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Old 11-09-2007, 03:10 PM   #1
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ok well my mom just bought an '83 28 foot winnebago, with 83,000 miles on it, but it has been sitting for seven years in the same place. brakes, there are no brakes. small leak in the roof. it does run, and systems work. did'nt know if anyone could point me in the direction of what i should be looking for/what i need to do to it to get it up and running? brakes, engine tune (454), new tires/rims bent? looks fairly rusted underneath. does this 'project' sound crazy? located in Greater Tampa, FL
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Old 11-09-2007, 03:10 PM   #2
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ok well my mom just bought an '83 28 foot winnebago, with 83,000 miles on it, but it has been sitting for seven years in the same place. brakes, there are no brakes. small leak in the roof. it does run, and systems work. did'nt know if anyone could point me in the direction of what i should be looking for/what i need to do to it to get it up and running? brakes, engine tune (454), new tires/rims bent? looks fairly rusted underneath. does this 'project' sound crazy? located in Greater Tampa, FL
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Old 11-09-2007, 04:13 PM   #3
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Welcome bryanf to the Vintage forum and irv2.
If its starting you have a start. Heres a LINK to a couple of PDI lists for new MH's check lists that will help give you an idea of what to look for and get started.
Others will pick this up and have answers for you. I would change all fluids for starters brake fluid , oil, rear end, Gen oil if you have one and transmission fluid.
I will and you to new members forum so more people will pick up your question. Good luck with your new MH AND HAVE FUN.
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Old 11-09-2007, 06:14 PM   #4
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Hmmm, You say it runs and I need to know how old is the gas in your rig.

The lack of brakes could be from the master cylinder all the way to each brake but is fixable.

This is a start and welcome to the board.

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Old 11-09-2007, 06:43 PM   #5
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Hello Bryan and welcome to iRV2. Sounds like you have a real project ahead of you but it can be fun (sometimes anyway lol). Take your time fixing 'er up and just remember, safety first.
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Old 11-09-2007, 07:49 PM   #6
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Welcome bryanf to the IRV2 website, follow the advice of the posts ahead of mine and get the restoration started, good luck.
Let the forum know how the project turned out. Ed.S
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Old 11-09-2007, 09:56 PM   #7
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First off, I would inspect it for safety. Fix the brakes. It is a simple system, find a leak (if any fluid is left in the system, press the pedal several times then go look at the master cylinder and on the inside of each tire for streaks of leaking fluid) and fix it. I would bet the seals are old and stiff, but often replacing the complete cylinder is cheaper and quicker than trying to re-build them. In an older unit the cylinders will be rusty and probably irreparable.
Then I would check the driveline for loose bolts. Grab drive shaft and yank, make sure its not loose. Inspect the exhaust system, if it is rusty make sure it is not going to fall off. Again, yank, don't be afraid to use force.
Look for wiring underneath and in the engine compartment that might be damaged by rodents. You don't want an electrical fire.
As suggested above, replace all fluids, including fuel.
Closely inspect tires. They are probably cracked on side walls from ozone and UV, so don't drive fast and look for a deal on a set of tires.
In the meantime, ventilate the inside and obtain a good fire extinguisher - always a good idea.
RV systems can probably wait until safety systems are checked out. I am sure others with experience in specific model will be able to give better advice. I am just a mechanic
-P
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Old 11-13-2007, 04:35 PM   #8
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Hi bryanf, Welcome to the IRV2.COM forum! You have already received a lot of good advice so hope that helps and let us know how it is going,
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Old 11-14-2007, 07:40 AM   #9
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Welcome to irv2.com! You said it has a leak. The first I'd do is locating any leak source, then determining the extent of damage. I would first find a mobile RV service company that uses the Seal Tech leak detection system.
I agree with Paul about the brake system. Replacing all wheel cylinders, the master cylinder, and flushing the brake lines, is a better, safer route. Few people know that vehicle manufacturers recommend flushing the brake system and replacing the fluid, as part of scheduled maintenance. Since you know the under-side is quite rusted, inspect the steel brake lines for corrosion damage, the flexable ones for cracking, and replace if questionable. Nothing else mechanical matters it you cannot make it stop safely!
I would replace every hose and belt on the engine. The coolant system should be professionally cleaned and radiator inspected. Better now than a thousand miles away from home.
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Old 11-14-2007, 07:45 AM   #10
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bryanf:

I have owned three older coaches before getting our new(er) DP. They were all 440 Mopar powered gas coaches but I went through the same process with each. (I also added headers and dual exhausts to each, as well as re-jetting the carburetors and re-curving the distributors for more initial and total advance (better power and fuel economy plus NO pinging on crappy unleaded) but this is primarily for the BB Mopars) Most people let the tires rot off rather than use them (so replace all) and most don't maintain them at all. If the tires are on 19.5" rims, the best luck I have had is with wider fronts than the rears and I liked the Goodyears or Bridgestones better than the Michelins by far. No blowouts, ride better, last longer, etc.

My inspection/tune-up/repair process takes me about two to three weekends or 6-8 days (I have every other Friday off... ) but it is time well spent for piece of mind. If you have help, it goes a lot faster. Once completed, take it out for two to three hours on the road and test everything out again.

Brakes: new master cylinder and wheel cylinders, new/rebuilt calipers, turned/replaced drums, shoes and pads (based on condition), replaced all flexible brake hoses, new brake light switch, new DOT-4 synthetic brake fluid.

Driveshaft: removed and inspected/replaced u-joints and carrier bearing (if equipped), balanced driveshaft(s).

Shocks: Most older gas coaches ride really well on HD Monroe gas shocks. They are available from Napa (or other name brand auto parts stores), run about $35-$45 each and are well worth the investment for the ride and handling quality they give.

Steering: inspect and grease/replace all king pin bearings/knuckles, wheel bearings, steering linkages, tie rod ends etc.

Engine: replace engine oil & filer, air filter fuel filter(s) & mechanical fuel pump (drain tank & re-fill with good fuel), spark plugs, distributor cap and rotor, inspect spark plug wires and replace if nec., PCV valve, thermostatic choke, adjust carburetor (check base gaskets for leaks and replace if req.), replace valve cover gaskets with HD models if leaking, ditto on the oil pan and transmission pan gaskets, replace trans. fluid and filter etc. (On the 454's, pull the oil pan and have a look at the timing chain and gears, if they are plastic/steel composites, replace them with a steel true roller set. This isn't a difficult operation, just requires a bit of time and basic tools but is important on these engines as they gain mileage)

Wiring: check all connections in and outside of coach for corrosion (salt water) and if present, clean with Q-tips and a little muriatic acid, then wipe with clean damp Q-tip (water and a little baking soda), then reassemble (after tightening the connection/crimp etc.) with dialectric grease to prevent any corrosion in the future., check/replace all marker lamps (clean the lenses as they tend to aquire fine powdery soot inside unless they are a sealed beam type), check all wiring for loose/bad grounds (VERY important in these rolling wooden/foam/cardboard boxes), look for rodent signs and get rid of them, check interior light fixtures for loose/bad wiring and bad lamps, Fluor. lights (if the balasts are bad) can be removed and the balasts replaced fairly cheaply.

Appliances etc: Check for debris/dust/cobwebs in heater and refer units and compartments and clean out/vacuum/wipe down, check for good connections and any ammonia smell from refer coils, check the LPG tank and all LPG connections for leaks with soapy water (including heater(s), refer, stove and tank., check and clean fresh water tank by filling 3/4 full and adding 1/4 cup of bleach. Let it sit after agitating (add the bleach after about 1/4 tank of water) for about a week and then drain, refill with fresh and you are good to go., do the GEO method to the grey and black tanks, agitate and let them sit for a week or so, then drain and add a little more and good to go there too, toilet seals, water supply line(s) and vacuum breaker can all be inspected for leaks and parts are easily available from CW.

Sorry for the looong post everyone. As I said waaay at the top of the post, I have done this to every coach I have owned and none of them have ever let me down after this thorough going over. I have taken them all over the place and did not hesitate to give the next owner a full list of what had been done so they wouldn't worry about the coach. I like reliability and I do NOT like doing things twice so I took my time and made sure everything was solid.

Again, sorry for the long post but enjoy the work as it will pay dividends for a long time.

Ken
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Old 11-14-2007, 10:26 AM   #11
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Never be sorry for a post on irv2 quikduk when its as informitive as yours. Thank you for the info and do post often.
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Old 11-14-2007, 03:04 PM   #12
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thanks everyone, and quikduk for the long post believe me every word helps! this is all great. anyway i can look up what batteries go with this model? i cannot find them in the manual and MH came without old ones. i can include pix of the hookups if it helps. the roof is the next concern, and i will probably replace the tin instead of the tape/kool seal method, seems like a more long term fix. there are a lot of pinholes in the back bedroom, and most wood is rotted, however is the blue foam ok? i have read about its moisture resistance, but if its been sitting with moldy wood that cant be healthy either?

answer to another question the gas has probably been sitting there for 7 years, and im sure its in different layers so i will drain/refill.

i will also be looking into upgrades for the engine simply for gas mileage, and i am familiar with engines, but not carburetors... anyone have a 454 with a turbo? little more expensive but should also reduce fuel consumption. also is replacing rear end gears commonplace for the tradeoff of gas vs acceleration?
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Old 11-15-2007, 08:54 PM   #13
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With roof leaks you'll find that leaks travel long ways from where the leak really is.It is not uncommon to find the blueboard in good shape with a roof leak.With mine all the blueboard was ok,but the luan was rotted.
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Old 11-16-2007, 08:08 AM   #14
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">answer to another question the gas has probably been sitting there for 7 years, and im sure its in different layers so i will drain/refill.

i will also be looking into upgrades for the engine simply for gas mileage, and i am familiar with engines, but not carburetors... anyone have a 454 with a turbo? little more expensive but should also reduce fuel consumption. also is replacing rear end gears commonplace for the tradeoff of gas vs acceleration? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

What carb?.........A rochester in the right hands can be a great carb with just a few mods.

Replacing rear gears would be ok but tire sizes can make a big difference also, I replaced my 8R19.5 with 225-70-19.5 which is a dab shorter by 1.2 inch and since my speedo registered 60 MPH it was actually 64.....

The slightly smaller tires corrected the speedo error and handed out a better torque range climbing the hills along with a slightly higher vacuum trotting down the slab at 62 MPH.

I purchased a very decent electric fuel pump (Carter) and removed/sucked out the fuel, Since the tank needed a change out and ALL rubber lines have been replaced and the electric pump is now permanently installed close to the tank.

Purchased a 500 pound hyd lift which will raise/lower the tank....Seems like a favorite tool around the shop now. Good luck.

Jim
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