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Old 06-25-2004, 04:41 AM   #15
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If you have a Thetford valve(they will be white,Valteras are black) you will not need to change the whole valve and therefore do not need to worry about adapter plates. Repair kits are available at most camping supply stores and all Airstream dealers. They come apart easily(if you have room to work) and the kit contains all new seals, etc. The trick is to gain working room on the valve. I am not sure about your Argosy but in my case I cut a large hole in the belly pan under the tank to access the valve. The hole is about 3 feet square. I then fabricated a large plate out of galvanized metal to cover the hole when fininshed. I used a die grinder with a small cutting wheel and carefully cut a hole in the belly pan. When I was sure I was in the right location I enlarged the hole carefully, being sure not to cause damage to parts behind the pan. When repairs were finished I screwed the plate to the belly pan so that it could be easily removed later if necessary. No sealant is necessary since the belly area needs to breathe. It helps to have the trailer elevated to work under it. For this I fabricated a long ramp out of treated lumber and raised the trailer about 6 inches. It was only necessary to raise one side and that was the side that the sewer connections came out to the edge of the trailer. This is much safer than using jacks and jack stands. Once you get access to the valves, repairs are a snap.
good luck,
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Old 06-25-2004, 06:48 AM   #16
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camphost

you want to keep your thetford parts they are better than the valterra valves.

here is how i repaired a cracked flange on my grey valve. http://www.airforums.com/forum...ead.php?t=4753

i did not replace the valve seals as they were in good shape.

you will see how i cut the hole to gain access to the valves, i used ramps just as james explained, the SAFE WAY!

in the other pics you can see 2 of the four stainless steel screws in the valve body you will need to remove to gain access to the innards of the valves.

the whole assembly is held in pace by rubber couplers and hose clamps you can usually remove it as a unit if the access hole is large enough.

thetford parts are widely available, and are inexpensive.

good luck on your project!

john
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Old 06-25-2004, 10:44 AM   #17
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One more question.....I am getting the idea that there is more than one type/style?? of Thetford drain valve depending on the model of trailer. Is it better to get the old valve off of our trailer before buying new, or can we just give type/year of our Argosy and the dealer will match it up w/correct valve size/model/whatever.
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Old 06-25-2004, 10:56 AM   #18
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There are four different style Thetford valves. Unfortunately, all of them have the same part number on them, which makes that information useless. Back then Airstream only used Thetford products.

We can help you if you call, but we must have the trailer serial number. Assuming no previous owner off the wall modifications, we have the parts to put it back as it was built.

Andy
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Old 06-25-2004, 11:06 AM   #19
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Replacing the valves is pretty easy - on my 75, they could not be rebuilt, so I took off the back bumper, removed the rear-ward sheet and got the sawsall out - had those puppies off in about 5min or less. Then sent the valves to an A/S dealer and he sent me back exact replacements - put new valves, pvc pipe and new connector in - took about 1/2 - 1 hour and ended up with everything new from the tank on out brand new.

I spent more time trying to figure out how to fix the old valves than it took just to replace the whole thing.

Ken
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Old 06-25-2004, 11:14 AM   #20
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Thank you, thank you....will have Price read this when he gets home. By the way, I posted about replacing our water pump also - running hard and not much water flow. any recommendations on replacement brand?
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Old 06-26-2004, 02:00 PM   #21
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Not So Easy

WELL, we ended up cutting out that rear aluminum panel almost completely. No way to reach anything without doing so. But...the grey water tank had 4 screws, which we removed - nothing wanted to slide out!..Price says it looks like everything was PVC glued together. The grey valve was screwed and glued to PVC. Black is glued to PVC running toward grey and also up to vent stack. Can't tell for sure if black is in trouble - doesn't appear to be leaking like the grey, but we are thinking, like Ken above, that it would be worth replacing both while we have it open. Also, it looks like all the PVC will have to be cut out in order to remove anything?? Here's where we need you all to chime in with your expertise. Price thinks he needs to let service guy take over. I'm thinking with you all to help, we have done the hardest part and just need someone to give a heads up on where to go. Can PVC glue be dissolved? or is it just better to cut thru, yank old out and get all new? Ready and waiting
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Old 06-26-2004, 02:38 PM   #22
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"Can't tell for sure if black is in trouble - doesn't appear to be leaking like the grey, but we are thinking, like Ken above, that it would be worth replacing both while we have it open. "

Definitely replace the seals in both valves. Our '76 valve seals are both badly cracked, so while you mayonly have one bad valve today, you'll probably have the other one go soon. Our Argosy has all-plaastic valves - the Thetford part number for the complete seal kit is 09872,and costs $17.96.

"Can PVC glue be dissolved? or is it just better to cut thru, yank old out and get all new?"

Not that I know of. What my husband's done is cut the PVC pipe so there is ~ 6" remaining before it's glued to the valve body. Then you have plenty of material to use (and modify)when you put it back together. We were planning on using rubber hose and hose clamps.

There is a nice write up here on how one forum member did it:

http://www.airforums.com/forum...ead.php?t=1559

Good luck!

Michelle
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Old 06-26-2004, 04:52 PM   #23
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The big question is the valve/pipe glued to the tank, or does it have a metal hose strap around it? Should not be glued to the tank, should just have hose strap.

Assuming it has a hose clamp, then yes I would just cut everything (pipes that is) - I mean everything out from the tanks to the sewer hose cap. Yours sounds like mine in that everything was glued together - there was no way to repair it.

Time for sawsall samari

Ken
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Old 06-26-2004, 05:10 PM   #24
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Hi Ken - Yes to clamp on lip side of valve running into grey tank. Other side of valve the lip runs into the PVC pipe and is glued. Can't exactly say re: black tank as we saw no screws and looked like valve was glued on both lips sides. We don't own a sawsall. Scroll saw, circular saw, hacksaw, reciprocating saw. Is a sawsall expensive? Is it portable. We are doing this repair in the back area (gravel) of an RV dealer where we have purchased parts and had some work done. They were nice enough to allow us back there for no cost to try to fix problem and see if they carried the correct Thetford part (they had some in stock). Got to the point of seeing that the valves were glued and quit for time in order to confer with our experts here!!
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Old 06-26-2004, 05:18 PM   #25
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Black water should not be glued to tank, unless some PO did it. Don't know how much a sawsall is - got mine from my father. Great tool though.

Just need some type of saw to cut the pvc pipe.

If I remember you are on the other side of the state from me, or I would come by and help - I'll be in Colorado Springs VAC rally in July if that helps.

If the valve is glued to the blackwater tank, not sure what to say on that one. Only thing I can think of is replace the tank, unless there is someway to replace just the flange. Could cut the valve off the tank and try to "ream" the old PVC out of the tank flange........ do you have a digital camera, we could get you to take some pics for us?

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Old 06-26-2004, 05:30 PM   #26
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Ken - the black tank and valve are somewhat of a mystery at this point. Price could not see the tank even after cutting away most of the back belly pan aluminum (that access panel was a joke!!) To the best of our guess, it looks like the black valve is glued on one side to PVC and the other side is glued to what looks to be the vent stack?? as Price said it looked like it ran straight up and there is vent stack on roof there. We hope to have this figured out/repaired within the week (looks like this weekend is shot), our digital camera is broken at this time, although Price hopes to get it in also
I will see if we can put a rush on camera and maybe get pics sometime this next week.
On another note, we will be coming down on Saturday of the rally to meet w/the many people we have enjoyed talking with here . Not bringin "Mini", just our Grand Wagoneer.
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Old 07-21-2004, 03:15 PM   #27
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Just can't let go of this thread...We have finished the black/grey valve replacements, gotten the aluminum to repair the panel we had to cut and tested for leaks. Bummer!!! Now the grey water tank neck has a split (don't know if this happened during repair or was always there)? Can anyone give advice on what we might do to repair the tank neck split w/o having to replace the whole tank? It is leaking pretty badly from there. (Price says duct tape - ha,ha) Thanks
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Old 07-23-2004, 03:30 PM   #28
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Heeellllooooo out there....!! Does anyone have an idea for fixing the grey valve neck so it won't leak..would a picture of the problem help? We are going camping in about 2 weeks so need to see if we can fix, need to patch for short time or need to replace grey tank (hope not). Would plumbers tape work? I'm just shooting in the dark here.
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