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Old 07-16-2015, 09:53 PM   #1
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Wanderlust Tribe Update!

Hello everyone! Since the purchase of our 1978 Holiday Rambler about a month ago we have been steadily working on it to make it livable. We have 15 days till we move in and about 30 days till we take off for a 10,000 mile trip! Definitely nervous but super excited for what lies around the corner.

So far we've spent total of $2953 on the RV including the initial $1700 purchase. If all goes well, the RV should only need another 500 or so. Most of the costs have been, engine repairs, pluming issues, and working on the roof.

Here is a video of the roof project:
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Old 07-16-2015, 11:00 PM   #2
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Congratulations on a job well done!! For anyone who has worked on an RV issue we can tell you have worked really hard.

My hat is off to you to take a 10,000 mile trip! Are you crossing the US about 2 times?
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Old 07-16-2015, 11:33 PM   #3
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Yay!
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Old 07-19-2015, 07:18 PM   #4
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Thanks okie143 and oldmttb! We have certainly put in tons of work into the old girl. All of the systems seem to be working in good order now, and it is time to put some more into the engine.

Unfortunately the Rambler is still overheating. I rented a cooling system pressure tester from advanced auto and checked it out. There was a tiny leak, but it was from a radiator hose clamp not tight enough. Besides that there was no leak that i could find.

So, where it stands, there is no thermostat in it and the hoses have been replaced. Almost seems like the coolant isn't circulating. I don't know much about the cooling systems on vehicles.. Could it be a clog in the radiator somewhere? or a bad water pump( I would imagine the engine would be hot and not the radiator if it was a bad pump, No?)

Any advice would be amazing and much appreciated! Thanks
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Old 07-20-2015, 09:26 AM   #5
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A long shot: How are you determining it is overheating?. If just by the dashboard gauge, and a GM / Chevy chassis, I have seen bad gauges on two of our motorhomes - although both of these read too low, a bad gauge can show too high also.

Also, another long shot: the old mechanic's tale about leaving the thermostat out . The coolant flows too fast through the radiator and doesn't loose sufficient heat. Thermostats slow down the flow.

Finally, some cooling systems can get an air bubble, and need to be bled to promote coolant flow.

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Originally Posted by CoolRV View Post
Thanks okie143 and oldmttb! We have certainly put in tons of work into the old girl. All of the systems seem to be working in good order now, and it is time to put some more into the engine.

Unfortunately the Rambler is still overheating. I rented a cooling system pressure tester from advanced auto and checked it out. There was a tiny leak, but it was from a radiator hose clamp not tight enough. Besides that there was no leak that i could find.

So, where it stands, there is no thermostat in it and the hoses have been replaced. Almost seems like the coolant isn't circulating. I don't know much about the cooling systems on vehicles.. Could it be a clog in the radiator somewhere? or a bad water pump( I would imagine the engine would be hot and not the radiator if it was a bad pump, No?)

Any advice would be amazing and much appreciated! Thanks
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Old 07-20-2015, 04:06 PM   #6
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Also be advised that the water pump impeller itself can wear after that many years.


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Old 07-20-2015, 10:02 PM   #7
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George Schweikle and TLGPE,Thanks for the ideas. The gauge on the interior shows the engine on the warmer side, but i know for a fact because water overflows out of the pressure relief cap, and a ton of steam!

My buddy and i were talking and we feel like i have made a discovery about the cooling system. The fan shroud is definitely not from this vehicle (cut in weird places, not tight around the fan or to the radiator) and i believe it may not be enough coverage on the radiator. I am not sure if that would cause this big of an issue. but i will be heading to the junkyard this weekend to try to find one that fits. or depending on whats out there I was debating on an Electric Fan kit to replace the mechanical set up.

Any thoughts?

Thanks for everyone's help!
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Old 07-21-2015, 10:07 AM   #8
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I'm far from being a mechanic, but I know that the fan shroud is VERY important to getting proper cooling! I think you may have found your problem!
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Old 07-21-2015, 10:12 PM   #9
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If it's been sitting for a while, as in several years. I would have the radiator rebuilt, install new hoses, thermostat, and water pump. It's an investment that you will be glad you did when you are on the road.
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Old 07-22-2015, 07:09 PM   #10
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While searching for an exact fit fan shroud i have noticed that it is near impossible to find. The junk yards near me don't carry anything this old. Instead of modifying one to fit i decided to go with an electric fan conversion.
Found a dual fan set up in an aluminum shroud that is very close to the dimensions of my radiator on Amazon.com along with an adjustable Dual fan thermostat control. Everything came to about $140 bones. If all goes well I should have all the parts the beginning of next week. I'll shoot a video of the install so everyone can check it out. Hopefully this will finally solve my overheating issue.
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Old 07-22-2015, 10:24 PM   #11
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good luck dude. You can put more into an old unit that you will ever get out of it, except for the fun of doing it and enjoying your cruise.

Have you looked at the freeze plugs? If that unit has setup for a long time with no water circulation and probably very old anti-freeze, that block should have rusted bad inside. Those little rust barnacles come loose and lodge in the cooling lines on the rad and cause all kinds of problems.

I saw one unit that sat for a long time, don't know if he had anit-freeze in it previously, but sat and was not circulated and when the guy started it, it blew two freeze plugs out.
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