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Old 10-03-2015, 07:39 AM   #309
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Ok, for those of you who want pull up chairs and follow along on the valance restoration and fiberglass mold making saga you can tune in here

Brad
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Old 10-03-2015, 10:03 PM   #310
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For the past few days I've been reworking the doghouse opening to accommodate the doghouse cover I salvaged from the 345 that I dismantled. I never liked the look or the limited access that the original doghouse cover provides so I figured why not use the one from the 345. The later doghouse covers provide a lot better access to the front and sides of the engine.

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To start I had to cut away about 9" of the side wall. After that I had to figure out the correct angle for the cover to fit properly.
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A lot of the original side walls had to be cut away to allow access for a new framework to sit correctly. Once the side walls were cut down I fabricated a new top frame from 1" square tubing.
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The new framework has been welded in place and ready for trial fitting of the doghouse cover.
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Here's a shot of how the new doghouse cover looks.
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One thing I found interesting is the floors in the Argosy models is about 1-1/2" lower than those in the Classic series. Not sure why Chevy/Airstream made the change but it means I have about a 1-1/2" rise that I'll have to deal with when I get around to finishing the cockpit area.
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And a picture from the front looking into the engine bay.
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I still have a few more details to wrap up before the doghouse task is complete but I'll deal with those when I get ready to install the dash.
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Old 10-04-2015, 01:51 PM   #311
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Awesome job, Brad! That was a smart move for many reason. Not only is access to the front of the engine, Belts, fan etc so much easier, the access to the seats is a little easier as well.
My 79 had the old style doghouse, I was lucky to have the newer version in my 310.
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Old 10-04-2015, 03:31 PM   #312
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Great work Brad.

I am struggling to see why the newer type is better, mine seems lower, and the slope of the sides is steeper giving the seats more room to turn, the main difference seems to be where the hinge is, my older type hinges at the point the newer type 'kicks up'. Would be nice to see a comparison
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Old 10-04-2015, 04:15 PM   #313
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterH-Airstreamer View Post
Awesome job, Brad! That was a smart move for many reason. Not only is access to the front of the engine, Belts, fan etc so much easier, the access to the seats is a little easier as well.
My 79 had the old style doghouse, I was lucky to have the newer version in my 310.
I was actually dreading making the modification because of the angles involved but once I got into it things sort of fell into place.

I'm not sure when Airstream made the change but guessing somewhere between 81 to 83.

The fun parts going to figure out how to tie all the dash pieces together
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Old 10-04-2015, 04:34 PM   #314
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martin300662 View Post
Great work Brad.

I am struggling to see why the newer type is better, mine seems lower, and the slope of the sides is steeper giving the seats more room to turn, the main difference seems to be where the hinge is, my older type hinges at the point the newer type 'kicks up'. Would be nice to see a comparison
Martin,

With the old style doghouse you have no access to the front top area of the engine. With the new style you can access the alternator and change the belts. I've had to replace the belts sitting along side the road on the 310 with new style doghouse. I would not have been able to do that with the old style.

Look at post 258 in your thread. Those are the pictures of the 310 with the cover off. One other thing to remember is the floor in the Argosy is about 1-1/2 to 2" lower than the 310.

I'm going to try and dig up some pictures of my argosy with the old cover and post them.

Brad
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Old 10-04-2015, 05:30 PM   #315
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Here is one of the pieces of metal I removed from the right side of the doghouse. You can see the angle on the old doghouse was higher and ran all the way to the back of the doghouse opening.
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Looking from inside the engine bay you can see the old doghouse cover extension. The point where it transitions from a down angle to flat is the hinge point of the old doghouse cover. That sheet metal extension is what covers the whole front portion of the engine which is why you can't access any area at the front of the engine block.
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Here's a couple of shots of the the new doghouse cover in place with the seat to give you some perspective. You can also see the 2" differential. The later Classics would have the cockpit floor level with the opening of the doghouse.
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If I remember correctly you got your coach with no interior installed. In this picture you can see where the drivers seat back is in relation to the window. Your Argosy and mine shared the same floor plan. Where the back of the seat is the bathroom wall was right at that point. Actually the wall was about 1" farther forward which meant the drivers seat had NO backward movement. As it sits right now the edge of the steering wheel is about 13" from the back of the seat. Not easy to get into the drivers seat and to close to the steering wheel and pedals for comfort.
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I'm really looking at options as to what I can do with the floor plan and that's why I really like your floor plan layout. My only concern is what to do about a black water tank.

Brad
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Old 10-04-2015, 07:01 PM   #316
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I rest measured and the base of my seat is actually pretty similar in location to yours Brad. The big difference is having moved the wet-room to the passenger side, my seat back has room to recline to make a much more comfortable driving position.

The photo is wrong a few months ago (the seats are now 3" lower) but hopefully you can see.



I can see the advantage of getting to the back (front) of the engine, but the early type is much narrower at the top (sloping out to full width), which gives the room for the chairs to turn (especially now in the current lower position.

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Old 10-04-2015, 09:06 PM   #317
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Martin, I see what you mean about the taper at the top. Could you take a measurement from the top flat part of the doghouse cover to the floor of the cockpit? I'd like to see if there is a difference between the new style and the old style.

Next question, what is the measurement from the top front of the drivers seat to the floor?

And my last question How far rearward is the divers seat from the edge of the cockpit window?

Thanks!

Brad
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Old 10-05-2015, 06:58 AM   #318
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I will try and get the dimensions this evening Brad
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Old 10-05-2015, 08:02 AM   #319
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Martin, at your convenience is just fine. Finishing the interior is quite a ways down the road for me!
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Old 10-05-2015, 08:23 AM   #320
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I was referring to what they had changed the dog house to in 79 or before, which was rather annoying
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Old 10-05-2015, 08:38 AM   #321
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I didn't realize there were 3 versions of the doghouse!

Looking at the picture it looks like it would be horribly inconvenient, both for getting into the seats and working on the engine.

The overall shape of the doghouse top on the 74-76 model Argosy is probably the best for access to the seats and rotating the seats. The shape of the opening is probably best on the Classic series that use the ABS plastic removable cover.

Now if you could have the opening of the Classic series and shape the top of the later Classic series doghouse covers more like the early Argosy covers you'd have the best of both worlds

Brad
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Old 10-05-2015, 03:59 PM   #322
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Nice shop Brad! Look forward to seeing the progress on your Argosy!
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