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Old 01-04-2016, 06:13 PM   #435
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Got the new replacement fuel tank today. This coming weekend I'll put a coat or two of paint on it and set it aside until I'm ready to install.
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This past weekend I removed the gray water tank for repairs to the sheetmetal housing its in and for better access to the chassis frame rails. Plans are to paint the frame rails before the end of the month. They sure do come up with some unique shapes for the holding tanks
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This compartment used to house the black water tank and the gray water tank. The black water tank is going away and I'm hoping to put a battery drawer or tray in it's place. The gray water tank takes up a little over half of the compartment but that still leaves a lot of room to work with.
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I also spent a little time prepping the upper frame of the doghouse opening. I need to buy a section of 1"x1" tubing and a piece of sheet steel. I hope to get this part done in the next few weeks as well.
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Most of my time over the holiday weekends was spent underneath the coach removing the holding tanks and all the wiring and tubing that were running along the frame rails. I still need to remove the brake line that runs front to back and then I can start wire brushing the frame prior to paint it. That should be fun...


Brad
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Old 01-05-2016, 09:00 AM   #436
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Hi Brad, I found some photos of my battery tray setup that I don't remember sharing, that may help.

Along the whole section you show in the photo above, I have a 3" drop floor support by 1' box section. That floor stops at line of the original framework. There is then a 3" C-channel that runs along the edge effectively giving an edge line exactly where the original framework would have ended. The channel is not fixed to the box section it is hinged and so the channel can pivot forward. The channel is 'locked' in the vertical position by using two latch pins (attached to the side face of the compartment that drop into the channel). When the channel is pivoted forward it expos a full width flat compartment 3" deeper than would be available as standard, this allows a simple pull out battery tray (with two group 24 batteries) using sliders attached to the new compartment floor. However when the channel is locked vertical it gives an edge (at the same location as the original framework) for the original compartment door to attach/hinge.

Here is a photo of the channel hinged down, and you can see how close the batteries are to the top (ie bottom) of the underbelly.



But also a close up of the locking pin, that holds the channel, that gives the edge for the original compartment door to hinge against.



Hope this makes some sense! Basically the battery tray/batteries would not fit without dropping the floor 3".
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Old 01-05-2016, 10:34 AM   #437
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Martin, in my own words what you're say is you actually have one large compartment with a floor 3" lower than the bottom line of the coach (bottom of curved shell).

I believe this picture gives a good view of the 3" channel at the bottom.
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That's a very ingenious design. I might actually like that better than a drawer as you end up with a lot more usable storage space.

I assume you can hinge the whole side compartment down so you have free access to the entire area, correct?

How deep did you make the compartments and does the compartment have a "roof"? I.e. is it a totally enclosed box protected from the elements?


Thanks!

Brad
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Old 01-05-2016, 11:58 AM   #438
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Yes Brad, you have described it better than I could! The floor has a back, but the roof comes from the new aluminum under belly and the front is the two original compartment doors. It basically goes back to the chassis member so around 14" (I can measure when I get back).

Behind the forward door is the new propane cylinder (and that compartment door can latch, but can't lock to comply with access regulations for propane), then tucked between the propane and the battery tray is the dump for the road side grey tank, then the battery tray itself that slides out (the rearward compartment door locks so I can store things like the extension for the Zamp next to the battery without it going missing).

This is also where the isolater and SAE connector for the Zamp are mounted/wired (the Magnum inverter and Parallax 80D wiring distribution box sit almost exactly above the batteries keeping the runs from the battery to the inverter as short as possible; although that area forward of the rear wheel well is pretty busy internally, as duct work for the furnace runs past heading rearward, and the duct work from the AC runs forward, plus the plex piping for city and hot water to the wetroom also snake across that area, and then around the back of the MH.

The double hinge also allows access to refill the propane (the fill on a Manchester tank points down without the pivoting channel the propane station nozzle would not fit). With this setup you can also use wet cell batteries because you have access to top up the distilled water (although I have a kit fitted to refill automatically from cell top reservoir).
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Old 01-05-2016, 01:07 PM   #439
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Wow, I got it on the first try! That's unusual

I really like that configuration. Where you have your battery tray I will still have the gray water tank. However I think I can raise the gray water tank upwards by about 3-1/2". It was dropped down so the outlet could mate with the black water tank. That should give me around 6" or so under the tank as storage space.

The batteries (probably 3) will go in the front part of the compartment. Between the batteries and the gray water tank there should be a reasonable amount of storage so the arrangement should work out to be a win win

I've got a great fab shop just down the road so getting pieces fabbed as needed really helps.

Thanks for the info!


Brad
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Old 01-05-2016, 06:48 PM   #440
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Spent a bunch of time this evening looking over how the holding tank compartment was fabricated. At this point I think I'm going to do something similar to what Martin did on his coach. I really like the idea of the extra storage space this configuration provides.

I probably won't fabricate it the way Martin's is but it will be similar, especially in concept. Now to find out if I can actually do it!

Switching over to the engine compartment wiring a lot of the wiring loom has disintegrated or otherwise deteriorated. From the looks of it I think I can unplug the harnesses from the fuse block which would allow me to clean it up and do a re-wrap. I've wrapped wire harnesses before so hopefully this won't be much of an issue. While it's out I an repair any bad ends as well. This weekend I'll see if I can get them unplugged without damaging the fuse block or anything else. With my luck this will just open up another can of worms
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I also found out this evening that the throttle cable needs to be replaced as the sheath is rotted away in various spots. I measured the sheath length and it's 72". It just so happens that's the same length as the one I removed from the 345 so hopefully other than remove and replace I'm all set!
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The last thing I tinkered with was the original combination battery tray / front hood clamping rod assembly. This to me is just a mess from the git go. For starters I refuse to put the two batteries up front in the engine compartment. As mentioned previously I will be putting the batteries where the black water tank used to reside on the drivers side.
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Since the battery tray is going away I don't see a need for the 4' long 2" square tube that runs across the front of the engine compartment. It's only other function is to provide support for the hood latch assembly.
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At a minimum what I will probably do is cut out the center section of the tube and discard it. What's colored in red is what would be eliminated. That gets rid of the battery tray and provides better access to the front of the radiator.
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At some point I might re-design how the metal bar is supported. I'm not sure how much stress is put on the bar which would determine how much support it needs. From the looks of the original flimsy design I don't think there is to much stress involved. I believe all the bar does is hold the hood closed so it doesn't rattle. At least that's what I remember from discussions with Martin when he was having hood rattling problems.

Assuming that's the case I would think a small clam shell bearing arrangement about 2" wide would be enough to support it. I'll tackle that problem once the front of the shell has been re-attached and the hood cover is installed.


Brad
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Old 01-06-2016, 08:26 AM   #441
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Looks like you got a lot of things done over the holidays Brad! Loving being able to follow along with the rebuild process and getting to see how you and Martin are handling things.

Now that you got your new tank in did you see if the fuel pump you have will sit at the right height? I think I remember you guys saying that the one you had should work perfectly since it actually sat a little lower than the original once you compared them.

Keep up the good work sir! She will be on the road in no time with progress like this.

-Dane
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Old 01-06-2016, 11:43 AM   #442
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Dane, from the looks of things I don't think I'll be going the in-tank fuel pump route. Since I will eventually have two tanks I think it will be easier if I go with an arrangement similar to this diagram.
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If I can have the drive train done by summer I'll be happy
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Old 01-06-2016, 06:25 PM   #443
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Martin, Joseph, Fred and myself have been having an offline discussion on adding a steering stabilizer to the early Argosy motorhomes. This information probably only applies to the 74 and 75 model years with possibly the 76 years as well.

The early Argosies did not come with provisions for a steering stabilizer. The benefits of having a stabilizer should be pretty obvious so I plan on adding one to mine and I believe Martin is planning to as well.

There are a couple of problems in trying to add the stabilizer. First is the bell crank on the passenger side did not have the extra arm that the stabilizer connects to. This is easily overcome by spending around $300 with SuperSteer. Second there is no hole in the front frame for the stabilizer to bolt to and lastly there is no access in the front of the frame to allow access for installing the nuts and washers on the end of the stabilizer shaft.

So if your early Argosy is completely intact in front you likely will not be able to get the front access hole cut in the frame as I feel the only way to get the hole cut is using a cutting torch. However in my case and Martin's the front valances have been removed which provides easy access for the torch

With all that being said here's some pictures detailing the issues and what I feel are reasonable resolutions. This first picture is looking down from inside the engine compartment about where the evaporator box is located. The picture was taken about 3' up from the front frame member and gives a view that shows where the valance is in relation to the front frame member. The white part of the valance is below the front frame member so from below you couldn't really see the front of the frame with the valance attached.
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If the front section of the motorhome was removed this is the view you would have of the valance and it's relationship to the frame.
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This is a view from inside the right front wheel well looking down at the front frame member. The white strip with the two brown spots is the edge of the valance. The picture really doesn't provide a good perspective as it's actually closer or tighter confines that it looks. Access from above to change remove the nuts on the stabilizer shaft is probably not going to work.
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Looking at it from below it seems to look the same but in reality while I was laying under the motorhome I was able to reach my hand up from below to the front of the frame member so access from below to the front of the frame is doable. I'm pretty sure that's how the Classic motorhomes are set up as well which is for access from below.
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Will all of that being said this picture shows where the hole needs to be drilled for the shaft of the stabilizer. Pretty straight forward and easy to do.
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The rectangular opening drawn on the tape in this picture is the approximate size and location of where the front access hole needs to be cut. As I mentioned earlier with the front valance on the coach there would be no way to cut this access hole. With the valance removed it's very doable to cut the hole.
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Martin's front framework has been constructed slightly different but not enough to be a problem. At least that's my opinion!

Years ago I changed the steering stabilizer on my 310 and remember it being a bear of a job that I invented a few new words for. I would imagine that once the valance is installed on my Argosy and I need to replace the stabilizer I'm sure those words will be spoken again

Brad
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Old 01-06-2016, 07:22 PM   #444
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Its 2 am local time where I am, but jet lag has set in and I'm flying back to the east coast tomorrow so not forcing myself to sleep...instead being more productive by stewing over the steering damper conundrum.

So, why cut the access hole and drill the mounting hole, which will still result in a nightmare to remove once the valance is reinstalled, when really the damper just needs to be located and have something to push and pull against, and that can be achieved by welding a 'loop' on the return face large enough to take the top nut and a spanner to tighten?

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Old 01-06-2016, 08:01 PM   #445
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Martin,

I had just typed out a long reply trying to explain why your solution would reduce the stroke of the cylinder to much on a left hand turn and would bottom out when it hit me!

You dont need a U shaped bracket, just a flat plate with a 1/2" hole in the center of the plate to stick the shaft through. Then drill a 1-1/2" hole in the frame where the shaft goes, fasten the shaft to the plate and bolt the plate over the 1-1/2" hole. The plate only needs to be about 3/16" thick. To remove the cylinder just unbolt the plate frome the frame to gain access to the nuts on the backside.

There would be no need for access from the front at all. I think it will work!!!

I hope this makes sense!
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Old 01-07-2016, 12:21 AM   #446
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Yep, makes sense Brad....although I think I may still have the issue of needing the new bell crank arms. The shop just installed new Henderson bell cranks but said the arms were 'OK' so I kept the originals. At least where everything has just been apart should been they arms separate from the cranks easily.
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Old 01-07-2016, 05:43 AM   #447
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Martin, do you know for certain that your's does not have the arm for the stabilizer?

I know mine didn't but that doesn't mean someone didn't use one from a later coach at some point in the past.
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Old 01-07-2016, 07:50 AM   #448
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No Brad other than the shop reporting 'there was nothing to bolt it to (which could mean either the arm or the hole). I'am not going to order new ones until I pick Bella up and look for myself.

The first task I have after picking Bella up is taking the box of worn out parts back to Airstream NE and see if the can explain how they are supposed to have made sure everything was roadworthy and serviced yet the new shop has had to change most of the braking system etc because it had failed.
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