SEPTEMBER 13, 2005 .
Bought 1978 Winnebago Chieftain on Ebay on September 13, 2005. This was the description on EBay:
Description (revised): Item Specifics - RVs & Campers; Type: Motorized Class A; Make: Winnebago; Slide Outs: None; Model: Chieftian; Fuel Type: Gas; Year: 1978; Length (Feet): 28; Mileage: 87000; Air Conditioners: 2; Sleeping Capacity: 6; Awnings: None; Title: Clear
1978 Winnebago Chieftain R/V Motorhome!! 28 ft!! LOOK!!
Vehicle Description: We took this on trade and don't know much about it. Everthing seems to work (generator, water, lights). The only problem that I am aware of is that the power steering pump leaks a little. We have been told that the engine is a 440 Dodge. This motorhome runs and drives and with a little cleaning and TLC should make someone a great camper. If you have any questions feel free to ask. Will possibly take trades of cars, trucks, or bikes. Thanks for looking!
On Sep-10-05 at 11:49:10 PDT, seller added the following information: FYI- this RV was a LOCAL TRADE IN! the pics are not very good, it just needs to to be cleaned up. we do not deal with RV's so we figured e-bay was the best way to sell it.
SEPTEMBER 16, 2005.
Paid for and picked up 1978 Winnebago Chieftain. When I picked it up in Oklahoma City, OK, it would squirt added power steering fluid directly out on the ground, so the power steering hose appeared to be broken. It was also unsafe to drive over 20 mph because of 180 degree play in steering wheel, so I had to take it directly to a dealer for repair. It took over 3 hours to find someone in Oklahoma City that would work on a RV with a Dodge chassis. City Chevrolet on Reno Street agreed to work on it.
Repairs Needed: Too much play in steering wheel, power steering leak, missing one windshield wiper, horn doesn't work, two running lights out, leaking exhaust manifolds, needs shocks. Check tires and all systems: make safe to drive, make street legal, check heater and defroster, check tires, check steering and suspension, check brakes, tune engine, check exhaust system, check roof air conditioner, check and service generator, check room heater, check refrigerator, check oven and stove, check bathroom, check water system, check roof for leaks, check for external power hookup.
SEPTEMBER 23, 2005.
Diagnosis of power steering fluid leak: steering gear box leaks, not the hose; has broken steering pot coupler u-joint to gear box. City Chevrolet tried several places and several times to find the right parts. Can't find steering gear box or coupler. Told me that I have to find the parts.
SEPTEMBER 26, 2005.
Eddie Cordes Dodge Service Manager in Lawton, OK will not work on a RV because they cannot get it into the shop. Thinks it is on a 1 ton Dodge D-350 Truck Chassis. Parts section cannot get the steering gear box coupler because it is discontinued. Service Manager recommends Midas Muffler because they have a RV garage door.
SEPTEMBER 28, 2005.
Midas Muffler says they will work on it if I can get it to Lawton. Recommends Milo-Gordon Chrysler to find the parts.
SEPTEMBER 30, 2005.
Milo-Gordon Chrysler Parts people in Lawton, OK, say it has parts from a 1976-1993 1 ton full size Dodge Van Chassis. Says they will work on it if I can get it to Lawton. Cannot buy the steering gear box coupler because it is discontinued. Think they can buy the steering gear box. Recommend D&R Salvage in Lawton to find the steering gear box coupler.
OCTOBER 3, 2005.
D & R Salvage in Lawton, OK, pulls steering gear box and coupler from a dodge van that Milo-Gordon parts section thinks will fit.
OCTOBER 5, 2005.
Take steering gear box and coupler to City Chevrolet in Oklahoma City. Neither part will fit.
OCTOBER 13, 2005.
Pick up original parts and replacement parts from City Chevrolet in OKC.
OCTOBER 16, 2005.
Take original parts and replacement parts to D &R Salvage in Lawton. Pull steering gear box and coupler from a 1990 Dodge Ram D-250 Pickup Truck. Looks like it may fit.
OCTOBER 23, 2005.
Take new replacement parts to City Chevrolet in OKC. Steering gear box fits, but steering coupler does not.
OCTOBER 26, 2005.
Get part numbers for 77 M400 chassis steering pot coupler from ClassicWinnegagoMotorhomes group at MSN. Find parts in stock using Partsvoice.com. Order steering box coupler on phone with VISA. The 1978 Winnegabo Chieftain is on a 1 Ton 1977 Dodge M400 Motorhome Chassis.
NOVEMBER 11, 2005.
Waiting for steering coupler to arrive.
NOVEMBER 28, 2005.
Steering coupler arrived.
NOVEMBER 30, 2005.
Steering coupler did not fit. Shaft on steering box is too small. Possible that steering box is not the right one and that is the reason the old steering coupler broke. Decided to order a new steering gearbox.
DECEMBER 8, 2005
Ordered a remanufactured steering gearbox from Stear & Gear in Columbus, OH. It fits the steering coupler that I bought. Took both to City Chevrolet and they put it on the 78 Winnebago Chieftain. It fits! Will pick up the motorhome on Tues, December 12, 2005.
SEPTEMBER 7, 2008
I bought this in Oklahoma City where it was advertized as ready to run. However, it was not. I had to change the steering box to make it runable. On the way from Oklahoma City to Lawton, there was a big backfire that blew out the muffler. I had to continue the trip to Lawton at 25 mph to keep it from backfiring. I think the timing chain slipped. I run the engine once a month in the driveway to keep it in good condition, but I have not had it towed to Milo Gordon to have it repaired since I have been ill and have higher priorities for my money.