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Old 08-08-2011, 10:17 AM   #15
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I think I got your stimulus check...it said I owed $47,000.
yup yup, i think thats the one, you can keep it
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Old 08-08-2011, 10:31 AM   #16
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I did one of these once. Don't think I'd want to do it again, but it was an education.

We stripped the entire roof down to the sidewalls and interior cabinets from front to rear to get a good clean start on our project. This turned out to be a good move as I have seen others spend a great deal of time deciding where and how to do theirs a section at a time, depending on damage.

The one I did was a stick built. We decided to install a pitched roof too. We used carefully picked 2x4s laying on their side. We pitched the roof by cutting the last 3' or so of each end of each 2x4 at an angle that left us with 2"x2" for ends. The center part of the 2x4 was left full width for strength. Hope that makes sense.

We used a single piece of alum. to avoid seams. FWIW
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Old 08-08-2011, 03:47 PM   #17
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You need to determine if you have a M300 or M400 chassis. M300 had single piston caliper front disc brakes. M400 had dual piston caliper front disc brakes. Also, 70's era manufactures might place a 77 year model house on a 76 year model chassis. If yours is a 77 M400 chassis then you most likely have hydroboost brakes. M300 used dual hydro-vac boosters mounted to frame rails just before rear wheels. Locate the Dodge (Fargo) VIN number plate so you can decode the chassis information. It will save lots of pain by buying both the Dodge Motorhome Service and Parts manuals. When looking for chassis parts, best practice is to look up the Dodge P/N then cross-ref the number to aftermarket parts. Most parts counter kiddes do not have a clue how to look up parts for these chassis' because they are rarely listed in the computers. The motorhome chassis (M300, M400, M500, M600) is NOT the same as the van chassis (B300 [sportsman], MB300 [RV], CB300 [Commercial]) nor the truck chassis (D300 [2WD], W300 [4WD]). Some basic parts can go back and forth but the motorhome chassis does have unique parts. Check the front rotors and brakes early on. You do not want to wear grooves in the rotors as they are hard to come by. The runways the calipers ride on can rust up and not let them retract when you release the brakes. That will overheat the entire wheel assembly. Check the front king pins by placing the front end on jack stands then lifting up on each wheel. There should be very little play in the king pins. Grease can dry up (do to dirt entry) and plug the kingpin cylinder which results in excessive nylon bushing wear.
35 years of vibration can result in steel brake lines rub through. The wear spots are under the hold down clips keeping the lines from moving. Dodge used larger sized brake fittings on the ends of their brake lines from the standard. You end up having to use adpators and special ends to build new lines if they need replacement.v Most chassis parts are available through NAPA if you use the cross-ref approach. Late 70's smog engines were detuned so power is down from earlier years.

Journey was an independent Mfg there are some old brochures available on EBAY http://motors.shop.ebay.com/eBay-Mot...c0.m282&_rdc=1

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Old 08-08-2011, 08:39 PM   #18
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You need to determine if you have a M300 or M400 chassis. M300 had single piston caliper front disc brakes. M400 had dual piston caliper front disc brakes. Also, 70's era manufactures might place a 77 year model house on a 76 year model chassis. If yours is a 77 M400 chassis then you most likely have hydroboost brakes.
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Wow .. Thanks Dave .. great info. I found the Dodge/Fargo plate and it says M40 (I assume that means M400?) And the manufacture date is 1976 though the MH is listed as '77 on the Title. I'll check all the things on your list when I get a chance. I got my temp tags so have 60 days to get it to pass emissions. I read that from 75 on will have a catalytic convertor .. mine doesn't .. and some tailpipe is missing .. it just ends at a connector by the read axle. There is a lot of room under there so I should be able to buy the parts and clamp them together .. vs .. going to muffler shop. No guarantee it'll pass even with a good exhaust system .. it is old.

So should I be able to go to NAPA and order the pipe, catalytic c, and possibly a new muffler on the basis of a '76 M400 RV? Any idea on cost for all that .. $200 .. $300?

Also, I found some oil inside the air filter housing by the vent coming from the valve cover .. any thoughts on that. Is that something that might effect the emissions test?

Appreciate all the help !
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Old 08-08-2011, 08:56 PM   #19
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Wow .. Thanks Dave .. great info. I found the Dodge/Fargo plate and it says M40 (I assume that means M400?) And the manufacture date is 1976 though the MH is listed as '77 on the Title. I'll check all the things on your list when I get a chance. I got my temp tags so have 60 days to get it to pass emissions. I read that from 75 on will have a catalytic convertor .. mine doesn't .. and some tailpipe is missing .. it just ends at a connector by the read axle. There is a lot of room under there so I should be able to buy the parts and clamp them together .. vs .. going to muffler shop. No guarantee it'll pass even with a good exhaust system .. it is old.

So should I be able to go to NAPA and order the pipe, catalytic c, and possibly a new muffler on the basis of a '76 M400 RV? Any idea on cost for all that .. $200 .. $300?

Also, I found some oil inside the air filter housing by the vent coming from the valve cover .. any thoughts on that. Is that something that might effect the emissions test?

Appreciate all the help !
Because of its age I wouldn't think it would be required to have the catalytic converter anymore. Check local laws to be certain. If it breathes easier with a less restricted exhaust it will run cooler and get better mileage to boot.

Its age and GVWR might allow you to do away with some if not all the emissions testing.

Also local laws may allow registering it as a vintage vehicle as well saving more money. Check all avenues!
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Old 08-08-2011, 09:24 PM   #20
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That year MH did not have a cat, not even in California.
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Old 08-08-2011, 09:37 PM   #21
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As stated, a 77 does not require emissions testing. My 72 has strait headers and that's it.. Strait pipes
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Old 08-08-2011, 09:43 PM   #22
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Yes M40 = M400
None of the Dodge Class A motorhome chassis' required a Catalytic Converter. Catalytic Converters are combined with a O2 sensor and a Engine Manangement computer. Dodge never had them for Class A and Chevy did not even start to use them on Gas Class A rigs unti 1991 (start of EFI on Class A).

For 76 emissions, you have:
1) Crankcase Ventilation - PCV Valve
2) Evaporative Control System - Carb and gas tank Fuel Vapor recirculation. The charcoal canister on the right front frame rail.
3) Exhaust Gas Recirrculation (EGR Valve) System - This is you biggest headache for emissions because of vacuum amplifier availability.
4) Vacuum Throttle Positioner - Used for deceleration from WOT

All of that works in conjunction with a Carter Thermoquad carburator.

Cheapest place to get the service manual and parts manual in pdf form is the site store at Classic Winnebagos Classic Winnebagos & Vintage RVs!. You have to join the site (free) but there is also a lot of Dodge Motorhome chassis info there.

While your state may not require you to be measured it may require all equipment to be installed. You need to check with your states DMV. Each state has it's own rules for older vehicles.

Dave
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Old 08-10-2011, 08:01 PM   #23
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Thanks all for the great feedback regarding the exhaust system issues .. I feel better about it now. Just a few clamps and extend the tailpipe a bit and I 'should' be good. Though I do have 60 days to get that in order .. my pressing issue is ...

My landlord was able to rent out my apt and I can move out on the 1st .. 3 weeks away. While a bit more time to prepare would be nice .. I'll be saving at least $200/mo and I need to money to effect repairs etc..

My MH has the rear U shaped bench with a drop down table creating a nice bed. However the cushions are old and have a musty smell. I took the covers off and can wash them .. good shape but the zippers are all busted .. but what can I do to 'clean'/'deodorize' the foam itself? The smell is pretty faint but could be unhealthy? or at least unpleasant sleeping on it.

Thanks!
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Old 08-11-2011, 12:26 AM   #24
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Steve,
the oil in the air filter should be from the P.c.v. valve. the fumes come thru and burn off thru the carb. it is normal but there is a white spongey looking filter where the hose attaches to the air cleaner, you should change that periodically. It's been a while since i dealt with this stuff so members feel free to correct me if i am mistaken.
JT
oh yeah try febreeze or check a fabric/upholstrey shop for different padding.
check out this thread
1978 Tioga Bunk Remodel
post #'s 24-26
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Old 08-12-2011, 08:00 AM   #25
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Thanks all for the great feedback regarding the exhaust system issues .. I feel better about it now. Just a few clamps and extend the tailpipe a bit and I 'should' be good. Though I do have 60 days to get that in order .. my pressing issue is ...

My landlord was able to rent out my apt and I can move out on the 1st .. 3 weeks away. While a bit more time to prepare would be nice .. I'll be saving at least $200/mo and I need to money to effect repairs etc..

My MH has the rear U shaped bench with a drop down table creating a nice bed. However the cushions are old and have a musty smell. I took the covers off and can wash them .. good shape but the zippers are all busted .. but what can I do to 'clean'/'deodorize' the foam itself? The smell is pretty faint but could be unhealthy? or at least unpleasant sleeping on it.

Thanks!
If you have the foam out of the covers, just lay them out on the lawn or patio. Make up a bucket with hot water and some laundry detergent; not too sudsy or it takes longer to rinse out. Dish detergent will work too. You can add a few tablespoons of laundry bleach, but not too much- it can damage the foam.

Saturate the foam with the soap solution and let it sit in the sun for an hour or two. Turn the garden hose on the foam and rinse, rinse, rinse. Flip it over and rinse again.

Prop it up so it can drain and dry in the sunshine. Give it a good sniff and see if it smells nicer. Repeat if necessary.

You can certainly replace all your foam cushions, but you'll be shocked at what good quality foam will cost you.

Febreeze and those sorts of products will not make your cushions more sanitary, just smell a little better.

JMHO
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Old 08-13-2011, 11:34 PM   #26
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Well .. I started in on the roof today .. OMG what a mess. I had hoped to just 'patch' it somehow and buy me time, suspecting I would have to replace it totally in the near future. It was even worse that expected and patching was not an option. I found numerous placed where the metal had rusted/corroded so bad I could rip the metal in half with my bare hands. There were too many spots for me to patch .. especially with sheet metal from Home Depot, it would have cost way too much for a temp fix. So I tarped it really well and will look at my options this week. I'll get some pics when I pull the tarp off and begin repairs .. I just didn't have the energy to go get that camera after fighting with this all day. So far it looks like the severe damage is confined to the rear 12 feet so I might just replace that for now and not have to mess w/ the air conditioner and big vent right now .. just reseal it well. I'll see when I get back up there.

I still feel that with a moderate amount of money and a bunch of labor I can turn this into a sweet home for me and my dog. I move into it in 2 weeks so the priority is waterproof and clean inside and I'm confident I can make that happen.
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Old 08-14-2011, 08:06 AM   #27
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If you can get the roof dry and level (as in resheathing over the existing roof with new, thin plywood), you can, with care, do a DIY rubber membrane roof over the entire thing. I saw the components at our local Menard's (big box hardware) so its probably also available at Lowe's or Home Depot.

Or, try this stuff, Liquid Roof. Pretty expensive, but I understand it works very well.
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Old 08-14-2011, 06:07 PM   #28
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Making some progress inside ..

Got some things done on the interior today. I pulled the paneling off the back wall as it was rotten as well. Here's what I found inside.




The rot -- I assume dry rot -- is extensive, the wood cross members just crumbled in my hand. The metal skin appeared fine. I picked up some more 2x3's and insulation and will rebuild it after checking and cleaning up all the wiring.

I started reframing the roof as well, splicing 2x3's to the existing ones and tearing out all the rot I could. I then put styrofoam insul in. I'll wait until the roof is done before putting the ceiling back up.


Then I started painting the walls white (paneling is old, stained and worn) to give it a fresh look and add some size. There's just too much dark wood.

I also pulled the carpet (very filthy!) and will lay linoleum that looks like a white'ish tile. Luckily the floor was great .. smooth and flat with no rot I could find. Two weeks and counting to go fulltime so I know what I'll be doing after work this week ..
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