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Old 06-04-2018, 10:05 PM   #1
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1987 32.5' Airstream 325
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And now a 345LE?

So last weekend (yesterday) we bought a 345LE to go with the 325... I guess this is how we start this episode of hoarders, so stay tuned. Needs a fair amount of work, but donít all 30 year old vehicles?...
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Old 06-04-2018, 10:43 PM   #2
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Pictures? Year?
Do we have a to-do list? I'm asking for myself...lazy, you see!
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Old 06-05-2018, 05:01 AM   #3
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So last weekend (yesterday) we bought a 345LE to go with the 325... I guess this is how we start this episode of hoarders, so stay tuned. Needs a fair amount of work, but don’t all 30 year old vehicles?...

Ha Bill,
Beat me to it by minutes, had keys in my hand to drive to Hudson Bend.I was wondering who snatched it up.

Good luck with it, looked like a good original condition vehicle. I already had 20 k allocated to bring it back. Looking forward to your report and what I missed.
I am somewhat glad i missed it, since i just went through an issue with Austin Code enforcement and my Airstreams. They had no complaints about the number (3) i have, but that I needed to screen them from public view. So I had to build a fence in front of my RV port and move 1 in the backyard. The 345 would have caused me to move more in the backyard without hail protection.
Have fun!
PS: Get those rear Airbags inflated before you have it towed out of there or else you will damage the tag

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Old 06-05-2018, 06:53 AM   #4
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PS: Get those rear Airbags inflated before you have it towed out of there or else you will damage the tag

This may be a dumb question since I don't own a tag axle but thought I'd ask. For towing purposes would it be a good idea to slightly over inflate the bags to reduce stress on the tag? I would think you would want the rear raised somewhat more than normal due to the angle imparted by lifting the front for towing.

Just curious......

Brad
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Old 06-05-2018, 10:34 AM   #5
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I think when the front goes up and the back goes down it will fill the air bags to the max. The Tag will think your going over a curb.
Tow truck can only lift the front so much and the rear bumper will be on the ground.
If the tow truck lifts under the front wheels no need to go up so high.
But if the tow truck has to lift the front with the wheels hanging down that could be a problem.
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Old 06-05-2018, 11:48 AM   #6
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The Dynamic Tag Confusion

Somethings are just plane counter intuitive, that Tag setup is one of them. Very well designed but tricky to get a clear understanding off its operation because off its dynamic nature.
Stick your foot under Drive O = Bags fill.
Stick your foot under Tag O = Bags empty.

If you pull down on air valve rod they fill.
If you lift up on the air valve rod they empty.

So now what happens if you increase preasure in Air Bags the Tag axle stubs get loaded up especially with raising front in any way, but the 2 air valves will quikly vent thoes bags. So yu see. Tricky
How about removing front wheels, so tow truck need'nt have to raise front so high, thereby not inadvertently deflating Air Bags, remember tag axle has not many inches off free movement, and not much axle strength 3000lbs ish. Works very well but with very narrow tolerance 's.
Done me best, hope I havn't added to confusion.
Rus
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Old 06-05-2018, 04:04 PM   #7
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Confusing, is an understatement!

The issue of towing has always been a big concern to me. You imagine being stuck on the side of the road somewhere, which is bad enough, and suddenly you're at the mercy of the guy with the tow truck, and out of options. Who knows what's already broken, but now it looks like your tag will be collateral damage, and he doesn't care.

On the way to look at the tree crushed 325 that was in the salvage yard in Massachusetts a few weeks ago, I spent some time on the phone trying to find a way to get it properly towed home. (Fortunately, someone else bought it minutes before I arrived.) In any case, I had absolutely no luck at all locating a suitable truck for the job. I am far from the boondocks, (in a suburb of Boston), where there are lots of towing companies. I got referred from one to another to another, until there was no one left to call. Sure glad I wasn't desperate.

Is there a way to hold the tag up with a restraint of some sort that could be retro-fitted to the frame, just in case the need arises?
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Old 06-05-2018, 04:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
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This may be a dumb question since I don't own a tag axle but thought I'd ask. For towing purposes would it be a good idea to slightly over inflate the bags to reduce stress on the tag? I would think you would want the rear raised somewhat more than normal due to the angle imparted by lifting the front for towing.

Just curious......

Brad

Brad, that would have been my approach, if I had to have it towed the 20 miles to my house: adjust the rods on the tag axle to raise the bags to ~11". On properly adjusted bags, no matter how much load you put on the tag axle (the one that does the airbag monitoring) the bags would only inflate to the factory 9.5". Adding to the difficulty, the 345 in question has been setting for a few years, does not run and the batteries are dead and the Airbag system is questionable.

The answer to Steamquests wonderings may be knowing beforehand how to adjust the linkage for nose up towing purposes. The reality is that getting a flatbed in an emergency may just be a pipe dream.
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Old 06-05-2018, 05:29 PM   #9
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Brad, that would have been my approach, if I had to have it towed the 20 miles to my house: adjust the rods on the tag axle to raise the bags to ~11". On properly adjusted bags, no matter how much load you put on the tag axle (the one that does the airbag monitoring) the bags would only inflate to the factory 9.5". Adding to the difficulty, the 345 in question has been setting for a few years, does not run and the batteries are dead and the Airbag system is questionable.

The answer to Steamquests wonderings may be knowing beforehand how to adjust the linkage for nose up towing purposes. The reality is that getting a flatbed in an emergency may just be a pipe dream.
Ok, so my thought process wasn't all that far off the mark. I guess for me the bottom line is I'm glad I don't have a tag
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Old 06-05-2018, 05:35 PM   #10
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Your only going to lift the front end so far and the rear hitch hits the ground. What's the deference when you drive into some parking lot with a high angle and drag the hitch. Pump some air in the tank and the tires hook up and go or get a flat bed.
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Old 06-05-2018, 05:37 PM   #11
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I am going to research this tag axle situation a little farther....owning both a 325LE and a 370LE, I feel there should be a game plan in the event of having to be towed. I would think that raising the drive axle 2 to 3 inches and dumping the fresh water, moving all of the moveable weight forward of the drive axle may work. It would be also necessary to provide a constant 12 volts to the compressor independent of the ignition switch to maintain correct pressure in the air bags, the object being to eliminate any weight on the tag axle......going to have to think about this one.....Regards, Bob
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Old 06-05-2018, 06:04 PM   #12
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... I guess for me the bottom line is I'm glad I don't have a tag

Never know what the future may hold for you
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Old 06-05-2018, 07:48 PM   #13
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If the pump, bags, tubing and everything is functioning just disconnect the link from the valve arms. You can lift valve arm manually to inflate the bags and let it go. Wrap a piece of tape around the arm if you are worried about it bouncing on rough roads.
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Old 06-05-2018, 09:46 PM   #14
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As of now I plant to get it running and drive it home. Itís been sitting for a while, but the owner is fine with me working on it where it is. We shall see, if it turns into total frustration then itíll get towed here. Iíll keep you posted. As for the list, itís not terrible. Besides mechanical running/driving stuff, the repairs list is new plumbing, and flooring. New roof AC (if not both). New step motor, cleaning, window seals (all of them). Itís generally in decent shape. Need to figure out what the paint colors are so I can fix the side. Once I get it home Iíll post some pics and a more comprehensive list....
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Old 06-06-2018, 04:22 AM   #15
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Never know what the future may hold for you
Peter, that's just plain wrong! It gives me the heebie jeebies just looking at it
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Old 06-06-2018, 10:19 AM   #16
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Game Plan #

What would happen if
1: poping the air valve rods off the tag.
2: lift air valve up to max air in bags.
3: let out as much air from tag tires.
4: remove front tires or totally deflate.
5: keep 12v on compressor.

Tow Truck is now only having to give the minium lift because front wheels are either deflated or removed, so keeping the veihcle mostly on the level during the tow. Soft tag tires still gives some support to rear.
Cos the rear spring shackles have been cut away on these air baged buggers it has added to this towing dilemma.
Any holes in this posible method ?
Rus
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Old 06-06-2018, 11:05 AM   #17
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Flat bed v Tow Hitch

In the event off having to have my 345 moved by a tow company and I had explaned on the phone not to send a Flat Bed unit but a Hitch unit and a FB shows up I would be reluctant to have it winched up ramps, unless that ramp to bed angle was flat as.
In the moment on the side off the road we are likly to stand back and let them do it..
Once thoes angels are great enough and the load comes on the the tags going o'n and coming off the trailer thoes tag axle's get the damage. Wheels end up in at the Top out at the Bottom ie bent axle. We all have seen a few like it.
If I do get caught up in the above, i'd spend 5min n pull the split pins on the air valve rods and lift rods up to inflate air bags full then deflate tag tires somewhat.
Having a sucsesful Game Plan sorted well befor is the best n cheapest ending.
Rus
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Old 06-07-2018, 07:33 PM   #18
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And now a 345LE?

Progress Report:
I swapped out the battery, added 25 gallons of fresh gas, sprayed the carb with carb cleaner, checked all the fluids (oil looked new, everything else was fine), inflated the tires to 90 psi. Turned the key to on, so the fuel would make it to the front and the airbags would fill.
Then started it, and let it get to operating temp. Tried to get the genset to start, but it wouldnít, and quite frankly was too hot and not the right situation for me to give it too much effort. I started it up and drove it about 10 miles to my buddies house (he was unwilling to follow me in my truck at 530 pm) so Iíll go get it in the morning. The dash AC was working somewhat, but needs some Freon. Iíll get it home and chase down the gremlins....
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Old 06-08-2018, 11:08 AM   #19
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On my 345 the air bags attach to a croos bar that pushes down on the cut off leaf springs of the drive axel. The tag is solid mounted with torsion type springs...the air bags just effect the drive axel. If you deflate the bags, the tag will try to support most of the weight, not designed to fo this.

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Old 06-21-2018, 08:01 PM   #20
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So the PO told me that the plumbing had disintegrated, but turns out it was one plastic ĎTí, so a simple fix there. Going for tires tomorrow. Then this weekend some flooring, and weíll see after that....
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