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Old 06-12-2006, 11:20 PM   #1
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1982 31' Airstream310
Jefferson , Georgia
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Question 1982 310 Questions

Just bought this today and having some buyers remorse. I really need some info. to help settle my mind. Probably anyone with an '81-85 28,31, or 34 ft might be able to ansswer some of these, esp. #3.

1) Anyone know where I can get a service manual (orig. or repo.) for this '82 310 (w/454 motor)?

2) I also need a wiring diagram. One of the problems is the left blinker light comes on when the head lamps are on. When the lamps are off, the blinker works but the right side blinker comes on dimly when the left is activated. The right seems to work fine. Probably no big deal but a diagram would help.

3) Biggest problem is the AC unit running off the engine. It blew cold for ~ 30 mi. and then the air flow dropped (vents still cold) symptomatic of the evap. coil freezing up. After I got home, there was water dripping from under the dash panel onto the top of the left foward area of the engine cover. Maybe just a blocked drain tube but I'd like to have some idea before tearing into it.

Well that's the worst of it. So far, all the other systems seem to work great. I gave a good bit less than the typical asking price for these models, but now wondering what it'll cost me in time and parts to make the repairs.

Thanks!
Walt
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Old 06-13-2006, 06:45 AM   #2
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Walt:

Welcome to the Forums and the joys and frustrations of Classic MoHo ownership!

Quote:
Originally Posted by WaltL
Just bought this today and having some buyer’s remorse. I really need some info...
Quote:
Originally Posted by WaltL
1) Anyone know where I can get a service manual (orig. or repo.) for this '82 310 (w/454 motor)?
Helen Davis Secretarial Services

PO Box 484 Sidney, OH 45365

(937) 492-8885


Quote:
Originally Posted by WaltL
2) I also need a wiring diagram…
There will be a house (coach) wiring diagram in the service manual – not very detailed, but you can usually follow it if you have enough patience…

You should also purchase a Haynes or similar manual…I have also found the GM Chassis manual (year specific) to be helpful – these appear on e-bay from time to time.

The charge/exterior lighting system is basically GM, but the Airstream tie-ins are plentiful and not well documented – with wiring getting close to “vintage” SOMETHING is bound to bleed over from time to time. The good news it is all fixable – the bad news is finding the problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WaltL
3) Biggest problem is the AC unit running off the engine. It blew cold for ~ 30 mi. and then the air flow dropped (vents still cold) symptomatic of the evap. coil freezing up. After I got home, there was water dripping from under the dash panel onto the top of the left foward area of the engine cover….
The AC components are a Hodgepodge of manufacturers which Airstream outsourced. The dash controller is Chrysler, for example.

There are a couple of ways that Airstream “did” the AC – my blower and evaporator are just forward of the passenger seat.

Now that you are “registered” you have full access to the “search” function (upper left pull down on the main page) – the search is not extremely sophisticated, you may have to ask the same question several times over in different ways. Many Motor Home specific systems have been very well documented with pictures and written descriptions – you will find the “Search” function a very useful tool.
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Old 06-13-2006, 08:00 AM   #3
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Walt, welcome to the forums. Best of luck on your "new" coach. If it make you feel any better, my first year of ownership was spent under the coach. Now it's pretty solid and I basically just use it and improve it as my time and budget allows.

Despite all of my trips to the parts counter, it was still far less expensive than payments to the bank on a newer, lower quality, motorhome. In addition to the manuals this forum can become your best resource for informtion using the search as Dennis pointed out, but also asking questions. I simply could not have owned, maintained and repaired my 345 without the collective knowledge of this forum.

Just this past weekend I had four people come up and ask questions about our Classic MoHo, telling me it was the coolest RV they had ever seen. (No one was asking the 02 Bounder owner next to me any questions ). The first time that happens your buyer's remorse will fade away.
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Old 06-13-2006, 08:29 AM   #4
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Walt, congrats on your new MOHO. Let us know the details and such on your coach. Post photos so we can take a gander at it.
Also let everyone know what you find as a result of your digging into the wiring so that others can benefit from your learning experience.
We're happy you're with us.
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Old 06-13-2006, 02:14 PM   #5
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Walt.
On your electrical problems, I would first re-work all the grounds on all your lights before getting too deep into it.
On your a/c if it is not the condensation drain it could be low on freeon. Or an expanision valve malfunction. If it is low on freeon be careful you don't over charge the system. If you over charge you may ruin your compressor. Just a couple of thoughts. Hope it will help. Good luck
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Old 06-14-2006, 08:00 AM   #6
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1982 31' Airstream310
Jefferson , Georgia
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Question A few more

Thanks for the welcome and all the replies! I pulled the front panel where the evap. coil is located (the original cup holder/radio/shelf unit was removed at some point and replaced with sheet metal) and found that the drain tube had come completely loose. This explains where the H2O came from, but not why the coil freezing (no drain blockage). The unit blows so well and cold early on that I don't think it's low freon. I suspect it is probably the compressor staying on and not cycling. There's a switch that, on most autos, is located on the drier to control this... haven't looked/found it yet.

The light issue is definitely a ground problem. Either in the left blinker or in the headlamp switch. Are all exterior lights grounded individually, or is there a common grounding system?

The only other malfunctions I can find, also pretty minor, are that:

1) Neither the driver nor pass. map lights work (checked bulbs) and apparently never have, according to the last two owners. I assume they are 12V like the other courtesy lights in the cabin? I'll remove the assemblies tonight to check

2) Neither the of the fans in the head or shower work (main cabin vent fan and stove fans both work fine). Seems like the head fan is an important one to have! I started toto try and get into one of the fans but couldn't quite see how it came apart and was afraid i was going to break the plastic piece that spans the opening. Do these fans drop out into the cabin for inspection & repair or do they have to be removed from the top of the RV?

Thanks again for the help & advice! I'll try to post some pics soon.
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Old 06-14-2006, 10:08 AM   #7
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Walt The expansion valve controls the compressor. The expansion valve sensing tube is attached to the valve with the end of the tube placed between the fins of the evaporator, (the tube could be 12'' or longer). If it is not in contact with the fins or is defective the compressor will stay on. Just a thought Good luck
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Old 06-14-2006, 10:29 AM   #8
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Quote:
2) Neither the of the fans in the head or shower work (main cabin vent fan and stove fans both work fine). Seems like the head fan is an important one to have! I started toto try and get into one of the fans but couldn't quite see how it came apart and was afraid i was going to break the plastic piece that spans the opening. Do these fans drop out into the cabin for inspection & repair or do they have to be removed from the top of the RV?
Not sure on removal, but they are still available from Airstream. These have pop up vent covers and tend to get a lot of junk in them (water, debris, etc.) so you may need to repair/replace at least the motors.

All in all it seems like your finding mostly minor issues given the age of the coach. Well done.
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Old 06-14-2006, 10:48 AM   #9
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map lights

Walt did you turn on the switch on the dash marked "map lights" ? It took us a few trips to find that switch!! We really enjoy our 345, Airstreams are one of the few MoHo that you gets thumbs up every time you drive it!!
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Old 06-14-2006, 10:53 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by WaltL
Do these fans drop out into the cabin for inspection & repair or do they have to be removed from the top
Welcome to the forum. On my fans, two tiny screws can be removed from the ends of the cross piece, and then the cross piece pulls off, giving access to more screws to remove the motor. Yours may be different, of course.(Note the motto under my signature!)
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Old 06-14-2006, 04:46 PM   #11
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1982 31' Airstream310
Jefferson , Georgia
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Map Lights

I did try the switch on the panel marked Map but the indicator doesn't illuminate. In fact, none of the indicators on that toggle switch panel light up except the auxillary switch... and I don't know what it's activating. So I guess the panel map witch is so you can leave the map lights in the manual on position and toggle power to turn them on without reaching back over your shoulder?

Another quirk is that when I turn the key to the on positon (w.o. cranking), I hear something come on in the back like a motor running... low rumble. It's not the H2O pump and it's not the Genset. After I drive it for awhile and then repeat, nothing comes on...

So, I don't know squat about MoHos, but I do have a 1978 28 ft. cabin cruiser and I'm told that they can be quite similar w.r.t. upkeep, repairs and $$$$. Oh yea, did I mention aggravation?

Overall, I think I got a pretty good deal deal on this thing since it seems to be in great shape for its age. For instance, the GenSet has 200 hr!

So I'm headed home from work to go look for the expansion valve and snoop for some bad grounds plus fan disassembly.

Oh yea, took a quick trip to show it off to my buddy yesterday and some guy in a truck gives me the thumbs up. I'm use to that when I drive my 'cuda but it was quite unexpected whiule driving in this beast.

I'll try to attach a pic. of her sitting in the back yard. I've upoloaded it but not sure if it'll appear with this post. If not, maybe someone can fill me in on that.
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Old 06-14-2006, 06:59 PM   #12
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WaltL...nice looking rig. Those 310s are quite desirable floorplans and despite the minor issues you're experiencing, they can be a real joy to own. Get used to feeling like a rock star in the campground. Just like your Cuda, people appreciate a Classic when they see one!

Quote:
Another quirk is that when I turn the key to the on positon (w.o. cranking), I hear something come on in the back like a motor running... low rumble. It's not the H2O pump and it's not the Genset. After I drive it for awhile and then repeat, nothing comes on...
That is most likely your air compressor in the rear of the coach. Airstream added supplemental air bags to the P30 chassis. The compressor pressurizes an accumulator tank under the coach which feeds both rear air bags in the suspension. They help keep the coach level and improve the load handling and ride characteristics. The front bags are usually a manual fill (schrader valve). Once it gets up to pressure it will turn off no its own. If it's coming on each day then you may have a small leak somewhere in the air system. There are a number of good threads on this subject on the forum. Just search for 'rear air' or 'air bags'

A friend of mine that works for an RV dealership told me that owning a classic Airstream was bolting an old wooden boat to an old pickup truck. In many ways he was right...but once you chase all of the gremlins out of them the perform as if they were new.
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Old 06-14-2006, 07:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WaltL
....Another quirk is that when I turn the key to the on positon (w.o. cranking), I hear something come on in the back like a motor running... low rumble. It's not the H2O pump and it's not the Genset. After I drive it for awhile and then repeat, nothing comes on....
In the 345 series - that noise would either be the fuel pump mounted just in front of the fuel tank (on the bottom) or the air compressor topping off the air storage tank. There are LOTS of threads about each topic.

Great pic -

and you're right about the aggravation.
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Old 06-14-2006, 07:46 PM   #14
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The light coming on is a bad ground, usually to the parking light in the same housing, but sometimes for the headlight.
The A/C blowing cold (very cold) for a while, then freezing, could either be a stuck expansion valve, or low freon charge. Without getting too techinical, the lower the pressure in the evaporator, the lower the temp of the air. Low freon pressure will cause low temp, and icing over of the evaporator coils.
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