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Old 11-20-2003, 06:40 PM   #29
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the 454 manifolds get very hot, that is a common issue that can create some other problems, like burnt wires, and such. The statement "red hot" though may not be the reality of it...they just may be HOT!!
So onto the next question...does the motorhome run strong? Is the water temperature in the 160-200 or so range when up to speed? Does it have adequate power? Does it start easily? Is the trans shifting smoothly? What shape is the body and interior in? Do the other systems work...like a/c/ generator, heater, water system, and so on, we could go on for awhile on this stuff....

There is a lot more to worry about than engine heat.
If you know absolutely nothing about the mechanical stuff and really don't want to learn I would suggest staying away from the vintage Motorhomes. However, if you are ready to tackle some projects and not afraid to turn a wrench...then read on, in these forums you will find out all you need to know to do a whole lot of self restoration and maintenance.
Of course if you have a trusty RV mechanic and a pocket full of money to burn, its a different story.
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Old 11-21-2003, 12:04 AM   #30
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Advice and Sources Wanted

OK...I'm getting paid on the completion of a freelance gig and will have about $750 to spend on the Airstream. Is laundering money from the budgetary goddess against the law?

As much as I want to plow all of this into remodelling the inside of our baby I know I still have some things left on the "mechanicals" list. The big one being the replacement of this goofy exhaust system the PO installed. It's gotton to be downright embarrasing at stop lights. (rattles, squeaks, leaks and putters.)

Still can't afford a Banks so I'd like to go with a Thorley, Dynomax setup but can't seem to find good information on specific parts, compatibility, where to buy pipes, etc. Can you buy a bolt up setup or is cutting and welding required? What about the crossover?

Also wondering what to do with the air pump and hardware on the existing manifolds. Kentucky just abolished state emissions testing so maybe this can find its way out of the doghouse?

Any and all advice, sources, opinions, etc is appreciated. I'd like to buy a "kit" if that is possible but realize that sourcing each component on it's own might be cheaper.

(I wanted to add that I phase two would include a replacement intake manifold, carb, ignition and distributor. So I want to make sure everything will work together)
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Old 11-21-2003, 09:31 AM   #31
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My setup so far...

Apparently both my exhaust manifolds were cracked, causing not only pollution in and out of the MH, but that chug chug chug sound at the lights too. After much reading and website searches, I chose the Doug Thorley headers with H crossover pipes behind the tranny (told them to leave space for a Gear Vendor...doesn't look like it though), Flowmaster 70 mufflers (no catalytic converter on this model), and had the pipes come out the driver side in front of the rear wheels. Sounds like a darn race home now, but I like it. Supposedly low end torque will be better...I'll find out next week going over the Grant's Pass in Oregon. BTW, do I need chains in these in snow?

I had previously replaced my carb with an Edelbrock electric choke, although now I think I would have kept the hot air choke stock if I did it again. It has spacers apparently for cooling?

Anyway, I didn't have the $$$ to get a new efficient intake manifold, but it all works fine.

With the money you get from that job you mentioned, I think you can get some of the parts you want. I paid people to do the labor for me, and it was quite a bit. If I had done the labor myself, the parts alone would have been well over the $750. range. Then, I still would have had to pay for someone to fix what I had done afterwards
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Old 11-21-2003, 12:16 PM   #32
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Budgetary Goddess

"Advice and Sources Wanted
OK...I'm getting paid on the completion of a freelance gig and will have about $750 to spend on the Airstream. Is laundering money from the budgetary goddess against the law?


Also wondering what to do with the air pump and hardware on the existing manifolds. Kentucky just abolished state emissions testing so maybe this can find its way out of the doghouse?

Any and all advice, sources, opinions, etc is appreciated. I'd like to buy a "kit" if that is possible but realize that sourcing each component on it's own might be cheaper.

(I wanted to add that I phase two would include a replacement intake manifold, carb, ignition and distributor. So I want to make sure everything will work together)"


Steve

re Budgetary Goddess

Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Works for just about everything

As for as the mods on the engine.

It's very important that you do it once, and do it right.

To ensure that you have the practical experience, I hereby volunteer my unit so that you can practice on removing the engine jewelry and find the right combination of carb, electronics, etc.

Just come on down any time with your tools and you can get started.

Thanksgiving weekend works for you?
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Old 11-21-2003, 02:21 PM   #33
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What a nice guy!

Dennis,
You are truly a noble and generous man. If you lived a little closer I'd be happy to oblige.

Astrodokk,
I'm using some numbers from one of Brett's replies earlier in this post. I'll be doing all the work myself (if no welding is required) because I'm cheap and twisted enough to actually enjoy cutting rusty tubing under a vehicle in November (mostly cause I'm cheap) so hopefully I can source parts myself and install in phases. Phase one - exhaust replacement (i like the curbside output idea a lot) and phase two - change intake side and ignition (this phase is not funded yet)

I'm getting 8.4 - 8.7 mpg (hwy) now so I'm hoping this will repair what is broken and have the added benefit of adding some torque and fuel economy. Shooting for the magic 10 mpg number!
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Old 11-21-2003, 02:35 PM   #34
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It was worth a shot!

FWIW, I would LOVE to get to 8.0 mpg.

Got close to 8 earlier this year, but then the trip to the Rockies I experienced as little as 4-5.

Lately I've gotten 6-7.5, but I really cannot explain the differences in mpg.

Consistent driving patterns at 60-63 mph, same load (all water tanks empty), and not towing anything.

With the infra-red thermometer, I can check for dragging brakes, but a new distributor and ignition system might be getting higher on the "wish" list.

Haven't ruled out breathing problems, yet, the intake air routing plenum is crimped just in front of the metal intake horn on the air cleaner assembly, and I might bypass, or find an alternate feed, for a trial tank or two to evaluate if that is a problem.
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Old 11-21-2003, 02:47 PM   #35
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Reply to Swebster

"Phase one - exhaust replacement (i like the curbside output idea a lot)"

FWIW, I would think drivers side exhaust would be preferable.

The few times I've stopped and left the main engine running, the exhaust was "right there" when I exited the coach.

On the other hand, having personally spent a good deal of my time on my back underneath the chassis, I cannot recall a "good" place to cross the exhaust over.

The times that the curb side exhaust was a problem (so far) would (do) not tempt me to fabricate a drivers side exhaust for both manifold banks.

BTW, my unit does not have a crossover (except internal to the engine)
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Old 11-21-2003, 04:25 PM   #36
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Yeah, I think that's what he probably meant, the 'Driver's Side', aka Street Side. I've been thinking of moving that little pipe coming off the generator to the street side too. I've stopped at times and had the genny on, and although it's propane, I still smell something and don't like the idea of it coming in on a breeze as my door is open. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
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Old 11-21-2003, 06:44 PM   #37
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Re: It was worth a shot!

Quote:
Originally posted by 87MH
FWIW, I would LOVE to get to 8.0 mpg.

Got close to 8 earlier this year, but then the trip to the Rockies I experienced as little as 4-5.

Lately I've gotten 6-7.5, but I really cannot explain the differences in mpg.

Consistent driving patterns at 60-63 mph, same load (all water tanks empty), and not towing anything.

With the infra-red thermometer, I can check for dragging brakes, but a new distributor and ignition system might be getting higher on the "wish" list.

Haven't ruled out breathing problems, yet, the intake air routing plenum is crimped just in front of the metal intake horn on the air cleaner assembly, and I might bypass, or find an alternate feed, for a trial tank or two to evaluate if that is a problem.
Recently on our vacation, I noticed something. When I drove 55-60, I got 10.4 MPG. I then speeded up a little, and drove 60-65, and got 9.9. I then drove 65-70, and got 9.0...Like the little anti-speeding signs say, how fast can you afford to go?
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Old 11-21-2003, 08:17 PM   #38
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Dennis,
You are right about driver's side exit (also this is what I meant). I'm not sure how to cross the driveshaft "gracefully". Figuring this out would put both engine exhausts and the genset exhausts on the driver's side AWAY from the door.

I've always had decent mileage. Put a new cap, rotor, wires and plugs in right away. The worst I got was 7.8 in the mountains on I-40 in Tennesee.

Something is definately amiss on your powerplant. If you are not towing a toad and running with the holding tanks dry you should be getting better than 4 or 5 mpg.
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Old 11-22-2003, 06:48 AM   #39
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Carb adjustment

Dennis, you might want to take the MH to a garage and have the carburator adjusted. It sounds like it may be on its way out, which they can also check by putting the exhaust into a four-gas analyzer.
The absolute worst I personally think you should get is around 8, and better with the A/C off.
Hmm... Do you run your generator while driving? If you do, and the generator runs off the same tank as the engine, that would make a huge difference with mileage. Some people do this to run the roof A/C and refrigerator while driving.
If it is not full electronic, you may want to check the vacuum advance on the distributor, and make sure it is working. If it is not, that will cost you mpg also.

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Old 11-22-2003, 07:25 AM   #40
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Re: It was worth a shot!

Quote:
Originally posted by 87MH
FWIW, I would LOVE to get to 8.0 mpg.

Got close to 8 earlier this year, but then the trip to the Rockies I experienced as little as 4-5.

Lately I've gotten 6-7.5, but I really cannot explain the differences in mpg.
....
4-5 sounds right for Rocky mountain driving.
6-7.5 is better than the average MH gets sporting a 454
8 is under optimal driving condition, no head wind, flat land and going 60 mph max.
We often underestimate the weight of the "stuff' we gradually pack.
A full gas tank adds 500 pounds.
Carbs have to go really bad to cause a dramatic decrease in fuel economy, which usually results in black smoke, black oil and fouled plugs.
"Hot" aftermarket ignition systems do make a difference.
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Old 11-23-2003, 07:45 PM   #41
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After reading all of the prior posts I still have a basic question.
One of the 3 bolts that hold the exhaust flange to the manifold on the drivers side has broken off. I now have a leak that is very noticable when cold and not so bad when hot. How big a project is it to get the flange tighten up again? Since the bolt is broken off am I now looking at removing the manifold etc....
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Old 11-23-2003, 07:59 PM   #42
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If It's Only a Bolt

The below was posted prior to my reading the post for the umteenth time and assumed you had headers installed.

>If you can reach the area of the missing bolt I would purchase a new header gasket and three new bolts. Remove (break?) the remaining bolts, clean the both faces of the flange area, insert the new gasket, and insert and tighten the three new bolts. Check with the hot rod places (Summit, Jegs, etc.) for proper bolts (designed for exaust heat) and good quality gaskets.<

HOWEVER:

If your exaust manifold is the original cast iron unit a stud has broken off and that is a more involved repair. You should replace the stud, put on a new gasket (if equiped originally), and tighten everything up. Don't be surprised if another stud breaks as they are probably pretty tired from all of the heat cycles.

Just tightening the remaining bolts will be setting yourself up for a fall in the not too distant future . . . and Boy! will it be loud then!

Take care,
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