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Old 05-28-2022, 11:28 AM   #1
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1994 Winnie Vectra Spartan Diesel Rebuild

New member here looking for opinions from members familiar with mid-1990's Winnebago Vectra Spartan Diesel Pushers.
I was supposed to purchase a 1998 Winnie Diesel Pusher a couple days ago, but the "Seller" backed out after I told him how to temporarily bypass the leaking heater core to allow me to drive it the 160 miles back to my place so I could start restoring other issues/upgrades needing attention.
I have since found a ROUGH (did I say ROUGH, I MEAN RUH-UH-UH-UH-UFFFFF) 1994 Winnie Vectra Spartan Diesel 80k miles and runs like a dream. Onan 7500 with less than 100hrs, frame is rust free, electrical, propane, fresh water and grey/black water systems seem to all function properly.
That's about where the positive's stop.
It was used as a parked live-in for the last 8 years by an old couple and the interior is shot.
I'm 62, newly retired. Rather than paying a premium price for Winnebago's original designer/builders commercial idea of interiors and floor plans from 1994 in good shape, I'm interested in doing a "rebuild/remodel" to end up with a custom updated Coach.
More background, the nephew of the couple that previoisly owned it is selling for 6k (again the Cummins 5.9 12Valve turbo/6 speed Allison purrs at idle, moves it down the hiway nicely, rides and shifts smooth).
I know how to lay down laminate flooring (No soft spots but they had multiple dogs and the carpet has to go). Paint interiors (wall paper is discolored from smokers, as are painted surfaces). There is one spot on the interior wall behind the drivers chair that some water intrusion happened in the past, but can't see or smell mold/mildew over the old pet smell. Its been a wet winter/spring here in Oregon as usual and no wet spots are evident now with reseal at driver door supposedly fixing issue.
I've priced the things I know I need to replace/work on myself (about $6k more in stuff including new tires).
So all in about $12-13k.......
I'm not seeing anything out here from 1992-1998 in the Class A 34-36 foot Cummins/Allison combination in great condition for that price or even close.
Taking my time and putting the flooring of my choice, wall treatment of my choice, redoing upholstery of my choice for a mechanically sound (engine/tranny runs/shifts great, brakes stop smooth, 2 a/c roof units blow cold and heater heats, propane system works for furnace/oven/stove [original Fridge was replaced with residential so that line is capped], fresh water works as well as no visible leaks on holding tanks grey/black, generator starts, and 110 plugs aren't tripping anything when plugged in).
From what I'm describing, does it seem worth the price to make it my own with a 3-4 month leisurely refit/remodel work being done by myself?
How happy were/are other owners with their mid-90's Winnie Vectra Spartan 5.9 12 valve Cummins/6speed Allison equiped RV's?
Thanks for input in advance!
Ram50Ron
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Old 05-28-2022, 11:40 AM   #2
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The 12 valve 5.9 won't be the fastest to the top on any climb , but it'll get you there using the least amount of fuel .
If the trans is an Allison 3000 series ( 6 speed it should be ) you'll never break it with that engine's power .

The rest is up to you , the coach is of an age where it's condition , condition , condition as far as price is concerned .

Works for you, and paid for ; are my ideas of the perfect RV.
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Old 05-28-2022, 01:32 PM   #3
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Thanks for being the first to weigh in on this!
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Old 05-28-2022, 01:36 PM   #4
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Correction!
I mistakenly said it has 2 Roof A/C units that blow cold (that was the 1998 Chieftan I was going to get), this Vectra Spartan has A/C in the basement not on the roof.
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Old 05-28-2022, 04:45 PM   #5
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I had a Rockwood with that vintage Spartan chassis. If I recall correctly the Vectra came with a 190 hp 5.9 liter diesel. Ours had the 160 hp version, and that was pretty feeble, but I would think the 190hp would do okay as long as you aren't trying to win any races.


One other thing, I am almost certain that motorhome has leaf spring suspension instead of air suspension. For me that wouldn't be a big issue, but just wanted to make sure you were aware of that.


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Old 06-12-2022, 08:57 AM   #6
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Update:
Looked at a number of Motorhome's over the last month. Lost out on 3 different gassers I could "settle" for (really wanted a diesel pusher), and passed on the 1994 Winnie Spartan as it just had too much damage/rust/non-functioning equipment/systems.
Well now I took a "Huge Gamble" and paid a guy $4000 for his asthetically nice 1993 Winnebago Vectra Spartan M-35RQ. He said he can't get it started due to a bad transmission module diagnosed by an RV tech he paid to come out and look it over.
He said 6 month's after he last used it for a trip it had dead batteries, so he jumped it and moved it to its current spot behind his home. He changed out the batteries, plugged it into shore power and let relatives stay in it that were visiting as his wife slowly passed due to illness.
Fast forward 1 year, he hadn't started it since replacing the batteries and now no crank no start. All the lights on the dash light up but no crank no start, Allison Shift Control doesn't show "NN" to allow roll over.
He is selling all his toys and moving in with his daughter.
So I signed up for my unknown adventure....
Wish me luck!
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Old 06-12-2022, 02:35 PM   #7
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Seems like a hard to beat deal if he lets you get it running there. Might not need TCM .Get new batts in. Take pics use color tape and zip strip same groups of cables together. Many reports of problems after battery swap, gravity or tension will pull one away. Report back of trans pad and dash lights up with key on.
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Old 06-12-2022, 04:53 PM   #8
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It's 230 miles from my house, so going back Wednesday with some tools, battery charger, a 900cc RV battery, and Test meter. I'm going to charge the existing batteries, clean the battery post/cable connections, and the module connections to see if theres power at all the pins etc.
It would be great if I don't have to replace anything!
But I'm stoked no matter, can hardly wait to get her started then change all the fluids and drive her home to begin the real rehabbing!
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Old 06-12-2022, 06:11 PM   #9
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This is still a DP model looks like gas or DP ? Most DP have a wire to power the dash and trans pad on positive chassis batt with inline fuse about 18" . Also ignition solenoid or relays. Newer trans/engine VIM have fuse and relays not sure of that year sorry.
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Old 06-13-2022, 08:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 153stars View Post
This is still a DP model looks like gas or DP ? Most DP have a wire to power the dash and trans pad on positive chassis batt with inline fuse about 18" . Also ignition solenoid or relays. Newer trans/engine VIM have fuse and relays not sure of that year sorry.
The older (older than me lol) gentleman that I bought this from shared he replaced the 3 batteries under the steps (1 chassis, 2 House) and doesn't remember starting it after (that was over a year ago).
After reading up on this forum about similar problems with the trans module, often after battery replacement, I'm going to clean all the connections, including harness connections charge the batteries and then test power to the Allison shift control as well as the transmodule.
Should be done anyway, might be able to confirm if it throws codes again.
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Old 06-13-2022, 11:17 PM   #11
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Hello from Dan
Our first DP was a 94 Vectra !! everyone I ever talked to that owned one said they wished they had it back. it was great. got 11mpg, and up to 14 on long flats .
went from roy wa to silver wood idaho and back, round trip still had over 1/4 tank of fuel left. had solar panels, just no slides,, I was ok with that . good rigs.. only thing I worried about was 19" tires were just about maxed weight.... it was a great rig, good bones to start with rebuild. just keep the rpm 1800, with room to spare. if you push throttle and no gain, go down a gear and slow down, it will run cooler up the hill, and not destroy your exhaust manifold and not cook the oil......
Best of luck.
Dan.
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