No matter how much you like your coach, if it doesn’t run it’s a “Trailer Queen”.
They are too big to push and the tow bill will melt your wallet so always a prime consideration is your mechanical condition. Having a road ready 40 year old, 12,000 pound vehicle is no small feat. All of those parts, a quantity of them original all holding hands…. what could go wrong!
in one word… plenty. Doing a brake job on any old machine like this requires more than pads and shoes. Chances are you will find even the steel lines need to be replaced. It’s not uncommon to find literally original rear brake hoses because they are not normally available so the left them in The bulge at the end is rust under the protective sleeve and the rounded shoulder of the center fitting affirms this is an original , 30+ year old brake hose…. your life and everyones involved is riding on a really old deteriorated brake hose… you are now a 12,0000 pound projectile moving through space… ask Einstein about that one…
Step 1 in the restoration process is a trip to the mechanical shop… it’s gotta move on it’s own to be a MOTOR…..HOME. Mechanicals are first. At this point I would tell you there needs to be an honest interraction between you and the folks who are going to do the work as to what your focus is.
Pick only 2!
You need to communicate to the folks your expectation but remember above. Personally I would leave off “Speed” if you know what’s good for the project. No matter who does the work, to you expend the energy and money to hit some target date or do you spend it for the best job you can get?
As far as I’m concerned… mechanicals are pretty cut and dried… if it could be an issue renew it. You could be fighting mileage but for sure you are fighting age and in the end it will always win unless you restart the clock. You may want to have it right now but the truth is you’ve waited this long you need to have it at least in good mechanical condition before you can call it useable. Many will break down their restoration getting the mechanical aspects taken care of first then the next year focus on the interior or exterior. Expect at least $3-5000 on any coach to check and be sure i’t road ready. Overall, if I were brought a coach with everything needing renewing you are looking at @ a $20,000 or so total bill of a $100,000 total restoration project.
This does not mean you will spend that but if everything were to be renewed that’s @ where you would be. Add diesel and add another $5-10,000. Add a new generator your another $5000 or so. These are round numbers and I know someone will tell you they can do it for less…. good luck with that. Any corner cut will bite you so it’s important to be very complete on the mechanical aspects of your restoration.
Next lets go into different aspects of the mechanicals:
The word “Motorhome” describes something that is both a vehicle and a house. They have a “motor” and can be used as a home — thus “motorhome”. Of course to make the vehicle move, along with the motor you must have fuel tanks and hoses, a transmission, differential, suspension, tires & wheels, brakes and a pile of other systems. Each one of these systems is made up of components, hoses, wires, fittings, clamps and all must work well in unison to have a reliable coach.
We here at the Co-op take our mission of renovating these coaches very seriously which means mechanically, the coach must be completely checked over and major components replaced. For more on this, go to Mechanical pitfalls as what we see our mission as and why. You must be serious about the mechanical condition of a 12,000 pound vehicle. There is too much potential energy moving on a 12,000 pound projectile to stop it with your feet and its too heavy to push— so you really want the motor and brakes to do their job for you. Being 25+ years old these functions and maintaining them in a reliable condition is even more important.
Below are some of the services and systems we offer to help you keep your classic GMC on the road and reliable. This is not all we have or do by any means, if you have a question simply give us a call and we’ll do what we can to help.
LPG retrofit power
We here at the co-op are most interested in alternative fuels and trying to push our economy to get off of gasoline if possible. Go to LPG retrofit for information on a dual fuel (gas or LPG) we have built testing the waters of this energy source.
There have been monumental advancements in engine design since our classic coach was built in the 70’s. This is a no brainer and I have in the past been excited to incorporate new ideas such at this to bring our coaches up to speed on technology.
I am going to shock many of you though in updating this section. We live in America and thus can say and do anything we like (as long as it breaks no laws or harms others. This is why I try new things and this is also why I have opinions on issues based on what I see out here in the field. As I said, I am probably going to shake the walls with the following post but I gotta be honest with you guys on this. Go to Fuel injection theory
Custom Built Motors
We offer you a precision built 455 or 403 motor. Our motors are performance designed for the low RPM, high torque requirements needed to power a 12,000 pound hot rod. The GMC is a well balanced, engineered and designed vehicle and its power plant should have no less attention. There are many differences in our motors and the typical production built one. Go to Custom built Motors and read more.
A lost art and important to the GMC. Click here for more information Tire Truing
6 Wheel Computer Alignment
We put the best available technology in every 6 wheel alignment we do. Without the equipment, you are guessing on alignments and the Co-op has made the investment in money and expertise to offer the best alignment possible. Go to Alignment for more.