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Old 12-21-2005, 10:38 AM   #1
4 Rivet Member
Chuckles's Avatar
1983 31' Airstream310
Iwerne Minster , Dorset. UK
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 270
Service Manuals 1983 310 MH

Hi All,

My Airstream 310 MH has arrived into the UK, (reasonably safely) from Texas.
(Any one want the low-down on this shipping experience to the UK… please ask)

The only trouble is, no workshop manuals came with it.

I managed to get a P-30 chassis manual off the GMC site, but that seems to concentrate on later '85 on chassis.

I really need a wiring diagram, as the front-end electrics have taken a battering and need a full rewire - to be safe! and the location of relays etc., including the 'little box' that alters the polarity of the rear brake and turn lights.

The heater is not working but I have yet to "look behind the scenes" a bit more there.

There are other issues such as setting up the carb - its running very rich, with a nasty over-fuelling smell all the time (including the Genny). The Transmission drones, at anything over 40MPH., and steering wander. I think the play here is in the steering box/linkage rather than the tie rods and the front axle as it goes in a straight line but is slow to respond to corrections. Is there any adjustment that can be made at this point?

Any help, pfd’s or other sources would be very much appreciated.
Thank you for your indulgence
Dorset UK

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Old 12-21-2005, 02:32 PM   #2
swebster's Avatar
1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Louisville , Kentucky
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,861
Images: 4
First off, well done on getting a motorhome across the pond. It must have been quite an experience!

I'm pretty sure you can still get the manuals from Airstream:

Helen Davis Secretarial Services
PO Box 484 Sidney, OH 45365, USA

The wiring disgrams from the factory leave a lot to be desired. If you PM me a fax number I might be able to send you a 310 diagram.

The steering box is adjustable (back off the locknut, tighten the cone with a screwdriver, check for binding and tighten the locknut again)

Also check your steering stabilizer and shocks. These vehicles are so heavy that sometimes wandering can actually be a combination of multiple suspension issues.

Most of us have spent some quality time with our carb(s) (genny and engine), ignition, fuel system etc so feel free to ask post some specific questions about your rich condition.

My simple advice is to rebuild or replace components one at a time only after establishing a solid baseline. Start with a basic tune up; plugs, wires, filters, timing, etc. Then move forward from there. Many times I was too quick to rebuild or replace something when a little tuning and troublshooting could have saved me time and money.

Steven Webster
1986 Airstream 345 Classic Motorhome
AIR 1760
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Old 12-21-2005, 05:55 PM   #3
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1984 28' Funeral Coach
Belleview , Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,635
Images: 27
Chuckles, welcome to life with an AS Moho. I just had my carb rebuilt after similar smells. Seems it had never been touched. One of the metering jets was in the bowl!!
After the rebuild I broke 10mpg .
I've added headers, a nifty new air intake you can see on my photos, and drive very carfully.
Keep us informed as to your experiences and what you find. The knowlege is shared with others and we're here to help.
Glen Coombe AIR #8416
1984 28' Funeral Coach
Former Rolling Showroom & PuttLab (now party bus)
"I'm not an expert. But I did sleep in an Airstream last night."
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Old 12-21-2005, 06:16 PM   #4
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1978 31' Sovereign
Texas Airstream Harbor , Zavalla, in the Deep East Texas Piney Woods on Lake Sam Rayburn
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,435
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Patience, Patience, Patience - Time and Money!!!

Originally Posted by swebster
....The wiring disgrams from the factory leave a lot to be desired...........
Airstream did not do a very good job of documenting the coach/chassis interfaces.

Do not expect the wiring diagram to be of much help with the running lights and chassis related circuits - most all of the chassis electrical problems will be solved by a "search, trace, and replace" methodology.

WIth a good copy of the Service Manual you can usually follow through a trace on the coach (house) wiring - IF you know before hand where everything is located....

Originally Posted by swebster
....Also check your steering stabilizer and shocks. These vehicles are so heavy that sometimes wandering can actually be a combination of multiple suspension issues.
New shocks, steering stabilizer, and front air bags (if equipped) will make a world of difference - don't get cheap on the shocks - Work Horse Chassis tried to skimp by a couple of years ago on "cheap" shocks and ended up replacing the shocks on a multitude of manufacturers motor homes with Bilsteins.

"Suck it up, spend the bucks, do it right the first time."

WBCCI # 1113
AirForums #1737

Trailer '78 31' Sovereign

Living Large at an Airstream Park on the Largest Lake Totally Contained in Texas
Texas Airstream Harbor, Inc.
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Old 12-25-2005, 02:08 AM   #5
4 Rivet Member
Chuckles's Avatar
1983 31' Airstream310
Iwerne Minster , Dorset. UK
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 270
First of all thank you one and all for your responses, its nice to know so many care. …. But have not finished yet!

I have now managed to sort out the rear lights (I think) ready for the English MOT (Safety examination/test) that is needed to run on European roads. It entails running a multicore cable from the rear to the front so the brake, tail lights and turn are separated. That’s when my jaw dropped! Under the rear corner. I found a ‘birds-nest’, well several actually, of very amateurish wiring, which can only be assumed as, as it came from the factory, literally just pushed over the chassis beam. I altered that by bring the ribbon wire and new cables into the rear driver’s side compartment where I found the 115 VAC Shore/jenny selector and the compressor – I wondered where it was! There a proper waterproof enclosure houses all terminals – duly numbered.

In my hunt to ‘trace and note’ under the dash the number of in-line fuses and the general mess has horrified me, but the one thing that really got me was a fuse panel I found.

Is it in the correct place?? It is right at the back (front of the coach) on the bulkhead behind the central glove box. It is virtually impossible to reach and there seems a myriad of wires coming from the face of it, and another group of wires in-between the fuse panel and another block, which can be seen on the outside under the hood, where a block is poking through the bulkhead with loads of wires going to it. I see an opening in the plastic moulding of the back of the glove box, is this where the panel should be or is it possible to separate the two blocks and mount the fuse panel in the opening?

(On the fuse panel are two silver coloured pots, are these relays or buzzers of some description?), and can the dash and dash cover be removed completely...very easily!

Many thanks once again for taking the time to read this, but your assistance would be very much appreciated.

Chuck Berry
Dorset UK

I like smilies!
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Old 12-25-2005, 06:35 AM   #6
Well Preserved

1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 20,359
Chuck, I think the "polarity switcher" for the taillights and turns signals may in fact be a turn signal flasher. Yours should take a #552.
Your wandering MAY be from worn out lower ball joints, if your coach has independent front suspension. Look at the front tires, if the tread furthest under the coach (the inside of the tread) is worn a lot more than the rest of the tire, this is probably most of your problem.
To check the ball joints, take a floor jack, place it under the lower control arm, and raise that one wheel until it is about 2-3 cm (1 inch) off the ground. Use a good-sized prybar, place it under the bottom of the tire, and lift up on the tire. If the tire moves up and down when you are doing this without the lower control arma also moving, you have a bad ball joint.
Your "rich running" smell may be because the fuel is old. If the gas in the tank smells "funny", you may want to drain it, and put some fresh stuff in the tank before ripping carbs off.
Good luck with it.
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
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Old 12-26-2005, 02:07 AM   #7
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1983 31' Airstream310
Iwerne Minster , Dorset. UK
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 270
Thank you Terry, I will have a go at looking for the flasher unit. I am still trying to make sense of the "behind-th'-dash-scene".

As for tyres they were new fitted by PO. But I take your point about the ball joints. That will be next after I sort out the wiring.
Thank you again for your reply
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Old 01-14-2006, 11:49 AM   #8
4 Rivet Member
Chuckles's Avatar
1983 31' Airstream310
Iwerne Minster , Dorset. UK
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 270
Well its done! The lights now conform to UK and European Legislation, The Ministry test is on Monday... Fingers crossed for a clean bill of health!

I managed to come to terms with Airstreams wiring diagrams and now, I find out later, that the coach was in a grass fire many years ago and some considerable rewiring took place. I am hoping the owner at the time will be around to help out.

What I discovered was that the freezing conditions are not new! In fact letters from two of the previous owners confirm that the dash Aircon AND Heating never worked! Found a multiple of loose and disconnected wires, and airlines from the control unit on the dash.

It would seem that the dash is the later type as in the '84 models on, and might have been fitted as an upgrade during the rewire/repair after the fire. There are many facilities of the new type dash that are not wired.
Back to the drawing board... they WILL be working, but I am not sure when!!

Can I indulge you all a little more?

On the dash is a ‘Deadlock’ switch, with a relay behind the panel but not fully wired. I am assuming that a) there was no such facility on the 82/83 manufacture, and b) that the actuator on the deadlock is ... not there. If it is how does one get to it! I assume that it is supposed to operate the deadlock from the drivers seat.

Has any one fitted a fresh air type heater-cooler in the dash? I looks like the heating and cooling air is 100% recirculated from inside the coach.

The Doorbell! I know it’s not really important... but if its there it just has to work! Where is it, and any ideas why it doesn’t work, what or where do I start.

And has any one any spare light switches? I need a few for additional lights etc.
I have tried the vintage site for weep hole covers … no joy yet

Again thanking you all in advance

Dorset UK

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