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-   -   1987 325 MH died on the road....help! (https://www.airforums.com/forums/f311/1987-325-mh-died-on-the-road-help-215331.html)

realpank 10-06-2020 10:28 PM

1987 325 MH died on the road....help!
 
I have taken two trips with my MH this year. Both trips to the same local about three hours away. On my first trip in June, no issues on my ride up, parked for a week and drove home. About twenty minutes from home I noticed a definite lack of power, sort of stalling. I kept my foot on the gas, without accelerating, and the engine recovered. This happened two more times before I got home and I reacted the same way and powered through it. Took it in to the garage to see if I could find the issue and fix. I thought it might be starving for gas so I had that system checked thoroughly for leaks, blockage etc. All fuel systems checked ok although the venting seemed to be struggling. They found that my gas cap was sticky and cleaned it up and starting seemed to be much better. With the gas flow better and starting more solid I thought that we were good.

My trip to the same park in September had no issues on the way up. 2.5 hours of good strong travel. On the way home the unit stalled while in transit and I had to pull over. I had to trickle charge the battery to get going so I thought it might be the battery. My negative terminal was loose and quite hot, so I took it out and hitched to town to buy a new one ( or at least check it) . Autzone verified that the battery was good so I thought a better connection should do it. I had good strong turn over but did not seem to have gas. Hitched back to town to make sure I had enough gas to start (gas gauge is not very accurate).

Got it started and drove to fill it up. Got back on the road and after five minutes started feeling that dreadful lack of power. I tried to continue but the engine started to back fire. I knew I could go no further so I pulled over and had it towed two hours home.

I'm Thinking that there is are break in the wiring somewhere that fails intermittently. Does not seem to be a fuel issue. I am absolutely sick about this as this i the third trip back to the mechanic and we are no closer to finding an answer. I have recommended that all wires be checked for continuity. He noted that the battery terminals on my second and third batteries could clasp the terminals better but I think those don't affect the motor operation. I did have a alternator failure and the way it failed (with the back firing) was reminiscent.
Mechanic has said the alt is charging fine.

I want to see if anyone has experienced a similar or same problem. I don't know where to start with this and with such an excellent knowledge base my Airstream mates may have a solution.

Thanks in advance to any suggestions or responses.
Regards, Chris

Foiled Again 10-07-2020 12:04 AM

Gas or diesel engine?
Any Belts slipping or showing wear from being misaligned or stretched? Timing belt getting ready to fail? Plugs fouling? Air filter full of sh**? Try to think about weather - outside temperature and humidity. Does it happen on level straightaway or in hilly terrain? If you sit for an hour or two after it acts up and then try to restart the engine does it get better, stay the same or get worse? Contaminated fuel? In an abundance of caution I treat my diesel to an occasional anti-algae treatment due to being in Florida.

PeterH-350LE 10-07-2020 06:03 AM

Thats is hard to deal with. So sorry! I have experienced similar problems with 3 different MH's, so my guess assuming you have a carburetor is fuel. You said they checked everything fuel related, you sure they did?
The most common overlooked filter is the inline filter inside of the carburetor, which I experienced to cause just those intermittent issues. How many filters do you know about? There may be a hidden one on the rail and another one at the rear fuel pump (assuming you have that additional pump). The first filter inline needs to be canister type filter and not a super fine micron inline filter.
MH #1: Inline filter inside carb clogged
MH #2: first filter before rear fuel Pump clogged due to it being too fine
MH #3: Sludge in first canister type filter from dirty fuel tank causing intermittent power issues, especially at idle

gunner 10-07-2020 06:36 AM

My 345 has the rear electric fuel pump, even though you could hear it running I found it was not pumping fuel, I disconnected the fuel line on the exit side and turned on the pump and no fuel would flow. The result was that on any hill it would loose power and back fire through the carburetor. I had to keep trying to feather the throttle to match the flow of fuel through the mechanical pump. Just an idea to check. This happened when I purchased the Motorhome bringing it home from Florida to Ohio.

dznf0g 10-07-2020 06:40 AM

I can't remember....1987 still have a distributor?? Look down inside the distributor at the pickup wheel for the HEI hall effect switch. If there is crud and it has a rusty look, it's time for a new distributor.

bkahler 10-07-2020 06:43 AM

Replace the ignition coil. I've had symptoms like that and they were signs that the coil was starting to fail.

Ultraclassic 10-07-2020 07:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by realpank (Post 2418733)
I have taken two trips with my MH this year. Both trips to the same local about three hours away. On my first trip in June, no issues on my ride up, parked for a week and drove home. About twenty minutes from home I noticed a definite lack of power, sort of stalling. I kept my foot on the gas, without accelerating, and the engine recovered. This happened two more times before I got home and I reacted the same way and powered through it. Took it in to the garage to see if I could find the issue and fix. I thought it might be starving for gas so I had that system checked thoroughly for leaks, blockage etc. All fuel systems checked ok although the venting seemed to be struggling. They found that my gas cap was sticky and cleaned it up and starting seemed to be much better. With the gas flow better and starting more solid I thought that we were good.

My trip to the same park in September had no issues on the way up. 2.5 hours of good strong travel. On the way home the unit stalled while in transit and I had to pull over. I had to trickle charge the battery to get going so I thought it might be the battery. My negative terminal was loose and quite hot, so I took it out and hitched to town to buy a new one ( or at least check it) . Autzone verified that the battery was good so I thought a better connection should do it. I had good strong turn over but did not seem to have gas. Hitched back to town to make sure I had enough gas to start (gas gauge is not very accurate).

Got it started and drove to fill it up. Got back on the road and after five minutes started feeling that dreadful lack of power. I tried to continue but the engine started to back fire. I knew I could go no further so I pulled over and had it towed two hours home.

I'm Thinking that there is are break in the wiring somewhere that fails intermittently. Does not seem to be a fuel issue. I am absolutely sick about this as this i the third trip back to the mechanic and we are no closer to finding an answer. I have recommended that all wires be checked for continuity. He noted that the battery terminals on my second and third batteries could clasp the terminals better but I think those don't affect the motor operation. I did have a alternator failure and the way it failed (with the back firing) was reminiscent.
Mechanic has said the alt is charging fine.

I want to see if anyone has experienced a similar or same problem. I don't know where to start with this and with such an excellent knowledge base my Airstream mates may have a solution.

Thanks in advance to any suggestions or responses.
Regards, Chris

Hi Chris.

You need Fuel, Compression and Spark. To run at maximum efficiency.

The diagnostic approach is to determine which of the 3 did you loose?

It sounds like fuel delivery ( but with out "feeling it and seeing it" hard to tell

1. Fuel delivery to the Carburetor - lines- pump- filters

2. Fuel delivery to the engine - carburetor - vacuum leaks - intake gaskets - EGR issues


To Start I would perform a fuel delivery test. As it could be a weak pump, plugged screen, filter, or a perforated line allowing air bubbles, Look up the Fuel spec's for example (1.5 gallon a minute). Test at the farthest away from the tank ( this way you test filters and connections) and run a "extra" hose into a bucket and time it. ( At my shop we have a volume tester) does it pump

Waipio Rim 10-07-2020 11:13 AM

X2 on the ignition coil. The maiden voyage of our 310 was interrupted by a failing coil, symptoms got worse as the engine got hotter until it finally quit completely. To me, backfiring says ďignition problemĒ as fuel is getting into the motor and detonating at the wrong time.

whitelight 10-07-2020 11:40 AM

All of the above needs to be checked out. On two previous MH had similar issues with the EGR valve and fule pump.
Don't know if the 87 has a throttle position sensor. Ours went out on our 1994 Airstream Land Yacht MH. Did the same thing as you are describing.

Travel Pro 10-07-2020 12:51 PM

1987 325 MH died on the road.-reply
 
After looking at your problem message and the replies, I would add the following:
  • gasoline ages just as poorly as diesel, although with different characteristics. If you don't keep your tank full and exercise the vehicle regularly, you need to add fuel stabilizers and water absorption chemicals to the tank before storage. The modern alcohol plus gasoline mixture draws moisture even worse than the old gasoline and the alcohol also is corrosive to metals and the old rubbers that made up pre-'90's fuel systems. Water can pool in your fuel tank (with both gas and diesel) and depending on your tank's pick up point, can run normally or choke out the fuel supply with water.
    • if your vehicle runs fairly well going uphill or on level ground and poorly going downhill, I would look here first.
  • gas fuel tanks from you vehicle's era and forward can have a duck foot filter at the bottom of the fuel pickup in the tank. These can clog and clear intermittently. Depending on direction in tank, they could choke or flow depending on angle of vehicle although this is rare.
  • old fuel lines should be replaced with newer materials more resistant to alcohol if yours is a gas rig
  • all fuel filters from inside the tank to inside thevcarb should be checked and replaced per maintenance schedule or more often if the vehicle sits most of the time without being driven.
  • a bad coil or failing distributor can cause backfires and loss of power, but I would think these would show up during any long drive and you should have had problems outbound as well as homeward-bound.
  • backfires are generally caused by incorrect timing or incorrect fuel mixture (generally over lean of fuel to air). Vacuum leaks can also drive over-lean conditions, but again, I would expect this to have been a problem on the trip out as well as the trip back.
Good luck on this. One last FWIW, don't be in love with one mechanic. If you are back for round two and your guy isn't sure where to look next, you may have the wrong guy. Look for a GOOD truck shop for your mechanical support. The top part of your rig may be a tiny home but the bottom is a truck, pure and simple.

Waipio Rim 10-07-2020 01:31 PM

The new distributor idea is a good one. Except for plugs and plug wires these distributors contain pretty much the entire ignition system, including the coil, and are not that expensive. I carried one as a spare on our Alaska trip.

bobmiller1 10-07-2020 01:41 PM

I bet your totally confused now.....to many possibilities of what could be wrong. Without throwing out a lot of money and replacing parts that donít need to be replaced I suggest you either find someone that can diagnose your problem or you do it yourself. It could be a lot of things or 1 thing thatís wrong. Do you have the ability to do it yourself ? If no, then find someone who does.

Ultraclassic 10-07-2020 02:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bobmiller1 (Post 2418957)
I bet your totally confused now.....to many possibilities of what could be wrong. Without throwing out a lot of money and replacing parts that donít need to be replaced I suggest you either find someone that can diagnose your problem or you do it yourself. It could be a lot of things or 1 thing thatís wrong. Do you have the ability to do it yourself ? If no, then find someone who does.

I agree Bob

PeterH-350LE 10-07-2020 02:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by realpank (Post 2418733)
....
I want to see if anyone has experienced a similar or same problem. I don't know where to start with this and with such an excellent knowledge base my Airstream mates may have a solution.

Thanks in advance to any suggestions or responses.
Regards, Chris


The man asked and some of us replied and shared their experience and offered free advice. And yes, its free advice and should always be looked at with scrutiny.

GCinSC2 10-07-2020 02:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bobmiller1 (Post 2418957)
I bet your totally confused now.....to many possibilities of what could be wrong. Without throwing out a lot of money and replacing parts that donít need to be replaced I suggest you either find someone that can diagnose your problem or you do it yourself. It could be a lot of things or 1 thing thatís wrong. Do you have the ability to do it yourself ? If no, then find someone who does.

And for today's heavy weight bout in the RED corner THE PARTS CANNON and in the BLUE corner DIAGNOSTIC TESTING.

Alright when you hear the bell give it your best and I want a good clean fight.

Good luck.

Voltair 10-07-2020 03:00 PM

Hi Chris,
My 87 345 had that loss off power problem seems when ever it felt like it ie no apparent rhyme or reason, talk about loosing confidence in taking these beasts out for a walk:}
Well as it has just been said this leads to total confusion so sorry if I add to it but read on how I sorted mine!
I have tried to write this as simply as I can but it has produced to many words to explane something so simple, best over the next day will take some photo's and let them do the explaining.
Here is the posible cause,
(prob1) a gas tank needs to be deep - narrow and short.take a look on the ouside off any commercial Truck!
Take a look at yours, its the opposite its shallow -wide and long.
(prob 2).The fuel sloshers around and if low say around 1/4 full that external carter electric pump strapped to the rear 31 feet away is no good at sucking air or fuel as it is sucking up from the inside bottom and over outside top causing air pocket into the input side off the carter Ellectric Pump ie intermittent fuel supply.
(Prob 3) after thirty odd years the coatings are breacking down and rusting inside off tank so there goes your new filters ahhhhh the airstream MH gas tank has caused more MH resale's than any other single part,
You just end up not trusting it in traffic.
In short I fitted a red marine tank fitted right up front where that old weighty n dangerous torpedoe LPG tank once sat. Steepest hills Longest hills up or down now I have full confidence it won't cough splutter n pass out.
If any one is ever interested in photo's i'll post with details..

Rus

bibbs 10-07-2020 03:40 PM

I had a very long problematic trip to Ontario Canada and back to SanDiego, it did the exact thing as you described. Several times a day, We finished, the trip by traveling at night. My problem was fuel delivery, when things got hot outside I had problems, it was vapor lock. The fuel would vaporize before it reached the pump. I re did the entire fuel delivery system including a in tank pump.

Magnet18 10-07-2020 05:32 PM

I see 5 votes for fuel delivery, 2 for ignition coil, and 2 for distributor.

I would replace the $20 coil as preventative maintenance if it's original, and then make sure the fuel delivery system is clean and flowing well, my $.02

kdfulsome54 10-07-2020 06:48 PM

If you have GM engine the module inside the distributor will do what you are describing. Intermittent at first and then gets worse eventually quitting altogether. With the distributor cap off very easy to change.

dznf0g 10-07-2020 07:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kdfulsome54 (Post 2419050)
If you have GM engine the module inside the distributor will do what you are describing. Intermittent at first and then gets worse eventually quitting altogether. With the distributor cap off very easy to change.

That's what I was referring to above. I suspect ignition over fuel. The HEI module, with hall effect switch is inside the distributor. Could be just the module, but at this age, inspect for any lateral movement, or play in the distributor shaft. The reluctor on the shaft also gets rusty and screws up the individual cylinder ignition timing, often causing a "backfire".....its actually more like a cough or an inconsistent dropout.
Usually, it will eventually die, and wont restart for some period of time after cooling down a bit.

tjdonahoe 10-07-2020 07:34 PM

454 in tight quarters gets hot....gas don’t flow when it turns to vapor....some even seize a piston

stream3 10-07-2020 08:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bkahler (Post 2418771)
Replace the ignition coil. I've had symptoms like that and they were signs that the coil was starting to fail.

I concur. I had the same thing happen on a trip 20 years ago in our first 345. Ignition coil.

realpank 10-07-2020 09:11 PM

1987 325 MH died on the road....help!
 
Whew! Thanks for the great responses. I usually get an email when I get responses to posts but received nothing on this.

Great stuff and all note worthy.

I have replaced the original gas tank as the original had rusted out. I went around the bend to insist the fuel system be tested and verified and they assured me they had. The sticky fuel cap seemed like a very simplistic solution but they said fuel pressure and delivery is good. The 454 runs and idles very well.

On a previous repair job for the same issue, I insisted we rebuild the ignition system and had the distributor and coil replaced. New plugs and wires. Less that 20 hours of travel on that fix. That does not mean that there may not still be a problem there. It is of my biggest suspicion.

I am leaning more toward a wiring issue and a failure somewhere in the system that happens randomly. Some dodgy wiring has been done behind the dashboard and I suspect this may be a cause. The issue arose after a 3 hour drive outbound without issue and the happened as I was almost home after 2.5 hours. Last week it happened 30 minutes outbound.

I have addressed many of the issues that have been noted in these posts:

Replaced rusty gas tank and verified fuel pressure. I love the idea of moving the tank up front tho, brilliant!

Particulate from rust in tank fouled the carburetor so that has been replaced.

I am currently having them trance the continuity of the wires related to the ignition system.

I am greatly heartened by the posts from y'all saying you have had similar hard to diagnose problems, for this I don't feel so alone. Without a reference for names the post on not being in love with this mechanic makes very good sense. As well the heart of this house on wheels beat the powerhouse of a truck, using classic, simplistic technology. I am trying to treat it in this manner.

Will post future developments, many, many thanks to my Airstream comrades. Your devotion, knowledge base and passion is irreplaceable.
Cheers to you all !

Oreg52 10-08-2020 02:20 AM

I too am leaning towards the coil. By and large the coil in cap is a good design but it has its weaknesses. The biggest problem is heat causing the breakdown of the epoxy filled coil. And with the majority of replacement parts being made in China these days, quality is suspect. First of all insist on genuine Delco Remy parts for your ignition system.
There are also kits that remove the epoxy coil from the distributor cap and replace it with an oil filled coil mounted remotely. Something a competent mechanic can do easily

PeterH-350LE 10-08-2020 06:29 AM

After your detailed list of what you have done, I am very curious to hear what the cause of your problem turns out to be. When I do preventative maintenance, I keep the known working part in my carry on Parts bin, just in case new didn't turn out to be reliable.

mkcurtiss 10-08-2020 08:17 AM

I would replace the coil, the fuel pump, and the crankshaft position sensor, or camshaft position sensor if it has one.

mkcurtiss 10-08-2020 08:19 AM

You might investigate the possibility of replacing the old distributor with a more modern electronic unit......solves lots of issues.

Waipio Rim 10-08-2020 10:51 AM

I bought an MSD brand coil when ours failed, no problems since.

jhenry 10-08-2020 11:04 AM

MH died on road
 
I have a 1988 325 I had similar problem unit would stall out, my solution was to replace the electric fuel pump. We tested it and found faulty. I was in Rochester NY. We replaced it and went to auto wreckers and found a sediment bowl from and old olds installed it.New gas in line filters. Drove all the to Calgary Alberta Canada with no problem.

HiHoAgRV 10-08-2020 01:02 PM

I had a P30 chassis MH years ago and had the same problem. Short answer, the vapor recovery system was plugged and wouldn't vent the tank. After a while the pump would pull a vacuum on the tank and starve the delivery.


Removing/loosening the gas cap was a quick fix to get home.


The giveaway of the problem was after being parked for a few minutes, I heard a GONG noise. It was the tank re-expanding after being sucked in.

PeterH-350LE 10-08-2020 02:34 PM

1 Attachment(s)
when you go through the wiring, you may want to take a good look at the fusible link(s) on top of the engine. This picture is a 1979, but I know my 1992 has 1 as well.

NOAZRK2690 10-08-2020 03:02 PM

You have lots of good suggestions here. Here's a really cheap fix. Wrap your fuel line in aluminum foil and reroute it if it's too close to either the intake and/or exhaust manifolds. This will help prevent a fuel lock. Second, those older GM motors had mechanical fuel pumps that relied on their pumping action coming from a rod that rides up & down on an oval lobe that is machined at the front of the crank shift. The lobe and rod wore out quickly in the big bore motors causing them to starve for fuel and the motor bucks due to irregular fuel supply. The trick is to remove the fuel pump, remove the rod then put the fuel pump back in place. Install a new electric fuel pump and route the fuel lines as needed. Good luck!

bobmiller1 10-08-2020 05:51 PM

I believe that the lobe is on the camshaft........just saying.....you donít need anymore mid-information, Regards, Bob

Paul J Mauro 10-08-2020 08:08 PM

my 345 has died over the years . first it was a failed coil /easy to replace sits on top of the block in terrible heat -not expensive. secodn was a short on the electrical lines to the midship fuel pump just a worn wire shorting on the frame and of course worked until you hit just the right bump... also a cheap fix. depends on where you are .tough to find good mechanical help so best to begin learning .

ChristopherH 10-11-2020 12:06 PM

Probably not applicable but . . .
 
I had an '87 El Camino that experienced the same issues, turned out to be clogged CAT. After 20 years they get pretty dirty. FWIW.

Voltair 10-11-2020 03:02 PM

I reread your original post, you referred to your ground strap hot/ loose ect .
My 345 had many various and vague ellectrical problems, starter, dash gauges ect that I went looking for bad earth points.
My 345 had been untampered with, so original ? It relied on the battery earth strap that ending on the chasis then one web strap from there to drivers side off motor. I added another short 200 amp earth strap from that chasis point across onto the Bell Housing bolt.
My tail lights came up brighter, rear fuel pump sounded louder, starter now worked on a hot motor restart , dash also, all down to an original design weakness. As they get older crud builds up between things! Like us all :-)
I read a 2003 forum fixing a 454 backfire issue caused by a bad earth.
I always go for the fundamental's befor I go part swapping.

Rus

jpaine4 10-11-2020 06:30 PM

Maybe mentioned above. I did not read all comments. Sounds to me like your catalytic converter is bad and needs replacing.

2MileHi 10-11-2020 07:20 PM

You could buy an awful lot of parts before you catch the right one. So I would suggest finding a really good diagnostician to give you an opinion. Or maybe your bus just doesn't want to come home!

ROBERT CROSS 10-11-2020 08:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jpaine4 (Post 2420514)
Maybe mentioned above. I did not read all comments. Sounds to me like your catalytic converter is bad and needs replacing.

Plugged CAT converter.
BINGO....remove it and drive.
Take out a pre CAT O2 sensor & drive, hole saw it and drive all methods I have used to diagnose.

Also mentioned the 'sock' filter in the fuel tank can also cause intermittent loss of power.

Bob
🇺🇸

NavyCorpsman 10-11-2020 08:13 PM

Warm negative terminal? Check the chassis ground cable. Sometimes alternator bracket to frame or engine to frame.

realpank 10-12-2020 12:18 AM

1987 Mh died
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Voltair (Post 2420404)
I reread your original post, you referred to your ground strap hot/ loose ect .
My 345 had many various and vague ellectrical problems, starter, dash gauges ect that I went looking for bad earth points.
My 345 had been untampered with, so original ? It relied on the battery earth strap that ending on the chasis then one web strap from there to drivers side off motor. I added another short 200 amp earth strap from that chasis point across onto the Bell Housing bolt.
My tail lights came up brighter, rear fuel pump sounded louder, starter now worked on a hot motor restart , dash also, all down to an original design weakness. As they get older crud builds up between things! Like us all :-)
I read a 2003 forum fixing a 454 backfire issue caused by a bad earth.
I always go for the fundamental's befor I go part swapping.

Rus

Sage advice, thanks Russ

Ultraclassic 10-12-2020 06:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 2MileHi (Post 2420537)
You could buy an awful lot of parts before you catch the right one. So I would suggest finding a really good diagnostician to give you an opinion. Or maybe your bus just doesn't want to come home!

Bingo, like is said earlier diagnosis

Drewkonopka5 10-12-2020 06:59 AM

As many have noted, there may be numerous possibilities. Couple things to consider:
1. backfire is generally caused by unburned fuel in the hot exhaust, thus my first thought it is not lack of fuel.
2. Fuel problems would show up going there and coming back, use starting fluid in the intake to completely rule this out by spraying when loosing power. Do not do this if you have no experience, very bad things can happen
3. Put a spark tester on a spark wire, if no spark when cranking, that may be your problem.

jtblakley 10-13-2020 09:15 AM

Former Motorhome Owner
 
We owned a 1987 345 Motorhome for a few years. Finally, after spending way too much money and never deriving much pleasure, we sold it. We now own a 2019 Airstream Flying Cloud 27FB. At least I don't have to worry about an underpowered engine in my trailer.

Magnet18 10-13-2020 11:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jtblakley (Post 2421157)
We owned a 1987 345 Motorhome for a few years. Finally, after spending way too much money and never deriving much pleasure, we sold it. We now own a 2019 Airstream Flying Cloud 27FB. At least I don't have to worry about an underpowered engine in my trailer.

So the $100,000 trailer solved your "spending way too much money" problem? :lol:

PeterH-350LE 10-13-2020 02:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Magnet18 (Post 2421227)
So the $100,000 trailer solved your "spending way too much money" problem? :lol:


You forgot the 60k Diesel to tow the $100 000 Trailer;)
Don't you love it when people jump in with comments like that.

bobmiller1 10-13-2020 06:27 PM

LMAO ! Well said!

bkahler 10-14-2020 12:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jtblakley (Post 2421157)
We owned a 1987 345 Motorhome for a few years. Finally, after spending way too much money and never deriving much pleasure, we sold it. We now own a 2019 Airstream Flying Cloud 27FB. At least I don't have to worry about an underpowered engine in my trailer.

Not sure I understand the reason for your post? Maybe you just need to learn to be a better mechanic.

GetawA-S 10-14-2020 06:37 PM

“Oh, the farmer and the rancher should be friends...”
Be nice, jtblakley has a point which may be the best solution for OP in the long run. He did pay his dues in the moho world.
And, we are all Airstreamers here...

bkahler 10-14-2020 06:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GetawA-S (Post 2421758)
ďOh, the farmer and the rancher should be friends...Ē
Be nice, jtblakley has a point which may be the best solution for OP in the long run. He did pay his dues in the moho world.
And, we are all Airstreamers here...

Yes we are all Airstreamers here but if I understand you correctly you're saying it's ok for trailer folk to talk down to moho owners but not the other way around. I find that rather interesting especially considering which side of the fence you're on.

The better option would have been jtblakley hadn't commented at all. There was no need for his comment anymore than there was need for your comment.

PeterH-350LE 10-14-2020 07:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bkahler (Post 2421765)
Yes we are all Airstreamers here but if I understand you correctly you're saying it's ok for trailer folk to talk down to moho owners but not the other way around. I find that rather interesting especially considering which side of the fence you're on.

The better option would have been jtblakley hadn't commented at all. There was no need for his comment anymore than there was need for your comment.


Wow, Mr Bkahler, 8240 Posts since you joined in Jan 2003. You are a truly valuable member of the Airstream Forum. I know of many, including myself, you have helped out over the years with your sage advice and experience.
You are what I call a true asset to this community!!
Thanks!

jtblakley 10-14-2020 09:07 PM

Thank you all for the sarcastic responses. My point was that sometimes it is better to move on and cut your losses. The Airstream 454 Chevy gasoline engines were underpowered and expensive to maintain. And those rv’s were never that reliable even 30 years ago. Once you fix one thing it just leads to another. As to what my new trailer cost, I guess I got a much better deal than any of you. Now I have a reasonable amount of reliability and can go wherever I want without fear of breaking down or not being able to climb a hill.

jtblakley 10-14-2020 10:28 PM

And the reason for your post is....?

dadstoy 10-15-2020 02:36 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Well, I know I could never surpass the contributions by Brad, but Mike is at 246,183 views and I'm at 238,588 views, so I think I need to post some more to see if I can catch up! LOL. (for those with no sense of humor, I'm just doing a little teasing here).



I have to say that I truly admire many here on this forum for their advice, contributions and awesome work they have done on their Airstream motor homes. These include, Tony, Mike, Peter, Brad, Steve, and many others. I'm sure I'm forgetting some names, but bear with me, I'm sitting in the MH at the ranch and it's 12:17am and I'm a bottle of wine in.



My mom and dad started with a small Mallard trailer, then two Airstream trailers and finally the Airstream 280 motor home. They were members of a local Airstream club, in Eugene OR. They had mentioned many, many times that they were treated as the black sheep in the family because they had an Airstream motor home instead of a trailer. They ignored the bullshit and had themselves a lot of fun with the club. This fun was due to some of the wonderful friends they had in the club that actually had Airstream trailers.



Those of us that own Airstream motor homes do so for many reasons, which usually have nothing to do with the financial burden that we shoulder to keep these awesome classics alive!

martin300662 10-15-2020 04:06 AM

It's an unfortunate side consequence of the internet generation.....

Everyone has a view point (trailer guys have trailers because in their view trailers are better, motorhome guys have motorhomes because in their view motorhomes are better - go figure!), but in too many cases, that doesn't stop either side feeling the need to reconfirm their own belief's on others.

There used to be a saying that went "if you can't say something constructive, don't say anything at all".....I wish this was a requirement for all internet forum!

PeterH-350LE 10-15-2020 06:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jtblakley (Post 2421845)
And the reason for your post is....?


I am not certain, if your reply is in reference to my post about bkahler's valuable contributions to this great forum over the last 17 years.

Just in case it is, let me explain something to you: Respect and reputation is earned by contribution and by helping others. You have made 6 posts since you joined in 2017, 1 was helpful, 2 were for sale advertisements (free to you) and 3 had absolutely no value to most of us and were borderline offensive.

Now, if you have something of value and substance to add to the conversation, please do so!

cesalie2 10-15-2020 06:33 AM

Interesting solutions and experiences provided by many knowledgeable folks...here is my 2 cents:

Experienced similar issues and systematically replaced fuel and ignition components from least costly to higher priced components. I was fortunate as many of the parts looked to be original and I planned to replace anyway. An added bonus the PO had many of the items in the ďfly-awayĒ kit.

Replaced the first component and test drive the component until repeat of failure, then moved on to the next item.

* In line fuel filter (from fly away kit)

* Fuel Filter in carb (fly away kit)

* Wrapped Fuel line from manual fuel pump (fly away kit)

* Electric fuel pump at tank (fly away kit)

* spark plugs (from kit)

* spark plug wires (from kit)

* rotor and button (from kit)

* ignition coil (from kit)

Several months of component replacement and test drives until failure repeat...then finally

* ignition module (from kit)

Bingo! Ignition Module test driving with no repeat of failure!

bkahler 10-15-2020 09:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cesalie2 (Post 2421889)
* ignition module (from kit)

Bingo! Ignition Module test driving with no repeat of failure!

I guess I'm not really surprised by this. When I was first starting up the 454 for my Argosy on the test stand it had a weird hesitation around 1800 rpm or so. Since it's a TBI system I was able graph the response and after replacing various components I replaced the brand new ignition module inside the distributor and the problem went away.

Unfortunately even new parts can be bad :(

Brad

majorairhead 10-15-2020 11:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by realpank (Post 2418733)
He noted that the battery terminals on my second and third batteries could clasp the terminals better but I think those don't affect the motor operation.

I don't own one of these fine motorhomes, but it's amazing what dead, or near dead batteries can do to engine operation.

Your original post comments on electrical, continuity, etc.

I've read all posts thus far, and if it were me, I'd start with three new batteries, then the coil, then the fuel pump.

My opinion only.

dpkern 10-19-2020 02:27 PM

Sounds familiar
 
I have a 79 Excella and continue to experience something similar when the motor overheats and creates a fuel lock. This happens most frequently after a long stretch up-hill, use of A/C or after stopping long enough for the motor to "heat-soak". Thermometer never indicates a problem. Symptoms are loss of power, gagging, back-firing. Won't start after stopping until engine has cooled down. Still working on solutions.

Waipio Rim 10-19-2020 07:13 PM

At the risk of boring everybody, try replacing the coil, or the complete distributor including the coil. Even if itís not the problem, it is good preventive maintenance.

Air345Fly 10-19-2020 09:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dpkern (Post 2423520)
I have a 79 Excella and continue to experience something similar when the motor overheats and creates a fuel lock. This happens most frequently after a long stretch up-hill, use of A/C or after stopping long enough for the motor to "heat-soak". Thermometer never indicates a problem. Symptoms are loss of power, gagging, back-firing. Won't start after stopping until engine has cooled down. Still working on solutions.

The solution to fuel lock (vapor lock) is a continuous flow of fuel from
the tank to the engine and back again. The carburetor uses what
it needs and any excess is returned to the tank by a separate line.

This keeps a steady flow of cool fuel to the carburetor. It also cools
the lines and the mechanical fuel pump. Newer Chevy 454's used
it. My '86 345 has such a system.

I believe that you can get kits to retro-fit continuous flow systems.

realpank 10-19-2020 09:50 PM

87 Mh died
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by dpkern (Post 2423520)
I have a 79 Excella and continue to experience something similar when the motor overheats and creates a fuel lock. This happens most frequently after a long stretch up-hill, use of A/C or after stopping long enough for the motor to "heat-soak". Thermometer never indicates a problem. Symptoms are loss of power, gagging, back-firing. Won't start after stopping until engine has cooled down. Still working on solutions.

Wow, that does sound familiar. Both recent issues were not overly hot (80 degrees perhaps both days)

realpank 10-19-2020 10:00 PM

1987 325 Mh died on the road....help !
 
Thank you for all the amazing responses.
Mechanic and I are at a loss on on a firm diagnosis.
We have ordered another distributor to see how it reacts when installled. Says he can return it after testing.
I am installing a new ground wire as well.
Without the benefit of gauges to tell what is occuring when the failure happens, very difficult to diagnose.
My next trip will be my first in retirement and will only be 45 minutes to Wheatley Provincial Park at the end of May.

Again I will travel with trepidation, not a great feeling.
Thanks again for all the great posts, all have been taken to heart

realpank 10-19-2020 10:03 PM

1987 325 MH died
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Air345Fly (Post 2423692)
The solution to fuel lock (vapor lock) is a continuous flow of fuel from
the tank to the engine and back again. The carburetor uses what
it needs and any excess is returned to the tank by a separate line.

This keeps a steady flow of cool fuel to the carburetor. It also cools
the lines and the mechanical fuel pump. Newer Chevy 454's used
it. My '86 345 has such a system.

I believe that you can get kits to retro-fit continuous flow systems.

Is the system on your 86' aftermarket?
Do you know the name/kit name of the retro-fit?

realpank 10-19-2020 10:05 PM

1987 325 Mh died
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Waipio Rim (Post 2423642)
At the risk of boring everybody, try replacing the coil, or the complete distributor including the coil. Even if itís not the problem, it is good preventive maintenance.

Yes, replaced 2 years ago, chasing this issue

Air345Fly 10-19-2020 11:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by realpank (Post 2423702)
Is the system on your 86' aftermarket?
Do you know the name/kit name of the retro-fit?


On my '86 the system is part of the mechanical fuel pump.
The pump has an input from the tank, an output to the carburetor
and a bypass that goes back to the tank. Since you have
a 454 you should be able to get the newer pump with the
bypass. You will need to run a separate line back to the
tank. My 345 also has the electric pump back near the
gas tank.

I don't know of a retro-fit kit. I do have vague memories
of such kits being sold 40 years ago.

Modern fuel injected cars have a fuel pressure control valve (fpcv)
but they are much higher pressure and are electronically controlled.
That is what would be needed but at a pressure of 6 - 8 PSI and
purely mechanical.

bibbs 10-20-2020 12:00 AM

I am confused my 75' 454, argosy had a return line from the fuel pump back to the tank, why would a more resent model not have the same or better? I think My vapor lock problem was In the pickup line before the pump. Therefore i installed the in-tank pump.

Voltair 10-20-2020 02:21 AM

To be on the safe side, with thoes long,wide, shallow rear gas tanks when travelling I'd keep well over 1/4 full no less, particularly if your heading into long slow hilly terrain.
To understand this problem take a flat oven roasting tray with some water in and now carry it about, that sloshing around exposes the mid gas tank pick up to sucking air.
There is a major problem!
Airstream's designers who were not automotive engineers retro fitted that P30 light commercial chasis and fitted that large flat tank in error.
Not saying its the only problem that can cause backfireing and power loss when it leans out from reduced fuel /air pockets but a safe bet is to keep the tank as full as you can to reduce your stress levells!
Happy Travells

Voltair 10-20-2020 02:26 AM

Take a gander at proper truck fuel tanks they are narrow and deep and short, unlike our's.
Fill Up.
Gas dosn't last long if parked up long term!

Rus

Air345Fly 10-20-2020 04:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bibbs (Post 2423721)
I am confused my 75' 454, argosy had a return line from the fuel pump back to the tank, why would a more resent model not have the same or better? I think My vapor lock problem was In the pickup line before the pump. Therefore i installed the in-tank pump.


The normal vapor lock situation is caused by the gas boiling in the
lines because of engine heat. The continuous flow systems are a
great solution to that problem. However vapor lock is not the
only thing that can cause fuel starvation.

There is a long line from the tank to the carburetor. Most AS's
have an electric fuel pump back by the tank. If that is not working
there can be a problem. My AS has a spin on fuel filter back there.
That could cause a problem if plugged up. There may be an in-line
type fuel filter someplace. My AS has a place for one but it is
bypassed. There is a fuel filter in the carburetor in the fitting
where the fuel pipe connects to the carb.

There are lots of things that can restrict fuel flow beyond vapor
lock. To really know for sure you need to fit a fuel pressure
gauge right at the carburetor and drive around.

Air345Fly 10-20-2020 07:21 AM

Because of all of the discussion of fuel starvation issues I have been
thinking of installing one of these:
https://www.jegs.com/i/Holley/510/26-503/10002/-1

It is a pressure gauge system that measures up to 15 PSI.
It is also electric. The mechanical gauges will necessarily
have gasoline flowing in a hose behind your dashboard.
Does not sound good to me.

Has anyone installed a fuel pressure gauge?

bkahler 10-20-2020 07:27 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Air345Fly (Post 2423769)
Because of all of the discussion of fuel starvation issues I have been
thinking of installing one of these:
https://www.jegs.com/i/Holley/510/26-503/10002/-1

It is a pressure gauge system that measures up to 15 PSI.
It is also electric. The mechanical gauges will necessarily
have gasoline flowing in a hose behind your dashboard.
Does not sound good to me.

Has anyone installed a fuel pressure gauge?

Yes. The gauge at the lower right end.

Attachment 381297

Air345Fly 10-20-2020 09:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bkahler (Post 2423771)
Yes. The gauge at the lower right end.

Attachment 381297


Is that a 100PSI gauge? Do you have a fuel injected engine?

bkahler 10-20-2020 09:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Air345Fly (Post 2423815)
Is that a 100PSI gauge? Do you have a fuel injected engine?

Yes, 100 psi Maxtow gauge.

And yes, it's fuel injected. Runs at around 28 psi.

PeterH-350LE 10-20-2020 03:47 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by bkahler (Post 2423771)
Yes. The gauge at the lower right end.

Attachment 381297


that is some sick dash :rolleyes: and all that for just 20'

bkahler 10-20-2020 04:28 PM

Well, if you can't impress them with length then you have to try and dazzle them with style.... ;)

realpank 11-05-2020 09:39 PM

1987 325 MH died, help
 
Thanks again fellow club members.

After a month at the shop and much consideration I brought the rig home today. The mechanic suggested replacing the distributor and see how it runs. He wanted me to take it out on several runs and see if there was a difference. I basically ran the same as with my old in static state so I opted to pull it out and have him send it back ( as opposed to me having to return and endure the cost of a reinstall of my old one which is only two years old) .

We did find that the actuator on the fuel pump had worked itself free of the pin that it pivots on so a new fuel pump was installed. He also noted that the line off my gas tank is larger than the one going to the engine (tank has been replaced) I did not see that as being an issue as I am only roaming the flatlands of south-western Ontario.

I'm standing by the fact that there is a bad ground, broken wire, bad connection or something of that nature. I'm blowing fuses for no reason, so that is the clue. I don't have currently have lost ads light, my running lights don't work and my generator will not Betsy lit. I'm going with I'm going to go through it myself or hire an automotive electrician.

Onward and upward, time to winterize it. Should be my first retirement project in 2021. All the best to y'all, safe safe. Happy camping as it is the best activity in these covid times, I don't see it going away anytime soon.
Chris


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