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Old 04-24-2017, 04:37 AM   #1
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1979 24' Airstream Excella 24
Hereford , Herefordshire
Join Date: Oct 2016
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Help needed in getting my 1979 240 Excella MH back on the road

Hi guys, really need some help/advice. Our 1979 240 Excella has been fully restored on the inside, now all we need is for her not to breakdown whilst I'm driving her.

We had her serviced at huge expense, and all the garage did was change the oil and transmission fluid, and gave us a long list of items that needed addressing!

Got the brakes, front and back sorted, air bags replaced and inflated, 2 new front tyres and some extended inflation tubes for the inner tyres fitted. Picked her up from the garage to drive her home, only a distance of 40 miles, and she cut out on me with 5 miles to go, managed to limp her back to the storage facility. Got underneath to find the electric fuel pump to be red hot and no fuel coming from the tank.

Long story, short, fuel pump was replaced with a more meaty one (the one that was fitted was a 10.99 amazon special giving 3 gallons per minute, the manual recommends one that gives 25 gallons per minute!) Seems the fuel hose and breather hose are in need of replacement, the fuel sender unit is broken, so she was registering a 3/4 full tank when in actual fact she was empty!

No she drives OK, but on hills and gradients she "splutters" but thankfully doesn't die on me!

So I need advice on the following if possible please:

1. Where to buy new fuel filler hose and breather hose?
2. Where to buy a new fuel sender unit (40 gallon tank)?

I do hope some wonderful person can help us in our hour of need!
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Old 04-24-2017, 05:08 AM   #2
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1974 20' Argosy 20
Richmond , Kentucky
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Filler Neck Supply sells just about everything you would need for the job. They sell by the inch or foot depending on the product.

Your best bet for a replacement sending unit is a universal replacement that reads 0-90 ohms. 0-90 ohms was the standard for GM vehicles of that era. This is the one I used for my new tank. Easy to install. The only caveat is I can't verify that it works right as I haven't installed my new gas tank yet.

I would recommend using a Carter P4070 fuel pump installed close to your fuel tank as a pusher pump feeding the stock mechanical pump. This is how Airstream configured the later coaches.

Hope this helps!

Brad
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Old 04-24-2017, 05:11 AM   #3
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1975 20' Argosy 20
Chestfield , Kent
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 3,140
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrisay59 View Post
Hi guys, really need some help/advice. Our 1979 240 Excella has been fully restored on the inside, now all we need is for her not to breakdown whilst I'm driving her.

We had her serviced at huge expense, and all the garage did was change the oil and transmission fluid, and gave us a long list of items that needed addressing!

Got the brakes, front and back sorted, air bags replaced and inflated, 2 new front tyres and some extended inflation tubes for the inner tyres fitted. Picked her up from the garage to drive her home, only a distance of 40 miles, and she cut out on me with 5 miles to go, managed to limp her back to the storage facility. Got underneath to find the electric fuel pump to be red hot and no fuel coming from the tank.

Long story, short, fuel pump was replaced with a more meaty one (the one that was fitted was a 10.99 amazon special giving 3 gallons per minute, the manual recommends one that gives 25 gallons per minute!) Seems the fuel hose and breather hose are in need of replacement, the fuel sender unit is broken, so she was registering a 3/4 full tank when in actual fact she was empty!

No she drives OK, but on hills and gradients she "splutters" but thankfully doesn't die on me!

So I need advice on the following if possible please:

1. Where to buy new fuel filler hose and breather hose?
2. Where to buy a new fuel sender unit (40 gallon tank)?

I do hope some wonderful person can help us in our hour of need!
Welcome to the world of keeping these old buses on the road....and I warn you now, 'huge expense' is a relative term (for example it cost £13,000 to fix the issues found on Bella, when she was only in for £500 modifications for the MOT). In my experience no invoice has less than 4 figures and most are in 5.

Try looking here for your sender and filler hose (https://www.millsupply.com/stepvan-parts/), but I suggest you get the part numbers there and then search to confirm the prices elsewhere. Mill Supply have most stuff but you pay top prices.
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Old 04-24-2017, 06:17 AM   #4
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1974 20' Argosy 20
Richmond , Kentucky
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Originally Posted by martin300662 View Post
...'huge expense' is a relative term (for example it cost £13,000 to fix the issues found on Bella, when she was only in for £500 modifications for the MOT). In my experience no invoice has less than 4 figures and most are in 5.
Martin, what in the world did they do to the coach that cost £13,000 in repairs?!!
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Old 04-24-2017, 07:52 AM   #5
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1979 24' Airstream Excella 24
Hereford , Herefordshire
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I know what you mean, a quick sort out of the brakes and air bags cost us £2150!
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Old 04-24-2017, 09:08 AM   #6
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1975 20' Argosy 20
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Martin, what in the world did they do to the coach that cost £13,000 in repairs?!!
Complete transmission rebuild (which in the UK was a specialist job), and the front end engine rebuild, during which they had to replace the steering pump, clutch fan etc. Replace a big chunk of the new classic auto air AC which ASNE had installed incorrectly and taken out the compressor etc. The UK MOT is much stricter than the MA state inspection, so all the brakes had to come apart and be redone (for the fourth time).....even they they were working fine, which included 4 hours labour on the emergency brake alone - I never used it but it has to work (perfectly) to get the UK inspection.

£6100 in labour (big chunk of which was the outsource specialist stuff)/£4800 in parts, plus 20% for the UK sales tax
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Old 04-24-2017, 09:56 AM   #7
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1974 20' Argosy 20
Richmond , Kentucky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martin300662 View Post
Complete transmission rebuild (which in the UK was a specialist job), and the front end engine rebuild, during which they had to replace the steering pump, clutch fan etc. Replace a big chunk of the new classic auto air AC which ASNE had installed incorrectly and taken out the compressor etc. The UK MOT is much stricter than the MA state inspection, so all the brakes had to come apart and be redone (for the fourth time).....even they they were working fine, which included 4 hours labour on the emergency brake alone - I never used it but it has to work (perfectly) to get the UK inspection.

£6100 in labour (big chunk of which was the outsource specialist stuff)/£4800 in parts, plus 20% for the UK sales tax
There are times when I think I should just hire someone to do the work on my Argosy and then I read about what you've been dealing with. Doing the work myself I may not always get things done right the first time but it you can bet I'll do my best get it done right the second time without having to pay exorbitant prices to do so!

Wow, a 20% sales tax
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Old 04-25-2017, 03:14 PM   #8
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Hi - one other potential lead. I think there was a Chevy service bulletin referring to an air lock and collapsed fuel line which might cause similar symptoms. They fixed the issue with stronger hoses on the later models. Have a look at the motorhome chassis guide. It's in there somewhere.



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Old 05-19-2017, 12:42 AM   #9
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1979 24' Airstream Excella 24
Hereford , Herefordshire
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Well you'll all be pleased to hear that we found out why she wasn't filling! The fault was, the garage that fixed the fuel pump "fault" caused the filling fault, they didn't put tank back correctly so the filler hose had a kink in it that caused an airlock! And the moral to this story is, NEVER take your Airstream to someone that has never worked on P30 trucks! They also caused another issue with the firing sequence of the plugs, but hopefully that too will be sorted today.
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Old 05-21-2017, 08:18 AM   #10
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Hillsburgh , Ontario
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Chris

Glad you got it all sorted out but simple mistakes like this do happen, especially with 30+ year old parts; so a word to the wise; in future if taking out a gas tank, source out and replace all flexible hoses coming to and from the tank before dropping it.

The inlet fill hose rubber and other rubber hoses hate Ethanol; now you most likely don't have Ethanol in your part of the world, but we do. Rubber not compatible with Ethanol will start to break down over time and loose their rigidity, leading to kinks or worse.

This also affects diesels, as found out by John (Shepherd57) whose filler hose degraded so much it left little granuals of rubber in the tank that were sucked up and clogged the fuel filter.

Don't be too hard on the fitters as mucking around with these tanks is a right pain in the a$$.

Cheers
Tony
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