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Old 12-20-2022, 10:46 AM   #1
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1979 28' Airstream Excella 28
Prescott/Lake Havasu City , Arizona
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79 Airsteam MoHo converted Diesel LBZ Duramax/Allison Transmission

I have been on the adventure to change my 454 to a Duramax/Allsion running gear with LBZ engine. It does fit but many challenges. We do have it on the road and will be posting some photos on how it is progressing. Made a few mistakes along the way but have overcome them. It is running and driveable
Major items to complete:
1. Finish the new dashboard, we decided to use the GM dashboard and instruments.
2. Convert the generator to propane.
3. Finish the system that charges the house batteries with coach batteries. Need to make the final hook ups. Did do a switch that allows all batteries for assist starting if needed.
4. Reinstall Furniture and cleanup
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Old 12-21-2022, 08:23 AM   #2
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1982 31' Airstream 310
Henniker , New Hampshire
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Ambitious undertaking! Nice work.
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Old 12-22-2022, 07:05 AM   #3
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1979 28' Airstream Excella 28
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The dash in this project was important. We made the mistake of trying to use the stock GM dash in the donor LBZ vehicle. We ran into a problem in getting the gauges to work. The original vehicles used a BCM, Body Control Module, as well as the computer to facilitate the gauge operation. We spend too much time in this endeavor. We ended up hollowing out the gage cluster and used individual gauges. Our goal was to make the dash look stock and we shortened the GM plastic dash and molded the Airstream dash such that they look like they were stock. I used the donor steering column, shifter and pedal. Had to modify the pedal as its fly by wire. It has been a learning experience. We used the new epoxy filler and formers to attach the AS and donor dash together, it worked great and made a nice final productc.
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Old 12-22-2022, 07:23 AM   #4
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1975 20' Argosy 20
Chestfield , Kent
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Looks like you had to heavily modify the area around and to the rear of the doghouse to give clearance - any photos/drawings of what you had to do?
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Old 12-24-2022, 08:16 AM   #5
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1979 28' Airstream Excella 28
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Floor Framing modification doghouse construction

Good question
Had to reconstruct the framing around the doghouse. We tied into existing framing where we could, see photos. They used square tubing in most cases we used the same gage tubing. The width of the Duramax is obviously wider but still fits when you modify the floor framing around the existing engine.
We also did have an issue with the floor above the transmission and had to make a transition plate with a slight bump in the floor. Did have to modify the cross member for the transmission. For transmission cooling we used an aftermarket cooler where the stock unit goes on the Duramax plus we plumbed a large unit under the floor with a thermostat fan controlled for additional cooling as we often pull a large car trailer with us.
The doghouse was a start over. We wanted something as lite as possible with good sound and thermal insulation. Since I do kiln glass work, I used kiln insulation, good up past 2500 degrees and great thermal resistance, that is the white batts in the photos. We also used a layer of silicon thermal barrier used by Nascar vehicles. We clad the framework with stainless steel as it does not conduct heat like normal steel. We put it in the MoHo and was pleased with the sound attenuating and no heat coming thru the doghouse. I am going to put some sound deadener on the outside as a further measure.
If I was going to do this again, I would not have done the GM dash as it added literally a hundred hours to the project and made the wiring overly difficult. If I would have kept the wiring with the engine when I bought it running on a pallet it would have saved me a lot of anguish. Ah the felling of 20 20 hindsight
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