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Old 07-13-2020, 09:09 PM   #1
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Diskotrek - 1975 Argosy 24

So it begins... after more than a year of dreaming and wishing, I actually got her running last weekend. Which means that I now have many, many questions on my journey to fun time.



I've got quite a few Airstream (trailer) builds under my belt, but this will be my first mobile home.

In the past month or so, I've researched quite a bit about the 454 big block and many of the surprises and joys (?) that come along with it.

The first step on my journey was seeing if the beast would awake. I replaced the ancient, bone-dry battery with a Group 27 from Costco (the bigger of the two they had in stock with side posts). The previous owner had attempted to improve the fuel delivery system, but when all attempts failed, the Argosy just sat for decades. It seems like they didn't try very hard, but I guess they didn't have the luxury of the internet back then. Man... what an incredible resource. Even a motor-idiot like me can figure things out these days!

I started by tracing the fuel line and trying to figure out what they had done (always an interesting adventure), but I got impatient wanting to know if this thing was going to start, so I ended up just bypassing everything and running a fuel line from a gas tank set in a plastic bin on the passenger seat with a Harbor Freight plastic transfer pump. I plumbed the line straight to the little filter housing on the carb (which currently has no filter in it).

I couldn't believe it, but she fired right up and purred like a kitten. Seriously. What the what?!

So today I ordered the Carter P4070 fuel pump, and I will be placing it on the tank (low and close and pushing that fuel up) as soon as it gets here.

The fuel filter currently on the rig was not like any I've seen in other people's threads, so it took me a while to identify it. It's a small box that was mounted just in front of the fuel tank. When I opened it up, I found four ceramic crucibles. I can't imagine this was factory installed, but I also can't figure out why someone would install a ceramic fuel filter post-1975. My research showed that a lot of people install these filters on older automobile restorations to keep things "period appropriate," but why on a 454 big block in a motor home?!

So my first question for the group is this... what fuel filter housing should I install? The previous attempts at installing an electric fuel pump included a cheap plastic housing with a paper filter. It would seem the easily sourced paper filters are the way to go, but what metal housing (and size) do people recommend?

Thanks to all for any help now and for years to come!
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Old 07-14-2020, 11:41 AM   #2
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Here's a pic of the ceramic fuel filter...





And here's where it was mounted (immediately forward of the gas tank on the passenger side of the vehicle)...


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Old 07-14-2020, 04:11 PM   #3
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Here's a pic of the ceramic fuel filter...





And here's where it was mounted (immediately forward of the gas tank on the passenger side of the vehicle)...


That looks more likely to put particulates into the gas, than take them out!
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Old 07-14-2020, 05:18 PM   #4
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That looks more likely to put particulates into the gas, than take them out!
Well, maybe at this point! There was a decent amount of "gunk" in the large portion of the housing, and I have a feeling the porosity of the "crucibles" had been reduced to nearly zero. I think this was the main culprit in why there was no fuel getting to the engine, and the guy trying to fix it probably didn't understand what this filter was (or how to clean it).

From what I learned in my research, I guess ceramic is a good filter that gets out some things that paper can't, but then again, apparently it also lets some things through that paper keeps out! Just goes to show you can't have everything.

Still hoping for some advice on what size filter housing to purchase to replace this ceramic contraption. I'd like to go with something a little more robust than the "el cheapo" plastic inline housing with a paper filter.

The new Carter P4070 electric fuel pump arrives Thursday night, so hoping to get the updated fuel delivery path all taken care of on Friday!
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Old 07-14-2020, 06:59 PM   #5
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I'm curious, does that Argosy have a driver's side door, or is the main cabin door the one and only in and out?

That's a cool rig ... looks in good shape, too.

I'd never seen a gas filter like that one ...
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Old 07-14-2020, 07:14 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by kidjedi View Post

Still hoping for some advice on what size filter housing to purchase to replace this ceramic contraption. I'd like to go with something a little more robust than the "el cheapo" plastic inline housing with a paper filter.

The new Carter P4070 electric fuel pump arrives Thursday night, so hoping to get the updated fuel delivery path all taken care of on Friday!
How about something like this. https://ph.parker.com/us/en/marine-f...on/660r-rac-01 The initial cost is a few bucks but the refill cartridges aren't bad.
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Old 07-14-2020, 07:35 PM   #7
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I'm curious, does that Argosy have a driver's side door, or is the main cabin door the one and only in and out?
There is one, and only one door. If I catch fire, I die!

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That's a cool rig ... looks in good shape, too.
I freaking love the paint job. I always wanted to paint a blue and silver "TransAm" phoenix on an Argosy. Now I kind of don't have to!

It really is in good shape. Colorado *dry* is good for parked vehicles. Once I get the carpet cleaned up, I'll get some interior pics; it looks almost new.
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Old 07-14-2020, 07:41 PM   #8
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How about something like this. https://ph.parker.com/us/en/marine-f...on/660r-rac-01 The initial cost is a few bucks but the refill cartridges aren't bad.
Looks pretty good. I need to revisit micron ratings for fuel (10 microns seems horrible because I've been researching drinking water filters lately!).

I've got a Racor in my Jeep, so I definitely trust the name, and I like how solid that thing looks (powder coated aluminum head). The 90 gph flow rate is impressive.

I assume the "no price tag" means it's more than I can afford though.
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Old 07-14-2020, 08:18 PM   #9
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Previous owner installed one in Bella and I have not seen any answer to change to something else...........


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Old 07-14-2020, 09:54 PM   #10
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They are available in like 35 to 135 GPH flow rates and in the $100 + or - range and the cartridges in many different micron capacities. 10 micron and down is diesel filtration range compared to the relative bolder size your big block can swallow. I think I have 5 Racors on vehicles in my yard right now.
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Old 07-14-2020, 10:05 PM   #11
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Yeah... I sort of "went down the rabbit hole" online tonight. I will probably eventually buy that Racor, but at $100 it's a bit pricey for me at the moment. I will likely go with a metal housing Delco or K&H in the $10-$15 range for now. I like the idea of a screw on filter, but I wonder if they will be harder to find if I ever need one on the road (as opposed to something more standard). Looks like a lot of the fuel filters for carbureted engines are 100 microns! Talk about swallowing a boulder!
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Old 07-14-2020, 10:25 PM   #12
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Here is one for $30. https://www.ebay.com/itm/Parker-Raco...kAAOSwhQlerH0p You may have to change the cartridge.
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Old 07-14-2020, 10:45 PM   #13
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Here is one for $30. https://www.ebay.com/itm/Parker-Raco...kAAOSwhQlerH0p You may have to change the cartridge.

Hmmm... now I may have to buy one for my other Jeep too! Thanks for the heads up.
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Old 07-15-2020, 06:16 AM   #14
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I used this AC Delco fuel filter on my Argosy installed just before the Carter P4070 pump.

This is a coarse filter. I also installed a fine filter after the high pressure fuel pump. That combination gives me a good combination of filtering.

Brad
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Old 07-15-2020, 12:06 PM   #15
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I used this AC Delco fuel filter on my Argosy installed just before the Carter P4070 pump.

This is a coarse filter. I also installed a fine filter after the high pressure fuel pump. That combination gives me a good combination of filtering.
When you say "fine" I assume you mean around 10 microns?

I ordered an el cheapo inline K&N 81-0300 ($6, metal heads, clear plastic housing so you can see the fuel and filter, nylon filter at 100 microns) to place before the Carter pump (I have a feeling my tank is going to be full of large chunks of liner), but I think I want to put a better (finer) filter after the pump as well.

I also need to figure out what filter is supposed to go in the tiny filter housing on the carburetor. I have a feeling that part is standard enough to find at Autozone or O'Reilley's.

The Racor 660R-OTC-01DD mentioned above is for marine and diesel applications (thus, the built in 24v heating element), but should also work with carbureted applications. It has a 30 gph flow rate, which should also be sufficient for most fuel injected systems (thinking about the future). There is an OTC version and an RAC version. The RAC has pipe threads and the OTC has #8 SAE threads.
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Old 07-18-2020, 05:37 AM   #16
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When you say "fine" I assume you mean around 10 microns?
The fine filter was just the typical steel inline filter for 5/16" fuel line.

On the carbureted engines the fuel feed line is 3/8" all the way. On my TBI engine I started with 3/8" to feed the suction pump and the surge tank. From the surge tank to the high pressure fuel pump it's 5/16" line and stays the same the rest of the way to th TBI.
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Old 07-19-2020, 10:17 AM   #17
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Well it looks like the fuel line coming from the tank is blocked. I installed the in line filter and Carter P4070 (man, that is an impressive pump!), and was going to use that setup to drain the tank. Unfortunately nothing was getting pulled, so I unhooked it and tried sucking/blowing through the fuel line, but there was no movement.


There is an access panel above the tank, so I pulled back the carpet inside the rig, and used a utility knife to cut throught the rubber/foil floor mat around the panel. The panel seems to be glued as well as screwed, so I will pry that up today and hopefully gain access to the top of the tank. If I can't replace or clear the line, I will put a small fuel tank (reservoir) inside the Argosy and run a short hose from there through the access hole and to the lift pump just to get it running and home.


The Racor fuel filter from the previous eBay link also arrived and looks to be brand new (though, since there is no writing anywhere, it could be a knock off). I may order another for the boat... speaking of which, gotta go see if I can get the motor on the 1965 Power Cat fired up today before I head back over to the Argosy!
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Old 07-19-2020, 12:45 PM   #18
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It's never easy, is it
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Old 07-19-2020, 06:05 PM   #19
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Well, today was relatively easy. I got her home!



Here's the new gas tank. I probably couldn't get very far, but it works! And the smell inside the vehicle is fantastic.



So now I start playing with switches and stuff.

The fan on the roof top A/C is working, but I want to make sure there's nothing I should do before actually firing it up. Unfortunately the cowl seems to have blown away sometime over the past two decades of sitting, so it's definitely been exposed to the elements, but it's an Armstrong, and I've heard they'll actually work under water.

Anything I should check before firing up the A/C?
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Old 07-21-2020, 06:43 PM   #20
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This thing is amazing. I've vacuumed and scrubbed everything out, and it's pretty much like new. All the upholstery is immaculate, and nothing seems to be broken (knock on fake wood).

The A/C is blowing ice cold air (whaaaaat?!). Armstrong lives up to its legend.

The first night of cleaning I had the interior lights on for quite a while (12v), and I guess I overheated the old univolt (the typical TU-334 that all these 1970's units had). I haven't put a voltmeter on it since it's cooled down, but I went ahead and pulled it anyway since it's better/safer to install something more modern. I'll likely put in a Progressive Dynamics PD9260CV with the Charge Wizard since I'll also be installing 2x 6v Golf Cart batteries soon (haven't decided yet if I'll pony up for AGM right now). It looks like the 9270 is only $10 more on Amazon (the 9245 is $40 less), so I guess I should get the 70 amp instead of the 60 amp.

I hooked up a hose to the city water inlet, and I've got running water everywhere. The "optional" spray nozzle on the toilet is cracked, but that's a super-easy replacement.

At the moment, I can't get the dump valves open on the holding tank. I'm hoping that if I let some water sit in the tank for a while, they might free themselves. I assume the gaskets/valves are dry as bone after sitting for so long.

All in all I'm extremely happy with this Argosy. I've got some work to do with figuring out why I'm not getting fuel from the tank, and I know that may lead to dropping and refurbishing the gas tank, but everything with the "living" part of the interior seems to be be great!

Next I will start exploring the LP tanks and lines, and then I will be moving on to the Onan generator.
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