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Old 01-11-2015, 06:15 PM   #43
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1991 35' Airstream 350
Austin , Texas
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Thanks Team for your comments...had no choice as a flat bed was not available (it was Saturday afternoon and the Sea Hawk were playing the Panthers!!!)
Made sure that the tow tilt was as low angled as possible to keep the pressure off the tag axle. Tow gun removed and replaced rear drive shaft and will have dealer check for tightness and damage....but, no choice.
Had a number of conversations with Peter H who is just terrific, knowledgeable and supportive. Walking me through the incident, we seem to think that as I was playing with the air on push-button controls to try to get heat from the dash, I engaged the aircon (hey, I was driving at the time!) and for the compressor clutch was locked-up and, well you know the rest!
While Junction City Oregon may be delightful in the summer,it sucks right now and has been raining constantly since being towed in so no chance for further investigation but will keep you'all comments re adjustment and alignment in mind.
Good newsis that I'm on "shore power" compliments of the Dealer and am warm and snug with all Airstream internals operating(beverages included!)
As Tuesday and Wednesday are forecast as dry and sort of sunny, assuming I can get the belts replaced (and locate the cause), I'm thinking of making a dash through to Redding CA on Tuesday, Wednesday Bakersfield and on to Phoenix where I plan to store the coach undercover for the winter where it is dry. That's still some 1300 miles and,at an average of 50 mph, around 26 hours at the wheel (unless there is an Airstreamers locally who wants to hitch a ride as co driver from say Eugene to Phoenix and even on to Austin if there are two driving.....any takers?)
So, hopefully, I can get out of here late Monday, overnight in Eugene and leave for Redding bright and early Tuesday. Again, thanks for all your advice and support! I'll keep you posted.
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Old 01-11-2015, 08:30 PM   #44
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Sorry to hear about your troubles, but you already have your first story for your rig! Hope it continues without further difficulty.
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Old 01-12-2015, 08:08 AM   #45
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
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Oh my Chris, that is an unfortunate bump in the road for your first trip.
Glad to hear that you and your beautiful new coach are safely recovered and on your way to repair.

Sounds like you and Peter may have pinpointed the problem. And the fix hopefully is uncomplicated. Strange that the AC compressor issue didn't come to light during all the work being done on the front of the engine at the shop that did the work for you earlier. Can you see any collateral damage in the area? Radiator, hoses, nearby wiring, etc all look OK?

I and I'm sure others would like to join you on your trip if other commitments didn't prevent it. Did I mention how pristine and attractive your coach looks?

I'd imagine its tough after all the careful preventative maintiance work, to have this breakdown stop your trip. But think of it as a bonding and learning experience with your motorhome. And get spares as you replace the belts. I'm sure going to myself.

Once this is behind you, and your smile starts to return, realize that you would have been driving into more rain had you carried on earlier. It's raining now in AZ. Should clear in a couple of days for your arrival then.

You might consider driving through Quartzsite on your way into AZ. It an interesting route and will give you a chance to check out that amazing event.

Good luck to you in the repairs and do keep us posted.

Check your PMs. For my contact info, I'm in Chino Valley AZ and standing by to help if needed.

Cheers Richard
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Old 01-12-2015, 08:59 AM   #46
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Makes me realize how fortunate I was when I flew to Seattle, handed the guy a check and drove to Colorado. I did inspect it thoroughly and they had just returned from a 3000 mile trip.

Sorry to hear about the unfortunate start of your adventure. Sitting seems to be the biggest enemies to motorhomes.

If your A/C was dry and the high pressure switch inop, the compressor would lock up quickly. I found mine had been bypassed. Lucky the system was charged.
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Old 01-12-2015, 10:59 AM   #47
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1991 35' Airstream 350
Austin , Texas
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Waiting in Junction City!

thanks guys for your support no comments. Right now I'm at Guaranty RV in Junction City, Oregon while they new belts and check compressor operation.
I'll pass on your comments re dry A/C and pressure switch operation.
I"ll post results later today....thanks again to all you "Airstreamers" and your great support and encouragement!
Chris
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Old 01-12-2015, 03:45 PM   #48
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1989 34.5' Airstream 345
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Chris, if they will let you hang out to watch the repairs in progress it will help if you find yourself needing to do the job on your own some time. Make note of the tools needed to do the job too.

Lots of us old motorhome owners ( as in old guys with motorhomes or guys with old motorhomes ). are quite hands on with our units ( coaches that is ). So try to be able to deal with these hiccups that can otherwise stop our trips . A little more than basic tool kit and spares can result in field repairs quicker than the wait for a tow.

I'll be getting spare belts and a starter too ( thanks Peter ). Before my next trip.
A simple thing like a fuel filter can get you back on the road quickly. If you have it at hand.

Not to worry tho, it's a bit of a steep learning curve at first. And these details will fall into place for you as you have time to get more familiar with your coach .

I don't have a map at hand but you do want avoid the traffic in the L A area if at all possible. There are some state roads that you can use to start heading east before getting into the thick of it in So Cal.

Cheers Richard.
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Old 01-12-2015, 03:48 PM   #49
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1991 35' Airstream 350
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Still marooned in Junction City
Belts back on without aircon compressor belt so as to avoid a repeat performance, no compressor belt (compressor was seized)
Now I'm dealing with a stuck EGR valve which is affecting engine performance so waiting to get that scoured in Junction City but still trying to get on the road Tuesday to Redding and on to Bakersfield
Chris
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Old 01-12-2015, 03:50 PM   #50
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I used to cut off near Buttonwillow Raceway coming down IH5 to then head past Edwards AFB to hit IH10 in a big truck. Slow but easy compared to metro traffic.
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Old 01-12-2015, 04:04 PM   #51
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1991 35' Airstream 350
Austin , Texas
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Ok..just got the news, the EGR valve has to come overnight from Seattle so am stuck here for another night but decided to continue with sub-standard engine performance would be crazy through the mountains of southern Oregon. Special thanks to "dannydimitt" for around LA routing which is what I needed as guidance.
Hope to get to Redding by Tuesday evening, Bakersfield by Wednesday and on to Phoenix by Thursday where I'll leave the RV in storage until spring.
Chris
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Old 01-12-2015, 05:00 PM   #52
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Hey Chris , the egr valve is part of the pollution control stuff that the feds made the manufacturers put on vehicles starting in 68 . The stuff never was intended to increase performance , in fact most of it was detrimental to performance and gas mileage. As a dedicated shade tree mechanic who has done every bit of my "and a whole lot more" of keeping things going since back in the sixtys, whenever I'd buy a new used vehicle that had all that stuff on it , the first thing to take care of was to remove about a bushel basket of government mandated stuff from the engine compartment and power tune the engine in order to increase gas mileage and increase performance. The egr valves would uaualy be left in place and simply disconnected. This is simply a po boys way to get the most out of an old vehicle. They would always pass inspection and ran perfectly.
I realize that this will not set well with some folks on here , but felt as if you should know that your egr is not necessarily worth fooling with till ya get home .
Happy travels !
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Old 01-13-2015, 08:56 AM   #53
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Seattle to Austin in a 530LE

That ERG problem could be symptomatic of a vehicle that sits too long. If it's stuck open it could be detrimental to your performance. It's possible it could be cleaned up and freed up but most shops wouldn't do anything but replace it.

I don't want to start an argument about removing emissions equipment but you have to be aware of other side effects. Especially if your engine is controlled by a computer.

Early emission control systems were a compromise between fuel consumption, power, reducing emissions by reducing combustion temps. Gas was cheap and nitrous oxides were the perceived enemy. Mixture were richened to lower combustion temps and air pumps and catalytic converters were added to burn the excess hydrocarbons. Mileage and power went in the toilet. Interesting that the quest to reduce NOX lead to a huge increase in today's perceived enemy, CO2. That started the movement to rip that crap off which prompted laws to telling you no. Especially in California where they were trying to get the smog problem under control.

There has been quite an evolution in these systems and they have become integral to the operation of the whole system.
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Old 01-13-2015, 09:14 AM   #54
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EGR has something of a cooling effect. Engine tuning that included it can start to run hot without it when under a load. A new valve after removing and cleaning intake manifold crossover passage is the usual cure.

I'd rather do without it. Last I knew Texas exempted vehicles from emissions 25 years and older. Classic RV tags. Engine can be retuned as to fuel and spark delivery even with poor camshaft of the era. A solid compression test is needed to determine secondary spark advance.

The 454 is not in the same league as the Dodge 440 as to design, but there is a huge aftermarket and range of choices to bring up power and economy for rpm range.

EFI will be the easiest way to retune and make the most reliable power plus add to longevity. Less fuel burned and far lower engine start up emissions means one is doing ones part.
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Old 01-13-2015, 09:29 AM   #55
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it would be detrimental to pull a lot of government mandated stuff off of a newer computer controlled engine. For awhile , on some engines that were built back before computers ruled the world , and were modified with fuel injection and other computer controlled stuff at the factory in later years , it was possible to obtain an older model distributor and intake manifold that used an older carburetor and eliminate the problems caused by a faulty computer.
And as far as that stuck EGR valve goes , you are completely correct about being able to clean up the old one and get it back in working order . And the fact that there are very few mechanics left that are not simply parts changers , sad but true. my past dealings with EGR systems usually found the passages in the intake manifold or tubing leading there were a lot of the times completely blocked with carbon build up , requiring the removal of the intake manifold to rectify .
Cheers !
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Old 01-14-2015, 09:29 AM   #56
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On the road again!

A brand new EGR valve as fitted late yesterday (arrived via UPS but was not collected from Eugene Airport until early afternoon). This blew any possibility of making Redding by nightfall. However, great news, the old 454 is purrin along. While the EGR valve was jamed shut, the base mount was cracked wide open allowing buckets of air to be sucked in! Made It to Grants Pass, Oregon by 7.30pm after climing some serious 7% mountians although the temp climbed from 200 (normal cruising temp?) to over 220 at the crests which was a little scary to say the least. The high engine temp continues to concern me particularly if I get stuck in traffic.
Today on to Sacramento.
Ran into a "fun" problem when I went to dump the holding tanks. My brand new dump hose would not fit the Airstream/Thetford outlet nozzle! Fortunately only grey water was involved so I was able to dump directly into the site catch-pan. Unfortunalely I've already thrown away the old hose so am stuck with limited "on-board" waste facilities. Is there a special Thetford dump hose for the 1991 motor home...or maybe an adaptor to change down to the smaller hose connector. OK sun is up over Grants Pass to time to get going
Chris
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