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Old 09-02-2005, 05:13 PM   #1
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Looking at Argosy MH - foibles?

Hey folks - I'm looking at a 1977 Argosy 20 tomorrow morning. Seems to have been fairly well maintained, 78K miles, outside storage, 3 previous non Rust Belt owners. Front windshields good, side weatherstripping around windows needs replacement, engine A/C works but blows hot, all other systems work, 454 uses no oil. Genset has 200 hours. Other than the obvious mechanical and cosmetic items, and the flooring, are there any particular foibles or "weaknesses" to these that I should pay particular attention to? Anything a "deal-breaker"? Thanks in advance!
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Old 09-02-2005, 07:31 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGanzman
Hey folks - I'm looking at a 1977 Argosy 20 tomorrow morning. Seems to have been fairly well maintained, 78K miles, outside storage, 3 previous non Rust Belt owners. Front windshields good, side weatherstripping around windows needs replacement, engine A/C works but blows hot, all other systems work, 454 uses no oil. Genset has 200 hours. Other than the obvious mechanical and cosmetic items, and the flooring, are there any particular foibles or "weaknesses" to these that I should pay particular attention to? Anything a "deal-breaker"? Thanks in advance!
Welcome to the forums! First, I am sure, since you mentioned it, that these motorhomes have steel end caps, and they peel paint like crazy. There is a fix, so it is not a kiss of death for your deal. Other issues are minor, such as window latches, leaks, and so on. The dash A/C not working can either be very inexpensive to fix, or horribly expensive to fix. If your generator works, and you have a roof air unit, it is not as critical to have the dash air working, although it is nice. You can run the roof air while driving.
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Old 09-03-2005, 11:19 AM   #3
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200 hours on the generator isn't a lot over all those years. I would definitely fire it up and run it heavily loaded (roof ac, as much interior load as possible) as long as possible. They are expensive to repair or replace.

Check the tires. Often they look fine but will dry rot and self destruct quickly. Very likely all 6 will need to be replaced. Same for the radiator, it is getting up there, can look good but the cooling fins will crumble. Front suspension repairs can be expensive if not properly lubed over the years. Brakes, rubber (especially) and steel lines are old, fluid should definitely be changed, preferably a complete brake job to determine condition of calipers, slide surfaces and wheel cylinders. All fluids, antifreeze to rear axle lube, should be changed. Same for all belts and hoses. Do as long of a test drive as the current owner wil allow, as many types of roads as you can find. The good part is the chassis is a P30 and parts are still easily available.

The endcaps are supposedly galvanized, but when I stripped mine it really looked more like terneplate. If you paint them accordingly it will hold, I did it several years ago and they are fine.

All rv appliances are very expensive, check the operation. Pressurize the water system, check for leaks; same for all holding tanks. Have the owner show you how everything works, there probably won't be any manuals. It also gives you more time inside to check everything out.

Just remember this is 30 years old and will probably need quite a bit of work as time goes on. As long as you do a very thorough inspection the surprises will be smaller, consider the larger items that need immediate attention when negotiating a price, they are very well built.
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Old 09-03-2005, 04:47 PM   #4
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this might be good buy, of course price is the deciding factor. A 20 is rare, and desirable- I am surprised it has a 454 and not the 350. If you browse thru our Moho sections here you will see many of the common problems and the fixes we have applied.
You may be lucky as I have been and have little or no repairs other than the predictable ones. We have done a fair amount of miles with little besides maintenance, and the uogrades we did by choice.
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Old 09-03-2005, 05:19 PM   #5
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Exclamation Bought it!

Hey guys - many thanks for all your help! Coach was in AMAZING condition, other than dull paint. Interior was virtually "as new", except for slight wear in a few spots on the carpet. No dash cracks, never smoked in/no pets, all systems working fine except dash A/C, front end rebuilt, 73K miles, not 78K miles. Two small dents on the entire coach! Genset was alittle hard to start and needs a new muffler, but settled right in and purred - roof A/C got to 50 degrees. Not a puff of blue or white smoke from the 454; it needs V/C gaskets. Needs tires and exhaust SOON. Got it for $4,500.00. . .

Any recommendations on tires? I'm leaning towards the Michelin XPS 8.75X16.5. Also, would like to upgrade to Alcoa or Brand X Aluminum wheels; I likes the ones that are slotted. Thoughts, ideas, opinions?
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Old 09-03-2005, 05:55 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by TheGanzman

Any recommendations on tires? I'm leaning towards the Michelin XPS 8.75X16.5. Also, would like to upgrade to Alcoa or Brand X Aluminum wheels; I likes the ones that are slotted. Thoughts, ideas, opinions?
I am personally biased toward Bridgestone R273 tires, they are expensive, but wear like iron. I will check Tuesday and make sure they are available in your size. Good luck with your new acquisition.
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Old 09-03-2005, 05:58 PM   #7
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Aluminum wheels need longer studs. You are going to have everything apart to do them, good time to check brakes and bearings.
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Old 09-04-2005, 08:42 AM   #8
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4,500 sounds like a great deal. You can have fun, put in some elbow grease and always get your money out of that plus some. Best of luck with it.
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Old 09-05-2005, 09:35 AM   #9
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Need WHEEL h'ep!!

O.K. Argosy MH Gurus - can anyone give me the specs on the "stock" steel wheels - dimensions and (any) offset? FWIW, the tires are 8.75X16.5. I REALLY need to get some new wheels on order! Probably gonna go w/the Michelin XTP's, unless someone here comes up w/a better recommendation, but I am coming up short in the wheel department. I wanna go w/some aluminums - can anyone recommend an upgrade that has worked for YOU? TIA!!
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Old 09-05-2005, 11:10 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by TheGanzman
O.K. Argosy MH Gurus - can anyone give me the specs on the "stock" steel wheels - dimensions and (any) offset? FWIW, the tires are 8.75X16.5. I REALLY need to get some new wheels on order! Probably gonna go w/the Michelin XTP's, unless someone here comes up w/a better recommendation, but I am coming up short in the wheel department. I wanna go w/some aluminums - can anyone recommend an upgrade that has worked for YOU? TIA!!
As far as I know, you can use 16" wheels from a "duallie" pickup, and go with the P235/85R16 load range E tires. They are cheaper, more readily available, and will be more durable. You just have to check clearances, to make sure the tires won't rub. If it looks like they will, or might, you can easily go with P225/75R16E tires, or even P215/75R16E tires. There was some discussion about this, maybe a year or so back, I am not 100% sure of the issue, but the end result was the 16's could be used.
An upside to this, is you can call any salvage yard that has 1 ton or larger chevy trucks, and score some good wheels, maybe even aluminum wheels. If you go with the aluminums, make sure you install longer studs so the lug nuts will fit.
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Old 09-05-2005, 07:56 PM   #11
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Exclamation Great Advice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63
As far as I know, you can use 16" wheels from a "duallie" pickup, and go with the P235/85R16 load range E tires. They are cheaper, more readily available, and will be more durable. You just have to check clearances, to make sure the tires won't rub. If it looks like they will, or might, you can easily go with P225/75R16E tires, or even P215/75R16E tires. There was some discussion about this, maybe a year or so back, I am not 100% sure of the issue, but the end result was the 16's could be used.
An upside to this, is you can call any salvage yard that has 1 ton or larger chevy trucks, and score some good wheels, maybe even aluminum wheels. If you go with the aluminums, make sure you install longer studs so the lug nuts will fit.
This is GOOD info - many thanks! I was on "The Diesel Place" website - there's a GREAT thread that discusses this vis a vis "rubbing", etc. - here's the link: http://dieselplace.com/forum/printth...?t=14140&pp=40

Looks like I'll be able to use the 235/85 R16's after all, which is cool! Added benefit - less revs/mile than the 8.75R16.5's too; better gas mileage! Should be able to use those cool 2005 Chevy/GMC "slotted" aluminum wheels too - there's a blue million of 'em on eBay; looks like the goin' rate for a set of four is ~$350.00 - tastes great, less filling!
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Old 09-06-2005, 06:40 PM   #12
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Need Stud Help!!

No, not THAT kind, LOL! Alright, as an update, I've committed to the new Alcoa "Hot Shot" aluminum wheel for my 20' Argosy MH - you can check 'em out on the Southwest Wheel website. They're pretty cool-looking, with elongated slots rather than the multiple round holes like you're used to with Alcoas. They're rated to 2,780 pounds each, 16X6 - they actually have a listing for '76-'00 Chevrolet P30 1 Ton Dual, FYI. Not cheap, but a good-looking, safe wheel. I wimped out on the 235/85R16's - went with 225/75R16 Michelin LTX M/S, Load Range E - max. load 2,680 pounds each. . .

O.K. - so here's my dilemma: The coach is located in VA. and I'm in CA. My buddy is gonna install the wheels/tires for me so this thing can move under it's own power. We really NEED to know the stock length wheel studs on this one, and exactly HOW much longer studs we need to buy, and most importantly WHERE to buy 'em BEFORE we show up at the coach! I KNOW some of you guys have swapped out to Alcoa's on your coaches - can ya' h'ep a brudda out?
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Old 09-06-2005, 07:26 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGanzman
they actually have a listing for '76-'00 Chevrolet P30 1 Ton Dual, FYI. Not cheap, but a good-looking, safe wheel. I wimped out on the 235/85R16's - went with 225/75R16 Michelin LTX M/S, Load Range E - max. load 2,680 pounds each. .
Be careful ordering the wheels, the coach you have is not exactly a P30 chassis. It is more like a C30, or a Cube Van.
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Old 09-07-2005, 10:11 AM   #14
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Be careful ordering the wheels, the coach you have is not exactly a P30 chassis. It is more like a C30, or a Cube Van.
Thanks for the clarification, OL63! I went back to the website and luckily the Alcoa's are the same P/N's for both applications, proving again my lifetime adage that it's better to be lucky than good!

Anyone care to belly up to the knowledge bar on those studs?
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