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Old 03-28-2016, 02:07 PM   #1
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Hanalei, /Chino Valley , Hawaii / Arizona
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Chasing gremlins behind the dash and other fun.

It's time for an after shakedown cruise report on some work recently done.
The coach started blowing fuses in the glovebox fuse cluster, and the chassis batt shutoff switch stopped working. And the fuse for the low beam lights would blow when the lights were pulled on.

Most of us have had the fright of at least peeking behind the dash and wondering what it would take to sort out issues in that mess.
Well I started out by removing as many useless wires as I could. The warning lights that are hot glued to the back of the dash were mostly just hanging in space, and the were various other wires hanging bare ended in the spaghetti too. Most of those were either removed or capped off in place.
Then I replaced the light switch and the dimmer switch. This did not correct the problem, but felt good to do as that switch had felt quite warm/ hot during long night drives.
So moving on the the ignition switch came next. Once I pulled the plug off the back of that switch I was pretty sure I had found a problem as the plastic plug was very melted and a couple of wires had been hooked directly to the back of the switch where that part of the plug had melted away.

Amazing the sort of work that can come to light in these old rigs.

I fought for quite a while to get the ignition switch removed from the dash.
The tapered front bezel would unthread part way then tighten and stop unthread ing.
After a google search I uncovered that before removing the outer part of the switch it was nessisary to remove the inner part/ key tumbler of the switch first. This was done by using a paper clip to release a pin in the little hole in the face of the switch to let the key part to turn counterclockwise and then come out of the body of the switch. Once that was removed the bezel unthreaded nicely.
After installing the new switch and plug, all of the new electrical issues were resolved. Whew, closed up the dash and moved on to dealing with the headers.

One of the bungs on the left header had broken off and needed plugging. This required the removal of the header to have access to the spot that was to be welded. When I got the header off of the head I found that there was no gasket between the engine head and exhaust header. I posted here about that and learned that in some cases a gasket is not called for. But in this case there was evidence of blow by between the head and header. And as it turned out even more sign of blow by was found on the other side of the engine.

Humm, maybe this was the source of some of the fumes that showed up in the cab. And some of the excessive noise in the cab also. Having already replaced the donut gaskets at the collector to tail pipe connection. I had been puzzled about these issues.

After some thought I decided to reinstall with gaskets after getting the repair done on the one header. That all went back together nicely. And Both the air quality and noise are much better while driving now.

Last weekend I drove down to the Yuma area for a test run of almost 500 miles
Including some fairly steep long climbs, and happy to report that all is going well with these repairs. No problem with the gaskets blowing out, as was mentioned here, so far. And noticeably quieter running too.

Some worthwhile points from this job.
1. The inner wheels wells can be moved out of the way to get access to the side of the engine and header bolts fairly easily.

2 An impact tool is the way to get the header bolts removed without a fight.

3. The little pin hole in the face of the ignition switch is the key to easy removal.

Oh, I did install the new front wheel centermatics while I had the front wheels off,
I do notice a little roughness on cold start out, that smooths out at about 35 mph, then it's so nice and smooth. Thanks again Peter for pulling that together.

Sorry for the long post, just want to share details that could aid others going forward.

Cheers Richard
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Old 03-28-2016, 04:04 PM   #2
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Richard,

Sorry to hear you had so many issues, but glad to see you have had a lot of success!

-Vycan
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Old 03-28-2016, 04:23 PM   #3
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No apology needed for a long post. I think I speak for all of us when I say that we love long posts with lots of interesting information that we can learn from and live vicariously through.

Thanks so much for posting.
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Old 03-28-2016, 06:57 PM   #4
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Aloha Richard,
Thanks for the heads up on the little spring loaded button on the light switch to remove the shaft. I went ahead and replaced my switch because the dash light dimmer function was sketchy. Also since that switch carries a significant amperage load and I figured it was worth replacing after 35 years of sevice. Easy replacement with an AC DELCO sw. Happy travels.

Mike
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Old 03-30-2016, 02:53 PM   #5
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
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Glad to be of some help Mike. That's really the point of my posts.
I tend to learn some of these things the hard way, and like the idea of passing these little tricky details on to those of you here that are likely to come across the same issues at some point.

Thanks Vycan. Not really an unexpected number of issues coming up. I inherited quite a list when the coach came to me. Plus am using the coach quite actively. Both living aboard most of the time and doing a fair bit of travel with it too.
So the original list is getting whittled down steadily. Yet the trips seem to generate new lists. Ah the pleasures of vintage vehicles.

To be fair the coach has proven quite reliable And is becoming more pleasent to drive and travel in.

Cheers Richard
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Old 03-30-2016, 03:46 PM   #6
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So where abouts are you these days? Still in Arizona or out and about? Too bad youre not going to be at the get together at PENN WOOD. But, we'll have 3 out of the four charter members of the CLASSIC MOTORHOME GET TOGETHER crew there!!! It should be an interesting lot no doubt. Looking forward to traveling east also. Ive never driven that far east so it will be all new countryside for Lynn and I. Safe travels to ya there Richard, check in now and then to let us know your latest adventures.....

Mike
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Old 03-30-2016, 07:54 PM   #7
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Anyone have a part number for the headlight switch
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Old 03-30-2016, 08:08 PM   #8
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The AC DELCO #D 1506A.
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Old 03-30-2016, 09:45 PM   #9
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I don't know about you guys but I'm really interested in getting my headlamp power off the switch and using the switch as a trigger to a relay in the same way as my air compressor and the infamous yellow wire. I know changing the marker lamps to LED helps lessen the load a bit, but this setup does sap the amount of power to the headlamps.

Cheers
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Old 03-31-2016, 06:13 AM   #10
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I don't know about you guys but I'm really interested in getting my headlamp power off the switch and using the switch as a trigger to a relay in the same way as my air compressor and the infamous yellow wire. I know changing the marker lamps to LED helps lessen the load a bit, but this setup does sap the amount of power to the headlamps.


Yes
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Old 03-31-2016, 07:43 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isuzusweet View Post
I don't know about you guys but I'm really interested in getting my headlamp power off the switch and using the switch as a trigger to a relay in the same way as my air compressor and the infamous yellow wire. I know changing the marker lamps to LED helps lessen the load a bit, but this setup does sap the amount of power to the headlamps.

Cheers
Tony
Tony I totally agree. I will be totally rewiring my Argosy and for the most part none of the switches on the dash will drive anything directly, all will energize relays. That's how we do things in the controls world and it just makes more sense to do it that way.
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Old 03-31-2016, 07:56 PM   #12
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Tevake


Would you happen to have the part number for the ignition switch and plug. I would like to have a spare just in case I encounter a problem with mine
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Old 04-01-2016, 11:28 AM   #13
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Here's some links to the parts for the ignition switch.

ACDELCO D1406A ignition switch

ACDELCO PT1964 ignition switch pigtail

ACDELCO D1499A tumbler & key


Brad
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Old 04-01-2016, 11:55 AM   #14
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Thanks for the numbers Brad
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