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Old 04-13-2002, 01:41 PM   #1
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1977 20' Argosy 20
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345 Hill Climbing

Cliff,

My 345 had trouble on the rolling hills of I-10 in Florida. The trouble was the lack of a second (electric) fuel pump located in the rear of the unit near the tank. It was a fuel flow issue. The shop added the second electric pump. Supposedly, after 1985 all of the units had the pump added. You may want to verify that yours is working.

Also, keep the speed down. Peter will never let you forget it. If he finds out, you'll have two strikes against you (riviting skills and driving speed).
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Old 04-16-2002, 02:49 PM   #2
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Lightbulb 345LE hill climbing power solution...Banks etc

Heya

I fitted a full Banks power system on my low mileage 1990 345LE and the difference was astonishing. That is not all you have to do though. You need to fit new needles in the carb as the engine will not be running rich enough at the 2nd throttle level. Also you need to advance the ignition 2 degs. These things are not made clear by Banks. I only found this out as my mileage dropped to 4.3mpg. It can be dangerous to drive a lean engine as it can overheat easily.

The coach sounds like a muscle car now. It is funny, it makes people look around when I rev it before I drive it off.

After this we fitted new fuel filters. Now the coach went very well, actually too well for what I had got used to driving a motorhome like - I had to get used to driving it like a regular pick up, woah there on the gas pedal...the handling next was the issue I replaced all shocks and airbags. Oh and new brakes.

Fab, I can pass big rigs on the 5 from SF to LA at 80 mph if I want to without spilling a drop of my coffee. We go over the Grapevine at 55mph. My mileage was supposed to increase 20% but it hasnt changed from the previous 6.5 really. However the power increase is much safer. It was very scary to drive on the Interstates before.

I have replaced nearly every mechanical part on the coach now. I will post another message in the next couple of days with full details of what happened and when and how much. It will be of value and I woulod appreciate any thoughts and expereince of others.

Best wishes

Will Henshall
willy@williamhenshall.com
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Old 04-16-2002, 05:33 PM   #3
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Will,
According to your post, the 89 345 was a carburated unit. What kind of ignition system do you have?
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Old 04-16-2002, 06:33 PM   #4
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Will -

How much did the Banks system, including the needles in carb and advancement of ignition run you? I am extremely interested in this for my coach . . .
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Old 04-16-2002, 07:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by eraffety
Will -

How much did the Banks system, including the needles in carb and advancement of ignition run you? I am extremely interested in this for my coach . . .
Hi

I bought the Banks system directly from Banks themselves. I got the whole caboodle, it was around 1800 bucks. They recommended a fitter near here (ABC Muffler in Benetia) and shipped the system directly to them.

ABC charged me 600 bucks to fit it. They did a good job, although didnt know about the lean mixture issue, or the advance the timing 2 degs issue. The coach went much better as soon as the new system was on...however...

...I called Banks about the now terrible gas mileage (4mpg) and they told me about these 2 things. I then had a complete run around to find anyone who knew about 454 carbs. I finally found an eccentric "Dead Head" hippy mechanic somewhere in Marin who specializes in vintage carb rebuilds (I mean 30s and 40s vintage...) and he was able to find the new needles and figure out what to do to make the mixture richer. This is complete try it and see stuff. There are about 20 different needles made for the 454 carbs...he charged me a very reasonable 75 bucks, although I fixed up his computer for him at the same time, heh fair trade etc...

I hope I pass smog next year...

Anyway he couldnt advance the timing so I went to Oakland Truck Center who did this as part of another job they were doing. This was likely to have cost 50 bucks maybe...

Ans to Peter's question I have an MSD ignition system on there.

This makes a big differnce too. I also found replacing the distributer and all spark cables and plugs helped alot. I used stock GM parts for this.

It has been a labor of love to get this engine running as well as it now does. Touch wood it is now running absolutely wonderfully.

I cannot recommend the Banks system for this machine highly enough.

I can cruise at 85 towing a Suzuki Samurai if I want too (not realy recommended...) but I could, and the acceleration is not too bad considering it is an 11 ton or so piece of machinary...

Other things that have made a HUGE difference to the power - change the gas filters often. Airstream say every 15,000 I would say every 5 to 8,000 if you go to Mexico ever <grin> I might get to checking how much crud is in the bottom of my fuel tank too at some point soon.

Will Henshall
willy@williamhenshall.com
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Old 04-16-2002, 11:18 PM   #6
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345 and hills

Hi Fred
I just now saw your message. Good to hear from you.
The problem I had was one of simple maintenance. At my last oil change, I had the tech check the belts and hoses and anything else that he could see. He said that everything looked OK.
Since I didn't have any record of when the plugs, wires, or gas filters had been changed, I should have changed them at home weeks ago. I did not.
My problem on the way home from the rally was one clogged fuel filter and one broken. or at least frayed, plug wire.
I had all of the above changed. After i did that, the coach, as my Granny used to say, ran like a striped ass ape.
Besides, Dr Joe and Winn have expressed an interest in the coach and every thing needs to be up in ship shape.
As for speed, I try to keep it at about 62 mph for better mpg.
Don't tell Peter that I drive at such a reasonable speed.
Cliff WBCCI #6960
PS I do have the extra fuel pump in front of the gas tank.
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Old 04-18-2002, 09:42 AM   #7
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The 345 pictured looks terrific. Is that satellite dish on the roof, or is that a trick of perspective in the photo?
I am not endorsing them,( although I have gotten terrific service form them) but CampingWorld has both the Banks systems, and the Jacob's Electronics in their catalogue, and are quite reasonable for installation if you are lucky enought to be near one of their stores.
The Banks runs 1255-2215 plus installation fee for President's Club members (10% off ) for gas models.
The Jacob's is 395.10 plus 138 to install.
They also offer the other lesser expensive versions of the Banks, like the Stinger, and the Git-Kit.
I would love to hear from someone who has the Hedman headers, or some others experiences. I hope to get one of these systems down the road (literally), but they can be cost prohibitive
for some of us on a bit more of a budget.
Once again- I have no affiliation with Camping World- I have just been satisfied with their service in my three or four contacts with them.
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Old 04-18-2002, 09:52 AM   #8
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Alan,

I have the headdman headers with flowmaster mufflers and I have gobs of power. So much in fact the barells on I-10 didn't even slow me down! The PO installed it, so I do not have a cost.
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Old 04-18-2002, 10:31 AM   #9
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Thanks Brett- did you see the Argosy on Ebay? Looks pretty good I think.
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Old 04-18-2002, 11:42 AM   #10
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Sounds

Is your system on Deisel or Gas and do you notice any extra noise. That is what we are looking into but would love to hear from someone as to the noise factor.
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Old 04-18-2002, 11:50 AM   #11
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Cool

my Argosy has a 454 gas engine, I do not know if it is louder than factory, it does sound a little deeper than most exaust systems that I have heard.
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Old 04-18-2002, 12:45 PM   #12
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I think the 454's are loud anyway- it is an older design big v-8 after all. Mine has OEM type exhaust which is still in good shape at this point, and it is fairly loud.
Having heard the Banks in action...it has the one exhaust pipe available which makes even a more throaty tuned sound.
For me the exhaust replacement is a future project...
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Old 04-18-2002, 12:52 PM   #13
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Louder?

Is the 454 louder than the turbo Deisel? Although since we found the bad intake manifold gasket ours is much quieter for sure.
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