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Old 11-23-2007, 08:21 PM   #1
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Howdy,

I've got a 26' '84 Sportscoach Pathfinder. According to the brochures from the original owner, the 26' model was the only one built using 16" wheels, and has a GVWR of ~12k lbs. All the others (which were a little longer) had 19.5" wheels, and a GVWR of ~14k lbs.

I'm curious what the chassis differences were, besides the wheels... I'm going to be setting mine up to tow and enclosed car trailer, and if there are heavier duty parts or known weak points that I can address, I'd like to get that done.

I'm wondering if the chassis share any components, if the rear axles were the same, if there are heavier duty rear spring that will work on my chassis (the PO removed the airbags up front and installed heavy duty coils), what parts I'd need to change to run the 19.5" wheels (and if I'd have the clearence necessary, etc.

I'd also appreciate any other advice. I'm going to be reinforcing the rear frame extentions and fabbing up my own hitch, but if anyone has any other advice I'd be happy to hear it. The MH already has the Super Steer bell cranks and Bilstein shocks & steering stabilizer.

Thanks for any help!

Mark
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Old 11-23-2007, 08:21 PM   #2
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Howdy,

I've got a 26' '84 Sportscoach Pathfinder. According to the brochures from the original owner, the 26' model was the only one built using 16" wheels, and has a GVWR of ~12k lbs. All the others (which were a little longer) had 19.5" wheels, and a GVWR of ~14k lbs.

I'm curious what the chassis differences were, besides the wheels... I'm going to be setting mine up to tow and enclosed car trailer, and if there are heavier duty parts or known weak points that I can address, I'd like to get that done.

I'm wondering if the chassis share any components, if the rear axles were the same, if there are heavier duty rear spring that will work on my chassis (the PO removed the airbags up front and installed heavy duty coils), what parts I'd need to change to run the 19.5" wheels (and if I'd have the clearence necessary, etc.

I'd also appreciate any other advice. I'm going to be reinforcing the rear frame extentions and fabbing up my own hitch, but if anyone has any other advice I'd be happy to hear it. The MH already has the Super Steer bell cranks and Bilstein shocks & steering stabilizer.

Thanks for any help!

Mark
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Old 11-24-2007, 07:04 PM   #3
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Actually, Mine is a 26 and has the 19.5 wheels and the 454 V-8. Mine is the 14500 GVWR. I would say, Guessing that with the 12000 GVWR that it came with a 350?? or maybe a 454 too?? Anyway, The brakes and hauling are down when compared to mine and I know they used both these till the P-32 came out then they added another size, 16500 GVWR!!! Just something to think about.
By the way, Welcome to the forum, and the Vintage site!! You will learn a bunch here as everyone here is finding out as they go due to the fact that most of us didn't get any paperwork with our purchase. SO, Tell us more about your Sportscoach Pathfinder!!!
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Old 11-24-2007, 07:33 PM   #4
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Howdy,

Thanks!

Mine definitely has the 454. Not sure which gears, there's a later P30 chassis manual that implies it probably has 4.10's:
http://rvcalifornia.com/rv_service/P...%20Chassis.htm

That same thing also indicates that the bigger GVWR models got 14" brakes, but there's nothing that tells me if the bolt circle / hubs /spindles are the same or not... I wonder if I could swap to the 19.5" wheels & brakes?

In the rear axle section, they don't really distinguish if the first two axles are the same structurally, just with different gears or if the axle housing itself is different.

Its kinda frustrating trying to find specifications on this stuff. Heck, I can't even really find a service manual... The part # in my GM owners manual for the service manual brings up this one:
http://www.helminc.com/helm/product2.asp?class%5F2=GMC&...9GSBM6SK0G72LUX6ED9A

Anyone know if that's the right manual? Would it have specs on equipment differences across the different P30 chassis in '84?

Thanks!

Mark

(edit: You can see more about our RV from this page I made back when we first got it... http://www.maracing.com/MH/ It seems like a good introduction to owning a MH for us and our racing friends with motorhomes are telling us that with some upgrades it should tow our enclosed trailer just fine, but I'm certainly nervous about it. Finding some documentation or accepted upgrades would go a long way toward putting my mind at ease!)
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Old 11-25-2007, 02:24 AM   #5
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by marka:
Howdy,

I've got a 26' '84 Sportscoach Pathfinder. According to the brochures from the original owner, the 26' model was the only one built using 16" wheels, and has a GVWR of ~12k lbs. All the others (which were a little longer) had 19.5" wheels, and a GVWR of ~14k lbs.

I'm curious what the chassis differences were, besides the wheels... I'm going to be setting mine up to tow and enclosed car trailer, and if there are heavier duty parts or known weak points that I can address, I'd like to get that done.

I'm wondering if the chassis share any components, if the rear axles were the same, if there are heavier duty rear spring that will work on my chassis (the PO removed the airbags up front and installed heavy duty coils), what parts I'd need to change to run the 19.5" wheels (and if I'd have the clearence necessary, etc.

I'd also appreciate any other advice. I'm going to be reinforcing the rear frame extentions and fabbing up my own hitch, but if anyone has any other advice I'd be happy to hear it. The MH already has the Super Steer bell cranks and Bilstein shocks & steering stabilizer.

Thanks for any help!

Mark </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Mark,

Looks like the previous owner has done some work on the rig with the new brake hoses, bell cranks and steering stabilizer.

The dryer vent hoses to help cool the engine compartment may be an indication of a hot engine bay and an attempt to resolve burnt plug wires etc.

Note that equalizing hitches are generally not reccomended on motor homes due to the large overhang in the back.

Load it up with your gear, food, water, gas and get the rig weighed so you can see how close you already are to you GVW. Get each axel and wheel readings if you can to see how the weight is being distributed too. Then you will have a better idea of what the max tongue weight the chassis will be able to take.

For example:
If the rear axel is rated for 8,000 lbs and you are already at 7,750 then you would only have capacity for around a 200 lb tongue weight.

A race car trailer may be stretching it and a transpac along with additional transmission cooling may need to be considered. Especially since there seems to have been some past concern with heat as evidenced by the additional dryer vent hoses going into the engine bay.
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Old 11-25-2007, 06:06 AM   #6
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i have a 1985 southwind 28 ft there is a way to teel what you have with the vin when talking to steer safe he wanted vin and told me middle of 1985 is when 19 in wheels came in to use a friend did the swap and said it was strait forward only thing he said was cost of 6 tires and wheels shorter sidewall gave him a little rougher ride he went from 65 psi to almost 90
check rating of tires to see if its worth i we tow a 1999 4 door grand am on a carhauler have to watch not to put car forward over axles (toung weight) as you have frame extensions welded to rear
dave
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Old 11-25-2007, 11:58 AM   #7
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Howdy,

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by NeilV:
Looks like the previous owner has done some work on the rig with the new brake hoses, bell cranks and steering stabilizer.

The dryer vent hoses to help cool the engine compartment may be an indication of a hot engine bay and an attempt to resolve burnt plug wires etc.

Note that equalizing hitches are generally not reccomended on motor homes due to the large overhang in the back.

Load it up with your gear, food, water, gas and get the rig weighed so you can see how close you already are to you GVW. Get each axel and wheel readings if you can to see how the weight is being distributed too. Then you will have a better idea of what the max tongue weight the chassis will be able to take.

For example:
If the rear axel is rated for 8,000 lbs and you are already at 7,750 then you would only have capacity for around a 200 lb tongue weight.

A race car trailer may be stretching it and a transpac along with additional transmission cooling may need to be considered. Especially since there seems to have been some past concern with heat as evidenced by the additional dryer vent hoses going into the engine bay. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Thanks Neil! IIRC, the hoses actually go to the intake. The MH is off at the mine storage place right now, so I can't check for sure, but I don't think there's an overheating problem. I never saw the temp guage go above 180 to 200 when running loaded up either, which seemed pretty good.

I'm figuring that with the tounge weight of the trailer, I'm going to be over the rated GAWR/GVWR. Wouldn't surprise me if I'm over the GVWR with just a normal load full of fuel and fresh water. That's why I'm trying to find out what the differences are... I want to effectively raise the rear GAWR in particular. If its just a matter of springs, for instance, that would be a pretty easy fix. But if its a whole different frame / axle housing / etc. then it might be more hassle than I want to deal with.

Mark
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Old 11-25-2007, 12:36 PM   #8
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Your 16" wheels are 8 lug and the 19.5" are 10 lug and they used 5 on the front[wheels were the same]. you would have to change brakes and axles,and the spindles up front to use the 19.5's.
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