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Old 05-25-2021, 01:42 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
 
1984 32.5' Airstream 325
Gainesville , Florida
Join Date: Jul 2020
Posts: 36
Blog Entries: 1
325 1984... where do I start...

Well... we had a few beers one July evening back last year... started looking at Airstream travel trailers and saw this crazy wonderful 325 for sale on eBay... before we knew it... we were the proud owners of an RV... oops.

We drove down to Orlando to take a look.. too besotted to walk away, paid the cash and after some road checks started driving. To say it needs a ton of work is a (no so) mild understatement. She has the standard 454 with T400 3 Spd transmission. We got 10 miles.... before it over heated and came to a halt. Cooled off... and got another 10 miles (wash, rinse, repeat 2 more times).

After a fun packed afternoon, we managed to get her to Speegles near Deland in FL. They were fabulous - Justin helped us out big time. Long story short, he looked after her for 9 months while he had the cooling system sorted out and fix a bunch of other mechanical stuff.

Drove down last Friday to pick her up, she started up, he'd test driven her a ways, all seemed golden....paid the bills and headed out. Got another 10 miles.

This time, she conked out after some traffic lights, as I was building speed up. After much hair pulling and anxiety tried to start her... and away she went again... go figure. The wife jumped back in the back up car and I eased out again. 15 minutes later, the same thing happened, seemed like fuel starvation but had put in a new fuel pump and cleared the lines. This kept happening (another 4 times), until I tried keeping the revs up as I slowed by manually down-changing... kept the revs up and she kept running.... she seemed ok.... for another 10 miles

Well I heard another odd noise (there where a lot), then noticed the volts had dropped to 0. some time later she started back firing and farting like all hell had broken loose... at least the look on folks in passing cars was an entertainment. That 454 sure makes an impressive bang. Of course, by this time... we were on the Interstate... joy. And that was that... became undriveable and died.

After a $600 quote to tow her the last 11 miles home, thought about the issue some more and looked under the hood. A bust alternator belt... all nicely wrapped around the crank fan. The original seller said the alternator might not be charging (belt was very very loose) - tightened that (at the time). After some more Q&A went and got anther battery... and BOOM (in a good way), away she went.... 11 miles of pillow driving pleasure

So a question for this electrically inclined - do you think the whole issue was a faulty alternator (or coil), possible voltage regulator.. some overload (other) that broke the belt and cause (all) of the stoppages? As the revs dropped it messed with the electrical system all the way to the coil and spake plugs etc. I guess it could still be fuel, but keeping the revs up it was fine, only when I slowed down.

Thoughts would be greatly appreciated -

I'll have a million other Q's - I'll post in the mechanics corner. At least the (supposedly) dead 7kW generator is now running... sweetly I might add. Now I just have to figure out why there's no house, shore or generator power.. and all the breakers (I can find) are okay. Maybe a hidden converter?... fun fun fun... at least we did sign up for it

Thanks -
Pete
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Old 05-26-2021, 06:14 PM   #2
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1984 31' Airstream310
Honokaa , Hawaii
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 942
Well, you are in the right place. Welcome, and hang in there.

Now that you have a new battery and presumably a new, snug, alternator belt, how is it? Still 0 volts at the dash?

Do you have ac power inside when on shore power? If so, there is a switch that both the shore power and generator are wired to that should automatically change between the two sources, I would look there.
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Old 05-27-2021, 09:34 AM   #3
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West Chester , Ohio
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 270
Very cool rig! I think your drive home is the baptism most of us vintage MH owners have experienced...Welcome!!!

The alternator belt issue is common. Make sure the mount is solid (no stripped bolts/holes), the pulleys align (some shimming may be needed), and you have a fresh belt with good tension. A new belt will need re-adjustment after 100-500 miles due to belt stretch. This goes for air conditioner and power steering belts as well. Check the battery isolator as well, they will go bad and mess with voltage/amp draw

Keep sharing, we love seeing these fix em up threads
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Old 05-28-2021, 02:04 AM   #4
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1984 32.5' Airstream 325
Gainesville , Florida
Join Date: Jul 2020
Posts: 36
Blog Entries: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kvsterling View Post
Very cool rig! I think your drive home is the baptism most of us vintage MH owners have experienced...Welcome!!!

The alternator belt issue is common. Make sure the mount is solid (no stripped bolts/holes), the pulleys align (some shimming may be needed), and you have a fresh belt with good tension. A new belt will need re-adjustment after 100-500 miles due to belt stretch. This goes for air conditioner and power steering belts as well. Check the battery isolator as well, they will go bad and mess with voltage/amp draw

Keep sharing, we love seeing these fix em up threads
Thanks - I do feel thoroughly baptized

I’m hoping the alternator was duff and that caused the belt to shred. Hopefully getting that checked this week.

She’s certainly one surprise after another. I’ve spent most of this week trying to get some propane into the tank.. and run. First the old transfer hose wouldn’t work with the new dot tank. Then, I just couldn’t get gas to flow. After pulling most of it apart, discovered the hose between the t- valve and the main regulator was blocked. How weird that was. One end had gone soft and the interior was completely blocked. No exterior signs, other than being soft. Tomorrow’s job is to find out out where to get a replacement.

Once that’s done I’ll know the state of the fridge, stove, hot water heater and heater. They all look rough, hopefully most will still run safely. My guess is not but hopefully. A re-plumb at the appliance site (exterior panels) maybe needed just to feel safer.

Thanks again (all) for your help!
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Old 05-28-2021, 03:02 AM   #5
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2014 20' Flying Cloud
Sag Harbor , New York
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 17,512
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shinytoaster View Post
Well... we had a few beers one July evening back last year . . .
. . .
. . . fun fun fun... at least we did sign up for it
Quote:
Originally Posted by Waipio Rim View Post
Well, you are in the right place. Welcome, and hang in there.
. . .
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kvsterling View Post
Very cool rig! I think your drive home is the baptism most of us vintage MH owners have experienced . . .
. . .
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shinytoaster View Post
Thanks - I do feel thoroughly baptized . . .
Welcome to the full-scale amusement park Pete! . . . We almost bought a Classic decades ago . . .



Happy Trails,

Peter
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Old 05-28-2021, 12:44 PM   #6
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2014 20' Flying Cloud
Sag Harbor , New York
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 17,512
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shinytoaster View Post
. . .
Thanks again (all) for your help!
I just noticed your blog post here:

https://www.airforums.com/forums/blo...5-please-3287/

. . . seeking the manual mentioned in this 2011 post:

[click on orange arrow to go directly to the post]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keyair View Post
Thats the Chassis manual... I think he is looking for the Airstream service manual.
Airstream used to have it on their site, but its gone now.

I have a PDF of the 1984/5/6 310, which also covers 345's if that might help.. PM me your email address if anyone wants a copy?
I think Keyair is still active here, and will hopefully see either your blog post, or this post.

Good luck,

Peter
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Old 06-13-2021, 06:15 AM   #7
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1991 25' Airstream 250
Oxford , Oxfordshire
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,136
Images: 5
Here you go
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Airstream_310_Service-Manual.pdf (6.22 MB, 15 views)
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Old 06-13-2021, 06:18 AM   #8
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1991 25' Airstream 250
Oxford , Oxfordshire
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,136
Images: 5
Service Manuals

1983_Chevrolet_Light_Truck_Service_Manual

http://www.73-87chevytrucks.com/tech...ice_Manual.pdf

1984_Chevrolet_Light_Truck_Service_Manual

http://www.73-87chevytrucks.com/tech...ice_Manual.pdf

1986_Chevrolet_Light_Truck_Service_Manual

http://www.73-87chevytrucks.com/tech...ice_Manual.pdf

1987_Chevrolet_Light_Truck_Service_Manual

http://www.73-87chevytrucks.com/tech...ice_Manual.pdf


Service Bulletins 1990

http://www.73-87chevytrucks.com/tech...Supplement.pdf


UNIT REPAIR MANUALS


Light_Truck_Unit Repair manual 1981

http://www.73-87chevytrucks.com/tech...air_Manual.pdf

Light_Truck_Unit Repair manual 1987

http://www.73-87chevytrucks.com/tech...air_Manual.pdf

LIGHT DUTY TRUCK – FUEL, EMISSIONS AND DRIVEABILITY MANUALS

Fuel, Emissions and Driveability 1987

http://www.73-87chevytrucks.com/tech...iveability.pdf



WIRING MANUALS


Wiring manual 1983

http://www.73-87chevytrucks.com/tech..._30_and_ST.pdf

Wiring manual 1985

http://www.73-87chevytrucks.com/tech...10_30_Only.pdf

Wiring manual 1986

http://www.73-87chevytrucks.com/tech...10_30_Only.pdf



CRUISE CONTROL MANUALS

http://www.73-87chevytrucks.com/tech...se_Control.pdf

http://www.73-87chevytrucks.com/tech...%20III_opt.pdf

http://www.73-87chevytrucks.com/tech...se_Control.pdf



OTHER TRAINING MANUALS

http://www.73-87chevytrucks.com/tech...ng_Booklet.pdf

http://www.73-87chevytrucks.com/tech...20Training.pdf

http://www.73-87chevytrucks.com/tech...ng_Linkage.pdf

http://www.73-87chevytrucks.com/tech..._1977-1983.pdf

http://www.73-87chevytrucks.com/tech..._1973-1980.pdf


MISCELLANEOUS

http://www.73-87chevytrucks.com/tech...air_Manual.pdf

http://www.73-87chevytrucks.com/tech...nsfer_Case.pdf

http://www.73-87chevytrucks.com/tech...nsfer_Case.pdf
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Old 06-14-2021, 09:38 AM   #9
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1988 34.5' Airstream 345
Clarkston , MI
Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 13
I think your belt was the issue with all the electrical challenges. Speaking from experience, your trip was very similar to mine. No electricity, no spark from the HEI ignition to light those big 454 pistons. I would not spend a dime more until you sort that out. There is a Serpentine belt conversion you can get that will resolve this issue. My 87 has it. This was a GM upgrade due to this problem in later models.

Propane issue is ... interesting. Keep us up to date on your resolution. We all learn from each other because you are a member of a small club of folks with these wonderful machines. We need to stick together.
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Old 06-22-2021, 11:36 AM   #10
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1984 32.5' Airstream 325
Gainesville , Florida
Join Date: Jul 2020
Posts: 36
Blog Entries: 1
Thanks - you are absolutely right. That's my main concern as it looks as tho' a few folks have tried to fix it and failed.

The shop it was at for 8-9 months repaired the radiator and put new belts on the alternator so that wasn't the initial issue. It conked out 15 minutes into the drive home (or so) and the belt was still on then, broke sometime later. All three batteries were useless so it wouldn't have taken long for them to discharge completely.

The mechanic that did the job said sometime alternators can spin freely without a load on but can become much more restrictive when loaded and break the belt or have weird output. I don't entirely get that but the last people that owned it said it wasn't charging properly (the belt was loose so I thought that was the issue). Anyway, it broke at some point on the way home and eventually came to a grinding halt (with much banging and farting).

My thoughts are similar tho' - I'm quietly hoping the the alternator was faulty and the current generated was sporadic so when she slowed for traffic lights and sat idling for awhile conked out.... when I kept the revs up she was okay. It was so much like fuel starvation, but they replaced the mechanical fuel pump and said delivery was good. I might replace the electrical pump by the tank anyway, but as they say "90% of fuel problems are electrical"... very true
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Old 06-23-2021, 07:19 AM   #11
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1988 34.5' Airstream 345
Clarkston , MI
Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 13
a couple of points. The 3 batteries are not connected together. 2 of them are coach batteries and 1 is for the automotive side. So if that one goes dead because its not being charged properly then your going to lose the engine ignition. It's also driving your fuel pump, lights, blinkers, etc... Mine lasted about 45 min of drive time before it died with similar results.

When your engine is running what does your Altimeter say? Is should read between 13-14Volts if its charging. If its 12 or less your charging circuit isn't active. That should be a clear indication that there is still a problem.

Battery age is a factor as well. But if you have enough to start the engine and a good charging circuit then it should run unless you have lights, fans and a whole bunch of other stuff draining the system. Then a weak battery (one that has been fully drained 3+ times) cannot retain enough charge to function properly.

Also your alternator might be on the way out and perhaps it cannot put out enough power to properly charge. Your dash gauge would be showing you that though.
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