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Old 01-29-2022, 07:05 PM   #1
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New "old" Winnie 1998 Winnie 31WM

Hello,

If everything goes according to plan, Monday I will pick up a 1998 Winnie 31WM that needs some work

First stop will be the tire store where I have arranged for six new tires. After that I'll drive it home about an hour and a half.

The test drive went OK, knowing it was not perfect and had been sitting quite a while. Cranks fine, the V10 runs smooth and the tranny shifts good. Front brake calipers are sticking and I already know they will get replaced along with new rotors and whatever else is needed. One of the rear tires blew and flattened while we were driving, but I knew they were old. One new one is on there now which will become the spare.

58K on the odometer, so not worn out but in need of belt/hose/oil/filters/etc.

It has water damage, mainly in the cabover area. The repair was not a good one and it has to be reworked. I'm capable and will get that fixed up. There are a couple of other roof leaks that appear to be very minor, only a more thorough and intrusive inspection will tell just how bad it is. I'm aware of what the possibility's are, no blind eye here.

I like the slide for extra room. The interior looks good for a 24 year old RV.

I plan to use it to pull a small trailer with a race car and sleep at the track. Nice to have a ready place with AC.

There will be some work involved and I know that. Probably a lot of work before I get done. I'll be 69 years young next month and have some experience, but this is the first motor home.

The biggest question I have now is what the chassis is to order correct parts (like brake parts). It's called a SuperDuty on the nameplate on the front fender. Is this the same as an E350 or E450?

I'm sure I'll be asking lots of questions as I fix and upgrade the monster. I've already learned quite a bit just reading here and at other places. Thanks in advance for the help!
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Old 01-29-2022, 09:25 PM   #2
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Hi Barry,
Here are some on-line documents which may help you in your rebuilding:
1998 Minnie Winnie Brochure
Manuals and Diagrams
Resources
Parts
More Parts
I believe that your unit would be an E-450 a.k.a. SuperDuty.
Welcome to the forum.
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Old 01-29-2022, 10:48 PM   #3
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Thanks for the welcome and info, Eagle5.

I had found some of those thanks to the resources on this site.

I had some issues trying to look up 1998 E450 brake parts, so thought it might be the E350. I see some listings now for 1998 E450 brakes.
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Old 01-29-2022, 11:43 PM   #4
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In my 2019 E-450 frame, the tires, wheels, and brakes were common with the E-350, but I bet you are correct that they were different in 1998.
Rock Auto shows this for the SuperDuty
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Old 01-30-2022, 12:11 AM   #5
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Thanks again. Looks like from the the rock auto listings that "Super Duty" in '98 is the E450 and different parts than the E350.

I also see that Autozone carry's the parts and has them in stock locally, so I can get the old parts off and compare.

Thanks for the help!
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Old 01-30-2022, 09:28 AM   #6
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You may want to check the manufacturing date of the "chassis" as it is not uncommon that the chassis is a model year older the the RV. It might not mater if the ford 97 and 98 chassis where identical but just in case there are subtle changes make sure you are ordering parts for the model year of the chassis.
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Old 01-30-2022, 09:52 AM   #7
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Before you go to get your tires, see if the shop has rigid, extended valves (not valve extensions) like Borg extensions they can install. They replace your existing valve stems. I'd call ahead in case you need to buy them or order them separately.

https://www.shinyrv.com/product-cate...s-mfg-by-borg/

They're not cheap but worth it.

These will not only make it easier to fill your dualies but are essential if you install a tire pressure monitoring system since the add-on extensions can be problematical.
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Old 01-30-2022, 10:13 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobC View Post
Before you go to get your tires, see if the shop has rigid, extended valves (not valve extensions) like Borg extensions they can install. They replace your existing valve stems. I'd call ahead in case you need to buy them or order them separately.

https://www.shinyrv.com/product-cate...s-mfg-by-borg/

They're not cheap but worth it.

These will not only make it easier to fill your dualies but are essential if you install a tire pressure monitoring system since the add-on extensions can be problematical.
This is a good thought but I might also go one step further.

One bigpoint to remember is that an Rv is bigger and blowouts canoften be much worse than on cars as it has so many expensive things nearby to tear up! A blowout can do lots of damage like come out through the Rv side or wrap up brakelines, etc, so I do no't wantto save money by ignoring how much tire monitors can save!

That gets around to the problems involved with adding the sensors after the tire are on due to fitting different stems and trying to get them of a type and shape which works well over time.
So I might want to look at adding the sensors to the rims BEFORE mounting the tires! Much better fit and much better lasting.

I might add to the list of things to check on the old unit as doing a look at any of the vacuum lines that appear to be weathered?
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Old 01-30-2022, 10:26 AM   #9
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Good point neub. I checked the vin # this morning and it shows as a 1998 E450 Super Duty, so now I at least know what I have and I'm happy it's a 450 rather than the 350.

Good suggestion BobC. I'll check on that with the tire place. I'm going to Discount Tire in the local area. Closed today but I'll call in the morning. If they don't have the extensions maybe I can find a place that carries them.

I will get a TPMS to include the trailer I'll pull, Morich. And the vac lines will all get replaced. Anything under the hood* that is subject to old age deterioration will get replaced.

*or the "doghouse"
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Old 01-30-2022, 10:53 AM   #10
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I've never had the TPMS inside the tires on RV as Ihave never had to replace tiresat the time I added the TPMS but after setting several up AFTER the tires are mounted, I canvouch for wishing I had done it before the tires were mounted.
So I suggest trying to shop out which might work better as you are getting the tires mounted.
I love the ease and lack of worry of the TPMS on cars I've had where the sensors are isnide and no so expeosed to all the problem of hanging out of the tires on the stems. That weight going around at 60-70 MPH can really work on any stem you have, so it may be worth the time to consider befer mounting tires?
Best of luck with the rig. I've rebuilt/recovered several and it can really work out well if things go right!

If it has been setting too long,consider having a look at the wheel cyclinders as that is one I missed and they had rusted. The brakes worked for the one trip I wanted to go to California and back but all that time, the rust was cutting grooves in the wheel cylinders and the guy I sold it to have to replace all four within a short time! He was not "unhappy" as he felt he got a good deal but we all shuddered knowing the brakes were coming close to failing on the way back through Colorado!
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Old 01-30-2022, 11:08 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Morich View Post
I've never had the TPMS inside the tires on RV as Ihave never had to replace tiresat the time I added the TPMS but after setting several up AFTER the tires are mounted, I canvouch for wishing I had done it before the tires were mounted.
So I suggest trying to shop out which might work better as you are getting the tires mounted.
I love the ease and lack of worry of the TPMS on cars I've had where the sensors are isnide and no so expeosed to all the problem of hanging out of the tires on the stems. That weight going around at 60-70 MPH can really work on any stem you have, so it may be worth the time to consider befer mounting tires?
Wouldn't that require a specific type of TPMS that utilizes internal sensors as opposed to most add-on TPMS systems? I know that's an option for automobiles but are there RV systems available that monitor up to 10 wheels (MH + Toad)?
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Old 01-30-2022, 11:51 AM   #12
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Internal sensor, if available, would probably be the smart thing to do, but I'm going to use the external system. At the moment I just want to get it home safely and "put to bed".

Now I'm thinking about the 60 mile trip home on old oil. I don't think I can rely upon the owners memory of what oil (synthetic or dinosaur) was last used, but it's been mostly sitting for a couple years.

I have already purchased the oil and filter, thinking I'd change it when I get home. I just don't want any damage in the trip home. I worry about belts and hoses and all manner of things stopping me on the side of the road...
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Old 01-30-2022, 04:46 PM   #13
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Barry, good luck on your project!

Sounds like you are well into your refit plan.

Can you please post pics as you go thru the items on your checklist?

I've restored cars and boats before, and had a great time doing it. Satisfaction level is off the charts when you get it done!

Just joined this forum recently and it's impressive the amount of experience, knowledge and help that the members are eager to share.
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Old 01-30-2022, 04:53 PM   #14
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Will do 202235f.

Agree on the knowledge. Just reading since I contemplated the purchase and I've learned a lot.
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Old 01-30-2022, 07:05 PM   #15
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Motorhomes are a combination of a house and a truck. As a car guy you naturally concentrate on the discipline you know the most about… the truck.

But it’s the house part that will break your back and cause you the most trouble and the most expense.

This fact is one often overlooked by new motorhome owners.
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Old 01-30-2022, 07:43 PM   #16
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"But itís the house part..."

Understood

I've owned 4 houses plus a rental and a beach house. Of the 4 lived in, 3 were fixer uppers in one way or another. The first was just an old 1930's house I bought out of college before I got married. I spent many hours reworking that house, including building some nice deck work. The next was the big one, a late 1800's Victorian with 12 foot ceilings, 12" wide heart pine floors, and 4500 square feet. It had been empty for three years after the lady that grew up in it passed away. Lots of work. Wife was pregnant with the 3rd when we started and gave birth to the 4th and last one (whew) before we left. Lots of labor but very little cost. I worked on that one every evening and weekend for 6 months before we moved in. It came with the rental house that we also fixed up eventually, even living in it for a couple months when we moved to the next house, a new one, since we sold the Victorian before the new house was finished. We stayed there for 30 years until 3 years ago, and then bought the current place, kids all grown, a bit further out in the country. Built in 1974, we knocked down walls and opened it up and gutted the old kitchen. I didn't have the luxury of time, so we had a lot of help with it.

The beach house was not a fixer upper but needed lots of TLC and remodeling rooms and kitchen. Completed over the last 5 years. I'm now replacing the nearly 4000 sq ft of decking, front this year, back next.

A long winded way of saying I know what you mean. Cars and houses have occupied a lot of my time

I'm still working full time (engineer) and plan to keep working until I'm 75 or so, another 5 or 6 years anyway.

Or maybe we'll get the RV bug with this trial and decide to go on the road
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Old 01-30-2022, 08:15 PM   #17
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OTOH,

I have a lot to learn
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Old 01-31-2022, 07:48 PM   #18
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"Gertrude" is home this evening. Six new tires and she made the 1.5 hour trip just fine. Drove well, noticed no issues other than the front brakes are worn out. I examined the rear rotors while the wheels were off and they looked good. I'll probably just put new pads on the rear when I get the front done. The front will get new rotors and calipers to go with the new pads.

Once I've given it all a good assessment I'll get started. Probably be a month before I get into any real meaningful work. I'm in no great hurry.

I'll start a new thread in the Class C section detailing the work I do in case it might benefit others.
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Old 02-01-2022, 12:20 AM   #19
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Hi again Barry,
Glad you made it home OK. I think Gertrude is a great name for your motorhome. As a kid, I would watch JP Patches and Gertrude now and then, and somewhat unexpectedly my dad would watch too. Some of their humor was "adult-style;" dad would laugh, and I wouldn't get it. That was back when we only had three channels (4, 5, & 7.)
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Old 02-01-2022, 12:24 AM   #20
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Well, it beats me how "Gertrude" popped into my head on the way home. Seems to fit for some reason I cannot explain.
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