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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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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
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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
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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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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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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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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
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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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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
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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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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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Old 08-03-2011, 03:21 PM   #15
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WD-40 is good.

looks like a can of Carb cleaner properly applied also would help
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Old 08-03-2011, 03:41 PM   #16
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1979 24' Airstream Excella 24
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Well, we got to the shore (about a 5 minute drive from our house) and had a great evening, a not so great sleep on the uncomfortable mattress (that's definitely going on the list of things that need changing!!) and woke up to eagles chasing each other outside the window. We postponed coming back home for as long as we could, but finally went to start the airstream, and click. DEAD BATTERY!! One of the stairwell switches had been left in the on position overnight, so I think that may have been the culprit. Although it seems weird because the light doesn't actually work for the switch that was in the ON position, so I'm not sure how it would have drained the battery. I think I remember reading somewhere on here that those switches are connected to the engine battery, not the auxilliary battery and will drain the power if left on. Anyway, I think (hope) that was the problem. We'll take a charger down to it tomorrow and see. We are learning all the things to remember when using her, but doing it the hard way!

So, the main bad thing is that since the high revving of the engine it is now running really roughly. Loud knocking and it is definitely not a smooth idle by any means.
We live rurally, but have heard of a good heavy-machinery mechanic nearby, we'll give him a call in the next few days and hope to get a tune-up, or diagnosis anyway.

Our problem right now is that we are both self-employed and I run a pottery shop and this is the high point of the season, so not a lot of time for much extra (like mechanics). Oh well, the neighbours don't mind if we leave it parked on their land where it is, so at least we can walk down to it and spend the nights there on the shore until we get things sorted out.

Thanks guys, I'll keep you updated and will check out the points you mentioned Keyair. The cruise control doesn't work, guess I know why now. And since we're not planning any long trips (in the near future anyway), we don't need it.

Bye for now...
Sarah
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Old 08-03-2011, 04:22 PM   #17
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Sarah Don't start the engine again before the mecanic is there.
Loud knocking is not good.
I think that the throttle cable is gone .
Had the same thing a few weeks ago with my chevy went for a long drive and due to heat the iner cabele got stuck.
Good luck
Remco
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Old 08-03-2011, 04:26 PM   #18
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Binding cable has been a problem before you got it, somebody doubled the spring to compensate, Keyair's suggestion to WD-40 the area best idea, but if you don't have on hand you could use any silicone spray if you direct it to the moving parts(don't forget the pedal hinge) and do it while the engine is off, and wipe off overspray wait for the fumes to leave then start.
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Old 08-03-2011, 04:41 PM   #19
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If the old grey cells haven't giv'n up completely...

Looks like the original return spring was spring with-in a spring, spring...got that!!!
In the photo I think I see one end connected and the other....Not.

Could be they got jammed up and the smaller diameter spring can't handle the task.
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Old 08-03-2011, 06:19 PM   #20
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There's a fuel filter plugged into the carburetor on 345's...small in-line thing that can screw up your ignition system...I still opt for the distributor, but I go to a mechanic for a reason...I'm a good nurse in the ER, but my skills under the hood belong to a hammer, and a BIG one...and a big hammer under the hood is NOT a good idea...leave it to the professionals, if you can find them...mike
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