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Old 09-01-2020, 05:20 AM   #1
airmack
 
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1989 37' Airstream 370
Howick , Quebec
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 24
Diesel conversion

Hi everyone. Last fall I posted that I bought a donor truck with a 5.9 Cummins diesel, well with a lot of work the conversion is complete and have been driving my 1989 370le for two weeks now. The diesel is far more powerful than the Ford 460. Due to COVID 19 we havenít gone to far yet so I can not say how the fuel economy is but I believe that it canít be any worse than the old engine.(which was 5.5 miles per gallon at best) I changed the generator to propane and seems to work fine. As time goes along I will post more info. Malcolm
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Old 09-01-2020, 09:41 AM   #2
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1998 36' Land Yacht Widebody
Reidsville , Georgia
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Malcolm, this is a great conversion example. Hope you will share experiences with how its operating and especially gas mileage. Mine has a 97 Cummins diesel on a Freightliner chassis. On recent trips to GA from WV, I am averaging about 10-11 mpg towing a Jeep behind. Next trip will be in Oct back to WV again this time without the Jeep. Anxious to see how different the mileage will be.

As far as the propane generator, I have one and wish it was diesel. Running the AC plus frig and water heater, you will go thru propane very fast. It might last you 4 days if your conservative. With a diesel generator your pulling off the main tank and it would run much longer with both AC's on.
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Old 09-02-2020, 06:24 AM   #3
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2005 34' Classic S/O
2006 39' Land Yacht 396 XL
north blenheim , New York
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How about some pictures of the diesel conversion and the rest of the 370LE so I can update the 370LE book, all the info I can get would be great. Iím not sure if I have it, but if you could provide the VIN that would be great, Regards, Bob
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Old 09-02-2020, 05:24 PM   #4
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1995 36' Classic 36
Ludington , Michigan
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Diesel conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike1997 View Post
Malcolm, this is a great conversion example. Hope you will share experiences with how its operating and especially gas mileage. Mine has a 97 Cummins diesel on a Freightliner chassis. On recent trips to GA from WV, I am averaging about 10-11 mpg towing a Jeep behind. Next trip will be in Oct back to WV again this time without the Jeep. Anxious to see how different the mileage will be.


My 360 with the 5.9L 12 valve on a Spartan chassis gets about exactly the same pulling the Jeep. I get 12-14 reliably without. We cruise the speed limit.
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Old 01-31-2021, 06:05 PM   #5
SilverOne
 
1999 23' Safari
Prescott Valley , Arizona
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 28
Diesel conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by airmack View Post
Hi everyone. Last fall I posted that I bought a donor truck with a 5.9 Cummins diesel, well with a lot of work the conversion is complete and have been driving my 1989 370le for two weeks now. The diesel is far more powerful than the Ford 460. Due to COVID 19 we havenít gone to far yet so I can not say how the fuel economy is but I believe that it canít be any worse than the old engine.(which was 5.5 miles per gallon at best) I changed the generator to propane and seems to work fine. As time goes along I will post more info. Malcolm


I recently acquired a 310 with a Cummins 5.9 24valve with 5 speed automatic Tran.
Seems to be an excellent upgrade from a power/driveability standpoint.
One thing Iím addressing is the engine noise. It measures 97db.
Iím designing a new dog house cover with much updated sound deadening acoustic material. Will also be adding sound deadening baffles in the engine compartment.
My goal is to get the db reading down to around 70.
The 12 valve Cummins is quieter than the 24 valve, and probably wouldnít be as big of a noise problem.
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Old 02-08-2021, 11:48 AM   #6
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1992 36' Land Yacht
Grayson , Georgia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike1997 View Post
As far as the propane generator, I have one and wish it was diesel. Running the AC plus frig and water heater, you will go thru propane very fast. It might last you 4 days if your conservative. With a diesel generator your pulling off the main tank and it would run much longer with both AC's on.
Right On about the generator. I would never use a propane generator in a motor home. Gas if gas or Diesel if diesel only. It's bad enough running the furnaces. Can't imagine how fast it would go down running the generator.

Besides, propane generators don't run as efficient as gas or diesel so you don't get full power rating.

If I ever find my dream classic Airstream Motorhome I plan on it being diesel whether I buy it that way or not.
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Old 02-09-2021, 08:59 AM   #7
airmack
 
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1989 37' Airstream 370
Howick , Quebec
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 24
Generator update

Hi, my 32 year generator bit the dust. Started looking looking for a replacement. Right now considering all options. I want some thing that is quiet and able to run most of the motorhome needs. I had an Onan 6500 but a replacement Onan is very expensive. Also I believe I can get away with something a little smaller. The entire time I've owned the motorhome I've never had 2 AC's on at once, thus considering something smaller. Just started looking looking. Thanks for the note. Malcolm Peddie
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Old 02-09-2021, 01:14 PM   #8
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Churubusco , Indiana
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Originally Posted by airmack View Post
Hi, my 32 year generator bit the dust. Started looking looking for a replacement. Right now considering all options. I want some thing that is quiet and able to run most of the motorhome needs. I had an Onan 6500 but a replacement Onan is very expensive. Also I believe I can get away with something a little smaller. The entire time I've owned the motorhome I've never had 2 AC's on at once, thus considering something smaller. Just started looking looking. Thanks for the note. Malcolm Peddie
Throw a honda 2000 in there and use the rest of the space as storage
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Old 02-09-2021, 04:26 PM   #9
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2005 34' Classic S/O
2006 39' Land Yacht 396 XL
north blenheim , New York
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I bought an Onan 7500SD commercial open frame 2 cylinder diesel generator $9,000.00 for the 370LE when I was going to install the Gale Banks 866 kit. Unfortunately that kit was not available because of their commitment to the US government. That scraped my diesel conversion plans so I built the 460 Ford engine and installed a highly modified E4OD. I never should have bought the diesel generator but I didnít think I was going to be able to get one....limited supply. It will fit into our existing generator compartments with a 6Ē length conversion, not a hard job. I also have a brand new Onan 4500 (Propane) courtesy of Verizon. I have heard that you can run both ACís on a 4500, but I doubt it. Regards, Bob
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Old 02-10-2021, 06:55 AM   #10
airmack
 
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1989 37' Airstream 370
Howick , Quebec
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 24
Generator update

Thinking of diesel generator, because of the main tank being filled with diesel all the time now. A little concerned with decibels coming the diesel genset. Still considering propane inverters. ps glad to here that you put an overdrive transmission in your A.S. My Cummins has a 47re with a stand alone controller, works very well. Thanks for your info. Malcolm Peddie
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