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Old 11-20-2016, 03:34 PM   #15
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1982 31' Airstream 310
Henniker , New Hampshire
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Hopefully that will be the last time you see it hooked to the back of a tow truck! Good luck with your engine replacement.
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Old 11-20-2016, 03:48 PM   #16
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Hanalei, /Chino Valley , Hawaii / Arizona
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IN thinking about your project Propstrike,
Do you have any idea of the condition of the steering system.
It's a well known wear area, most active classics have had some or lots of steering Parts replaced by now.
Loose steering, wandering on the road , and worse have been the norm.

Bell cranks, ball joints, Tie rod ends, the coupleing joint etc are the usual suspects.

With that new more powerful engine, these other details will quickly come into focus.
Please don't take my suggestions as piling on. Just trying to help you be aware of common problem areas.

Cheers Richard
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Old 11-21-2016, 08:30 AM   #17
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Next

Richard,,
Yeah, it was there for 10 years... parked at a friends place, and his wife loves her cats. I think that's one of the reasons there were no rodent signs at all, in the coach. Simply amazing, but there it is. Not one mouse! She had 7 cats, coming and going.

You mentioned ROI on the work involved... I'm looking forward to the confidence in a good running, solid machine. It's enough, for now. I am fully focused on the mechanicals right now, the interior stuff will have to wait until I get it back to my place. Once it's at my place, I can get an idea of whether I need to gut and rebuild, or just fix what's in place. I'd bet we end up fixing in place, for the first year. It makes sense to me to get a little use out of it, get a full buy-in from the wife, then reconfigure based on lessons learned. I'd bet we decide to change things a little. We'll be traveling as a couple, instead of a family with kids. The bunks may go to make room for a nice full or queen bed

I'm hoping the rig turns into a capable base camp for trips into the mountains. I'm a WEMT (Wilderness medic), and plan on spending time on the trail. This would be a great landing pad after a week or so up top. ROI paid in full!

Steering system: I wrote myself a note, years ago. I need to replace the idler arm, apparently. I won't be surprised no matter what the shop finds, at this point. Whatever needs R/R, gets removed and replaced.

The airbags will likely be trash... are the airbags ride assist, or are they critical for driving? I can't remember. I'll need to start sourcing those, if they are primary for safety. I should look at the forum, I'm sure there's good reading on those. If I can get her home, that's where I need to do the work. I hate paying someone else for work I can do myself... it took me so long to swallow this pill, pay a shop to do this engine, but I couldn't figure another way to do it. The transport to pull the rig home was as much as paying to have the engine replaced.

Thanks for being a part of the forum. I've learned quite a lot from reading the epic tales of mechanical triumph from members.

Kevin
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Old 11-21-2016, 08:43 AM   #18
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1974 20' Argosy 20
Richmond , Kentucky
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Kevin,

There are two different air bag systems on your coach. The rear air bags are absolutely essential for safe driving. Without the rear air bags the frame sits on the rear portion of the leaf springs.

In general the rear air bag system consists of the original leaf springs with the rear 1/4 of the spring cut off. An air bag system is bolted in place which then raises the coach back up to proper ride height. So without the air bags functioning the coach bounces up and down with the cutoff end of the spring banging on the frame.

I found this out the hard way when driving my old 84 310 from Savannah GA to Arkansas. At the time I didn't know anything about the suspensions system and when we picked it up from the seller he didn't really say a whole lot about it. He must have filled the air tank (the compressor wasn't working) before we got there as it sat just fine. By the time we got out of GA the tank was empty and the ride got really rough and we had to slow down. I finally figured out we could fill the tank at a gas station and it would last for a while but we constantly had to fill the tank. Not fun.

The front springs are not essential for driving but they do help the front end ride and will help keep the front end from porpoising while driving.

If you plan on driving the coach from Las Vegas to South Dakota you really need to replace the rear air bags before making the trip. Fortunately on a 310 they are easier to replace than a 345

Brad
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Old 11-21-2016, 09:40 AM   #19
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Air Bags

Outstanding information, Brad. Thank you, once again, for the education. I will source an airbag system for the rear. When I parked it, it was working, but being mostly rubber, I have no confidence in its continued integrity. Safety First.

I'm assuming the 310 and the 28 footer are the same system. They look similar, in pics.

One more thing to put on the list.....!

Thanks, Brad!
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Old 11-21-2016, 11:28 AM   #20
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I can't say for certain that the 28s and 31s are the same but I'm betting they are very similar. Hopefully someone with an 81 28' Classic will chime in with more specific information.

Bottom line is after 10 years of sitting the air bags should be replaced even if they hold air.
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Old 11-21-2016, 01:30 PM   #21
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Grrr intake/carb

Crate engine is inbound to the supplier! However Intake manifold and carb ordered won't work together. At least their parts guy put some effort into checking for me. The carb/intake combo was suggested when I ordered the engine, but a few sage words pushed me to double check..... sure enough, the carb won't mount up to the intake manifold without an adapter. At this point, I don't want to use an adapter; I want stuff that works together and looks right.

https://www.karlperformanceparts.com...ate-Engine/581

It's not Karls fault, if you look at the Chevy Performance webpage, it also lists those suggested parts to go with the motor. But now I need to find an intake/carb combination that works. ChiefAir used the Holley 850 (4150 base), but there's no way to see what mod works with what intake? There's a few different mods to that series.

Went to the Holley website, and their application guide brings me to the 600/650 cfm series carbs. That doesn't sound right, seems it should be bigger. Called them, but after being put on 'ignore' for a while, settled in to do some legwork.... and this is as far as I got.

Looking for a working Carburetor/intake manifold combination for the 502HT crate that arrives in a few days. It's exciting and frustrating... like so many things Airstream!
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Old 11-21-2016, 03:27 PM   #22
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
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Another consideration in the carb manifold area is clearance of the doghouse,
It's a tight fit originally. Don't want to end up having the air cleaner fighting with the doghouse.

Cheers Richard
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Old 11-22-2016, 05:37 AM   #23
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Another 502 installation you might be interested in. Smaller rig

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