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Old 08-01-2007, 11:59 PM   #1
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1982 28' Airstream 280
las vegas , Nevada
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Exclamation We made it a mile!

Lets see, well today I drove in to Tyler TX met the future PO's at the bank and transfered funds to purchase a 1982 Airstream 280 turbo diesel we went over the details one last time.. The PO promising me that the motor and transmission were in good shape...... well I threw everyone in she started like a top and we took our madien voyage to the Gas station to quickly part with another 200 dollars for Gas it was a 1/4 mile, She drove perfectly so we were going to head south some 90 mile to get the hitch upgraded and clean her up before I took her to vegas.... Well that did not happen 3/4 of a mile down the road the front brakes locked up stranding us on the far side of an intersection. the engine overheated and antifreeze blew everywhere..... Lets just say I was not happy.... I called the PO up... A little bit upset and he came out and helped
Seems there was air in the brakes... Oh and about that time the Speedo quit and of course the transmission started randomly shifting into Neutral... and something happend to the linkage for the Accelerator because it does not fullly work....
Oh who knows what else....

So I was very tempted to hand him any and all paperwork and cancel our deal and I kept looking at the MH and knew how badly she needed a new home where she would get used... So we struck a deal I would pay half of the needed repairs I.E. engine, tranny up to 1200.00 and so tonight she is at a transmission shop.......

So a tad bit random however..... thats the story so I need some help
this is a 1982 280 turbo Diesel
I have the owners manuals service as well... they tell me nothing at the moment that I need to know
1. any info regarding the Izuzsu Deisel motor and Turbo
2. what Tranny is actually supposed to be on these? the GM 475 or 350
3. if the tranny needs to be replaced is there a better one to be had?
4. The brakes for this monster are from what?? What are the part ##'s
5. Has anyone put a banks or other aftermarket system one one of these diesels to improve performance?

ok those are the basics LOL

Oh and thank you Chaplin Kent you have been a help!

Justin James
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Old 08-02-2007, 01:00 AM   #2
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sorry to hear about your troubles. sounds like the PO was trying to pull something over on you. did you test drive it before you decided to purchase it?
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Old 08-02-2007, 01:04 AM   #3
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JJ,

You're a brave soul and I applaud you for sticking in there to complete the deal! Many would have folded when this happened. I hope all is fixable and you will be on your way down the road again soon! Since we're trailer owners you won't get help from us.....but I'm sure some MH owners will chime in on your questions......and.....welcome to these forums!
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Old 08-02-2007, 06:18 AM   #4
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1993 21' Sovereign
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Hi, sorry to hear about your initial disaster. I have been on both ends of deals like that, it ain't fun for buyer or seller.
The brakes are from a GM P30, and the transmission should be a 400 series, if it is a 3 speed. What to look for to confirm this is the vacuum line for the modulator is on the right side of the transmission, near the front. If it is at the rear, it is a 350. Also, some GM transmissions shift using a detent cable, and internal pressure, rather than vacuum, which has to be manufactured by a pump on your diesel. Your coach may well be equipped with one of these.
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Old 08-02-2007, 06:41 AM   #5
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Yikes, that is a shame. But it sounds like things are looking up. Perhaps the PO didn't drive it lately so wasn't aware of the problems. Look on the bright side -- at least he was nice enough to come out and help you and to pay for some of the repairs! Some PO's would have simply walked away! Plus you have a wonderful MH to restore!
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Old 08-02-2007, 07:06 AM   #6
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1982 28' Airstream 280
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thanks guys, I could use the support. Well the MH is at a Mister Transmission 90 miles away this morning and hopefully in a few hrs they will give me some news......
Justin
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Old 08-02-2007, 07:18 AM   #7
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I'm curious about something. You indicated the PO "promised" that everything was working ok. Did you get that in writing?
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Old 08-02-2007, 07:31 AM   #8
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Sorry to hear about your troubles... I guess almost everything that is mechanical can be fixed if you throw enough money at it.
I bought my trailer expecting the worst and it has pretty much met these expectations but give me another two months and things should be working out just fine.

I don't know much about these diesel engines except I would be certain to use a good quality oil like Mobile 1 or Amsoil. I would also put Stanodyne in as a fuel additive when you get back on the road. Also consider using sythetic transmission oil as it will handle the heat much better than dino oils.
GM turbo 400 trannies have a good reputation and shouldn't be that expensive to fix relative to the transmissions in today's vehicles.

Good Luck
Steve
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Old 08-02-2007, 07:43 AM   #9
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The oil should be a good quality 15W40 diesel oil, turbo approved. Good diesel oils would be Shell Rotella, or Chevron Delo.
Synthetic transmission fluid would be a good idea, but I would wait on the synthetic lube oil for the engine until you have verified there are no leaks. Synthetic oil can cause a minor leak to become a major hemorrage.
The turbo 400 series generally willrun about $800-1100 to rebuild, versus the newer overdrive units being $2700-3300.
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Old 08-02-2007, 09:14 AM   #10
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Well I'll try to help you what little I can. My comments are from what I know about semi's,not m/h. Air brakes:you should have a primary and secondary air resv. tanks, should be mounted on the frame.There should be a bleeder valve on each tank.With engine idling,drain both valves of water etc. until nothing but air comes out. do this a few times for each tank. On semi's there is an "air dryer" that does this automaticly for you,if your m/h has an air dryer great,if not you can get one installed for $300-$500. To prolong to life of the turbocharger as a rule.let you engine idle 2-3 minutes before you shut it down to cool turbo bearings and help prevent failure.Hope that helps you some.Best of luck to you!..... Brian
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Old 08-02-2007, 09:46 AM   #11
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1982 28' Airstream 280
las vegas , Nevada
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Thanks, the 1982 Airstream 280 is built on a GM Chassis with Front Hydraulic Disc brakes and rear drums the listed tranny is a chevy 475 hydromatic and the engine is an Iszuzu Turbo Diesel
the owners manuals do not include any refrences to the brakes at all nor the Turbo diesel in part because I think there were only a few made with the Diesel option.
Justin
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Old 08-02-2007, 09:54 AM   #12
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Our 345 Turbo-diesel has an Allison 4-spd transmission. It is a 1985 so maybe they changed trannys since the 82 models. The P30 chasis is a school bus chasis and parts are readily available most anywhere. If the coach is in good then I would certainly restore it. How many miles? That engine should last at least 500,000 miles with little trouble. Over heating however, is a serious issue with diesels. I had to have out radiater rebuild a few years back. You can also install an electric fan on the front of the radiator which will help. (JC Whitney).

I only use Shell Rotella oil in ours.
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Old 08-02-2007, 09:58 AM   #13
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Make it a habit to change the brake fluid in ANY VEHICLE you own about every two years and will get much longer life out of the brake components except for pads and shoes of course.
Brake fluid by nature will attract moisture and rust out the brake lines and other components from the inside out.

In my wifes diesel VW we run Mobil 1 5w-40 diesel oil. This is a synthetic oil that won't cook in the turbo like dino oil will especially when you turn the engine off and it is very hot. You can also run extended oil changes in a good quality oil. I do 7500 mile intervals. My friend with a Ford 7.3 engine runs about 20,000 mile intervals with Amsoil but he also drives the truck about 60k miles a year.
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Old 08-02-2007, 10:17 AM   #14
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1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Louisville , Kentucky
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Justin,
Keep us posted on your solution here. You already know a lot more about this coach than you did from your first post! If it's something you can fix for the set amount then you will have a very nice coach on your hands. If, however the engine/trans/brakes are in really bad (need to be replaced) condition, then the replacement/repair costs will quickly exceed the value of the coach. Try not to get sucked into the "I can fix this" mentality and inherit the PO's problems.

Something you mentioned about air in the brakes made me think, air in the brake lines causes "squishy" pedal pressure not lock up. The P30 uses a hydroboost system (power steering pump on the engine provides hydraulic pressure for both the power brakes and the power steering). I wonder if your pump seized or hydroboost "locked up" causing a high drag load on the engine (causing the overheating, etc).

Again, keep us all posted on the results.
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