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Old 10-26-2007, 01:14 AM   #1
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1993 34' Legacy 34
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Engine rebuild price?

We recently purchased a 1993 Airstream Legacy, which we love and anticipate enjoying. My biggest fear is that I will blow an engine while out on the road and be overcharged for repair. Does anyone have any idea what kind of cost to expect should this happen?
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Old 10-26-2007, 05:03 AM   #2
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Engine rebuilding.

Quote:
Originally Posted by geodrake
We recently purchased a 1993 Airstream Legacy, which we love and anticipate enjoying. My biggest fear is that I will blow an engine while out on the road and be overcharged for repair. Does anyone have any idea what kind of cost to expect should this happen?
Good morning geodrake:
First of all, your anticipation may never materialize. Get a cup of good coffee sit back and and divert your thoughts toward pleasant days ahead. If your engine presently is in good shape, than all you have to do is maintain that status. Perform your scheduled maintenance and stop worrying that one day it may happen.

In the marine industry we rebuild and or replace engines, but your question is impossible to answer unless the extent of damage is known. Marine engines work much harder than any engines in wheel vehicles. One hundred hours of operation equals to that of a 40.000 miles in a car, yet when properly maintained average life expectancy is 800 to 1200 hours. This would equal 480.000 miles.

Majority of failures which we see are caused by negligence to maintain components on which the longevity of the engine depends on. We build 396 Cub/Inch engines which develop 800+ Hp for boat application. Try to bear in mind the boat engine works the hardest, much like truck in the first gear pulling a heavy load up hill at maximum RPM all the time. While it is true that better components and precision machining is a must, but when properly maintained they still last 500 hours with some refreshing done at mid point.

To answer your question [I am not being sarcastic] if you blow your engine it can cost you as much as engine replacement may cost. Stop anticipating loss of the engine because you may loose a transmission first, if you neglect fluid changes. Try to maintain your rig properly and until misfortune occurs enjoy your AS instead of worrying what may go wrong.
Wish you a Happy Camping. Thanks "Boatdoc"
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Old 10-26-2007, 06:58 AM   #3
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A suggestion may be to save some money every month in a contingency fund that would be accessible to you on the road should you need it. Sorta like term life insurance.

Susan
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Old 10-26-2007, 07:28 AM   #4
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As boatdoc says it depends on what breaks, what is damaged as a result, and how you decide to fix it. Many decide to install a new crate motor.

You always have the option of towing/trucking your motorhome back home and performing or having the repairs performed locally.

We have put ~60,000 miles on our 1984 310 Classic motorhome. It now has ~135,000 miles and still runs strong. We'll take it to Mexico this fall/winter. I know some day I'm likely to face and engine overhaul/ replacement but refuse to allow worrying about it to limit our use of the MH.
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Old 10-26-2007, 07:49 AM   #5
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Most people will install a crate engine with a 3 year - 75,000 mile warranty. This is a good way to go unless you plan on making some performance modifications to the engine, then you need to find a competent engine builder. If you engine is going south you should be able to see it coming. You may want to make sure you good oil pressure and temperature guages for the engine and the transmission.
I would think that it would be at least $1000 or more for the motor change. The cost of a motor will of course depend on what it is. I would figure anywhere from $2000 to $5000.
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Old 10-26-2007, 10:05 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geodrake
We recently purchased a 1993 Airstream Legacy, which we love and anticipate enjoying. My biggest fear is that I will blow an engine while out on the road and be overcharged for repair. Does anyone have any idea what kind of cost to expect should this happen?
The PO of our 310 had to have the engine replaced after he took it in for service to have the air conditioning system charged. The service place left the motorhome running out beside their shop for hours and forgot about it. It wasn't until someone noticed the smoke coming out of the engine compartment that they remembered it was sitting there idling. The engine ended up throwing a rod due to low oil pressure.

After it was all said and done the total replacement cost for a replacement crate engine from GM was around $8,700 (in 2001 dollars).

The sad part is the a/c repair shop only had to pay a fraction of that cost. The PO had to get a lawyer involved to even get that much.

Anyway, this should give you an idea of what it would cost for a 454 crate engine replacement with the work being done by a respected RV place in CA.

Brad
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Old 10-26-2007, 02:50 PM   #7
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Geodrake
Trust me I have had an engine failure on the road, plus brakes, electrical,electrical, electrical, and have I mentioned electrical failures on the road. we have had to have Chummy towed to strange looking places and parked among scary looking trucks. We have had to learn whole new languages when talking truck and tow and repair and bills with these people. We have met some really interesting people in waiting rooms while Chummy gets repaired and have seen some nasty looking tattoos. This is not your worse fear, you can live through it! Drive on and don't worry about a thing. Always keep in mind that when you reach the top of each hill you can always coast down.
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Old 10-26-2007, 07:39 PM   #8
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I have just recently completed this task. I replaced my 454 and the TH400 tranny with a crate remanufactured engine as I was told by a GM dealer they were no longer available for my year. I used a rebuilt 700R4 with extra clutches and I provided all the labor and have about 6000 dollars in it in 2007 dollars. I would sure hate to get stuck out where I didn't know anyone and pay a shop for that! These days it could get over 10k easily.
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Old 12-08-2007, 06:42 AM   #9
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Bfrank,

Does the 700R4 transmission work well for you in this application?

What is your engine RPM @ 60 mph?

Any problems with transmission/engine cooling?

Enquiring minds want to know.

Thanks,

FRank
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Old 12-08-2007, 07:20 AM   #10
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The 700R4 so far has done well. I don't know that I would put one in a larger coach, mine is a 24ft. At 2000 RPM Im running between 65 and 70. The big plus is around 10 to 12 mpg not so bad for a motorhome. With headers and
the header wrap I installed it is quiet and cooler in the engine compartment.
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Old 12-08-2007, 09:35 AM   #11
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Why not get an extensive analysis of the engine and tranny to find out what it's condition is, make the necessary repairs and enjoy life with peace of mind.
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Old 12-08-2007, 09:46 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bfrank
The 700R4 so far has done well. I don't know that I would put one in a larger coach, mine is a 24ft. At 2000 RPM Im running between 65 and 70. The big plus is around 10 to 12 mpg not so bad for a motorhome. With headers and
the header wrap I installed it is quiet and cooler in the engine compartment.
Do you know how much your rig weighs and what the its rated max weight is?
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Old 01-12-2008, 11:00 PM   #13
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Bfrank,

Thanks for the info. I'm a big fan of the 700R4, but I'll stick with my TH475 and Gear Vendors. Sure wish there was an easy, inexpensive way to get a lockup torque converter in the 475!

HST, @ 60 mph, I'm turning 2400 RPM and when I drive smart, can get 9 to 9.5 mph. Would like better mileage, but I've probably done all I can to improve it -- Banks, GV, MSD, etc. Driving technique and staying home on windy days seems to make quite a difference!
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33' 1990 Airstream Land Yacht: Edelbrock, Banks, Gear Vendors, MSD, Taylor wires, Super Steer bell cranks, Bilsteins, Roadmaster sway bar, Safe Steer, Pressure Pro, Crossfire, Bigfoot levelers, Rickson 7.5" rims & 245/70 R19.5 Bridgestones on steer axle.
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Old 01-13-2008, 09:01 PM   #14
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Mileage figures

Quote:
Originally Posted by Taxman
Bfrank,

Thanks for the info. I'm a big fan of the 700R4, but I'll stick with my TH475 and Gear Vendors. Sure wish there was an easy, inexpensive way to get a lockup torque converter in the 475!

HST, @ 60 mph, I'm turning 2400 RPM and when I drive smart, can get 9 to 9.5 mph. Would like better mileage, but I've probably done all I can to improve it -- Banks, GV, MSD, etc. Driving technique and staying home on windy days seems to make quite a difference!
Over Christmas, we visited Virginia Beach, VA, driving from there to Southern Maryland with wife, dogs, and full tanks of fuel but no water or sewage. Between Virginia Beach and the fuel stop just short of the VA-MD line on US 301 we used exactly 11 gallons of fuel, covering 165 miles--which I make to be 15 MPG, @ $2.79 per gal. Averaged about 50 mph--heavy traffic in places.
We stayed over an additional day while a fresh storm with 40 mph winds blew through--QED

91 350 LE
454
MSD ignition
Gearvendors
Headmans

Driving mostly by cruise control, mostly flatland.

Best to all,

Rob
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