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Old 10-23-2009, 05:21 PM   #1
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Looking at an 89 345LE

OK, new to Airstream and motorhomes. I have had a 5th wheel trailer and pop up so not completly new to RVs.
I have been reading some here and have some questions.
Questions;
1 - When looking at this m/h what do I need to look for and at?
2 - How many miles can I expect form the 454 engine?
3 - Any guesstimates on how much to replace the engine? And do you go back with a 454 or something else?
4 - Have seen people talking about 55 to 65 mph in their m/h and wondering if this is max or just best speeds for driving? The one I am looking at had no problem doing 70.

My wife and I really like the clasic look of the m/h but I am concerned bout the age and future repairs.

Thanks
Chuck
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Old 10-23-2009, 07:14 PM   #2
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
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Hello Chuck, You can look at it like a home, Boat or Truck.

any of the above can blow and engine, transmission or out drive as you take your find home or on the 1st. trip. So regardless of the condition and what the P.O. has done ?? or not done, You need to be a full time mechanic or Know One !!! Hehehe

Regardless of How good of condition the RV. is in ? You will want to personalize and create your own distinct living, driving and camping environment.

If you like what you see ? and drive ? and are happy with the deal ! Buy it and count on spending $10 to 30 thousand the 1st. season or Two to get her like you want your coach to be.
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Old 10-23-2009, 08:46 PM   #3
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Hi ccetex. My MH gets 7-8 mpg. This is at 60 mph average. There is no Gear Vender unit on the transmission yet. We always have it fully loaded as we live in it. The engine is still pulling strong at 117,000 miles. Driving easy & steady maintenance is the key. The factory has a weight limit of 2000 lbs for any toad.

I love the conveinence of a MH. Make coffe while driving, already hot water for a shower upon arrival, easy access to a rest room at any time. No problem backing up as with a trailer, we have a camera on the back. You'll always have people wanting a tour of your unique AS.

As for what to look for, hmmmm....... Anything that you would look for in a RV. Furnaces (yes there are 2), appliances, leaks. Inspect it as any other RV. Then inspect it as a car. Look at engine,frame rust, unusual wear on steering & suspension, tires ($200 each avg. times 9), lights, etc.

Don't forget to enjoy it. Unless you already have a TV, It will be cheaper than buying a TT & a TV.

Ricky
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Old 10-24-2009, 10:03 AM   #4
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
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10-30-2002, 08:13 PM #1 PeterH-79MH
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Classic Motorhome repair list
We often get questions about what to expect when buying one of these rigs.
Below is my list of 2 years.
And this is with an excellent drive train, a good power generator and functioning 3-way refer. (knock on wood!)
you get to add the $$


Electrical:
Alternator
Isolator
2 new batteries
Jacobs RV ignition system
4 new headlights
new roof driving lights
added rear electr. Fuel pump
fixed fan speed of heater fan
fixed door bell (important)

Mechanical:
Water pump
Fan clutch
Belts and hoses
2 exhaust manifolds
new mufflers
front brakes
new brake hydraulic lines
replaced A/C pressure hose
front air bags
4 shocks
steering damper
recored radiator
fixed leak in a/c condenser
new power steering pump
4 new tires
added trans cooler
new heater core
new valves and compressor for rear Air bags
rewelded metal plate for air bag valves
removed fuel tank to add missing plug, cleaned and replaced hoses
front end alignment

Exterior:
New passenger side windshield
Replaced damaged skin
Added awning
Pin striping
Clean paint of window frames

Coach:
New univolt
New water pump
Lots of new waterlines
Fixed leak in fresh water tank
New roof A/C
new furnace
All new window seals (complete)
Custom Airstream Entertainment center for stereo and misc.
6 new speakers
new blinds and draperies
new carpeting
pergo flooring in Kitchen
reupholster coach, chairs and front seats
added microwave
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Old 10-24-2009, 05:40 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replys, even knowing the potential problems and cost I think I am going to try and make a deal on this coach Monday.

I really like the idea of having something that is different from all the box cars driving down the road.

Chuck
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Old 10-25-2009, 12:07 AM   #6
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
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Sounds Like a Plan ccetex !!! whatever you do pay for the unit, You will easily spend double the purchase price the 1st. year to make it -YOURS - Enjoy !!! We Do
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Old 10-26-2009, 01:59 AM   #7
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
Silverton , Colorado
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Brakes are a really important FIRST priority, and make sure they PULL the tires off to inspect them...they should, anyway, when you have them repack/replace the bearings...ALL OF THEM!!!
We removed the front barrel chairs and tv/cabinet and put in a treadle sewing machine stand as a computer desk...mounted a flat screen over the street side closet in the bedroom(twin bed set-up), will put in a drop-down flat screen under the cabinets, when we win the lottery(oh, wait, gotta buy a ticket first!)
If yer towing, I'd recommend a reinforcement of the towbar...braces welded to the frame...any reputable firm should be able to do it.
You are gonna love this unit...mike
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Old 10-26-2009, 04:59 PM   #8
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Well after talking to PO and liking what she had to say I made the dealer an offer.

Bottom line is he countered and we compromised and we now have a 345LE!!

I pick the coach up Friday and the dealer is going to show me how everthing works.

Let the fun begain!!!

Chuck
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Old 10-26-2009, 05:20 PM   #9
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
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Money, but no regrets...it is a truly unique experience, and well worth it...as with any 20 year old vehicle, there will be continuing problems, but after the initial gut wrenches, you will come to know and love your moho...nothing like pulling into where ever and leveling, getting out from behind the wheel...and there you are...no rain, no opening up, no setting up...yer just THERE!!! Congratulations on your purchase, and remember, the forums is here to help you...mike
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Old 10-26-2009, 07:42 PM   #10
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Yahoooooo.... Don't forget to enjoy 'er. the upkeep is well worth it.

Ricky
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Old 10-26-2009, 08:43 PM   #11
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Lets see some photos of your new rig !
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Old 10-26-2009, 09:01 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccetex View Post
Bottom line is he countered and we compromised and we now have a 345LE!!

Chuck
Congratulations. We've had ours for about five years and wouldn't trade it for anything. Everything that you've read above is true. You will spend several thousand dollars making it the way you want it, and replacing worn out items. It's worth every penny. Generally, our 345 has been very reliable, but we wanted things to be new and reliable. Our choice for a new motor was a high performance 502 crate motor from GM. 500 horsepower and 570 lbs. or torque. No problems passing.
Enjoy. Ron
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Old 10-26-2009, 09:14 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klattu View Post
Lets see some photos of your new rig !
First order of business when I get the coach.
Thanks
Chuck
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Old 10-26-2009, 09:17 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by str8strm View Post
Congratulations. We've had ours for about five years and wouldn't trade it for anything. Everything that you've read above is true. You will spend several thousand dollars making it the way you want it, and replacing worn out items. It's worth every penny. Generally, our 345 has been very reliable, but we wanted things to be new and reliable. Our choice for a new motor was a high performance 502 crate motor from GM. 500 horsepower and 570 lbs. or torque. No problems passing.
Enjoy. Ron
I would really like to hear more about your new motor. Do you have any info on your swap.
Thanks
Chuck
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