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Old 05-30-2006, 01:33 AM   #15
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I thought I got a bad tank of gas. My motor was running rough all weekend, but I decided to start poking around to see if anything was wrong. Since I had my camera with me, I thought I'd show all y'all some things to look for:

1. Here's what you see when you take off the air filter housing:

2. The first thing I noticed was the #8 spark plug wire laying across the header:

3. It was pretty burned and cracked:

4. Then I lifted the dist. cap and found this - that can't be right:

5. There's a little contact that goes from the coil (in the top of the dist) to the rotor (big white thing in picture). Here's the old and new:
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Old 05-30-2006, 01:52 AM   #16
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My little tune up.

6. Here's what you see when you take off the rotor:

7. I'm holding the condenser and the ignition module:

8. Here's $180 worth of parts from NAPA: spark plugs, spark plug wires, dist. cap, coil, rotor, ignition module, condenser, and a wire loom set.

9. Here's the new ignition module, condenser, and then rotor:

10. I routed the spark plug wires so they didn't rest on the headers:

11. This is what it looks like before you lower the doghouse:


If you're like me, a picture is worth a thousand words. I've never done this before, but it was pretty easy. I replaced several parts that were working fine, but by reading this forum, I've learned to keep them as spares. Now I have an extra coil, ign. module, and condenser.

-Kevin
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Old 05-30-2006, 02:17 AM   #17
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I'm looking at these pictures again, and I'm realizing that I'm really lucky this motor was running at all. This is a close up of the rotor, and the hunk of metal that was jammed in the rotor...

...making contact with the cap by scraping away a contact area.


PS- I can't edit my first post, but when I said "you" It was plural; as in not just directed at ALANSD, but for anyone taking on this little tune up.
-Kevin
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Old 05-30-2006, 06:09 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outofcontrol
PS- I can't edit my first post, but when I said "you" It was plural; as in not just directed at ALANSD, but for anyone taking on this little tune up.
-Kevin
Kevin, I fixed it, in the finest tradition of Southern language.
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Old 05-30-2006, 06:50 AM   #19
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So you guys still have to do "tune ups." Oh how dark the dark ages must be for you.
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Old 05-30-2006, 08:13 AM   #20
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Kevin,
Nice job & great pics. Looks like the contact button killed itself in there at some point. Also, the number 8 is a good one to burn up (I burned up two). One word of advice on the wires, keep those NAPAs for as long as they work, but consider spending even more money and going with a high temp racing wireset. I use Accel 9000 and haven't burned a boot of wire in two years. They are made for high heat applications and have ceramic coated boots. You can get them from Jegs or PepBoys or anywhere.

Seems like you're where I was a couple of years back. I ended up replacing the entire distributor, coil, cap, wires, etc. along with a carb rebuild, fuel pumpes, blah blah blah....lot's of stuff.

The good news is that you already have headers on there so the more you do to improve fuel/air/spark the better the performance/mileage improvements you'll see over a stock exhaust.

Quote:
So you guys still have to do "tune ups." Oh how dark the dark ages must be for you.
Oh that's really funny.
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Old 05-30-2006, 08:23 AM   #21
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Good photos ....I also went with the Accel wires, and then even wrapped a couple that were very close to the manifolds. These still seemed to need extra protection. The Jacobs ceramic wires are the way to go, but not cheap.
Mine has had the wire looms and guides and I always check to be sure they are routed right.
If you haven't yet protected your starter wireing I would also consider doing that. You can get the thermal wrap from Ebay or a parts house and protect those critical wires from stranding you with a dead starting system.
I have had trouble free starting for three yrs now. Ahhhhhh...
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Old 05-30-2006, 08:30 AM   #22
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Excellent point on the starter wires. Mine burned through on a trip and I spent three hours under the Moho in a very hot rest stop in Florida one June rigging it up to start and run.


Quote:
I have had trouble free starting for three yrs now. Ahhhhhh...
You know you just "put the whammy on yourself" with that one.
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Old 05-30-2006, 10:12 AM   #23
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GM engine tuneup

The pics are great. You may have waited too long to check your engine. You mention all the parts replaced but there is a few "tricks" for a good job.
The distributor is best removed from engine. Reinstalling is not a difficult task. Some times the distributor can be rusted/corroded in place. Better to free the unit now than on the hiway.
It is a good practice to check and oil the mechanical shafts and linkage for the advance mechanism. A vacuum test of the vacuum advance diaphram is required for performance and economy. When replacing the ignition modual, the smooth machined surface in the distributor should be very clean. It is very important that heat sink silicone be placed onto back of ignition modual. Heat will destroy a modual. Setting the timing on a gas engine is mostly a personal preference. I have installed many ignition controls that can alter ignition timing at drivers seat. The timing can be changed about 15 degrees either before TDC or after. Low octane fuel with advance timing is not a good situation 3especially on long hills.
Silicone spray or WD40 is good to use on plug wires into cap and onto plugs. These sprays allow for easy removal at a later time. It is a good practice to put anti seize on all the spark plugs before installing into engine.
And all engines need a compression test to determine engine internal compression/condition. Replacing parts is good but for the most bang for a buck, care and workmanship is paramount. Frank
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Old 05-30-2006, 12:21 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swebster
You know you just "put the whammy on yourself" with that one.
"Maybe its the good whammy" as my smooth running had been very pleasurable for quite some time.
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Old 05-30-2006, 12:31 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankR
The pics are great. You may have waited too long to check your engine.
Thanks Frank, I've had this coach for 5 weeks now, and I've spent every weekend in it! So much to do/improve/update. I have some hi-temp wrap, I think I'll wrap some wires this week.

I did all the things you said, even anti-sieze on the plugs. I didn't test the vacuume advance or pull the whole distributor. I think I have a vacuume hand pump for testing the advance. Do I have to set the timing if I pull the whole dist. out for inspection/lubrication?

Quote:
Originally Posted by swebster
The good news is that you already have headers on there so the more you do to improve fuel/air/spark the better the performance/mileage improvements you'll see over a stock exhaust.
I thought the PO said these were aftermarket headers, but when I saw the air pump and leads off the header, I assumed it was stock. Is there any performance gains by removing the air pump and plugging the header leads?

Next winter I want to find a donor motor 87-89 454 TBI system and convert to FI. I figure at that time, I'll employ some sort of variable timing system. I'd rather spend my time learning EFI than how to tune this carb. Although I'll most likely dive into it before then. I'm getting about 8 with my 2500lb. 6x12 enclosed trailer, and about 9 without, so I think I'm in the ball-park. I have 61k miles, and I think she's throwing around her weight pretty good.

-Kevin
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Old 05-30-2006, 12:55 PM   #26
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Kevin,
You will need to re-time if you pull the distributor. One note, you can time off of number 5 using the timing marks on the bottom of the engine (they put them there as you can get to the stock position). You can check the advance and vacumm without removing it but if you want to check everything then a pull is pretty easy....just mark everything. I replaced my distributor in an AutoZone parking lot one night...no biggie.

I've not seen headers with the AIR injectors before. In fact, I didn't even think the AIR systems were on your year moho. They are either a very good upgrade specifically for your application (Gibson? Banks?) or they were customized. I had the injectors in my stock manifolds. They looked like cigar tubes and entered the head stopping just short of the exhaust valves. I ended up removing all of the plumbing when I went to aftermarket headers.

I would have to say that removing all of that turbulence in the exhaust improved performance. I get a consistant 8 - 9 mpg on my 345 since making all of these changes and I'm running a stock (rebuilt) carb.
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Old 05-30-2006, 01:37 PM   #27
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I'll pull the dist. tonight after I buy a timing light.

I'm thinking that the air pump has to put some sort of drag on the motor, and those tubes sticking into the flow right out of the head has to disrupt the flow in the headers. Isn't the smooth flow of exhaust through the header critical to the performance benefits of the header? It seems counter-intuitive to have a big straw disrupting flow in such a critical area. I wonder if it was added to correct a problem, or to meet EPA standards for a particular state.

Do you think removing this whole system will have any adverse effect on the performance of my motor? The purpose of it is to help burn any unburned fuel in the exhaust right? This system is not used anymore?

This seems like a free performance modification to me.

-Kevin
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Old 05-30-2006, 02:00 PM   #28
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Yes on everything...but you may find it easier to replace those headers with aftermarkets rather than try to remove and re-weld those tubes.

Got mine from Jeg's for about $150. Made for the 454 in P30 motorhome applications.
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