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Newell Gurus would like to thank Boomer for joining us.

Should I worry?
#1
Exclamation 
Hi guys I am super new here and I have spent the past 5 hours reading and reading all about newells. My family and I are looking to join the RVing world and choose to go with the best of the best which is newell. we found a coach that is an early 80's model and it has some issues with it, I'm pretty mechanically inclined, but there seemed to have been a little water leak in the bed room. Also the owner doesn't know too much about what half the buttons do. I can learn I can fix and this coach is a deal in a half. But should I worry about going head first or will this be a fun experience. Please help! Fully open to personal messages and emails to get advice!
1980 38ft "Ole Girl"
6v92
Austin
#2
Welcome to the Gurus !

We were in the same position as you after being introduced to "classic" Newells by Clarke and Elaine Hockwald , members of this forum.  We were fortunate that Clarke knew of a coach for sale by a fellow forum member, and that coach has been a fantastic home for us for the past  four years, and 30 thousand miles. The coach you are looking at will have a few common mechanicals with others of that era. Most likely a 6 or 8 cylinder Detroit Diesel 2 cycle motor, along with a 4 speed Allison transmission for the 8 cylinder motor, and a 5 speed if the coach has the 6 cylinder motor. One of the most important things to do prior to purchase is to have a motor oil and transmission fluid sample sent to a lab for testing. ( Blackstone Labs )  For about 60 dollars, they can tell you  a lot about the condition of the engine and transmission. Replacing the engine is a 25 thousand dollar item and the transmission is about 7 thousand. With engines weighing over 3000 lbs, most of us have no way to do this work ouselves.  
Depending on your area, there may be a forum member willing to look at your potential purchase. You will find tons of experience here. Good luck.
Guy & Sue
1984 Classic 40' #59
#3
Good advice from Guy on getting fluids tested. If the engine and tranny are good then everything else is just elbow grease. We're here for you! Tires will probably need replacing if they are over 7 years old. Where was the leak in the bedroom?

Clarke and Elaine Hockwald
1982 Newell Classic, 36', 6V92 TA
2001 VW Beetle Turbo
Cannondale Tandem
Cannondale Bad Boy
Haibike SDURO MTB
http://whatsnewell.blogspot.com
#4
I had a 1973 Newell with an 1160 Cat, the naturally aspirated predecessor to the 3208 Cat, that had over 600k miles on her when we bought it. There wasn't a creak or rattle that couldn't be fixed, or traced to the dishes and pans we were carrying. Might have been a little light on power, but we pulled an extended cab Ford Ranger without any problems.

These coaches are built for a million miles plus, so don't let mileage bother you. If you're handy, won't be an issue, if you have to pay $150+ to a repair facility that doesn't have a clue how to work on Newells, it'll be expensive.

Back in that era, the battery chargers were called battery boilers, so if it hasn't been updated plan on replacing. There's a good chance that some of or all the bays will need rust damage repaired. Not an expensive proposition if you can do it yourself.

Just know that with the semi-monoque construction you'll be driving one of the safest motorhomes on the road. You have also joined the absolute best forum where very knowledgeable people will help with any issue you encounter.
Jon & Chris Everton
1986 40' Dog House #86
450 hp ISM 5 spd ZF Ecomat 2


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