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Old 12-02-2010, 11:12 AM   #43
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1986 34.5' Airstream 345
choctaw , Oklahoma
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These little challenges are what makes it fun and keeps the job interesting.

Cheers, Dan
Interesting! That's the (printable) word for it.
I found my 12V problem: Dirty battery cable. The hardest things are usual the simplest to fix.
I'm on hold for parts like: drive shaft is in the drive line shop; dip stick; shifter; cooler lines; and someone that can see colors to pick the right wires for the TPS switch and the right wire off the SCU plug to run the speed-o-meter. May start this thing up before too long! And it's too nice outside to be inside, so, I'm going for a bicycle ride!
mel
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Old 12-08-2010, 07:12 PM   #44
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1986 34.5' Airstream 345
choctaw , Oklahoma
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Well I've been hard at it! The drive shaft is back and installed. That's a hard job for one! The deep pan is on. Oil cooling hoses all replaced. Did make some phone calls about the size of the return because I couldn't get the tube in the hole of the trany. turned out to be a piece of tube was broke off in the hole.
My brother come by and he did some color matching. So now I'm doing the wiring for the harness.
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This is a mess! Looks like the CPU will be under the wife's chair. Another hole in the doghouse.
While looking for the swt 12V I found the starter wouldn't work. So, stopped the wiring and checked it out. All working to the starter. My new starter has a bad solenoid. Another trip to town.
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Old 12-15-2010, 07:09 PM   #45
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1986 34.5' Airstream 345
choctaw , Oklahoma
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The new starter being bad turned out to be I used the 'stupid terminal'. The guy at the alternator shop ask me which one I used and then he said, "Oh, you used the stupid one." I hooked up the 'hard one' and got the engine running. Poured 12 quarts in the transmission and no sign on the dip stick. Next time I went to town I got 4 more and poured them in. 16 quarts and it still hasn't got to the dipstick. Did find a leak at one of the cooling line fittings. Works better if you tighten them with a wrench. Got another 4 quarts of transmission fluid, but haven't got back to it. Need to get the thing filled up, wired up and started programing it. Was going to work on it today, but it was too dang nice out. I went on a bicycle ride instead.
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Old 12-26-2010, 06:28 PM   #46
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choctaw , Oklahoma
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Still a work in progress. Just not much progress. Got all the wiring for the TCU hooked up. Hooked up me laptop and 'No Driver Found'. Install the TCI CD, 'No Driver Found'. Take laptop upstairs to office/internet. Read the FAQ, read the form, find an entry and where to find a driver and download the driver. Get back to the Silver Bullet and start again. Now the TCI software don't see the TCU hardware. I go back up stairs and email TCI. That was back on 20Dec. They must all be gone till next year.
Today I poured the next gallon of fluid in the transmission and behold, I have found the add mark on the dip stick. It only takes 5 gallon. That's the same as the Allison 545 held.
So, what I'm waiting on now:
1) get the Transmission Control Unit programed.
2) shifter.
The good: My 1986 Silver Bullet now has 1 mile on the o-meter.
The bad(other than 1 and 2 above): It's cold here in Choctaw! I'm ready to head south!
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Old 01-06-2011, 08:02 PM   #47
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Final! I mean Final! I got the last bolts in the transmission. Dropped the front-end to the floor and drive my Silver bullet out.
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Look-e there, 1 mile on the speed-o-meter.
It seemed to work well. Get to my pre-measured 2 mile trek to calibrate the speed-o-meter. Drat, I need to go home and check the instructions. Been a while sense I read them... Drat! Maybe two mile for home she starts smoking. Double drat! Make it back to the shop and look. The return coolant line has come out of the transmission. Mickey mouse little claps didn't keep the tube in the transmission. Pull the return fitting out of the transmission and note the tube will not go in far enough for the mickey mouse clip to lock. I take (new) tube to grinder and grind it off till it does fit. Go to O'Reilly's and buy another case of oil. Pour 2 1/2 gallon in and park it back in the barn. Drat!!! Read the instruction for the Speed-o-meter and see I got one step off. Hope I didn't injure my new transmission.
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Old 01-07-2011, 04:54 PM   #48
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1986 34.5' Airstream 345
choctaw , Oklahoma
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I read the directions to the speed-o-meter... I pushed and held, but not long enough. Driven my Silver Bullet again today. Set the speed-o-meter and took her for a 30 miles test run. At 60mph in lock-up 2100 rpm. Shifts good! Without the torque converter locked the temperature is about 175 degrees. When the converter locks it goes down to 100 (the lowest reading). Filled up with $134 (46.9gal) of gas and I have a 1986 motor home with 40 original miles :<)
Cost: I went a little over budget- $3591.
Overhaul the 545 Allison- ------ - $1650 (in Dallas) Wanted $2.7 to 3.2K here).
Deference of- ----------------- - $1941.
I filled up with $2.90 per gallon gas (it was $3.07 down the street) and if I get 2 more miles to the gallon. About 16000 miles and the new transmission paid for itself.
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Now the only thing I got to figure out: What to do with all these worms!
Think I can say, 'Got-re Done!'
Anyone need some good ramps? Think I'm going to have a bonfire.
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Old 01-07-2011, 07:18 PM   #49
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
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Congratulations , Enjoy
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Old 01-07-2011, 10:01 PM   #50
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Good to hear that all is good to go. Let us know when you get some mileage numbers.

Cheers, Dan
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Old 01-08-2011, 08:03 AM   #51
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1986 34.5' Airstream 345
choctaw , Oklahoma
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Good to hear that all is good to go. Let us know when you get some mileage numbers.

Cheers, Dan
Thanks! It's been a real treasure hunt. Would be very happy if my mileage beat my expectations.
mel
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Old 01-13-2011, 02:58 PM   #52
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finished

Here's the TCU all installed under the wife's seat. Took all the extra wires and plug and stuffed them in a zip-lock.
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This controller is universal so lots of extra wires and plugs that didn't fit my application. Never know, I might decide to install a paddle shifter or something.
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Old 07-07-2012, 08:50 PM   #53
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1979 28' Airstream Excella 28
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1979 28' Excella Transmission Question

Perhaps someone here will have some good transmission related advice for me. Been upgrading/restoring my Excella and am now considering a transmission upgrade.

Replaced the original 454 with a 1990 model 454TBI; all in all, a very good thing! With higher speed limits and fuel costs, I'm now considering a transmission upgrade since the TH400 is definitely ready.

Building a custom dash (mostly complete) so adding/re-positioning things is okay within and around. I believe the 4L80E would probably be a fairly easy upgrade but I'd like to have move speeds. My mpg is around 7 so you can see why I am considering alternatives. I would love to hear other's thoughts and/or experience or direction in this area. Gratefully, Mary
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Old 07-08-2012, 03:07 PM   #54
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If you do go with the 4L80e make sure to use an after market 'multi-clutch' torque convertor. I used the stock GM and it toasted on the first trip. I bought, I think Blumenthal (OKC) called it a 3 clutch convertor and on the 2nd trip the trany toasted. I took the convertor back to Blumenthal's 'cause they said they could check to see if it was bad. They cut it in 2 and, "Looks brand new." Then gave me another one. They got the job of rebuilding the 4L80e. Turns out the really good 4L80e I paid too much for, was really bad. After that, it's done well. No noticeable increase in mpg, but a BIG decease in engine noise. Haven't had much of a chance to get out on the road with it
I've been pulling a Suzuki Vitra (2800#) but the next trip will be pulling a Miata (1990#). Hope I can see better mpg with 1/3 less toad weight.
I'm dealing with back surgery recovery and my nutty uncle had gone nuttier this year.
May rebuild the engine this fall. It's got close to 90,000 miles on it. Time for a cam/timing set. While I'm at it: Hydraulic roller cam kit! Don't want to turn my 'Silver Bullet' into a dragster... But :<)
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Old 09-30-2012, 12:33 AM   #55
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How is It Going?

Read your thread, wow, thanks for posting.
How are you doing?
Hope you are living the dream.
Rob
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Old 10-03-2012, 03:35 PM   #56
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Read your thread, wow, thanks for posting.
How are you doing?
Hope you are living the dream.
Rob
Thanks! Hoping this winter to be somewhere warmer after the January 1. Don't know if I'm living the dream, but everyday I can get out of bed is another day I've cheated the devil of his do.
I got this wild idea I'm going to rebuild the motor (w/around 90,000 miles on it) this year: long stroke, roller cam, new radiator, water pump, A/C compressor. May not get any better than 6.2 mpg, but I can get it faster!
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