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Newbie To Rvs, Just Purchased 86 Dolphin Needs Major Tlc Help Please!


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I have just purchased an 86 dolphin and it needs major rebuild I have not been able to find the floor plan for this particular model it has a lot of water damage, possibly fire damage? due to past electrical problems. Looks like old owner tried to re-wire certain parts, I feel like the rv is missing a couple things

My 86 Dolphin is an Efi with the table in the very back, as soon as you enter on the side you immediately hit the bathroom and on the sides are the sink and other side is the oven

If anyone can help much appreciated!

ive uploaded some pictures

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post-8222-0-68022900-1430196911_thumb.jp

post-8222-0-55442400-1430196979_thumb.jp

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kolie711,

Can you post more photos of the interior/exterior taken a little further back and rotated so that they are upright? It's difficult to see what damage there is when the pictures are so close to the subject and turned on their side. From what you have posted there is some water damage evident. You said some things are missing in your post. What's not there?

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kolie711,

Can you post more photos of the interior/exterior taken a little further back and rotated so that they are upright? It's difficult to see what damage there is when the pictures are so close to the subject and turned on their side. From what you have posted there is some water damage evident. You said some things are missing in your post. What's not there?

Ill upload more pictures for you this evening, Thank you for your help by the way! The things that I am missing seems to be an electrical outlet to plug into when im at a campsite and it seems like i have some other little wiring put in places it doesnt need to be. ill take more picture of those today and get them on here for you to look at. I am going to look at the floor plan and start disassembling piece by piece

Thank you again!

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So if you can take a look at my photobucket since there happen to be a lot of of pictures I had some questions about

resealing

Roof ideas for a novice

Tailight ideas, should I upgrade?

Window panel ideas, due to it looking who ever owned the vehicle before just covered the wholes with sealant

Upgrade to better electric saving fridge?

Axel Upgrade?

Best place for new locks, since my rv did not come with any keys so I can not get into any of the outside panels, let a lone now whats supposed to be in the outside panels

Metal plate? what was supposed to be originally there?

Resealing all the very sloppy parts in general what is best to use and what is best way to go about such a project.

http://s172.photobucket.com/

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Probably the same as mine, Electrical cord should be in small door front driver side. Also holds the drain valves.

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Good photos! Looks like you've got some work ahead of you. The first thing I'd do is seal the roof to stop any further damage. A simple fix is to coat the roof with that white stuff used to coat mobile home roofs. You can get a gallon of the stuff at Home Depot or Lowe's. Put two coats on 24 hours apart. Next step would be to remove and reinstall all the windows and the running lights New lenses for the running lights are available at the same RV store that that you got the black butyl tape at. Scrape all the old goo off and reseal with black butyl tape. The stuff is available at most RV stores.

Not all the stained wood is a goner. If you can't easily poke your finger through the stained areas and the wood isn't delaminating and coming apart, leave it in place. Of course this means that you'll have to paint the walls and ceiling if you want a perfect look in there.

Did you remove the refrigerator and the furnace? Looks like they aren't there. The refrigerator can be replaced with a 110 volt unit but you need to be plugged in to shore power, or have solar panels to power the thing. The little door that's closed is probably where you fill up the fresh water tank. One key usually workes for all the doors. At least it does on my '85 Dolphin. You can get them, I think, at a locksmith shop. Upgrading all the compartment door locks isn't a bad idea, though, since anyone can open these simple locks with just about any key or even a screwdriver. The small door that's open should be the place where you'd find an electrical cord that you can plug in to a 110 volt outlet. Is it missing?

You do have the good axle so don't replace that. Quite a few people have replaced their taillight bulbs with LED bulbs. They're a lot brighter and use a lot less electricity. If you have the old fixtures, this might be a solution. Otherwise complete new triple taillight assemblies are available. It might be a good way to go for you.

Good Luck!

John

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Probably the same as mine, Electrical cord should be in small door front driver side. Also holds the drain valves.

If your are able to see the new pictures on my previous reply, it seems that it only has cut cable in an empty space!

What do you think the best way to go about this?

Also I recently tried jumping my vehicle (Received vehicle on lein sale without keys or battery) and i blew my 80 amp fuse! so it seems like something on or i have a short somewhere!

should i get a technician to have a look

(still waiting on keys to get made for vehicle sadly)

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Good photos! Looks like you've got some work ahead of you. The first thing I'd do is seal the roof to stop any further damage. A simple fix is to coat the roof with that white stuff used to coat mobile home roofs. You can get a gallon of the stuff at Home Depot or Lowe's. Put two coats on 24 hours apart. Next step would be to remove and reinstall all the windows and the running lights New lenses for the running lights are available at the same RV store that that you got the black butyl tape at. Scrape all the old goo off and reseal with black butyl tape. The stuff is available at most RV stores.

Not all the stained wood is a goner. If you can't easily poke your finger through the stained areas and the wood isn't delaminating and coming apart, leave it in place. Of course this means that you'll have to paint the walls and ceiling if you want a perfect look in there.

Did you remove the refrigerator and the furnace? Looks like they aren't there. The refrigerator can be replaced with a 110 volt unit but you need to be plugged in to shore power, or have solar panels to power the thing. The little door that's closed is probably where you fill up the fresh water tank. One key usually workes for all the doors. At least it does on my '85 Dolphin. You can get them, I think, at a locksmith shop. Upgrading all the compartment door locks isn't a bad idea, though, since anyone can open these simple locks with just about any key or even a screwdriver. The small door that's open should be the place where you'd find an electrical cord that you can plug in to a 110 volt outlet. Is it missing?

You do have the good axle so don't replace that. Quite a few people have replaced their taillight bulbs with LED bulbs. They're a lot brighter and use a lot less electricity. If you have the old fixtures, this might be a solution. Otherwise complete new triple taillight assemblies are available. It might be a good way to go for you.

Good Luck!

John

Thank you John much appreciated info! And yes the cord itself is missing it is just some cut off wires! Somebody had told me first thing to do was to walk the roof and see if its soft or not, so i had my girlfriend underneath watch me as i steadily walked the top and she said the whole thing was about to cave in! so i did not know if i needed to fully restore it or not!

Also yes the fridge was missing when i had purchased it

I Received the vehicle on a lein sale without ANY keys and it has no battery!

I tried using a portable battery charger to jump it and see if anything turned on, seems like i blew the 80 amp fuse due to a short or something running maybe?

For the water spots on the wood i would like to feel comfortable by replacing them due to i want to use this as an actual living quarter for me and my girlfriend while we travel around northern california while i get my instructors licenses for sky diving and scuba diving.

I will take your advice step by step in order to insure that its a go!

also thinking really hard about changing my 4 cylinder to a v6 i have heard the 93 toyotas were a great fit and could pass smog! (due to california crazy restrictions!)

with the roof i do not need to disassemble anything first? i will take out the messy lather of a cocking they had put on before hand and then just coat the entire top?

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Thank you John much appreciated info! And yes the cord itself is missing it is just some cut off wires! Somebody had told me first thing to do was to walk the roof and see if its soft or not, so i had my girlfriend underneath watch me as i steadily walked the top and she said the whole thing was about to cave in! so i did not know if i needed to fully restore it or not!

Also yes the fridge was missing when i had purchased it

I Received the vehicle on a lein sale without ANY keys and it has no battery!

I tried using a portable battery charger to jump it and see if anything turned on, seems like i blew the 80 amp fuse due to a short or something running maybe?

For the water spots on the wood i would like to feel comfortable by replacing them due to i want to use this as an actual living quarter for me and my girlfriend while we travel around northern california while i get my instructors licenses for sky diving and scuba diving.

I will take your advice step by step in order to insure that its a go!

also thinking really hard about changing my 4 cylinder to a v6 i have heard the 93 toyotas were a great fit and could pass smog! (due to california crazy restrictions!)

with the roof i do not need to disassemble anything first? i will take out the messy lather of a cocking they had put on before hand and then just coat the entire top?

And for the stained wood i can only press through it easily right above the stove where it seems to be"burned"? so to speak

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Well some of these things are beyond my comfort zone without actually seeing your rig in person. The engine should be gone over caarefully before you try to start it. I guess it depends on how long its been sitting. There are some real mechanical pros here that may be able to advise you a lot better than me.

The roof is a good place to start and I'd stay off it for the time being. If the skylights are in good shape as well as the vents for the plumbing, you shouldn't have to go up there. You can coat the roof from a ladder, moving it around the edge so that you can get everywhere. Use a roller with a long handle for the big open areas and by leaning in from the edge, you should be able to get to the tight areas with a paint brush. Be sure and clean the roof as best you can first. If you have to go up there to replace a vent, etc., lay down a piece of 1/2" plywood or a 2x10 and stay on top of it. The wood will help to spread your weight around better.

If there's enough of your shore power cord left, you might be able to splice a new one onto the old stub. An RV shop can advise you on what size and length to use as well as the plug for the end.

A note here: if you don't have much money into this rig, you might want to cut your losses and get rid of it now. This is a tough thing to say to someone with a new "baby" but sometimes its the best option when it comes to an RV that is in such bad shape and one that needs so much work. I've seen some owners here and on other sites where the owner removed the RV coach part and made a flatbed truck out the rest. If you can get it running, it might be an option.

John

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Well some of these things are beyond my comfort zone without actually seeing your rig in person. The engine should be gone over caarefully before you try to start it. I guess it depends on how long its been sitting. There are some real mechanical pros here that may be able to advise you a lot better than me.

The roof is a good place to start and I'd stay off it for the time being. If the skylights are in good shape as well as the vents for the plumbing, you shouldn't have to go up there. You can coat the roof from a ladder, moving it around the edge so that you can get everywhere. Use a roller with a long handle for the big open areas and by leaning in from the edge, you should be able to get to the tight areas with a paint brush. Be sure and clean the roof as best you can first. If you have to go up there to replace a vent, etc., lay down a piece of 1/2" plywood or a 2x10 and stay on top of it. The wood will help to spread your weight around better.

If there's enough of your shore power cord left, you might be able to splice a new one onto the old stub. An RV shop can advise you on what size and length to use as well as the plug for the end.

A note here: if you don't have much money into this rig, you might want to cut your losses and get rid of it now. This is a tough thing to say to someone with a new "baby" but sometimes its the best option when it comes to an RV that is in such bad shape and one that needs so much work. I've seen some owners here and on other sites where the owner removed the RV coach part and made a flatbed truck out the rest. If you can get it running, it might be an option.

John

Thank you for the wonderful insight!

I bought her for only 250$

Honestly, This is the best option for us to fix up and get going, (due to our living situation) cant afford any apartments out here really and for the price of fixing this up i was thinking about at least 3 grand worth slowly but surely one paycheck at a time she should be atleast somewhere if not in better shape towards traveling and living!

but thats just me and my dreams!

Hopefully thinking Slow and steady wins the race!!

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Also seems the last registration was in 2013 at 51,000 and now i have it and it has 58,000 miles on it i will put up pictures tomorrow on the engine!

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Thank you!

I have a few more questions about rebuilding the inside

It seems that i have screws coming up from the bottom panel where the overhang is how do i take those out so i can replace the wood

ive searched through the forums to see if someone had taken a picture doing it but alas i have found none

20150502_214634_zpsnvsnkmq2.jpg

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More pictures, this time of the engine

also does anyone know where to find this fuse?

i think its an 80 amp it connects to the the ground for the battery

20150503_013707_zps4soju9xz.jpg

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  • 2 months later...

Hey guys have not been on in a while! Been busy trying to get the 87 Dolphin in shape, a lot more than I expected to be in for honestly!

1. Rebuilt Engine

2. Resealed all windows

3. Built Temporary internal frame to help roof sag

4. Mainly figuring out what I am missing and what else I need to get her ready for the road

So that gets me to the point of all these wires that are cut and I have been looking through the forum hopefully searching for a post on these specific parts, but alas no luck!

I am in northern California and could definitely use some parts if anyone has ANYTHING of use!

I have a couple questions about what and where to find these missing parts

Like the hosing where it looks like i should have water lines from the fresh water tank is cut off and than to where it seems like my Electrical inlet plug should be to where I go to an rv camp and plug in, that is all cut a long with the spot where I think I am supposed to have an "inverter"? and the hoses are all cut there to

ANY IDEAS?

I will get the pictures uploaded soon

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That would be awesome to check out your selection of stuff! I live in Concord! So the sunrader and the dolphin are pretty compatible?

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That would be awesome to check out your selection of stuff! I live in Concord! So the sunrader and the dolphin are pretty compatible?

I would guess that they are similar. Mine is on a 1987 chassis with the 22re engine. The frame of my coach is fiberglass but all manufacturers had about the same choices of what products they used to outfit the living area. You can come by most any time. Kim

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey Kim I was wondering if you might be available this weekend or next weekend so me and my girlfriend could stop by and check out your stuff along with meeting a fellow motorhome enthusiast! Let me know best way to get in contact! Still trying figure out a couple things with the motorhome

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Is there an electrical panel in your coach with circuit breakers and 12 volt fuses? A picture is worth a thousand words but without being in the coach, my best guess is someone cut out the electrical panel. Most units do not come with an inverter, usually installed after.

A panel would look something like this with circuit breakers and 12V fuses.

Jim

post-8092-0-03327900-1438253398_thumb.jp

Left click on photo to enlarge

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I have no electrical panel at all, where would that be place if I was to look for it?

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post-8222-0-33195000-1438315589_thumb.jppost-8222-0-41720000-1438316093_thumb.jp

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I have no electrical panel at all, where would that be place if I was to look for it?

post-8222-0-60520100-1438315409_thumb.jp

post-8222-0-33195000-1438315589_thumb.jppost-8222-0-41720000-1438316093_thumb.jppost-8222-0-96680300-1438316626_thumb.jp

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Woops didn't mean to add 2 cell phone problems! Anyways is your panel on the bottom like where it shows my cut wires and hoses? Also I'm guessing I need to attach a main 120 volt plug for when I am at a rv spot, also what size marine battery fits that small of spot? And I also have a bunch of wires hanging there for my connections to the battery

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I suspect that the hole in front of the tank with the cut lines is where the electrical panel use to be. I am only an expert on the Toy parked in my driveway so am guessing. If I am right, it is too much to guide someone through on the internet. Hopefully you can find someone knowledgeable local or lots of internet searches. Don't get discouraged it's doable. IF you could find another RV and look at its electrical system, might give you a better idea of what you have to do.

Jim

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