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Old 09-07-2012, 07:11 PM   #15
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Road Ruler's Avatar
1973 23' Safari
St. Catharines , South Western Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 2,336
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Originally Posted by 69CanStream View Post
I have an '89 Grand Wagoneer that is my daily driver and tow rig. I repowered it with a 3.9L Cummins. It has a Dodge Ram 3 speed hooked to the Jeep T-case. The Airstream came after the Jeep, so I now wish I had installed a 5.9 Cummins instead!
Interesting vehicle. For your light weight vintage Airstream wouldn't the 3.9 be ideal??

PS, Years ago one of the local guys here took a cat diesel out of a bulldozer and dropped in a Suburban. From what I heard it worked good.

PS... Science hill is one of our favourite campgrounds.

Airstreams..... The best towing trailers on the planet!
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Old 09-07-2012, 08:19 PM   #16
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Vintage Kin Owner
Warrenton , Virginia
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 154
Great ideas and TV rigs here!

The wife and I both like the older GWs, maybe one day we will get crazy and build one up. Either a GW or old Suburban 67-72 style... Either of course would be repowered with either a GM 6.5TD or 4BT.

My advice, drop the 4L60E and go for the beefier (and I think more driveable) 4L80E... Granted a NV4500 would be the gravy if you do not mind shifting!

+1 for a diesel repower as well. Although LS engines are cheap and plentiful, the gas mileage is sad. As is any gasser IMO on towing.

... I have an old J2000 sitting around for a "one of these days" project as well.

Trailer: 1948 Spartan Mansion 30'
Tow Rig: 2010 Cadillac Escalade ESV
Tow Rig: 1971 Chevy C-10 with 5.3 LS and T5 conversion
Other: 1979 Porsche 911 SC
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Old 09-08-2012, 09:15 PM   #17
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1969 31' Sovereign
St. Marys , Ontario
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 7
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Originally Posted by zoro View Post
That's a gorgeous Jeep you have there! I love the "razor" style grille. Just out of curiosity what kind of MPG's are you averaging with the 4BT? I see you've got the helper airsprings, judging by the photos of your rig hooked up to the trailer it looks like they've really helped?

I was averaging around 22 MPG last I checked. I know it's a massive improvement over the 360's MPG. I did not go with an overdrive transmission due to drive line clearance issues with the added length. With my tire size (33x12.5R15 and the gearing (2.73) I'd be flying down the road before it would even shift into OD. Keep in mind the Max. governed engine speed of my 4BT is 2800 rpm.
The airbag assist is great when I do tow the trailer. I leave a few PSI in them when not towing and it rides like any other Wagoneer.
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Old 09-08-2012, 09:55 PM   #18
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1979 31' Excella 500
1973 25' Tradewind
Cinnaminson , New Jersey
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 40
I used an '88 360 GW to pull a '71' 31' Excella.
I was always told that the wheelbase was too short but I never had any problems untill i was in a fender bender with out towing. Put the GW on a left to inspect the damage and the lift went thru the frame RUST and along the frame by the gas tank.

A while ago I heard about a fellow that rebuilds GW from the ground up. Probably an internet search would find him.

Good luck

Just remembered the main thing I didnt like about the GW was the rear window being only electric. if you had a problem you had to climbe over the seats to get to the rear and take the panel off

Tom Beitz
6760 PA Unit
Riverton, NJ
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