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Old 09-18-2012, 07:42 PM   #1
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Advice on buying a 1991 350 LE

We are going to be buying a 1991 350 LE. Looking for any sage advice for when we pick it up and trip back. I will have the checklist from off this website and have been through allot of the Classic forums. I do have a few questions:

What is the height on them? I assume I will need a truck/RV GPS with bridge heights or are they low enough not to really be to concerned.

What kind of drive time is doable in them. I can easily do 500 miles in my current rig, since the truck rides like a dream with the trailer hooked up.

Prices seem to be all over the place going back through everything I can find. Any good place to find out a good estimate of the price?

Anything else anyone can think of would be great as well.
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Old 09-18-2012, 08:18 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wxbuoy View Post
We are going to be buying a 1991 350 LE. Looking for any sage advice for when we pick it up and trip back. I will have the checklist from off this website and have been through allot of the Classic forums. I do have a few questions:

What is the height on them? I assume I will need a truck/RV GPS with bridge heights or are they low enough not to really be to concerned.

What kind of drive time is doable in them. I can easily do 500 miles in my current rig, since the truck rides like a dream with the trailer hooked up.

Prices seem to be all over the place going back through everything I can find. Any good place to find out a good estimate of the price?

Anything else anyone can think of would be great as well.
How fun, I hope you will have a blast picking it up.
Most have a label above the drivers side visor with the width , heights and weight. My 87 345 says 10'8"
Tires, Brakes and fuel lines are always on my "urgent " list, especially if I do not know the vehicle.
My wife always reminds me that they are called RV's, Recreational Vehicles. First recreation then vehicle,which means 500 miles/day is pushing it for you and the machine.
25k-30k for a well kept, mechanically sound 1991 350LE is what I would consider a reasonable price.
Good luck, friend!
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Old 09-19-2012, 12:09 AM   #3
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Be sure your batteries are in good working order. Take along a voltage tester if at all possible. Check batteries with engine off and engine running. Voltage while engine running should be 13 volts or higher.
If you're just getting motorhome back home, 500 a day doesn't sound unreasonable. If it were me, I'd be stopping a lot, just to stand back and admire my new (to me) Airstream.....
Thanks, Derek
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Old 09-19-2012, 04:13 AM   #4
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Thanks!

PeterH; thanks for the tip on were the dimensions are. The PO just had everything gone over, tires are new, they also checked brakes when the wheels were off. They replaced the belts and needed hoses. 500 miles, is just the pick up distance and we have to get back for work. Not ideal, but doable i would think/hope.

Derek; The voltmeter is in my bag of stuff to take for the "is it able to make the trip back" inspection. I am told everything is in good working order and they have maintenance records to show it. Love the FB page! Can't wait to get ours up on there. It will be nice to have a community of owners to share with.

If you can think of anything else a newbie to MH RV's should think of let me know!
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Old 09-19-2012, 09:31 AM   #5
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Have a safe trip! 500 miles a day is about 10+ hours on the road and is doable. No need to worry about bridge clearance as you should be under 13 feet with the roof air units. Check on the age of the tires, if they are over 5 years drive with caution. Enjoy.
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Old 09-19-2012, 01:45 PM   #6
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Thanks Richard; The tires are new so I don't have to worry to much. Will check pressure when we get there.
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Old 09-19-2012, 02:15 PM   #7
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What kind of gas milage are folks getting on these. I am looking at a diesel.
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Old 09-19-2012, 02:23 PM   #8
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for yours, depending on your speed 55mph, about 15mpg, anything higher mph, lower mpg.
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Old 09-19-2012, 06:24 PM   #9
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Thanks Derek! So have you done any good projects to yours in the year that you have owned her?
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Old 09-20-2012, 07:57 AM   #10
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one more thing for the tool box

I would add a Non-Contact Infrared Thermometer with Laser Targeting for checking tire and wheel temps every time you stop. It can predict tire and bearing failure. Harbor Freight has them for $40 or buy a Fluke for $99. I have a 91 350 LE as well but mine is gas and gets 10 mpg if I only drive a mile a minute. I know this coach pretty well now so if you need any help this is the right place to lean on. Good Luck and congratulations. Steve
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Old 09-20-2012, 08:20 PM   #11
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Steve, Thanks! I was going to order the fluke today for the trip back just to make sure the bearings are as advertised.

I am sure I will have lots of questions! I wonder how many 350's are still out there?

Dave
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Old 09-20-2012, 08:50 PM   #12
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That's a good question. I don't know how many are out there but I do know I have never passed one on the roads . Maybe I'll see you out there. I bought mine in Georgia and drove it straight back to Maryland. It's nice because if you get tired you just pull off and go to bed.
One more thing... Everyone here loves pictures. Post some pics for us please. Steve
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Old 09-21-2012, 03:49 AM   #13
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Steve, I will post pictures as soon as I get it. How did you work the plates and registration for the trip back? We will not bein either of our home states when we meet, so no way to go to DMV to get temp registration. I guess I will just have to see about keeping his tags and registration until I get it home .

I was thinking about starting a 350 registry, blog or news letter of some type do to the lack of info out there.
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Old 09-21-2012, 08:24 AM   #14
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In MD you can obtain 5 day temp transportation plates to get you home. If the seller trust you he may let you borrow his plates. I got my insurance man to add the Airstream to my policy before I picked it up. I think this forum has the most to offer for those of us who work on these things ourselves. When it comes to the Chevy part of our motorhomes it seems they are all the same save for a few details and there are some really good techs here who are quick to help. Just get it home and start a punch list and we can help you knock it out one project at a time. I noticed that the drive home was a real learning experience. You have to focus while steering these P-32 chassis. They tend to wander a bit. It's only a problem when you are between a jersey wall and a tractor trailer. There is a easy fix for this condition using newly designed parts that are available for modernizing the P-32 chassis. The next thing I noticed on the drive home is the brake pedal has more travel than you would expect. That appears to be normal but a little disconcerting. I think your trip home sounds like fun. Steve
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Old 09-21-2012, 08:39 AM   #15
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We have a 345 diesel, a 1985 model. With the new Low Sulfur diesel our mileage went down. We used to get up to 16mpg, and now it's dropped to 11 or 12. I understand that you can buy additives to boost it up again but haven't done so as of yet.

Keep a close watch on the oil usage. When ever you stop, check it until you know if it uses any oil. Make sure the parking brake works because if you have the Allison Transmission there is no Park.

I try to get No 2 diesel if I can. Pretty hard to find these days. Usually only at truck stops and then it is usually the large nozzle which won't fit in your receptacle.

I bought a Tire Pressure Monitoring System from Truckers Supply and I rely on it now. It reports tire pressure and temp as you go down the road.

A couple years ago I replaced the rear end of our unit. What it did was increase the mph at favorable road speeds. Kinda spendy but it worked out quite well.

Good luck and enjoy!
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Old 09-21-2012, 09:56 AM   #16
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Cooperhawk and everyone...
I suggest you use Diesel Purge every service, and Power Services Diesel Klean in your tank.
I have an 1984 Mercedes 190D(non-turbo), with almost 200k miles on it and I have proved to myself tank after tank that it adds about 10% to my mpg. It also has a protective componant that these older diesels need with the newer diesel formula. For those that live or pass thru colder climates, Power Services do a version of it with anti-gel too... but here in CA I dont need that!
For the record, I am not a "snake oil" kinda guy, but I have done back to back tests on my Mercedes with Diesel Klean and without, and I get 30/32mpg without and 33/35mpg with it... time after time.
They say that the MPG improvement more than covers the cost of the additive. Most retail car stores have it so you can pick it up anywhere and I buy the bigger container...
Also, Last service I did the Diesel Purge thing, and it made a huge difference to the way the engine starts and runs... The engine sounds much smoother and less clattery now.
Its a bit of a pain to do, as you have to disconnect both the diesel feed and return lines so that the purge does not just get returned to the tank, but its worth it!
.

DIESEL KLEEN® +Cetane Boost®: Max HP Formula ? use during non-winter months for the ultimate in performance.

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Old 09-21-2012, 10:20 AM   #17
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Thanks. I have been meaning to do this and will give these products a try.
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Old 09-21-2012, 10:39 AM   #18
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Thanks. I have been meaning to do this and will give these products a try.
Please do, and report back on what you find..
I can only tell you that the Mercedes guys are the ones that suggested it, and I know I was a little skeptical, but now I know that the Diesel Klean works on my mercedes.... I really cant say I notice any difference in the way it runs with or without... It only had 72hp when it was new, and I am sure a few have escaped in 200,000 miles!
I would have used it just for the protection it gives on these low sulpher fuels... the MPG is a bonus! I like the fact you can buy it anywhere, and I carry the can in the trunk, with one of those 2 stroke plastic syringes... and I just squirt about 3oz in per fill of about 10 gallons(my diesel is only like 14 gallons, but that will take me over 400miles!).


The diesel Purge was noticable when I ran it thru the fuel system, as the engine note softened, and it just sounds smoother than it was. I did not notice any MPG changes, but that is maybe because I put 17x7 wheels and tires on at that time... it may have negated the difference.
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