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Old 05-30-2016, 06:20 PM   #1
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1976 28' Argosy 28
Middletown , California
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454 engine in Argosy MH

So there are three phenomenon occurring that from what I gather are symptoms of the same problem.

1. Doesn't cold start at all. Turns over, new batteries and starter is fine. Runs great after I put a little fuel in the choke. Four barrel.

2. Overheats after a bit. Used to think it was the broken heater core but I've bypassed it. Still heats up.

3. It diesels after you turn it off like the engine is still getting gas.

A mechanic advised me I just need to rebuild the carburetor and it should fix all three. I also am changing the thermostat just in case.

Any confirmation or advice would be great! Happy Airstreaming.

Roman
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Old 05-30-2016, 06:25 PM   #2
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#3 would probably be too high idle speed. If the engine won't idle at around 650-750 rpm in drive, the carb could need rebuilding. For now, leave the transmission in Drive when turning off the ignition, then put it in Park after the engine stops.
#1 would probably be a combination of choke adjustment and accelerator pump.
#2 could be several things, bad fan clutch, no fan shroud, clogged radiator, even internal engine problems.
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Old 05-30-2016, 06:55 PM   #3
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The timing would be a good place to start, because that's cheap to adjust. If it's not the timing, go for the carb.
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Old 05-30-2016, 11:55 PM   #4
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Thanks a million, very useful! Is the accelerator pump part of the carburetor?
Hopefully there are no internal engine problems... What would those signs look like? It runs great, idles consistent, maybe too high.
How can I test the radiator flow, or the water cycling system for that matter? I pulled the thermostat, is there a way to tell if it's stuck closed?
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Old 05-31-2016, 04:31 AM   #5
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1993 21' Sovereign
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadRoman View Post
Thanks a million, very useful! Is the accelerator pump part of the carburetor?
Hopefully there are no internal engine problems... What would those signs look like? It runs great, idles consistent, maybe too high.
How can I test the radiator flow, or the water cycling system for that matter? I pulled the thermostat, is there a way to tell if it's stuck closed?
If you are running with no thermostat, that could be the issue with the overheating over time. In order to cool properly, the water needs to stop in the radiator briefly, so it can be cooled. If the water rushes through without stopping, there is no chance for it to cool off before going back into the engine to be heated up some more.
Accelerator pump is in the carburetor, replacing it would probably mean partial disassembly.
Internal engine problems that may cause overheating would be, for example, a blown head gasket, cracked cylinder head or block, incorrect/jumped ignition or valve timing, impellers on the water pump damaged.
Another possibility is a return hose (lower radiator hose) collapsed. That could restrict the amount of water flowing into the engine.
Almost any class A motor home will tend to run hotter than normal, there's just no good way to get rid of the heat generated by operating the engine. There are multiple threads here on this forum, as well as many other RV forums, detailing owners' efforts to keep their cool.
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Old 05-31-2016, 10:29 AM   #6
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Roman, I would bet money your radiator will need to be pulled and either flushed or re cored. After 40 years the radiator is bound to be partially plugged.

I had the same over heating symptoms that you're describing in a 77 454 Argosy so I had the radiator pulled and re cored. At least 20% of the tubes were totally plugged and and probably another 50 or 60% were partially plugged.

The cold starting issue is likely several factors one of which is the fuel is evaporating from the carburetor. You might want to consider adding an electric booster pump down by the fuel tank that is pumping anytime the ignition is on. The will force fuel into the carburetor fuel bowl and help to get the engine to fire faster.

I had to do the same thing to my Triumph TR4. It seems to have a problem with the gas evaporating out of the fuel bowls if it sits to long. The electric fuel pump keeps you from having to crank the engine for ever to get fuel where you need it.
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Old 05-31-2016, 01:08 PM   #7
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454

The "Dieseling" is caused by the engine running too hot and not necessarily a coolant issue. Sounds to me like the carburetor is leaning the mixture for some reason. Varnish on the inner passages and jets is usually the culprit. Maybe some carb cleaner additive will help. The best thing would be to get a rebuilt carb from a reputable rebuilder. Make sure it is an exact match number for number from the original equipment. This would explain and should fix all your problems!!!
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Old 05-31-2016, 04:26 PM   #8
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1984 34.5' Airstream 345
Franklin Park , Illinois
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Over heating

I've had my 345 for. About two years now and I thought it always ran too hot also dash gauge would registrar 220*
I changed the thermoustat, back flushed the system and in the summer I run Redlines "water wetter" in the cooling system all this seemed to help here's another tid-bit of info, the factory coolant temp sender is in the head of the engine, I installed a second temp gauge and it's sending unit is in the upper radiator hose and it's ALWAYS hotter when the temp is taken from the head.
Just went on a short trip two weeks ago here are ALL my gauge readings on a 45* day at 70mph
Water 157, (175 from the factory gauge) trans temp 135, oil temp 211, oil press 61, volts 14.4
I do have some accelerating problums and I to have heard that a electric fuel pump at the tank might help, ive played around with the timming some but the engine still boughs down and hesatates under acceleration, pumping the go pedal helps. I would be interested to know if anybody has installed a secondary electric fuel pump and if it helped
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Old 06-01-2016, 03:07 AM   #9
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Thanks for the tip, I am replacing the radiator hoses and thermostat. Hopefully that will serve until I can change the radiator core. Interesting idea about the pump, I'll look into that!
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Old 06-01-2016, 03:09 AM   #10
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I'm also getting the carburetor rebuilt tomorrow so crossing my fingers. Thanks again for the great information.
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Old 06-01-2016, 04:20 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grosspoluter View Post
I do have some accelerating problums and I to have heard that a electric fuel pump at the tank might help, ive played around with the timming some but the engine still boughs down and hesatates under acceleration, pumping the go pedal helps. I would be interested to know if anybody has installed a secondary electric fuel pump and if it helped
Removing the tiny filter from the inlet of the carb, and installing a more effective one in-line won't hurt a thing.
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Old 06-01-2016, 06:04 AM   #12
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On the 345 Motorhome Airstream installed a electric fuel pump outside of the fuel tank. Mine stopped pumping and the result I had fuel starvation when going up hills and backfiring through the carburetor, this immediately was corrected when I replaced this fuel pump.
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Old 06-01-2016, 09:25 AM   #13
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The worse thing A/S ever did was put that engine in a motor home! Ford 460 and cummins diesel were later on and the best of both worlds! But they were more generic motorhomes. I think I saw a classic once with a rear cummins! (DREAM UNIT)
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Old 06-01-2016, 09:50 AM   #14
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The worse thing A/S ever did was put that engine in a motor home! Ford 460 and cummins diesel were later on and the best of both worlds! But they were more generic motorhomes. I think I saw a classic once with a rear cummins! (DREAM UNIT)
Unfortunately the engine was attached to the chassis they chose to use at the time....

http://www.viewrvs.com/motorhome/air...gine-years.php
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Old 06-07-2016, 11:16 AM   #15
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1984 34.5' Airstream 345
Franklin Park , Illinois
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Electric fuel pump

Is it possible that my 84 345 dosent have a electric fuel pump?
I to have had the stalling or Bouging down problum so I started to do the filters and the rubber fuel lines but I've traced the fuel line from tank to carb and can't find a pump, I thought maybe the PO took it out when it stopped working and never replaced it (like they did on the tag axel breaks)
I have bought a electric pump that was sugested here on the forum and plan to install it, but I'd hate to think I'm trying to pull (or pump) fuel through a bad or broken pump but I just don't see a electric pump any where
(I even have one of those tiny inspection cameras and used it to look on top of the tank... Nothing)
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Old 06-07-2016, 11:42 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grosspoluter View Post
Is it possible that my 84 345 dosent have a electric fuel pump?
I to have had the stalling or Bouging down problum so I started to do the filters and the rubber fuel lines but I've traced the fuel line from tank to carb and can't find a pump, I thought maybe the PO took it out when it stopped working and never replaced it (like they did on the tag axel breaks)
I have bought a electric pump that was sugested here on the forum and plan to install it, but I'd hate to think I'm trying to pull (or pump) fuel through a bad or broken pump but I just don't see a electric pump any where
(I even have one of those tiny inspection cameras and used it to look on top of the tank... Nothing)
Nothing would surprise me on how these rigs are setup. Airstream might have left the pump off or as you suggested some previous owner might have removed it. You might look for a wire hanging down from the chassis somewhere along the route the fuel line travels, who knows you might get lucky and find a wire that is for a pump.

On the 345 I dismantled the electric pump was between the front of the tank and a chassis frame cross member. The pump was bolted to a flat metal plate. I can post pictures of the mounting plate as I still have it and plan on using it on my Argosy.

I have seen electric pumps that look more like an round metal inline filter so if you have something like that in your fuel line it could be a pump.

Check out this thread about electric fuel pumps for the 345.

Brad
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Old 06-08-2016, 07:42 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grosspoluter View Post
Is it possible that my 84 345 dosent have a electric fuel pump?
I to have had the stalling or Bouging down problum so I started to do the filters and the rubber fuel lines but I've traced the fuel line from tank to carb and can't find a pump, I thought maybe the PO took it out when it stopped working and never replaced it (like they did on the tag axel breaks)
I have bought a electric pump that was sugested here on the forum and plan to install it, but I'd hate to think I'm trying to pull (or pump) fuel through a bad or broken pump but I just don't see a electric pump any where
(I even have one of those tiny inspection cameras and used it to look on top of the tank... Nothing)
My 82 310 does not have an electric pump and there is no evidence that there ever was one. I have not had any problems with fuel starvation, even after I replaced the 454 and Quadrajet with a 502 and a Holley 850 carb.
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Old 06-08-2016, 09:07 AM   #18
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My 82 310 does not have an electric pump and there is no evidence that there ever was one. I have not had any problems with fuel starvation, even after I replaced the 454 and Quadrajet with a 502 and a Holley 850 carb.
Wow, that's amazing! Somethings things just work!

I know on my Argosy the feed line was 3/8" and on the 86 345 that I dismantled the fuel fuel feed line was either 7/16" or 1/2" I still have the long section of pipe leaning up against my shop wall.

I wonder how much difference feed line size makes for problems like the OP is experiencing?
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Old 06-08-2016, 09:49 AM   #19
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My 84 Excella 270 only had the mechanical pump with the Quadrajet.
If you go for a rebuild, get it done by a pro, not a local shop, you will regret the latter. Never do a core swap, you will get unknown body & parts!

I got tired of carb problems so I installed a TBI kit and in tank pump and I could not be happier.
Here are my pages on the install:
In Tank Pump
TBI kit install
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Old 06-08-2016, 11:00 AM   #20
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Problem #1: Failing to start cold. One more possibility is a failing mechanical fuel pump. Generally a failing accelerator pump in the carburetor will show as a lean stumble when you go from idle to half or more throttle in drive (warm engine), as when accelerating away from a stop light. If you step on the gas and you get a lean stumble instead of acceleration you typically have a bad accelerator pump in the carb.

My son has an '87 el Camino with a 350, and if I let it sit for more than a month at a stretch I need to trickle a little gas into the carb to get it to fire. Once it starts the fuel pump seems to work fine. Restarts seem to be OK, it is just that initial start after a long-ish period of storage.

I'll echo what Brad said - I have an electric fuel pump in the same place on our 345.

All the best in solving the issue. I'll stick around to watch for cooling system ideas.

- Paul
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