads and posts on the brakes. I ended up up replacing all the pads, flex lines, master cylinder, and flushing the system. I also flushed the power steering because thats what powers your hydroboost.
Address each system one by one. They ALL will need attention. You may also want to heed the sage wisdom of one of our forum members here (Isuzusweet, Tony) and start making sacrifices NOW to the Airstream Gods......might as well get ahead of the game.....
Youre probably going to need new coach batteries and maybe (most likely) a new converter.
Start by grabbing your favorite beverage and read all the threads from the beginning of the classic motorhome forum........you may think thats a pain in the butt, however its the best way to start the learning curve on these old rigs IMHO.
Be patient and stay away from sharp objects and fire arms while trying to debug your rig, youll eventually want to shoot yourself or your rig or both.
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Old 11-15-2014, 02:49 PM   #5
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Honokaa , Hawaii
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On the coach electrical issue: the battery cables converge on a solenoid type gadget that is mounted on the back of the battery box. Opening and closing the box causes the cables to flex and eventually break at that point, ask me how I know...
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Old 11-15-2014, 04:22 PM   #6
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Sage advice...Sell it for $7,000.00, double your money and RUN.

If not.....here goes.

As I have a diesel I'm not sure how many fuel lines you're talking about. I would have thought one line to the engine and a return line would have been sufficient and as iroba stated a tap into the tank for the generator. Also this is the first I'm hearing of an auxilary tank? After 30+ years I would replace ALL fuel lines and filters right back to the tank. Shepherd57 found bits and pieces of his filler hose was clogging up his fuel filters all the time causing the same stalling and loss of power. Adding a pusher pump near the tank is a good idea as it would possibly help with vapour lock in hot conditions with a gasser.

Brake (not break) pedal, check return spring attached to pedal? It could be weak. As Mike (Mayco has stated and we all have found the brakes on these rigs are weak, and that's stating it nicely, so be warned and keep your distance; unless you're into vehicular excitement (remember you only have a lap belt, it's old and a new windshield is $2,500 a side).

As for electrical, I come from the land of the "Prince of Darkness" so electrical is not my forte, (I grounded out my wiring pulling a wall section off against the propane line). My coach is partially dark which I think only adds to the ambiance for romantic evenings, to which my wife's not buying it. Brad(Bkhaler) is the electrical sage on this site along with Keyair and Smartstream.

As for anything else that has sat for 8 years you might want to inspect the tires for check lines and cracks, suspension, airbags front and back for leaks and compressor. Also inspect generator as I'd suspect it may not work well. I don't know what your interior or subfloor is like (does it smell musty after a rain?)

As for price....I paid 5 times again as much for mine and it was still only the down payment.

As for advice on this or any other forum, you take what you need and disgard the rest. I don't know your financial position, so if I or any other person suggest a product or a method to fix your coach, don't feel beholden to do it that way, as you may find a far cheaper better way to fix it. We all learn from experience and all of us are open to new ways to keep these vintage aluminum cans on the road so others can drool.

Mike's (Mayco) has the Airstream Gods wrapped around his little finger so he's the guy to perform exorcisms and ritual sacrifices to appease them. If you have access to virgins (preferably the two legged variety) he's your man.

As for manuals Keyair (Steve) very nicely started up a manual sticky in the classic motorhome section. Ones just like this one

http://campkahler.com/files/310-service-manual.pdf

Goodluck
Cheers
Tony
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Old 11-15-2014, 04:57 PM   #7
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Hello?

Kansas310?

You still out there?

Maybe you guys scared him so bad he'll never be back...

I hope he will be back, and that he has the wherewithal, both financially and emotionally, to see this through. What I'm hoping is that he started out looking for a classic MH for around $15K, and this bargain came along and he couldn't resist. If that's the case, the rest of the $15K will be spent in short order, and (hopefully) he'll have the basics done, he'll have a functional camper still in need of a lot of work, and he'll be lovin' it!

And you guys are a GREAT resource! Reality therapy combined with a lot of empathy, and experience up the wah-zoo! And you're all so NICE...
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Old 11-17-2014, 09:24 PM   #8
Grant and Katie
 
1983 31' Airstream310
Gardner , Kansas
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We're still here, thanks for all your input!!!! Grant will be able to reply to you guys soon! ~Katie
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Old 11-23-2014, 11:13 AM   #9
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Hi Grant and Katie, welcome to the zany world of classic motorhome ownership, and to the forum. As you can see a small band of funny quirky, and very helpful
Fellow owner/ caretakers hang out here.
Good suggestions above, about going thru the critical systems for safe operation on the road. After that long hibernation plus the over all age of these vehicles. This is effort well spent.
I'm wondering if you have found the main electric panel, to see if there is a breaker needing resetting for your coach power.

As you bear down on individual issues, let us know what you find. And anything that stumps you. Someone here has probably dealt with it before and will offer insight on fixes.

Cheers Richard
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Old 11-18-2016, 09:58 PM   #10
Grant and Katie
 
1983 31' Airstream310
Gardner , Kansas
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 5
We're baaaack:D

Hi All,
Its been a long year; we bought a house, yay! So alas, after having the brake lines repaired we are back to work (slowly) on our airstream project ! As advised, we are reading ALL the threads... and praying to the Airstream Gods... working on the electrical systems now. Scary
Thank you guys for your suggestions, humor and input... we'll be in touch
♡ Katie
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Old 11-18-2016, 10:05 PM   #11
Grant and Katie
 
1983 31' Airstream310
Gardner , Kansas
Join Date: Nov 2014
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Got it running and home, took the coach batteries out and replaced the solenoid on the back of the battery box. While putting it back together the positive wire on the coach battery hit the metal battery box while the engine battery was still connected and smoke came out from the dash. And now it will not start.
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Old 11-19-2016, 04:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kansas310 View Post
It will only run when there is gas in the aux tank but that soon somehow ends up in the main tank, with the vehicle shuddering and backfiring and very low power all around and leaving us stranded a few times now.
Not sure if anyone else noticed this but I'm curious as to what "Aux" tank Grant is referring to? I have not seen any of the Classics with an auxiliary fuel tank.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kansas310 View Post
Got it running and home, took the coach batteries out and replaced the solenoid on the back of the battery box. While putting it back together the positive wire on the coach battery hit the metal battery box while the engine battery was still connected and smoke came out from the dash. And now it will not start.
This doesn't sound good.

I hate to say it but you're going to have to look closely at all the wiring under the dash to see how much if any of the wiring has been damaged (i.e. melted together).

When removing the instrument cluster you need to be careful and make sure you disconnect the cable going to the heater control valve AND you need to disconnect the speedometer cable. Failure to do both of these can and does lead to the speedometer breaking free of the instrument cluster panel and breaking the heater control panel in the dash. Been there, done that on both counts.

Brad
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Old 11-19-2016, 09:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isuzusweet View Post
Sage advice...Sell it for $7,000.00, double your money and RUN.

If not.....here goes.

Also this is the first I'm hearing of an auxilary tank?

Goodluck
Cheers
Tony
Yeah Brad I was asking about that a couple of years ago too.

Agree about the electrical being kinda scary, but just putting it out there, wouldn't it fry the connection to the fuse block first before going to ignition or elsewhere. Is there a starter relay that would be fried? Bob, Brad and many others would be far better at answering this than myself. I just want to see pics of this auxiliary tank.

Cheers
Tony
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Old 11-20-2016, 06:57 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isuzusweet View Post
Yeah Brad I was asking about that a couple of years ago too.

Agree about the electrical being kinda scary, but just putting it out there, wouldn't it fry the connection to the fuse block first before going to ignition or elsewhere. Is there a starter relay that would be fried? Bob, Brad and many others would be far better at answering this than myself. I just want to see pics of this auxiliary tank.

Cheers
Tony
Wow, I didn't realize this thread was a couple of years old!

With electrical problems usually anytime there is smoke that means something has melted which is not a good sign. Letting the smoke out is easy, getting it back in again is the really difficult part.

Brad
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