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Old 02-20-2003, 08:58 PM   #15
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Wow! I'm impressed with the MPG's I would have figured in the 5mpg range. It actually makes me depressed about how bad the gas milage is on one of my K5's. My 75 Jimmy just cracks 9mpg. It's twin (My wifes 79 Does a little better at 12mpg. Course in my 75's defence it's slinging 35 inch tall tires and we would be eye level to each other if I was driving becide you. Your rig proably has better airodynamics to boot LOL.
Congradulations on the purchace. Sounds like it was a great shake down run for you and the old girl didn't let you down.
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Old 02-20-2003, 09:37 PM   #16
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Re: Weight Limitation

Quote:
Originally posted by 87airstream345
Thanks for the encouragement.

One of the things I was concerned about was the carrying capacity of the 345. The overhead plaque clearly stated the maximum weight is 16,500 pounds,
Flip over your drivers license and it should have the stipulations including weight.
See the corralation between the numbers? That weight limit is so that you don't have to get a CDL or Bus drivers license take a look at the next large U-Haul that passes you and the weigh should be on the bottom of the door.
You could proably go a little over with no harm to the vehicle. I wouldn't go a massive amount over it but couple hundred and your proably ok. It's sort of like GM saying a 70 GTO Judge was 310hp when in fact it was closer to 370 hp. Little white lie to keep all parties happy. What they do not know will not hurt them deal.
Most cops got better things to do then hassle people on vacation. Since it's obviously not a comercial vehicle your not likly to ever get in a situation where an officer of the law is going to weight the monster.

As for the water tank....a full tank sloshes less then an half empty tank. So your not getting as much water rocking back and forth in the tanks. Problem is the overall weight so it's a toss upas to what one will cause you more problems. The 365 lb's slamming into the front of the tank acting like a dead blow hammer or the extra couple of hundred pounds that's not shifting.
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Old 03-13-2003, 08:19 PM   #17
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ďsearch and discoverĒ

An update from a Newbie still in the initial ďsearch and discoverĒ phase of new ownership.

I think I have passed a milestone, 100 hours cleaning and $1200 spent on pretty much nickel and dime stuff. Itís hard to believe that I have spent that much money with no really major purchase, but it includes an incredible amount of cleaning supplies, a slow/adjustable speed polisher/buffer, polishing supplies, and pleated shades for all three of the double windows in the main cabin.

Iíve been giving a lot of thought to the drive train while chasing wires and tubes under the frame. I am pretty much a diesel fan for simplicity, endurance, and reliability, but the fact that the Chevy 454 is so darned cheap to rebuild/replace is a difficult attribute to overcome. Right now, it would take a lot to convince me to put up the bucks to go the diesel route when (not if) the 454 gives up the ghost. I am almost at the same point on the transmission question, yes, the 400 series Chevy transmission leaves a lot to be desired, but the fact remains it is one of the cheapest units to overhaul. One possible thing I might look into is the newer 4 speed overdrive on post 1992 P-30/32 Kodiak trucks (IF someone can convince me they have a computer box that would be compatible with the 4 bbl 454). Iíve pretty much ruled out an aftermarket overdrive due to the cost. Even at our higher gas prices, I would have to put an awful lot of miles on the unit to justify a payout.

At 3000 RPM, right now I do 25 in first, 40 in second, and 63 in third. Chevy rates the engine for a continuous output at 80 % of maximum, or 3800 RPM max X .8 = 3400 rpm continuous, or about 67 MPH. I am very content to plod across the country, enjoy the scenery, and let the motor sashay along with an acceptable decibel level in the cabin while we cruise at 63 to 67 MPH.

Iíve finally gotten old enough that when a car passes me it does not bother me in the least.

One of the major reasons we purchased the motor home was that Alpha Bitch and I decided that marathon runs just to get from point A to point B were simply not worth it. With the Airstream we plan to run no more than 8 hours, and let the distance decide how long it will take arrive at our destination.
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Old 03-13-2003, 09:00 PM   #18
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I'm debating the same issues in reguards to what motor and transmission. I'm looking for a pull truck and I have decided I want a 88-91 Suburban. Originaly I was looking for a 5.7 FI 2500 but I'm starting to lean towards the 454. I have polls going in a couple places including here about what sort of MPG people are getting between the TH400 and the 4L80 (OD tranny and probably the same one your asking about) and everybody reguardless of the two transmissions are saying they are getting close to the same MPG. About 1mpg better with the OD. I'm not sure it's worth it.
If your still interested then here is the place to go and they can supply a controler and the transmission.
http://www.paceparts.com/store.asp Might have to call for it. They list the one for the 4l60.
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Old 03-13-2003, 09:11 PM   #19
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Quote

There is no substitue for altitude when in an airplane, common sense when in a 12 line bind, or cubic inches in any motor.
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Old 03-27-2003, 09:23 PM   #20
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Dennis,
I bought my 1989 345LE a little over a year ago. I have spent the better part of the year fixing it up while putting 12,000 miles on the odometer. Don't buy old if you're not ready for some repairs but I'm having a great time. My wife and I travel with our three dogs. I'm in Houston, also. Call me and we'll share some war stories. We will be hooking up with Peter in June in New Mexico. Come and join us. I can be reached at 713-869-5861.
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Old 03-28-2003, 02:09 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by 59toaster
I'm starting to lean towards the 454.
454!
454!!
454!!!
454!!!!

Only live once, what's a few more thousand in gas in a lifetime!

I also like the 4L80. Teamed together, it's a powerful combo. Go with your gut toaster!

Eric
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Old 03-28-2003, 11:24 PM   #22
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which tranny??

I have a small automobile business here in Anchorage. Over the years I have noticed that the overdrive 4L80E is good for about 90-110K before a rebuild (in chevy trucks). But more interesting is the fact that most transmission specialists, and perhaps even GM, recommend when towing with the 4L80E that the transmission be kept in drive NOT overdrive. Therefore, would it be correct to assume that the tranny in a heavy motorhome be kept in Drive unless you are on generally flat terrain? I don't know, but what I do know is that the word on the street is: the T400 is bulletproof and the 4L80E may not be quite as stout......
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Old 03-29-2003, 06:11 AM   #23
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Transmissions and such

Thanks for the input --

I guess my little boy fascination with "big rig" low speed diesels still surfaces way too often.

Reality is that wet dream niceties such as a 12 mpg engine turning 1200 rpm at 80 mph just ain't gonna happen.

When I put pencil to paper (or computer to spreadsheet) and realize that, at today's insurance, fuel, and overall cost of ownership prices, and mechanics hourly rates being what they are (I just can't tackle some projects any more!), exotic modifications just are not worth it.

Not worth it to ME, guys, don't want to start a war here, but a transmission rebuild avery 4 or 5 years at $600 is simply cost of maintenance -- especially when you kiss a $100 bill away every time you fill the tank!

Same thing with the engine. Yeah, 3200 rpm at cruise is screamin', but even at those rotation rates the 454 holds together pretty well, and an engine rebuild, .....well, in the overall scheme of things, is just not that expensive.

I'm caught between the memories as a kid in the '60's of working on a car for a few hours prior to taking any significant trip, and being spoiled as an adult with fairly "bullett proof" modern conveyences that require little more maintenance effort than keeping the gas tank filled.

I have the interior of the 345 pretty well stripped, cleaned, oiled, and buffed, the shock replacement is progressing, and I will probably start to look at the engine compartment this weekend.

No major surprises yet, this motor home thing has been HUGELY successful so far.
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Old 03-29-2003, 07:42 PM   #24
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454's and 4L80E

I have a 454 in my truck, with the 4L80E transmisssion. I really like it. I tach about 2250 rpm at 65 mph, with 4.10 gears. 1950 at 55 mph, if memory serves. Nothing in my owners manual about not towing in overdrive. I have specifically looked for this and cannot find it. It does mention that you should drop into drive if the trannys starts "hunting".

Curtis-79MH, I always understood that the 4L80E is the same tranny as a TH400, except that it is electronically controlled and has the overdrive gear. Have not heard of anyone having to rebuild them around "here". A mechanic told me that you "rebuild" an automatic transmission by changing filter, fluid, and front and rear seals. This was some time ago. I have a friend who has a Ford Power Stroke Diesel, with 60K on it, and he had to have his tranny "repaired", clutches went out he said. He never tows with it, but plows snow. He said the repairs cost $3000.
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Old 03-29-2003, 09:35 PM   #25
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maybe the cold winters?

Sly,
How many miles do you have on your truck?
From my experience and talking to others the 4L80E craps out at around 100K give or take a few. That is in Alaska though.....
Changing the fluid and filter is great advice. I made the mistake of the fluid "FLUSH" at the local fast lube and I replaced my 4L80E the next day (no exagerration). The lube shop's reply was your tranny must have been bad to begin with. I had never had any problems prior, but we were heading out on a long trip so I decided to have it "serviced" at the time of my oil change. Never again. It is better to drop the pan and change the fluid and not listen to their infamous drivel "but the old fluid will remain in the torque converter".
If there is a weak link in a GMC product I believe it is the overdrive tranny......but hey, remember when we thought a car that had an odometer that was "turned over" was due to die? I mean a tranny rebuild at a hundred grand ain't so bad, is it?
Just for fun, a 4L80E rebuild here in Anchorage is about 1500 bones....
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Old 03-29-2003, 11:06 PM   #26
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GM does say to use drive instead of OD because of the torque converter. Most need about 2k RPM or they heat up and die. Heat is the main cause of death to a trans.

The thing is tough, if the torque converter is "locked" then you can use OD without a problem. In the LT1 B-Body, it's about 1,600-1,800 RPM for the T/C to lock up.

A bunch of people don't know this little fact and tow in OD and find they need a rebuild sooner than later.

The fact is, as long as it does not shift freq on the highway and the converter is "locked", as long as you are not beating on it, it should last.

Regards,

Eric
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Old 03-30-2003, 01:08 AM   #27
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Thanks for the reply Eric. But exactly what do you mean "it should last"? More than a 100k, 500k? In my motorhome I have the T400 and I'm glad I do. The overdrive is pudding.
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Old 03-30-2003, 07:17 AM   #28
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Considering the MH's GVWR is between 12 to 16000 lbs, you are always 'towing' a lot of weight around.
My local ransmission guy, who I have seen go to work every day for the last 20 years says:
Don't go with the 4L80, it will not last.
I think I'll take his word for it.
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