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Old 11-07-2017, 01:43 PM   #1
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1977 28' Argosy 28
Bloomington , IL
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77 Argosy 28 motor rebuild

Sadly this isn't how I wanted to start my Argosy adventures but sometimes we can't help the cards we're dealt. I was on my way home from the seller's house with the moho and something let go. I had to get a tow and it's now in my driveway with repairs underway. Luckily I know a guy (my dad) who is a career GM mechanic and I have a flat driveway with the moho nuzzled right up to the door of my garage. A 5 minute diagnosis kind of points to it just being a timing chain but we'll know more shortly. Kind of excited to revitalize the old girl. I wasn't going to start interior renovations until I had some time to use it but it looks like there's no time like the present so out the interior will go also. Wrenching on the Airstream with your best pal isn't so bad anyway.
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Old 11-07-2017, 02:30 PM   #2
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You're not the first buyer not to make it home, and you won't be the last. Just off the top of my head I could name at least four if not five or six guys that have had major issues trying to get an Argosy or a Classic home in one piece. My friend John had issues with both his Classic and Argosy, just barely making it home with both.

If you had posted earlier, the gang would have told you to check a host of things before setting out, but that's neither here or there.

Be very nice to your Dad as these queens of the road are a real be-atch to work on. The radiators sometimes have to come out the bottom on the Argosy's.

FYI Change your fuel lines pronto, if they haven't been changed. The reason is the old fuel lines will corrode with all the Ethanol and additives in modern fuel and eventually crack open; if that happens anywhere close to that very hot big engine of yours and it will go up in flames faster than you can say OMG. I know of at least seven Argosy/Classic coach fires in the last five years. One poor fellow just finished a beautiful restoration, both inside and out; when on his maiden first drive with his mother behind him, she noticed smoke coming out from underneath; she phoned him and he pulled over; by the time he exited the coach and got his fire extinguisher, it was too late. POOF, gone.

Goodluck and here's hoping it is an easy fix.
Cheers
Tony

PS If you're going to renovate your interior, do yourself a favour and don't throw anything out until the project is done. I have lost count of how many interior projects are started with people throwing everything away....only to find out that they needed this or that, for a template; or they could have re-vinyled everything like I did and been cheaper and faster way to go. KEEP EVERYTHING!
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Old 11-07-2017, 03:47 PM   #3
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Not a pleasant way to start ownership

It sounds like you've got excellent help which should make a huge difference. As Tony mentioned don't throw ANYTHING away until you're done! Speaking from experience here

Brad
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Old 11-07-2017, 04:19 PM   #4
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Interesting view in the grill
Looks like a new oil cooler?
Also is that a 2" hitch receiver on top of the front bumper?
It is not hard to pull the radiator. If you are lucky, you will be able to swing the A/C condenser up and out of the way on a ratchet strap to avoid releasing the Freon.
While you have the radiator out, check it for blockage.
And as long as you can get to the front of the motor, see if you need a new water pump & hoses. It is cheaper to do it now than to take it all apart again later/
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Old 11-07-2017, 05:07 PM   #5
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1982 28' Airstream 280
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Good luck with your project! Hope tow bill wasn't bad. Advice get a good AMA/ aaa coverage. I had a $3200 tow bill on my maiden voyage after using a tow two days earlier in South Dakota they wouldn't help at all the second round
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Old 11-07-2017, 06:01 PM   #6
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1977 28' Argosy 28
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Tow bill was Zero, I luckily thought ahead to get the roadside assistance added to my insurance for 20 bucks. Saved me 450 bucks.

The hitch is mounted right to the bumper. Not really strong I suppose but enough for a bike rack. Not sure about that cooler, Haven't really traced the lines.

My dad is crazy enough to be excited for a challenge such as this so I think I'm lucky there. That and he owes me pretty big as I've given him a place to stay as he and my mother finalize their divorce....

Since I don't have much choice at this point and I have the time, money, space, tools and ability(my father) I am really seriously considering an engine replacement. Even if it is "just" the timing chain, we can't really thoroughly test the engine until it's all back together. Not that a new engine won't fail but I'm looking to keep this for a while and something reliable would be awesome. I've seen multiple different swaps but I wonder if there is a tried and true formula for getting an engine in this baby that's ready for the long haul. A Jasper engine sounds nice as it carry's a 3 year warranty. Any combination I'm overlooking? Must have modifications? I saw someone did a larger oil pan and built the oil system to carry a lot more oil. I can afford the parts now but I might not be able to afford the parts/labor if I'm in a far away state at some point in the future.

Any and all tips or references would be great. Using the search is great but there's endless sifting through the threads for small bits of info. If anyone knows where I should look for sure I would appreciate that advice, thanks!
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Old 11-07-2017, 08:32 PM   #7
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If your Dad is up to a challenge I would highly recommend you consider this swap.....you'll get better mpg's, reliability, performance, ease of use and better parts supply. There are probably a bunch more pro's that I can't think of right now.

PM this guy for info and tips. He figures it took 700 man hours in total to do with all the wiring; but well worth it. He's doing 70+ with a 310. You'll probably have the first and only 100 mph Argosy.

There also is someone that did swap a Cummins into an Argosy but the powertrain would set you back a lot more dollars and you'd spend more in maintenance.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f311...-a-163471.html

Cheers
Tony
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Old 11-08-2017, 11:03 AM   #8
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My advice to your dad, if you pull the engine jack the beast up and drop engine and tranny to the floor. Put plywood down first and use some pipes to to roll it out to the side. Did it on two argosy's worked very well.
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Old 11-08-2017, 12:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bibbs View Post
My advice to your dad, if you pull the engine jack the beast up and drop engine and tranny to the floor. Put plywood down first and use some pipes to to roll it out to the side. Did it on two argosy's worked very well.
I have never had the pleasure of pulling a engine form a P30 chassis, (yet) but if you have a engine hoist, I would think pulling the radiator and bring it right out the front.
Jacking the whole beast high enough to clear the engine seems scary
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Old 11-08-2017, 12:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bibbs View Post
My advice to your dad, if you pull the engine jack the beast up and drop engine and tranny to the floor. Put plywood down first and use some pipes to to roll it out to the side. Did it on two argosy's worked very well.
Pictures?
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Old 11-08-2017, 03:57 PM   #11
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1977 28' Argosy 28
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Got a little closer to the goal today. Radiator came out and tomorrow I'll tackle everything mounted on the engine. I ran the casting numbers and found that it's a Gen V crate engine as best as I can tell. So with that knowledge I'm hoping my dad's estimation of the timing chain failure is accurate. If that's the case I might just satisfy myself with replacing that and to keep on running it. I would like to hear more about dropping it out the bottom. Sounds interesting!
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Old 11-09-2017, 08:21 AM   #12
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Sorry I don't have pictures. It was a few years ago when I did them. Not that scary,I built a strong jack stand for the entire front end and had wood blocks for extra safety. Very convenient to be able to get at the engine through the wheel wells. I used a cherry picker through the front to lift and drop the engine.
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Old 11-09-2017, 12:00 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bibbs View Post
Sorry I don't have pictures. It was a few years ago when I did them. Not that scary,I built a strong jack stand for the entire front end and had wood blocks for extra safety. Very convenient to be able to get at the engine through the wheel wells. I used a cherry picker through the front to lift and drop the engine.
I'm assuming what you did was to remove the front suspension saddle (comes out complete with suspension and wheels) while using your engine hoist to hold the motor in place. Once the saddle was out of the way I assume you lowered the engine using some sort of jack from underneath? Does that sound about right?

Brad
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Old 11-09-2017, 05:53 PM   #14
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1977 28' Argosy 28
Bloomington , IL
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Got to the possible root of the issue today. Crank gear busted and lead to the failure. Or that's the best I can see so far. Working on removing the oil pan next. It looks like I need to life the engine to achieve that. Has anyone squeezed it out any other way? Once out I think I read in some thread that I can't find that someone put a larger oil pan on. Does anyone know if there's a specific oil pan that fits and has a larger capacity? I also did a simple test on my fan and I think it's not working. Not really sure though, let it sit in from of my salamander for a while but the fan shaft never seemed to lock up. I'm just looking for all the upgrades I can do to make it a little more reliable. I also had to have a little fun and pull my awning out to pretend I was sipping cocktails and not wrenching. Can't wait to make this baby reliable and ready for long trips off grid!
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