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Old 01-18-2015, 07:21 AM   #1
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1987 34.5' Airstream 345
Carrollton , Georgia
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 9
Bringing a 1987 345 out of a 15 year sleep

My son-in-law discovered a 1987 345 owned by an estate & we just purchased it yesterday.

It has 31,000 miles & the interior is in good shape except curtains. Exterior looks as you would expect, needs a good clean up, only one minor dent at back corner & one cracked window. The home was parked in the previous owners driveway for the past 15 years, winterized (we think) & was well maintained prior to the extended sleep.

So, yesterday we started the process to bring the tube back to life. Took the front wheels off, plugs out, WD40 in, new battery & spun the engine after a few hours of soak from the WD40. Tried to drain & siphon the old gas (varnish) out with no luck. As the gauge indicated 1/2 a tank, we thought we could siphon with a hose (drain wouldn't budge) but couldn't get it into the tank (obstruction?). Decided to take the line loose at the electric pump & let it do the work & no movement (pump doesn't work) so we connected a small gas tank & hose to the mechanical pump. Guess what, it didn't work either so we removed both pumps to replace next week. However, we did poor fuel into the carb & the engine fired right up, sounded great & got about 60 psi oil pressure in a second!

Brake master fluid turned to a white powder, we removed all we could & filled with new fluid, opened the bleeders & pumped. No movement of fluid, but the brakes had some resistance. So we will rebuild master & probably the wheel cylinders when we replace the pumps next Friday.

We are doing the work of course right where it is parked & it is our intention to drive it home! One of the main concerns we have is the tag axle/leveling system as front coil bags are done. So, we will not get pressure to the rear bags/horizontal air shocks that look fine. Air compressor did run & sounds normal.

If anyone has advise, please give us some comments... we are mechanically capable, but totally new to this.

Thanks!
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Old 01-18-2015, 11:24 AM   #2
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1994 36' Classic 36 Diesel
Manhattan , Kansas
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 803
Blog Entries: 1
Great Find!!!
1. Tires (before alignment)
2. Fuel filter
3. Oil Filter
4. Oil change
5. Transmission fluid (see if you can get at the torque converter drain)
6. Transmission filter
7. Check all grounds
8. Coolant flush
9. Grease fittings
10. Tag axle inspection (i know nothing here, but there are plenty of threads for it)
11. Jack up the front end and check linkages have no play. If they do replace as necessary.
12. Find closest alignment shop in route to destination, and get an alignment immediately.
13. Lights (head, brakes, running, clearance, reverse, turn signals)
14. Windshield wipers (recommend rainx as well)

Have a much longer list, but that would be a bare bones return requirement.
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Old 01-18-2015, 02:33 PM   #3
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1982 31' Airstream 310
champaign , Illinois
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Vycan has got you covered, make it safe, make it go, make it stop , personally I would time my travel home during daylight and dry conditions. Never know what might pop up at night using your lights, wipers, etc. there should be a main ground strap right near the battery box, I would disconnect and clean up the connection.
Good luck on the way home, then the fun begins! YEEEEEEEEHAWWWWW

MIKE
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Old 01-18-2015, 04:17 PM   #4
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1978 31' Sovereign
Hot Springs , Arkansas
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I want one. Wife says I have too many toys in the box. I disagree. I'll just build a bigger box...... Nice find and welcome to the forums!
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Old 01-19-2015, 12:17 PM   #5
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2010 28' Flying Cloud
Lower Alabama , USA
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Post a photo so we can see what this baby looks like! We can then follow your journey on this one.
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Old 01-20-2015, 12:28 PM   #6
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1991 35' Airstream 350
Austin , Texas
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for some of the fun you can expect as you bring her home, go to "on the road" and pull-up my thread, "350LE from Seattle to Austin"
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Old 01-20-2015, 01:15 PM   #7
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1995 36' Classic 36
Ludington , Michigan
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There's a 345 sitting by a barn near my house. It been there for at least 10 years without moving. I often think about leaving a note to see if they wasn't to get rid of it. Then I'm reminded that it would be a fatal mistake to drag another project home.Click image for larger version

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Old 01-21-2015, 07:58 AM   #8
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1987 34.5' Airstream 345
Carrollton , Georgia
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I'll take a photo tomorrow when I'm working on it again. Don't miss out on a good barn find!
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Old 01-21-2015, 09:42 AM   #9
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1991 35' Airstream 350
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I'm impressed that you have a drone outfitted with "Airstream Sniffing" image recognition software...what is it's range?
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Old 01-22-2015, 08:04 PM   #10
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1987 34.5' Airstream 345
Carrollton , Georgia
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Got her going! John doing his happy dance when she fired up, then the test drive. After 15 years sitting, a day & a half of work & she's moving!
Attached Files
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Old 01-22-2015, 08:27 PM   #11
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1999 34' Excella
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Hillsboro , Texas
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Congratulations!!!! Great Happy Dance too!
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Old 01-22-2015, 09:42 PM   #12
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1994 36' Classic 36 Diesel
Manhattan , Kansas
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Awesome! So happy for you!
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Old 01-23-2015, 09:52 AM   #13
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1978 31' Sovereign
Hot Springs , Arkansas
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I know that feeling! Awesome, Awesome, Awesome!
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Old 01-23-2015, 10:04 AM   #14
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Good Ol' , USA
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Congratulations! What a great feeling! Nice MH!
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