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Author Topic: New to this. I bought a 1976 Pace Arrow to full time in.  (Read 4453 times)

Offline 76PRROW

  • *
  • Posts: 28
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1976
  • Make: Pace Arrow
  • Chassis: Dodge
  • Engine: 440-3
Hello everyone, I dont know if this is the best place to make my introduction (mods move if desired) but here goes

Im 23 and a computer nerd, I worked as a technician for 5 years starting off as a film projection technician and then working for a dairy product manufacturing plant also as a technician. I was never a car guy, changed my oil once just to try it, it took me 2 days  $@!#@! . In my defense it was a 2009 vw rabbit and needed some wonky tools.

So life kicked me in the bum, lost my GF of 5 years and fell into a depression which eventually got me fired from my job due to me constantly getting sick because my immune system was low from stress and depression. I tried to keep my apartment while on unemployment but soon realized I was broke all the time. I have a husky that I love to death but that made me getting a room for rent almost impossible.

In comes the RV. After careful budgeting and selling a bunch of stuff I scraped together $1800 for this beautiful vintage 1976 Pace Arrow. My requirements were as follows: Needs to run, sturdy floor and roof with no leaks, and low miles. I got what I wanted.

I learned how to drive the beast in Los Angeles, and quickly learned this thing had some issues. I had to drive this thing 90 miles home. First of all the battery died on me when filling up, the only way to start it quickly was to exchange the battery for a charged one as jumping it was not cranking it fast enough. Also realized there was a leak in the brake system, had to pump it to reliably stop. I practiced a stopping routine by pumping and was able to get it to stop every time. Got on the freeway and then found out that it would not accelerate quickly without wanting to die on me, and could barely maintain 50mph on the freeway. Started feeling buyers remorse but pushed on. Made it 50 miles, took a rest stop and restarted the thing and kept going. I was losing daylight so I tried to maintain a good pace. Once it got dark I only made it a dozen miles with the headlights on until they got dim and the engine stalled. Not good  :'( . Called in a favor from a friend to help me jump it to get it off the street, don't know why jumping it worked now but not earlier but whatever. I pulled the thing into a safe spot and called it a night and my friend drove me home.

I learned that the alternator was not working very efficiently, mainly due to the fact the rig did not achieve high RPMs for any sustained period of time. I got a core charge on the battery to ensure I would make it home. And I did  :)clap . I soon researched what the best online resource would be for my vintage RV and found this site. I love it. I bought the service manual for my chassis (m500) and love the technical info. Was able to diagnose many small issues right away with this information. I was worried that I was getting poor performance because either my fuel pump was not working right or my spark ignition was getting undervoltage from the old alternator. Scared to take it to the shop I dove it to try to remedy the problem myself, but was occupied by other challenges with me moving out from my apt. After 3 days I was not able to start the engine  $@!#@! . I jumped it for hours to try to breathe life into her but no luck. I made almost 10 trips to the gas station with my little 2.5gal gas can to ensure my tank was topped off (fuel gauge sender doesnt work) but that did not work. Scared and defeated I researched online and studied the manual to get an answer. Found out I could pour fuel into the carb (yikes) to diagnose if it was a fuel delivery issue or an ignition issue. I did that and she started up fine, for about 5 seconds. I repeated this process 3 times but it did not stay on and I was getting worried I might wear out the starter. I knew fuel was not making it to the carb so I caved and called a local mechanic, he said he did not work on RVs but he would give me some advice anyways. He applauded me for diagnosing it was a fuel delivery problem and said it was either a clogged fuel filter or a bad fuel pump. He advised me to replace the filter first because it was cheaper. I headed down to my local NAPA dealer and walked out with a shiny new fuel filter. I searched the rig for an hour to find this thing and finally found it UNDER the rig. Immediately I was worried because it looked almost brand new. I disconnected it and on the IN side rusty colored gas came out. Ugh. I got it off and stuck a drinking straw on one end with tape and could not blow through it at all. The new filter had no restriction whatsoever. I got the new filter on tight and proceeded to attempt to start the rig. Same results. But again I researched online and learned I had to prime the carb again by adding fuel to the top, and to repeat this process up to 5 times. On the 4th attempt she started and kept going. I left her running for 5 mins and took her for a spin. She feels great now, I acheived 70mph!

Now for some questions.















I need to get this thing smogged, what should I focus on to ensure a good test?





Thank you in advance.

Offline TerryH

  • Full-time Adventurer!
  • *
  • Posts: 749
  • Member since: 2013
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1992
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Brave 27RC
  • Chassis: GMC P30
  • Engine: 454 Dual Fuel
Re: New to this. I bought a 1976 Pace Arrow to full time in.
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2015, 02:12 AM »
Wow.
First, welcome here. I think you will find far more info here as opposed to other forums that tend to direct you to various repair shops. Here you will receive a lot of "been there, done that" info as well as great suggestions from many members with a lot of experience.

Your fuel problem diagnosis was well done.
As you solve problems, please let us know what you tried and what worked. It helps all of us.
By the way - welcome.
Terry
Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go
T.S. Eliot   1888 - 1965

Offline LJ-TJ

  • 14 year member
  • *
  • Posts: 2540
  • Member since: 2003
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1975
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: D21
  • Chassis: Dodge
  • Engine: 440-3
Re: New to this. I bought a 1976 Pace Arrow to full time in.
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2015, 06:36 AM »
 :)rotflmao I laugh only because you make me remember the adventures LJ and I had with ours. So similar. We brought ours all the way up from Kansas to Ontario Canada. You forgot to tell us if you got to keep the Husky? 23! Son your adventures have just begun. Glad to see you were smart enough to buy a rig and put a roof over your head. That's got to be a load off your mind.  That's a great start because now you can move where the work is and have a place to stay. We got a bunch of full timers that can tell you all the tricks of the trade about surviving in a motorhome. Equally as important we got SAINTS in the group who will hold your hand and step by step walk you through any fix it you need. Just about everyone of us ended up here for the very reason you found us, we live on limited funds and with out each other we couldn't do what we do with these old rigs. Welcome aboard. Oh yeah! And our mantra here is the only dumb question is the question you don't ask.  :)ThmbUp

Offline LJ-TJ

  • 14 year member
  • *
  • Posts: 2540
  • Member since: 2003
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1975
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: D21
  • Chassis: Dodge
  • Engine: 440-3
Re: New to this. I bought a 1976 Pace Arrow to full time in.
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2015, 06:37 AM »
Oh! Pictures, we like pictures. A picture is worth a thousand words.

Offline Elandan2

  • 16 Year Member
  • *
  • Posts: 438
  • Member since: 2001
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1977
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Elandan II D27DRK
  • Chassis: Dodge M500
  • Engine: 440
Re: New to this. I bought a 1976 Pace Arrow to full time in.
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2015, 06:44 AM »
And a thousand pictures. Well...  Good luck with the new rig and welcome to the "funny farm"
Treatzall Waste tank sanitizer, lighting, and other RV related products!
Rick Ellerbeck, 1977 Elandan II

Offline Oz

  • *
  • Posts: 3217
  • "So let it be written; so let it be done!"
  • Member since: 2002
  • I own: a Motor Home
Re: New to this. I bought a 1976 Pace Arrow to full time in.
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2015, 10:08 AM »
Welcome to CWVRV! :)clap

First, to get the most help, the fastest from all our fantastic members, read the message posting rules,
they're brief but very important in getting the most from our forum.  :)

Not sure where to post?  Read the board descriptions, they tell you what topics are covered to post about.  :)ThmbUp

Use the message search before posting questions.  We have a wealth of info here and since these RVs have been around a long time, chances are, many of the issues you'll encounter have also been by other members and we have great advice and solutions already here for you.  That's why it's so important to use good titles which include the nature of the problem, and posting different problems separately.  It's much faster to find info this this way and if your question hasn't already been answered in another topic, all you have to do is post a new one, or ask additional questions on an existing topic.
 :)


Also,
Other members, we all want help one another as quickly as possible, but please do not reply to technical questions in intro intro posts.  They need to be posted on the proper boards and this helps us help them better!
 ;)

76PRRW,
In order to help you along your way, I've split your questions and put them on the proper boards so they can get the proper attention they deserve.  Please use this example with your future questions.
Take some time and explore the side bar options and the Tech Article boards.  There's so much you're going to find that you'll be glad you did!


 :) :)ThmbUp
Previously enjoyed our '74 - D24 Indian & '74 - D24 Indian Custom

Offline khantroll

  • *
  • Posts: 249
  • Member since: 2013
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1972
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain D24CL
  • Chassis: Dodge M375
  • Engine: 413
Re: New to this. I bought a 1976 Pace Arrow to full time in.
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2015, 10:33 AM »
Welcome 76Arrow! This is, without a doubt, the absolute best resource for a newbie working on a vintage motorhome/travel trailer/ whatever. I speak from personal experience.  ;)

Cheers,

Jeff

Offline 76PRROW

  • *
  • Posts: 28
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1976
  • Make: Pace Arrow
  • Chassis: Dodge
  • Engine: 440-3
Re: New to this. I bought a 1976 Pace Arrow to full time in.
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2015, 12:02 AM »
Thank you everyone for the warm welcome, I feel im in good hands now. hope I can contribute as much as I can to this forum.

 

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