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Old 08-01-2011, 06:52 PM   #1
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1979 24' Airstream Excella 24
Cape Breton , Nova Scotia
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High idle, or maybe stuck throttle and hugely loud revving noise at start.

Hi,

My husband and I just got our 1979 Excella last week. We drove it home, 6 hours, with no problems, except a broken tail pipe. I cleaned it up inside and today was to be the first little excursion to park down at the shore for the night. Packed it all up with our overnight stuff, my husband went to start it up and the noise was excruciating! SO loud, and with really high RPMs (roughly 4500). We tried starting it a few times and every time it was the same. The idle never came down at all. We didn't want to run it too long because it sounded like it was about to explode. Also there's a bad, hot smell from the front where the motor is.

Neither of us are mechanics and we had planned to take it in to a mechanic next week to have it checked over, but now of course we can't drive it. We're going to try and find someone to come look at it, but any ideas would be helpful. (Of course, not being a mechanic, I won't know what to do with the idea, but I can at least Google!

Thanks,
Sarah
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Old 08-01-2011, 07:37 PM   #2
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Zanadude Nebula , WNY
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Sarah,

Sorry to hear of your troubles....

Start simple, I would check the throttle linkage first. Is there any play in the gas pedal?

If you have AAA they may be able to set up a service call to check the obvious.
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Old 08-01-2011, 08:02 PM   #3
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1979 24' Airstream Excella 24
Cape Breton , Nova Scotia
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 17
My husband says the gas pedal feels fairly firm. Similar to when we drove it home. We do have CAA, but we're going to see if there's a local mechanic around. It is so disheartening!! This evening was going to be my reward for priming the well pump all day. We lost our water a week ago and there have been various obstacles to overcome. I thought at least if we didn't get the water back in our house a night by the ocean would be restful!! Life, eh?!

So...(and I will also try and google this) where is the throttle linkage?

Thanks,
Sarah
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Old 08-01-2011, 08:27 PM   #4
CLOUDSPLITTER "Tahawas"
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PuffinPotter View Post
My husband says the gas pedal feels fairly firm. Similar to when we drove it home. We do have CAA, but we're going to see if there's a local mechanic around. It is so disheartening!! This evening was going to be my reward for priming the well pump all day. We lost our water a week ago and there have been various obstacles to overcome. I thought at least if we didn't get the water back in our house a night by the ocean would be restful!! Life, eh?!

So...(and I will also try and google this) where is the throttle linkage?

Thanks,
Sarah
Step on the gas pedal while Hubby watches under the hood, the thingy that moves is the linkage.
Look for a broken return spring.
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Old 08-01-2011, 09:22 PM   #5
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Honokaa , Hawaii
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You need to remove the air cleaner to get a look at the linkage. With the engine compartment open, it's the big round thing on top of the motor. The cover is held by a wing nut, the air filter element is inside, and the filter housing will probably have some hoses attached. With all that removed, you will be able to see the linkage move when the pedal moves. Cover your carpet before you start, don't drop anything into the carburetor once the cover is removed from the air filter, and good luck.
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Old 08-02-2011, 12:10 AM   #6
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
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The distributor is a suspect...finding parts is a problem, but a qualified mechanic can rebuild one...it's a 454, and there are a few still left out there...just don't tell them it's an Airstream...m
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Old 08-02-2011, 06:11 AM   #7
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1979 24' Airstream Excella 24
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Ok, thanks guys. We will try some of that today. I do appreciate the engines for dummies approach, "The big round thing on top of the motor", I know exactly which part you mean! I am fairly handy, just have never done engines before. Kind of makes me wish I took mechanics in high school!

Thanks again, I appreciate not feeling alone.

Sarah
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Old 08-02-2011, 01:44 PM   #8
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1984 34.5' Airstream 345
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Yes, what the others said....
Take off the Air filter and the Carb is under that... for reference, here is mine, that I just rebuilt(I painted it black... for fun, yours will be kinda silvery).
Yours should look similar.
The Throttle cable is attached to the hole in the end of gold colored arm that is hanging down near the middle of this pic.


Your arm should be in a similar position to mine, and when you press the gas pedal, it should move to the rear, and then return to the same position...
test and report back!
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Old 08-02-2011, 02:00 PM   #9
CLOUDSPLITTER "Tahawas"
 
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Keyair just banged my brain..... Look for a frayed cable keeping it from returning to the idle position.
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Old 08-02-2011, 02:23 PM   #10
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Yep, that would do it, as would some of the idle or emission vacuum pots or their linkages getting hung up...
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Old 08-02-2011, 04:22 PM   #11
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1979 24' Airstream Excella 24
Cape Breton , Nova Scotia
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Ok, I found I could see the spring from the side, without removing the 'big round thing'. I pushed on the accelerator with my hand (hubby was busy) and could see the spring move. It did return slowly to the starting position. I wiggled that arm back and forth a few times and then when I started it, voila, no loud noise!! I am not convinced that the problem is fixed, but it isn't there at this moment, so we're going to try and go to the shore again this evening. So, thanks for showing me where to kick. Hopefully it doesn't happen again before we get the mechanic to take a look at it. I did take a couple of pictures, I'll try and get them posted here if I can figure out how it works in this forum.



I am pointing at that hole in the arm there because I am wondering if it was supposed to be connected to something....
Thanks SO MUCh for your help and suggestions...lets hope that's all it was, but I may need you again if the big scary sound returns.
Anyone want to come and get my water back in the house?

Thanks,
Sarah
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Old 08-02-2011, 04:44 PM   #12
CLOUDSPLITTER "Tahawas"
 
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2003 25' Classic
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HOSANNA

Knew you could do it!!!

Just be careful ....l there may be a reason the linkage bound up, let it idle and "goose" it a few times, still recommend a check-out.

I don't believe anything goes in the open hole.

Bob
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Old 08-02-2011, 05:55 PM   #13
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Great Pics!
Now, I got it wrong... the throttle cable does not attach to the hole I mentioned, the return spring does!

Now, lets point something out....
On your pic, that metal bracket, that you have your finger on....
I think it is most probably for the Cruise Control cable, so maybe you dont have CC?
Anyway, make sure it is not touching the underside of the Airfilter housing, or that bundle of wires that looks close right in front of it.
Also maybe when the dog house is on, it may press down on the Airfilter and make it touch... Check to see if there is a mark on the bottom of the Airfilter where the bracket has been touching.
On my Airstream, there is a clear imprint of the Airfilter Housing on the underside of the Doghouse, so I know its a close fit.
If it was me, I would check before you drive it to the Mechanic... and I would give that whole area a general spray of WD40 if you have some to hand... when the motor is cold...
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Old 08-03-2011, 03:20 AM   #14
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
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We had the cruise control disconnected...not worth the effort to maintain it, and certainly not worth the risk...if I have to use CC on a 17K Cruiser, then I'm either too lazy or just lax in my attitude...I like going 50 mph, and stopping after 150 miles...heck, I'm retired, so I've already gotten there...c'mon folks...get with the program...it isn't there...unless you put it there...retire NOW, and enjoy what you have...no regrets, just a bit more of life ya won't miss...m
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