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Old 08-09-2015, 12:22 PM   #57
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1982 31' Airstream 310
Henniker , New Hampshire
Join Date: Aug 2015
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Broken down. Looking for help

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterH-Airstreamer View Post
Congrats!! Do you mind sharing what kind of bids you got from Uship for the 1000 mile trip?

I did not receive a single quote on uship. I also listed it on the site Brad used (yesterday's tractors) and had no response.

I found a shop who would make repairs in South Bend, IN but they could not get it in for 2 weeks to give me an estimate. I am glad I was able to get it home.

I hope none of you require their services, but Bestway Towing in South Bend was exceptional. The owner and all of his crew were very kind to us. He gave me a reduced price on the storage fee. He used 2 wreckers and 3 guys to help me load onto the lowbed without any additional charge. There are still good people out there in the world.


1982 310 motorhome 454
Henniker New Hampshire
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Old 08-09-2015, 01:24 PM   #58
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I sure am glad you got it home...and met some good Folks along the way.
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Old 08-09-2015, 01:29 PM   #59
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Foothill Ranch , California
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Originally Posted by halftimer View Post
Pay the extra bucks for a jasper engine have warranty on motor and labor nationwide

Good advice too.
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Old 08-09-2015, 01:29 PM   #60
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1982 28' Airstream 280
Redwood City , California
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139,189.

And that's not "beers on the wall"

139,189 miles on my 1982 Airstream 280 original Chevy 454 engine.

There are three reasons why my engine has lasted for 139,189 miles (and hopefully a lot more to come).

1. It has never been severely overheated. I know in the past that the temp gauge needle has been buried but not to the point of boil over.

2. The oil has been changed on the average of every 3000 miles.

3. The Chevy 454 is a great work horse engine!


Here is what I would do if my 454 took a dump...

Replace it with a diesel? NO!
I couldn't afford it and the return on investment would never pencil out. Now of course I would if I got a donation from Donald Trump and was asked to only attend his next wedding in return. And it would be a modern day diesel. But let's face it, most of us old Airstream MH owners are on a "budget", otherwise even though I love these old coaches, if I had the money, I would own a new million dollar diesel pusher, not a 30 year old Airstream.

Next, I would carry a wooden paddle with me at all times...you know, the one that our mother's paddled our butts with when we where children (and in a time when that was not considered child abuse)!

The wooden paddle would be used to hit myself in the back of the head every time the thought of "high performance" entered my little brain.

At a cruising speed of around 60mph, my 454 turns about 3000rpms. That's not going to change with the gearing of the rear end and no budget to add a Gear Vendor unit. When heading up those 8 mile long 5 percent grades going over the Siskiyou's between California and Oregon, in second gear and with the loud peddle pressed firmly to the floor, the rpm range is between 3500 and 3900. I would say that the average operating range is between 2200 and 3000rpms.

What I would want then is to build a motor with lots of torque in this operational range and with gas mileage in mind. I would also build a motor within a budget that would be reasonable for the application it was to be used in...pulling an RV down the highway. For me this means very little in the way of "high performance" parts. High performance engines are designed to run in the 6000 - 8000+ rpm range, not an RV engine by any means.

Many top engine builders such as David Vizard state that four bolt main 454 blocks are over kill for anything under 600hp and 625 pounds of torque. I spoke with Cliff Ruggles, the premier Quadrajet carb builder, on the phone one day and asked him if I should replace my stock intake manifold with an Edlebrock Performer. He said if I replaced my stock manifold, I would be wasting my money and that I would regret it in performance and gas mileage. I was going to replace my stock HEI ignition coil with an expensive high performance coil until I did the research from the manufactures and found out that the stock unit works fine up to 6000rpms and that's when the high performance units are required to maintain an adequate spark. The one aftermarket component that I do believe is well worth the expense is the Banks exhaust or a Banks type of exhaust as many other have attested to and which I have on my 454.

If my block was still usable, I would continue to use it. I would do all the work myself except of course the machining. If my block, crank and rods were not usable, I would consider a crate engine, but most are not designed for RV usage, so I would be very careful in my choice.

My 30+ year old 454 with 139,189 miles on it is still running strong! It idles smooth and I don't see smoke out the tail pipe. Yes, it burns it's requisite amount of oil, but hey its a Chevy 454 from an era long ago. But then my Polaris RZR ATV burns maybe 3 times as much oil.

Keeping all this in mind has allowed me to spend those hard earned dollars on my toy where I do usually run it with the load pedal to the floor...my RZR. There are however disadvantages of running a high performance vehicle where one likes to hear that loud exhaust such as the $2000 I just spent rebuilding the clutch, rebuilding the shocks, replacing all suspension bushings, balls joints and tie rod ends. This is a result of running that pedal to the floor. Last year I installed a header and tuner system on it and although it sounds great (and loud), I swear it has cut my gas mileage in half!

Of course, I will have to take all this back if my 454 blows on our next trip to Yosemite in October!
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Old 08-09-2015, 05:03 PM   #61
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Richmond , Kentucky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiefair View Post
I did not receive a single quote on uship. I also listed it on the site Brad used (yesterday's tractors) and had no response.

I found a shop who would make repairs in South Bend, IN but they could not get it in for 2 weeks to give me an estimate. I am glad I was able to get it home.

I hope none of you require their services, but Bestway Towing in South Bend was exceptional. The owner and all of his crew were very kind to us. He gave me a reduced price on the storage fee. He used 2 wreckers and 3 guys to help me load onto the lowbed without any additional charge. There are still good people out there in the world.


1982 310 motorhome 454
Henniker New Hampshire
I wonder why no one responded to your transport request. Either it means there is so much work out there that truckers can afford to be choosy or they felt the job wasn't worth the effort.

If/when it comes time to remove the 454 from the chassis you will need to ensure the heads and intake manifold are still bolted in place. The best lifting point for the 454 in an Airstream chassis is with a lifting plate bolted to the carburetor mounting points and the boom on the engine hoist bolted to the side of it. Below are pictures taken while I was removing the 454 from an 86 345.

Brad

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Old 08-09-2015, 06:48 PM   #62
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1972 31' Sovereign
1975 31' Excella 500
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Bingo!

The only mod that makes a lot of sense (imo of course) for a MKIV 454 in an RV is the addition of pre 1978 cylinder heads and a like model year intake manifold to feed it...

And then learn to keep your foot out of it because this motor WILL pull.

(This will not reliably work on MKV engines)


Quote:
Originally Posted by dadstoy View Post
139,189.

And that's not "beers on the wall"

139,189 miles on my 1982 Airstream 280 original Chevy 454 engine.

There are three reasons why my engine has lasted for 139,189 miles (and hopefully a lot more to come).

1. It has never been severely overheated. I know in the past that the temp gauge needle has been buried but not to the point of boil over.

2. The oil has been changed on the average of every 3000 miles.

3. The Chevy 454 is a great work horse engine!


Here is what I would do if my 454 took a dump...

Replace it with a diesel? NO!
I couldn't afford it and the return on investment would never pencil out. Now of course I would if I got a donation from Donald Trump and was asked to only attend his next wedding in return. And it would be a modern day diesel. But let's face it, most of us old Airstream MH owners are on a "budget", otherwise even though I love these old coaches, if I had the money, I would own a new million dollar diesel pusher, not a 30 year old Airstream.

Next, I would carry a wooden paddle with me at all times...you know, the one that our mother's paddled our butts with when we where children (and in a time when that was not considered child abuse)!

The wooden paddle would be used to hit myself in the back of the head every time the thought of "high performance" entered my little brain.

At a cruising speed of around 60mph, my 454 turns about 3000rpms. That's not going to change with the gearing of the rear end and no budget to add a Gear Vendor unit. When heading up those 8 mile long 5 percent grades going over the Siskiyou's between California and Oregon, in second gear and with the loud peddle pressed firmly to the floor, the rpm range is between 3500 and 3900. I would say that the average operating range is between 2200 and 3000rpms.

What I would want then is to build a motor with lots of torque in this operational range and with gas mileage in mind. I would also build a motor within a budget that would be reasonable for the application it was to be used in...pulling an RV down the highway. For me this means very little in the way of "high performance" parts. High performance engines are designed to run in the 6000 - 8000+ rpm range, not an RV engine by any means.

Many top engine builders such as David Vizard state that four bolt main 454 blocks are over kill for anything under 600hp and 625 pounds of torque. I spoke with Cliff Ruggles, the premier Quadrajet carb builder, on the phone one day and asked him if I should replace my stock intake manifold with an Edlebrock Performer. He said if I replaced my stock manifold, I would be wasting my money and that I would regret it in performance and gas mileage. I was going to replace my stock HEI ignition coil with an expensive high performance coil until I did the research from the manufactures and found out that the stock unit works fine up to 6000rpms and that's when the high performance units are required to maintain an adequate spark. The one aftermarket component that I do believe is well worth the expense is the Banks exhaust or a Banks type of exhaust as many other have attested to and which I have on my 454.

If my block was still usable, I would continue to use it. I would do all the work myself except of course the machining. If my block, crank and rods were not usable, I would consider a crate engine, but most are not designed for RV usage, so I would be very careful in my choice.

My 30+ year old 454 with 139,189 miles on it is still running strong! It idles smooth and I don't see smoke out the tail pipe. Yes, it burns it's requisite amount of oil, but hey its a Chevy 454 from an era long ago. But then my Polaris RZR ATV burns maybe 3 times as much oil.

Keeping all this in mind has allowed me to spend those hard earned dollars on my toy where I do usually run it with the load pedal to the floor...my RZR. There are however disadvantages of running a high performance vehicle where one likes to hear that loud exhaust such as the $2000 I just spent rebuilding the clutch, rebuilding the shocks, replacing all suspension bushings, balls joints and tie rod ends. This is a result of running that pedal to the floor. Last year I installed a header and tuner system on it and although it sounds great (and loud), I swear it has cut my gas mileage in half!

Of course, I will have to take all this back if my 454 blows on our next trip to Yosemite in October!
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Old 08-09-2015, 06:52 PM   #63
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1972 31' Sovereign
1975 31' Excella 500
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Benton , Arkansas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkahler View Post
I wonder why no one responded to your transport request. Either it means there is so much work out there that truckers can afford to be choosy or they felt the job wasn't worth the effort.



]

No one took that job because it was very complicated.

It was going to be a bear to load and unload, and it required an equipment trailer.

The tow company was set up to get it done, not so for the trucker picking loads off a load board.
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Old 08-10-2015, 08:55 AM   #64
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1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Hebron , Illinois
Join Date: May 2015
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Long ramps changes everything. And a berm built up makes things better yet.
It took me longer to undo the chains then it did to unload the RV with the berm and no need for the ramps.
Will your insurance pick up any of the cost to bring it home.
I was told insurance will pay for towing up to 750 miles.
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Old 08-10-2015, 09:44 AM   #65
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1982 31' Airstream 310
Henniker , New Hampshire
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans 34.5 View Post
Long ramps changes everything. And a berm built up makes things better yet.
It took me longer to undo the chains then it did to unload the RV with the berm and no need for the ramps.
Will your insurance pick up any of the cost to bring it home.
I was told insurance will pay for towing up to 750 miles.
I haven't looked into that yet. Thanks for the suggestion.
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Old 08-11-2015, 07:14 AM   #66
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1992 35' Airstream 350
Ocala , Florida
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 31
Hi first time on this stream and I'm sorry chief air has to goo through this process but I hope I can learn from his ordeal. The insurance pay will cover some of the cost but as we all know the coverage is full of loopholes. As for the engine discussion, the question I have is didn't GM revamp the 454 for commercial use to a 492? If so does any one know if it is a direct swap and wouldn't that be a better way to get increase torque. I'm trying to plan ahead for my replacement in my 1992 350LE. My unit has the Banks system with TBI. So could I use all of those upgrades on a new block? Again chiefair good luck with resolving your breakdown.
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Old 08-11-2015, 07:18 AM   #67
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Ocala , Florida
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Oh I almost forgot. The previous owner install a more efficient fan for the radiator and a water spray system as well to control overheating. Has anyone used a water system and is it recommended to use it?
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Old 08-11-2015, 03:41 PM   #68
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You are much better off fixing the root problem.

A bigger radiator and/or a more efficient fan/clutch assy.
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