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Old 11-27-2021, 04:39 PM   #1
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1984 Cobra 21Ft

My new project. It has very little water damage, but interior is gutted..
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Old 11-27-2021, 04:48 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum!
Looks like fun. They don't make em' like that anymore.
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04 Phaeton 38, 3126E Cat 330 AKA "Big Pooper"
"Mini Cooper" S toad
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Old 11-27-2021, 05:07 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum!
Looks like fun. They don't make em' like that anymore.
Thank you, Yes, I was drawn to this by the one-piece fiberglass overhead and rear sections as well as the short length.

I already resealed the roof , but I think I will coat the roof as well. It has a fiberglass roof that is still in pretty good condition.

The 4K Onan is still there with 900hrs.

The 350 Chevy runs superbly now with a new Quadrajet and only 51000 miles on coach, albeit it has a few oil leaks...
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Old 11-27-2021, 06:16 PM   #4
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New carb was a good idea. Be aware that in the late 80's ethanol became more common and leaded gas was phased out. Carb parts and fuel hoses were not made for the new fuel and it caused them to deteriorate and almost melt. I almost burnt my rig down when the fuel line to the carburetor failed. My 4K Onan was a little older than yours. It had points and condenser (not electronic ignition). It was very trouble free but if the points burned they needed to be replaced. In my old Chevy I could just take an ignition file and file off the burnt spot and re-calibrate. Didn't work with the Onan points.
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04 Phaeton 38, 3126E Cat 330 AKA "Big Pooper"
"Mini Cooper" S toad
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Old 11-27-2021, 06:39 PM   #5
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New carb was a good idea. Be aware that in the late 80's ethanol became more common and leaded gas was phased out. Carb parts and fuel hoses were not made for the new fuel and it caused them to deteriorate and almost melt. I almost burnt my rig down when the fuel line to the carburetor failed. My 4K Onan was a little older than yours. It had points and condenser (not electronic ignition). It was very trouble free but if the points burned they needed to be replaced. In my old Chevy I could just take an ignition file and file off the burnt spot and re-calibrate. Didn't work with the Onan points.
Im not sure if mine has points or not. I have to check that..

I'm also wondering if I will keep the 16.5 tires or replace them with 16 inch rims
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Old 11-27-2021, 07:55 PM   #6
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Mikey,

As an older of a GM built coach that is somewhat older, let me appraise you of some important things. Consider that all the rubber parts have aged out.
Now, this gets to be simple if you do it all at once.

The brake fluid is over age and will have collected too much moisture. Some of this is because the diaphragm in the master cylinder got too old and the rest is what actually gets in though the brake cylinders. So, dump all the brake fluid and replace all the rubber lines and seals that you can buy. When you refill and bleed the brakes, you are good for another 20 years. <Cost >500$ if you do it.>

Next is the cooling system, again dump the coolant because the anti-corrosives are all gone - Used up - That and all the hoses still not a big or expensive job <Cost >200$>

Last is the fuel system. This is a much bigger PITA than the others because most of the time the fuel tank has to get let down to replace the rubber lines that are over it. Replace then all with barrier type hose. If it has an engine mounted fuel pump, replace that now because the rubber diaphragm is not alcohol compatible and that can leak fuel into the lube oil. (This is not good.)

It should have HEI ignition. In high load applications, the published 0.060 plug gap will kill it. If the plugs have not been closed to 0.035~.0.040, then do that before going far. You should also carry a spare module and coil. These are not hard to change out and failure is pretty common in RVs.

No matter what the tires look like, learn to read the date codes that are molded into the tires. Old tires blow up all the time and often do a lot of damage when they do. Much more than the cost of the tires. So, yes, find 16X6 rims that will bolt on. 8.75X16.5 are still available, but many are already old when you get them. They are getting harder to find.

Other than that, have a great time on the road.

Frank
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Old 11-27-2021, 10:30 PM   #7
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Mikey,

As an older of a GM built coach that is somewhat older, let me appraise you of some important things. Consider that all the rubber parts have aged out.
Now, this gets to be simple if you do it all at once.

The brake fluid is over age and will have collected too much moisture. Some of this is because the diaphragm in the master cylinder got too old and the rest is what actually gets in though the brake cylinders. So, dump all the brake fluid and replace all the rubber lines and seals that you can buy. When you refill and bleed the brakes, you are good for another 20 years. <Cost >500$ if you do it.>

Next is the cooling system, again dump the coolant because the anti-corrosives are all gone - Used up - That and all the hoses still not a big or expensive job <Cost >200$>

Last is the fuel system. This is a much bigger PITA than the others because most of the time the fuel tank has to get let down to replace the rubber lines that are over it. Replace then all with barrier type hose. If it has an engine mounted fuel pump, replace that now because the rubber diaphragm is not alcohol compatible and that can leak fuel into the lube oil. (This is not good.)

It should have HEI ignition. In high load applications, the published 0.060 plug gap will kill it. If the plugs have not been closed to 0.035~.0.040, then do that before going far. You should also carry a spare module and coil. These are not hard to change out and failure is pretty common in RVs.

No matter what the tires look like, learn to read the date codes that are molded into the tires. Old tires blow up all the time and often do a lot of damage when they do. Much more than the cost of the tires. So, yes, find 16X6 rims that will bolt on. 8.75X16.5 are still available, but many are already old when you get them. They are getting harder to find.

Other than that, have a great time on the road.

Frank
Yes, Thanks you.

Ive noticed the master cylinder was recently replaced along with the alternator. Someone may have changed the coolant because it looks green and clean, but i will flush it anyway.

I'm also sure I will have to change some bushings and seals

What amazes me is the condition of the roof and the quality of the interior cabinets compared to todays RVs. the ceiling had just a very small leak spot and inside the cabinets still look fairly new..

I will mainly need to reconstruct the bathroom. The toilet is missing along with a broken waste and grey tank. The drain valve is missing and has a cracked bath tub.. This is where a majority of my work will go...
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Old 11-28-2021, 06:58 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Mikey89032 View Post
Im not sure if mine has points or not. I have to check that..

I'm also wondering if I will keep the 16.5 tires or replace them with 16 inch rims
Here is a good thread on 16.5's and tires: https://www.irv2.com/forums/f87/look...es-555979.html
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04 Phaeton 38, 3126E Cat 330 AKA "Big Pooper"
"Mini Cooper" S toad
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Old 11-28-2021, 07:10 AM   #9
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Mikey,

Last is the fuel system. This is a much bigger PITA than the others because most of the time the fuel tank has to get let down to replace the rubber lines that are over it. Replace then all with barrier type hose. If it has an engine mounted fuel pump, replace that now because the rubber diaphragm is not alcohol compatible and that can leak fuel into the lube oil. (This is not good.)

Frank
Interesting point about dropping the fuel tank. I didn't do it and years later found all my steel fuel lines that ran from the fuel tank to the motor were full of sludge from the rubber connection hose and at times the fuel wouldn't pass. It was one of the hardest things I ever had to diagnose. A steel fuel line that wasn't leaking. Whoda thunk to look there?
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"Mini Cooper" S toad
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Old 12-01-2021, 12:44 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by F76Marion View Post
Mikey,

As an older of a GM built coach that is somewhat older, let me appraise you of some important things. Consider that all the rubber parts have aged out.
Now, this gets to be simple if you do it all at once.

The brake fluid is over age and will have collected too much moisture. Some of this is because the diaphragm in the master cylinder got too old and the rest is what actually gets in though the brake cylinders. So, dump all the brake fluid and replace all the rubber lines and seals that you can buy. When you refill and bleed the brakes, you are good for another 20 years. <Cost >500$ if you do it.>

Next is the cooling system, again dump the coolant because the anti-corrosives are all gone - Used up - That and all the hoses still not a big or expensive job <Cost >200$>

Last is the fuel system. This is a much bigger PITA than the others because most of the time the fuel tank has to get let down to replace the rubber lines that are over it. Replace then all with barrier type hose. If it has an engine mounted fuel pump, replace that now because the rubber diaphragm is not alcohol compatible and that can leak fuel into the lube oil. (This is not good.)

It should have HEI ignition. In high load applications, the published 0.060 plug gap will kill it. If the plugs have not been closed to 0.035~.0.040, then do that before going far. You should also carry a spare module and coil. These are not hard to change out and failure is pretty common in RVs.

No matter what the tires look like, learn to read the date codes that are molded into the tires. Old tires blow up all the time and often do a lot of damage when they do. Much more than the cost of the tires. So, yes, find 16X6 rims that will bolt on. 8.75X16.5 are still available, but many are already old when you get them. They are getting harder to find.

Other than that, have a great time on the road.

Frank
Very solid advice, one thing does come to mind however. A leakdown/compression test on the engine, along with a good comprehensive check of the transmission.

These old engines can survive time if one is lucky. Low miles is not a good indication of what's left of the engine today. I say this simply because of the fact ive been there done that.
These old engines can run smoothly at idle but when brought to task doing a 500 mile trip all the hidden bugs come out. One thing that masks a lot of issues is the emissions/ timings curves they have. Very dumbed down meaning low stress, yet when brought up to highway speeds things come right to the forefront.
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Old 12-09-2021, 06:17 PM   #11
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Very solid advice, one thing does come to mind however. A leakdown/compression test on the engine, along with a good comprehensive check of the transmission.

These old engines can survive time if one is lucky. Low miles is not a good indication of what's left of the engine today. I say this simply because of the fact ive been there done that.
These old engines can run smoothly at idle but when brought to task doing a 500 mile trip all the hidden bugs come out. One thing that masks a lot of issues is the emissions/ timings curves they have. Very dumbed down meaning low stress, yet when brought up to highway speeds things come right to the forefront.
I was thinking of doing a complete LS and 4L80E swap with harness , ECU, and pedal , but what I've been reading is I will not gain any MPG above 60mph anyway because of the aerodynamics of these older motorhomes. They are like a wall traveling down the highway at 70mph
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Old 12-10-2021, 07:21 PM   #12
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No need to do a LS swap, a old mark 4 454 hei can do just as much if not more. Ive a 83 that has been in rehab for a while, after a timing recurve and a professional carb rebuild and set of headers its efficiency has increased dramatically. What GM did to a 454 in order to reduce emissions is almost criminal by today's standards...and their stated horsepower ratings...

It's not hot-rodding an engine but along the lines of bringing back up the efficiency of an engine...pure speculation on my part but to say the engine is now producing 500 ftlbs of torque is not a reach.

Two guys who really clear a lot of things up would be Cliff Ruggles and David Ray aka the ignition man. Ray does a lot on Chevells forums, some very hilarious conversations go on...Ray was on the design team for GM's HEI. Ruggles is a solid expert on Rochester Carb's

As to the tranny...I now am in a process of determining the rear-end ratio, from what I've seen so far it's in the 5/32 range on a p32...now that's low really low. Ford uses that gearing for 35000lbs....I'm thinking 4/11 range who knows...But getting down the rpm at 60/65 is paramount...
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