Well, I committed to buying an '84 Allegro today I can't tell if it's a 27 or 30 and I forgot to look. I paid $200 (two hundred dollars) so as you might imagine, it needs a bit of work. It's worth a lot more in parts, but it has so much charm that I couldn't let it go.
It's sitting in a tow yard after having broken down on the way to a camping trip in 2008. By "broken down" the engine threw a rod. I'm mechanically inclined enough to R&R the engine (even though it needs to come out the driver's door) so I'm not worried about that.
There's 80 gallons of fuel in the tank. The current owner says he added stabilizer to it, but I'm still a bit worried about it. How do you dispose of 80 gallons of bad fuel? I may mix it with good stuff and run it through my running vehicles.
I showed up to inspect the motorhome with a portable generator. The generator in it now (a 6.5kw GenSet) has "carb problems". The guy seemed really honest, so I believe him when he said it ran a few years ago. Everything worked - microwave, the panel where you check the levels of the water, batteries and propane, water pump (it's winterized but I ran it for a split second), both furnaces, etc. It's only 30 degrees out today so I don't know if the fridge actually works. He said it did, and it lights up, so that's a bit of a risk.
Inside it was nicely maintained. Carpet isn't worn, upholstery is nice. It's vintage cool.
Roof apparently leaks but it doesn't appear to be too bad. I might seal it and forget it or repair it (it leaked around the skylight for the shower).
Body is good with no defects - it's just dirty from sitting for so long.
It needs tires (cha-ching!). The previous owner installed an airbag leveling system that still works.
The main thing is that my 13-year-old son is very excited about it. It could be a fun project for us both to work on, and for the price I paid I can abandon it and make my money back by parting it out any time. But I'd really like to get it on the road. It has 78k miles on it, so it has some life left in it.
I can't wait to dig in, but it's a little scary too. Wish me luck!
It may have but it doesn't look bent up - just unbolted and thrown in the storage compartment. Although when I replaced the converter I found a box with new vacuum step parts in it so I don't know what the story is.
I need vacuum to diagnose it - preferably from a 454 Chevy engine :)
Sounds like the process is going very well for you with getting the furnace and genny going. Thats awesome. keep us all posted as you progress and good luck.
I forgot to mention that it appears to be sitting low in the back because it is. The Jet Ride suspension works so I leveled it by dropping the back to the ground in my steep driveway. To get it to work I needed to hook my limo (another hobby) battery to the chassis because that battery is stone dead, but it does work.
I "borrowed" my brother's new deep-cycle trailer battery for the home battery (there were 2, but I don't need both right now). It was when I put that new battery in that everything woke up. Generator started, lights were brighter, etc. Research tells me that the converter in it is weak so that's on the list of things to replace, too.
So...engine next. I only have $300 invested in this thing so far and I'm not spending a dime on anything other than getting it mobile. The engine I'm picking up is complete, running and out of another '84 Allegro. I'll have about $1k total into it once I'm done with the transplant. Once mobile, I'll weigh the pros and cons of investing in other things.
So not much more than gravity holding the engine in now. Need to build a rig to lift it out of "the hole". I'll cherry-pick the engine out the driver's door. It needs to be a short block (no heads, basically) to get out the door. New one has to go in the same way and assembled in place.
Had to postpone the trip to get the "new" engine until next week due to bad weather. Gives me time to get the old one out anyway.
Big job!!! If I was close by, I would turn wrenches with you. Be safe!!!
Thanks. I have to admit I've been slacking on the project. The warm days lately have been wet, dry days have been cold. I have about 15 minutes of work to do underneath it that I've been procrastinating on.
I also was waiting for a couple of 12x12 steel plates that I ordered to put under the jackstands so they don't sink into my driveway. I need to remove the left front wheel to get the cherry picker in the door. Those plates arrived via UPS last night.
I hope to get back to it on Sunday afternoon. One of my biggest fears was that the engine was seized and I would not be able to get at the torque converter bolts, but I freed it up. It wasn't seized but the broken piston had it all jammed up.
I found a new engine locally so I abandoned the 7-hour round trip to retrieve the one that I had initially wanted. This other one is 5 miles from my house and only has 47k miles on it. Guy wants too much money for it so I'm waiting him out. Once the engine is out of my RV I'll contact him again. I doubt it's going anywhere.
JIm, like your methodical and dollars vs what you will get back approach to your restoration.
Strongly suggest using ETERNABOND around roof vents, seams, airconditioning, etc. IF you decide not to do complete roof repair; but use it anyway if you do. Youtube has some great vids under eternabond.
Most auto repair shops will allow you dump old gas if you slip them a few bucks. You've got enough to do without tyring to use several years old gas in a new engine. i'd change fuel filter(s), hoses, thermostat and boil out radiator since you're so deep into the engine anyway. Way cheaper than doing it beside some highway 80 miles out dry camping. LOL
Thanks for the info.
I was looking at a product for the roof - I forget what it was called. Might have been Eternabond. It was around $350 for enough to do the whole roof. Seems like a worthwhile investment. The roof is an aluminum frame with beams 12" on center. There have to be a couple of soft spots in the plywood, but like I said I may just leave it alone. Cosmetically the interior is fine with the obvious signs of leaks confined to inside the overhead cabinets. I can live with that. Since I've covered it, it's dried out nicely.
My local hazmat place will take the fuel 5 gallons at a time. Though I plan to siphon it out through the fuel pump feed and dump it in my truck along with some good fuel to see if I can burn it off that way.
I had planned on replacing filter, belts, etc. as part of the replacement. They all look good, and the guy had a bunch of new spares in the RV but like you said it can't hurt to do all that while the engine is out.
The weather hasn't been cooperating so not much to update. The last step before I lift it out is to take the torque converter bolts out which requires getting under it. With the bitter cold and snow I haven't done that.
In the meantime I have a propane leak at the front furnace. It was leaking when I got it - turns out it was the shut off valve. I replaced it but now it leaks at the feed line. Should be an easy fix. I used some of the budget to buy a flammable gas detector ($40, direct from Hong Kong). Worth every penny - it sniffed out that leak immediately and I can use it for other things. I've definitely going to invest in a propane detector once it's mobile.
I also bought a kit to T-in a regular 20 lb. propane cylinder. I've all but exhausted the propane that was in it when I got it and I need the heat when I'm working in there.
The weather is looking decent for this weekend (meaning a hair above freezing) so I'll probably get back to it. Right now it's 3 degrees F - the furnaces struggle to keep up at that temperature.
Got the SturgiSafe kit installed. It works awesome. I had to cut some of the copper out and re-flare it in order to fit it in, but it's all hooked up and leak free. I have heat once again!
And tonight I discovered that the giant table top in the "living" area is removable. I got looking at pics of similar rigs on the Internet and wondered why my table was so huge. Frees up a lot of space when you remove it.
I hope to show some significant progress this weekend!
Looks great Jim. Is that new brass looking valve assembly the new SturgiSafe? I'm not familiar with that product. What's it do?
Yes, the new brass between the tank and the regulator is the SturgiSafe. It allows you to hook up an external propane tank. I ran the permanently-mounted tank out of propane and since I can't move the rig yet I needed some way to get propane to the furnaces. The kit is designed for extended-stay situations where it would be inconvenient to move the rig to have the tank filled. It also has a port for external, high-pressure appliances on it.