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Old 02-06-2016, 05:32 PM   #505
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Originally Posted by martin300662 View Post
Brad, whilst the shop was working on my brakes I had them measure the front cable installed in Bella and it came out a lot shorter than yours at around 88in. At the time Rockauto were doing a clearance on an 87in cable (BC93177) with the correct fittings at each end so I bought a couple for $5 each. Maybe the longer rear cable goes with the shorter front cable?
Martin, I've got another BC93177 for you I'll bring it along in May.

I bought one of the 87" ones and the one that had no dimension listed and got lucky with the unlisted one.

There are 3 cables. Brake drum to frame frame where it connects to the intermediate cable. The intermediate cable wraps around from brake drum to brake drum. The front cable connects to the intermediate cable at the left front corner of the U. At least that's the arrangement on mine.

It would be interesting to see what length your intermediate cable is. Mine was 132" and the cable I bought from RockAuto was I think 155". I'm going to take it to a bought shop and have them cut it to the correct length at crimp a new ball on the end.

Did the brake shop replace your rear cables or tell you which ones you needed?
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Old 02-06-2016, 06:02 PM   #506
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The shop kept all the existing cables and said they were fine...I bought the additional ones thinking about longer term (when back in Europe) so grabbed them as 'spares'.

Could this be more evidence of the early motorhome not using standard P-30 chassis and each seemingly being different?
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Old 02-06-2016, 06:41 PM   #507
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I think my rear cables are likely ok but the front one was in rough shape so I figured while I had the chassis stripped down this far it made sense to replace it.

I do know my parking brake pedal assembly matches exactly the G30 van. What's interesting is I have a copy of the GM 1974 Motorhome Chassis Parts Manual and there are a bunch of things in the manual that ddon't match my chassis.

It sure makes it interesting trying to work on!
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Old 02-07-2016, 02:50 PM   #508
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I spent some time today cutting up a bunch of 4x6 lumber to make a support frame to support the front end so I could remove the wheels and start the (2nd) rebuild of the front suspension. Looking closer at the original rebuild the guys in Arkansas really messed up the installation of the control arm shafts and the ball joints. I'm really glad I never got to the point of trying to drive the motorhome from Arkansas to Kentucky when I was moving back in 2009.

Looking through the factory service manual there are pictures and a description on how to use the Kent Moore J-23028 front spring remover/installer tool. I know there are other methods to remove the springs but I like using factory tools when I have the chance.

I ran across one of the factory tools on ebay but the seller wants over $300 for it. I did get him down to $250 but I just couldn't justify the cost considering there are alternative methods for doing the job. Here's what the factory service tool looks like.

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After looking at the factory tool for a while I decided I could make something that would work out of my box of scrap metal. It's not pretty and it only took about an hour to fabricate but I think it will do the job. All that's left to do is drill a hole in the middle of the channel iron so I can bolt it to a floor jack. I might even throw a coat of paint on it just so it doesn't rust.

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Hopefully sometime this week I'll get a chance to actually try and use it


Brad
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Old 02-07-2016, 03:21 PM   #509
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Nice job on the tool, Brad. I am not quite sure how the factory tool would compress the springs??
Do you have big chain autopart stores nearby? The loaner tool program from I.e. Autozone is real great. You have 90 before you actually purchase the tool and they do have a great assortment of heavy duty tools. Look at this spring compression tool:
http://shop.advanceautoparts.com/p/p...2&showTitle=no
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Old 02-07-2016, 06:30 PM   #510
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Peter, I have a set of spring compressors similar to the ones in the link you provided. I've used them on the past on other vehicles and have never been happy with how they work. I'm not even sure they would work in the confined space where the springs are located on the Argosy.

I like how the concept of how the GM style works for raising and lowering the lower control arm. I just hope mine works like the factory unit!

Brad
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Old 02-10-2016, 12:19 PM   #511
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This will be a boring read but I figured I should document it here for the next poor soul that tackles a project like mine

For quite some time now I've been deliberating on what to do about my rear leaf springs. They are in pretty sad shape with the drivers side being so bad that it sags in the left rear corner very noticeably. The coach is pretty much gutted so there is no weight on the drivers side that would be causing it to lean to that corner. So with that in mind I've come to the conclusion that the springs need to be replaced. This is where the fun started

Looking through the 1974 GM parts books for the motorhome chassis and then trying to find the same parts available online has been a challenge. The VIN tag lists the rear axle weight rating as 7,500 lbs. Breaking that down means each spring has to handle 3,750 lbs. What I do know about my springs are as follows:

GM spring # 6259349 for coach with helper spring and
GM spring # 332842 for coach without helper spring
My coach appears to have a helper spring so I'm assuming 6259349 is the correct number

Axle rating of 7,500 lbs
Eye to eye measurement of 52"
Spring width of 2-1/2"
Number of leaves is 8
Pack thickness of about 3"

Armed with that info I started searching. Not surprising the original numbers have been superseded a time or two. From my searches it appears that 6259349 is the same spring as 332842 with the addition of a helper spring. I found one website that referenced 6259349 as being the same as 22-493 with helper spring 22-495. I then found that 332842 is the same part number as 22-489 (made of of 7 leaves). My next find was that 22-493 was superseded by 22-489. As it turns out 22-489 and 22-495 are still available as separate components. The combined springs total 8 leaves which matches my current springs.

The weight rating for spring 22-489 is 2,775 lbs and the weight rating for the helper spring is 1,050 lbs. That gives a combined total of 3,825 lbs per side or 7,650 lbs for the whole axle. That's 150 lbs over the expected 7,500 lbs but close enough for me.

The only number that is different is the combined pack height of both springs is 3-1/4" and I think my current pack height is slightly over 3". It took a bunch of searching to get to this point but I feel the numbers are all close enough that what I've found should work.

The next step is to call the spring company and ask them what it would take to get them to assemble the helper spring and the main spring together instead of me having to do it.

Anyone want to come an help me remove the old ones?


Brad
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Old 02-11-2016, 07:09 AM   #512
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Something I found of interest recently. My Argosy as delivered by GM in 1974 had a rear axle rating of 6,200 lbs. By the time the Argosy left the Airstream factory it had a rear axle rating of 7,500 lbs.

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So it went from a GVWR of 10,500 to 11,800. This might explain why I've had a hard time finding the correct rear springs based on searching by year

Brad
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Old 02-13-2016, 11:03 AM   #513
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Well today has not been the best of days

One of the reasons I wanted to take the front suspension apart was to get a better look as to why the ball joint stems weren't protruding enough to get the nuts installed in the upper and lower control arms. Well I can safely say the problem is due to having the wrong ball joints installed

Back in 2008 when I bought all the parts for the front suspension rebuild I bought the parts based on the chassis being a 1974 motorhome chassis. Since someone else was going to be doing the suspension work while I was off working in Pasadena all I could do was order parts and have them install them. Apparently they didn't pay a whole lot of attention and when parts didn't fit correctly they never bothered to tell me. It's a darn good thing I never reached a point where I could try and drive the Argosy from Arkansas to Kentucky which was the original plan. I'm sure the ball joints would have snapped and I'd have been in a real pickle.

The ball joints that are currently installed fit about halfway into the sockets. As near as I've been able to figure out is my chassis is a lighter duty version of the motorhome chassis. The parts books typically list three different versions of GVWR, less than 11k, 11k and 14k. The 14k and 11k are typically referred to as the MHC.

All of my parts were ordered based on the 11k chassis. Looking at the Rockauto website I found they have some generic closeouts on the less than 11k ball joints. So I bought one of each for a total of $20. I figure if they are wrong I'm only out $20 and if they are right then at least I know what the heck to order!
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Old 02-13-2016, 11:11 AM   #514
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Fingers crossed the 'less than 11K' parts work Brad. Seems these early Argosy are 'parts bin specials'.

Hang in there!!!!
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Old 02-13-2016, 03:26 PM   #515
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Parts bin specials is an apt description! What's interesting is I have the GM 1974 Motorhome Chassis parts book and some of the parts on my chassis are definitely MHC specific. Yet other parts like the parking brake pedal is specifically listed as G30 van parts only. According to the parts book our Argosies should have the pull lever like the later Classics instead of a pedal.

I'm beginning to wonder if mine isn't a G30 van front with the MHC rear end. The frustrating thing is these were brand new ball joints that were installed and now have to discard.

I really wish I had kept the complete front suspension from the 345 but it was a massive piece of metal and I just couldn't ever see any use for it. Oh well, live and learn
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Old 02-14-2016, 01:34 AM   #516
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Can you not just order a set of loaded a-arms for the heavier chassis?
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Old 02-14-2016, 05:20 AM   #517
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I really wish I had kept the complete front suspension from the 345 but it was a massive piece of metal and I just couldn't ever see any use for it. Oh well, live and learn
Is there anything we can take off my donor to help? It is a '78 but has 8 lug/front discs so probably has the 14K parts.
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Old 02-14-2016, 05:46 AM   #518
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Can you not just order a set of loaded a-arms for the heavier chassis?
Unfortunately that won't work because my knuckles are set up for the less than 11k ball joints. If I bought the loaded a-arms I've have the same exact problem that I have now where the ball joints don't fit into the knuckle.
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