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Old 04-18-2017, 07:14 PM   #1
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1982 28' Airstream 280
Flower Mound , Texas
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Project motorhome

I'm Dave. My wife and I just snagged a 1982 classic 28' motorhome. It was sitting for 8 years and is on borrowed time. Some dopers broke in and cut lots of wires. Basically it's a mess. My plan is to save the old gal from being turned into beer cans. Any other RV would have been a no-go. The cool-factor of these things is so high that I'm willing to put the time and money into it. I'm pretty handy, but I'm sure I'll be picking the brains of those in the know about the "where" and "how's" of it. First order of business is to get it home. It's sitting about 1.25 hours away. The carb is out and is being rebuilt. It has 60 gallons of 8 year-old gas in the tank. You can see where this is going. Anyhow, I'm excited about this project, and I'm optimistic that I can have it home in about a month. Thanks in advance for the insights and I hope to meet some of you soon at one of the rallies.
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Old 04-18-2017, 08:55 PM   #2
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1983 31' Airstream310
Hillsburgh , Ontario
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Okay, wow; I hope you know what you've got yourself in for........

First up, introduce yourself in the Classic motorhome forums (find motorhome tab if you hover on Forums tab, and then select Classic motorhomes).

Then be prepared to be overwhelmed with a lot of information that will blow your mind but will eventually will make sense.

Read this thread first before doing or starting anything.......

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f311...ce-161521.html

Cheers
Tony

PS replace all fuel lines anywhere near the engine as we have lost a number of these beauties from fuel fires over the years.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/...nt-162052.html
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Old 05-01-2017, 01:08 PM   #3
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1982 28' Airstream 280
Flower Mound , Texas
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Ok thanks Isuzu. The carburetor goes in a few days from now, and I'll dump the gas, flush, and re-hose. I have a new fuel pump on standby, and belts. I just have to figure out how to get up in there to get the belts in position and tightened. I have no idea how to get in there and move the AC and hydro pumps. I'll probably have to lie down in the mouse poop on top of the engine for the AC, but the hydro is going to be a beast. I can't even move it up on ramps because it's out in a field. Towing may have to happen. I'll update when I have something to update. I appreciate this venue for exchanging ideas. Rvnewbie
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Old 05-01-2017, 04:57 PM   #4
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great that you are rescuing one. Keep us posted on the progress and some photos would be a treat.
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Old 05-09-2017, 08:04 AM   #5
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1982 28' Airstream 280
Flower Mound , Texas
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Ok. An update is due as a fair amount has happened. I tried to post pictures as requested last week, but I deleted the post because the pictures ended up upside-down. I'll confer with my 14 year-old and have some posted soon. I got belts replaced, new alternator, and coolant topped off. Drained the old gas and put some fresh stuff in. Installed the rebuilt carburetor and cranked until fresh gas was coming from the pump. Connected the fuel line to the carburetor and it started right up. All I have left to do before I move it to my place is replace a couple fuel lines (including the supply/return lines from the tank which will be beastly) and figure out how to bleed/replace fluid in the brake system. Then I have to figure out what the best time of day will be to make a stealthy beeline for my house. One guy suggested that I make a sign to tape on the back that says "moving to my new deer-lease". He swears that it worked for him. I'm not that lucky though. Thanks for making me feel welcome on this forum. I look forward to making your acquaintance at a future rally. Newbie
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Old 05-09-2017, 08:18 AM   #6
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If you use the Edit function in your Photos app, and reduce the size of your pictures a bit, they should post properly.


Maggie
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Old 05-09-2017, 10:38 AM   #7
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1974 20' Argosy 20
Richmond , Kentucky
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Originally Posted by Rvnewbie View Post
Ok. An update is due as a fair amount has happened. I tried to post pictures as requested last week, but I deleted the post because the pictures ended up upside-down. I'll confer with my 14 year-old and have some posted soon. I got belts replaced, new alternator, and coolant topped off. Drained the old gas and put some fresh stuff in. Installed the rebuilt carburetor and cranked until fresh gas was coming from the pump. Connected the fuel line to the carburetor and it started right up. All I have left to do before I move it to my place is replace a couple fuel lines (including the supply/return lines from the tank which will be beastly) and figure out how to bleed/replace fluid in the brake system. Then I have to figure out what the best time of day will be to make a stealthy beeline for my house. One guy suggested that I make a sign to tape on the back that says "moving to my new deer-lease". He swears that it worked for him. I'm not that lucky though. Thanks for making me feel welcome on this forum. I look forward to making your acquaintance at a future rally. Newbie
In order to replace the supply and return lines from the tank be prepared to drop the tank for access. Unfortunately there's no easy way around it. With that said there are a few forum members who have cut access holes in the floor above the gas tank to provide access to the fuel lines. If you're going to do a complete refurb that might be the easiest to do at this point in time.

Looking forward to pictures and good luck with the move!

Brad
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Old 05-09-2017, 02:02 PM   #8
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1982 28' Airstream 280
Flower Mound , Texas
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It's not going to be a shell-off restoration, but it's down to the subfloor. One interesting thing I found is there is already a square hole cut in the subfloor midway back. The aluminum sheeting is intact still underneath that, but I'll have to measure carefully before I cut into it to make sure that the sending unit is right there. Ok, I'm going to try the pictures again. I could only change the aspect in my photo settings, not the size. I'll send more detailed ones later if this works. Here goes. Newbie
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Old 05-09-2017, 02:08 PM   #9
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Pictures came out just fine and your coach doesn't look that bad! Is this where it's currently parked waiting for the trip to it's new home? I bought a 345 parked in a similar setting and I didn't realize it until after I'd crawled under it that I was laying in a tick bed! THAT was not a pleasant experience

Considering the circumstances I would certainly consider cutting through the floor to access the to of the tank. It would certainly make life a lot easier and quicker. Removing the tank in it's present setting would be a real challenge. Certainly not one that I would want to deal with.

Brad
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Old 05-09-2017, 02:14 PM   #10
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1979 28' Airstream Excella 28
Albuquerque , New Mexico
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you probably know this, but watch your speed if your tyres are 8 years or more old

good luck! i'm (slowly) restoring a very similiar unit
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Old 05-09-2017, 04:51 PM   #11
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As for cutting a hole in the floor, here is my project for installing a in tank fuel pump:
http://theouterlimits.ws/projects/ai...uel/index.html
Mine is a 84 270, so your tank location will probably be somewhere else.
To replace the lines, you will still likely have to drop the tank to do the job right. If you cant move it with the old lines, you could do a quick transport job by running rubber lines all the way, as long as you keep them FAR away from the exhaust manifold and pipes. As soon as you get to your destination, do the job right!
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Old 05-09-2017, 08:25 PM   #12
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1982 28' Airstream 280
Flower Mound , Texas
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Brad, thanks for the advice. Texas ticks are nothing to mess with! I usually lube up with a couple layers of deepwoods OFF and drop a tarp under the coach before diving under. The pictures are taken where it has sat since it was parked 2 owners and at least 8 years ago. Ideally I will cobble it together to get it home where I can drop the tank. I'm going to replace ALL the rubber everywhere. As KYOTE pointed out, the tires are certainly suspect too. They look great, but they are checked in a few places. They will all be replaced before I put this AS into service. Wayne, your TBI mod with the fuel pumps looks like an awesome option. I may look into that in the future. I think the blurry eyed, medium range plan is to make it run as best as I can with stock components. Get the interior upgraded/refurbished. Use the MH for a year or so and see what the wife thinks. If this works for us, I will do some power train upgrades. One option would be to re-power it with a Cummins or Duramax. I can envision many miles and years of use including trips to Alaska where my folks live. That type of use/abuse would probably necessitate a strong Diesel engine as well as some suspension upgrades. All that is years out though. I'll just be ecstatic to get it home where I can tinker to my hearts content without providing a source of nourishment to the ticks.
Fraternally,
Dave
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Old 05-10-2017, 08:16 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Rvnewbie View Post
Brad, thanks for the advice. Texas ticks are nothing to mess with! I usually lube up with a couple layers of deepwoods OFF and drop a tarp under the coach before diving under. The pictures are taken where it has sat since it was parked 2 owners and at least 8 years ago. Ideally I will cobble it together to get it home where I can drop the tank. I'm going to replace ALL the rubber everywhere. As KYOTE pointed out, the tires are certainly suspect too. They look great, but they are checked in a few places. They will all be replaced before I put this AS into service. Wayne, your TBI mod with the fuel pumps looks like an awesome option. I may look into that in the future. I think the blurry eyed, medium range plan is to make it run as best as I can with stock components. Get the interior upgraded/refurbished. Use the MH for a year or so and see what the wife thinks. If this works for us, I will do some power train upgrades. One option would be to re-power it with a Cummins or Duramax. I can envision many miles and years of use including trips to Alaska where my folks live. That type of use/abuse would probably necessitate a strong Diesel engine as well as some suspension upgrades. All that is years out though. I'll just be ecstatic to get it home where I can tinker to my hearts content without providing a source of nourishment to the ticks.
Fraternally,
Dave
My ticks were Oklahoma ticks but my guess is the all have the same effect!

Driving slow you should be able to get home on your old tires, just take it easy and don't be afraid to pull over to let them cool down. Disintegrating tires can do a lot of damage at speed. I experience that with an old Winnebago. Tires looked good so I thought I could make it, nope, had a blowout that damaged the bathroom floor.

There are some threads where the coaches have been re-powered with different V8s and diesels. Not a trivial task but if planned properly and facilities are available it can definitely be done.

Brad
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Old 05-10-2017, 09:38 PM   #14
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1987 34.5' Airstream 345
Menomonee Falls , Wisconsin
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Resurrection

Hello,
You and I are in a very similar place. Can I make a suggestion? Call a towing co, have them bring a landall rollback trailor. It will be worth the money to get it back home in your drive. Tools, concrete, food, no stress. If it's been sitting for 8 years, you know nothing about the engine. Fuel pump, bearings, water pump, hoses, belts. Transmission? At home you got the luxury of talking those things on your own time. I've been there done that, That is a little enough unit ,a tow truck with a stinger, it grabs the front wheels on a cradle . Don t bumper tow it. The classics bumpers are pure vanity. No strength in them. That tow may cost you 400 bucks, but it will be piece of mind worth it.
From the looks of it, it's got some good bones. A good cleaning will help your moral, when you get overwhelmed with the project. My 325 looks like it sat in the woods for years. . Moss, black caked on sap I think. My arms fell off last summer cleaning and polishing. I m not done yet. But it looks a heck of a lot better. Stream on dude and dude tote. DJ
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