Go Back   iRV2 Forums > iRV2.com COMMUNITY FORUMS > Vintage RV's
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 02-18-2012, 04:23 PM   #15
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 18
As far as the not starting after sitting, checking the battery and finding 12.5 volts doesn't really tell you much. A battery can have 12.5 volts but not have anywhere near the amperage it needs to crank. You need to check the amps or check the voltage while trying to crank the engine. If the voltage drops significantly once you try starting it then your battery could be bad or the alternator isn't charging.

want2camp is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 02-18-2012, 05:00 PM   #16
Community Moderator
JMonroe's Avatar

Newmar Owners Club
Spartan Chassis
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Santa Fe Skies, Santa Fe New Mexico
Posts: 7,152
Originally Posted by MRBB View Post
All good advice above. I had a 454 and it would never start warmed up. My friend who owns a bunch of Corvettes told me the 454 uses an insulated starter with a shield to keep it from binding up. He got me the shield and starter and no problems after that. Good luck!
I'd second this. Especially with headers, that starter may be getting very hot. If I remember correctly, this was a common problem back then. I think many made up some kind of a heat shield, someone may have even offered one on the aftermarket but as its been a long time since you could buy a 454 that may be impossible to find anymore.

Jay & Peggy Monroe with Dolly
Can't take it with you - don't plan on leaving any behind
2016 Newmar London Aire 4553, Spartan chassis
2017 GMC Acadia toad
JMonroe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2012, 05:25 PM   #17
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 278
Both the dieseling and the hard starting could be caused by the timing being too advanced. It sounds like you may have other electrical problems, and those can be real misery to solve for an amateur.

Before you go anywhere very far, I would check the manufacture date on the tires, by the way.
Trucking to support the cats.
mrblanche is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2012, 03:40 PM   #18
Senior Member
MattC's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: SE Michigan
Posts: 459
Originally Posted by Mykill View Post
My wife wanted a motor home ,A BIG motor home so I found one on Craigslist( funny neighbor of my sister) there were no pics only a description,I liked what I read so we went and looked at it and of course she could not say no so " we " bought it.For $1900.00
It is a 1989 Fleetwood Southwind 36' with Tag axle 55,000 miles 2 owners.454 with Banks Power Pak,Unknown brand of tri-Y headers and dual flowmasters ,475 a/t with a gear vendor under/overdrive, has 3 solar panels a 6.5 Onan genni, and so on( ask if you want to know more ).
Ok one of the two PO mickey moused alot of stuff,so I will askin alot of questions.
When we went to leave the PO house I checked all the fluids and tires all looked real good but was leaking gas had to replace the fuel pressure reg by the tank or behind the rear wheels after that drove home fine turned it off and it dieseled and coughed.next day tried to start and was hard to very slughish and then very loud clunk noise and starter had fallen out was hanging by the battery connector, so replaced that also and it fired right up.Last night went to put gas in it,filled the tank went to drive out and nothing would not start,had 12.5 on volt meter still nothing but loud clicking or electrical switching noise from under the dash or hood maybe under dog house.After waiting 30 min or so got a jump and it fired up drove it back to its spot and had 13.3 on volt meter so i decided to shut it off.It dieseled for a bit then backfired very loud and kids said fire shot out of muffler tips.

As a multi-decade automotive professional, it is MY considered opinion that there is nothing wrong here that you cannot repair for a reasonable investment.
An 1989 CBB truck could still be an open loop carburetor. (No computer, no EGO sensor, no catalyst). You will be hard pressed to find a mechanic these days that can do a diagnostic without OBDII (you don't have that). You write as you are literate. If that is the case, (you can work from written instructions), you are already ahead of many of those you might end up paying to do work on this coach for you. So, Get the P30 chassis book that covers that time frame, read it and go to it. If it is not a P30, that does not matter as that will probably be as close as you can get. You will not a dwell meter, but you will need a tachometer and a timing light. A vacuum gauge is good to have too. Many shops in California get 100+$/hr for shop time, so look at any books or tools you have to buy through that lens.

The dieseling and all that ugly stuff is probably because the main engine has not been run enough to clear the combustion chambers of carbon. I bet if get the other stuff fixed, you can deal with that.

Start by making sure that all the starting power cables are good (they corrode away sometimes) and the connections are all clean, shiny and coated with di-electric (not lubricating) grease so they stay that way. Remember that ground side is part of the starting power circuit, it has to be good - too.

Three big issues remain: Water leaks, brakes and tires (in exactly that order).
- If the coach has water leaks, it will be absolute junk in sort order. Do what ever you have to do the locate and stop any water leak first.
- Brakes, the brake fluid is certainly over age (5~8yrs). Think about getting a power bleeder and a friend or two (remember this will cost 3~400$us at a shop) and purge the brake system. This one move has the potential to save you several thousand dollars of parts/labor (assuming you survive the failure).
- Tires, another place to not mess around. Tread looks good, no sidewall checks....
Nice, but that does not mean a blessed thing...
Learn how to read tire date codes. (Google - DOT tire date codes) I would not be surprised if most or all of yours are three digit - that means made before 2000. As RV tire life is 5~7years, they are probably on borrowed time right now. If you can't afford to replace the entire set now, make sure the the fronts are good before you even go out to buy gas. If a tire self-destructs on the road, it can do a whole lot of damage - Right Now!

Now that you are educated and safe, go for it guy.

MattC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2012, 09:23 PM   #19
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: lancaster CA
Posts: 548
Heat shield can be made from thin aluminum. Diesling,, Some motors of that vintage had an idle set solenoid. Elect solenoid would open throttle to idle speed when ignition was on. When ignition is shut off butterfly in carb closes completely. Carb stop screw is only to keep butterfly from sticking. i.e. no air, no fire, no dieseling. Suggestion from Matt X2
oldbeek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2012, 09:40 PM   #20
Senior Member
Patrol 65's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 314
I had a 1984 motorhome with a 454 that would not start after replacing the starter. It turned out to be a grounding problem. Try grounding the starter motor to the chassis using a set of jumper cables and see if that works.
Nathan and Linda, 2000 Winnebago Chieftain 35U, F53 Chassis, Banks Power Pack
Patrol 65 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2012, 09:58 PM   #21
RVM 18
okmunky's Avatar

Solo Rvers Club
iRV2 No Limits Club
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Fulltimer, SD resident
Posts: 8,245
Congratulations! I paid more than that for my first RV, an 8' homemade teardrop trailer with nothing inside.

Other posters have mentioned mostly engine stuff. I just want to add that you should check carefully to make sure there are no leaks where water can get in -- especially if the previous owner kept it covered and you don't. Nothing will ruin your project faster.

Have fun!
Barb (RVM18), Sena (capuchin monkey, RVM Head Mascot) & Lily (Maltese/Yorkie)
2011 Shasta Cynara 230F, 2012 Smart Car toad, 472 watt solar, FMCA #F466348
The Journey is Our Destination. Full-timing since 5/18/2011 - no end in sight
okmunky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2012, 11:24 PM   #22
Senior Member
Arch Hoagland's Avatar
Monaco Owners Club
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Clovis, CA, USA
Posts: 6,671
Had a 79 GMC 350 with the hot start problem. It was cured by replacing a spring in the starter with a stronger one. I think it was the spring that caused the starter gear to engage the flywheel but I'm not sure now.
It was a known and very common problem with GM engines.

It sounds like you may have a weak battery or a battery cable problem. Clean the cables and put a trickle charger on it for 24 hours.
2004 Monaco La Palma 36DBD, W22, 8.1, 7.1 MPG
2000 LEXUS RX300 FWD 22MPG 4020 LBS

Don't know where I'm going, spose I'll get there anyway.
Arch Hoagland is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2012, 05:06 PM   #23
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 210
your story sounds a bit like mine: i drove from Charleston SC to the middle of Florida to look at one unit and was so .... disgusted... that i called a seller whom i'd seen a week earlier and asked them if theirs was still available, four hours back towards SC... got there right at dark, bought their '84 Southwind and drove it back to Charleston losing one rear tire somewhere around Beaufort around midnight.... losing the alternator belt somewhere near the seller's house and not realizing i was running on the battery (ONE battery) until i had no headlights.... buying a new battery and installing it in a parking lot in Savannah..... still not aware that i'd lost the alternator belt, i thought the alternator itself was bad.
i do not regret buying ours AT ALL, regardless of all of these issues, as i feel that i got a very good deal on a nice old coach.
sooooo.... NO; you didn't make a mistake! besides, your rig seems to have a lot of high-cost very desirable add-ons....
raccoonman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2012, 05:19 PM   #24
Senior Member
John H...'s Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Johnstown, PA USA
Posts: 3,325
Welcome to the forum...
John, Deb; & our dog, Benji, Forever in our hearts.
2014 Coachmen Leprechaun 319DS V-10
2011 Jeep Liberty Jet & 2014 Jeep Wrangler
John H... is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2012, 05:21 PM   #25
Senior Member
Mr_D's Avatar
Winnebago Owners Club
Solo Rvers Club
iRV2 No Limits Club
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 32,021
Not sure about the Banks kit either. I don't think they used tri-Y headers nor flowmaster mufflers. And the exhaust system and carb and advance mods make up pretty much the whole kit.
2009 45' Magna 630 w/Cummins ISX 650 HP/1950 Lbs Ft
Charter Good Sam Lifetime Member, FMCA, SKP
RV'ing since 1957, NRA Benefactor Life, towing '14 CR-V
Mr_D is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2012, 05:29 PM   #26
Senior Member
anotherone's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: brooksville fl
Posts: 674
I think you did great. In 94 I traded a lawnmower for a 1979 winnie brave. My wife was in hysterics. She said if only that bed could talk hahaha. Anyway darn near everything worked but the generator. Drove that thing all over fl and it never quit. Laugh about it and make it reliable and enjoy. Dont be impatient!!
2016 f150 4x4, 2 pia horses! 2016 phaeton 40 ah and 2018 yamaha star venture trans continental.
anotherone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2012, 01:29 PM   #27
Senior Member
thomask's Avatar
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 100
Originally Posted by anotherone View Post
I think you did great. In 94 I traded a lawnmower for a 1979 winnie brave. My wife was in hysterics. She said if only that bed could talk hahaha. Anyway darn near everything worked but the generator. Drove that thing all over fl and it never quit. Laugh about it and make it reliable and enjoy. Dont be impatient!!

Now that is what I call a trade there.

That must have been a big mower?

Remember, it's not always the destination,
it's the journey. So let's go...
thomask is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
MH to 5th Wheel bbeane MH-General Discussions & Problems 47 02-23-2012 12:37 PM
New to everything lesinga New Member Check-In 10 02-19-2012 02:21 PM
Will a second ac in make unit too tall Shotgunjim 5th Wheel Discussion 11 02-19-2012 08:23 AM
Looking to rent my motorhome trampsrv Class A Motorhome Discussions 29 02-19-2012 06:00 AM
Changing the screen door to glass Beacher Newmar Owner's Forum 7 02-18-2012 08:01 AM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:38 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.