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Old 05-28-2020, 06:04 AM   #1
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1985 34.5' Airstream 345
Bolton , Massachusetts
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Rebuild of 85 345 Finally starts

Ok here we go . Today is the first day of the heart transplant on our 85 345 we bought new and pushed about 200,000 miles full of kids dogs and memories.now the family voted to rebuild not replace for the next generation of users. Found a shop in MA big enough to take it inside , with enough older mechanical skill to help get this done.much advice from the forum included. just got a new 454 from Jeggs and new Tranny .decided to go all stock all the way back to the day I drove it off the lot. should be alot to post . So I will share what we learn with everyone.Many many parts ordered so we can replace anything that moves,leaks ,rots or is worn .stay tuned.
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Old 05-28-2020, 07:19 AM   #2
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Richmond , Kentucky
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Since you're going stay stock the removal and reinstall should be pretty straight forward. That doesn't mean it will be easy but once you start modifying things like I did then a whole new can of worms is opened!

Looking forward to pictures and updates on the progress.

Brad
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Old 05-28-2020, 10:05 AM   #3
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As someone getting ready to start a 1976 Argosy with no idea of what the engine/tranny will require, Im wondering if you have calculated (and could share) a ballpark number on what this swap is going to cost you? Just curious what the numbers are for "have someone make it new" vs. "go spelunking on my own."
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Old 05-28-2020, 02:05 PM   #4
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1982 31' Airstream 310
Dearman Avenue , Tennessee
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Wow, looking forward to seeing pictures and learning about your experience with the engine swap!
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Old 05-29-2020, 05:56 AM   #5
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1985 34.5' Airstream 345
Bolton , Massachusetts
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 98
new engine for my 345

Quote:
Originally Posted by bkahler View Post
Since you're going stay stock the removal and reinstall should be pretty straight forward. That doesn't mean it will be easy but once you start modifying things like I did then a whole new can of worms is opened!

Looking forward to pictures and updates on the progress.

Brad
thats what I have gathered in a year of reading , watching BOB from NY rebuild his and others .I really dont think the original power config was terrible .I wont be towing so no change to tranny , I dont think EFI would be worth the trouble and I will skip the Banks system to try to stay quieter .Mostly I will modify the doghouse and firewall insulation for more sound and fury reduction
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Old 05-29-2020, 06:07 AM   #6
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1985 34.5' Airstream 345
Bolton , Massachusetts
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 98
new engine for my 345

ok i will try to learn how to easily post some pictures -allittle above my pay grade
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Old 05-29-2020, 08:45 AM   #7
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Las Vegas Airstream: One on their lot for sale

Las Vegas Airstream (Henderson, Nevada) has a 345 for sale on their lot. Saw it yesterday when comparing our 2019 with the 2020 Airstream trailers on the lot.
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Old 05-29-2020, 09:13 AM   #8
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1985 34.5' Airstream 345
Bolton , Massachusetts
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Eklund View Post
Las Vegas Airstream (Henderson, Nevada) has a 345 for sale on their lot. Saw it yesterday when comparing our 2019 with the 2020 Airstream trailers on the lot.
EGAD one is enough ! unless you are like some folks on this forum that are repeat and multiple offenders
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Old 05-29-2020, 09:57 AM   #9
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1972 27' Overlander
Heinsburg , AB
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Great story, love the rebuild plan and will be following. Please do post pictures; would like to see the before. Good luck.
CC
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Old 05-29-2020, 11:44 AM   #10
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1985 34.5' Airstream 345
Bolton , Massachusetts
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 98
new engine for my 345

[attach]Click image for larger version

Name:	345newengine.jpg
Views:	15
Size:	331.8 KB
ID:	368895[/attach]

Ok figured out the upload attachment deal .here is the new 454 and my old friend on the operating table
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

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Views:	23
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Old 05-29-2020, 11:55 AM   #11
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1984 34.5' Airstream 345
Franklin Park , Illinois
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 179
YES PLEASE keep us informed
I brought my 84 355 home from the storage in Rockford Illinois to my home in Franklin Park Illinois about 3 months ago So far this is the list of things I’ve done...
Things done on Airstream 3-20–20 to 5-30-20
Picked up used rear axle
Removed bent axle
Rebuilt electric breaks
On used axle
New wires to breaks on rear axle
Repacked rear wheel bearings
Installed used rear axle
Readjusted rear airbag height
Fixed driver side rear tire splash guard
Replaced bad leaking water lines with “shark bite” connectors and lines
Replaced rotted floorboards where old leaky lines rotted the floor out
Removed electric water heater
Shampooed rug and upholstery
Welded and repaired automatic vacuum step
Remade / fixed entry step
Installed better front tire valves
Removed non-working motor powered A/C
Flushed coolant system
New top and bottom radiator hoses
Repaired heater core hoses
New motor belts
Refilled LP tank
New spark plugs
New spark plug wires
Rebuilt distributor
New signal generator
New electronic module
New cap
New rotor
New capacitor
Fixed (rehung) rear curtains
Replaced 2 cabin light bulbs
Lubed all sliding windows
Rebuilt Quadra jet carburetor
New valve cover gaskets
New valve cover hold downs
Replaced rubber in outdoor in railing
...anti freeze reservoir...
...oil & filter change...
....greased lubed all sliding outdoor storage bins...
installed starter heat shield
Installed gear reduction starter
Replaced 12 missing window weeps
Greased / lubed all front-end
So just out of curiosity...
Are you keeping the dash A/C
And are you going to do any cleaning up and or re organization of the rats nest under the dashboard?
Good luck! I may be more excited then you about your project then you... (but I doubt it)
My 345 isn’t much to look at, old and dated, but it runs and I get to go camping in it. Many times I end up doing small projects at the camp sight again good luck, and I can’t wait to see your next post��
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Old 05-29-2020, 12:23 PM   #12
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Vista , California
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I will be watching, I rebuilt my ‘75 Argosy, it’s fun to watch someone else do it.
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Old 05-29-2020, 01:23 PM   #13
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Dearman Avenue , Tennessee
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Old 05-30-2020, 05:21 AM   #14
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1985 34.5' Airstream 345
Bolton , Massachusetts
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidjedi View Post
As someone getting ready to start a 1976 Argosy with no idea of what the engine/tranny will require, Im wondering if you have calculated (and could share) a ballpark number on what this swap is going to cost you? Just curious what the numbers are for "have someone make it new" vs. "go spelunking on my own."
well all the parts so far are 11k and the labor help is 4k but im sure there will be more
so 15k est to start
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Old 05-30-2020, 05:26 AM   #15
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1985 34.5' Airstream 345
Bolton , Massachusetts
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 98
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grosspoluter View Post
YES PLEASE keep us informed
I brought my 84 355 home from the storage in Rockford Illinois to my home in Franklin Park Illinois about 3 months ago So far this is the list of things I’ve done...
Things done on Airstream 3-20–20 to 5-30-20
Picked up used rear axle
Removed bent axle
Rebuilt electric breaks
On used axle
New wires to breaks on rear axle
Repacked rear wheel bearings
Installed used rear axle
Readjusted rear airbag height
Fixed driver side rear tire splash guard
Replaced bad leaking water lines with “shark bite” connectors and lines
Replaced rotted floorboards where old leaky lines rotted the floor out
Removed electric water heater
Shampooed rug and upholstery
Welded and repaired automatic vacuum step
Remade / fixed entry step
Installed better front tire valves
Removed non-working motor powered A/C
Flushed coolant system
New top and bottom radiator hoses
Repaired heater core hoses
New motor belts
Refilled LP tank
New spark plugs
New spark plug wires
Rebuilt distributor
New signal generator
New electronic module
New cap
New rotor
New capacitor
Fixed (rehung) rear curtains
Replaced 2 cabin light bulbs
Lubed all sliding windows
Rebuilt Quadra jet carburetor
New valve cover gaskets
New valve cover hold downs
Replaced rubber in outdoor in railing
...anti freeze reservoir...
...oil & filter change...
....greased lubed all sliding outdoor storage bins...
installed starter heat shield
Installed gear reduction starter
Replaced 12 missing window weeps
Greased / lubed all front-end
So just out of curiosity...
Are you keeping the dash A/C
And are you going to do any cleaning up and or re organization of the rats nest under the dashboard?
Good luck! I may be more excited then you about your project then you... (but I doubt it)
My 345 isn’t much to look at, old and dated, but it runs and I get to go camping in it. Many times I end up doing small projects at the camp sight again good luck, and I can’t wait to see your next post��
yikes I have kept up remember I bought my rig new in 1985 and its been on the road every year since so we have 34 years in my 345 just brought it back from 2 years in fla , before that 4 years in LA area . I have tackled many of your issues already like all the suspension bushings and rubber parts ,new rear cam,new fridge, new micro,new toilet unit .need one rear window for the curbside bedroom that fractured but cant find that yet
the dash is a nightmare but no nests this year .focus now is on all the parts that move under the doghouse and new sound and heat insul
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Old 05-30-2020, 05:47 AM   #16
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1994 30' Excella
1992 35' Airstream 350
Austin , Texas
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following, its so easy to do this job on my comfortable chair with a cup of Java.

I am so impressed that you are the original owner of this 345. You must know where every rivet is.

After moving through several models over the last 20 years, I have settled (for the time being) on a 1992 350LE. I have been trying to get one for several years for 2 reasons: overdrive and EFI
The 1983 310, which is now so well taken care of by Dave (Ontheroadagn) was the first with after market EFI. What a difference!!
This 350LE also has a USGear Over/under which lets this 16k rig run at 2200 rpm at 63.5 . Fuel consumption is also supposed to be vastly improved (yet to be verified)
I personally, when spending this amount of money, would strongly consider a over drive unit and an aftermarket fuel injection.
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Old 05-31-2020, 04:18 AM   #17
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2005 34' Classic S/O
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I strongly recommend a new radiator core.....4 row, 9/16” tubes, remember the one that came with your Airstream was not designed for AC. When you’re done I can recharge your AC system with R12 if you want......if you make it to a “Get-Together” Regards, Bob
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Old 05-31-2020, 07:41 AM   #18
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1988 34.5' Airstream 345
Ruidoso , New Mexico
Join Date: Nov 2019
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Rebuild 345

We replaced the original 454 with a GM 502 with fuel injection and 4 speed auto transmission. We pull a car and have lots of power. It has been a challenge to keep the engine cool. Motor and transmission were $14000.00 plus labor.
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Old 05-31-2020, 07:27 PM   #19
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1985 34.5' Airstream 345
Bolton , Massachusetts
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 98
yes bob got one ordered I gathered that from all the past info .hope to make it to a get together under "new" power soon .thanks still many bits and bugs as you well know yet to be worked out. looking for rear curbside bedroom window (cracked glass) any ideas on that cant seem to find one and I understand repair is close to impossoible
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Old 05-31-2020, 07:28 PM   #20
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1985 34.5' Airstream 345
Bolton , Massachusetts
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sounds like the money is right I expect to vaporize 15 k easily
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