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Old 10-09-2006, 12:27 PM   #15
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1977 24' Argosy 24
Inverness , Florida
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HELLO, CRATE MOTORS $4500.00 to $5250.00 if only bottom end only $2300.00 at Summit racing. All is bolted no welds .your motor set up is the same as Glen Coombe's and mine. the only difference is length ..to help get the motor out easer take the carb& manifold of from inside moho..BUT be CAREFUL removing theradiator ,oil cooler, trans cooler and the A/C unit on the front of the motor ... They are expensive to replace..
Bob
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Old 10-09-2006, 01:52 PM   #16
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Louisville , Kentucky
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Sorry to hear about your engine failure. While I have not done an R&R on mine, seems like the biggest issue is going to be the length of the boom on an engine hoist. Most hoists assume you have unlimited vertical clearance (over an engine bay with the hood off) and are designed to pick the engine up and out. We all have the opposite problem...grab the engine, lift it a little bit and roll it forward and out. Most dealers use a forklift for this...one I've seen uses what can only be described as a carpet pole attachment to get all the way back in there.

I've read about something called a van engine hoist...one that has an extra long reach for van engine replacements. Perhaps this is something you can purchase (JC Whitney, Harbor Frieght, etc.) or rent.

Keep in mind that this is not only an ideal time to replace tire accessories (alt, p/s pump, water pump, etc.) but items like the radiator at least need a flush given the likelyhood of engine bits in the cooler. Not that you need any additional expense in this situation but it would be a shame to do all of the work on replacing your engine with a shiney new crate motor only to get stranded by an alternator or something worse a couple of thousand miles down the road.

As far as a DIY replacement, I've always felt like the great equalizer for any major repair is time. Given your experience it seems you will be able to wrap your head around the R&R/rebuild concepts easily, but without the specific experience of pulling engines from motorhomes all of the time it'll be something you can figure out with enough noodle time and experimentation.

Assuming you can get access to the required equipment and can work safely (driveway slope, etc.) then if you have a lot of time to make the swap and the energy to see it through then go for it.
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Old 10-09-2006, 03:47 PM   #17
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1975 Argosy 26
1963 24' Tradewind
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Engine Hoist..

I pulled and transplanted a v8 350 (in place of an anemic and blown 4.3L v6) out of a Chevy Astro. Not alot of room there either. I pulled the engine by using a engine plate that bolted to the intake manifold at the TBI base (carb base in your case). I then bolted this directly to the boom arm of the hoist.

Hope this helps!
Marc
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Old 10-09-2006, 03:57 PM   #18
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Andrew, I wasn't kidding when I mentioned the "hotrod shops." You may find a talented shade tree mechanic who has the desire and location to make things right with your Argosy. Do you have any dirt track races in your geographic area? Always a great source of talented wrenches hanging around those events.
There are lots of ways to "skin the cat... in a closet, without getting any cat hair on you." The engine removal while challenging is not an impossible feat. The more you remove from it the easier it will be to lift ever so slightly so you can wiggle it out of the recesses of the coach.
I've had my entire grill out to do work on the front of the bus and it was not a big deal. Of course removing the rad and all the frontal accessories will take more time. Then removing the oil sump/pan will give you more room to clear the front axle.
So, you need to make friends with someone (or multiple someones) who can help you. Just my opinion. The sloping driveway may be of some help actually. If the bus is backed in you can raise the front end to level and give yourself some room to work under the rig. Also wiggling the thing out going down hill would seem to be much better than trying the other way around....
You're going to get real dirty, your hands are gonna bleed, just like your bank account.... Find Help!!!
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Old 10-09-2006, 10:24 PM   #19
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You guys ROCK!

Thanks so much to everyone sharing my pain here, it's true what they say; misery loves company

Having recently shelled out close to $2K with a local mechanic for engine work and an alleaged 'once over', I have talked to him and agreed he will perform an autopsy next week, so all bets are off for the time being, at least until I get his report.

I have also spoken with the PO (though I personally feel that set of initials are probably better suited to me right now) as he appeared willing to become involved in any major problems we encountered. Given the slight misrepresentation on the mileage listed in his original add (50,000, while I now feel 250,000 might be closer to the mark, given the documentation provided listed a "new engine at 111,000") we are investigating our options right now.

So long story short; watch this space for further developments!

Meanwhile, I cannot thank everyoe involved enough for all the kind words of help and support, it really means a lot.

Cheers,

Andrew
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Old 10-10-2006, 10:28 AM   #20
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Not that there aren't more..

of those Argosy MH's around, but your blackened lens holder (the fiberglass one seen in your avatar) made me think of one that I saw two summers ago in Malibu beach CA. It was owned by an old drummer from a rock band from the 80's (can't remember which) who was going to drive it to a beach in Mexico for his vacation cabin. He and his son seemed real nice... any connection?
Marc
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Old 10-10-2006, 04:25 PM   #21
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G'day Marc:

I purchased Ethyl from a guy named Clay who has a very young son around the same age as mine (2) and is a CTO for a company up in LA some place so I suspect it must be another silver Argosy with lack lens holders.

Cheers,

Andrew
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Old 10-10-2006, 06:29 PM   #22
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Shucks!

Maybe the CEO had long hair and a hippie attitude? Nah.....

It's too bad I live so far away, I'd love to help you with replacing the engine! I love this kind of stuff.
Marc
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Old 10-10-2006, 07:33 PM   #23
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If you are doing a short block only (you are reusing your old heads), it would be easier to remove the engine without the heads on it, and after you lift the engine up some, you can pull off the oil pan and oil pump pickup tube, this will give you 'lots' of room, comparatively.
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Old 10-10-2006, 08:41 PM   #24
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1979 28' Airstream Excella 28
naples , Florida
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my project

hi there. I currently have a 79 28 ft under rehab. the motor came out a while ago, and if you want to see some pics of the process, you can check the site of the shop doing the work. go to www.gmccoop.com. then, click on the "airstream" box. then click on the "airstream projects" box. then click on "79 shiny one" that will get you to the site. follow along, and you will get to the engine removal portion. there's a whole bunch of other stuff too. he stopped posting a few months ago, due to time constraints, so the most current stuff (we're doing the interior now) can be found among his gmc projects in the "daily pose" box, which you can access from the home page on the gmccoop site. good luck. rick in naples, florida
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Old 10-10-2006, 10:17 PM   #25
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Thank you Rick in Naples (and Glen, Marc, Bob, Steve, Alan, and I'd like to give a shout out to anyone else I've missed) I will check out the recommended site right now.

As is typical, I am away on travels (in Denver, CO) right now, so can do nothing. I am anxious to get something started, but will likely have to realistically wait for next month when my latest silly season for traveling finishes. But rest assured, I will investigate every recommendation, check out every site, ponder every bit of advise, before plunging head first in totally the wrong direction as is my want - just ask the Missus if you don't believe me

Once again, thanks to you all, and keep the posts coming as I really appreciate them all.

Cheers,

Andrew
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Old 10-15-2006, 08:22 PM   #26
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The battle has been joined... well almost

Greetings grapple fans.

Well, I have made a start, sort of. I have sourced a local shop here in town who can rebuild my engine for around the same cost as a crate (your thought on this plan are appreciated) but with a known quantity as far as parts go.

So this afternoon I started to remove the engine and progress was… well awful. I have started to remove the front end but have hit a snag in removing the brown fiberglass (well I think it is) ‘cowling’ that sits behind the front bumper and the radiator grill and head light holder. The problem is that the four big steel brackets (protruding rectangles in the image below) that the bumper bolts to prevent me from pulling off the cowling as I cannot pull it forwards as the two side brackets prevent movement in that direction, and sideways motion is limited by the cut outs for the front brackets, Grrrrr… Has anyone experienced this before and got a handy-dandy solution? Pathetic, I know, turning to the forum at the first sniff of trouble, but hey, you guys know these things!



I will see if I can do some more work this week during the evenings, otherwise it will have to wait until next weekend.

Cheers,

Andrew
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Old 10-15-2006, 08:32 PM   #27
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hmmm

can you reach the bolts that hold on the bumper? Remove that first and then the cowling? Or are those bolts hidden too?
Marc
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Old 10-15-2006, 10:03 PM   #28
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New VS Rebuilt

Andrew,

If I were going to keep the Argosy and I wanted the best replacement motor for the unit I would not hesitate to put in a new GM crate motor. The following link to Scoggin-Dickey might be of some value. This is a 'for real' towing/motorhome motor. Generally when 'performance' shops rebuild for more power the torque and HP move up the powerband. This is generally not what you want in a motorhome motor. The GM motor has more HP (338 vs about 230) and Much more torque (500 lb/ft+) than the original motor. The RPM all of this power developed is located close to the original's RPM, so towing and motorhome driveability vastly improved. I believe there have been one or two folks on this board that have made this installation.

Bottom line is it is not cheap now, but should pay dividends in the future with solid reliability and greatly improved driveability.

Search the internet and local sources for the best price; however, S/D is fully conversant with the GM ( and other companies) crate motors and has been shipping worldwide for many years.

Take care,
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