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Old 08-09-2012, 04:19 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 92landyacht View Post
Just curious as to why the 345 was being parted out? I understand that you needed parts for your 310, but what was so wrong with the 345 to make it a parts only MH? I'd love to have a 345 some day. Don't get me wrong, the 92 LY I have now is OK, but the idea of a later model aluminum can 345 makes me excited.
The 345 had been parked (abandoned) around 10 to 15 years ago on a wooded lot in Oklahoma because it had been wrecked in the front end. Everything from the front of the radiator forward is/was gone including the windshields and any and all metal. The left rear of the 345 was damaged when the new owners of the property decided they wanted it moved from one part of the property to another. They moved it with a dozer pushing on the rear. That wouldn't have been so bad but the guy couldn't figure out how to release the parking brake so the dozer tore the left part of the bumper off and the shrouding in that area.

When we decided to buy it we looked at the probable cost to rebuild the front end and felt that from what we had heard about prices just to replace a section of skin that it would likely cost way more than the coach would be worth, assuming you could even get some of the structural components that were gone.

Once we got past the fact that it would be just to expensive to rebuild the chance to get it for spare parts for our 310 and a source of 345 parts for everyone else was just to good to pass up. We've removed a lot of good parts from it, sold a bunch of parts to people that really needed them and still have a lot of parts to sell.

Bottom line, if the 345 would have been worth rebuilding we probably would have tried to sell it as a fixer upper. Finding the right person to take on a task like that and then getting it to them would likely have been almost impossible.

The worst part of this whole deal was the massive amount of tick bites I got while crawling under it in Oklahoma while changing wheels. I came away with some where around 75 tick bites Threw my clothes away and itched for several weeks.

Yes, I'm sorry to see a Classic 345 being torn apart but I believe that if we hadn't bought it, it likely would have been sold to a crusher. I don't remember if I ever posted the story of what it took to get it out of the woods. If I didn't I'll have too in the near future. Needless to say it's not something I ever want to do again.

I hope that answers your question

Brad
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Old 08-09-2012, 09:03 PM   #16
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Quote:
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................ I don't remember if I ever posted the story of what it took to get it out of the woods. If I didn't I'll have too in the near future. Needless to say it's not something I ever want to do again.
Brad
I bet that story would make for some pretty good reading
I can not even begin to imagine, how you did that, especially with all those tick bites...
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Old 08-14-2012, 06:45 AM   #17
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A few pictures of the front cab roof area. The good news is I could find no indication that any of the roof penetrations leaked. It appears that Airstream does a good job of sealing the penetrations.

The back side of the aluminum roof has some sort of brown substance on it that I'm assuming was some sort of brush on or spray on adhesive used to hold the pink insulation in place.

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The second picture shows the back side of the front ceiling liner. The liner is incredibly light and somewhat flimsy.

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It looks like something caved in the area around the spotlight mounting point. I'm going to have to get up on the roof to see if I can figure out what might have caused the damage. Even so it doesn't look like water ever came through any of the openings.

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A black tarry substance was used to seal the wires going to the running lights.

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Old 08-16-2012, 12:24 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterH-87MH View Post
I bet that story would make for some pretty good reading
I can not even begin to imagine, how you did that, especially with all those tick bites...
Well, you can read all about it now What we go through to keep our Classic motorhomes running.
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Old 08-22-2012, 08:10 PM   #19
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Now for some pictures on how the side view mirrors are mounted. On our 1984 310 and 1974 Argosy the bolts for mounting the mirrors are on the outside of the coach so I at least have the option of unbolting them and installing different mirrors. For the later classics like this 1986 345 the mirrors mount from the inside with three studs.

I can only think of two ways to remove the mirror mounts, from the outside use a grinder and just grind away at the aluminum mount until you can push the remainder of the studs inside the coach. The other method would be a lot more painful in that you would have to remove the entire inside wall including any trim to get at the nuts holding the mounting studs in place. Talk about a pain

You would also have to deal with all of the sealant slathered on and around the nuts and wires. I'm not complaining about the sealant because from what I can see this 345 didn't really have any water making its way through any of these openings. It's just messy to deal with.

Anyway here are a few pictures to give you an idea of what the inside mounting structure looks like.

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One thing of note is on this 345 the actual mounting plate seems to be made up of two plates. The larger one closer to the outside appears to be about 1/4" thick and the smaller plate that is just large enough for the foot print of the mirror mount is about 3/8" thick. I do not know if the arrangement is the same on any of the other models or years.

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Brad
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Old 08-22-2012, 08:28 PM   #20
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Now for some pictures of the rear camera mount. Again this is something Airstream obviously didn't care how an owner could remove for service or upgrade, etc.

Instead of using studs protruding from inside to outside they used bolts protruding from outside to inside. This arrangement is similar to how they do the door hinges. It would have been so nice if Airstream would have given at least a little consideration to work/repairs after the sale.

The only way I can think of easily accessing the nuts would be to cut a hole on the inside of the storage compartment. At least the access hole would not be visible when the sliders are down.

You would also have a problem with the cable that sticks through the skin. They used a large amount of sealant to keep it from leaking. That means you will have a difficult time trying to pull more cable out, assuming there is any slack inside.

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Old 08-23-2012, 11:40 AM   #21
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Brad, can you put on your list of things to document the routing and details of the TV antenna coax cable please?
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Old 08-23-2012, 06:47 PM   #22
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Steve,

Let me know if you're looking for more or different information.

There are three cables that go from the over head bin area up into the ceiling and head over to front air conditioner and then turn and head to towards the rear.

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The first wire splits off and goes up to the roof by the antenna raise/lower mechanism. The other two cables continue traveling to the rear passing by the rear air conditioner.

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One of the two cables splits off and heads to the socket that is above the drivers side closet. This socket has the 12-volt plug in and the antenna connector.

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The last cable goes a couple of feet more towards the rear and then turns towards the space between the closet and the rear side window. It continues on down the wall and heads to the floor.

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Once at the floor it actually comes out of the wall and runs along the side of the wall until it is just below the window. From there it heads through the floor.

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Once through the floor it ends up in the electrical compartment.

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Old 09-08-2012, 10:31 AM   #23
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Yesterday I removed the passenger cockpit window assembly. I will say this, I hope no one ever has to replace the fixed window pane in the cockpit. To do so you literally have to remove the interior skin all the way around the window in order to get access to the drain tube. You can't remove the window without removing the drain tube. Not sure what Airstream was thinking when they designed that arrangement but it certainly wasn't with maintenance after the sale in mind

The first thing I did was remove all of the exterior rivets using the following tool purchased from Aircraft Spruce. In reading the forums I've found that some people like using the tool and others feel it's a waste of time. My only comment is when I start getting tired I like having a tool that takes the guess work out of how to drill a rivet out.

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Once the rivets were drilled out I made sure they were below the depth of the outer frame by using a punch and driving them inward. I then used a flexible putty knife and a hammer to break the seal between the window frame and the double sided tape used on the backside of the window frame where it meets the aluminum skin. The hammer and putty knife worked very well.

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There are five or six stainless sheet metal screws that have to be removed along the front where the window frame meets the main structural frame. The one screw shown in the picture is not one of them

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To seal the window from the inside Airstream used massive amounts of vulkem. It was slathered on real thick in places and I ended up using the putty knife with hammer the same way I did the outside. Again this method worked real well in freeing up the window for removal.

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I'm not sure how many people realize there is a drain tube under the guide track, I know I didn't, but this is the main reason you have to remove the interior panel below the window. I could see no method of removing the window without first removing this drain tube. The tube is made up of 1/4" copper tubing and flared at the top. I didn't see any sealing done between the tube and the inside of the track. I'm assuming Airstream counted on the massive amount of Vulkem that was slathered on under the window frame. I didn't noticed any water leaks in this area so it must have worked. Once I removed all of the Vulkem I was able to slip the tube out of the frame.

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Continued below....
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Old 09-08-2012, 10:45 AM   #24
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Cockpit window frame removal continued....

Once the drain tube was removed and the seal broken all the way around both inside and on three sides outside (top, rear, bottom) I was ready to try and remove the window frame.

Note, I didn't try and break the seal on the side front edge of the window frame because it actually lays slightly underneath the windshield rubber gasket. My thought was to push the back end of the window out first and then keep rotating it towards the front hopefully breaking the front double sided tape seal.

It was sort of difficult at first to get the window frame moving but once I got the first bit of moment it went fairly easy after that.

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Here you can see where the leading edge of the window frame is under the windshield rubber gasket. One thought that occurred to me is if you're getting leaks from the front area you might try sealing along the seam between the window frame and the windshield rubber gasket. The only thing sealing the frame in that area is the double sided tape.

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Here are some pictures showing the structural frame work around the window opening. As you can see on the leading edge there was no sealant other then the windshield rubber gasket and the window frame.

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In order to remove the fixed window pane the following two little screws need to be removed so you can remove the center mullion. Once the mullion is removed I'm still not sure how to remove the fixed window. I think that task is for another day

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Next up will be removal of the rear corner windows.

Brad
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Old 09-08-2012, 11:11 AM   #25
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Quote:
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Cockpit window frame removal continued....
...

Brad
Awesome documentary, Brad. Thank you for all the work it takes to do that.
You mentioning a drain tube under the windows made me crack up, because I added one of those many years back in my 79 Moho, but just a little further to the front. I had a persistent leak that I was unable to trace and it would rot out the floors in the cab. They must have caught on to that and added it in the later models.
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Old 09-08-2012, 03:56 PM   #26
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Awesome documentary, Brad. Thank you for all the work it takes to do that.
You mentioning a drain tube under the windows made me crack up, because I added one of those many years back in my 79 Moho, but just a little further to the front. I had a persistent leak that I was unable to trace and it would rot out the floors in the cab. They must have caught on to that and added it in the later models.
Peter,

Glad you like the documentation. Hopefully it will help someone down the road. If nothing else it will remind me how to do it should I ever need too

If you had to add the drain tube to your 79 then it's a sure bet my 74 Argosy motorhome doesn't have the drain tube. I guess I'll add that to the list of things to do when I replace the seals and tracks on the cockpit windows

I got the drivers side cockpit window assembly removed this afternoon. It went pretty much like the passenger side did. Now that I know how to do it it's not that bad of a job. That is assuming all of the interior is already removed

Brad
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Old 09-15-2012, 05:33 PM   #27
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This morning it was time to removing the awning. For the past several weeks I've been thinking of different ways to remove it by myself and last night I finally came up with a solution that I thought might work.

I've got a old Case backhoe that I have fitted pallet forks to the front bucket. Those forks have come in handy time and again and this morning was no exception. As you can see from the pictures I made a guide/carrier from a could of 2x10-12' planks. The carrier was clamped to the forks and then I placed the backhoe in alignment so when the bucket was raised the carrier was in alignment with the awning as I slid it from the track on the motorhome.

I was quite surprised at how easy the awning slid within the track. I was afraid I'd have to beat on it, etc to get it to move. One good shove was all it took to get it moving. Once it was moving I would slide it a few feet, stop and add a tie wrap to keep it rolled and move it another couple of feed. The process worked real well.

I've read else where on the forums that it is possible to cut the tube and awning down to a smaller size so the plan is to cut this one down to fit the 20' Argosy motorhome. Hopefully my only expense will be getting the awning seamed along the edge where I cut it.

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Old 09-16-2012, 08:10 AM   #28
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Brad, did you have to unwind the torsion spring before you took it off the RV or were you able to just take the arms of the endcaps? There is a dimple in the tube that holds the spring in place that you may have to modify on the cut end. I understand you can use 4 rivets instead of trying to make the dimple in the new location.
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