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Old 11-22-2016, 05:11 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Danec020 View Post
I doubt it was right but I slept on it none the less! I did have a small section in the middle where the aluminum rails were not covered with wood but it didn't bother me. I will have to go look at it again and see if I can figure it out this time. On the Caravel the cushion's backs are lined with thin wood that becomes the bed support.
Hmm, sounds like you might be missing one piece of plywood. I'll look at the bits and pieces I have left to see what might be missing on yours.

Brad
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Old 11-23-2016, 01:13 AM   #16
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Thanks!

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Hmm, sounds like you might be missing one piece of plywood. I'll look at the bits and pieces I have left to see what might be missing on yours.

Brad
That would be awesome Brad! Ill try to get some pictures of what I have so you know what to look for and then if I can fabricate something similar that would work or you can hold it for me when I come pick up a valance.

-Dane
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Old 11-23-2016, 01:15 AM   #17
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November 16 (Wednesday)

November 16 (Wednesday)

After a nights rest and time to think about the past days events I was feeling optimistic again. I knew the motor ran well when it started and there was only a few parts in the fuel delivery system. The tank was also new so I wasn't worried about gunk in their clogging things up but I decided to have the rubber line from the tank to the mechanical pump swapped out just in case. Dave showed up around 9am and was helping with other jobs that they had, some were probably my fault for eating up their day before so I made sure to express my gratitude. Around 11am the part arrived and he went to work. About 40 minutes or so he had the new pump installed and we were able to get fuel to the carburetor. Dave reconnected the lines and we started Trixi up and once again she fired up like a champ. Everything was looking good but I wanted to let her idle for at least 10 minutes to make sure the problem was solved and there were no other issues. While she idled I took care of my bill and thanked the guys for helping me out on short notice and doing everything they did. 10 minutes flew by and I figured it was time for me to close everything up and get out of the Goodyear's hair because Dave's boss was threatening to go to the court house and get a marriage license for Trixi and him! Dave was one of their most experienced employees and he was quite familiar with the 454 which was very lucky for me. I said my goodbyes after closing up the dog house and I got on the way to my first stop, CarQuest!

CarQuest was the store delivering all the parts to the Goodyear and they were only a mile away. I wanted to drive around town a little bit before I began the long journey to make sure everything was indeed ok. This was my first time ever driving a motorhome so it was an interesting experience. I felt tall as a building but blind as a bat and as agile as a drunk cow... Immediately I realized that the steering was going to take me some time to get use to since there was about 2 inches of play and then it would respond, or jerk in that direction. The steering was really responsive once you got over the little play in the wheel which was interesting to learn how to control. I would drift a little to the left and try to smooth out but end up jerking to the right a little and then repeat. I probably was scaring people as much as I was scaring myself . Despite my horrible driving, I made it to the CarQuest without any problems. I went inside and picked up some supplies such as fluids of all varieties, fuel line, heater hoses, a funnel, and some other nick knacks. I loaded up Trixi with a box of new goodies in the event we broke down I had some parts/fluids and started her back up without any issues. I tried not to back up over anyone in the parking lot and got to driving around a street that looped around the Goodyear for 10 minutes. At this point it was already 1pm and I was behind schedule since I was originally planning on being home by the end of the day. I figured I would take my chances instead of wasting more time driving around so I headed for I-49 South.

Things were looking good! I drove about 30 miles without any issues and the motor was pulling strong. It easily held 60-65mph and sometimes I would find it creeping up higher. Even though the motor wasn't struggling at all, I didn't want to tax it so I tried to maintain 60mph for most of the trip. I was feeling pretty good about things and admiring the beautiful terrain of hills/mountains when all the sudden Trixi lost power for about 2 seconds then regained it. My stomach got butterflies and I checked all my gauges but everything looked good. The next 30 minutes were intense as I was waiting for something to break and become stranded in the mountains only an hour and half from my starting destination. But nothing happened, she kept driving fine. I started to go up a steep incline and *SPUTTER/SHAKE*! My heart dropped this time for the 4 seconds it took to gain power again. Once again I checked all the gauges and strained to hear any signs of problems but everything looked good. This time I was pretty sure Trixi was being starved for fuel for a second until it could recover and fire back up. Having replaced everything up to the carburetor I wasn't sure what could be the issue. I have motor experience working on and rebuilding rotary engines for Mazda's Rx-7s but I never worked on a carbureted motor before so this was new territory for me. I decided to pull over and check for any new leaks, check fluids, and top off the tank with gas. While doing this I got a message from an angel.. Ok maybe not an angel but Brad texted me and asked how I was doing. So I relayed all the information to him and we talked about several possibilities of fuel moving out of reach of the pickup, junk in the lines/carburetor breaking free and clogging it, and some other things. He recommended trying to get some Seafoam to run through the tank since it couldn't hurt but would possibly help the issue. After topping off I went through my routine check of fluids and pulled the oil dip stick to find it had no markings from the factory on it. Only the tip had some oil on it and there were two scratches in the stick that looked like someone was trying to make level indicators. Willie had the oil changed not too long ago so since I had no oil leaks I just prayed it was ok. It was about 1:50pm and I needed to get back on the road so I added half a quart to be on the safe side and closed her back up.

I was determined to make some head way towards home so I figured I would push my luck a little and keep driving until the issue got worst. At the time I wasn't super concerned since it wasn't happening often and I knew it would catch again once it cleared up what ever issue it was having. This seemed to be working for the first 30 minutes until it bogged again. Then 25 minutes it bogged. Then 20 minutes it bogged a little more and so on until it was starting to bog for 4-5 seconds every 10 minutes or less. I was passing the town of Lamar, MO and I could see a Wal-mart from the interstate so I pulled off and parked in the parking lot. I did my walk around of the motorhome and checked all fluids but everything still seemed fine. I decided to take Brad's advice and go in and buy some Seafoam for the engine, hoping it would clean up any clogs in the system. While shopping Brad informed me that the carburetor had a filter in it where the fuel line attached to it and it could also be a possible culprit. So after checking out I looked up auto part stores nearby and found an Orielly that was only 2 miles away. I made my way to the store and went inside. There was a young man at the front so I asked if he had any fuel filters for a 1974 454 chevy motor and he looked at me as if I was speaking tongues. Luckily there was an older gentlemen who must have been working the store for a long time because he just went to the back and pulled the part right off the shelf and handed to me. "Last one left." Thanking my lucky stars I bought the $4 part and informed the man I would be doing the work in the parking lot which he didn't seem to care.

Upon exiting the store there was a lady trying to look in the passenger window of Trixi. When she seen me she asked, "What is it? It almost looks like an Airstream!" So I explained to her that it was an Airstream along with the history of the Argosy motorhomes. "Can I see the inside of it?" She asked when I was finished. I nodded but warned her that it had all the carpet removed and my luggage was laying about but she didn't care and hopped on board. After she was done looking she asked, "Would you sell it? I have a friend who would love this!" I explained I just bought it and was trying to make the trip back home and so far my prospects of making it were looking questionable. "Well if you do decide to sell it make sure you come back and put it for sale right here so I will know!" I laughed and explained that would be most unlikely since I would have to drive back and either way I planned on being buried with it. She understood the feeling and wished me luck so I turned back to the task at hand. With Brad's expert tutelage, well really after 10 seconds of the youtube video he linked, I was able to figure out how to remove the part without wasting any time. The filter looked a little dirty so I decided to give it the good ole redneck test! I put the fuel soaked filter to my lips and blew out, there was a lot of resistance. Then for some unknown dumb reason I tried sucking in and got a mouthful of fuel... Damn those little filters can hold some fuel! Cursing my stupidity I blew in the new one and seen it had little to no resistance so my hopes were high that this was the source of my problem. I installed the new filter and cleaned up everything and went to the nearest gas station to fill up.

Once again, to be continued...
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Old 11-23-2016, 06:33 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Danec020 View Post
The filter looked a little dirty so I decided to give it the good ole redneck test! I put the fuel soaked filter to my lips and blew out, there was a lot of resistance. Then for some unknown dumb reason I tried sucking in and got a mouthful of fuel... Damn those little filters can hold some fuel! Cursing my stupidity I blew in the new one and seen it had little to no resistance so my hopes were high that this was the source of my problem.
Thanks for giving me my morning chuckle

I doubt if you're the first OR the last that will attempt the second part of your filter test

Brad
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Old 11-23-2016, 07:00 AM   #19
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Thanks for the READ.

I am looking forward to your next chapter. I have been there before many times with vintage vehicles, but not a MoHo.
Thanks,
StevieB
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Old 11-24-2016, 01:05 PM   #20
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Dane,

On my rear couch the back rest has a piece of 1/2" plywood inside the back.
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My cushion covers are definitely not original but I think some PO just sewed a new cover over the original one. Sometime this weekend I'll pull the whole cushion off the shelf and cut the new cover off to see what's underneath.


At your convenience could you check underneath your front valance for a piece of aluminum sheet similar to this picture?
Click image for larger version

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I think this panel was installed by Airstream to support the top of the valance to keep it from sagging. The original ABS plastic warps and buckles real easy so my hunch is this panel was intended to help keep that from happening.

About the only way you'll be able to see it would be to crawl under the front and try peeking up in that area.

I think the replacement fiberglass valances that Martin and I had made shouldn't need this support panel since the fiberglass is pretty stiff.

Thanks!

Brad
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Old 11-24-2016, 08:57 PM   #21
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Don't go cutting your cushion for me! As for the valance I'll go look under it in the morning and let you know.

-Dane
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Old 11-24-2016, 09:36 PM   #22
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Don't go cutting your cushion for me! As for the valance I'll go look under it in the morning and let you know.

-Dane
No big deal, I don't know why I still have those cushions anyway. I'm switching to twin beds in back like Martin did in Bella so they are just taking up space on the shelf.
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Old 11-26-2016, 05:47 PM   #23
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Dane, here's a picture of the plywood that makes up part of the couch/bed.

71-1/2" x 12" x 3/8"

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Old 11-27-2016, 12:18 PM   #24
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Continuation of Wednesday

Quote:
Originally Posted by bkahler View Post
Dane, here's a picture of the plywood that makes up part of the couch/bed.
Thanks! I really appreciate it and sleeping in Trixi will be much more comfortable with that piece!

Continuation of November 16, Wednesday

I was back on the road for about an hour and so far everything was running smoothly. Since the frequency of the bogging was every 5-10 minutes before, I felt the problem was addressed or at least part of it was. It was almost dark but everything was running so well I wanted to try and get another hour or so of driving in. I looked over my gauges one more time to make sure everything was still where they should be and I brought my eyes back to the road to a surprise! In the left lane about 150ft away was a big buck walking his way into the right lane where I was currently at! I knew I would hit him if I stayed my current coarse so I opted to go into the left lane and hoped he kept on walking and not freeze. I applied the brakes firmly but not too hard since I didn't want to lock them and with luck and about 6 inches to spare I missed the deer. He was in no hurry to get to the other side but once I almost scratched his butt off with Trixi, he did a sprint for safety! I was shocked to see one so early since the sun wasn't completely down yet. I thought on it for awhile and told myself I better stop for the night and drive during the day where my vision was better and less likely to hit a deer. So I put on my lights and kept my eyes peeled for a truck stop where I could park for the night and sleep.

Another hour went by and I hadn't seen anything but an exit or two that had no lights or buildings. Now it was completely dark and my luck wasn't looking good. Not only were there no exits but my lights were abysmal! When I first turned them on when there was some light left I knew they weren't going to be bright since I couldn't see much light coming from the Argosy. Once it got darker I seen why. Apparently checking the front lights to make sure they worked wasn't the only thing I should have done. One light was shining down and to the left while the other one shined up and to the right. I am not talking about a little down and a little up, I am talking full tilt! I couldn't see anything but about 10 feet in front of Trixi and the tree tops on the right. You could imagine my anxiety after almost hitting a deer and then being stuck in the mountains at night not being able to see anything around me. *SPUTTER, BUCK* "Not now! Come on Trixi, you can do it baby!" I patted the steering wheel even though no one could see me. Then I started thinking maybe I shouldn't say or think anything... I might jinx myself... I am not usually superstitious but I didn't want to do anything that made this trip any more "exciting". Luckily she caught back up and everything started running smooth again.

For the next hour I was white knuckling the wheel, leaning forward with squinty eyes, and whispering prays. In the end they must have payed off because I finally came to a little town called Greenland, AR. There was a Philip 66's truck stop with a McDonalds attached to it and it seemed like a nice area that I could stop for the night. I parked Trixi in between two big 18-wheelers and shut her off for the night. To do this I have to leave it in gear when killing the engine due to the timing being off, other wise it will keep trying to catch. The downside to this is the amount of fuel left in the carburetor when it is off. Sighing with relief I locked everything up and went inside for some food and relaxation. The lady at the counter had no problem with me sleeping there for the night and the McDonald's had wifi that was free so I was able to surf the web on my phone while eating/relaxing. When done I was pretty bored to I checked out some of the automotive things that were for sale and found a little domed mirror that sticks onto your existing mirror for $4. Since I couldn't see squat with the current passenger mirror, I picked one up and went outside to install it. It was a simple peel off the back and stick to the mirror... Or it seemed simple until you hand it to me. I was hovering the little mirror above the glass trying to make sure to put it exactly where I wanted it. I wanted it all the way to the edge of the mirror so it wasn't blocking majority of the view but while hovering I bumped the mirror ever so slightly, like a fly's caress. It was STUCK... To top it off the edge of the mirror pushed against the edge trim of the Argosy's mirror and caused the actual mirror part to pop off. Apparently the mirror was made to detach from the base so people wouldn't steal it? No problem, I will peel it off carefully and move it over a 1/4 of an inch. What ever adhesive they use on those things should be sold, the stupid little foam pad would not budge and I was practically destroying it trying to get the dang thing off. If I were to try and peel it off it would leave pieces of itself all over the mirror ruining the little vision I had! Eventually I got the plastic base to peel off the foam adhesive pad and was able to move it over enough to get the little mirror on. In the end I just shook my head at myself as I turned a 1 minute easy job into a 10 minute cussing session.

Done with the stupid mirror I decided to turn in for the night and crawled into the coach. My senses were assaulted by fuel aroma coming from the dog house. I turned on the lights and to my surprise they all worked! I moved my luggage, spare parts, and a box of old parts Willie had given me to the side trying to make room for the bed to pull out. With all the stuff I had in there, it was a little challenging to walk around. After arranging the bed I was surprised to see it had aluminium railings instead of the wood ones in my Caravel. The other surprise was I couldn't figure out what to do with the middle section of the bed since I had no support to go on top of the railing. Also the driver side of the bed had no legs to support the edge of the bed, didn't know if this was normal or not so I just went with it. In the end I just put the cushions down and laid in the bed trying to stay to the outside part that had the wood supports but keep my feet away from the outside edge that had no leg support. Even sleeping couldn't be simple today! Over all it was surprisingly comfortable but the fumes were killing me so I opened a window. The fumes made it hard to sleep but I had another 550 miles to try and finish the next day, so I needed to leave the truck stop at 6am. While laying there I wondered if excessive gas fumes could kill someone but I was too tired to google it, I had a window open... After several hours of trying not to die from the fumes I finally passed out.
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Old 11-27-2016, 05:11 PM   #25
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Dane, your trip keeps getting more and more interesting! That deer could have made a real mess of things, good thing you missed it

Previously you had asked whether your front end might be sitting low, if it is that will also contribute to your headlights being out of wack.

You should not be able to smell any gas inside the coach so if you're smelling gas then your stumbling problem could be a sign that the fuel bowl needle valve is sticking open. I think we discussed previously about you having the carburetor rebuilt. What you don't want to do is just get a replacement carburetor off the shelf from some auto parts store. You want to have yours rebuilt, that way you know it's set up right for your specific engine. I think Martin might know who to send the carburetor to for a rebuild.

Brad
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Old 11-27-2016, 08:16 PM   #26
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Quadrajet carbs, and distributors / ignition

Dane,

Reach out to Dick Paterson at http://www.springfield-ignition.com/

Best,
Joseph
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Old 11-27-2016, 11:53 PM   #27
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Dick Paterson refurbished and setup Bella's QuadraJet - he is highly recommended.

Part of the service (you literally unbolt the carb and return everything to him) is he sets up the carb on a PACC machine and adjusts for idle, cruise, and power, and the only thing that may need any adjustment on re-fitting is the choke setting because it is dependent on location/climate.
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Old 11-27-2016, 11:57 PM   #28
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I forgot to add....we get no smell of gas inside with the doghouse closed, so I suspect the combo of smell and poor fuel mileage (we used to get around 11mpg, from the 350 small block before installing the GearVendor and now get around 14mpg) = a leak/overflow somewhere
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