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Old 07-29-2004, 07:45 AM   #1
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What would you fix first....

Just brought home a 1983 310 Airstream motorhome...it has 88,000 miles, and I took it directly to my favorite mechanic and told him to go over everything ....

Please tell me, if or when you first brought home your moho, what did you fix first, have checked out first, as far as the engine....what should I tell him to watch out for....he is a good mechanic to fix whatever I ask him too but not familiar with these at all....

going to go from Michigan to Texas in October...so I would rather do preventative maintanance...

thanks a ton.
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Old 07-29-2004, 07:59 AM   #2
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First, all the tires if over 5 to 7 years old.

Next, the shocks and steering dampener.

ALL of the gas filters, there are 3 on the 345, one before the electric fuel pump, one in the step area, and one in the carb.

Do a complete fluids change. Oil, coolant, brake, rear end, transmission, and power steering, and all applicable filters. Same with the belts, unless you are absolutely certain they are less than 3 years old.

Check the brake pads and check and repack the bearings. Inspect and grease the entire front end, suspension (including front and rear air bags), and the entire drive shaft - grease each u-joint and suspension/steering contact point.

There are at least two of the Forum members who would also add all of the coolant related hoses to the list. The hoses going to the interior engine related heater (usually under the dinette or couch), or the hoses to the coach water heater from the engine, will fail with time, throwing a lot of nasty coolant pollutants into the coach. Since heat is always a problem with the 454's, it is best to replace all of the engine related hoses on a time schedule, since the loss of an engine related coolant hose would be catastrophic on an isolated portion of the interstate.

Check the age of the batteries - if over 3 years old, replace them, the useful life is almost over.

By doing all of the above, you have set the maintenance schedule at "ground zero", and will eliminate most of the potential maintenance related failures, minimizing the chance of an expensive and time gobbling trip related failure.
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Old 07-29-2004, 08:00 AM   #3
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What I do on my MH both times I bought one home.
1) Full tune up
2) All oils gen,trans,rear axle
3) All belts and hoses unless they were just done in the past year
4) Go over front end/ wheel bearings 88,000 I bet it has some wear
5) Tires over 5 year old scrap them
6) Shocks
7) The normal MH stuff

I do this stuff to all my "used stuff" that I buy . I call it my "cheap" insureance plan. The last thing I hate is a break down on the road. I had an air bag pop (that I was going to replace that fall) and a cloged cat (first time out w/ the new MH) I did a March run in the snow that time, my first and last time.
Good luck with it.Jim
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Old 07-29-2004, 08:15 AM   #4
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thanks an absolute ton! I have copied what both of you said and will take the lists to the mechanic today....what is 'Normal moho stuff'.....I have had 4 trailers but never a moho....but am super willing to learn...

thanks again from the 8 kids, and me.
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Old 07-29-2004, 12:16 PM   #5
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The way to get your mind around the issue is to think like the chassis, all the stuff mentioned in prior threads, is the tow vehicle. There is a bit of cross over, the motor aid heat on the hot water and the aux heat under the couch are the main ones to worry about.

The coach systems are just like your trailers were, but you now have a generator. The generator is a separate maintenance issue but you will come to love the Onan for the power it provides on a hot driving day.
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Old 07-29-2004, 03:32 PM   #6
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There really isn't much difference between the mh chassis and a medium duty truck chassis, the mechanic should not have a problem other than access around the engine. A bigger problem if he is relatively young will be the lack of an ECM and related electronics, they trouble shoot much differently and if he is not experienced with carbs, etc. there will be a learning curve.

John
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Old 07-29-2004, 03:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 74Argosy24MH
There really isn't much difference between the mh chassis and a medium duty truck chassis...... A bigger problem if he is relatively young will be the lack of an ECM and related electronics,..... there will be a learning curve. John
Somewhere in the '80's the P-30 chassis quit using vaccuum for the power brakes and used hydraulic power from the power steering pump for the power brakes....the '86 chassis has the power steering/power brakes setup.....I don't know if the '82/'83 will be set up that way or not.

Anyone know when the power brake changeover took place?
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Old 07-29-2004, 03:57 PM   #8
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I don't think they ever used vacuum, my 74 has hydroboost.

John
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Old 07-29-2004, 04:55 PM   #9
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Wow

Quote:
Originally Posted by 74Argosy24MH
I don't think they ever used vacuum, my 74 has hydroboost.John
Thanks, John

I thought sure I remembered to a bread delivery guy telling me about the problem with his brakes and the vaccuum system -- might have been in a different lifetime.

.........Then again, maybe it was Elvis.
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Old 07-29-2004, 05:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Thanks, John

I thought sure I remembered to a bread delivery guy telling me about the problem with his brakes and the vaccuum system -- might have been in a different lifetime.

.........Then again, maybe it was Elvis.
Bread trucks have, or had, something called a dual-vac, or hydrovac, depending on what and who's it was. They had a small vacuum booster (sometimes) at the master cylinder, and a second, huge, vacuum booster mounted on the frame with what could only be described as an auxilliary master cylinder. These things work very well 'till they break, as your bread guy found out.
Terry
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Old 07-29-2004, 09:19 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the help, the mechanic is about 55 years old...so he should be fine....I really appreciate all the information....

I grew up vacationing in a bread truck...my father would make them over into campers and we would spend a lot of time sitting on the side of the road broke down...thus my wishing to make everything right before I go on a trip, and my intense desire to go in an Airstream rather than the Wonder Bread camper my dad spray painted sparkly metallic blue and silver....
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Old 07-30-2004, 07:46 AM   #12
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enjoy your 310!! But watch out for those 55 years olds! ( I should know)
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Old 08-13-2004, 07:13 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by froggies
Thanks for all the help, the mechanic is about 55 years old...so he should be fine....I really appreciate all the information....

I grew up vacationing in a bread truck...my father would make them over into campers and we would spend a lot of time sitting on the side of the road broke down...thus my wishing to make everything right before I go on a trip, and my intense desire to go in an Airstream rather than the Wonder Bread camper my dad spray painted sparkly metallic blue and silver....
Conrats on the new coach and well to the forum. These folks have helped me a lot getting my new toy sorted out so don't hesitate asking questions.

Just having gotten back from a long, first trip, in my 82, let me add that you should check/replace all your soft hoses connecting hardlines. I had a transmission soft line failure and while crawling under the M/H I noticed losts of corrosion on the trans, brake and engine oil cooler lines. I will be replacing those.

You may also want to consider flushing the radiator. Since you are changing the coolent anyway, this will helping with down the road cooling and give you added confidence.

I just made a modification on the front of my coach. There is a very long steel panel that serves as the mounting place for the radiator overflow resevoir. This panel hangs down and blocks lots of airflow. I surgically remove the lower half and the unit runs or seems to run a bit cooler.

Welsome to the adventure.
Rick
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Old 08-15-2004, 12:09 PM   #14
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Thanks for all the help...somehow the mechanic missed the fact that the mastercylinder was about to go...along with all the brakelines....so On an outing last week about an hour from home I lost all brakes...kinda scary, but I just took a backway, coasted a lot, thought about downshifting....anyways, I got it to a local RVplace who then proceeded to tear it apart, delayed putting it together, and refused to give me any kind of an estimate, which is the law....I learned an expensive $632.00 lesson on how always to get a written estimate first on repairs...sigh. But I have had the moho out this weekend and had lots of fun... parked right behind me was my very first 1971 airstream safari, the same lady that bought it from me still owns it so it was neat to talk to her. Met another Airstream 1985 345 owner there, and some folks from Canada with an Overlander that I had met 2 years ago...so I am definetely enjoying the moho despite some setbacks..anyway, I am rambling now so thanks again for the extra suggestions.
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