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Old 12-22-2010, 07:28 PM   #1
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My first RV project - 79 Holiday Rambler Imperial 5000

Hi everyone! I am total noob to RVs and fixing things so I am really glad I found this forum and I hope some of you will be able to provide some advice insight and help with my project. I just purchased a 1979 Holiday Rambler Imperial 5000 off craigslist for $1,000. This RV has a ford 460 engine but come to think of it I'm not exactly sure how long it is...

It had been sitting in a storage yard for about 3 years. When I went to go look at it we put a new battery in and (eventually) we got the engine to start up and run for a few seconds before it would stall. Each time we started it after that the engine would run for longer and longer but still would stall after about a minute tops. Still, when the engine was running it sounded strong. The guy I bought it from said he bought it about 4 years ago and he said he drove it pretty hard and it seemed to run good then but he never ended up using it and it just sat.

Anyway, here's the work I'm having done on it this week in the hopes that it will be drivable when it's all said and done. I'm getting a complete tune up, replacing the spark plugs, filters, hoses, oil change and changing all the fluids. I'm also having new wheels and tires put on. The guy at the lot who is putting the tires on for me said he will check the brakes for me and look for any potential problems although when last driven supposedly the brakes were good.

Is there anything else I am forgetting that is majorly important? Make some suggestions because while the mechanic is doing the tune up and replacing parts I could tell him to do something else too if it's a must to get it running safely!

Aside from that, what potential problems should I look for next?

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Old 12-22-2010, 08:18 PM   #2
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If it's been sitting for a long time I would put a fuel additive in the tank or replace all fuel.

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2004 Phaeton 40TGH w/ 2010 Acadia
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Old 12-22-2010, 09:12 PM   #3
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Hi Ramblingman and welcome to IRV2!
I agree with Dadeaux, the fuel has probably gone bad from sitting so long, might be the only reason why it won't stay running, but may also need fuel pump and fuel filter.
Congratulations on your new RV and enjoy!
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Old 12-22-2010, 09:25 PM   #4
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Ah yes I know we put some new gas in their while testing it but not sure if there was old gas still sitting in it in the first place. When I try to start it again I will definitely make sure the old fuel is replaced. I think the mechanic is replacing the fuel filter with the tune up but I will double check and ask him to check the fuel pump as well. Thanks for the response and the warm welcome to the forum!
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Old 12-22-2010, 09:29 PM   #5
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I would suggest having the carburetor rebuilt in addition to the above suggestion to replace the fuel and filters. It was probably filled with ethanol laced fuel when it was parked. Ethanol laced fuel has a very short "shelf" life.
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Old 12-23-2010, 11:51 AM   #6
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Replace ALL of the rubber!

All hoses need to be replaced, the fuel line will have air entry causing the fuel pump to not work well, the radiator hose will fail at the worst time, usually when the fan belt tears it in half...

All consumable/maintenance parts need to be replaced.
oil in rear end
tranny oil + filter
Brake fluid

Remove all bulbs and clean sockets
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Old 12-23-2010, 02:49 PM   #7
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Old 12-23-2010, 04:44 PM   #8
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What every one else said plus drop the gas tank and have it cleaned out and checked to see if it needs to be sealed with tank sealer. A new fuel pump is cheap insurance too.
I've done a lot of old cars, buses for motor homes and motor homes over the years and work on the theory that if it sat over 6 months you may as well do every thing you can while it's in your yard or the garage. So much better than a lonely country road. At night.

Sweet looking motor home.

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Old 12-24-2010, 04:17 PM   #9
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I'm guessing yours is the 26RB model. If it is, it is a nice arrangement. The rear bath is convenient for a number of reasons. Don't let all the suggestions for putting it on the road scare you off. Just take it a little at a time. Do the most imperative safety items first and then work on the rest as you get to them. My first concerns would be motor, tires, and brakes. Without them, the rest is inconsequential. Good Luck with it.

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Old 12-24-2010, 05:15 PM   #10
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great lookin rig. yep, just take your time on getting things done. thats what i am doing on our Ole Koot. have fun and enjoy the adventure.


John & Colleen Weston & Cassie(our cat) -Olympia,WA
1978 GMC Midas Class A 30FT-454 Engine, 400 T
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