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Posts posted by 88WIT

  1. To Bajadulce, et. al.;

    I posted the slide-in Sunrader photos (2008, Logan, Utah) to the Gallery (my first) for others' benefit as well, intending them to be discreet. Perhaps others can add something interesting over the holiday to bump them down from the front page. I'll have to talk to Greg about future posts to deep background.

    I see other slide-ins here in San Francisco from time to time.

    I wonder if that Mazda has the rotary engine?

    Steve R.

  2. Mark;

    That may be an auxilliary overdrive switch which would be used when you're above 4,000 ft. elevation.

    At that height, an altitude sensor tells the computer to disable the overdrive button on the shifter. What's your

    altitude at home where the vehicle is now?

    If below 4,000, test this by driving with the OD off and use the toggle switch to go into 4th. Does your Overdrive Off light work?

    If above 4K, your OD button should have no effect, so you test by using the toggle to go into 4th.

    I've found the pressure (altitude) sensor to be pretty accurate. I've spent a lot of time in the mountain west so I quickly had to install my own toggle. The lighted lever is a nice touch.

    Steve Runng

  3. Dennis;

    My hope was for a grand tour this autumn which would've brought me close at the right time, but for once life has intervened with happy occasions: two weddings sandwiching a college homecoming. Can't get to Galesburg even for a drop-in visit.

    So I'll grab a rental car in Chicago and cut a swath (and back) through central Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, northwest Pa., and western N.Y. Oct. 2nd - 12th. I'd like to contact you on that run, and any others interested in tidings from the West Coast. I'll pm Pat and Dennis (moosepucky) and yourself.

    You see, I was all set for Turbo Greg's redwoods event the weekend of Oct. 6th. out here. Judging from the Big Sur rally last spring, it should be melll-ow.

    At any rate, in spite of a leave of absence from work since March, I couldn't make the the recent SoCal or eastern Sierra gatherings, and I need another fix. Anybody out there in the fertile crescent above?

    My poor Itasca sits pretty, awaiting the call to a ball; the 4X 'Rader furrows her plexiglass brow, brooding over mismatched front and rear shoes.

    Steve R.

    San Francisco

  4. first, Opinions.. which is best, a 4 cylinder, for economy? or, a 6 cylinder, for more power?

    Go with the six-Cly if you have the chance and the money. These chassis are maxed out with weight and you may not be prepared the sluggishness of hill climbing. If you test drive a four cyl you'll be shocked. The six gives you a fighting chance.

    I'm starting down the road Diesel Mike mentioned and will try to boost the four cyl to allow it to hold top gear on the freeway. I tried to get into a six this year but several units were misrepresented and I ended up back in my '88 which is full of memories, reliability, and very nice interior. So I've invested time and some money to gussy up a four-cyl.

    I'm spending Loads of time.. Reading ads, etc.. and, I have NOT even been IN one of these things.. IS there room, to take a shower, OR, when you are at a campground, do you just use the pay showers there?

    Some models have a decent shower, some have wet showers (toilet standing in the shower). The real limitation is holding capacity and hot water supply. If you're hooked up with sewer and electric (and have an electric option on the water heater) at a campsite, there's no reason not to use your coach shower. Your personal preference may be otherwise. From a sanitation standpoint, your coach is a known quantity.

    questions on purchasing.. What is smarter? .. buy the Obvious 'fixer' or, spend a little more, and HOPE what you see in the pictures is really Worth it?

    If you have any doubt, you should opt for a finished unit. There's an adage that goes 'you'll end up paying more in the end for the fixer by the time you have in the same condition as the initially better unit.' That's my experience. But I have the satisfaction of craft, and better capacities.
    ARE these things like a boat.. ie: a hole in the water to throw your money into? I can Imagine, if you have.. engine problems, then trans problems.. then the fridge goes out.. then tires, then, then.. in NO time, you can have Several thousand dollars Over your inital investment..

    HOW do you feel about, driving a 20 year old vehicle ALL Over the country.. are you confident? or, do you worry? ( I now Own a couple of 20 yo vehicles.. :)

    if/when you breakdown.. CAN one of these things be towed on a vehicile trailer? or, are you at the mercy of a tow truck?

    As you have anticipated, there is significant outlay to get into the game and you can't compromise on the vitals. But once set up with this chassis, the Toyota will take you a long way with only basic maintenance. You can go anywhere except a 20% uphill grade.

    You should have an RV roadservice plan. A standard tow truck can take you, but will need to disconnect the driveshaft.

    The coach can be the real money pit, as the standards of construction vary widely and owner use and abuse can border on appalling.

    You mentioned 'several thousand dollars.' That's nothing, really, for an investment that can bring a lifetime of memories.

    You're in an appreciating market, especially for the V-6s. You may have to wait for the seasonal prices to ease.

    I'll send you a private message if you'd like to talk directly.

    Steve R.

  5. My 88 4x4 is a pickup not a motor home. It has a stock 4x4 axle not a dually so would not show you anything as far as what you need to know about your dually axle.


    But I was hoping I'd get lucky and see if your cables come down the right and fan out. It might show me potential anchor points. Your backing plates might be what was original to this '86 and show me the entry angle.

  6. Greg;

    I'm leaving my Honda EU2000i home this year as I have the inverter setup and am installing a 160-amp alternator that claims 70 amps at idle and full amps at 1200 rpm.

    Point is, if you need to try it out, I'd be happy to loan it since we're practically neighbors. Quiet it is....

    I'm going to try a small microwave this year, and in theory I'll have 840 watts available at idle, but with my extending squeegee on the gas pedal I'll have 1920 watts. Perhaps someone has advice about an idle-up relay arrangement that's more elegant. Greg?

    The Honda 2000 can be had for $849 from a magazine ad, or $999 at Camping World.


    I have the 'twist-lock' style waterproof hatch as well and no rodents or ants will get in past it. It was a little difficult getting the male and female heads onto the 10-gauge 30-amp RV cord, so a piece of romex on the interior leg will ease the job. It's nice not having to fight the cord back into the space, which now becomes storage, while the cord hangs behind a shroud on the rear.

    One nice aspect of the portable gen is not having the transfer switch: you're either plugged in to the gen or shore....

    Steve R.

  7. California will allow you to swap in an engine if it meets the following requirements. It must be from the same year or newer. It must have been originally built cal smog legal not federal. The original computer and smog related equipment must also be reinstalled. That can also include the fuel tank and fuel pump. You then have to take it to a smog referee and get it certified.

    Do you mean the computer and other smog items follow the engine from the donor vehicle?

  8. (in 'Axle Removal')


    No rear sway. Not needed with 9 rear leaf springs and Bilstein shocks. I can't even move the coach body side to side no matter how hard I push on it. The diesel corners like a sports car (much better then the 1991 Sunrader) :ThumbUp:

    the reason it is up is because I blew a seal in one of the front Bilsteins and had the front up on stands to take them off.

    While it was up I decided to do a brake job which turned into new brakes (new calipers).

    While it was up I decided to touch up the under coating which lead to the rear end being up so I could take that pic.

    (from previous topic 'Axle Removal')

    Diesel Mike, and others;

    I thought I'd start a new string since we're now talking about axle installation.

    Those must be progressive leafs, or some of them, or it would ride like a buckboard. (Did those have any suspension?)

    Since the Bilsteins are repairable, are they adjustable?

    I may have need to delete the rear anti-sway (one side is broken loose now) when I eventually get to the '86 'Rader 4X4 and re-do the homemade conversion. I plan to drop the spare and get a holding tank in there.

    Right now I have a ragged package over the axle and short shackle that leaves the back end very low. It looks severely back-loaded without any gear or stowage.

    I also need info on the dual parking brake cabling as it comes back along the right side from the transfer case. The previous owner left the shackle on each cable end and just looped them around something, never completing the conversion. The cables at the brake end of the replacement axle were simply cut off near the drums.

    At your leisure, Mike, can you send a photo from your '88 4X4 if the cabling comes down the right side? Turbo Gregs cabling ('85 4X4) is split right and left conventionally. My front half is stock and tidy, but I see no anchor points whatsoever at the rear end. Hopefully, a picture of the arrangement at a standard 1-ton axle (not the full floater) would show me the original arrangement.

    Steve R.

  9. I'd like to stay on-line this year while traveling and have begun the process to reconsider options. I'll be out back much of the time.

    I'm not enthused at the prospect of wi-fi at private campgrounds, and public ones, for the sake of security. I've had three serious breeches in the credit card world so I'm sensitized to this factor.

    My wireless carrier is Sprint so I can use the phone as modem but I don't think there's much coverage in the wilds of Nevada, Idaho, and Montana for my outbound trip. Inbound through Yellowstone and via interstate and U.S. highway the prospects are much better. I know nothing about pricing/minutes/security for this option.

    It always seems to come back to satellite for broad, reliable coverage. The last time I checked a couple years ago, this is pricey. I'm in the middle of my two-year AT&T DSL plan at home and would hate to carry both plans since I'm not on the road that much.

    Is anybody connected right now or simply willing to provide their experience?

    Steve R.

  10. Howdy Steve.

    I have the computer and air box with a brandnew KN filter in it. The filter has 60 miles on it ! The computer I have was running when I shut it off to put in my fuel management system upgrade. If your interested in both items, give me a e-mail at llarrysfriend@y------------------ahoo.-----com. Take out the dashes.

    Good luck with the upgrades


    Yes. I'll mail you personally this evening.


    Steve R.

  11. I've got two weeks before departure and have noticed an incremental gain in performance in my '88 22RE as I shed weight, enough to think for the first time that maybe a 10-to-15% increase in horsepower would make this a viable long-term keeper.

    I'd like some opinions on basic tune-up products as well as some specific changes I'm planning to make. This is a California registration.

    Rotor, cap, wires, plugs -- can I get any real advantage here? Does anyone position electrodes on standard plugs, relative to intake/exhaust valves?

    Air Filter -- I plan on K&N, but retaining the Toyota 'box' arrangement.

    Injectors -- I've seen a claim that the Bosch four-point spray delivers a significant gain.

    Coil -- Downey Off-Road advises against a hotter coil for fuel injection.

    ECU -- This is the big one. I see Diesel Mike saw a significant uptick (six-cyl) after the reprogramming at JET. Has anyone reprogrammed the 4-cyl computer? The websites for Jet and Downey claim about a 10% boost.

    A tech at Jet tells me the emissions testing would remain compliant, but the visual inspection would fail. The trick is to get a replacement computer and run it to make sure it works, then send in the original for programming. I haven't found a California dually auto ECU. I'll try Toyota this week.


    Steve R.

  12. The axle vent is a spring-loaded check valve. I took mine apart after checking it -- no clog, simply one-way.

    Loose metal cap; thin, filament-like spring; flat rubber disc; slightly concave seat on the threaded fitting.

    When I removed it for testing it had held vacuum for five days.

    I drained about a pint of differential oil to the proper level. Will watch for bleeding.

    Anybody want to check theirs to see if they also have a vacuum condition?

  13. Dennis;

    It sounds like you're describing a leak between glass and factory seal that then sits inside an aluminum frame. I can't completely visualize your front window/frame interface, but if you're talking about fixed panes I don't think you should drill the frames. Drain holes are intended for sliders that will definitely admit water, when they're vertical panes in a horizontal track.

    I believe your front windows are steeply raked forward (45 degrees?). Any water between glass and seal will try to go behind or below the window at that angle. In motion, and possibly even at rest, I think you would actually let water in through front pinholes in wet weather.

    If you've removed the glass seal you can reseal it with a crystal-clear product like Lexel or acrylic latex caulk as you reapply the seal. If still attached, perhaps you can apply a consistent bead even if small, under the lip of the seal (with an assistant?). Thoroughness is more important than volume.

    You're right to use a vinyl/putty/tape product for the frame-to-coach unless you're one hundred percent sure the window will never need to be removed again. The product should be as thin as possible or the frame will float and need periodic adjustments.

    As for your wood repair, I wish I could remember the name of a product for dry-rot damage that keeps soaking in until it reaches good wood, then crystallizes the rotted material. It may take multiple passes and a certain patience, but it allows an aggressive application of repair products without disturbing the finishes.

    Steve R.

  14. Be sure to check for rear diff. fuild leaks into the wheel bearing. The Toyota rear bearing are grease packed and the rear diff. fuild stop just outside of the brake area. If you need parts, Advance Auto carries the brake pads and all of the axle seals.

    Since I'll one day upgrade the rear brakes, I'd better be prepared. My Toyota manual exploded view doesn't show an outer seal, but the installation sketch shows an outer seal lip being greased. Is there actually an outer seal?

    What advantage is the grease-packed design over a fluid-bath design, especially given the maintenance headache for something so basic as wheel bearings?

  15. (I did find that the diff. vent was totally clogged (thanks to a heads up from Shoprat) which may have been part of the problem.) Quote

    I checked the differential fluid level recently, and had vacuum or pressure released as the plug loosened up. The level was too high and I'll let it run out to the lip of the opening. Can't say for sure whether I had road tested the vehicle yet that day or not.

    There's also very noticeable bleeding around the vent and down and along the housing (no drip, just an obvious dampness).

    Should the vent be always atmospheric with no buildup, or is it a gradual release? I've got another axle with a vent I can raid if necessary.

  16. Did you install it? How does it deal with the standard coach converter/charger? Is that disconnected and charging done by the inverter?

    Sorry, I didn't see this question when you posted.

    Yes, I installed it. With a pair of lovely 4/0 cables to reach the six feet from battery to inverter position.

    Yes, the converter was removed and the charging is now done in what is apparently four stages. The unit can also 'equalize,' which is a periodic manual function to de-sulfate and bring all the individual cells into uniformity. I use twin golf cart batteries.

    I removed the guts of the old converter/charger but kept the ac/dc distribution panel and housing.

  17. It sounds to me like you should have a basic inverter wired directly to your house battery to give you one 110ac outlet in your coach for the times you're not connected to shore power. The capacity would be determined by your intended use.

    You can wire up a simple 12vdc outlet near your panel on an existing circuit and plug in a small inverter (150 watt) if you're just running a TV, but if you're going for a microwave or hair dryer (1500 w) then you need to come off the battery to get the proper wire guage and fusing.

    In the first scenario, the battery drain will sneak up on you in a hurry. In the second, you'll have to idle the engine to avoid overtaxing the battery. The alternator, even at idle, will take up some but not all of the load.

    I presume you have either a Group 24 (85 amp-hour) or Group 27 (115 ah).

    The formula for sizing an inverter goes something like this: take the known watts of the appliance, add 15% for inverter loss, add a 25% for startup and anomalies. You're looking at a minimum 40 - 50% cushion to avoid nuisance tripping. I don't have my Xantrex manufacturer's literature with me this week, but I believe it's xantrex.com...

    I got into this for the purposes of conserving propane while driving, state-of-the-art charging, and providing a very clean ac souce for electronics, so I went all the way to a full-sine-wave inverter/charger and removed the original converter. I have full-time 110ac throughout the coach, but still no microwave or computer (maybe this season).

    I'm going to post separately requesting advice on a good internet set-up.

    Steve R.

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