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Old 11-28-2008, 11:55 AM   #1
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1979 24' Airstream Excella 24
athens , Georgia
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Red face '79 classic MH needing water pump... DIY project???

My 1979 24' classic motorhome is finally needing a new engine water pump. After 30 years it has died. I can't quite figure out how to get at the water pump for removal and replacement.

How big a project is this? Getting at the pump seems to be the big challenge. From inside.... from the front... from underneath....

I assume that you start out it be removing the grill and a/c coils and then the coolant radiator.... and then.... WOW!!!

Can anyone advise??? Is it time to call in the professionals?
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Old 11-28-2008, 04:09 PM   #2
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dick- your assumption is correct. i changed the wp on our 345 classic w/454 a few months back and starting by removing grill and working back. while doing this i ended up changing all belts,hoses,thermostat,new radiator,fan clutch,lower smog pump. hope i dont have to go back in there for a while. with exception of radiator napa had everything in stock. once i had everything out front removed i realized that was the only way i could have done the job. i presume your 24' should be similar.
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Old 11-28-2008, 05:39 PM   #3
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Bill: I appreciate the feedback. How about the A/C "coils" that sits right in front of the engine coolant radiator. That is a major concern. Does that drop to the side or out of the way or does it have to be disconnected losing all of the freon?

And yes while I am there, I can do belts, hoses, clutch and thermostat. Why not considering the fight just to get there. Not sure about replacing radiator though.
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Old 11-28-2008, 06:52 PM   #4
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dick,
When I had a radiator shop replace my radiator, they were able to move it out of the way to R&R the radiator, likewise when I had the water pump replaced.
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Old 12-10-2008, 01:24 PM   #5
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1979 24' Airstream Excella 24
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losing my religion while replacing the WP

Well I am making real progress trying to replace the WP. I was not able to jack up the A/S high enough to actually remove the radiator completely. I think that you need a lift to do that.... which makes the job much, much easier. However the radiator did drop enough (about 2 feet) to allow me to get at the engine.

I have replaced the WP and the fan clutch(didn't even know that I had a fan clutch) and the belts, the thermostat and the trannie oil line fittings that I wrung off when they would not free up.

I cannot imagine how you replace belts without removing the radiator but I guess that it can be done. I am tempted to cut some access holes in the dog house so as to be able to better tighten belts when needed.

What and where is the lower smog pump? How do I know if I have one?

Thanks a bunch fellas. Overall it has been a learning experience.

dick jurgensen
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Old 12-10-2008, 01:38 PM   #6
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Hmm, we've had all the belts and hoses + the water pump replaced without what would
be a huge job. We also replaced the alternator, though a mechanic told us the engine
would have to be removed. Maybe it's different with the gas engine, I assume you've pulled
the dog house.
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Old 12-10-2008, 02:07 PM   #7
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Mike:

The dog house does not "pull" as such. The front half is fixed while back half is a hinged lid so that you can access the engine from the rear... but getting at the belts, hoses, the thermostat, the A/C, alternator, the Power steering is a real serious stretch. Very, very crowded and little room to work.

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Old 12-10-2008, 02:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djurgensen View Post
Mike:

The dog house does not "pull" as such. The front half is fixed while back half is a hinged lid so that you can access the engine from the rear... but getting at the belts, hoses, the thermostat, the A/C, alternator, the Power steering is a real serious stretch. Very, very crowded and little room to work.

dick jurgensen
Wrong, my friend. The front half will come out after removal of the radio
connections. It takes a bit of doing, but you should be able to figure it out. It's the
only way to have any work done up front (valves adjusted, etc.). Searching for the
screws is the fun part in the carpet. The alternator is gotten to from the wheel well.
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Old 12-10-2008, 02:25 PM   #9
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The dog house covers are different between Argosy Motorhomes and Classic Motorhomes. On the Classic its a one piece affair that lifts off. ON the Argosy Motorhomes the cover is hinged towards the front of the dash. You don't have full access to the very front of the engine with this arrangement.

However what I found out on our 74 Argosy Motorhome is the front section where the hinge is can be removed. There are bolts/screws holding the whole thing in place. From what I remember there is actually more access on the Argosy when fully removed than there is on the Classic.

Argosy
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Old 12-10-2008, 02:34 PM   #10
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That's strange, mine is two piece; the radio, ashtrays, etc., come out in one module
gaining me all the room I've ever needed, 'course I'm diesel, who knows?
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Old 12-10-2008, 02:34 PM   #11
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dick-glad to hear you are making progress on this. i too found myself uttering words i didn't know existed when pulling the radiator. as mentioned above i can only presume yours is similar. anyway our 345 was mfg. by gm in 89 and finished by airstream in 90. it has a 454, gasoline.
to remove radiator i had to split the support by removing bolts at 3 & 9 0'clock position, then the upper support came out allowing rad. removal.
with radiator out, while you are facing front of engine, the lower smog pump is at 8 o'clock and the top air pump is at 12 o'clock.
both of these are required here in nv. in order to pass the yearly emmisions test. a serpentine belt goes around the cc-smog-alt.-wp while a v belt runs the top air pump, on mine.
do a search here on belt routing and you'll find others have posted diagrams that show what your asking.
hope this helps. let us know.
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Old 12-10-2008, 02:53 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Leary View Post
That's strange, mine is two piece; the radio, ashtrays, etc., come out in one module
gaining me all the room I've ever needed, 'course I'm diesel, who knows?
Mike,

Is your dog cover fiberglass or metal? On our Argosy its metal and on the Classic its fiberglass.

Would you happen to have a picture of your doghouse uncovered?

Brad
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Old 12-10-2008, 02:55 PM   #13
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Quote:
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with radiator out, while you are facing front of engine, the lower smog pump is at 8 o'clock and the top air pump is at 12 o'clock.
both of these are required here in nv. in order to pass the yearly emmisions test. a serpentine belt goes around the cc-smog-alt.-wp while a v belt runs the top air pump, on mine.
do a search here on belt routing and you'll find others have posted diagrams that show what your asking.
hope this helps. let us know.
Bill,

Would you happen to have a picture of the front of your engine with the radiator out? I would like to see the physical arrangement of the serpentine system.

Also, what is the function of the top air pump?

Thanks!

Brad
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Old 12-10-2008, 02:59 PM   #14
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Would you happen to have a picture of your doghouse uncovered?
Metal dog house, hard to believe AS would be changing things. You see?,
once the radio housing is removed, home-free; sorta.
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