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Old 02-21-2018, 08:05 AM   #15
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1982 31' Airstream 310
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. You better look real close at this.....there could be a lot more wrong with this baby....leaverrite.....leave it where you found it.....
No doubt about it. The motor is just the beginning. Just make sure your eyes are wide open at the beginning. On a vehicle this old you can pretty much count on touching every system unless it's been upgraded by previous owners and even then the quality of the work comes into question. The cooling system is a common problem area, suspension, steering, $2000 for new tires, brakes, the list can seem endless. That's just the chassis work. Then you'll need to tackle the coach systems, appliances, furnace, water heater, floor rot and finish, upholstery, AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

Be ready to fork out the money and the time to bring it back to reliable and useable condition. If you enjoy this type of a project then it's fun and challenging. If you don't have some skills, tools, time, money, and motivation then it's easy to get discouraged.

Just make sure your eyes are wide open when jumping in.
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Old 02-22-2018, 01:11 AM   #16
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Another option, albeit more expensive unless you find a cheap rebuild from a Surbuban is a Vortec 7400. Chris Craw put me in to this. http://www.airforums.com/forums/f159...-105358-3.html
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Old 02-22-2018, 02:14 AM   #17
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Another option, albeit more expensive unless you find a cheap rebuild from a Surbuban is a Vortec 7400. Chris Craw put me in to this. http://www.airforums.com/forums/f159...-105358-3.html
The L29 (GM#19207552) is still available as a GM Performance Parts crate engine from folks like Summit and JEGS (http://www.jegs.com/i/Chevrolet-Perf...07552/10002/-1) if you have a spare $5K

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Old 02-22-2018, 02:43 AM   #18
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Vortec 7400 L29 454s look to be £2.5k - £3k for a fully remanufactured engine. I suspect cheaper if you pulled one from a Suburban and had it rebuilt/installed a decent truck shop. Obviously, fuel economy couldn't match the diesel, but it would probably be a better and quieter drive. I'm not sure what you would get out of these, but they were probably the most efficient 454 with fuel injection and OBD2 diagnostics, so I am guessing 14mpg on a good run.
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Old 02-22-2018, 02:45 AM   #19
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Vortec 7400 L29 454s look to be £2.5k - £3k for a fully remanufactured engine. I suspect cheaper if you pulled one from a Suburban and had it rebuilt at a decent truck shop. Obviously, fuel economy couldn't match the diesel, but it would probably be a better and quieter drive. I'm not sure what you would get out of these, but they were probably the most efficient 454 with fuel injection and OBD2 diagnostics, so I am guessing 14mpg on a good run.
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Old 02-26-2018, 02:11 PM   #20
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1986 34.5' Airstream 345
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In 2012 I rebuilt the 454 in Silver Bullet. About $4500 for parts and machining. Course I bored it 0.030" over, stroked it 0.025", hyd roller cam, aluminum intake manifold, aluminum radiator, aluminum water pump,..... Was getting 10mpg and ran like a stripped ape(can I say that) before the #8 valve spring lock failed just outside Los Cruces, NM in 2015. Ended up paying the goons at Bogart's Service Center over $8000 to rebuilt it to 0.040" over and it ran like crap. They blamed it on the increased cid (0.010 over???) that the EFI system couldn't handle. Wasn't sure it'd make it back home.
Kept thinking I'd dis-assemble it and see what they did wrong, but never got around to it.
It's got a 12 valve Cummins in there now and the 454 engine went to the local VoTech school a couple weeks ago. I told the teacher he owed me a detailed tear down report.
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Old 11-21-2018, 10:07 PM   #21
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how many miles is rebuild time???

Evening folks,
Been watching these posts with interest. Since my MH is an '81 w\ 94K on the meter I just figured it was time to get a rebuild. Since the 454 isn't a diesel how many miles can the motor handle before a rebuild is considered time? My engine runs good, is strong, pretty easy to start, and drives well, but I'd sure be sorely disappointed if I got out in the middle of bumchuk and it decided to take a nice long sabbatical on me. Assuming I keep the original motor, when is it time to rebuild without being forced to do so?
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Old 11-21-2018, 10:44 PM   #22
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Evening folks,
Been watching these posts with interest. Since my MH is an '81 w\ 94K on the meter I just figured it was time to get a rebuild. Since the 454 isn't a diesel how many miles can the motor handle before a rebuild is considered time? My engine runs good, is strong, pretty easy to start, and drives well, but I'd sure be sorely disappointed if I got out in the middle of bumchuk and it decided to take a nice long sabbatical on me. Assuming I keep the original motor, when is it time to rebuild without being forced to do so?
Probably when oil analysis shows wear metal in the oil, or a compression or leak down test fails. I wouldn’t just rebuild to rebuild. Get a mechanic you can trust and throw some money at the the above tests is what I would do.
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Old 11-23-2018, 07:21 PM   #23
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That’s always been a good question.....if you’ve had it a long time and you service it regularly it could go forever....one of the things that is on my bucket list is to rebuild and balance a 460 which I have in the 370LE. I am in the process of installing a highly modified E4OD. Next year I might tackle the 460. I have a 454 in my 325LE and it has about 93,000 on it. I bought it with 88,000 on it and did the compression and leak down tests as well as the timing chain wear test and all were above spec. Regards, Bob
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Old 11-23-2018, 08:12 PM   #24
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It comes down to maintenance, regular use and what weight you're asking the poor little beast to tote around. Your 280 weighs a whole heck ava lot less than a loaded 345 or 350, so your 454 will last longer.
There are people that have 100,000+ miles on theirs, and others that have replaced at 60,000 miles.
If it were me, I'd seriously consider a 12 valve Cummins conversion; but that's just me.

Cheers
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Old 11-24-2018, 06:42 AM   #25
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Darn, does that mean that at 140796 miles on mine that I'm screwed?


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It comes down to maintenance, regular use and what weight you're asking the poor little beast to tote around. Your 280 weighs a whole heck ava lot less than a loaded 345 or 350, so your 454 will last longer.
There are people that have 100,000+ miles on theirs, and others that have replaced at 60,000 miles.
If it were me, I'd seriously consider a 12 valve Cummins conversion; but that's just me.

Cheers
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Old 11-24-2018, 10:22 AM   #26
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Darn, does that mean that at 140796 miles on mine that I'm screwed?
Not as long as you keep it parked at the farm!
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Old 11-24-2018, 10:35 AM   #27
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Darn, does that mean that at 140796 miles on mine that I'm screwed?
I did say 100,000+, (the plus part was for you Dean). Plus, yours is a shorty as well, which makes my point.

Cheers
Sidekick Tony

PS You gasser guys have it good, (GM crate, Jasper, any parts store for rebuild kits).....try coming up with a replacement Isuzu 6BD1 out on the road. That one couple waited three years before getting their diesel coach back on the road.
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Old 11-24-2018, 12:25 PM   #28
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https://www.npr.org/templates/story/...oryId=18826415
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