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Old 09-06-2016, 03:40 AM   #1
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1975 24' Argosy 24
Bozeman , Montana
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 16
New owner of a '75 Argosy

Greetings all! I recently picked up this beauty and after searching around, this definitely seems to be the place to hang out and chat about it. So much information! I'll be weeks reading everything I am sure, but I wanted to introduce myself and pick the brains of the knowledgeable heads around these here parts.

1975 Argosy 24 here. ~23k original miles, three owners (four now).
The good:
-Runs great! Rebuilt carburetor. Starts right up and sounds/runs smoothly.
-Everything works in the MoHo part, and everything is original. All appliances, generator, rooftop AC, everything.
-Lots of new stuff; front tires, windshield, one rear window, the little curved window on the passenger side and probably more. Still going through receipts of the previous owners.
-All documentation came with it. I can trace nearly everywhere it's been.

The bad:
-Engine/cab AC does not work. Well, it might but I cannot get anything to work in the cab; hot or cold. I know it must be a vacuum issue. No idea how to go about fixing that particular item...yet.
-All but one of the window tracks need to be replaced. Unless I enjoy my windows being hard to open and staring at the wet mossy tracks that is.
-There are a couple leaks but nothing too big. Everything on the roof needs to be resealed, I know. Getting ready to order some Vulkem goodness since that seems to be the best stuff.
-The fellow I bought it from thinks there is a powersteering leak. I have not noticed much, or any, leakage but there was a note from another old owner stating it too. Not sure how to go about diagnosing it or if this is a normal problem.

I am new to motorhomes, completely. Not new to wrenching on old rigs, or anything really. I have also done handyman work for the past 16 or so years, so figuring out why things go wonky is right up my alley.
The plan with this rig is to fix it up right and go full timing in it. Things I have planned, outside of repairs:
-Small solar setup. No biggie there, I've helped others do it so I am comfortable.
-Replacing all the bulbs with LEDs. Finding the sizes is proving...frustrating.
-Swapping out the original water heater for a tankless on-demand one.
-Removing that TV antenna! It looks like I will have to chisel away the old gunk off the roof and...rip it out? Not sure, haha.
-It still has the original water pump and I am not sure if it has enough "oomph" to keep on going. I have no idea what to replace it with yet.
-Maybe replacing the rooftop AC with a low profile one or a passive cooling system (swamp cooler thing I found). Not too sure as the old one works fine.
-Getting all the windows tinted. Soooo many windows.
-Tuning up the generator and installing some bushings because that thing shakes!

That's all I can think of at the moment. I am sure there are more things rattling around in my head, but if I chart my progress in this thread, I am sure they will come up.

Anything that I am overlooking, I'm sure there are many things, or any suggestions will be much appreciated! I hope I won't bother everyone too much with all the questions I am sure to have.

Cheers!
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Old 09-06-2016, 05:08 AM   #2
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1975 20' Argosy 20
Chestfield , Kent
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 2,071
Welcome to the asylum.....

Rule number one - don't anger the Airstream Gods. All tasks will take 3-5 times longer than expected and cost 3 -> more than expected so don't (ever) show any signs of optimism, it is like painting a bulls-eye on your back!
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Old 09-06-2016, 05:58 AM   #3
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1975 24' Argosy 24
Bozeman , Montana
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 16
Duly noted!

I'm not optimistic, just excited. Does that help? Is there an altar somewhere for me to put the offerings?
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Old 09-06-2016, 06:55 AM   #4
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1975 20' Argosy 20
Chestfield , Kent
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 2,071
Excited is good, because these things will increase you stress levels by a factor of ten....

As forum member Tap (Mark), recently wrote....."I've never loved and hated something so much at the same time"

Isuzusweet (Tony) seems to have the best grasp of the system for ritual offering to various deities, so I hope he chips in!
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Old 09-06-2016, 11:48 AM   #5
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1973 Argosy 26
dawsonville , Georgia
Join Date: Dec 2015
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Images: 6
Welcome....may want to join the Airstream Argosy Owners Facebook page...lots of helpful information and people there also.
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Old 09-06-2016, 02:11 PM   #6
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1979 28' Airstream Excella 28
Albuquerque , New Mexico
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 64
Welcome,

I am also relatively new to the forum. Your rig looks to be in really good shape! Mine also has 23k on the odometer, but I suspect there is a hidden 1 to the left...

I am also having a vacuum issue with dash blowers. I'll let you know if/how I sort it out.

My genny shook until I changed the plugs and cleaned the air filter, now it purrs like a very loud kitten.
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Old 09-06-2016, 02:25 PM   #7
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1974 20' Argosy 20
Richmond , Kentucky
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,223
Quote:
Originally Posted by drnkpnk View Post
Greetings all! I recently picked up this beauty and after searching around, this definitely seems to be the place to hang out and chat about it. So much information! I'll be weeks reading everything I am sure, but I wanted to introduce myself and pick the brains of the knowledgeable heads around these here parts.
Welcome to Airforums and Argosy ownership!

Quote:
1975 Argosy 24 here. ~23k original miles, three owners (four now).
The good:
-Runs great! Rebuilt carburetor. Starts right up and sounds/runs smoothly.
-Everything works in the MoHo part, and everything is original. All appliances, generator, rooftop AC, everything.
-Lots of new stuff; front tires, windshield, one rear window, the little curved window on the passenger side and probably more. Still going through receipts of the previous owners.
-All documentation came with it. I can trace nearly everywhere it's been.
Sounds like you picked up a gem. There aren't a whole lot of these old Argosies that are in that nice of condition. That is unless someone has spent a kings ransom to make it so!

Quote:
The bad:
-Engine/cab AC does not work. Well, it might but I cannot get anything to work in the cab; hot or cold. I know it must be a vacuum issue. No idea how to go about fixing that particular item...yet.
I'm not surprised your dash AC doesn't work. I think what happens is they all eventually fail and many owners don't seem to want to spend the money to get them running again. Plus they can be pretty daunting to work on.

I have a 74 Argosy and it should have the same dash AC system as yours. I've totally dismantled mine, repaired everything that needed repairing and am in the process of re-installing it.

There are two basic possibilities with yours. The first is the system just gradually leaked out all of the R12 and with luck just needs a re-charge which is highly unlikely. The second and more likely case is your system has been breached and it needs a complete going through. I can probably walk you through what you need to know about your particular system and I also have a wiring diagram that I made of mine before tearing it apart.

Quote:
-All but one of the window tracks need to be replaced. Unless I enjoy my windows being hard to open and staring at the wet mossy tracks that is.
The track material is available from various sources and although it can be time consuming it's not all that difficult to do a proper job.

Quote:
-There are a couple leaks but nothing too big. Everything on the roof needs to be resealed, I know. Getting ready to order some Vulkem goodness since that seems to be the best stuff.
Leaks are something you want to fix sooner rather than later.

Quote:
-The fellow I bought it from thinks there is a powersteering leak. I have not noticed much, or any, leakage but there was a note from another old owner stating it too. Not sure how to go about diagnosing it or if this is a normal problem.
It's entirely possible someone put some PS fluid with Stop Leak mixed in. The PS reservoir is inside the front engine cover on the right side. Fill the canister 2/3 to 3/4 and then monitor the level. Typically you should find leaks on the ground if it is still leaking.

Quote:
I am new to motorhomes, completely. Not new to wrenching on old rigs, or anything really. I have also done handyman work for the past 16 or so years, so figuring out why things go wonky is right up my alley.
The plan with this rig is to fix it up right and go full timing in it. Things I have planned, outside of repairs:
-Small solar setup. No biggie there, I've helped others do it so I am comfortable.
-Replacing all the bulbs with LEDs. Finding the sizes is proving...frustrating.
-Swapping out the original water heater for a tankless on-demand one.
-Removing that TV antenna! It looks like I will have to chisel away the old gunk off the roof and...rip it out? Not sure, haha.
-It still has the original water pump and I am not sure if it has enough "oomph" to keep on going. I have no idea what to replace it with yet.
-Maybe replacing the rooftop AC with a low profile one or a passive cooling system (swamp cooler thing I found). Not too sure as the old one works fine.
-Getting all the windows tinted. Soooo many windows.
Good plan

Quote:
-Tuning up the generator and installing some bushings because that thing shakes!
What make and model generator do you have installed?

Quote:
That's all I can think of at the moment. I am sure there are more things rattling around in my head, but if I chart my progress in this thread, I am sure they will come up.

Anything that I am overlooking, I'm sure there are many things, or any suggestions will be much appreciated! I hope I won't bother everyone too much with all the questions I am sure to have.

Cheers!
By the way, post more pictures. We like pictures here at Airforums

Brad
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Old 09-06-2016, 02:27 PM   #8
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1974 20' Argosy 20
Richmond , Kentucky
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,223
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyote View Post
....
I am also having a vacuum issue with dash blowers. I'll let you know if/how I sort it out.
Unfortunately your 79 AC system is totally different than the 74-76 Argosies. It's amazing how many different systems that Airstream actually used in production!
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Old 09-07-2016, 03:07 AM   #9
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1975 24' Argosy 24
Bozeman , Montana
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cleosdad View Post
Welcome....may want to join the Airstream Argosy Owners Facebook page...lots of helpful information and people there also.
I applied. Thanks for the heads up!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kyote View Post
I am also having a vacuum issue with dash blowers. I'll let you know if/how I sort it out.
We can share headaches, haha!
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Old 09-07-2016, 03:22 AM   #10
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1975 24' Argosy 24
Bozeman , Montana
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by bkahler View Post
Welcome to Airforums and Argosy ownership!

Sounds like you picked up a gem. There aren't a whole lot of these old Argosies that are in that nice of condition. That is unless someone has spent a kings ransom to make it so!
Thanks! This Argosy lived in AZ for most of it's life with an older couple. They sold it to a friend who moved up here to MT in 2011, so it's been in decent areas it's whole life.

Money to spend on the rig I have, but I am worried about just taking it to some RV repair place or a local mechanic. Not sure if they will be knowledgeable enough with the quirks of these Argosy's. Mostly I would want to do it for the vacuum issue because that's a new thing for me. I am positive I can figure it out though; I love a good puzzle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bkahler View Post
I'm not surprised your dash AC doesn't work. I think what happens is they all eventually fail and many owners don't seem to want to spend the money to get them running again. Plus they can be pretty daunting to work on.

I have a 74 Argosy and it should have the same dash AC system as yours. I've totally dismantled mine, repaired everything that needed repairing and am in the process of re-installing it.

There are two basic possibilities with yours. The first is the system just gradually leaked out all of the R12 and with luck just needs a re-charge which is highly unlikely. The second and more likely case is your system has been breached and it needs a complete going through. I can probably walk you through what you need to know about your particular system and I also have a wiring diagram that I made of mine before tearing it apart.
It had assumed that it would need recharged just on it's age, but it's the issue of not being able to even check that bothers me the most. I was skimming through someone's huge thread (Yours maybe? I forget...) and saw that there is a metal plate under the dash. Yay for nightmares!

I have a feeling I will need your diagrams before I'm done but I hope not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bkahler View Post
The track material is available from various sources and although it can be time consuming it's not all that difficult to do a proper job.
I took some of it off and one of the windows out just to see, and yes, it just seems time consuming. No worries there! I am ready for it.

I saw a thread for where to order the tracks stuff once but now I can't seem to find it. I will do more searching...

Quote:
Originally Posted by bkahler View Post
The PS reservoir is inside the front engine cover on the right side. Fill the canister 2/3 to 3/4 and then monitor the level. Typically you should find leaks on the ground if it is still leaking.
Mine is located in the driver's side wheel well. It seems these things have endless variations! I have noticed no leaks, from the PS anyway, so I'm not sure if the fellow I bought it from knew what he was talking about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bkahler View Post
What make and model generator do you have installed?
It's an Onan...2500? I think? I will take a picture and post it when I get home from work in the morning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bkahler View Post
By the way, post more pictures. We like pictures here at Airforums
Other than the generator, any other requests? The thing is stock at the moment as I have yet to start modifying anything, so if someone would like certain pictures I am happy to provide them!

Cheers!
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Old 09-07-2016, 08:45 AM   #11
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1976 24' Argosy 24
Victor , New York
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 377
Welcome and congrats! You 75 looks mighty similar to my 76, based on the windows on the drivers side we might even have the same layout. I bought mine 4 years ago with 24k miles on it and its up to 28k now, 1200 miles alone this year and counting! Take some more pictures of it, I'd love to see the inside.
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Old 09-07-2016, 11:33 AM   #12
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1974 20' Argosy 20
Richmond , Kentucky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drnkpnk View Post
Thanks! This Argosy lived in AZ for most of it's life with an older couple. They sold it to a friend who moved up here to MT in 2011, so it's been in decent areas it's whole life.

Money to spend on the rig I have, but I am worried about just taking it to some RV repair place or a local mechanic. Not sure if they will be knowledgeable enough with the quirks of these Argosy's. Mostly I would want to do it for the vacuum issue because that's a new thing for me. I am positive I can figure it out though; I love a good puzzle.
Unless you know of an RV mechanic that comes very highly recommended then I would suggest doing things yourself whenever possible. Having the wrong mechanic work on your Argosy could really wreck your day. I think you'll find that the majority of owners here on Airforums are the type that work on their on vehicle whenever possible.

Quote:
It had assumed that it would need recharged just on it's age, but it's the issue of not being able to even check that bothers me the most. I was skimming through someone's huge thread (Yours maybe? I forget...) and saw that there is a metal plate under the dash. Yay for nightmares!

I have a feeling I will need your diagrams before I'm done but I hope not.
My restoration thread is getting rather large, unfortunately I never seem to get anything done!

I'll see if I can track down my wiring diagram and post it.

Quote:
I saw a thread for where to order the tracks stuff once but now I can't seem to find it. I will do more searching...
Check out:
Out of Doors Mart
Vintage Trailer Supply
Inland RV

Quote:
Mine is located in the driver's side wheel well. It seems these things have endless variations! I have noticed no leaks, from the PS anyway, so I'm not sure if the fellow I bought it from knew what he was talking about.
I'll bet what happened is some PO replaced the original power steering pump with a pump that has a reservoir built onto the pump itself. Most Chevy pickups of the era had this arrangement. All of the P30 chassis motorhomes had the remote reservoir on the firewall. The firewall mounted reservoir makes it a lot easier to top of the fluid. I also think the remote reservoir helps a little keeping the power steering fluid a little cooler.

Quote:
It's an Onan...2500? I think? I will take a picture and post it when I get home from work in the morning.
I wonder if the 2500 is original? I would have expected a 4000 Onan or Generac generator.

Quote:
Other than the generator, any other requests? The thing is stock at the moment as I have yet to start modifying anything, so if someone would like certain pictures I am happy to provide them!

Cheers!
By all means post pictures from various angles and views of your Argosy
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Old 09-08-2016, 12:13 AM   #13
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1975 24' Argosy 24
Bozeman , Montana
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Pics!

Pics 1 of 2
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Old 09-08-2016, 12:22 AM   #14
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1975 24' Argosy 24
Bozeman , Montana
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 16
Pics 2!

There's the generator. I tried to get a picture of the plate but it is hard to stuff my phone in that compartment and get a good pic, haha. Far as I can tell it's the OG gen.

Third pic is of the standard fuel door, which is empty, and the shiny new one. I should have taken one of it open because it looks wonky as hell but somehow you can still fill the tank, so there's that. Still looking through receipts to see how large the new tank is.

Fourth pic is right over the front driver's side tire of the PS resevoir. Not normal?
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