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Old 01-06-2003, 05:51 PM   #15
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I was unable to get a replacement carberator last summer when I brought my "new to me" 1986 345 to California from Texas to be smogged. It tooks weeks, lottsa money, and many vendors before I was able to get a DMV pass. One advantage that you will have with your unit being out of state for more than 90 days is that you will avoid the "use" tax when registering.

I'm researching power & economy issues regarding improvements to my 454. Check out this vendor regarding straight up Chev BB replacement WITH carb:

RGDS, -alf.
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Old 01-06-2003, 07:06 PM   #16
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The link you posted is amazing! $1566 for a remanufactured 454 engine which INCLUDES the $500 core deposit??!! Hard to believe! I have found a shop I am happy with in Alabama to overhaul the engine, so will likely go with them -- about $2200 including the R&R. The big Chevy dealer in Huntsville wanted $8K! I'm praying that it's a good job! But just to add insult to injury, the tow truck that was towing it to the shop dropped it! Another problem to deal with!!

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Old 02-18-2003, 08:39 PM   #17
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Frame-up P-30 Diesel swapout

Hi! I'm new here, but it certainly looks like the right place.

We recently bought a '77 20-foot Argosy motorhome in need of some TLC. Formerly owned by a traveling rock band (really), it's in deed of at least paint and interior resoration. It has an adequate Chevy 350 with headers and an ignition kit, but the idea of diesel won't go away.

No, here's my idiot idea of the week -- I have a source of Cummins-powered P30 stepvans (mostly late 80's, early 90's). The engines have about 40K, the chassis are probably all over 100K. These were all used for local potato-chip delivery and are coming out of service because the chip guys found out they can write off new vans real quick and decided to go to LPG and maybe cut their maintainance/operating costs.

Does it sound insane to consider lifting the body off the 1977 chassis and putting it onto one of these diesels (I have a forklift). Are the early/late P-30 chassis compatible, etc? What about noise through the antique plywood doghouse? Heat? What rear ratio is most desirable, given the weight of the coach, etc? We probably will tow something somewhere sometime but not always.

My connection at the source is the fleet mechanic. He thinks this is the best idea since sliced bread (He also built a supercharged 350cid Corvair Corsa, which kinda benchmarks his sense of practicality). He claims his average in/out P30 engine&tranny swap by itself is about 6 hours. Is this a better idea?

At least the iron will be cheap.

Mike N
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Old 02-18-2003, 09:17 PM   #18
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Hi Mike
I cant offer you much advice on your unit but i have a question. are the cummins engines 4 or 6 cylinders? i put a 6 cylinder 5.9 cummins in a p30 chassis that develops about 180 hp attached to a 518 chrysler automatic with a lockup converter. this unit weighs about 14000 and is 31 foot long. it is equipped with a 4.56 rear axle ratio. it is geared just a little tall for the area we are in. it operates the best at 70/75 on the interstate. if i were to change anything on this airstream i would drop the rear axle ratio to a 4.88 using 19.5 tires to make it a little more user friendly in the hills. i would suggest just changing the engine and transmisson and not try to do a frame job. heating is a non issue and the only time i notice the sound level of the cummins is when it is idling. at road speeds the sound level is just fine this is my second conversion in the last 2 years and have driven the 2 units about 40000 miles and they work great. mileage is about 14 at 65 mph and the hills just make you smile joe
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Old 02-19-2003, 06:37 AM   #19
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I pulled the body off mine, it is at least 10 times as much work as to r&r the engine. When the chassis leaves GM it is pretty bare, Airstream welded a platform for the body to sit on and built most of the cowl in the front. The floor is screwed to the platform everywhere (especially inside the walls), which means the mh must be gutted and the lower interior aluminum panels must be removed. The black, gray, propane tanks, and curved lower body panels are attached to the chassis and platform. Do the engine, it is a whole lot easier.

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Old 04-06-2003, 11:45 PM   #20
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Exclamation Re: Motorhome engine replacement

Originally posted by Rik
I went back to Alabama to get my new-to-me 1983 Airstream motorhome, and found that is has a bad rod bearing. I would like to put in a Target or Mr. Goodwrench engine, but the upshot of dozens of phone calls is that GMC/Chevy apparently doesn't have the carbureted 454 motorhome engine available any longer - it's too OLD! Kind of like me.

The coach is presently in Huntsville, AL, in the northern part of the state. I love the rig, and, one way or another, WILL get a good motor in it and bring it home to Santa Cruz, CA.

Any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Best regards, and Merry Christmas,

if it's just a rod bearing you can pull the oil pan and slip in a new pair without motor dissasymbly, check in to it...stu

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