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Old 06-17-2020, 10:52 AM   #1
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1983 31' Airstream310
Austin , Texas
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Just picked up a 1983 310 Turbo Diesel

Howdy yall. Glad to join the community! This is my first airstream and first motorhome.

I drove 2.5 hours from Austin a few weeks ago to check out this 310, owner didnt have the best pics on his ad and was pretty vague on what worked or not so I figured I might as well go check it out. It turns out there is a lot that doesn't work but the body is pretty straight, the Isuzu motor sounds good and there dont appear to have ever been any leaks. The one catch- the brakes were barely functioning!! The owner dropped the price to a number I couldn't refuse so I bit on the offer and coasted it on home. After replacing the master cylinder and bleeding the lines, it now drives and stops perfectly. The wiring to the LED replacement tail lights and turn signals was all crossed up so I got that straight and am a roof mount electric horn away from passing inspection. I was able to track down a perfect replacement set (Wolo Persuaders) by searching through this forum so now I'm just waiting on the mail man.

As I wait for the horns to arrive, there is still a TON of work I need to do to get this baby on the road to Colorado in early July and I'm hoping this group might be able to help me out, so here goes:

1. The dash A/C was completely dead. No reaction from the dash switch. I pulled the passenger side panel off and found the blower motor ground wasn't bolted down, bolted it down and it came right on! It blew cold for a few minutes and then went to ambient air temp so I assume the freon is low. Can anyone tell me what freon type these rigs used stock? It looks like the dash AC hadn't run for quite some time so I assume it was never converted over to a newer refrigerant.

2. The shore power works nicely to power the roof ACs (one at a time) and all of the lights, microwave and all of that. However, I can not get the Onan LP generator to fire on. The interior panel switch and switch on the gen itself will both work to crank it but it will not stay on past cranking. I had the propane tank filled on my original drive home and the panel shows it 3/4 full. I have opened the main valve to the primary and secondary lines but the generator just never seems to have fuel (or if it does its not staying running). Does this sound like an issue with a regulator? Is there any other type of fuel on switch or reset I need to be looking for on the gen itself? The lines themselves look to be in good condition and I cant hear or smell and leaks when the valve it turned to on.

3. Does anyone know the tongue weight capacity of the dinky little receiver hitch that comes stock? I am planning to use a motorcycle rack and carry a 450 lb dual sport wherever I go. I have read through a few write-ups detailing how to beef them up, but just wondering what to expect as it sits.

4. I have yet to mess with the water system. I assume the RS plug in at bumper height is the city water hook up, and the 2 locking doors situated up higher are for filling the holding tanks. Which filler goes to which tank, and what does each tank do? I have one on the middle back and one on CS. Once the tanks are full (or the city water is hooked up) what do I need to do to operate the water systems? Do I simply turn on the "water pump" switch on the interior control panel and use whatever fixture I need? What do I do when I need heated water from a given source? The water heater in my rig appears to be new (Atwood with mfg date of 3/26/2013). The switch is installed near the kitchen sink and the original switch (I think) has been removed from near the bathroom sink the the wires appear to be capped. Obviously I wont have the hot water system working until I get the propane system sorted out but just thinking ahead.

My main goal is just to have some fun with this and get as much working as possible before the road trip in 3 or so weeks. Propane Gen to run roof ACs and cold air from dash AC are top priority for now! I will get to everything else eventually.

Thanks in advance for any replies! I have already gotten acquainted with PeterH and Cmadmaxman who have already been more than helpful!
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Old 06-17-2020, 12:08 PM   #2
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1983 31' Airstream310
Austin , Texas
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Here are a few pics (sorry about some of them being sideways/upside down)

















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Old 06-17-2020, 12:31 PM   #3
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1984 31' Airstream310
Honokaa , Hawaii
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Welcome to the group! Sounds like you got a good one.

Our '84 310 only has one water tank on the driver's side. We keep water in it, never hook up to city water, and keep a gallon bottle of store bought water in the fridge to drink. The water pump stays turned on most of the time, it only runs on demand. When a leak pops up, we are warned by the pump running when it should not. If we are hooked up to city water, any leak becomes a flood.

We turn the hot water heater on only when needed, it heats up quick.
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Old 06-17-2020, 01:51 PM   #4
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2019 25' Flying Cloud
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450 LB MC on hitch rack

Be real careful about hanging that much weight on the back of that rig.

Have a qualified hitch shop look at the receiver and especially at the Airstream frame. Tell them you intend to hang over 500 LBS from it. Is it strong enough? Can it be modified to absorb that much weight bouncing around back there? Will the rigs tail lights be visible after bike is in place? How are you going to get a 450 LB bike up a ramp to get it on rack? How many tie down points are you going to use? What kind of a rack do you have that is rated for at least (hopefully more) 450 LBS?

I hauled around a 2010 Vespa GTI 300 on the back of my 1988 Ford Crown Victoria Wagon for a few years. It weighed right at 300 LBS plus the rack weighed another 75 LBS. I had a Class III receiver rated at 500 LBS. I can tell you that you definitely know it is back there. I traveled thousands of miles with this set up but you have to be careful about that weight hanging off that receiver 2 or more feet from the back of your rig. It acts as a fulcrum and even though you have a rig that weighs a bunch you will feel it.
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Old 06-17-2020, 02:17 PM   #5
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The hitch on the 310 is not that difficult to reinforce. I did the reinforcement job on my 84 310 and had no issues pulling a 14' car trailer with race car and a large tool box full of tools. Probably around 3500 to 4000 lbs.

The 310 didn't even know the trailer was back there.

Brad
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Old 06-18-2020, 01:12 PM   #6
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1986 25' Sovereign
Huntsville , Alabama
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Your gender was manufactured as a gasoline unit that has what looks like the beam carb conversion on it. Does it crank over and start, but when you release the switch it quits? Check the fuses on the start panel. Make sure you are getting fuel. There should be a button//plunger to press for helping prime.
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Old 06-18-2020, 02:27 PM   #7
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1983 31' Airstream310
Austin , Texas
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Thanks for the replies!

bkahler: I had my welder look at the hitch last night and he thinks he can reinforce it to hold the bike rack no problem. We're going to add some square tubing and gussets and will keep going until the rack and bike are on there rock solid. He is in the middle of welding the structural beams on my new garage so I trust he can handle a hitch. Otherwise I'm not going to have a motorcycle or any of my other vehicles haha.

uraljohn: I got myself a Black Widow MX-600X rack for bikes up to 600 lbs. They come well reviewed from others who have had success hauling heavy dual sports. After measuring it LOOKS like my tail lights will still be plenty visible. If not I will add some plug ins on the brake/tail/turn signal harness and add some magnetic trailer lights to stick on the rack.

Waipio Rim: Thank you for the notes on the water system. I suppose I will plug in to the city inlet and turn it on for a split second to see if anything turns into a sprinkler. On your rig, where is the city inlet located? And when you say "the water pump stays turned on most of the time", do you mean the switch on the control panel is flipped to on whenever you are planning on using water? Is there any other way to turn it on?

Steamracer: I wouldn't say it cranks over. It CRANKS and sounds good when you hold the "START" button down, but as soon as you release it itsoff (its got a 3 position switch- left is STOP, middle is RUN, right is START). The only time it does anything is with the START button being pressed. The 2 fuses on the panel are both good upon visual inspection. Where would you think a primer plunger would be located? I'm guessing somewhere on the carb?
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Old 06-18-2020, 02:40 PM   #8
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Or you could just get a motorcycle dolly like the hitch loader so the dolly carries the weight of the bike.......

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Old 06-18-2020, 05:05 PM   #9
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1984 31' Airstream310
Honokaa , Hawaii
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Our city water inlet is left rear, close to the tank. Looks like a female garden hose connection. We have two switches for the water pump, one in the bathroom and one on the control panel. Unless we have a leak, we just leave it turned on when we are traveling and camping. The pump should only run when a faucet is opened.
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Old 06-18-2020, 07:26 PM   #10
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Usually on propane sets there is a regulator up on the exhaust or close by. Follow the gas line. If you are getting gas there are several things. Bad start relay, bad armature, brushes worn out. The armature is wound with two fields of wire. One set acts like a starter cranking the generator. once it is running the other field produces the electricity. The good thing about the older sets are wound to produce 120 v or 220v depending how it is connected.
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Old 06-18-2020, 08:53 PM   #11
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1994 30' Excella
1992 35' Airstream 350
Austin , Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 78703TX View Post
Howdy yall. ....

Thanks in advance for any replies! I have already gotten acquainted with PeterH and Cmadmaxman who have already been more than helpful!

Hey Michael. Glad you started a thread for your rig, so many great people here. Looks like you scored a nice center Bath unit, congrats. Water heater looks brand new. Your A/C system is probably R12. I just rebuilt the converted to 134A system on my 350Le. Have a few tools if you need them. Check your private messages, i did reply to your inquiry.
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Old 06-19-2020, 09:59 AM   #12
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1983 31' Airstream310
Austin , Texas
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martin300662: man that looks nice! Probably out of my price range though. There is a lotttt of stuff on this rig that needs financial attention if I'm going to get on the road in a few weeks. I just bit the bullet and got a new set of Goodyear 225/70R19.5s for all 6 wheels. Yikes.

Waipio Rim: thank you for specifying. I will plug my hose into the city water inlet in the next few days and see what happens as far as leaks. Then will plan to fill the holding tank and test the pump.

SteamRacer: thank you for the tips. I will mess with it some more and see if the gas is making it to the generator. Is there an easy way to verify this without disconnecting the lines? Also, any tips on resetting the regulators in the case that there is no gas getting to the gen?

PeterH-Airstreamer: doh! I just figured out how to check my PMs. Thank you for your reply and for the offer to use the AC tools! I have a buddy who knows a bit more about ACs than I do so I'm going to have him look into the 134A conversion while I keep going on some of the other fixes. Will keep you posted.

Now I do have another question: my original Keeler door assembly has the broken tail piece that I have read so much about here. When you insert the key, it just spins and spins without engaging anything. I found and purchased this replacement Keeler cylinder on ebay this morning:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Keeler-Lock...53.m2749.l2649

Can anyone tell me if this looks like the right part? If so, what is the right way to remove the old cylinder from the assembly? I may be too optimistic here to think I can get the old latch assembly working but I figured it was worth a try.
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Old 06-20-2020, 08:44 PM   #13
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Columbia , Tennessee
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Yes that looks like the right one. I would suggest taking the whole door latch assembly out, clean and lubricate good, and reinstall. I have some photos if you need help with it.
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Old 06-22-2020, 09:21 AM   #14
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1983 31' Airstream310
Austin , Texas
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cmadmaxman: photos would be much appreciated! I already have the latch assembly out and taken apart for cleaning and lubrication. The only thing I'm not sure about is how to remove the old lock cylinder. Is there a ring collar I'm looking for, does it require a core key, or should I plan on getting out the titanium bit set and drilling it out?

After further testing, I was not getting propane to the generator. I got all of the regulators on my propane system pulled last night and replacements ordered (to the gen and to the appliances). I had no problem tracking down exact replacements for the secondary regulators which feed the appliances and generator and the pancake step-down regulator for the generator. The only one I'm not sure about is the first stage regulator the limits the pressure coming out of the main valve. My original was made by Marshall Gas Controls but didn't have much info stamped on it that would indicate it's ratings and was missing the adjustment knob. It simply said "250 PSI Max. Inlet" but did not indicate the output range. I found a newer model made by Marshall with the same 1/2" fittings that outputs a range of 8-10.5 PSI depending on the adjustment of the knob. Does anyone know if this will be adequate to supply propane to the gen and appliances? I guess my question should be- what range pressure should I be feeding into the secondary regulators?

Thanks
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Old 06-22-2020, 10:33 AM   #15
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1992 35' Airstream 350
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check Mike's thread about his propane Genny
https://www.airforums.com/forums/f31...ml#post2300432
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Old 06-22-2020, 10:46 AM   #16
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1982 31' Airstream 310
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There ya go, Peter beat me to it. Mine was a fuel delivery problem and sounded exactly like yours. Follow Peters link and you’ll see that I replaced all the regulator system. Not expensive, not hard to do.

If you need more info let me know.
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Old 06-22-2020, 11:11 AM   #17
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1983 31' Airstream310
Austin , Texas
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Much appreciated guys! Mike, I just got done reading through your post and greatly appreciate the part number on the fuel solenoid. I had ordered all the regs but didn't know that the solenoid could have factored into the fuel starvation. I still have lots to learn about propane fuel delivery.
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Old 06-22-2020, 12:45 PM   #18
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Eventually you’ll probably want to replace your points and condenser. They sit on top of the motor near the coil. Though at first look, it seems impossible to accomplish without dropping the generator, but it can be done. I did it on mine and it really improved how it ran and started. Somewhere in my thread there it details the replacement. I’ll look in my log to find a date. Long story short, I used the camera function on my iPad to install and adjust the points........I was real proud of myself on that one HEHEHEHEHEHEHE
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Old 06-23-2020, 10:00 AM   #19
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1983 31' Airstream310
Austin , Texas
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mayco: hopefully I dont need it just yet but I'm sure it will come at some point! I will keep your post in mind and please do let me know if you find where you posted it so I can bookmark it.

A few updates:

The Keeler replacement lock cylinder worked perfectly! I ran the latch assembly and cylinder over to my local locksmith and he had it swapped in about 5 minutes. Man it feels good to be able to lock it up. About 60% of my tools are laying around inside as I've been working on it, have definitely lost a bit of sleep worrying about them.

The WOLO Persuader airhorns arrived. I did have to remove the old Spartan mount but no big deal. I caulked around the old holes and wire penetration through the roof. The new horns sound BOSS!!

I also ran all of the wiring for my touch screen stereo and reverse camera setup. Will be cutting the dash and installing the dash kit and screen this evening if all goes as planned.

Next up is plugging into the city water hookup, as well as determining which outside water inlet goes to which tank (I'm supposed to have one fresh water tank and one fresh water auxilliary tank, right??)
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Old 06-23-2020, 10:14 AM   #20
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1982 31' Airstream 310
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You never know with these rigs but the standard factory setup Is a fresh water fill port that lives behind a locked hatch door and then a city water hookup near your back bumper that receives the male end of a standard water hose. The city water hookup bypasses your tank and pump and delivers city pressurized water to your interior plumbing. Your fresh water fill port is for filling up your onboard fresh water tank and then using your pump to deliver water to your devices
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