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Old 12-08-2016, 03:56 PM   #1
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Getting a '97 Newmar London Aire ready for the prom

Hi All,

I figured I'd start a "refresh" thread here to document what I am going through to refresh the '97 coach we just purchased in Nov 2016 - the journey might help others with their old coach.

Here is a few pics of the coach (most are the original Ad pics):



Has a unique end cap - needs some railing work





Street side
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Old 12-08-2016, 03:57 PM   #2
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Not sure how many coaches have a drivers door - takes some practice getting out



Curbside - unique door placement for a rear DP


Has a "copy machine" (the usual reply is - "you have a copy machine in your RV??" when we show pics to non-RV people) - it's a Norcold TekII fridge/freezer and it works perfectly


Some of the inside - original ad pics
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1997 40' Newmar London Aire DP CTA 8.3 (Mechanical) 325 Spartan MM
Bringing her back to her glory.
'08 Jeep GC Overland.
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Old 12-08-2016, 03:59 PM   #3
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Has a nice roomy interior for only one slide - behind the co-pilots seat is a leather loveseat with middle arm rest with cup holders



Has a deep 33" slide and dining booth




After requesting the build sheet for this coach from Newmar, we realized this was a demo coach ordered by a dealer to take to shows, so it has all the bells and whistles to include a blender built into the counter. It's to the left of the stove under a removable insert (where the actual parts are is a mystery though)

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1997 40' Newmar London Aire DP CTA 8.3 (Mechanical) 325 Spartan MM
Bringing her back to her glory.
'08 Jeep GC Overland.
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Old 12-08-2016, 04:00 PM   #4
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Separate W/D that both work






Here is the helm area - to the very right you can see the cassette tape storage slots (unless there is a motor under there, which I haven't looked yet). Also on the top of the dash the cup holders are electrified and you can make them cold or hot, and they work (at least they make a noise, haven't stuck a glass in there yet).

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'08 Jeep GC Overland.
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Old 12-08-2016, 05:53 PM   #5
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I'll start the refresh trail here:

Anyway, since we bought the coach I have been very fortunate to have a friend (a fellow member here) willing to share his experience and his time to help me begin working out the kinks and figuring out how I "missed that" when I was checking it out before purchase.

Engine:
So far we have changed the oil and filters on the engine (8.3 325hp Cummins), drained, flushed and changed the coolant and changed both thermostats, gaskets and the water filter.

The thermostats are both under the main hose, under a block that is under the hose pipe - make sure you order both gaskets - 1 for under the pipe and the other for under the block. Don't ask me how I know that






Changed the tensioner on the serpentine belt. It was starting to sing pretty good.

Generator:
Changed everything on the genny - oil, oil filter, fuel filter, air filter, thermostat, and belt. We realized that somewhere during it's life someone had hit something with the genny's exhaust pipe and knocked the mufflers inside the housing out of their mounts. So we fixed that and rehung the exhaust pipe on a new hanger (was hung with wire) and it's nice and solid now. Should have seen the soot mess when I took out the spark arrester plug and started it. Don't think that was ever pulled. The genny has 2000 hours and runs real smooth - good for awhile now. I notice that the lights on the remote switches in the coach don't light up when it's running but they do allow start and stop. Have to look at that later.

General lubing:
I used up a brand new big can of spray lube the first day lubing anything that opened. Now things are getting nice and loose - some too loose, like the genny hood.

As seen in the pics above, the coach has a driver door and that needed lubing and the electric window barely moved up and down. I opened up the door to get to the innards and lubed everything including the tracks and now it goes down very smoothly but still has a stutter while coming up - still 100% better than before.

Basement:
I fixed any basement door that needed it and now they are smooth operating. The curb side open up (slide up the side of the coach) and the street side mostly open down (some open up). The street side doors had problems with the hinges that stopped how far they open and kept them up off the ground. Some had the screws ripped out and some of the hardware was bent and folded back into the bay. Have them all repaired/reworked and working now. Still have to figure out exactly how they are supposed to be closed - I read somewhere that the last inch is supposed to be electric. I have bigger things to work on before I worry about that. Maybe someone with an old London Aire will know?

I found that I need a couple lock actuator motors for not only a basement door but also the Genny's hood. Here's what they look like:





VPA Corp is a tough company to get ahold of. I have found a website for their wares (exact ones) but they don't answer email or phone calls. I have reached out to a bunch of surplus places without any luck.

Rooftop AC:
When inspecting the coach we turned on the roof air and it seemed to be fine. Me not knowing how to use a 4-button controller, didn't realize that the full extent of the controller was not working because we didn't switch to Zone 2. Later (this past weekend) found out how to switch (I didn't get manuals with this coach :-( ) and found out that the controller wouldn't change anyway. Mike, my friend, had an extra one that someone had given him when they upgraded to a 5-button so we swapped his in and it worked and we switched to Zone 2 and found that the zone was off. We turned the zone on and turned it to high/cool and the coach really started cooling then. I need to tweak the springs in the controller to see if it still works - all functions work 'cept the ability to change zones.

Mike changed the shrouds on the AC units with new heavy duty models. He also cleaned up/out the front one very well and briefly worked on the aft (removed about 5 huge dead wasp nests) - I will clean that one soon.

Steps: (Boy have I read some threads on this topic )
The electric steps stopped working on the first day - we worked on other things and got back to the steps this past weekend. Found a wire pulled out of a butt connector in the electrical bay. Must have been luck to be working at all recently, the wire was in the middle of a big bundle, with no reason to be disconnected like that. I re-butt connected it and "sticky" heat shrinked the wires. In the troubleshooting process we pulled out everything on the step and lubed it all up to include the motor. Steps work great now.

Power reel:
The shore power electric reel didn't work when we bought and I suspected something simple - it was a CB popped :-) Found the CB, reset it and all is well. Sure is a nice tool

Clearance lights:
I changed the yellow lights at the top of the cab out with new lights (they were still original and cracked, leaking) and while doing so cleaned all the old caulk off and sealed the new ones up well.

The spot light on the roof works and traverses nicely. Hard to know what you're doing in the daytime though. You can see the control on the right side of the helm area above the cassette tape holders.

Awnings:
We exercised and lubed all the awnings. The Slides window awning won't retract so I ordered and received the torsion springs for the slideout's window awning. Also got straps for every awning - all of the awnings are in great shape.


Mike - he's a great mentor


Still have a lot to do on her before she is ready for the dance but she's come a long way in the first month.
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Bringing her back to her glory.
'08 Jeep GC Overland.
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Old 12-08-2016, 06:06 PM   #6
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Nice rig
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Old 12-08-2016, 06:17 PM   #7
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Interesting project. Have motorhome's changed in the time yours was new. Wonder how many of those old models are still on the road. Have fun and enjoy.
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Old 12-08-2016, 08:41 PM   #8
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very nice dont look like a 97
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Old 12-08-2016, 09:22 PM   #9
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Outstanding coach! I love that era myself, the literally do not build them that good anymore.
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Old 12-08-2016, 09:45 PM   #10
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Wow, the paint looks great! Love the built in ladder in the back! The LA's have a look all their own! I always like them! Great job so far! Enjoy! Rail!
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Old 12-12-2016, 06:45 PM   #11
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Thanks, the images you are seeing is the 20ft version - the paint/gelcoat/whatever is crazed/cracking in several places - hey, it's 20 years old.

Had a little diversion for dead chassis batteries - what an exercise over a few days.
Another dead chassis battery/not charging thread

Got that squared away finally but while under the coach I spotted this relay -


This doesn't look good!! I sprayed some PB on it but wow - not looking forward to working on this. Not sure what it is for - I hear 3 relay close when I turn the key to the run position - I figure this is one of them - ugly. I would expect the other 2 are in the same shape
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1997 40' Newmar London Aire DP CTA 8.3 (Mechanical) 325 Spartan MM
Bringing her back to her glory.
'08 Jeep GC Overland.
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Old 12-13-2016, 05:54 PM   #12
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A little progress today - replaced the awning torsion springs on the slideout window awning and then replaced the pull straps on each of the remaining awnings. I will replace the main awning strap when I open it again - the original is still in great shape.

Then it was time to take her on a little cruise just to do something other than work on it. Grabbed the missus and the dog and set out on a 50 mile drive. My wife had been in the coach obviously but had never been in the passenger seat and never while the coach was moving - she enjoyed it and as the coach cooled off she enjoyed it more. The dog had only been in the coach while it was sitting in the storage lot. She was beside herself checking out everything and then jumped up on the dash a couple times when we stopped at a stop sign or something. We'll have to break her of that - she's 35 lbs. Then she stood with front feet on all the switches and looked over the dash. Luckily the switches take some force to switch so she isn't pushing any. Finally she climbed up and sat next to the DW on the oversized passenger seat. Hopefully that is where she'll decide is a good place. She is used to hanging her head out the window of my truck and she can't do that in the coach, so she's confused.

It was a nice break but back to work....

When we bought the coach the levelers were not working and we negotiated a discount for this. I have been working this on and off since I got the coach and Paul from HWH has been right there helping (thanks Paul!!). I started at the front and using the technical manual from HWH I was able to figure out (with Paul) that the touch pad is good and also the controller.
Today I got a little time to pull the rear bumper off and start trouble shooting at the pump and solenoids. I used a test light and disconnected each wire connector from each solenoid and then inserted the light on the wires of the connector on the controller (touchpad) side - we were doing this to see if the wiring harness was good, and we got all the right signals from the controller up front. We also heard the pump running when it was supposed to.
The next thing was to make sure all the t-handles were tight on the solenoids, which they were and then it was time to jumper the solenoids with 12v - I should hear a "thunk" when I apply power - I heard nothing and saw a spark on each connector - ohmed out each of the solenoids all are shorted out. Paul said this happens when one (or more) of the jacks don't raise all the way. They operate: hydraulic to put them down and springs on the jack raise them back up. They all look like they're up and no light on the touchpad but since the solenoids are shot I'll wait and test/troubleshoot it again when the solenoids come back - sending them back to HWH for rebuild. There is also a switch on the top of each jack that I need to look at in the meantime.

I noticed on the way home from buying the coach that the transmission temp gauge was not working. I figured sending unit or wire. I checked the back of gauge but it looked good. I contacted Allison and their tech support said that there is only one wire near the front of the transmission. If that is present then it needs to go to the shop where they'll have to pull the pan and look at that special sensor. When I was under the coach yesterday I saw a wire dangling from the front of the transmission - sure enough this must be it! I cleaned the sensor tip and the slip-on connector a little and slid it back on. This thing looked like it had been disconnected for a while. On today's little cruise the transmission temp gauge worked great Next time I'm under the coach I'll spray it with contact cleaner - maybe tomorrow.
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1997 40' Newmar London Aire DP CTA 8.3 (Mechanical) 325 Spartan MM
Bringing her back to her glory.
'08 Jeep GC Overland.
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Old 12-13-2016, 06:09 PM   #13
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Really nice looking RV! We bought a '97 Fleetwood Pace Arrow this summer, and I've been fixing it up, with the help of one of my sons. It's almost 100% now, and we used it 5 times I think since we got it, before everything closed up around here, for the winter...
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Old 12-13-2016, 07:11 PM   #14
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really nice coach, I like that year myself
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