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Old 05-03-2009, 02:16 PM   #1
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1978 28' Argosy 28
Monterey , California
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Engine and Suspension Repair Cost

Salinas RV repair costs are between $110-135 per hour and the center I'm at has it a $120 an hour. Expensive compared to what others are telling me around the country. But it seems to be par for the course here in Monterey County - everything is expensive here.

Despite the delays, I think I'd like to have him do some work on the RV - mainly on the mechanical side. Looks like Bridgestone tires (all of them), shocks, front air bags changed to springs (rear are fine), redo the motor - electronic ignition, sparks, wires, cam, leaking seals, muffler, etc. all for around $7500.

Worth it? Basically the drive train and the exhaust system. Top to bottom.

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Old 05-03-2009, 02:21 PM   #2
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1983 31' Airstream310
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What year is that coach?
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Old 05-03-2009, 02:26 PM   #3
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Estimates Vary Widely

I like to do one thing at a time.
Some put a job in the hands of others to do it for them.
At $120 per hour my learning curve would be pretty sharp.
I guess it depends upon your level of funding, time available and comfort level with the shop in question.
Once the horse has left the barn sometimes it is hard to reign in the costs, good luck, let us know how it goes.
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Old 05-03-2009, 03:25 PM   #4
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I like to do one thing at a time.
Some put a job in the hands of others to do it for them..
Yep, the springs need a specialized shop and the entire suspension needs to be aligned. The rear air bags are are a pain, never worked right.
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Old 05-03-2009, 07:29 PM   #5
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1978 28' Argosy 28
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It's a 78' Argosy 28' footer - 454 gas. I'm crap at mechanics - especially the hardcore engine and suspension situation. I'd never be able to do it. Whereas, I could bang around the rest of the rig - tanks, bathrooms, finishes, etc. Electrical is beyond me as well and I'd have problems doing that as well. I kind of like the idea of one at a time, and I'm not flush with cash. I have just enough on hand to complete the engine/suspension repairs stated with a lot more work to do inside to get the machine usable. Just wondering if I could take it somewhere else and get more work done for the same amount of money.
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Old 05-03-2009, 07:34 PM   #6
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Love to see a large pic; never seen a shiny Argosy.
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Old 05-03-2009, 07:41 PM   #7
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Here you go. It is a beauty.
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Old 05-03-2009, 07:50 PM   #8
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The question that begs to be asked..."What is really wrong with it that it needs all the work done?"

Often one mechanic is in need of a complete job when it really is only a minor bit of work to get you down the road for a few more years.

The P30 chassis has air bags supporting springs. That both need replaced sounds suspect. I'd put new bags in and roll.

Let us know what has been diagnosed.
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Old 05-03-2009, 08:00 PM   #9
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Here you go. It is a beauty.
Sweet. I still don't get the spring deal, though; P-30 had coil springs on the front and air/leaf on the AS versions.
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Old 05-03-2009, 08:39 PM   #10
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It only has 43K miles on it and the engine compression check outs strong. But there are leaks all over the place and those engines ran hot so there are lots of brittle hoses, belts, gaskets etc. It sat for over 4 years as well and has lots of mouse droppings all over the place. Airbags on the back are fine, but the front are shot. I've read here in the forum that some have replaced toe front air bags with stronger springs for a better ride - maybe controversial but not farfetched. I want to improve the engine performance for gas mileage and reliability so I'm looking for electronic ignition, etc. The cam and timing chain has some issues as well. Finally the exhaust system is just plain rusted out.

I don't want to have to be towed and any engine this old sitting around that long would need these kinds of repairs. I'm not a mechanic nor do I have the time to devote to these more complicated mechanical repairs. I think I can do the interior stuff myself and learn to put in a heater or air conditioner etc. This heavy duty mechanic stuff is just beyond me.
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Old 05-04-2009, 06:38 AM   #11
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It only has 43K miles on it and the engine compression check outs strong. But there are leaks all over the place and those engines ran hot so there are lots of brittle hoses, belts, gaskets etc. It sat for over 4 years as well and has lots of mouse droppings all over the place. Airbags on the back are fine, but the front are shot. I've read here in the forum that some have replaced toe front air bags with stronger springs for a better ride - maybe controversial but not farfetched. I want to improve the engine performance for gas mileage and reliability so I'm looking for electronic ignition, etc. The cam and timing chain has some issues as well. Finally the exhaust system is just plain rusted out.

I don't want to have to be towed and any engine this old sitting around that long would need these kinds of repairs. I'm not a mechanic nor do I have the time to devote to these more complicated mechanical repairs. I think I can do the interior stuff myself and learn to put in a heater or air conditioner etc. This heavy duty mechanic stuff is just beyond me.
What "issue" is there with the cam/timing chain?

Done a respirator and take a shop vac to the mouse droppings. Change all the hoses and the thermostat to a 180 degree. Have all fluids changed and filters replaced. Run it for a couple of hundred miles at various power settings and then change the oil again.

Buy a set of Headman headers and Flowmaster 70's and have them cobbled together for a great exhaust system redo.

My MSD ignition added a bit of umph to the bottom end but otherwise is not that noticeable. I think it helps burn the fuel more completely though.
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