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Old 06-20-2007, 08:15 PM   #1
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Lake Forest , California
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Question about Silver Streak (sorry!)

Hi everyone! I would love an Airstream motorhome, but can't seem to find one in my area that isn't 30+ feet long.

I'm into anything old school- cars, planes, motorcycles, machinery...motorhomes!

Anyway, a clean Silver Streak motorhome was sold on Ebay last week out of Phoenix. By the time the seller got back to me about having the fuel system looked at because it was "setting" and the rig was running rough, someone hit the Buy it Now. Dang, that was a clean and complete rig.

At the same time, another exact same model was also for sale on Ebay out of Phoenix. This one is a little rough around the edges, but seems to run good. The seller even has a video of it. (He can't seem to make up his mind if it's a 318 or 440). Here's a link to Ebay:

eBay Motors: 29 FT SILVER STREAK COLLECTORS UNIT!! NO RESERVE!!! (item 230144225136 end time Jun-24-07 19:03:19 PDT)

Anyways, I can't find any info on these rigs. Does anyone here have a clue about these?

One final question for now, has anyone put a Gear Vendors Overdrive on their older rigs, or do you just install a late model 4 speed automatic?

thanks for your time.
Rodd
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Old 06-20-2007, 08:29 PM   #2
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Rodd,

I'm a mopar guy. It has to have a 440. A 318 wouldn't even move a rig this big.

It's a '76 so it's a smog motor. That will strangle horsepower....probably about 230-250hp. Torque will still be up around 450 ft-lbs or so though.

It is probably backed by a torqflite 727 transmission, or possibly a loadflite (truck version). Those are very good transmissions, and a gear vendors overdrive unit should work with one.

It's worth looking at if you're in the area.

Good luck!
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Old 06-20-2007, 08:36 PM   #3
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Hi Rodd!

There's discussion about the other one here, mainly my whining about not being able to get it since we just got an Airstream 310.

In the video, the roughness sounded possibly like an exhaust issue to me. It's possible a tune-up, some good gas and exhaust work would take care of it. It seemed to have good acceleration.

The chassis of these things (older mohos) are usually decent to find parts for, since they were based on production truck chassis. Edit: Whoops--Brad just said that he was talking with a guy in Little Rock with an older moho on a Dodge chassis and he cannot find new suspension parts. So do some research before you jump right in--you may be able to source rebuildable parts in junkyards or something.

The other fellow said SS only made 12 of these. How funny TWO are for sale at the same time in the same city!

I would JUMP on it if I were you. It is unusual, different and very cool, IMHO. I really like old-school-type stuff, too. Just, like everyone here will tell you, be prepared to have the price you actually pay for it be "the cost of admission," and count on the fact that there will be some goodly sum of money spent to get it into the shape you would like it.

GOOD LUCK!!! (Brad said he would have to keep me away from the computer on the 24th, when it comes up!)

Susan
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Old 06-20-2007, 08:37 PM   #4
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Seems pretty strange that there would be 2 of those rigs in such a short period of time. Seems like there was something when the last one was posted that said there were only 12 of them made.
It is a cool old coach. And, wasn't that home movie funky?
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Old 06-20-2007, 09:05 PM   #5
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I am wondering about that "12 made" claim. Here's a link to a Silver Streak forum that makes me think that number is actually larger:

Link

Susan
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Old 06-20-2007, 09:06 PM   #6
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OK, I see Zenflyr bought the nicer looking one. I'll jump on that thread...
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Old 06-20-2007, 09:42 PM   #7
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Gear Vendor

To answer your last question; many of us have Gear Vendor Overdrives on our older coaches. They work great. When we first got ours, I didn't know what it was and didn't touch it for the first trip. When I finally realized what it was, I was very happy to have the gas savings and the drop in RPMs. Ron
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Old 06-20-2007, 10:45 PM   #8
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Thanks, everybody!

Here is the answer I just got from the seller in Phoenix:

it is a 318, assume nothing works and no dash ac. Thanks for looking

A 318 in a 30' motorhome sounds small to me. No gumption to try to make a sale. No wonder it's boomerang listing. I think I'll walk away
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Old 06-21-2007, 11:26 AM   #9
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A 318 is a good engine, but I don't see how they'd put one in something that big.

My granddad just sold a '76 winnebago that was 5' shorter than this one and it had a 440.
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Old 06-21-2007, 12:51 PM   #10
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JIm, There are some "short" Airstream and Argosy units for sale on this web sites classifieds.

As to the seller in AZ, Sounds like he is downplaying the unit so no one can complain later that he misrepresented. Maybe you could go look at it or have him e-mail you pictures of the engine and other parts.
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Old 06-21-2007, 11:00 PM   #11
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Hello,I'll try to help with motor???? Small block mopar (318/340/360/400) distributer is located in the rear of engine like a 350 chevy.Big block (383/413/426/440) distributer is in the front and slightly tilted.I used to drag race 'em twenty years ago..... Brian
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Old 07-19-2007, 09:29 PM   #12
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If it is a 318 then it is the CHRYSLER Marine & Industrial 318-3 code, an extremely heavy-duty motor. Even a regular 318 is better by design than a 350 Chev or 351 Ford. Chrysler had to design one motor for cars and trucks unlike the competition, and the truck versions (medium and heavy-duty) featured upgraded features from those found in cars and light-duty pickups. A 350 Chev is a throw-away motor by comparison. It's worn out by the time the 318 just needs new rings. Not all pieces interchange between the light and heavy-duty versions, as accessory mounting points were different, etc. Same is true for the 440. The code there is also 440-3.

The 318 is a bit marginal in this application (behind a 3-speed auto; needs a granny gear and stiff rear ratio), and, judging by the video, it is more likely a 413 or 440. We had a mid-70's Landau on the DODGE M-400 (?) chassis, and the acceleration is reasonably similar as I recall (that big DODGE easily crested several 11,000-ft Colorado passes while the 454 and 460 powered coaches waited on wreckers to pull them over).

On the other hand, with 4.56 gears a 318-3 is not out of the question. The transmission is an A727 Loadflite, a heavy-duty version of the [I]Torqueflite[I]. Ask the seller if the parking brake is integral to the transmission, many of them were.

As the motorhome is a Silver Streak the body and fittings are likely at or under 6,000-lbs (all aluminum construction), so this is NOT a heavy fiberglass-bodied, wood-framed/sandwich constructed. This would not be a heavy motorhome in comparison to some. Still, a 440-3 (or 413-3) is more likely. The above post point about distributor location is key to answering.

I wouldn't hesitate to get one with a 318-3. In the 1960's -- before the advent of diesels on the American road (cost was too high) -- the 318-3 would have been considered for such a light load (under 15,000-lbs) for it's inherent economy, durability and reliability.

That DODGE chassis, however, is one wandering SOB compared to what the majority of Americans are used to. It would need great shocks (KONI or BILSTEIN), a replacement bellcrank and stabilizer on the steering gear, and the drum brakes need regular adjustments to keep them from dragging or pulling. Front and rear anti-roll bars would also, IMO, be mandatory.

The motor is smog-exempt, always has been. A new carburetor body should be sourced and the carb professionally rebuilt. Final tuning should be by air/fuel (O2 sensor) on a dyno near replicating the original curve for fuel delivery and ignition. Ignition pieces should be upgraded to MSD. Etc.
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Old 08-31-2007, 01:31 AM   #13
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There is another one of them that shows up on the Seattle area Craigslist from time to time.. I have seen it listed a couple of times in the last few months.. needed some TLC was asking $7500 as I remember... Joe
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Old 08-31-2007, 10:11 AM   #14
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Rivet Mopar 400

Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderer1
Hello,I'll try to help with motor???? Small block mopar (318/340/360/400) distributer is located in the rear of engine like a 350 chevy.Big block (383/413/426/440) distributer is in the front and slightly tilted.I used to drag race 'em twenty years ago..... Brian
Hi Brian,

Close, the 400 is a big block. In 1972 when they lowered the compression ratio, they increased the bore in the 383 to offset the hp loss. I owned one. Chevy made the small block 400. Having owned both big and small block Mopars, I like them both, but vastly prefer the big block. My former TV, a 77 dodge van with a 318 struggled with the 24' Trade Wind till I put a 4V carb on. I actually bent the gas pedal on the floor while towing before with the 2V.

Vaughan
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