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Old 10-29-2009, 09:09 AM   #1
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1988 34.5' Airstream 345
White Lake , Michigan
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Posts: 95
Brake and Belt issues on my '88 345

With cold weather starting in Michigan I decided to let the local RV place take a shot at my rear brakes, started to hear them grinding. Anyways, a $350 job turned into an $1193.00 job, seemed high but I seldom get a "brake" on prices. As usual, one job opens up another, I now have new rear rotors, caliphers, pads etc. but in addition I need new front pads. I have done many brake jobs, both drum and disc, on cars and trucks. Besides being heavier are the front disc brakes on my 345 basically the same job or are there other concerns I should be aware of? In addition, the mechanic said that I needed a new brake controller for my rear tag axle brakes(elec. drum). Does anyone have info on that job? And lastly, two summers ago I took out the engine AC radiator and used the space for new and much larger engine oil and transmission coolers. While exposed during the job, I replaced all belts, hoses, water pump, fuel pump, what ever I could get my hands on. The only problem has been with the lone V belt that operates the old AC compressor(no longer in use) and the power steering and brake booster. It constantly needs adjustment to stop squeelling and will eventually wear out, I have replaced it once already. I have a serpentine belt on the rest of the engine. Anyone ever have problems with this belt? It appears that the only adjustment is a screw on the side of the compresser. When this belt breaks I have no brakes or steering so you can see my worry. Any advice would be welcomed, Mr D.
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Old 10-29-2009, 07:22 PM   #2
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1986 34.5' Airstream 345
choctaw , Oklahoma
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Do you still have the smog pump running off the A/C pulley? If so the pump could be bad causing more load on the belt to the A/c. I trashed the smog pumps when I ungraded to EFI system. Not much, but a thought.
mel
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Old 10-30-2009, 08:40 PM   #3
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I had thought the power steering pump was supposed to be driven by two belts so that if one breaks you still have one belt driving it. I'm going to have to look at ours to see if that is the case.

Then again I'm not familiar with the hybrid serpentine/v-belt arrangement.

Brad
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Old 11-01-2009, 06:11 PM   #4
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1986 34.5' Airstream 345
choctaw , Oklahoma
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Yes, the flat belt runs the alternator, water pump, right smog pump, and P/S pump. The V belt runs the water pump, A/C compressor and the P/S pump. A second V belt runs the left smog pump off the A/C pulley.
Both smog pumps fell off one day. Don't tell anyone;<)
mel
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Old 11-02-2009, 07:57 AM   #5
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D. you don't have a signature that tells us what year your 345 is. Smog pumps don't contribute much at all to anything but engine drag. Get rid of them and put headers on for better torque and cooling of the engine bay.
You should be able to find a way to route a belt away from the inop a/c compressor too. The less drag on accessories the better fuel economy you'll get.

Mind you Fuel and Economy in the same sentence is rather an Oxymoron when talking about these beasts.
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Old 11-03-2009, 07:39 PM   #6
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1986 34.5' Airstream 345
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GlenCoombe View Post
Mind you Fuel and Economy in the same sentence is rather an Oxymoron when talking about these beasts.
I removed the smog pump when I installed EFI. I got 4 mpg with the carburetor and 6-6.5 with EFI. I get 6-6.5 it I do/don't run the dash A/C, pull/don't pull the car, run 55 mph, run 70 mph, with a head wind, with a tail wind. 6 to 6.5 is it. I've had three gas motor homes and 6.5 is about as good as if gets. I 454 is no economy motor when it's pushing 19,000 pounds down the road.
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Old 11-05-2009, 06:59 AM   #7
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1988 34.5' Airstream 345
White Lake , Michigan
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Thanks guys for the info. I have an '88 345, the problem with removing my pumps is that I adjust my V belt using the screw adjustment on the left pump looking forward. I may be missing something but that seems to be the only adjustment other than the pivot bolts on the P.S. pump that has any effect on the V belt. I also have a Banks Power Pack with headers on the rig. Thanks for the info. It looks like next spring or summer will be on another excursion into the belts on this rig. I must be missing something. Any comments on doing the front brakes on this rig? They are disk. Mr. D
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