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Old 01-07-2011, 04:39 PM   #1
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Question maintenance question

We bought a 97 Dolphin with a 460 ford engine last fall and has only 16000 original miles. It seems to have been taken care of well. My question is this march we are planning a 3500 mile trip, and don't know what to have my mechanics check. A friend told me that even with that few miles I should have the wheel bearing checked and the trans serviced. I have no records of any of this work already being done. Any body have any other ideas? First long trip and don't want any bad memories if I can prevent them. Thanks for any info Patrick
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Old 01-07-2011, 06:26 PM   #2
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Change oil, grease,check tires even if they have good tread they could be old and dangerous there is no way you can check everything that can go wrong that's the fun of rving.
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Old 01-07-2011, 06:37 PM   #3
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Along with the above, have the brake fluid flushed. At that age, I would bet it's pretty contaminated.
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Old 01-07-2011, 06:43 PM   #4
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Hi pjtaxi,
Have all the fluids changed. I do mean all the fluids. Oil, tranny, brake, coolant, rear end, all the fluids. Check the date of manufacture on the tires. If over 5 or 6 years old, replace the tires. Check the belts on the engine. For me, I'd replace them. If you do not, buy spares. Change all the filters (air and oil come to mind). Do the same (fluids and filters) for the generator.
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Old 01-07-2011, 06:48 PM   #5
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maintenace question

Thanks for all the replies to my questions, I had the belts replaced last year when we brought it home, I hadn't thought of the brake fluid being contaminated, and wasn't sure about the cooling system, the tires are only 1 year old and good shape. Thanks again
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Old 01-08-2011, 10:35 AM   #6
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When ever I buy a new to me but used anything, I have it serviced for anything that would normally have a need at it's age, unless I could confirm that it was just completed. That gives me a basis that I can always use during my ownership. I now know when the tires were last rotated, or the oil was changed, etc. You may be doubling up on something that was just done but what is that going to hurt? Except your pocket book!
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Old 01-09-2011, 09:47 AM   #7
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Check the sway bar bushings. If they have not been replaced yet, at that age they are almost guaranteed to be bad. I updated to poly bushings and noticed a huge improvement. Check all rubber items such as fuel lines, coolant hoses, etc. for cracks and deterioration. Follow the link to my blog for more info on the F53 sway bar bushings.
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:24 PM   #8
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Would change radiator/heater hoses and flush system and replace coolant. 460's produce a lot of heat under the hood. and check plug wires also
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Old 01-10-2011, 03:42 PM   #9
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Pjtaxi, all of the things mentioned sound like a lot of things to check and/or replace. But keep in mind, regardless of the mileage, all of the OEM parts are 14 years old.

So any fluids or rubber parts have probably reached their end of life.

The good news, sealed systems are less of a problem. For example if the refrigerator works, there is no reason to replace its fluid.

So that means that all other fluids are candidates: steering, transmission, differential, oil, windshield wiper, grease points, brake, etc should be flushed and replaced.

All rubber or gaskets should be inspected and/or replaced: fan belt, timing chain (if it has a non-metal one), spark plug wires, wire from distributer to coil, brake pads, tires, radiator, heating, water fill lines, vacuum lines, rubberized brake lines (usually flexible lines at wheels), gas fill hose (tank is mounted on frame, fill point is usually mounted on body, where they meet is rubber) etc.

There's probably stuff other to check that I didn't list.

Have fun, and don't sweat it if you forget something, just take care of it when you realize there's a problem. But mostly have fun.
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Old 01-10-2011, 06:00 PM   #10
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Thanks for the info on bushings, but can't find your link to poly bushings in the F-53 can you help ?
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Old 01-10-2011, 06:13 PM   #11
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Here is a link to ebay where I got my poly sway bar bushings for my '97 F53 chassis. The sellers name is skuterdude
He also has bushings for '99 and up F53 on another auction.
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