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Old 02-15-2019, 03:09 PM   #1
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'Nessa': 1984 Winnebago Elandan WCP31RT Repair Thread

Hey all, I've been meaning to start a thread about my progress on getting our Elandan up and running, as we will be full-timing next month. There's a lot to address and fix up and, as I'm learning a lot, I thought posting the details might help others too.

It's pretty much all-original, but here are the specs for those not familiar with the Elandan (apparently almost mechanically identical to Itasca Windcruiser):

Manufactured: Detroit, October 1984 (I was 5 years old)
Model: Elandan WCP31RT
Chassis: GMC Chevrolet P30
Engine: Chevy 454 V8 Petrol LE8 (7.4 litre)
Transmission: Automatic (GM 475)
Main fuel: LPG (conversion)
Aux fuel: Petrol
Mileage: ~62,000 miles
Features: power steering, power brakes, Onan NH RV 6.5KW generator, black & grey waste tanks, Atwood water heater, Suburban furnace, glass-fibre body panels, aluminium frame, Norcold fridge / freezer, Magic Chef hob and oven, 6 berth (2x double, 2x twin), 240V conversion, 2x 12V leisure batteries.

It's been lived in, you can tell, but it's not trashed. It hasn't been looked after, either. A number of things have been 'bodged', such as the TV aerial, and I am suspicious of the 240V conversion - the transformer is unnecessarily loud.

I doubt a mechanic has ever looked at this vehicle. Amazingly it passed its annual check (aka MOT here) but, mechanically and electrically, there's a lot to be done. I'm going to give her a full service and get all the appliances working. Here's the work that is being done:

Engine
I'm lucky it's a carb-based model rather than the later injection models (or worse the hybrid carb / injection model!) Makes working on it simpler.
- Belts: some jackass had fitted the belts incorrectly at some point. The crankshaft was running the fan and alternator which, in turn, was running the A.I.R. pump AND the power steering. The alternator belt was completely strung out and had basically failed. I've replaced the belts using the P30 chassis manual as a guide.
- Fuel lines: two small lengths of rubber fuel pipe in the engine bay had degraded so badly that they were spraying fuel into the bay and causing explosions(!). Replaced the pipes. I need to check the fuel filters.
- The fuel selection switch is very dated and probably needs an upgrade. Currently you have to start on petrol then switch to LPG when it's warmed up. There is no fuel gauge for the main tank.
- Filters: based on the state of the air filter, I don't think it has been changed since it came to the UK. I don't have a good feeling about the oil filter either so I'm changing both, plus changing the oil.
- Alternator: this appears to be original so I took it apart and cleaned the contacts while I was changing the belts.
- Spark plugs: probably need to be changed, along with the leads and probably the distributor cap.

Instrument Panel / Dashboard
- The ignition switch mount had become loose and it was just turning and turning so this has been tightened.
- Some of the lights aren't working.
- Someone has added a pull switch and not labelled it so I'm going continuity hunting with that.
- The heating doesn't appear to be working although the blowers and aux fans do.
- The original radio / cassette is being replaced with a modern Android unit incorporating SatNav and entertainment.

Appliances
- Furnace: has not yet been turned on so I don't know what state it's in. The warm air blower in the rear bedroom works but is squealing, so needs a service.
- Boiler: has not been maintained and, as a result, one of the thermostats has got so hot it has fused, the brown wires have snapped off, and the housing for the control unit has partially melted. I've got replacement thermostats, not yet fitted. The ignition / burner is also very corroded so I'm cleaning that up.
- Fridge: lights are working but I have no idea whether it works. It can run on DC, AC and LPG.
- Microwave: is original and, therefore, a liability. Will be replaced ASAP.

Furniture
- The blinds are all in place but have seen better days. The cab curtains are okay.
- One of the lounge chairs with the seatbelts is mounted to the floor with one loose bolt.
- The wall-mounted lamps in the bedroom are horrendous and need to be replaced.
- The ceiling lights are all original 12V filament bulbs. They will be replaced with modern alternatives asap.

Can't think of anything else right now, but I'll add things as and when.

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Old 02-15-2019, 03:40 PM   #2
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Donít forget to add some pics!
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Old 02-15-2019, 03:58 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mwhitedg View Post
Donít forget to add some pics!
Thanks, my dude, I will. What's the best way of doing that? I see there doesn't appear to be photo hosting here on the forum, so I need to host externally?
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Old 02-15-2019, 04:19 PM   #4
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You can add photos to a post.
This post should help get you started.
Forums 101 - posting, photos, accounts, basics
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Old 02-15-2019, 05:00 PM   #5
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The water heater. In pretty bad shape.

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Yep, needs some work.

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Twin bedroom in the back.

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Sitting chairs with table extended.

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Sofabed (no way two people can fit on there).

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Bed above cab (no way two people can fit on there).

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The cab.

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External view - side.

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External view - front.

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One of the fuel pipes!

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Old 02-15-2019, 06:33 PM   #6
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Hello Mr. Duffy!
I am subscribed and following. Nice vintage Elandan. I just saw a late 80s one today here in my town.
Looks like you have a great start on it and the photos look very good! Amazing to note the beefy size of the entry door hindges.
Best to you with your project, we'll be watching!
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Old 02-15-2019, 06:40 PM   #7
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That is a sweet looking classic! Canít wait to watch as it progresses! Best of luck!
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Old 02-15-2019, 06:50 PM   #8
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Good luck with it.
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Old 02-16-2019, 05:21 PM   #9
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So, the belts are sorted but now the relay for the starter just clicks when I turn the ignition. I suspect a dodgy battery.

Meanwhile, I got the furnace and the boiler working!

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Old 02-17-2019, 06:20 PM   #10
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After testing all connections to the starter it finally started working. Battery was fine. It was one of those situations where you don't know what you did that actually fixed it but you don't care because it works. Next!

Suspension: there are valves for filling the air bags, so I need to check the PSI on those and see if they need to be filled.

Coolant: I need to check the level of this but I'll probably end up flushing the system and replacing it for peace of mind.

Instrument panel: all the little lights are horrible filament bulbs so I'm going to replace them with LEDs so I'm not having to change them every month or whatever. Plus it won't destroy the batteries.

Generator: doesn't seem to be starting up at the moment but I don't need it for now. Before I do anything with it I'm going to service it i.e. change oil and filters to keep it running as smoothly as possible.

Air conditioning: only runs with AC hookup (or generator, apparently). Both are original and I have no idea if they work or not. It's looking likely that I will remove one of them and replace it with a skylight & fan, and use the parts to get the remaining one working.

Layout: the original layout doesn't suit us and there have been many advances in RV technology since 1984. We're looking at changing up the sleeping configuration and combining the toilet and shower into one room.

Solar power: currently there are no panels so this will be an obvious addition in the not so distant future.
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Old 02-28-2019, 05:46 AM   #11
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Nice unit. Just following.
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Old 02-28-2019, 07:19 AM   #12
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Air bags ...99% chance they need replacing. Generator....make sure you have over 1/4 tank of fuel in main tank or it won't start
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Old 03-05-2019, 05:49 PM   #13
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Made another modification today. I noted that the temperature readout (internal / external) is in degrees F. Given that it's an American vehicle, that makes sense. It makes no sense to me, however.

So I removed the display module and did some research. Turns out Winnebago used National Semiconductor's MA1026 Digital LED Alarm Clock / Thermometer Module, an off-the-shelf part from the '80s used in many clock radios. As luck would have it, the datasheet is available online [wass.net] and all you have to do in order to change to centigrade / Celsius, is connect pin 9 (VSS) to pin 10. I haven't actually tried it yet, but I see no reason why it wouldn't work. There are also a couple of pots on the interface board that are probably for calibration. I'll post up full details once it's installed.
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Old 03-05-2019, 06:34 PM   #14
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Watching your progress. I have a 1982 Winnebago cheiftain that needs some work
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