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Old 11-23-2012, 04:29 PM   #1
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1974 20' Argosy 20
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'74 Argosy 20' Motorhome restoration/rebuild

I figure it's time to start a thread dedicated to overall restoration of my Argosy 20. Some of you already know that I've been working on the Argosy off and on over the last four years or so. A variety of things have kept me from making a lot of progress but over the last few months I've actually made some

Unfortunately progress moving forward will still be hit and miss but I hope to keep adding to this thread on a fairly regular basis.

Currently the Argosy is sitting without the motor, interior partially gutted, there are lots of water leaks, needs wheels and tires, all major appliances and in general it just needs a LOT of tender loving care.

The long term goal is to do the following:

1) Remove the interior so I can remove the wood floor to repair the bad spots.
2) Make new cabinets
3) Replace all appliances (stove, fridge, water heater, furnace, microwave)
4) Install the new motor that is currently sitting on an engine stand
5) Replace the Generac generator with an Onan 6.5 and mount it on drawer slides
6) Add larger more modern outside mirrors
7) Install a new Inteli-power Converter PD9245
8) New electric steps
9) Replace the TH400 transmission with a nice 4L80E
10) Replace the exterior door (mostly complete)
11) Make a more modern looking instrument cluster for the dash
12) All new upholstery
13) All new brakes
14) All new suspension & steering components
15) Zipdee awning
16) And lots more

I want to make it into a nice dependable motorhome suitable for long trips.

I have completed the mechanical installation of the new Kiwkee electric double steps, argosy mh double entry step addition but since it will be quite a while before a battery will be installed I will skip the step wiring for the time being.

I have a different thread 74 argosy engine build started that covers the rebuilt and start up of the 454 engine.

I recently replaced the original mangled door with the door from our 310 motorhome (the 310 got a new door from a 345 motorhome). The door needs to be re-curved at the bottom as there is about a 1/4" gap that lets moisture in. I've found several threads that explain how to do this repair and hope to perform the work over the Christmas holidays.

Here is a picture as it sits right now.

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You can see the awning sitting in the foreground. The awning is originally from a 345. Smartstream has explained in detail how to shorten the tube and I hope to get that job done this coming spring.

The following pictures show the mouse super highway that was hiding behind the aluminum panel between the door frame and the passenger cockpit window. I removed the panel in preparation for upgrading the exterior mirrors.

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As much as I would like to pull the headliner down to see where the highway goes I'm going to pass on that effort, out of sight out of mind, right?

Stay tuned...
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Old 11-24-2012, 07:40 PM   #2
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One of the problems I'm going to have is getting the dash a/c to function properly. I'm going to need to replace most if not all of the vacuum actuators on the dash air plenum.

Here is a picture of what they look like:

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If anyone has an idea where to find some I'd sure like to hear about it!

Worst case is I'll have to adapt something to fit.

Thanks,

Brad
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:06 PM   #3
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Well as I bounce around from project to project on my Argosy I did manage to get the salvaged Onan 6.5 genset running. One or more enterprising mice managed to make an apartment complex out of it for a number of years but an hour or so of cleaning got most of the construction debris out of it and once I got it running the remaining debris came flying out

I had to file the points, clean the plugs, change the oil filter, air filter oil and replace the steel fuel pipe from the pump to the carburetor. Other than that it fired right up and sounded pretty good. A little tweaking on the idle screw and the slight popping sound went away. It's putting out 124 vac on each leg under no load which sounds about right.

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It has to fit in this compartment where I'll be mounting it on drawer slides. Fitting through the opening there is about 1-1/4" clearance from side side and about 3/4" clearance on top and bottom. Currently there is no insulation installed so I plan on remedying that after I remove the old Generac unit.

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A 6.5 KW generator is probably a little large for a 20' motorhome but I have it, it runs, it fits (barely!) and only has about 300 hours on it so why not use it

Brad
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Old 12-13-2012, 04:15 PM   #4
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I spent a little bit of time today removing the old Generac generator from the rear of the Argosy. Not sure what Airstream was thinking but the generator framework was welded in place. There was no easy way to remove it. I ended up cutting the attachment points with a sawzall. I'm guessing when the coach was assembled the generator was already installed in the chassis.

The Generac was an oil grundgy mess. Having seen how it was installed I can't imagine trying to perform any maintenance on it.

As mentioned previously the replacement Onan 6.5 generator will be installed on drawer slides to make it easy to perform maintenance activities.

At the rate I'm getting things done on the Argosy it will probably 2020 before I'm done with it

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Brad
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:30 PM   #5
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Hey Brad you could always go for this type of installation.

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It might make some service issues easier. Probably wouldn't have to worry about cooling air issues either.

Cheers, Dan
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:57 PM   #6
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Oh my

It's amazing what some people will do to their rigs

I appreciate the suggestion but I think I'll stick with my original plan of installing the Onan on drawer slides so I can keep the generator out of sight!

It always makes me wonder what leads people to do mods like that. Looking closely at the picture it doesn't look like it would be to hard to remove the generator and put the cover spare tire cover back on.

Thanks!

Brad
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:56 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by bkahler View Post
Oh my

It's amazing what some people will do to their rigs

I appreciate the suggestion but I think I'll stick with my original plan of installing the Onan on drawer slides so I can keep the generator out of sight!

It always makes me wonder what leads people to do mods like that. Looking closely at the picture it doesn't look like it would be to hard to remove the generator and put the cover spare tire cover back on.

Thanks!

Brad
Yeah that was on a very nice 34.5 we ran into at a campground while we were doing the Blueridge Parkway. The family was very nice and the guy was quite proud of his gen set installation.

Cheers, Dan
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:59 PM   #8
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Hi Brad

I think that the Onan might be to long to fit that compartment. I have a friend that has a 75 argosy that has the Onan in and it sticks out about 4 or 5 inches past the rear of the coach. Just a thought,

John
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Old 12-14-2012, 02:24 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Smartstream View Post
Yeah that was on a very nice 34.5 we ran into at a campground while we were doing the Blueridge Parkway. The family was very nice and the guy was quite proud of his gen set installation.

Cheers, Dan
I'm sure you didn't say anything to burst his bubble, right?


Quote:
Originally Posted by shepherd57 View Post
Hi Brad

I think that the Onan might be to long to fit that compartment. I have a friend that has a 75 argosy that has the Onan in and it sticks out about 4 or 5 inches past the rear of the coach. Just a thought,

John
John,

For the last several months I've been trying to get measurements as to the depth of the genset compartment. Previously all of my measurements seemed to indicate that I would have about 1/2" to 3/4" clearance if I installed the generator with the fan housing towards the rear of the coach.

Well, now that I have the old Generac out and I can actually assess just what room I do have I've found that my 1/2" to 3/4" clearance is just the opposite. I have that much interference. There are things I can do to correct the problem but they would involve modifying the 1"x2" structural floor frame that Airstream sets on top of the P30 chassis and I would also have to modify one of the P30 frame cross members. At a minimum I would need to move it forward about 1".

I'm not sure I want to go to THAT much effort just to fit a nice generator. I'll spend some more time over the weekend trying to get a better feel for what really does need to be done.

I have a feeling though that I just might be looking to trade my nice low hour 6.5 genset for a 4.0 genset

Brad
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Old 12-14-2012, 02:39 PM   #10
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Thats too bad if it won't fit, maybe a power bulge or scoop on the compartment door

and is that a Sunbeam in the picture of the Generator?
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Old 12-14-2012, 02:47 PM   #11
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Too bad about the genset not fitting. The Onans are nice equipement.

Maybe you'll get lucky and find a nice trade.
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Thats too bad if it won't fit, maybe a power bulge or scoop on the compartment door

and is that a Sunbeam in the picture of the Generator?
If you look closely, it says TR4 on the back. They're Triumph people, but I wouldn't put it past them to have a Sunbeam either.

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Old 12-14-2012, 03:07 PM   #12
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Thats too bad if it won't fit, maybe a power bulge or scoop on the compartment door
Well I could always mount it like the one in the picture that Dan posted...NOT!

I'd really like to keep the 6.5 but it's looking more and more like it wasn't meant to be

Quote:
and is that a Sunbeam in the picture of the Generator?
As Vince noted it is a Triumph TR4, 1963.

Never have owned a Sunbeam and I'm guessing that they are well out of my price range!

Brad
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Old 12-14-2012, 03:35 PM   #13
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Dang,

A quick search for 4.0 sized generators and it appears they are all taller and longer than the 6.5 that I have

I just might have to do some cutting and fitting to make the 6.5 work.

In the mean time I'll keep looking for a smaller unit...
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Old 12-15-2012, 08:20 AM   #14
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Dang,

In the mean time I'll keep looking for a smaller unit...
Have you tried Colaw RV Salvage? They may have an older Onan 4.0 that would fit.

Besides, what the heck are you planning in running in that thing where you need a 6.5? You only have one AC unit. I guess you'd need a 6.5 to run the AC and the microwave at the same time. Of course Argosy units never had Microwave ovens!

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