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Old 10-25-2021, 01:44 PM   #2121
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Laminate Countertop

I got out the iron again and peeled back the laminate beyond the curve. Re-glued both sides. Waited 15 minutes and put laminate back in place. I used a clamp at the curve to make sure the laminate was up against the side.

I still have to look at the "dung" job that the local shop did on the edges when they made the counter top for me, but I just tell myself that this isn't a 2 million dollar coach!
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Old 10-25-2021, 06:04 PM   #2122
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Vacuum Operated Step

I love the old mechanical systems; those with no electronics to go bad! The vacuum operated step is a simple system. I received new parts today and in a few weeks I'll have the step working as new!
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Old 10-26-2021, 06:53 AM   #2123
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I love the old mechanical systems; those with no electronics to go bad! The vacuum operated step is a simple system. I received new parts today and in a few weeks I'll have the step working as new!
Dean, I'm curious as to where you found the step parts. The booster sure looks like a brake vacuum booster!
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Old 10-26-2021, 11:53 AM   #2124
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Dean, I'm curious as to where you found the step parts. The booster sure looks like a brake vacuum booster!
All from Amazon. The vacuum canister is the Corvette headlight actuator. Any simple check valve will work and the vacuum switch is a duel fuel tank switch of which there are many that will work. I googled the Airforums site and found a posting where someone listed the parts. I would give that person credit but I didn't save the link.
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Old 10-27-2021, 08:11 AM   #2125
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All from Amazon. The vacuum canister is the Corvette headlight actuator. Any simple check valve will work and the vacuum switch is a duel fuel tank switch of which there are many that will work. I googled the Airforums site and found a posting where someone listed the parts. I would give that person credit but I didn't save the link.
The custom mechanical parts of the steps will wear out before you run out of replacement part sources for everything else
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Old 10-29-2021, 07:49 PM   #2126
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I rebuilt my step system a couple years ago. It’s kind of interesting how it works. Did you replace the rubber hoses along with the other parts Dean? I’m interested in what you found when you removed the old hoses……I found a curious hole in one of the hoses that looked like it was cut into the hose purposely. It was one that was routed up through a part of the metal framing and fiberglass insulation was packed around where the hole in the hose was. When I installed the new hoses, I replicated the hole and put a wad of insulation around it and tucked it up into the framing just like the old one was. I have no idea exactly what that hole was about but it was just too exacting to be from wear or damage. The steps have worked perfectly since the rebuild so I’m happy but that was weird. My speculation, since it is indeed an Airstream motorhome, that the hole was an air release of some sort and the insulation was to keep kritters out yet be breathable. No idea why, what, when…I just remember seeing the hole cut into the tube after removing the insulation and just scratching my head. What the hell
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Old 10-29-2021, 09:15 PM   #2127
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I rebuilt my step system a couple years ago. Itís kind of interesting how it works. Did you replace the rubber hoses along with the other parts Dean? Iím interested in what you found when you removed the old hosesÖÖI found a curious hole in one of the hoses that looked like it was cut into the hose purposely. It was one that was routed up through a part of the metal framing and fiberglass insulation was packed around where the hole in the hose was. When I installed the new hoses, I replicated the hole and put a wad of insulation around it and tucked it up into the framing just like the old one was. I have no idea exactly what that hole was about but it was just too exacting to be from wear or damage. The steps have worked perfectly since the rebuild so Iím happy but that was weird. My speculation, since it is indeed an Airstream motorhome, that the hole was an air release of some sort and the insulation was to keep kritters out yet be breathable. No idea why, what, whenÖI just remember seeing the hole cut into the tube after removing the insulation and just scratching my head. What the hell
Hey Mike, I haven't installed new parts yet, it will be a few weeks. I did get new hose but I haven't removed any old hose yet. The step hose is disconnected at the intake manifold (and manifold plugged). I couldn't get it to hold a vacuum when testing so I'm guessing I had a vacuum leak from the step which probably didn't help the running or timing of the engine. I'm guessing you are talking about the section of hose in the attached pic. I was wondering what that crap was stuffed in this cavity. I will have to figure this out because there is no way I am introducing a "vacuum leak" to the engine. Very interesting!
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Old 11-19-2021, 06:51 PM   #2128
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There are no small projects on an Airstream

I'm not sure how the small project of replacing the step vacuum components evolved into removing the step. I guess I wanted to cleanup and paint the step so before I knew it, the step was off the MH. I see that the step is actually the floor of the step well. Its not that easy to step over the large hole in the floor to get in and out! I don't know why I'm doing this since I doubt that I will be able to clean up the step well enough to matter and I'm sure that a year from now it will just be rusted and pealing again!
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Old 11-20-2021, 09:27 AM   #2129
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Hey Mike, I haven't installed new parts yet, it will be a few weeks. I did get new hose but I haven't removed any old hose yet. The step hose is disconnected at the intake manifold (and manifold plugged). I couldn't get it to hold a vacuum when testing so I'm guessing I had a vacuum leak from the step which probably didn't help the running or timing of the engine. I'm guessing you are talking about the section of hose in the attached pic. I was wondering what that crap was stuffed in this cavity. I will have to figure this out because there is no way I am introducing a "vacuum leak" to the engine. Very interesting!
Yup, thatís the spot where the hose ran through and had the hole cut in it. I didnít understand it, but.. I rebuilt it just as it was. I did that a couple years ago and my steps have worked perfectly since. Now, mines a diesel and the only vacuum generated from the motor is from a pump attached to the back of the alternator.
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Old 11-20-2021, 03:49 PM   #2130
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Have the steps sand blasted and powdercoated. You won't have to worry about it rusting again. And have you considered getting a small electric vacuum pump for that vacuum stair? This way its not tied to the engine and will always have vacuum to operate the stair without the engine running.
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Old 11-20-2021, 07:48 PM   #2131
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Yup, thatís the spot where the hose ran through and had the hole cut in it. I didnít understand it, but.. I rebuilt it just as it was. I did that a couple years ago and my steps have worked perfectly since. Now, mines a diesel and the only vacuum generated from the motor is from a pump attached to the back of the alternator.

When I removed the old hose there was no hole in it, but I imagine that it is not the original hose.
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Old 11-20-2021, 08:04 PM   #2132
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Have the steps sand blasted and powdercoated. You won't have to worry about it rusting again. And have you considered getting a small electric vacuum pump for that vacuum stair? This way its not tied to the engine and will always have vacuum to operate the stair without the engine running.
I was seriously considering that yesterday. But what I hear about the costs of professional media blasting and powder coating, there is just no room in the Airstream MH budget. Also, I think I would be bothered by having the steps looking beautiful with powder coating and the rest of the exterior looking like crap!

No need for a vacuum pump. The 454 creates plenty of vacuum and I don't see the need for the steps to be in without the engine running. If all the vacuum components are working correctly, the step will stay in until the door is opened.
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Old 11-22-2021, 08:50 AM   #2133
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Hey Dean, know what you mean about the budget!
On the 310, I tried for a few years trying to keep the steps working, but when my wife fell out of the coach missing the single step, the 2 step Kwikee became a budget item!
The price on these have gone up quite a bit. If I remember right I purchased the complete step about 13 years ago, for not much more than I had to pay for a replacement control and drive mechanism for the 350 this last year!
Good luck with the rebuild.

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Old 11-22-2021, 03:58 PM   #2134
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Hey Dean, know what you mean about the budget!
On the 310, I tried for a few years trying to keep the steps working, but when my wife fell out of the coach missing the single step, the 2 step Kwikee became a budget item!
The price on these have gone up quite a bit. If I remember right I purchased the complete step about 13 years ago, for not much more than I had to pay for a replacement control and drive mechanism for the 350 this last year!
Good luck with the rebuild.

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I absolutely agree that the single step is not the best. I have to watch myself every time I go in or out. I had looked into a new electric step and decided $600+ wasn't worth it for me. I worry more about others coming in and out, but with the pandemic, that is really no longer an issue.
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Old 11-22-2021, 05:01 PM   #2135
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I reinstalled the step today. I needed to get that "hole" in the floor closed up! It's getting cold at night. I installed the new vacuum components, but have yet to run the vacuum line and test. I spent way too much time on this project. In hindsight, I should have just replaced the vacuum components.

I'm guessing Airstream didn't have access to insulation material, caulking and sealants back in '82. There were screws used where there shouldn't have been. There was foam stuffed in large gaps where something much better and longer lasting should have been used. I don't know that I am going to do any better since I have to use what is on hand, trips into town are long and costly.

The gray paint I'm using is not an exact match, some blue in it, but the MH was painted a couple decades ago not by the factory.

I still have an issue with the operation of the vacuum components to work out (will do another post).

My furnace that I replaced 10 years ago has stopped working. Not great now that winter is close by. The fan started running slow. Finally after a couple of days, the fan was making noise and then the fan would no longer turn on. Oh the fun never ends and the out pouring of $$$ never stops!
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Old 11-22-2021, 07:53 PM   #2136
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Looks good Dean
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Old 11-22-2021, 09:03 PM   #2137
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Looks good Dean
Thanks!

Since the vacuum actuator is a corvette part, I did a bit of research on how this works on the Corvettes. With the new actuator in hand, it is easy to see that for it to work, any vacuum on one side must be released before applied vacuum on the other side of the actuator can move the rod. On the Corvette this is accomplished via the vacuum relay (see attached pic).

This relay or switch works basically the same as the electric relay Airstream used. The Corvette relay uses vacuum on/off to switch the relay instead of 12v. But if you look at the bottom of the Corvette relay you will see an air vent. This is used to release the vacuum from one port when the other port is activated. The release of this vacuum on the "other" side of the actuator allows the rod to move when vacuum is applied to the opposite side.

Since Airstream used a standard dual fuel tank switch without an air/vacuum exhaust porf, they instead simply cut a hole in the vacuum line. Once vacuum is no longer applied to one side, the vacuum in that line will equalize with the atmosphere. The problem here and I see it as a serious problem is that this is introducing a vacuum leak to the engine. I disagree with this method. It is interesting that a hole seems to have only been cut into the vacuum line on one side (close step) and not the other of the actuator.

Looks like more parts are going to be required!
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Old 11-23-2021, 07:55 AM   #2138
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So I’m not totally insane about the hole cut in the line?
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Old 11-24-2021, 08:20 AM   #2139
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Looking great Dean!

Here is what I use on my steps. Good traction wet or dry!

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Old 11-26-2021, 09:08 PM   #2140
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So Iím not totally insane about the hole cut in the line?

Well at first, I wasn't sure! But, correct, you're not crazy, Airstream was crazy!
Now I have to figure out how I'm going to finish mine.
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