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Old 05-21-2012, 11:47 PM   #1
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belts, hoses and rear fuel pump for 1986 345 MH?

Hi All-

I'm back on this forum trying to get my coach back on the road. It is really fun reading these threads!

In order to even be able to move the coach from where it is, I need to obtain the belts and hoses for it for the mechanic who is working on it. But I don't have the documentation for it and I don't know what I should be asking for.

Does anyone know the brands, specs, or any details I could use to find the belts and hoses and also where I might look for them? What exactly am I looking for?

Also, the person doing this work is not that familiar with Airstreams but he is the mechanic who is willing to go on site to try to make her safe to drive. He said it looked like it was going to be a bear, just getting in to reach what has to be replaced. Is that true? Or is he missing something?

I'm also looking for the rear fuel pump for this rig. Do you know what I would be asking for and where I should be looking for it?

Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer!

Jennifer
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Old 05-22-2012, 05:01 AM   #2
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If others who own these motorhomes can't provide part numbers and sources, and you have the old belts and hoses, you can take them to an auto parts store where they can be cross-referenced to the latest replacement parts. The old ones have part numbers that are stenciled, molded or stamped in the rubber; and there are catalogs that cross-reference these parts between manufacturers.

If Pep Boys, Autozone, etc. have difficulty, go to one of the "old-fashioned" parts stores like "Make, Model and Year" where some old-timers will know how to cross-reference these parts. Some of these auto parts stores specialize in items for classic vehicles and network to find parts.

Regarding location of fuel pump, I have no experience with this motorhome; but other vehicles so equipped usually have an electric fuel pump located near the fuel tank. Just trace the fuel line(s) back to the tank, and you'll find the pump in-line, somewhere near the tank.

Previous comments also apply to replacement fuel pump.
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Old 05-22-2012, 05:34 AM   #3
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Jennifer, I'm sorry to hear about your troubles with your 345. I have a 310 and I've done quite a bit on work on it and I would say that mine is not particularly hard work on. It has a conventional doghouse to access the engine perhaps those models that have a more elaborate setup may be harder to work on. The airstream engine is nothing but the big block Chevy 454 CID 7.4 L engine. There is very little that is particular to airstream with the engine. One of my favorite sources is RockAuto.com, I can't say whether there are any better or worse than the other auto parts dealers on the Internet but I've had no problem with them in the past and I really like the interface they use for finding parts. In your case you would drill down through Chevrolet 1986 P30 7.4 L 454 CID V8. Under that would be all the subsystems for the P 30 chassis. In your case I just looked for the radiator upper hose and they listed six different makers and their part numbers so you should be able to gather up the information and take it to any parts store and get what you need. For the most part these are really common readily available parts. The one exception is the fuel pump and you may have to just take it out and take it to the parts store and get something and matches, although there are motorhome owners that think it's best to replace it with a Carter Rotary type pump but that's a whole another story. Good luck and I hope you get your baby on the road soon.
Bill
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Old 05-22-2012, 06:07 AM   #4
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Couple of important questions for the belts...
Is it a California Vehicle?
Single or dual Airpumps?

The rear fuel pump is an electrical unit, and on most of the units from this era I have seen, is in addition to the mechanical pump on the engine block. Dependant on year was not standard fitted at the factory, but rather added to help with a fuel condition called vapor-lock.
The one on my '84 looks like this..
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Old 05-22-2012, 06:39 AM   #5
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good advice, will do

Thanks so much, all of you.

Yes, it was because of the vapor lock problems that I originally found this forum, thankfully, and I learned that I probably needed to replace the rear fuel pump.

I wasn't sure if the old belts and hoses would tell us enough but it sounds like they might. If Rockauto doesn't pan out for some reason, we'll try the match-up approach. But it's nice to know that at least in this area, pretty standard parts will work. Also, I thought maybe I'd try the Shared Resources thread for the fuel pump but I guess any fuel pump I get there would be about as old as mine. I'll probably try anyway, though, just in case.

Thanks again!
Jennifer
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Old 05-22-2012, 08:04 AM   #6
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Jennifer,
I have a good machanic that works on mine. He had never worked on an Airstream, but if you machanic can not figure out what to get in parts (most all of them are not AS specific) find a different guy!
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Old 05-22-2012, 09:06 AM   #7
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Jennifer,

Changing the belts isn't the most pleasant of jobs but is not overly difficult however I have noticed some differences between the 84 and earlier motorhomes compared to the later motorhomes. On our 84 310 the smog pump is down low on the passenger side of the engine which allows for decent access from above. On our 86 345 the smog pump is top center on the motor which impacts getting access to the belts from the top.

A couple of weeks ago I had to replace all three belts on the 310 while sitting along side the interstate and overall it took about 2-1/2 hours to get the job done. Keep in mind this was working on a hot engine and the smog pump was on the side instead of on top like the 345. Fortunately I had a nice thick mat that I keep with the motorhome that I could lay on top of the motor. I was constantly shifting from inside the coach on top of the engine to outside the coach and underneath.

One trick that I found was for adjusting/tensioning the power steering pump. The power steering pump adjustment bracket has a square hole in it that is a perfect fit for a 1/2" ratchet to fit into. With this setup I was able to apply all the tension I needed to tension the power steering pump belts.

Keep in mind this is for a motor that uses v-belts and NOT the serpentine style of belt. I have no idea how the serpentine belts are setup and can't speak to that arrangement.

There are two lessons I learned from all of this is to ALWAYS have spare belts with you. On our recent trip we had the center belt shread which took out the other two belts.

I was stuck in a situation where I was in the middle lane passing a semi that was in the right lane. Just as I pulled even with the semi I noticed the power steering was getting really stiff. That led to the realization that I had no power brakes either. Since there was a long line of semi's behind the one I was passing my only real option was to speed up, get in front of the semi and then get over to the shoulder as fast as I could. It wasn't until I got in front of the semi that I realized the temp gauge was pegged which made me realize that I had lost all of the belts

I was able to get safely over to the side but it took everything I had plus the electric trailer brakes to get the motor home stopped. I was basically standing up gripping the steering wheel an pushing on the brake pedal as hard as I could. I'm still not sure if it wasn't the trailer brakes that did most of the stopping.

Lesson one: Never ignore belt squeal. Ours had been squealing on start up for a year or more and I ignored it. That's a sure sign your belts are getting old.

Lesson two: Always have spare belts and hoses (radiator and power steering) with you. A lot of parts houses don't stock the unique hoses used on motor homes and if you need to replace one of those on the side of the road and don't have a spare you're stuck, period.

On the rear mounted fuel pump, Holley makes a good pump that puts out something like 110 gpm (free flow) at around 9 psi and comes with a flow regulator. This is what I plan on using when our original pump fails.

Holley Performance Products 110 GPH "Blue" Electric Fuel Pump With Regulator*12-802-1

Good luck on getting your motor home back on the road!

Brad
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Old 05-22-2012, 11:58 AM   #8
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Double Yikes! Great advice.

Wow, Brad, what a hair-raising story! I agree on the extra belts and hoses (I'm gonna get a double set now!) but they wouldn't have saved you from that. And the side of the road repair sounds like a challenge. I would have had to make a 3-hour tunafish sandwich and waited for a tow.

I found myself standing on the brakes once too, at 70 miles per hour in the Appalachians. It was one of those vapor lock occasions that I am looking forward to preventing. Sure was exciting.

Thanks so much for the advice, I will get on the fuel pump but I just want to make sure: you mean this pump for your 1986, not your 1984, right? I have a 1986 and it sounds like there might be some relevant differences.

And BTW, "Wherever you go ... there you are" is one of my favorite expressions!
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Old 05-22-2012, 01:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenniflow View Post
Wow, Brad, what a hair-raising story! I agree on the extra belts and hoses (I'm gonna get a double set now!) but they wouldn't have saved you from that. And the side of the road repair sounds like a challenge. I would have had to make a 3-hour tunafish sandwich and waited for a tow.
I think the bigger issue for me was the fact that I had ignored the warning from the squealing belt for too long. After we got to the side of the road I found that two of the belts were intact and the one (the middle one) that cause the problem was just the outer band with all of the rubber pealed off of it. The two intact belts were filled with dry rot cracks all over. My gut feel is
if I had replaced the belts on a regular basis I wouldn't have been in the situation I found myself in

We did get lucky in that we were less than a mile from an Exit and Susan noticed an O'Reilys sign on the horizon. Using her iPhone she found their number, called and found that they had the belts and we managed to get them to deliver to the building across the fence on the service road We got really lucky there. From break down to back on the road was about 3-1/2 hours total.

Quote:
I found myself standing on the brakes once too, at 70 miles per hour in the Appalachians. It was one of those vapor lock occasions that I am looking forward to preventing. Sure was exciting.
I'm not sure I like your definition of exciting

Quote:
Thanks so much for the advice, I will get on the fuel pump but I just want to make sure: you mean this pump for your 1986, not your 1984, right? I have a 1986 and it sounds like there might be some relevant differences.
I know of no difference between the arrangement on the 84 310 and the 86 345. The whole purpose of the add-on electric fuel pump by the gas tank is to overcome the long distance between the fuel tank the the engine mounted fuel pump.

I've compared our 310 with the 345 and haven't seen any difference in the fuel delivery system.

Brad
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Old 05-25-2012, 11:49 AM   #10
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Hey Brad,
I've been trying to thank you again, but I ran afoul of the mods. Apparently, my signature links and offers of help were over the top for the marketing standards here. Not so in the other forums I frequent but there you are. Took all the links out. Sorry if I offended anyone. Now I'm back, thank Whomever. 8-}

So, Brad, thanks again for the clarifcaton. :-)
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Old 05-25-2012, 12:37 PM   #11
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Welcome back Jennifer.... Glad its all straightened out!

As for you, Mr Brad.... Glad to see you are still here!

You will learn Jennifer, as I have, that as you walk along the path of Airstream Motorhome resoration, you will constantly see footprints disapearing into the distance ahead...
They are Brad's...
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Old 05-25-2012, 03:22 PM   #12
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I don't know if your belts will be the same as mine. I have a 1989 345 with a 7.4L (454) engine.

From NAPA: (all V belts)
power steering 7410
power steering & smog pump 7450
A/C 7603
From Autozone: (serpentine)
alternator 560K6
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Old 05-26-2012, 01:42 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keyair View Post
Welcome back Jennifer.... Glad its all straightened out!

As for you, Mr Brad.... Glad to see you are still here!

You will learn Jennifer, as I have, that as you walk along the path of Airstream Motorhome resoration, you will constantly see footprints disapearing into the distance ahead...
They are Brad's...
Haha! That's great.
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