My B is weird

Engine and transmission questions

My B is weird

Postby Sub2RainEN » Thu Mar 08, 2018 5:17 am

Hey everyone,

Just picked up my 1990 B from the mechanic. It stalled when I drove it home (about 70 miles) and on my first outing with it (about 50 miles). I couldn't afford the repair back in December, just getting to it.

My mechanic put a new battery in when diagnosing in December. He put in new fuel pumps, disposed of the old gas from the rear tank, and gave it a tune up. He was concerned the alternator was faulty, but now that the engine is running, it seems fine and is charging batteries.

He wants to look at the generator, but the key is missing and he couldn't find his pick set. I'll take it back for that next week and possibly to install a tilt steering wheel to make it easier for me to get in and out.

Some surprises:

- front tank took 36 gallon pump - anyone heard of that before? Do I really have 36+18 gallon capacity?! From my manual and talking with Skater, I expected 18+22. When I purchased, the front took about 22 gallons and the rear about 5 gallons, IIRC.
- rear tank seems to be 18
- he found a third battery on rear driver's side, under tub, with wire running from engine -- any idea what it might run?
- house battery on driver side/engine battery on passenger side
- 2 water inlets: one by shore power on driver's side, another behind passenger side barn doors (key missing)

Gauge shows 3/4 for front, 1/4 for rear (about 16 gallons in), so it doesn't seem accurate for rear at least.

There's a charger under the hood, which I knew from previous owner. The owner before him kept maintenance records and typed out long notes after both mechanical and RV services. I also seem to have manuals for Airstream, appliances, stoves, satellite, inverter, etc. I have the original registration and a Ford owner's card/embossed plate. I'm either the 3rd or 4th owner, not sure if 2nd owner is wife of first (same first name).

Still need to get tires so I can take her on the road. So excited!



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Re: My B is weird

Postby skater » Thu Mar 08, 2018 8:27 am

I'm starting to think Ford just threw on whatever tank happened to be laying around that day. Only way I know to figure it out is to run the tank dry and fill it and see how much it takes. Note it might take a bit more than nominal due to leaving room for expansion and the fuel fill neck. (It's also possible someone installed a larger aftermarket tank, if anyone made them for our vans.)

The third battery is likely just a second coach battery to give more time between needing a recharge. That's the usual place people put them. Note, if you replace it, ideally you will want an AGM battery, not a wet cell that can offgas. Offgassing under the hood isn't a big deal. Offgassing into a cabin where you live and sleep is kind of a bigger problem. (I think AGMs can offgas, too, but only when it's overcharged. Also, I think, depending on the battery box used, it might be acceptable to have the wet cell in the cabin (after all, this is how cars with relocated batteries do it).)

The water inlets are correct. The one on the driver's side is city water. The other one is for the water tank and will feed the water pump.
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1995 Airstream Excella 30' trailer

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Re: My B is weird

Postby Sub2RainEN » Thu Mar 08, 2018 8:43 am

Was thinking the same thing. We were just watching a documentary about Ford. Maybe, after learning the psychological impact of assembly lines, they had a brief experimental period when they let the workers on the assembly line be artistic. This van feels like a 36er. This one's 18+22. Feel like 36+18 today.

Makes sense about the water, I guess I assumed those were one inlet. So many things to learn yet. Mechanic has a trailer, so he and I were talking about all the systems and what I'll need to do/learn.

I think he was wondering whether the third battery ran specific things. It does sound like it's wired to the other coach battery. I'd planned to put a bank under the sofa, might not be necessary.

He's confident that it will be ok mechanically now that I'll be driving it regularly.


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My B is weird

Postby Sub2RainEN » Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:53 am

Some updates: my mechanic previously installed new fuel pumps and disposed of bad gas in rear tank that caused the issue. This week, he installed new tires and two new coach batteries. He had to remove the bunker to get to the one in the rear and it was bolted to something (the frame?), very Weird was his take. I went for the Hankook tires, will I regret that? I was going to get Bridgestones at Sam’s Club.

He found what he thought was the bathroom vent had a missing cover. After a very Who’s on First conversation, and him not finding it in the bathroom, I realized it was the stove exhaust. Any tips for covering it? It seems some feathered friends have been getting into my B and leaving behind some presents.

Everything seems to be working, although the generator doesn’t want to start. Mechanic said to keep starting it until it stays on, to work out the bad gas. Turns out I had the key all along, but thought it was an old padlock key. Also opens the water intake, so that’s three locks I don’t have to replace. A small savings after all the large expenses this month.

I bought flooring and plan to install it next week. Also bought Mexican Talevera tile for the backsplash, but I’m afraid it might not fit behind the faucet, which is high and tight to the backsplash. I’d like to replace the sink, faucet, and counter, add a counter extension, but I’m tapped out for now.

May also use the tile on the front face of the entry steps.

Have just about everything I need for the galley, now I need to move it in and pack up my clothes and other supplies. Can’t believe I’m almost ready to hit the road!


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Re: My B is weird

Postby 190-b-651 » Sun Mar 18, 2018 1:32 pm

Sounds like the adventure is beginning fun times ahead for you my friend. Go somewhere close to home for a couple of days for a shakedown and use everything. We went to a local lake for a couple days and it rained hard both days we still had a great time warm and dry in our little b 190 cocoon.
Good luck on your journeys.

Dennis

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Re: My B is weird

Postby skater » Sun Mar 18, 2018 4:51 pm

I'm not sure if anyone has found a replacement for the stove vent exhaust. I've done some research and identified the maker, but I can't find that info at the moment. :( (It may be on the site here.)
1991 Airstream B190 - bought, 2005; sold, 2011; bought 2017
1995 Airstream Excella 30' trailer

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Re: My B is weird

Postby Sub2RainEN » Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:05 pm

Thanks Dennis! That’s exactly my plan. Going for a dry run where I went to grad school, since I know my way around and there is a Walmart as a back up camping spot. There is a lake nearby, I’ll check that out.

Thinking of trying to meet up with some YouTubers in Havasu, about 3 hours away, so I have experienced people around.


190-b-651 wrote:Sounds like the adventure is beginning fun times ahead for you my friend. Go somewhere close to home for a couple of days for a shakedown and use everything. We went to a local lake for a couple days and it rained hard both days we still had a great time warm and dry in our little b 190 cocoon.
Good luck on your journeys.

Dennis

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Re: My B is weird

Postby 190-b-651 » Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:06 pm

I do bleave this is the one comes with new flapper door. Also in black.Image

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Re: My B is weird

Postby 190-b-651 » Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:09 pm

You must be in so. Cal. Im in the central valley around Modesto. I feel a west coast group camp in the future

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Re: My B is weird

Postby Sub2RainEN » Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:08 pm

Yep, I’m in the Inland Empire. Going up to the Bay Area to see where I can urban and not urban boondock.

Thanks for locating the vent cover!

190-b-651 wrote:You must be in so. Cal. Im in the central valley around Modesto. I feel a west coast group camp in the future

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Re: My B is weird

Postby 190-b-651 » Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:47 pm

No problem hope it helps.
This is my wife's absolute favorite spot "pillar point" the camp sights are $80 kinda pricey but if your wanting a great view the parking lot on the lower right is also owned by them its $40 a night and you can use there dump station before you leave. And at high tide you can get an occasional splash on your windshield. The people watching is pretty good to. Fishing on the jetty is encouraged and no license required. Francis beach state beech is a few miles south its hard to get a spot though.
Good luck

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Re: My B is weird

Postby 190-b-651 » Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:48 pm

Opps lolImage

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Re: My B is weird

Postby Sub2RainEN » Mon Mar 19, 2018 2:15 pm

Thanks. Looks gorgeous!

190-b-651 wrote:Opps lolImage

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Re: My B is weird

Postby Sub2RainEN » Fri Mar 23, 2018 4:41 pm

First trip was a mixed bag, but overall a success. I just camped at a Walmart, since I am inexperienced camper and campgrounds have gotten so expensive here in CA.

I got a lot more comfortable driving the van. My other Car is a Kia Soul and could fit in my B190! Im getting better at getting from back to front. Less so going from front to back. I’ve had a series of injuries that led to weight gain, low strength and low flexibility. But it was important to me, as a single woman traveling alone, that I get a rig I could drive off without going outside if I felt unsafe.

New coach batteries worked great. Took a few days to remember mechanic had mentioned inverter was turned off. Flipped witch to on and nothing. Fortunately, second owner took extensive notes after every service. There was a yellow extension under the stove with the inverter, plugged into itself. According to the notes, this meant the inverter was bypassed, for using the generator or shore power. Was able to charge phone and laptop before bed. That’s pretty typical usage for me. I haven’t installed my TV yet or tried other appliances.

Still haven’t figured out how to turn on fridge (has or electric), or microwave. Furnace eventually came on, scared the bejesus out of me. It really rattled the couch. It blew out some cold air for a minute and turned off. I need to familiarize myself with the propane, since I think that was the problem with the other appliances.

Anyway, it was great to have some quiet and get to know my B. It was pretty comfortable for one and I’m amazed at the amount of storage in all the cabinets. Since I plan to live in it FT, the storage is really important.

Thanks to Skater and everyone for their tips to get me this far. I’m looking forward to the next trip!
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Re: My B is weird

Postby usachris » Wed Mar 28, 2018 3:06 pm

Sub2RainEN wrote:First trip was a mixed bag, but overall a success.

Congrats! Way to put “one foot in front of the other” and keep making progress. My hats off to you for your perseverance and guts! You are going to be an old hand at this in no time :D
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