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Old 08-10-2022, 02:23 PM   #1
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1993 Fleetwood Southwind Q&A

I might be crazy, but I decided to keep and remodel and this old motor home for. It is hard to find details on much of anything on this old of a motor home.

It is built on a Chevy platform and has a 454 ci in it.

Anybody out there familiar with this make and model (and age) ?
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Old 08-10-2022, 03:24 PM   #2
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Which model Southwind?
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Old 08-10-2022, 04:40 PM   #3
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Suggest the Vintage Motorhome and RV groups on Facebook

I'm very familiar with the P30 chassis and have a decent amount of knowledge on the "vintage" Fleetwood's.

Post up some concerns you have.
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Old 08-11-2022, 07:27 AM   #4
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Additional info

My rig:
Year: 1993
Brand: Fleetwood
Model: Southwind MH (32A)
Length: 32í
VIN #: 1GBKP37N3P3309918
Engine: K3500 8 cyl 454 7.4 L

I have the model that uses the power steering pump to activate the actuator and release the drum brake (parking brake) right behind the transmission. That was the first issue. We had just brought it home and the pressure valve sensor blew and my son barely got into the driveway before the parking brake locked up. Nobody knew what I was talking about in terms of that particular system. I soured the internet to find a document on it. (A truck mechanic built a sensor and got it operational again)

it was parked for over a year in storage and I moved it back to my property, and it locked up again. The rebuilt sensor leaked fluid.

I decided to get the interior remodel done and then come back to the mechanical "stuff". I came back to the rig after a few months of working on other things on my property and the main battery was dead. Tested it, and bought a new one.

Now it wont start.. I hoping it is as simple as cleaning the terminals and cables on the starter (cross fingers). If not, I will buy a starter.

They only built this power steering assist parking brake system for three years.. And it has been an issue two times. Seriously, if you blow a belt on the highway, your break will lock up. The newer ones have a separate pump system to remove the power steering issue from the parking brake. I would love to to change or remove this system. (any thoughts on that?)

Parts are getting hard to find, my father had to pay a small fortune to have the radiator custom rebuilt because nobody could find a replacement. (I inherited this thing) I am second guessing myself, but I have new roofing material, ACs, fridge, stove, water pump, hot water heater, etc, etc, sitting in my storage to remodel it, but the shadow of finding mechanical parts is weighing heavy on my mind.

Sorry for the long response...
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Old 08-11-2022, 07:29 AM   #5
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Year: 1993
Brand: Fleetwood
Model: Southwind MH (32A) - Chevy
Length: 32’
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Old 08-11-2022, 01:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris S. View Post
My rig:
Year: 1993
Brand: Fleetwood
Model: Southwind MH (32A)
Length: 32í
VIN #: 1GBKP37N3P3309918
Engine: K3500 8 cyl 454 7.4 L

I have the model that uses the power steering pump to activate the actuator and release the drum brake (parking brake) right behind the transmission. That was the first issue. We had just brought it home and the pressure valve sensor blew and my son barely got into the driveway before the parking brake locked up. Nobody knew what I was talking about in terms of that particular system. I soured the internet to find a document on it. (A truck mechanic built a sensor and got it operational again)

it was parked for over a year in storage and I moved it back to my property, and it locked up again. The rebuilt sensor leaked fluid.

I decided to get the interior remodel done and then come back to the mechanical "stuff". I came back to the rig after a few months of working on other things on my property and the main battery was dead. Tested it, and bought a new one.

Now it wont start.. I hoping it is as simple as cleaning the terminals and cables on the starter (cross fingers). If not, I will buy a starter.

They only built this power steering assist parking brake system for three years.. And it has been an issue two times. Seriously, if you blow a belt on the highway, your break will lock up. The newer ones have a separate pump system to remove the power steering issue from the parking brake. I would love to to change or remove this system. (any thoughts on that?)

Parts are getting hard to find, my father had to pay a small fortune to have the radiator custom rebuilt because nobody could find a replacement. (I inherited this thing) I am second guessing myself, but I have new roofing material, ACs, fridge, stove, water pump, hot water heater, etc, etc, sitting in my storage to remodel it, but the shadow of finding mechanical parts is weighing heavy on my mind.

Sorry for the long response...
Check the cables and starter solenoid, make sure you are getting power from the ignition switch too. There may or may not be a solenoid under the dog house for the starter. Without looking at my service manual in some cases the solenoid was put up by the intake to avoid heat from the exhaust, the solenoid on the starter was jumped by a copper buss bar or put directly on the start side of the solenoid.

That parking brake setup is a disaster. There is some ways around it, you could convert to the old style and that used a cable and lever. Im not sure of the exact parts but it can be done. Same style system was also used on the "Topkick" trucks.

A good radiator shop can rebuild yours or messure it and get one close. i would add more rows to the core if possible. Its going to cost but be well worth it.
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Old 08-12-2022, 06:30 AM   #7
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Thx, I am crawling under it today to get at the started. It always worked before. Hopefully it is as simple as cleaning up the cable ends (fingers crossed)

And yes, I really want that auto parking brake changed. Seriously, if you blow a power steering belt on the highway that thing will lock up. If you have a small leak somewhere, it locks up. That sensor leaked, so I am currently locked up and the docs I found on bleeding the air out of the system is insane.. Jack up the front, bleed the P/S, bleed the actuator, and then bleed the power brake asst. Right now, I am just trying to move the motor home in my driveway, that may take a couple days just to get that done.

I did some preliminary search trying to find a replacement P/S pump. So far, no go. And what if that valve body goes bad, where do I find one of those? Engine purrs like a kitten, transmission works well.. but that power steering, brake system is, as you say, a disaster.
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Old 08-12-2022, 09:14 AM   #8
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For more specific answers, right here we have a Fleetwood forum section, a Chevrolet chassis section, the vintage section (I consider my 1993 Newmar vintage), and this class A section a the least. Not sure what more you would find on Facebook but that too I guess.

Sometimes questions about stuff like the refrigerator is best asked in a section like the one for appliances. As lots of folks with different brand coaches may have the same refrigerator. A Chevy 454 is a Chevy no matter what it's in, stuff like that. The more you split up your issues into discreet individual questions the more likely you are to receive useful help. Versus bundling them all into one post. That's been my experience anyway.
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Old 08-12-2022, 09:30 PM   #9
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1st search my posts and you will find that p/s pump is rebuild able.. I have posted the oem parts # and cross over to AutoZone for less than 100 buck.. time consuming but I posted how.. you need to think a little different.. be a little more resourceful.. Chevy used very same eng and trans in rv.. as in all there light duty pickups.. so pick up Haynes and Chilton for 1993 Chevy ck2500 or ck3500.. that will get you 90% there.. AutoZone can get 90% or more parts for Chevy ck2500 or ck3500.. so I go to AutoZone. Com and type in 1993 ck2500 or ck3500.. then look and see if fits 100% return if not.. now you can use advance auto parts.. napa.. or any other places..

As far as radiator.. I am convinced that you can fit stock radiator for about 300.. parts only.. you might have to modify the top radiator support.. but there are great resources for radiator support.. search summit racing or jegs.com.. now I admit you have to be resourceful in changing the top filler on radiator.. but with long hose on funnel.. you can fill it.. you have to use that anyway

As to auto park system.. there are many ways to work around that.. you can modify auto park system until your happy.. or understand it takes careful maintenance.. the p/s oil must be changed every 2yrs.. because stuff gets into the system and causes problems.. use hi quality p/s oil.. remember it does a lot of work.. it does brakes, p/s, and auto park system.. so it works very hard.. and there is no filter or cooler.. I am convinced that it needs a cooler on return line.. easy to add.. less than 50 bucks plus hoses.. if you add cooler add inline filter.. 30 bucks..

That said.. hit auto park. Com.. be ready to down load everything you come across.. there are modify kits.. on ebay.. look up chevy p30 or p32 auto park system.. some kits completely change it with mechanical actuator.. and some use Chevy pickup brake cables.. they are all reasonable.. and do able.. do a search here on auto park system.. and keep looking.. I have seen a post here from a members that completely replaced it.. start from last pages and read forward in workhorse section.. please use all safety precautions.. any time you work on auto park system.. you must test it.. and when working on it.. chock all wheels.. because Chevy did not use a parking pawl in trans to lock rear tires.. the rv is too heavy for parking pawl it would sheer it off because of the weight.. so that is how we got this..

Chevy made millions of these engines and trans and use very same set up.. computers to all else in their light duty pickups.. there are millions of these in salvage yards.. minus the auto park system..

Back to p/s.. buy a pack of very long Qtips and swab the bottom of the p/s reservoir and see if you get any black crud up on end.. 5 mins and 10 bucks for Qtips .. there is a tiny magnet that sits in bottom and collects metal pieces and it gets clogged.. so if you really get in there.. you need to pull off reservoir and clean it out..
So there are many used and new parts to find out there.. use got to be more resourceful.. and if you take it to shop.. to get work done.. they like to exchange parts and don't like to make modifications.. because it cost time.. you may have to use custom shops to get work done.. but at 300 to 500 p/h..

There are great you tube vids on Chevy hydroboost system and p/s pumps..
Good luck and keep us posted
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Old 08-12-2022, 09:32 PM   #10
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Oh.. should have add.. you must flush brake master cylinder every 2yrs.. or that too will cause problems.. when was last time you flushed brake oil.?
Good luck and keep us posted
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Old 08-12-2022, 09:49 PM   #11
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Oh.. and most auto parts store will test starter for free.. take it to them.. get one for 1993 Chevy ck2500 or ck3500.. when it comes to starters .. buy best you can afford.. there are performance starters you can get.. and never have a problem again.. which even one you get.. you must reuse the heat shield and buy a universal starter wrap kit to insulation against the heat.. about 40.. and wrap it.. Chevy 454 heat kills starter..
1st.. use a test light and a friend and see if when they try yo start it.. it gets power. Put test light on starter lugs and see if you are getting power... if not.. you will see.. while under there.. the wires run up behind eng.. right next to exhaust manifolds.. and they can over time burn through.. that needs wrapping with insulation.. also.. beware that the ignition module under steering wheel can burn out.. so if you still having starter problem then you have to check ignition switch.. use cellphone with flash on and record under steering wheel and you use 10mm and take apart.. then check with cellphone with flash on and record ignition switch and look for burnt ends.. n apa has them around 30 bucks.. there are kits on eBay that you can wire in to prevent the ignition switch from burning out. Pricey around 350.. but takes all the loads off.. mine was burnt.. Haynes and Chilton cover great troubleshooting starters and everything else..
Good luck and keep us posted
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Old 08-12-2022, 11:28 PM   #12
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Parts for the older Chevy 454 RVs are harder to find, but so are parts for any. vehicle from the 1990s. As a previous poster stated, you must get creative. Sometimes it's by cross referencing numbers, sometimes it's by getting rebuild parts.
We too inherited our '96 Flair. Glad we were able to keep her in the family. Yes, the older RVs require attention, work, and most especially research for parts. We have a good group of people who have posted various repair and part informationals. One has even mentioned how he upgrades the hydroboodt brake system.
Will agree,... The auto park system was used on the heaviest Chevy RVs. Ours is a '96 Fleetwood Flair 29V. One inch shy of 30 feet, but she measures closer to 31 feet bumper to bumper. We luckily. do not have the auto park system.

Just don't despair. These Fleetwood RVs were built in the John Creek era for Fleetwood. John and his wife were RVers, who designed many user friendly, and well built, (might I say solid) coaches.

Good luck, used the RV, and run her. Using the systems keeps them working. We have revived ours. Since 20217. We have put 17K miles on her. Taken her to Yellowstone, Yosemite, Gran Canyon, and hundreds of travel baseball games.

We have had lots of fun, and worked her hard. Even now, she is in front of our house serving as a shower and bathroom while our bathrooms are being remodeled.

The only. thing that has completely failed on our trips, has been the Onan generator. The ignition module died in 2018, but we still did out 1800 mile trip. All be it a bit hotter, but we still had fun.
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Old 08-13-2022, 04:55 AM   #13
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Thx, I am new and I just took a chance on the first post I did. (tossed it out there) This is a big site with a lot of users, data and categories on it.
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Old 08-13-2022, 05:02 AM   #14
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Thx.. that response was chock-full of tidbits of info.. I was going to ask this morning about the best manual, and there it is in your thread.
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