Saturday, August 26, 2017

Prepping for the Labor Day Weekend

Now that the LH2 is back in it's home port I'm working on some maintenance items that may have been put off by the PO. No one likes fooling with the transmission so of course I decided to change the filter and oil today. While I'm at it, due to suffering from Shipfitter's disease, I'm stripping and repainting the transmission pan orange to match the Allegro paint scheme and allow me to see if there are leaks.

Well the pan went back on and I've put 5 quarts of ATF back in and she's right up to the "hot" mark on the dipstick!
This was the pan with the old cork gasket. The pan had that grey-black sludge in it from being on the RV for 30 years and the magnet had a good coating of that same sludge with some very small metal shavings (not too many!). I cleaned it all out and prepped for painting.

Here is a pic of the cleaned up pan in Allegro Orange. It was the only color I had bright enough to detect leaks.

The installation shot with new ATF put in! Had to get the new shocks in the pic as well.
We have a full tank of gas and are ready to hit the road for Labor Day. Well, maybe not before I remove the damaged second muffler for the ONAN and fix some of the wiring on that generator.....
There's always tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

This is why we take short trips first....

Managed to get three weekend trips to various parts of NY this Summer, the last was Herkimer Diamond Mines KOA just north of Herkimer. I recommend it for families and 'empty nesters'. The campground was FULL that weekend. We were assigned slot #1 right next to the office and store. Only complaint would be the weather. First night it came down in buckets! The only leak was the side door where the drip edge has crumbled and let water in behind the door. No biggie.

Almost the oldest RV in the park until this one showed up!!

An Astro Van Allegro from 1986! Great couple that is traveling in this one. They have a Harley as a toad!

After spending the weekend at Herkimer we followed the Canada River down to Herkimer and got on the NYS Thruway headed home. At exit 39 the transmission dropped down to first and we crawled off that exit (I do NOT want to pay an RV tow off the Thruway!!) and got ourselves to Camping World in Liverpool (NY). The folks there were really nice and let us park the LH2 in their lot so we could set up service on her.

The problem?? Well the RV has a TurboHydromatic (TH400) three-speed transmission and there are a couple of things that happen to these over time. One is the vacuum modulator can go, stopping it from shifting. Simple part to replace if you have it. I'm keeping spares in the RV. The other possible (and more likely) issue is with the little plastic gear on the end of the governor that controls shifting. This part is purposely made weak to prevent damage to the tranny should any abuse take place. The part gets used up and saves other more valuable bits inside.

A lesson on the TH 400 GM Transmission:

A shot of a very clean and new TH400 (I am so jealous!) the white thingy with the red nipple is the modulator (or as Marvin the Martian would say, the PU36 Space Mod-u-la-tor!) Near the back is the governor cover plate on the same side.

This is a picture showing what happens to that gear over time. Once it looks like this it's toast and you wont get out of first gear. The kit costs about $8 online.

A kit you can buy off Amazon for about $7 to fix what is likely the main suspect in your no-shift issue.

This is what your governor looks like if its in working order. These can be had for about $70.

A red stripe vacuum modulator that controls shifting. Sometimes these go or the vacuum line gets brittle. Cheap at about $16 so it's worth just getting if you're not sure.
Of course this is all wonderful if this is the problem and I really hope it is because this fix takes about 15-20 minutes to perform if you are comfortable with working on your RV. I'm heading off to Camping World to see if I can perform the fix and get the heck out of there since it's also the first day of the New York State Fair right down the road....

More later once we get there and see what's up! Oh, the joy of owning a vintage RV!

UPDATE! Got to Camping World and did the gear swap. The old gear was completely worn down! The RV is safe at home now and awaiting a new transmission filter and oil change.

Thanks for reading!!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

When Little Projects Grow UP.....

The potty swap turned into a complete rebuild of the floor. Yep, 30 years of small leaks and not even the wastewater! The plywood floor was shot and since I was in there I might as well replace it!
The Long Hauler 2 in the driveway, getting some attention for our next trip!
 The pictures will be in reverse order from finished product to the ugly ripping out of the floor. The Allegros still had aluminum sheathing on the underside of the plywood floors!! Holy cow! That really saves these old RV's from the weathering and rot that occurs
I took this and it looks like the wood floor already has water damage. The grain and color is a bit different but I have to say the pre-finished oak flooring was just the ticket for this renovation!
 With the removal of the old 1/2" plywood (yes, it was only 1/2" and not 3/4" like I've seen on other RV's) the approach was to get the new flange in the right height to mount it on the floor. I was surprised after ripping out the old flange and floor to find that the new one was so much higher than the old one.
the back cut needed to fit the last piece in the floor.
 There is the last strip to fit on the end. It's an old carpenters trick to get the last part of the wood floor down and as close to the wall as you can.

 After getting up all the rotted plywood I used the shop vac to get all the small bits out. I used another trick for counter top installers and used a large sheet of paper ( I have 36" wide rolls) to create a template to cut the new plywood to the exact shape. Worked like a charm!