Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 08-17-2016, 09:53 AM   #1
2 Rivet Member
 
1979 28' Airstream Excella 28
Albuquerque , New Mexico
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 44
Kyote's '81 Excella 280 TD

Hello everyone,

Picked this old girl up more or less on impulse. It was advertised locally for well below what they seem to be going for in CA. So, I am right at the point of diving in for big $$$$ like tires, so consider this a soft advertisement if someone wants to plop down $20k or so cash, I would strongly consider it.

Odometer says 23k, most likely 123k judging from wear and tear on interior. I drove it across town to my house, up to 45mph. Tires and lack of brake pressure kept me from driving faster.

I've been lurking on this thread for a few weeks, absorbing information. I don't want to be 'that guy' that asks a bunch questions without researching myself, but please comment or give links to anything

done so far:

fuel tank drained, easy to do, almost too easy? any thoughts on securing the nut so the fuel can't be stolen? now have to find a place to take 20+ gallons of 10 year old bluish diesel. put in 5 gallons with 1/3 can Seafoam, less smoke and will rev up to 2k RPMs now without stuttering. Oil pressure and turbo appear good.

transmission seal was leaking, so seal and filter replaced (easy except for a single bolt under the frame - 1/16 turn, flip wrench, repeat 40 or so times). seemed insanely cheap at NAPA for $12! filter looked original. fine dust in pan and filter, but no large metal bits. torqued bolts @ 11pds in cross pattern, replaced fluid and no leaks!

AC shrouds cleaned and panted with primer, metallic paint, clear coat

AC motors replaced, AC runs, but one is a bit colder than the other

Onan genset 6.5 with 250 hours: plugs replaced, area cleaned; regulator replaced bc was leaking. to do: oil, filter. other maintenance listed recommended like points? necessary, or if it ain't broke don't fix it? runs well and takes the load of both AC units

to do (short term)

engine oil and filter

converter isn't charging batteries when plugged in to house power

heater isn't coming on

water pump leaks if switch left on, hoses coming are some sort of garden hose grade that need replacing

water heater leaks. haven't gotten in yet to inspect. easier to bypass with an inline on demand and leave old one in place? pull and replace? or would tank be repairable?

to do (long term)

tires, and bolts in front wheel only have 5 bolts, not 10 (?!)

pull out carpet, seems obvious as everyone I have seen advertised has solid flooring of some type

inspection by a mechanic that knows what to do with this Isuzu motor

brake inspection, fluid change

coolant test and probably replace

has an over/under transmission thingy installed on dash and behind transmission. not sure how it works, but my understanding is it effectively gives 6 gears instead of 3?

dash AC and cruise aren't working, but did in recent history according to previous owner

seals around windows

replace vent and motor

Kyote
Attached Thumbnails
__________________

__________________
kyote is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2016, 06:58 AM   #2
Rivet Master
 
bkahler's Avatar

 
1974 20' Argosy 20
Richmond , Kentucky
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,276
Kyote, congrats on your new motorhome!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kyote View Post
Hello everyone,

Picked this old girl up more or less on impulse. It was advertised locally for well below what they seem to be going for in CA. So, I am right at the point of diving in for big $$$$ like tires, so consider this a soft advertisement if someone wants to plop down $20k or so cash, I would strongly consider it.
Hopefully you're not having buyers remorse already

Quote:
but please comment or give links to anything

done so far:
....Onan genset 6.5 with 250 hours: plugs replaced, area cleaned; regulator replaced bc was leaking. to do: oil, filter. other maintenance listed recommended like points? necessary, or if it ain't broke don't fix it? runs well and takes the load of both AC units
It's great that the generator handles both. I'm assuming the generator is propane powered and if so would explain why it is still running good without you having to touch it.

Quote:
to do (short term)

converter isn't charging batteries when plugged in to house power
You should figure on replacing the power converter. I know of few if any rigs that still have the original univolt. Every motorhome I've owned I've had to replace the converter.

Quote:
heater isn't coming on
Requires DC voltage from the coach batteries. This could be related to your converter problem.

Quote:
water heater leaks. haven't gotten in yet to inspect. easier to bypass with an inline on demand and leave old one in place? pull and replace? or would tank be repairable?
Don't bother trying to repair. A decent propane/120vac water heater combo costs around $450 or so and is well worth installing.

Quote:
to do (long term)

tires, and bolts in front wheel only have 5 bolts, not 10 (?!)
5 lug is standard at the front with 10 lugs at the rear.

Quote:
has an over/under transmission thingy installed on dash and behind transmission. not sure how it works, but my understanding is it effectively gives 6 gears instead of 3?
Sounds like a Gear Vendors overdrive. That's a nice upgrade! Others will be able to explain how to use it.

Brad
__________________

__________________
Air forums # 1674
1974 20' Argosy Motor Home
1974 31' Excella trailer (parting out, as of 4/1/2015 I have wheels, brake drums, windows & holding tanks left to sell)
bkahler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2016, 09:08 AM   #3
2 Rivet Member
 
1979 28' Airstream Excella 28
Albuquerque , New Mexico
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 44
Brad,

Thanks for the input. All your points make sense.

No, no buyers remorse. I knew I was buying well below what these seem to go for. The continued financial investments will tie me to it, but also the more I fiddle, the more emotionally invested we will be.

I wasn't looking for an AS, or even a MH to begin with. But, the AS seems to be a solid platform to invest time and money in.

I will continue to post what I do as a record for myself, and I welcome any and all input.

thanks in advance
__________________
kyote is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2016, 11:46 AM   #4
Rivet Master
 
bkahler's Avatar

 
1974 20' Argosy 20
Richmond , Kentucky
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,276
Sometimes the best deals just fall into your lap and it's a no brainer that you have to go for it

Definitely post pictures and keep this thread updated with your progress.

Brad
__________________
Air forums # 1674
1974 20' Argosy Motor Home
1974 31' Excella trailer (parting out, as of 4/1/2015 I have wheels, brake drums, windows & holding tanks left to sell)
bkahler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2016, 07:17 PM   #5
Rivet Master
 
Vycan's Avatar
 
1994 36' Classic 36 Diesel
Manhattan , Kansas
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 649
Blog Entries: 1
Congrats and welcome!

Have you considered a locking gas cap?

Circular locking door

More options
__________________
1994 36' Classic Diesel Pusher
Vycan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2016, 08:48 AM   #6
2 Rivet Member
 
1979 28' Airstream Excella 28
Albuquerque , New Mexico
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 44
I have, and I will be getting one. I was referring to 1/4 square plug underneath the coach to drain the diesel tank. With enough containment, one could steal the contents quickly and easily. Doesn't look to be easily securable though...

Speaking of which, I replaced the main door lock to the coach. The local AS dealer/repair shop had two from 80s Excella trailers. So, I though what are the chances the original key will fit either one? It fit both!! Society was a different place in the early 80s. I plan installing a shackle lock on the door as well. Seems like Excella trailers had deadbolts, but not the MHs?

I was able to dispose of the old, blue diesel at a hazardous waste place locally in a few trips. Oil change next, and I'll be posting more photos soon. Been reading through the threads and stickies here, and learning a lot. Is there a thread for the Isuzu TD motor and a scan of the manual? Can't seem to find one.
__________________
kyote is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2016, 05:34 PM   #7
2 Rivet Member
 
1979 28' Airstream Excella 28
Albuquerque , New Mexico
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 44
The engine says that it is an Isuzu 6BD1H?, but I can only find manuals for 6BD1? Will this work, anyone know a good source for a shop manual? A few on here say they have a 6BD1T.

I drained the radiator very slowly, over a couple of days because I am only getting about a drip per second. I then put in Prestone cleaner and water. Again, super slow draining. So, I kept the engine idling to keep the coolant warmer and this seemed to help. I took the coolant cap off to keep it topped off, but nothing came gushing out. So, is my water pump working? The top of the radiator is quite hot, the bottom is cool. A few have referenced a lube point on the water pump; is this worth trying to get to?

Also, the dash fans aren't working. The fuse box (really, all this space and has to there?!) has a 25amp fuse where it should be for AC/heater. Is there a separate fuse for the fan?

thanks
__________________
kyote is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-04-2016, 10:54 PM   #8
Rivet Master
 
Smartstream's Avatar

 
1982 28' Airstream 280
Port Angeles , Washington
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,206
These guys are the gurus for the Isuzu.

Hamilton Engine Sales
5540 N.E. Columbia Blvd.
Portland, Oregon 97218 Craig (503) 280-1353

Is yours a turbo? If so it was built as normally aspirated and Airstream added an aftermarket low pressure BAE turbo. It has a maximum boost of about 10 psi. The engine isn't designed to handle 30 psi of boost. Isuzu did come up with a turbo engine about 1967.

If you really want to get the coolant out pull the lower radiator hose. With a light and a dental mirror or a bore scope you can see how much crud is in the bottom of the radiator.

To reach the grease fitting on the water remove the wood cover and carpet from the doghouse and the radio tape deck unit.. Forward of the doghouse hinge is a plate about 8" by the with of the cover, remove the 10 or 12 1/4" bolts and the entire doghouse cover will come off. Standing on your head while straddling the engine you will find the grease fitting. While you are there with a little luck you can reach the fuse block. Are we having fun yet?

I have manuals for your coach in pdf. Send me PM with your email and I'll send them to you.
__________________
Cheers, Dan
________________________________________


"Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They always run out of other people's money. It's quite a characteristic of them."
~ Margaret Thatcher ~
Smartstream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2016, 05:08 AM   #9
Rivet Master
 
mayco's Avatar

 
1982 31' Airstream 310
champaign , Illinois
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 2,009
Take a look at those numbers on your motor one more time kyote. It should be a 6bd1A. Like Dan says, anything you need for that motor can be purchased through Hamilton Engine. They are absolutely great to work with. You NEED to get your engines serial number to order any parts. The serial number is stamped on the block, drivers side, just above the oil pan I believe. The numbers are pretty big. Bring a wire brush and some carb cleaner under there when you go looking for it. Ive ordered parts through Hamilton and had them in my hands the very next day.......and Im in cantral Illinois. Your engine is old enough that it wont be on their computer, they will need to look it up in the book.

+1 on pulling off the lower radiator hose to flush, your drain valve is probably old and clogged up.

Mike
__________________
mayco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2016, 08:55 AM   #10
2 Rivet Member
 
1979 28' Airstream Excella 28
Albuquerque , New Mexico
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 44
It is a Turbo. I think I read in the sticky that the 'H' is a designation for California emissions? I'll take a photo when I get a new phone. I took a photo of the seal on the top of the engine to post here, then I washed the phone in my shorts. This is why I am only allowed to buy $100 phones now

I was avoiding pulling off the lower hose cuz it may not come off without breaking. But I think Mayco started a thread I came across with a replacement option.

thanks for the info on the shop and how to get the cage off
__________________
kyote is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2016, 12:54 PM   #11
2 Rivet Member
 
1979 28' Airstream Excella 28
Albuquerque , New Mexico
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 44
Since the radiator cleaner is coming out so slowly, I decided to leave it in for a while to do it's job. I may even need to take the old girl slowly around the block on 10 year old tires to get up to temperature. But, I know I will probably need to pull the lower hose off to get it all out and completely flush the bottom.

Photos:

the first is the engine tag that shows 66BD1H and it is an 81, but the coach is 79

the second is three hoses that don't go anywhere. The hose in the left center runs straight off, so I assume it is an overflow for the oil. The thicker at the bottom left comes from the top left of the engine, but I have no idea what it does or if it should be attached to something. The third hose with shiney black connector looks to be for air. It comes off of a small cylinder on the bottom right of the engine . It appears to go to a T intersection just over where the transmission starts. I think I read on these forums somewhere that the dash fans run off of this system? Where do I find hose like this to repair it?

third is an oil leak on the upper passenger side of the engine, the oil pump? The cylinder spins while idling. The shiney nut just to the left of the cylinder seems to be where the oil leak is coming from. It isn't enough to reach the ground as a drip, but it does create a lot of smoke and collects grime on this side of the engine. Do I find a super-skinny wrench to tighten this nut or do I have an issue with where the cylinder connects?

thanks for any help for a diesel noob. I am slowly learning what does what on this engine.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	20160905_164356.jpg
Views:	33
Size:	126.1 KB
ID:	270987   Click image for larger version

Name:	20160903_105827.jpg
Views:	31
Size:	235.4 KB
ID:	270988  

Click image for larger version

Name:	20160905_164638.jpg
Views:	34
Size:	136.8 KB
ID:	270989  
__________________
kyote is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2016, 08:21 PM   #12
2 Rivet Member
 
1979 28' Airstream Excella 28
Albuquerque , New Mexico
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 44
thanks to Mayco for easy explanation of how to use the little pump clear the fuel line of air

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f159...-112252-3.html

I had drained the fuel tank, and guessed that I had air in the line. But, I had had it idling in the driveway to cycle coolant from a coolant change on and off for a couple of hours over several days, no problem.

So, I took it for a slow spin (old tires) around the block. And sure enough I give it a bit of petrol to get up the ramp to clear the curb... and it is dead in the water crossways on the street! Luckily my street isnt busy. Pumped a 100xs or so until it was hard to pump and she fired right up!

Next: fuel filters change. The turbo gauge is moving, but not much. So, hopefully the filter change will help with this and the billows of blue smoke that continue despite draining the tank

The photo is of a universal overflow tank from Autozone that fits. I tired to find the OE one from Napa, but no luck.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	20160917_185340.jpg
Views:	28
Size:	143.6 KB
ID:	271845  
__________________
kyote is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2016, 08:27 PM   #13
Rivet Master
 
mayco's Avatar

 
1982 31' Airstream 310
champaign , Illinois
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 2,009
Good deal!
__________________
mayco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2016, 08:00 AM   #14
2 Rivet Member
 
1979 28' Airstream Excella 28
Albuquerque , New Mexico
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 44
"You should figure on replacing the power converter. I know of few if any rigs that still have the original univolt. Every motorhome I've owned I've had to replace the converter."

there is this PD4000 on a local craigslist, it will work yes?

http://albuquerque.craigslist.org/rvs/5800363028.html

http://www.progressivedyn.com/all_in_one_pd4000.html
__________________

__________________
kyote is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Kyote's 81 Excella 280 TD kyote General Motorhome Topics 1 08-17-2016 10:12 AM
Does the 81 Excella 280 have a parking brake on the drive line? silverback Classic Motorhomes 8 02-07-2010 05:19 PM
New leak #2 81 Excella 280 TD silverback Classic Motorhomes 4 12-26-2009 11:11 PM
P30 swaybar bushings for 81 Excella 280 silverback Classic Motorhomes 12 09-16-2009 09:01 PM
Mystery light on 1982 280 Excella Dash jisom12 Classic Motorhomes 9 09-14-2008 03:33 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by



Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:20 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.