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Old 05-17-2014, 08:33 PM   #1
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1985 34.5' Airstream 345
bidwell , Ohio
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Need help finding the air compressor pump location on my 1985 A/345

I recently bought a 1985 34.5 ft Airstream 345 and I noticed the back axle wasnt down so I started searching for the switch to lower it and to try to find the compressor for it...Does anyone know where it is and how to use it...I dont see the location in my manuals and I also dont have power to my Coleman 7000 generator from using the start and stop or start generator buttons.. trying to figure everything out All help would be appreciated!
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Old 05-17-2014, 09:00 PM   #2
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It seems AS has not made manuals going back that far available for download from their website. Suggest you contact Customer Support and request one. Ask for Jim Parrett.
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Old 05-17-2014, 09:11 PM   #3
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1987 34.5' Airstream 345
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Hi TLHolley, and welcome to the Airstream Forums!
The back axle not going down is an issue not related to the air compressor but rather the leveling system not releasing pressure from the rear air bags. The system is designed to keep the bags inflated from 70 psi (cut in psi) to 80 psi (cut out psi). A good system will stay inflated for days. If you need to manually add or release air bag pressure, look for a small schrader valve located on the right side just forward of the rear wheels (mine is directly above the right exhaust pipe).
The air compressor is located at the right rear of the coach under the mattress, you will have to remove the support paneling to get to it. The compressor will turn on automatically when the key is in the ignition position, you will see a red air pressure light come on (left side of the dash) when the compressor is running. The pump stops automatically when the bags reach 80 psi. Your front bags are manually filled, keep them at 55 psi when driving.
Sorry, can't help you with the Coleman generator, these units came with Onan 6500 generators, your owners manual will have the interior switch wiring to remotely start the generator (one switch is on the dash, the other on the control panel above the galley sink). You should also be able to start the generator locally from inside the generator bay.
Good luck, I have manuals on everything that came with my 1987 345, many are on the forums in PDF format, let us know if you need help with anything!
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Old 05-17-2014, 09:58 PM   #4
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Buckwheat is right about the levelling system being fully automatic. Once the frame droops down enough to warrant more air the tall metal lever activates the air levelling valve (very much like the works in your toilet, same principal).

However it does seem like your compressor isn't working. Start by checking fuses if it's not working, once the ignition key is turned to Acc. If you find that the compressor needs replacement, this is the one I chose……

ARB On-Board High Performance 12 Volt Twin Air Compressor (CKMTA12)

Pricey, but excellent build quality. ARB has been making off road equipment for decades in Australia. Designed for the dusty unforgiving Outback, it should give me many years of service. I also plumbed in a hose reel with air line in my back storage for pumping up shocks, tires, inflatable toys…..errr I meant inflatable water toys, etc, etc. With a couple of 5 gallon aluminum tanks I can run air tools.
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Old 05-17-2014, 10:41 PM   #5
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1985 34.5' Airstream 345
bidwell , Ohio
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Thanks guys

Mine has the Queen size bed in the rear instead of the two smaller ones and I found the water pump underneath there under a little panel u lift off but still unsuccessful finding the air pump...So does the tag axle come up and down on its own? or do you do it manually? I still havent found a switch for it either
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Old 05-17-2014, 10:55 PM   #6
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Look in the back passenger side of the coach. If you have a year queen there is some wood cabinet piece that make the back of the coach square for the bed. It is most likely behind this. I will look through my picks tomorrow and see if I can find one that shows it. The panels come off to gain access. Not easily, but the come off.
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Old 05-17-2014, 11:05 PM   #7
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1985 34.5' Airstream 345
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I also found where a air hose hooks up in the passenger side far rear compartment is that the valve you were talking about? or is that used to pump up tires etc?
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Old 05-18-2014, 08:22 AM   #8
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1987 34.5' Airstream 345
Hendersonville , North Carolina
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Compartment connection is for air hoses, I use that one with a coiled air hose to pump up the front air bags and to top off the tires. Look for a small metal valve stem (similar to a car tire valve) that is mounted in the A/S skin just above the right side exhaust pipe (between the rear wheel well and the storage compartment forward of the wheel well).
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Old 05-18-2014, 09:28 AM   #9
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Here are some pics (not great, but you will get the idea of where your compressor is:

This shows the bed looking after. Since you have a 345 yours should be a side to side queen (called east west) where mine is a fore aft. If you notice on the left side just peeking out behind the black lift arm for the bed there is a grate. Or at least the very upper left corner of it.

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Here is a shot with everything removed. You can see the air compressor on the left (grey cylinder thingy by wood wall). The grate is leaning up against the back wall to the right of it and you will notice some firing strips screwed into the wood partition above the air compressor. They held on the little cabinet that covered it and the front of it was the grate to allow it to get air.

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I also pm'd you. It is a fairly steep learning curve but manageable with all the fine folks here on the forum!
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Old 05-18-2014, 11:32 AM   #10
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1987 34.5' Airstream 345
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Wow Dave, that's some serious restoration work! Our new guy will either be intrigued or wondering just what kind of mess he's gotten himself into. Life is an adventure, keeping these beasties rolling is one of the best. It truly is either a labor of love or a huge buyers regret. Stick with it long enough and you become an electrician, a plumber, a carpenter, a mechanic, the list goes on. No pain, no gain, no adventure. The forum is FULL of adventures! Happy trails to all!
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Old 05-18-2014, 11:39 AM   #11
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Wow in my 280 it's located in the rear drivers side compartment with my electrical cord. Very easy to get to. Glad I don't have do do as much to get to it.
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Old 05-18-2014, 11:59 AM   #12
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1987 34.5' Airstream 345
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So bag to the original problem of the "back axle wasn't down"... are we talking tag axle (with the single wheel) or the rear drive axle (dual wheels). If your tag axle isn't going down (are the wheels touching the ground?) then you have a whole 'nother world of problems, but air bags and compressors are not the culprit for that. For the rear drive axles, as long as the air bags are inflating to 80 psi then you have no issues, do not worry about taking air out of the bags. You can measure the bag pressure using the external air valve shown in my previous post. Attached are pics from an old DIY thread once hosted on thisoldrv.com, which sadly no longer hosts RV material. You can see from the pics what full and empty air bags look like. Have fun, get dirty!
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Old 05-18-2014, 01:09 PM   #13
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So bag to the original problem of the "back axle wasn't down"... are we talking tag axle (with the single wheel) or the rear drive axle (dual wheels). If your tag axle isn't going down (are the wheels touching the ground?) then you have a whole 'nother world of problems, but air bags and compressors are not the culprit for that. For the rear drive axles, as long as the air bags are inflating to 80 psi then you have no issues, do not worry about taking air out of the bags. You can measure the bag pressure using the external air valve shown in my previous post. Attached are pics from an old DIY thread once hosted on thisoldrv.com, which sadly no longer hosts RV material. You can see from the pics what full and empty air bags look like. Have fun, get dirty!
Tag axle equipped Airstream motor homes have now become an issue, since torsion axles only last about 25 years.

When they fail, extra weight is placed on the drive axle, that exceeds it's rating and can and does cause additional damages.

Tag axles must be replaced along with their shocks and leveling valves.

Until recently, those tag axles were no longer available, but now are.

They are not cheap, simply because of the special brackets and other parts that come with them.

The only part for the tag axle that is now history, is the 10 lug 12 inch drums.

They can be made, but who wants to buy 100 of them?

Andy
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Old 05-18-2014, 01:12 PM   #14
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I recently bought a 1985 34.5 ft Airstream 345 and I noticed the back axle wasnt down so I started searching for the switch to lower it and to try to find the compressor for it...Does anyone know where it is and how to use it...I dont see the location in my manuals and I also dont have power to my Coleman 7000 generator from using the start and stop or start generator buttons.. trying to figure everything out All help would be appreciated!
The air compressor, most always is located in the generator compartment.

Andy
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