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Old 04-13-2008, 06:42 PM   #1
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I just purchased a 1998 34' Airstream 454 Vortex gas engine MH. It has 20,000 miles and been stored indoors for all it's life in humid country. Like to hear from others who have this chasis with wisdom on replacing such items as hoses, belts, water pump, fan clutch, etc.

Any help appreciated.

Thanks in advance. Louie
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Old 04-13-2008, 06:42 PM   #2
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I just purchased a 1998 34' Airstream 454 Vortex gas engine MH. It has 20,000 miles and been stored indoors for all it's life in humid country. Like to hear from others who have this chasis with wisdom on replacing such items as hoses, belts, water pump, fan clutch, etc.

Any help appreciated.

Thanks in advance. Louie
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Old 04-14-2008, 01:35 AM   #3
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Louie, first let me welcome you to iRV2.com. We are glad to have you join us here and we look forward to reading of your adventures and experiences. COngratulations on the AirStream. I am sure you will enjoy it as much as this website and forum. I would recommend you do replace the belts and hoses if they neve have been. Even though it was sotred indoors, they will still deteriorate. THere is nothing worse than to be on a camping rip or vacation and have to deal with a breakdown on the side of the road. THe rest of the items should be ok but you may also wan tot change all the fluids too. Good luck and keep us posted.
I will put in a shortcut to our New Member CHeck In FOrum so others can welcome you here.
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Old 04-14-2008, 01:56 AM   #4
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Howdy and welcome to iRV2.

In addition to what Mike has suggested, I'd change the engine oil and filter as well as the transmission fluid. They both work pretty hard and an oil change is a LOT cheaper than a new engine or transmission. I would also check the brakes and lubricate the caliper slides, repack the wheel bearing, grease the u-joints (if there are fittings), grease the front end fittings and check the date code on the tires. If they are over 5 years old, replace them regardless of the amount of thread left.

The 454 engines are good engines, but they do need maintenance. Also, they were not meant to be run at 75 mph day after day. They ones that have early failures are push and not maintained. Keep an eye out for a cracked exhaust manifold. The 454's are prone to this problem. If one cracked, I'd go ahead and add a set of good exhaust headers rather than replace it with a manifold which will break. GM did start offering them with a two piece manifold, but I am not sure of the year.

Also, change the oil and filter on the generator and be sure and exercise it at least 30 minutes each month at a minimum of 50% load. Low hours is the worst thing to do to a generator. They are rated for thousands of hours of service.

Also, drive the coach for a minimum of 30 minutes every 4 to 6 weeks when it is not in use. Letting it set and idle fro 30 minute dies more harm than good, so drive it to get everything up to temperature and circulate the fluids on the seals.

Ken
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Old 04-14-2008, 01:33 PM   #5
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Mike & Ken,
Mannnnnnnnny thanks for your feedback. I have owned one other MH about 6 years ago & it was a nightmare experience. I vowed not to own another. But after 10 A/S TT over 25 years ( many antiques) we thought to give it a try again.
This MH is in Miss. Needs tires as you mentioned since they are original.New belts & hoses will be done along with fluids. How do you feel about changing out the fuel & water pump? Also, the radiator fan clutch? Thanks for the caliper lubrication tip. This I was unaware of. Any recommendations on putting a Banks system on? In the summer I live at 10,000' elevation in CO.The generator has less than 100 hours so I will run it.
I will try to keep you posted however, it may be awhile. I need to sell the A/S TT first prior to taking the MH out of storage.
Again, thanks.

Louie
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Old 04-15-2008, 08:01 AM   #6
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Regarding the fan clutch, my last coach was a 1995 P30 with a 454 and the service manual had a procedure for checking the fan clutch. They said to measure the temp of the AIR coming out of the radiator. I used a metal meat thermometer. I had to drill a small hole in the plastic shroud around the fan so I could get the thermometer between the fan and the radiator.
They said to block the radiator with cardboard and run the engine at about 2000 RPM to get the engine to heat up.
The fan will spin before it's fully engaged, but it's obvious when it engages because of the noise.
It should engage at an air temp between 165"F and 195'F. If it doesn't it should be replaced.
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Old 04-22-2008, 01:28 PM   #7
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Thanks Clay,
I ordered a P-32 Chassis manual and hopefully I can find the fan clutch info you shared in even more detail.Let's hope after 10 years and minimal use with a fresh coolant & thermostat change, it is fine.
BTW, the service manual ordered from Helm Pub. was $150.00 with shipping & handling. Is that about the going rate?

Louie
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Old 04-28-2008, 07:41 AM   #8
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Louie,
Who did you order your manual from? Is it on CD or hard copy? Thanks.
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Old 04-28-2008, 08:06 AM   #9
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THIS SITE has them
A bit pricey but these are new original manuals.
I think I paid about $150 for the five volume set - sold them for about $50. You might try eBay for a used set.
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