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Old 11-20-2015, 04:19 PM   #29
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There is an RV repair shop located across the aisle from where the Beast is stored. I called them today and I am mailing them the keys to fix some stuff. I told them that the first thing i want them to look at is replacing the tires. Then inspect the airbags to see if they have gone brittle. While they have the tires off I asked them to look at the brakes.
He mentioned they also do mechanical work. I said I may decide to have them change the fluids and get the Beast running as well. I really don't plan on having them do everything. I am a bit clever and can do most things myself but engine and tires are something I rather a professional do. I am kinda torn on letting them do the window seals. I think I can do the job from what I have been reading here on the forums. I don't think I will have them clean it for $95/hour though... at least if it has new shoes and runs we can pull up next to a dumpster and chuck the nasty carpet out along with anything else dirty or unwanted!
I noticed a giant aluminum thingy on the roof behind the airconditioner. I am guessing it is the KoolOMatic perhaps. Is this like a smallish attic fan? It also has solar panels installed but the batteries are dead... hmmm. perhaps they don't like indirect sunlight...
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Old 11-20-2015, 04:30 PM   #30
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30r9 fuel line and belts should be on the top of your list.
Don't worry about the rear airbags if they hold Air, they are really tuff. Thats something you want to do yourself and save a bundle. Dont even think about letting them do the window seals....use our proven guidance and do it your self. Put tape on the inside for the trip home.
If you decide to bring her via the southern route due to questionable northern weather, my house in Austin, Texas is a Pitstop for the Classics on their way to their new home.
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Old 11-20-2015, 04:33 PM   #31
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Looking at the one picture that shows the roof I see the front air conditioner, an antenna, what might be a maxair or fantastic fan and the rear air conditioner.

I agree with your having them check the brakes. It might be a good idea to just have them replace all rubber parts in the braking system and be done with it. Nothing like driving and finding out you don't have brakes, BTDT

Also you are smart to have them check the airbags. Without them the rear suspension beats against the frame at every bump in the road. I experienced that driving a new to me 310 from Savannah to Little Rock. Rear airbags weren't working and it was a ROUGH ride.

If you're handy type person them I'm sure you can do the window seals. If I can do it anyone can!

Brad
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Old 11-20-2015, 05:25 PM   #32
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yeah at that per hour rate the windows are looking easier and easier! The keys should get to them around Tuesday. I am gonna ask them to take pictures and email them to me as they go. Hopefully they will.
Random question- Do you have to worry about the pipes freezing when you are going down the road on the motorhomes? This weekend we are taking our '65 Safari to Delaware and for the first time ever I have had to blow the lines out and dump antifreeze down the drains. We store it in a cave so winterizing is a new thing to me...
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Old 11-20-2015, 05:38 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kreimer View Post
yeah at that per hour rate the windows are looking easier and easier! The keys should get to them around Tuesday. I am gonna ask them to take pictures and email them to me as they go. Hopefully they will.
Random question- Do you have to worry about the pipes freezing when you are going down the road on the motorhomes? This weekend we are taking our '65 Safari to Delaware and for the first time ever I have had to blow the lines out and dump antifreeze down the drains. We store it in a cave so winterizing is a new thing to me...
your 345 should have the utility heater under the couch. It heats up the hot water heater via engine heater lines, which should take care of your worries while traveling.
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Old 11-21-2015, 01:56 AM   #34
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1984 34.5' Airstream 345
Foothill Ranch , California
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Great post, and great replies!
Congratulations!
Welcome to the sickness that has NOTHING to do with AZ dust! LOL!
As one who did something similar, I agree with all the advice given.

Tires are the easy part, many have swappped from 8R to 225/70 without issue.
I would think about your choice of tire for the driven axle... A "traction" tire might makes sense for some people, depending on your home weather and travel plans. Nothing worse than getting stuck on a bit of snow or wet grass with straight grooved tires! Been there done that on a BMW wagon towing a trailer!

The 5 year slumber it has been in is a concern, but add to that the dry heat and dust, and you might best plan to replace the master cylinder, calipers and flexible hoses, and fluid flush. Check the hoses to and from the Hydraboost unit. Mine was/is leaking PS fluid from the feed hose between the reservoir and pump.
Drain all the present Fuel, via suction, THEN replace all filters and rubber pipes. FYI, there should be 3... a large one in the feed between tank and rear electric pump(make sure its preset and working), smaller one on the chassis rail forward of the entrance door, and also mine had one on top of the intake manifold, but if yours still has the quadrajet carb, it maybe inside the carb intake. Buy some spares for the trip, as the junk in the tank will get stirred up. Some fuel treatment like seafoam to help clean the pipes and carb as you drive would not hurt.
Oh, if the genset works, a filter set for that might be worth having to hand.
Fresh engine oil and filter, new airfilter, and a set of plugs and wires might be smart.
Coolant flush, and check all of the hoses, as well as the 70' of heater hose going back and forth to the aux heater and water heater if fitted!
I would also check the condition of the trans fluid and replace that and filter too.
Unless, of course, the current owner has receipts for any of the above work recently.
That way you know where you are.

Then its rear airbags, although I drove mine 1600 miles with my front bags empty because i didn't know it had them!

Window seals are for later, but tape them if you think they are too loose.
Make sure you spare tire cover is secure, as it is virtually irreplaceable. Personally, I would add a safety cord to it... as mine showed evidence of having been dragged by the brake lamp cable...

I flew in for my drive home, so could not bring much beyond a sleeping bag, but I did stop and buy a Sears tool kit, spare oil and fluids etc.
Above all, get yourself a breakdown service...

Having the "Been there done that" hat AND T shirt, we wish you luck..
And LOTS of pictures!
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Old 11-30-2015, 05:54 PM   #35
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1988 34.5' Airstream 345
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I just drove my new 345 from Alabama to Norcal. My learnings:

* After the first railroad tracks, my shifter went out. I simply shut it down in Drive in a safe place. It was a simple cotter pin fix. Carry some smaller cotter pins and a pair of pliers.

* bad gas .... I wish I had drained my tank (simple to do) and had it flushed. I battled the "water in fuel" light with seafoam fuel additive and by only using the first 40-50 gallons of the 80 gallon tank. I'll need to do it out here anyway.

* carry extra fuel filters ... in particular, I went through 5 of the ones right in front of the gas tank and before the electric fuel pump. Every time I hit a grade or bumps, sediment would hit the first fuel filter ... my engine would lose power even when floored. Pulling to the side of the road, 5 minutes with a long flathead screwdriver and a ratchet and I was back on the road with full power. Even though I replaced the other 2 filters the 1st time. They were both clear. The rear one seemed to take out the detritus.

* I had new belts installed by the mechanics. After the first 750 miles the alternator belt squealed over certain rpms. To fix, I removed the doghouse. Top right was the alternator with an obvious adjustment bolt/nut. However, it's hard to get enough tension on the belts while you tighten the adjustment bolt/nut. What I did? The mounting bracket has a hole in it that you can put the handle of a crowbar or lug wrench into to lever the alternator tight while you work the ratchet with your other hand. In this manner, I got it tighter.

* I carried extra belts but didn't use them. I would do so again.

* I wish I had bought a spare electric fuel pump .. cheap insurance at $40 but every autozone in texas and new mexico was sold out.

* Voltage issue. I was running about 12.5 volts during the day. Headlights dropped me to 11.5 at night. That can be fine for a while as it draws down the coach batteries but leaves the driving battery fully charged. This became a problem after many hours because my total volts dropped. Power dropped and I incorrectly assumed it was my fuel filter again. Instead, my electric sending fuel pump wasn't getting enough juice from the batteries to push that fuel 30+ feet. As a result, I wasn't getting enough fuel to the carb. Starting the generator and running it while driving for a bit fixed the problem within 30 seconds.
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Old 11-30-2015, 05:57 PM   #36
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1988 34.5' Airstream 345
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fuel tank

BTW, I am considering:
- replacing my fuel tank
- flushing and relining my fuel tank.

Any tips on where to source this or expected cost?

I've google the heck out of GM P30 80 gallon fuel tank to no avail.
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Old 11-30-2015, 07:06 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nums View Post
I just drove my new 345 from Alabama to Norcal. My learnings:

* After the first railroad tracks, my shifter went out. I simply shut it down in Drive in a safe place. It was a simple cotter pin fix. Carry some smaller cotter pins and a pair of pliers.
Wow, that's a new one. I've not heard of that happening before.

Quote:
* Voltage issue. I was running about 12.5 volts during the day. Headlights dropped me to 11.5 at night. That can be fine for a while as it draws down the coach batteries but leaves the driving battery fully charged. This became a problem after many hours because my total volts dropped. Power dropped and I incorrectly assumed it was my fuel filter again. Instead, my electric sending fuel pump wasn't getting enough juice from the batteries to push that fuel 30+ feet. As a result, I wasn't getting enough fuel to the carb. Starting the generator and running it while driving for a bit fixed the problem within 30 seconds.
It's interesting that your coach batteries seem to be affecting your chassis battery performance. I don't believe that should be the case. On my old 310 I also experienced the voltage drop from 12.5 to 11.5 and even less. Turning the lights off brought the voltage back to 12.5. Even when the coach batteries were weak there was no change in symptoms.

Cleaning ground connections helped a little but I think the real issue was the headlight switch. There are to many lights being fed through that one contact on the switch. Same goes for the ignition switch. To many circuits on the single contact.

Brad
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Old 11-30-2015, 07:32 PM   #38
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Congrats on making it back!

Now the fun starts!
Obviously, you are a handy wrench!

A new fuel tank is probably available, but just get yours cleaned and lined. So much cheaper! See my thread for pics.

Voltage regulator is normally the culprit, so check that out.
As Brad says, check your lightswitch... there are relay kits that can be adapted.
Also, swap you running lights to LED's as that will help.
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Old 11-30-2015, 11:23 PM   #39
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1988 345 w\454

Wow nums! Sounds like a great adventure! Glad you made it safely. I emailed the repair place today and they are going to look at the beast on Wednesday. I am interested to hear what the tech has to say. I am sure I will have to get them to show some restraint so as not to drain the wallet fixing stuff I can do myself.
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Old 12-01-2015, 11:21 PM   #40
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A few other tips:
- watch your temp gauges. Mine never went over 200 but I've been told to watch out if it climbs over 220. My mechanics did a radiator flush before I picked it up.
- watch your oil pressure. Mine moved around between 45-55. Mostly, I was looking for a drastic drop indicating oil loss and necessitating immediate shutdown. No problems for me. Also, check your oil at each gas up. Luckily, I didn't leak or burn oil.
- I got good Sam rv premium... Basically free towing. Didn't need it but good piece of mind.
- it's normal to pump the brakes a time or two in advance of stopping. You can stop without but the extra pressure helps.
- my tranny did a bad job of downshifting on grades. Learn to shift it down yourself without over revving it.
- 3,000 rpm was my cruising sweet spot at 64 mph. 3,200 was good too at 69mph
- my speedo was busted. Waze will get you a real time gps based speedo and nav. Worked great for me.
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Old 12-02-2015, 12:56 AM   #41
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btw, here's a pic of what went wrong on my shifter.

This view is below the steering column by sliding under the front of the 345.

The bracket shown rotates when one shifts gears. The rotation moves that linkage in the hole further or closer to the transmission ... thereby shifting.

Finally, as you can see, it should have a simple cotter pin holding the linkage in place. With no retention cotter pin, it falls down. Luckily, it stays connected to the tranny on the other end and simply rests on top of some other chassis parts ... not really in danger of falling to the ground.

Super simple fix once you see what is happening.
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Old 12-02-2015, 01:16 AM   #42
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Probably should have a thin flat washer on the shaft resting against the apparent rubber bushing and then the cotter pin to hold the whole assembly together. The washer keeps the cotter pin from ripping up the rubber.


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