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Old 12-05-2009, 07:49 AM   #1
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Diesel Powered MoHo Question

Fuel mileage? With the Isuzu Turbo and an overdrive unit cruising at 60 expected fuel 15 mpg? Looking to buy an older Airstream or Argosy and am concerned about the fragility of the Isuzu deisel carrying this much weight.
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Old 12-05-2009, 10:19 AM   #2
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What fragility? Ours does not have an overdrive transmission and we get from 10 to 16 mpg depending on conditions and tow vehicle. It has plenty of power and I can't see any drawbacks.

Okay that said, here's what you need to know. The early ones either didn't have a turbo-charger or if they did, they were add ons. Ours is a 1985 and it is an all factory engine, and is somewhat improved over the earlier ones in that it has a stronger crankshaft and so on.

We have driven it many miles and have had no problem with either it or the transmission. Just try to get an 85 or newer.
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Old 12-05-2009, 10:46 AM   #3
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Fuel mileage? With the Isuzu Turbo and an overdrive unit cruising at 60 expected fuel 15 mpg? Looking to buy an older Airstream or Argosy and am concerned about the fragility of the Isuzu deisel carrying this much weight.
Check my mileage; I still get 15mpg and burn no oil. Those are bullet-proof engines as long as they get serviced and don't heat up.
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Old 12-05-2009, 10:46 AM   #4
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14.8 Mpg no problem with Isuzu TD

On our 81 the previous owner put in a new Isuzu TD. The original one had the tacked on turbo with the tacked on oil lines. One of those oil lines left the building necessitating the engine replacement. Anyhow on my drive home from Vancouver WA to Phoenix AZ, I consistently saw high 14s. Right under the advertised 15 Mpg. Without an OD. When my savings are (hopefully) replenished in 2010 adding an OD (and solar) are at the top of the motorhome project list.

-KL
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Old 12-05-2009, 10:53 AM   #5
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This Fall I pulled the rear end out of the unit and took it to a rear end shop and had the gear ratio changed. It was originally set up for 55 mpg so we set it up now for 65 mpg at about the same rpm. Power has never been an issue with it so this should be not problem.

Still haven't made a trip with it, but just driving it locally the change was dramatic! It is a lot cheaper than the overdrive.
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Old 12-05-2009, 11:24 AM   #6
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This Fall I pulled the rear end out of the unit and took it to a rear end shop and had the gear ratio changed. It was originally set up for 55 mpg so we set it up now for 65 mpg at about the same rpm. Power has never been an issue with it so this should be not problem.

Still haven't made a trip with it, but just driving it locally the change was dramatic! It is a lot cheaper than the overdrive.
Do you know the old/new gear ratios?
Thanks,
Bob
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Old 12-05-2009, 11:46 AM   #7
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We went from a 4:56 to a 4:10. It give between and 8 to 10 per cent increase in speed at the same rpm. At the same time the shop replaced all the bearings in the rear banjo and we also did the wheel bearings and brakes.

The work was done at Zumbrota Gear in Zumbrotoa, Minnesota and their cost, parts and labor was around $880.00. We had to remove and transport the banjo to them and then bring it back and re-install it. I also have the old ring and pinion gear if anyone needs one. Its still in good shape.
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Old 12-05-2009, 02:19 PM   #8
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Exclamation Diesel or gas???

Greetings to all!!
As a new member of this forum, I'd like your collective advice.
I've recently been infected by the Airstream bug (better than swine flu for sure, but probably more expensive in the long run), and have developed a yearning to buy a Classic motorhome, most likely a 345, 350, or a late model 36 footer.
I have noticed that many folks selling gasoline powered units mention that they are on their second engine at the 60-70k mile point. Are the 454's up to the job, or to be avoided if possible? Their fuel economy seems pretty bad in the 7 -10 mpg range, and I have no idea what kind of performance they offer going down the road. On a long highway run I'd like to be able to cruise at 70-75 mph. Has anyone done a complete gas to diesel swap?
I should mention that I'm somewhat of a diesel fan to begin with. Does any one have any experience with the late model Classic 36 in general, and the diesel pusher in particular? Thanks much, all advice is greatly appreciated!!
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Old 12-05-2009, 05:58 PM   #9
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Buying an Airstream in original configuration will be a much more economical solution in the long run.

Factor your added cost of fuel vs. gas and it's quite clear if you can find a classic equipped as you want it that it will be most cost effective.

Your choice of highway speed will dictate your fuel economy. The later 36' models had a little more slope to the front windshields and presented perhaps a little less aerodynamic drag. There is a lot written here about drag increase beyond 55mph.

Good luck in your search, the hunt is an education and you've enrolled in the right school here.
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Old 12-06-2009, 09:23 AM   #10
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Classic 36 D/P

Cummins/allison 6spd. Good power ,1800 rpm =60mph =8/10 mpg.Have been very happy with this set up.8mpg towing jeep ,have gotten 12.5 mpg empty.Good luck with your search . Phil & Sandy
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Old 12-06-2009, 06:54 PM   #11
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There is a MOHO for sale on the sight with a non turbo deisel.
Pre Turbo Isuzu Deisel. How many cubic inches?
I like changing the Rear End so long as the other two gears in the automatic don't lug the engine as it starts off from a dead stop and shifts through the gears. I wonder if there is a shift kit available for the automatic. I think it should be a GM turbo 400. Am I right? DW
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Old 12-06-2009, 07:11 PM   #12
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I don't think a no turbo diesel was ever made.
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Old 03-23-2010, 11:00 AM   #13
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Diesel Powered 310 on ebay

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Cummins/allison 6spd. Good power ,1800 rpm =60mph =8/10 mpg.Have been very happy with this set up.8mpg towing jeep ,have gotten 12.5 mpg empty.Good luck with your search . Phil & Sandy
There is a 310 with Cummins diesel power currently on eBay. Apparently there are some unanswered questions about this rig, but one thing that concerns me is the mating of the transmission. If the 310 originally had an Isuzu engine, would it have had a 4 speed Allison? Is that transmission compatible (or advisable) for the Cummins?
I just can't get the diesel thing out of my head. I've always driven diesel automobiles and just like the dependability and longevity.
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Old 03-23-2010, 02:43 PM   #14
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I don't think a no turbo diesel was ever made.
No Mike, the real early units didn't have a turbo. They also didn't have any power. The turbo makes a HUGE difference.
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