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Old 04-30-2020, 11:23 PM   #1
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1985 34.5' Airstream 345
Stark city , Missouri
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 5
old but new

good evening
this is a continuous adventure... but let's make a long story much shorter
we inherited a 1985 345 motorhome ...it has been ours for about 6 years we keep the batteries up and take it for a short trip at least once a year..
the 345 has a 454 in it. we have done reg maintenance but last year after deciding we were going to use it more along came issues ..first replaced distributor then rebuilt carburetor... one thi bj g led to another then the summer was gone and we did not get out even once.
everything else we own is a diesel from farm trucks to a 2003 tdi new beetle...the gas rig was causing problems none of our family wanted to deal with
we located a 1982 airstream 310 with the factory diesel and it was turbocharged .. it was a 4 hour adventure into kansas to pick it up. but a 40 ft gooseneck and dodge 1 ton and we made it home
the diesel started and even drove onto the trailer.. the new girl is rough in appearance but sound mechanical
all that to ask a question
has anyone done an eng/tranny swap from 1985 454 gas as nd put the isuzu diesel and tranny out of the 310
I ha e spent some time reading the posts. just wondering about the overall swap
thanks
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Old 05-01-2020, 05:25 AM   #2
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2014 20' Flying Cloud
Long Island , New York
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 16,987
Welcome to the forum!

Sorry I don't have any useful feedback, other than to post these "345 engine tranny swap" search results for possible relevant posts/threads here:

https://www.google.com/search?q=345+...=airforums.com

FYI the search function in the blue box above searches only within AirForums, so the results are usefully helpful. [using the desktop version of this site -- not the App] Hopefully you will also get some good feedback here.

Good luck,

Peter
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Old 05-01-2020, 07:16 AM   #3
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1985 34.5' Airstream 345
Stark city , Missouri
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 5
Thanks for the info, think we will start on taking out the diesel and see what challenges we have.
this whole thing is a work in progress. it may turn from a summer project to next winter.
lots of questions that I hope to find answers to in the old posts.
I am also wondering about the value of the old 310 shell, the guy we bought it from said the front passenger windshield was broken when he got it other than that things are in decent shape for a 38 year old vehicle.

Thanks again
Robin
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Old 05-01-2020, 10:54 AM   #4
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2014 20' Flying Cloud
Long Island , New York
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 16,987
Robin, are you aware of the Sticky Topic at the top of this sub-forum? The first post in that thread, by Keyair, has incredible motorhome resources to check:

https://www.airforums.com/forums/f31...ml#post1186592

Happy trails,

Peter
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Old 05-01-2020, 11:16 AM   #5
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1972 25' Tradewind
1976 31' Excella 500
1974 31' Excella 500
1975 24' Argosy 24
Denver , Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 1,012
I recently acquired a 24 Argosy with the same motor. I haven't started "unpacking it" yet, but I am starting to mine information, thus I'm joining this thread. Best of luck!
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Old 05-01-2020, 12:34 PM   #6
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1982 28' Airstream 280
Port Angeles , Washington
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,916
Welcome to the insanity. I have a 280 with the Isuzu that is in your 310 and I also have a 345 with a factory installed 12V Cummins. I will admit I am partial to Cummins. With that in mind the Cummins seems to be a cleaner more open installation but again I am biased toward Cummins.

To me the Isuzu is a great engine and we have nearly 200,000 miles on the 280. The problem is it is old, obsolete, and parts are not always easy to source. The engine was designed as normally aspirated with an aftermarket low pressure turbo installed by Airstream. They then shop built an adaptor to couple it to a GM TH 400 transmission.

The Cummins is much newer, much more common, great parts support and almost unlimited power potential. The peace of mind driving down the highway without worrying about the failure of a simple part that can hang you up for days or weeks is something to be considered.

As an example I lost the alternator once on the Isuzu. It is a Nippondenso with a vacuum pump mounted on the back. I eventually found an old style alternator/starter rebuild shop to work on it, bad brush was the problem. The Cummins alternator can be found at any parts house.

Again I am Cummins biased and it is just my opinion but something to think about. Good luck.
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Old 05-02-2020, 07:10 AM   #7
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1991 25' Airstream 250
Oxford , Oxfordshire
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,133
Images: 5
Per previous posted, run through the sticky at the top of the classic section and you'll pick up tons of useful information. Check out my post number 95 here: https://www.airforums.com/forums/f31...ml#post1895608

which has links to all the factory service manuals, unit repair manuals and emissions manuals for each year (where available)

Good luck

Nick
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Old 05-03-2020, 08:08 AM   #8
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1982 31' Airstream 310
Columbia , Tennessee
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 494
Images: 39
Hey Farm 1, welcome to the forum.

The problem I see is that the front of the rigs changed in 83 to a horizontal radiator set up. The 82 has the vertical. You will need to make sure that your current radiator set up will handle the extra heat load of the diesel?!

Also make sure that the dog house in the 345 will clear the diesel set up.

I looked at the same rig on market place, and would have liked to get it here to TN, just not feasible for me. If you do want to part out the 310, I'm sure you can do okay. Brad here on the forum has done that on a unit he had, and was very helpful to many members.

Good luck with your swap.

Hey we are a couple of old Missouri mules our selves. Moved here in 90 with Saturn.
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1991 350LE "Zephyr"
1982 310 MoHo
Many Years ago, 1972 Argosy 24' trailer
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Old 05-03-2020, 08:11 PM   #9
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1985 34.5' Airstream 345
Stark city , Missouri
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 5
great
thanks for the info
do you think the 454 radiator will handle the heat or is trying to put the diesel radiator on a better idea
and what about an intercooler to help with heat?
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Old 05-03-2020, 08:44 PM   #10
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1982 31' Airstream 310
Columbia , Tennessee
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 494
Images: 39
Not sure about the cross flow for the diesel, they're more efficient than the vertical. They have put the Cummins in these, so there should be a radiator that should work.

About the intercooler, I don't think they ever had one. Think it would be a good thing to do, but don't think they have the boost that requires it!? Others on here with the isuzu should be able to answer that.
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1991 350LE "Zephyr"
1982 310 MoHo
Many Years ago, 1972 Argosy 24' trailer
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Old 05-12-2020, 06:08 PM   #11
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1985 34.5' Airstream 345
Bolton , Massachusetts
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 141
Good luck on the project I read all the info and I have decided to go stock replacement engine tranny on my 85 345 with 200k on the original power train .I bought mine new and remember how great it was then - plus its much simpler job.keep us all posted I will too.
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