Author Topic: 1976 GMC Motorhome  (Read 195 times)

Offline tmsnyder

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  • Posts: 559
  • Member since: 2016
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1976
  • Make: GMC Motorhome
  • Model: Eleganza II
  • Chassis: GMC
  • Engine: 455
1976 GMC Motorhome
« on: July 04, 2019, 04:01 PM »
As you probably remember, after being a PITA on this forum, pissing off Rick a bunch of times, and going through all the mechanicals and running it for 3 years, I sold my 90 Holiday Rambler.  Family is very mad at me, lots of great memories in it, but, I don't know, my wife accuses me of getting bored easily, maybe that's it, but I bought a 1976 GMC Motorhome in Texas and drove it home with my two brothers.  Pretty much an even trade in funds, a clean, running, working, decent, ready to use 1990 for a pretty original GMC.  I'll leave it at that, it needs work.  Luckily there's a lot of info on these, vendors dedicated to supplying parts, lots of rallies to attend if wanted.


The biggest positive about this motorhome is that it is from CA and TX.   If you look under at the frame, it looks beautiful.  Every bolt and nut, just a bit of surface rust on it.  Some different between that and what I see on my NY vehicles from the road salt.


My travel log mentioned the starter,  I found a place locally to rebuilt it, like new with quality US parts for $75.   It's like new, it took 1 day, and it's my original starter so I know it will fit.


Did another oil change on it, and tranny pan dump and filter.


Replaced the seal on the steering gear box.


Disassembled, cleaned greased the steering shaft CV joint, installed a new boot.  Freed up the telescoping steering shaft and greased it. Someone makes a boot for that, I will probably get it and add it, stock they didn't use one, just a simple wiper seal.


I've been kind of going through the front end.  I want to be able to change a wheel bearing on the side of the road if needed.  None of my pullers worked, I ordered an original puller spec'd in the maintenance manual and tried it.  Ruined the first bearing by pulling on the cage by accident.  On the second one, I figured out how to get the jaw down on the "lip" of the inner race, and pulled that one in 3 minutes flat. Literally woke up from a nap and realized that I was babying it, it just needed a mini-sledge to get the jaw down deep enough into the grease seal, couple whacks later bolted up the puller and yanked it off without a hitch.  In the meantime member of the gmc community offered a puller designed by a GMC owner which is popular in their community, so I have that on the way too.  Can you have too many options on the road?


Today I'm working on a window, for some reason a bunch of the fixed window shifted to the center an inch or more, leaving a big gap on one end, letting in rain.  So I have that all apart and cleaned out about a pound of red El Paso sand from the tracks.  Disgusting.  Looking at the maintenance manual and some videos on YouTube, took it all apart.  It's amazingly simple.  Cleaned it all up, there was so much really tough caulk all over the area where the window had opened up.  What a mess, took half a day to get that all out, finally realized that a utility knive, when heated up with a MAPP torch, would cut the caulk like a hot knive thru butter.   Cleaned cleaned cleaned, put the slider window back in and will order new rubbers and sealant tomorrow so I can put in the fixed 1/2 of the window.  I'll do all the windows now that I know how to do them, they aren't hard at all except for that PO caulk job.


I'm thinking about getting out some rubbing compound and seeing if there's any paint left under all the oxidation from the TX sun. 


Happy 4th all!  Thank you all you vets out there, and spouses of vets, and God Bless America.






Offline ClydesdaleKevin

  • 11 year member
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  • Posts: 4189
  • Member since: 2005
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1995
  • Make: Itasca
  • Model: Suncruiser 32RQ
  • Chassis: Oshkosh
  • Engine: Cummings Turbo Diesel
Re: 1976 GMC Motorhome
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2019, 04:34 PM »
Happy Independence Day bro!  Glad you are loving your new rig and having fun fixing her all up!  It is one of the joys of owning a vintage RV.

Kev
Kev and Patti, the furry kids, our 98 Cherokee lifted beastie tow vehicle, and our 1995 Itasca Suncruiser Diesel Pusher.

Online Rickf1985

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  • Posts: 5359
  • Member since: 2013
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1989
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain
  • Chassis: Chevy
  • Engine: 454
Re: 1976 GMC Motorhome
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2019, 04:43 PM »
There was a little add on link in one of the posts here about a gelcoat restoration product. I checked it out thinking yea, right. But it seems pretty legit and has been around for a long time. The big problem is that I thought I saved the link on my computer in my Winnebago files but it is not there and I have no idea where on here it was. It was an add in like a spammer uses but I can't find it now.

Offline tmsnyder

  • *
  • Posts: 559
  • Member since: 2016
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1976
  • Make: GMC Motorhome
  • Model: Eleganza II
  • Chassis: GMC
  • Engine: 455
Re: 1976 GMC Motorhome
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2019, 07:13 PM »
No worries, I can search for it, and I'm just going to try rubbing compound and turtle wax to start.  They are fiberglass but painted iirc.

Offline TerryH

  • Full-time Adventurer!
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  • Posts: 743
  • Member since: 2013
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1992
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Brave 27RC
  • Chassis: GMC P30
  • Engine: 454 Dual Fuel
Re: 1976 GMC Motorhome
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2019, 07:31 PM »
I've always felt that the GMC Motorhomes had great lines and looked very good.
Congratulation, and give us some photos please.
Two wrongs don’t make a right, but they make a good excuse.
-Thomas Szasz  1973   (1920 - 2012)

Offline tmsnyder

  • *
  • Posts: 559
  • Member since: 2016
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1976
  • Make: GMC Motorhome
  • Model: Eleganza II
  • Chassis: GMC
  • Engine: 455
Re: 1976 GMC Motorhome
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2019, 07:48 AM »
Me too, and it's so much smaller than the HR was.  Around 2' shorter or more.  It was pushed around a lot less by cross winds and tractor trailers probably b/c of its smaller frontal area and shape.  Downside is, there's not a ton of storage inside, and no basement.  Less stuff to pack I guess!

Online Rickf1985

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  • Posts: 5359
  • Member since: 2013
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1989
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain
  • Chassis: Chevy
  • Engine: 454
Re: 1976 GMC Motorhome
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2019, 10:03 AM »
Also the fact it is front wheel drive and has all the weight on the front end has a lot to do with the stability. I never drove one but I did ride in one many years ago and they ride nice when the suspension is working correctly. That rear suspension is a real interesting piece to work on though.

Offline tmsnyder

  • *
  • Posts: 559
  • Member since: 2016
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1976
  • Make: GMC Motorhome
  • Model: Eleganza II
  • Chassis: GMC
  • Engine: 455
Re: 1976 GMC Motorhome
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2019, 08:55 PM »
Oh boy, I haven't touched that yet.

Online Rickf1985

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  • Posts: 5359
  • Member since: 2013
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1989
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain
  • Chassis: Chevy
  • Engine: 454
Re: 1976 GMC Motorhome
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2019, 12:03 PM »
It is not hard, just take some time to study it and the location of the sensors and air lines. Like you said, there is a rabid following for those things so repairing and finding parts should not be too hard. Nowhere near as hard as finding control solenoids for the Jet ride rear air suspension on mine!

Offline Elandan2

  • 16 Year Member
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  • Posts: 416
  • Member since: 2001
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1977
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Elandan II D27DRK
  • Chassis: Dodge M500
  • Engine: 440
Re: 1976 GMC Motorhome
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2019, 01:51 PM »
We sell a couple of different types of latching solenoids. One is used for controlling air powered waste valves and the other is used for controlling air powered steps and generator slides. Might be what you're looking for. Rick
Treatzall Waste tank sanitizer, lighting, and other RV related products!
Rick Ellerbeck, 1977 Elandan II

Online Rickf1985

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  • Posts: 5359
  • Member since: 2013
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1989
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain
  • Chassis: Chevy
  • Engine: 454
Re: 1976 GMC Motorhome
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2019, 02:38 PM »
A latching valve locks in each position under power and stays in that position unpowered until powered the other way if I remember correctly. Same as the electrical relays that turn on and off the main power to the coach.


The relays I need are momentary relays that open when powered but close when off. I think I have a new spare that came with the rig, I will see if I can find it and get some numbers off of it. Jet was pretty smart with that stuff and generally eradicated any and all makers marks from parts they sold so people could not go out and buy it direct cheaper. I am really curious to see what the relays that TNSnyder has look like. It is possible that they are the same or usable as a replacement.

Offline tmsnyder

  • *
  • Posts: 559
  • Member since: 2016
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1976
  • Make: GMC Motorhome
  • Model: Eleganza II
  • Chassis: GMC
  • Engine: 455
Re: 1976 GMC Motorhome
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2019, 09:02 AM »
I've got a couple things going on with this currently, and some progress.   


The front CV boots were torn, so I took those apart and cleaned them up, re-greased them and installed new boots.  If they don't hold up I can get new ones but they are $200 apiece and I'd rather not.


And I removed the front wheel bearings, cleaned and regreased one, ruined the other while pulling, so installed a new timken bearing.  Biggest part of this exercise was to get tools needed, just in case I need to do it on the road at some point.  I'll get new seals and bearing to pack along with us on trips. 


A couple of the stationary windows had moved rearward over an inch, maybe b/c of the heat of Texas?   For some reason they had moved, and the PO applied gobs of sealant for some reason.  I got one window totally disassembled, ordered the parts for all the windows and those have arrived, so I can start putting the one window back together.  They are really a nice design, simple, easy to take apart to clean out the tracks.   We'll see how hard they go back together with new rubber.


I ordered mandrel bent bends and straight sections from Speedway, and a muffler.   I'm going to take a crack at welding up a custom exhaust, slicing up the mandrel bends into pie pieces as needed and welding back together with straight pieces.  Seems like it should be fun.  The downpipes are 2.25 inch, and I'm going to Y them into a single 3" which runs the length of the coach and out under the rear passenger side bumper.


We went camping last weekend and couldn't take the rv, so borrowed a pop up.    From the additional packing required to basically tent camp, to the moment we pulled in and had to set up a pop-up and all that's involved, to having to walk to a porta-potty in the middle of the night, to not having a sink to wash hands or kitchen to make a meal, to having to deal with ice and melted water in a cooler, to showering in a dirty campground shower stall, to having to tear down and pack up a suburban FULL of stuff and kids, .....It made all of us; me, wife, kids; to the person, realize that we really missed having a functioning RV.   It's really a great lifestyle, we knew we loved it but this weekend really hammered it home.  We're going camping in a couple weeks and we're taking the GMC no matter what.  It may be dirty and mostly non functional inside, but it's still better than tent camping.

Offline legomybago

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  • Posts: 1169
  • Member since: 2013
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1975
  • Make: FMC
  • Model: 2900R
  • Engine: 440
Re: 1976 GMC Motorhome
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2019, 09:38 AM »
"We went camping last weekend and couldn't take the rv, so borrowed a pop up.    From the additional packing required to basically tent camp, to the moment we pulled in and had to set up a pop-up and all that's involved, to having to walk to a porta-potty in the middle of the night, to not having a sink to wash hands or kitchen to make a meal, to having to deal with ice and melted water in a cooler, to showering in a dirty campground shower stall, to having to tear down and pack up a suburban FULL of stuff and kids, .....It made all of us; me, wife, kids; to the person, realize that we really missed having a functioning RV.   It's really a great lifestyle, we knew we loved it but this weekend really hammered it home.  We're going camping in a couple weeks and we're taking the GMC no matter what.  It may be dirty and mostly non functional inside, but it's still better than tent camping"

AMEN
Never get crap happy with a slap happy pappy

Offline tmsnyder

  • *
  • Posts: 559
  • Member since: 2016
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1976
  • Make: GMC Motorhome
  • Model: Eleganza II
  • Chassis: GMC
  • Engine: 455
Re: 1976 GMC Motorhome
« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2019, 10:57 PM »
Got the axles back in tonight, ....  that was pretty much my whole evening. $@!#@!

 

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