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Old 02-03-2013, 04:34 PM   #81
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Yeah, I know the feeling! I have that pit in my stomach as I look around inside thinking "What the heck have I gotten myself into!"

That and what on earth was Airstream thinking when they structurally covered things you would want to get at (i.e. door hinge nuts, dead bolt, fuse box, etc)
Just wait until you need to repair or replace either of your furnaces. If your 350 is anything like the 345 the rear furnace is buried under a closet and the front furnace is buried under the kitchen sink cabinet

Warmer weather this coming week so I hope to get the new A/C unit up the roof. It just doesn't look right without an air conditioner sitting up there!

Brad
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Old 02-03-2013, 07:37 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by bkahler View Post
Just wait until you need to repair or replace either of your furnaces. If your 350 is anything like the 345 the rear furnace is buried under a closet and the front furnace is buried under the kitchen sink cabinet

Warmer weather this coming week so I hope to get the new A/C unit up the roof. It just doesn't look right without an air conditioner sitting up there!

Brad
Great...... I am having issues with the rear furnace.... Figures!
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Old 02-10-2013, 06:46 PM   #83
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Great...... I am having issues with the rear furnace.... Figures!
Nothing a crowbar and a little elbow grease won't cure
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Old 02-10-2013, 07:24 PM   #84
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Ever since I "completed" the mechanical installation of the electric steps on the 310 and the Argosy I kept wondering why the steps on the 310 felt so solid and on the Argosy there seemed to be a lot of flex. I finally took the time to see what was going on and realized that the 1/8" plate that I used to create a new floor in the entry way wasn't strong enough. The step assembly is bolted to the 1/8" plate and when standing on the 1st step you could see the plate flex upward toward the back and the front edge of the plate flex downward.

So, I had two custom support pieces fabricated. The back one is an angle support made from 1/4" plate with a custom bend. The back wall of the entry way isn't perpendicular, it had about an 8 degree angle so I had the shop bend something to match. That took care of the back end of the plate flexing upwards. For the front of the plate where it was flexing down I had a custom channel made from 3/16" plate that spans the front of the step assembly and bolts to the existing Argosy step framework.

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With those two pieces in place the steps are now rock solid. There is no difference in feel between the 310 and the Argosy when standing on the steps. Now I just need to connect the wiring.

While poking around the wiring in the dash I came across this little blue module. It has A.R.A on one side and a part number on the other. I've never seen anything like it. I didn't have time to trace down the wiring so I'm still clueless as to what it's for. Any ideas?!

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The overhead liner in the cab has a picture glued in place and some velcro strips stuck up there as well. Any suggestions on how to get them off without damaging the liner?

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Over the years I've read various threads where people talk about running a curtain behind the cockpit seats to allow the dash air system to work more effectively. Tonight I was poking around inside the Argosy and noticed for the first time that there is an overhead aluminum track for a curtain! My first thought was this was in lieu of the curtains that are usually along the windshield. Not so, the Argosy has the track for front windshield curtains also. It looks like it came from the factory with the track installed. The track itself is an inverted T. Now I just need to find the slides or rollers for the track

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Last but not least the front hubs and rotors are done and ready to go back on the coach. I'm going to hold off until I get done steam cleaning the engine compartment and wheel wells.

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Getting closer...

Brad
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:59 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by bkahler View Post

The overhead liner in the cab has a picture glued in place and some velcro strips stuck up there as well. Any suggestions on how to get them off without damaging the liner?

Attachment 178742

Brad
Good update. I like what you did with the steps! As far as the overhead picture goes, I think any type of chemical is going to do more damage than good. So camouflage is about you best choice. Is there kind of wood or metal plate or object that would work there? A wireless speaker perhaps.., trying to think of more, but kinda had with out a beer in my hand staring at it
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Old 02-12-2013, 07:24 AM   #86
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Dave, I'm going to be painting the inner end caps because they are so yellowed and have various cracks on them that will need to be repaired. I suppose if I scratch it a little bit it won't matter since it will be refinished.

Brad
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Old 02-12-2013, 07:59 AM   #87
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Brad, what will you be using to paint your end caps and any other plastic? A lot of the plastic in mine had turned yellow or cracked. After some repairs it'd like to get everything in one color. I've never much luck painting plastic. Also, any suggestions for fixing a cracked shower basin?
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:49 AM   #88
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Matt, there have been several posts on airforums on how to repair and refinish the end caps. A lot of people take them out. I'm still not sure I want to do that.

I believe the paint used is Fusion paint for plastics and for repairs you use a mixture of ABS plastic and MEK to create a mixture with the consistacy of elmers glue or similar. Keyair details the process pretty well in his thread.

Brad
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:50 AM   #89
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Matt, same sort of repair for the floor using a mixture of ABS and MEK.
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Old 02-14-2013, 04:33 PM   #90
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Thanks for the advice. For now I am going to focus on the plumbing because weather has been very questionable.
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Old 02-24-2013, 03:42 PM   #91
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Well today I managed to make some progress on the Argosy!

First thing was to remove the frame cross member that sits below the radiator as a guard. It's important to have in place while driving but for service work on the lower front of the motor its a real pain when it's in place. I drilled out the four rivets and will replace them with grade 8 bolts. The 345 I dismantled had this mod done to it at some point in it's past so I'm fairly comfortable doing this to the Argosy. It was interesting to find out that the 1986 345 cross member is identical to the cross member in my 1974 Argosy.

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Next up was installing the new 50 amp transfer switch and the new electrical entrance panel along with a new shore power cord.

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50 amp service for a 20' Argosy motorhome is probably way overkill but since I had to rework the entire electrical system anyway I figured what the heck Besides I'm installing a 6.5kv Onan generator, which is also overkill, so 50 amp service just made sense.

One thing about the 50 amp service is the shore power cord is massive and heavy. Fortunately my Argosy has a compartment in the lower left rear corner right below the compartment that houses the transfer switch and entrance panel.

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I decided to use that compartment to store the shore power cord and I copied how our 1984 310 has a notch in the compartment door for the shore power cord to fit through and still allow the compartment door to be locked while connected to shore power.

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Drilled a 1" hole in the compartment door and then removed the remaining section to make a slot just like the 310. Works as good as I had hoped it would.

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Oddly enough, the Argosy only used one circuit breaker for the entire 120vac system. Originally there were six outlets, fridge, microwave and dc converter powered by this one breaker. At some point in the past a roof top air conditioner was added to this circuit as well. To make matters worse I'm adding a dual propane/120vac hot water heater to the mix! I will be doing some rework of the 120vac wiring and will likely end up with four circuits. I think having one circuit for all those devices was just absurd. The 50 amp shore power should handle everything nicely

Brad
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:41 AM   #92
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Last night I finally took the time to fabricate some spacers that I needed for mounting the radiator.

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Both of the original rubber isolation mounts were in pretty poor shape and I couldn't find a source for the originals so after a lot of searching I came up with some rubber isolation mounts from McMaster-Carr. Only problem was they needed a spacer fabricated for them to work properly in my application.

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As near as I have been able to determine they will space the radiator off the frame the same amount as the originals. If not then I can add washers or fabricate a spacer to raise it as needed.

Weather permitting I'll set the radiator in place on the chassis tonight to see how they will work. Assuming they work then I'll mount the radiator to the engine test stand. That puts me one step closer to be able to start the new motor for the first time

Brad
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:45 AM   #93
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Originally Posted by bkahler View Post
Last night I finally took the time to fabricate some spacers that I needed for mounting the radiator.

Both of the original rubber isolation mounts were in pretty poor shape and I couldn't find a source for the originals so after a lot of searching I came up with some rubber isolation mounts from McMaster-Carr. Only problem was they needed a spacer fabricated for them to work properly in my application.

As near as I have been able to determine they will space the radiator off the frame the same amount as the originals. If not then I can add washers or fabricate a spacer to raise it as needed.

Weather permitting I'll set the radiator in place on the chassis tonight to see how they will work. Assuming they work then I'll mount the radiator to the engine test stand. That puts me one step closer to be able to start the new motor for the first time

Brad
Very nice work, Brad!
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:50 PM   #94
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Tonight I got the new 22" x 22" A/C condenser mounted to the radiator. The new condenser has a fin surface area of 420 sq in and the original condenser had 448 sq in of fin surface area. That means my new condenser has about 6% less surface area than the original one but the new one is a Super Flow (parallel flow) condenser which is supposed to be 30% more efficient than the original style radiator. The 22" x 22" condenser was the largest Super Flow condenser I could find. For some reason the parallel flow condensers are all wider than they are tall. Since the new condenser is so much more efficient I hope it makes up for the 6% difference in size.

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The aluminum angle that I used to mount the condenser to the radiator is salvaged aluminum from the 345 I dismantled. In more ways than one that 345 is going to live on

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Since the new condenser is so much wider than the original I had to modify the mounting bracket that fastens the radiator to the truck frame. If you're wondering why the aluminum angle is wider than the condenser, I'm going to use those exposed strips for mounting the electric fan brackets.

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Next task is to mount the new twin 10" electric fans in front of the condenser. I originally was going to mount the engine oil cooler and the transmission cooler in front of the condenser but I've decided to relocate them off to the side sandwiched together with their own little electric fan. I want that condenser to do it's job so I can have cold air blowing from the dash vents

Once the fans are mounted I'll bolt the radiator with condenser and fans to the truck chassis to check for any potential interference points and get them resolved now instead of when I'm trying finish things up.

Brad
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Old 03-08-2013, 06:09 PM   #95
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Well, made a little more progress today. Since we're having sunshine and temps in the 50s this weekend I figure it was time to try and wrap up the roof A/C installation. Before I could finish framing the roof opening I needed to pull a new 12/2 cable from the breaker box to the opening. Managed to get that done fairly quickly and while I was at it I pulled a new antenna cable using RG-6.

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As I noted in an earlier post whoever installed the original roof top A/C really did a hack job. Using the Multi-Tool and some patience (who me?!) I managed to get the opening looking halfway decent. Now I have to move inside to cut the proper opening on the ceiling.

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Instead of using lumber to frame the opening I opted to use some of the salvaged aluminum ribs from the 345. From what I can tell it seems that approach will be just fine.

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The original antenna plastic was really deteriorated, so much so that I was able to just snap the mast off. I then used the Multi-Tool to trim the remainder of the mast off so I could get access to the mounting hardware. As you can see in the picture the antenna must have leaked because the metal plate was a flaking rusty mess. A few minutes with a cut-off wheel on my 4-1/2" grinder and I got it to where the mount came loose from the roof.

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The good news is the new Jack antenna will cover all three holes. I'm hoping to have the air conditioner and Jack antenna installations complete sometime tomorrow. Then it will be time to get back to working on removing the dash aluminum plate cover. I want to get the dash wrapped up soon so I can start thinking about the engine installation

Brad
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Old 03-08-2013, 07:26 PM   #96
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Nice job Brad on the A/C opening. How did your multi-tool work? Last summer when I installed my new Fantastic fans, I had to enlarge the opening for the rear vent since it was still the original fan. I started to use a dremmel type tool...big mistake. I'm still finding aluminum shavings all over the bedroom. I got out the tin snips to finish the job!
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Old 03-08-2013, 07:42 PM   #97
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Thanks!

The Multi-Tool worked great. Like your dremel, when I was enlarging the opening a lot of aluminum dust was generated. For me that's not an issue right now as I'm going to be tearing out of the interior so I can replace all of the original plywood flooring, and since the interior walls and cabinets are made of flimsy panel board I'd like to upgrade with some nice 3/4" oak plywood for the walls and cabinets. I'm basically planning on making a whole new interior for it.

Brad
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Old 03-09-2013, 05:58 AM   #98
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Thanks!

The Multi-Tool worked great. Like your dremel, when I was enlarging the opening a lot of aluminum dust was generated. For me that's not an issue right now as I'm going to be tearing out of the interior so I can replace all of the original plywood flooring, and since the interior walls and cabinets are made of flimsy panel board I'd like to upgrade with some nice 3/4" oak plywood for the walls and cabinets. I'm basically planning on making a whole new interior for it.

Brad
You are definitely making progress! I like that you reused the scrap rib. wood never seemed right in an all aluminum construction. If you decide you need to practice your interior design and construction skills come on down..... Actually forget that, that is the only thing I am good at, What I need is some mechanical ability!
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Old 03-10-2013, 06:07 PM   #99
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You are definitely making progress! I like that you reused the scrap rib. wood never seemed right in an all aluminum construction. If you decide you need to practice your interior design and construction skills come on down..... Actually forget that, that is the only thing I am good at, What I need is some mechanical ability!
Dave, if I had to do it over again I would probably use flat aluminum channel instead of the curved sections. I've got the A/C mounted now and the curve really made it difficult to get the gasket to seal properly. I may at some point remove the curved section and replace with flat. We'll see

I'm nothing more than a shade tree mechanic. I know just enough to be dangerous

Brad
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Old 03-10-2013, 07:52 PM   #100
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More progress yesterday and today but not as much as I would have liked. My plan was to lift the roof top A/C using the backhoe Saturday morning and mount the Jack antenna in the afternoon and then move inside to remove the aluminum dash top plate.

If the backhoe had cooperated I might have met my goals or Saturday, but the backhoe didn't want to start so I spent several hours swapping batteries with no change and finally bleeding all of the injectors before I could get it to fire.

I finally got it running around 10:30 and managed to get the A/C up on top of the Argosy. Getting it up on the roof was almost anticlimactic once I got the backhoe running.

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After that I started in on the Jack antenna installation. My previous thought that the antenna base would cover the old antenna mounting holes was wrong. I hadn't noticed that the old antenna was mounted right above the inside ceiling light. Since the Jack antenna has an inside control plate that meant I had to move the antenna forward about 6" which now meant that I had to install a patch plate to cover the three existing holes.

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I then moved inside the coach to install the ceiling panel kit for the A/C. I'm not at all pleased on how the panel fits to the ceiling and the amount of clamping action it took to compress the gasket on the curved roof. If I had to do it over again I'd use flat aluminum channel instead of the curved roof ribs from the 345. Maybe I'll change that before it's all said and done. Anyway I'm going to do some tweaking to the ceiling panel to see if I can't get it to fit better.

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Then it was time to fit the inside panel for the Jack antenna. When I drilled the hole for the antenna I lined it up with the pre existing marks that Airstream provided when the mounted the ceiling light. Well that didn't work out so well. Turns out their marks were right on the money, unfortunately they didn't mount the light using those marks! I'm going to have to recenter the light properly to make things look right.

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Next up was finishing the removal of the dash aluminum cover plate. Fortunately it came off relatively easily, one of the few things that went smoothly this weekend.

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This week I'll see about removing the air plenum so I can fix the vacuum actuators on the plenum.

Brad
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Air forums # 1674
1974 20' Argosy Motor Home
1974 31' Excella trailer (parting out, as of 4/1/2015 I have wheels, brake drums, windows & holding tanks left to sell)
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