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Old 10-08-2012, 05:51 PM   #1
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Mistress

Okay new thread, but this thread will be a continuing story.....a blog if you will.

I picked her up this Saturday and went to work on her immediately. Oil and filter change.....water separator and washed out the K&N air filter. Tranny fluid seemed just fine.

It is fitted with a high/low overdrive unit which is taking a while to sort out, getting it to change smoothly. I have found placing the transmission into neutral and selecting low at a stop helps immensely. Changing up is proving more difficult. I am having the best results taking my foot off the gas at roughly 25mph, selecting high and them just gently giving gas. If anyone out there has a better system or this clunking means the unit needs service, let me know.

After Thanksgiving dinner (Canadian) I drove from Chatham Ontario to Defiance Ohio. I added $30 in diesel in Chatham which took the gage from 1/16th under a quarter to 1/16th over a quarter . I prayed it would get me into the US and cheaper fuel. You can't imagine my surprise upon gassing up outside Defiance with an 1/8th of a tank indicated??????? Whats this thing run on, air?

I arrived in Defiance at 1:45am, settled down for the night at a bank parking lot, not 300ft from the house to which I was due at 6:30am to meet the gentleman with the tires I had purchased through Ebay earlier in the week. Couldn't sleep a wink for all the trains . Met the nice gentleman who turned out to be an Elvis impersonator and a not so secret admirer of Marie Osmond. I kinda dated myself by saying I had seen the Osmonds in Toronto in the mid seventies. The tires were perfect and already mounted to 10 bolt Chevy rims...six plus a spare .

Continued to P&S Trailer where I met "the boys". They had worked on my truck before replacing one of the rear top quarters and side panel beside the rear window. I got the bad news......over 12g's . I was however impressed when they got an air powered suction cup and mostly removed a couple of sizable dents in my front top cap which a P/O had placed there after loosing his balance installing the awning. THANK YOU!!!

Drove back to Detroit and filled up just before crossing the border.....Drove home to Hillsburgh with a detour in Chatham to pick up the family escort. Used about 3/16th of a tank to get home..... My XL-7 uses more fuel.

Of note I have decided I don't trust my gauges. I pegged my oil pressure to over 100 PSI a couple of times.....My volt meter is pegged permanately and my boost gage reads 0 at all times.

The oil stayed clear in the over 500 miles and not a drop was used....No black smoke under acceleration

It just needs TLC....AND BRAKES

Will post pics once I wrest camera from the boss.
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:11 PM   #2
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1974 20' Argosy 20
Richmond , Kentucky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isuzusweet View Post
You can't imagine my surprise upon gassing up outside Defiance with an 1/8th of a tank indicated??????? Whats this thing run on, air?
Well that and a little bit of diesel....

Quote:
Drove back to Detroit and filled up just before crossing the border.....Drove home to Hillsburgh with a detour in Chatham to pick up the family escort. Used about 3/16th of a tank to get home..... My XL-7 uses more fuel.
Gotta love a diesel.

Quote:
Of note I have decided I don't trust my gauges. I pegged my oil pressure to over 100 PSI a couple of times.....My volt meter is pegged permanately and my boost gage reads 0 at all times.
You're not the only one that has problems with gauges. Just wait until you look behind the dash to try and resolve the problems. Not a pretty sight and definitely a pain to work on.

Quote:
It just needs TLC....AND BRAKES

Will post pics once I wrest camera from the boss.
As the racers say, brakes just slow you down

Glad you had a good first trip with your new motorhome. Looking forward to the pictures

Brad
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Old 10-10-2012, 11:36 AM   #3
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1984 34.5' Airstream 345
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Well, that is an awesome start to your Airstream life!
Keep this thread rolling!
Glad the tires worked out good!


Your story of your first night is funny because I had a similar experieance..
When I got mine, the first night was in a little town in KS.
The PO picked us up, and we spent the first night in the Airstream, not knowing that there was a main train line about 100' away... about every 2 hours all night a 2 mile tran came by, shaking the Airstream.... It was a scene straaght from "My Cousin Vinny" which still makes me laugh every time I see it!
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Old 10-24-2012, 09:59 PM   #4
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Hillsburgh , Ontario
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I drove her to the local heavy duty diesel garage today for the safety. I had a number of concerns that I wanted an expert opinion on.

The brakes are very weak with a double pump neccessary to stop. The PO had the brakes bled last year to the tune of $300.00 but I was sure air was in the lines. It turns out a lot of air. A new master cylinder is probably in the works. All discs and calipers are in great condition with most pads at 70 to 80%.

The rear air suspension also felt low. It turns out the leveller valve is malfunctioning, so it will be replaced, but the bags are in great shape.

A new high beam which I had only spotted this morning and one of the fogs is out, (they may let that one slide as I'm going to replace them anyway).

A leaky sensor in the US Gear over under just needs to be tightened or pulled out, taped and replaced. I also had them replace the gear oil in the unit.

Replaced rear axle oil in the Dana 80 and checked the rear wheel bearings, all good.

Most of the front end had been replaced by the PO but for one of the crank bell idlers which has a little play in it. I don't know why you wouldn't replace both as all the ball joints, springs and airbags were done. If one has gone after 30 years the pther should soon follow.

I also had the boys check the drive shaft and lubricate all U-joints. Yes I could do that, but I'm not up to spec on judging play.

Front wheel bearing had a small amount of play and will be adjusted.

When I had cleaned the airfilter on picking her up from the PO it had felt the intake pipe leading to the turbo wasn't connected to anything, very loose. It turns out it was missing a clamp which they replaced.

I picked up a set of nearly new rubber already mounted to 10 bolt rims in Ohio for 450.00. I sandblasted the rims, two coats of two part epoxy primer, wheel paint (charcoal) and two coats of clear. They look great and impressed on the boys that I really wanted to take of my new coach.

Had the boys get the engine number, tranny number and axle specs so I could order parts with confidence.

The boys were very impressed at her condition with practically no frame rust and the floor in excellent condition. All she needed was a little tweaking.

So now it's my turn to replace faulty gauges, get the spot working, fix the furnace and get my air horns working among other little fix its.

It was comforting to know I had bought a very solid 30 year old Classic.
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Old 10-31-2012, 10:25 AM   #5
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1983 31' Airstream310
Cactus Hug , Arizona
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Congrats on your coach! I've replaced all my gauges and senders with ISSPRO.com - Quality Gauges, Tachometers, Speedometers and more! , very pleased with them. As far as the o.d., I have a U.S. Gear unit and I'm pleased, though I hear they are no longer in business. As far as shifting, NEVER shift when the coach is stopped! What I do is be moving, keeping the driveline under load and push the module to shift. I wait a couple of seconds to allow the spring assembly to load the shift mechanism. I quickly relax the accelator pedal, then apply full pressure. It seems the quicker this action can be completed the better the o.d. shifts. A small "CLUNK" is normal. With practice, you'll hardly hear it. One thing I just thought of: when the guys are servicing the coach, have them check the tightness of the middle carrier bearing housing, they can get loose over time. Post some pics, we'd love to see them!
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Old 10-31-2012, 10:38 AM   #6
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Isuzusweet -- Mistress? Reminds me when I was building a couple kayaks and my then-high-schoolers began to call them my girlfriends. Heck of a lot cheaper than the real thing, eh? ("...but that would be wrong.")

Good to read about your project. Looking forward to more.
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Old 11-24-2012, 01:28 PM   #7
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Santa Rosa , Northern California wine country
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Subscribed to your blog. I'm getting my MH out of mothballs so that when my son graduates from high school in June 2013, I'll be ready to make the round trip (about 10-11 hours one way) to move him back home.
I'm interested in reading what else you do to your rig. It looks like it's pretty road worthy as is, like mine was when I bought it in Washington State and drove it to California.
Did you get the master cylinder replaced? Does your rig have hydroboost? Mine went out and was a bear to replace.
Good luck.
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Old 11-24-2012, 04:51 PM   #8
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The "mistress"?

Did Tiger Woods take her around the block a few times too? Oops~!
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Old 11-25-2012, 07:37 PM   #9
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1983 31' Airstream310
Hillsburgh , Ontario
Join Date: Sep 2012
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Sorry to take so long

I just wanted to share some photo's. I have create a photobucket account as this forum only will accept 1600x1600 jpg photos and only four at a time.

I hope it works:

Silver Mistress Photos by Isuzusweet | Photobucket

Update

The Mistress has passed safety and without an emission test. If the Service Ontario girls wanted to class my coach as a "heavy duty diesel" (over 9500lbs GVWR) it would have needed to pass a safety and emissions test EVERY YEAR!!!!!

Parts needed
Supersteer bell crank idler (I had to purchase myself)
U joint
Master cylinder
headlight and one brake light bulb.
rear end fluid and Over/Under fluid replace.
air ride leveller valve

The shop did a good once over but the labour really added up....14.1 hrs at $84.00/hr.....$1200.00 just for labour, tightening wheel bearings, ball joints, U joint, changing gear oil, master cylinder, cleaning and bleeding the brakes.

The brakes took the most labour as the master cylinder has been turned around by Airstream and is a real b@#ch to get at. The bleeding also took multiples attempts to get right.

The lesson learned......I need to get on the ball and do things myself. I do have a good compressor and a fair tool chest but I need to get an impact gun and sockets. I just didn't have the time to do it myself as I needed to get it certified safety fast.

@Astrodokk Yes I have the hydroboost system....It works but I do need to increase the rpms for the boost to work. Steering is notchy at idle.

Thanks Mike for the gauge site. I had seen it and the prices too, yikes. Not looking forward to pulling the dash but it will have to be done at some time. I'm really thinking of putting a whole new fuse block in anyway.

Cheers
Tony
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Old 11-26-2012, 07:07 AM   #10
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1974 20' Argosy 20
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Originally Posted by Isuzusweet View Post
...@Astrodokk Yes I have the hydroboost system....It works but I do need to increase the rpms for the boost to work. Steering is notchy at idle.
Tony,

Our 310 doesn't have a problem at idle with the hydroboost. Before you bump your idle speed up you might want to make sure your power steering pump is in good shape. Just a thought...

Brad
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Old 11-26-2012, 05:04 PM   #11
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1983 31' Airstream310
Hillsburgh , Ontario
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Tony,

Our 310 doesn't have a problem at idle with the hydroboost. Before you bump your idle speed up you might want to make sure your power steering pump is in good shape. Just a thought...

Brad
I will check Brad. It's not bad when warm I just noticed the other day when it was cool and the motor was cold it was a little notchy. I will check fluid first.

Thanks again
Cheers
Tony

PS Did you check out the pics....I just wondered if the link worked and you had access.
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Old 11-26-2012, 05:17 PM   #12
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1984 34.5' Airstream 345
Foothill Ranch , California
Join Date: Mar 2010
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Looking good!
The PB account works great...
Not sure if you knew this...
All of the pics I post are from my PB account...
In the index page, you move your mouse pointer over the pic you want, and a box appears...
Then move your mouse down to the lower box labeled IMG code... and click within the box, and it copies that link...
You then just paste that jumble of code into your post draft and the picture appears when you post it!

Like this...



I like to do it that way...
Easy to see and post many pics and loads far faster than the Airforums uploader!
If you are clicked on one of images, the same image toolbox is over on the rh side of the page...
If you want to Email someone a pic, you just do the same, but copy the Email or IM link in the top box...

Fine looking coach btw!
Looks like someone started to polish it...
You only have 31' to do!
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Old 11-26-2012, 06:00 PM   #13
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1974 20' Argosy 20
Richmond , Kentucky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isuzusweet View Post
I just wanted to share some photo's. I have create a photobucket account as this forum only will accept 1600x1600 jpg photos and only four at a time.

I hope it works:

Silver Mistress Photos by Isuzusweet | Photobucket
Nice looking motorhome. Perfect length if you ask me

Quote:
air ride leveller valve
If your leveler valve is like the one on our 1984 310 here is the cheapest source that I've found for one.

leveler valve

Quote:
The shop did a good once over but the labour really added up....14.1 hrs at $84.00/hr.....$1200.00 just for labour, tightening wheel bearings, ball joints, U joint, changing gear oil, master cylinder, cleaning and bleeding the brakes.
Ouch

That seems awful high for the amount of work they did.

Quote:
The brakes took the most labour as the master cylinder has been turned around by Airstream and is a real b@#ch to get at. The bleeding also took multiples attempts to get right.
When we first got our 310 we had two shops do brake work. The first shop replaced all of the hoses and brake pads and then bleed the brakes. The brakes worked great. A few months later the m/c started leaking so while we had it in for power steering work at a different place I had them replace the m/c. It took them a MONTH to get the job done and get it right. They replaced the m/c multiple times trying to get one that would work and also had a h*ll of a time getting the brakes bled properly. I guess the trick to good brakes is do them yourself or find a shop that really knows how to work on them properly.

Quote:
The lesson learned......I need to get on the ball and do things myself. I do have a good compressor and a fair tool chest but I need to get an impact gun and sockets. I just didn't have the time to do it myself as I needed to get it certified safety fast.
Yep, doing it yourself is the only way to get it done the way you want and to have it done correctly.
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Old 11-26-2012, 08:55 PM   #14
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1983 31' Airstream310
Hillsburgh , Ontario
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkahler View Post
Nice looking motorhome. Perfect length if you ask me

If your leveler valve is like the one on our 1984 310 here is the cheapest source that I've found for one.

leveler valve

Ouch

That seems awful high for the amount of work they did.

When we first got our 310 we had two shops do brake work. The first shop replaced all of the hoses and brake pads and then bleed the brakes. The brakes worked great. A few months later the m/c started leaking so while we had it in for power steering work at a different place I had them replace the m/c. It took them a MONTH to get the job done and get it right. They replaced the m/c multiple times trying to get one that would work and also had a h*ll of a time getting the brakes bled properly. I guess the trick to good brakes is do them yourself or find a shop that really knows how to work on them properly.

I wonder....We had a 90's Ford Ranger with a manual transmission. The slave cylinder went on it so we had the clutch replaced at the same time. The dealership couldn't get the system bled right until the top tech came back from holidays and reverse bled the system. Could a brake system be reverse bled???



Yep, doing it yourself is the only way to get it done the way you want and to have it done correctly.
I agree. I looked at a 345 and found it just too big and ungainly. Just MHO Keyair, LOL.

The parts were cheap other than the Supersteer idler. Leveler valve---80.00,
master cylinder 90.00 Canadian. I know parts are cheaper in the States.

Yeah a bit high on the hours but I kinda opened myself up by asking them to do a thorough and complete inspection. I knew my wife was going to want to drive it, so I needed her to feel safe, or she would walk away from drivers duty in a heart beat. Since I plan on taking my bike along with us out west next year, I need her to drive.

LOL As a backyard mechanic, notice the small m in mechanic, I have made some mistakes and learnt from them, but I do win more than I lose. Where I draw the line is in the electronics area. I once took our Bonneville into be scanned for a check engine light by our local mechanic. I was told the code read MAF fault, so I went out and bought a new MAF to the tune of 300+ dollars and replaced it myself. The check engine light came back on so I took the car to the dealership who told me, yes the code read MAF fault but the fault was triggered by a purge solenoid......a 35.00 dollar part.
That one I lost......but I don't give up.
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