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Old 09-17-2012, 08:58 PM   #57
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FYI...
California smog test on my 1987 Suburban 454 with TBI and a RV cam, 3 speed TH400 trans... not that different to a M/H.
Also has a at least 40k miles old 3" Magnaflow hiflow cat and catback system...
Note this is the tougher ASE test, on the rollers, not the idle test that motorhomes need to pass.

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Old 09-18-2012, 06:43 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keyair
FYI...
California smog test on my 1987 Suburban 454 with TBI and a RV cam, 3 speed TH400 trans... not that different to a M/H.
Also has a at least 40k miles old 3" Magnaflow hiflow cat and catback system...
Note this is the tougher ASE test, on the rollers, not the idle test that motorhomes need to pass.
Here on the front range of Colorado, I have to take mine in for annual diesel emissions testing ($100) They do it on a dynamometer (rollers) and it has to pass standards for 14,000 lb GVW vehicles which are tougher than for pickups. I have to take it in next week and have my fingers crossed. It passed last year. Since then I've installed the Banks Powerpack. It runs visibly cleaner so I have high hopes.

I've done several retrofits of modern drivetrains into classic vehicles. Mostly Ford 5.0L sequential electronic fuel injection (SEFI) HO engine/transmission which directly replace the venerable 302. I believe in using the complete system as it was used in the donor vehicle. A little effort and patience in finding the right donor vehicle can be a very cost effective option. I paid $1400 for a very clean wrecked 2000 5.0L Explorer with 65,000 miles on it. The drivetrain went into 68 Mustang convertible.

I would look for the newest version of the 454 in a suitable donor vehicle.

IMO, the bolt on TBFI systems are not any better than a good carb for power or economy. And they tend to cost as much or more than a wrecked donor vehicle with a good drivetrain.
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Old 09-23-2012, 11:53 AM   #59
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1992 30' Airstream 30
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Originally Posted by dadstoy View Post
Andy, it's great to hear from some new voices out there! Thanks for sharing. I would be interested in some more info on the cam you used. Are you carbureted or do you have FI? I'm also curious if you are registered in Calif since you mentioned the Grapevine. Did you have any smog test issues?

Thanks
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Call Ed at EB Racing in Lancaster, CA and see if he can dig up the specs on the "RV" cam he put in. "Andy Leonard, 1992 300LE." Ed has a roller dyno that takes motorhomes and trucks and - for fun - he has the local truck clubs come in and do dyno pulls. When he picked a cam, I said "yessir." No idea what it was, but I wasn't about to second-guess him.

Stock injection system, except the new motor wanted the bigger (502?) injectors and a bigger in-tank pump to drive them. As I recall, he put a pressure restrictor in line to keep the fuel pressure from getting out of hand, but the stock setup wouldn't cut it with the flowed heads and cam. This is one of the "budget buster" items I referred to in my original post.

Fuel mileage - once everything settled down - is actually a little better than before. I'm almost always towing something different and I'm usually on my way to a race, so mpg is variable, but we ran solo to Tucson from L.A. the other day and were over 10 leaving the city at 55-60 and 8.x running in the desert at 75-85 with the gennie running both ACs. The acceleration - as you might imagine - is remarkable (fun) for something this heavy and I attribute the mileage "improvement" to needing a smaller throttle opening at cruise due to increased head flow and headers.

It was smogged when I picked it up and I haven't had it done again yet, so...
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Old 10-07-2012, 12:04 PM   #60
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I love watching the Saturday auto shows and this last week on Horsepower TV, they finished up their 351 Cleveland and 351 Windsor builds. I've always been a fan of the 351 and I have the Windsor in my '95 F150.

On the Cleveland build, they dyno tested the 2 and 4 barrel heads. The main difference is the port size and shape, similar to the difference in the various Chevy big block heads. Once again, they proved that bigger is not always better. See the attached torque graph. They stated that for a street engine with maximum revs of 6000, the heads with smaller ports out performed the head with larger ports in both torque and horsepower.

I know this might be a stretch to compare the Ford 351 to the Chevy 454, sort of like comparing apples to oranges. But apples and oranges do both grow from trees! It shows me again that understanding the application of the engine is important in achieving the desired torque and horsepower. That which works well for a NASCAR engine or for the drag strip is not necessarily a wise choice for a street engine or in my case a Motorhome engine!
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Old 10-07-2012, 01:10 PM   #61
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I agree with you Dean.
Its important to remember it is just an air pump.

My opinion based on many hours of research is if I ever do some mods on a BBC for motorhome/towing use would be this.

If I was rebuilding a motor, I would go with a 0.250" stroker kit from Eagle, which you can find on Ebay for about $1200, which includes everything, Crank, rods, hypereutectic pistons, balancer, flexplate, ARP bolts, and bearings.

Eagle Bbc Stroker 496 Balanced Rotating Assembly 454 60 over | eBay

The pistons would need to be matched to the head chamber size to get the CR right.
The heads I would use would be most probably the larger 781 or 049 oval port heads, which I would upgrade to 2.19/1.88 valves, with a good pocket port job.
The word is that the 781 castings have a larger port runner which in theory could hurt low rev torque, but that would be balanced by the extra cu...
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:25 PM   #62
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My 2 cents, good plug wires, good plugs, hot ignition module, keep the stock peanut heads ( smaller valves help torque from idle to about 4000 rpm max, and help fuel mileage). the other 454 heads are about horsepower higher in the rev range. 650 or 600 cfm Holley vacuum secondary 4150( so you can have TPI for your 4l80e) or smaller if possible, *with very free flowing cold air system*. Four row radiator. additional oil cooler, additional transmission cooler, misplace the smog tubes and pumps, etc. Banks or Doug Thorley small diameter long tube headers into single 3" exhaust with 2 free flowing mufflers exiting drivers side. overdrive transmission. 80lbs in the tires all around. If you have to get into the engine an RV Hydraulic roller cam with torque from idle to 4000rpm, clean up overbore only, flat top pistons stay under 8.6 to 1 compression. Or put in a 366 ci truck engine with a stroker crank for about 396 ci ( same chevy block). I want a stump puller not a 'Vette. Drive 55, try not to go over 3000rpm. Do not move to California, lol.:-)
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Old 10-13-2012, 11:26 AM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LimeyRich
My 2 cents, good plug wires, good plugs, hot ignition module, keep the stock peanut heads ( smaller valves help torque from idle to about 4000 rpm max, and help fuel mileage). the other 454 heads are about horsepower higher in the rev range. 650 or 600 cfm Holley vacuum secondary 4150( so you can have TPI for your 4l80e) or smaller if possible, *with very free flowing cold air system*. Four row radiator. additional oil cooler, additional transmission cooler, misplace the smog tubes and pumps, etc. Banks or Doug Thorley small diameter long tube headers into single 3" exhaust with 2 free flowing mufflers exiting drivers side. overdrive transmission. 80lbs in the tires all around. If you have to get into the engine an RV Hydraulic roller cam with torque from idle to 4000rpm, clean up overbore only, flat top pistons stay under 8.6 to 1 compression. Or put in a 366 ci truck engine with a stroker crank for about 396 ci ( same chevy block). I want a stump puller not a 'Vette. Drive 55, try not to go over 3000rpm. Do not move to California, lol.:-)
I think this is all good advice. Only thing is, I'm sort of stuck with that California thing! LOL.
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Old 10-13-2012, 11:55 AM   #64
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After reading up on "practical" performance/fuel economy mods for RV engines and seeing that some here have installed or are going to install the Edelbrock Performer intake manifold, I was about to look for one. I pulled out my "How to Build Max-Performance Chevy Big-Blocks on a Budget" book written by David Vizard to see what he had to say. Well my excitement changed to disappointment. Vizard specifically writes about the the two plane Q-Jet replacement manifolds and states that with all his dyno testing, these mana folds actually show a loss of HP and torque in the lower rpm range. He states that because of their low profile design in order to fit under the hood, that the runners must make sharp, tight turns which decreases air flow. So to make up for this the runners have been enlarged. This reduces port velocity at lower RPMs. He states these manifolds only show a performance increase about 3500 RPMs and a decrease below that. He states another problem is that with the advantages of a dual plane, one big disadvantage is that each cylinder is only feed by two barrels of a four barrel carburetor hence any stock carb may not be adequate.

He does state that the air gap style manifolds do a great job but again I think this is in the little higher rpm range. And these intakes are not street legal and they will not fit under a MH doghouse.

Given that my 454 cruises down the highway at around 3000 RPMs, climbs mountains around 3000-3500 RPMs and only sees 3800/3900 RPMs when downshifting on the steep grades, I think the Performer intake would be a waste of money and a loss of performance.
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Old 10-15-2012, 01:10 PM   #65
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I read this thread as I am looking for an engine hoist to buy. Pulling the 454 out of my 'Silver Bullet' hopefully starting sometime next week.
What my plan is:
Hydraulic roller cam kit
bore block to next piston size
Stoker kit
high output oil pump
new radiator (aluminum?)
new fan clutch
new aluminum high output water pump
rebuild/replace A/C compressor
rebuild/replace PS pump
new 140A alternator
new hoses
And more I'm sure.
I'll keep my EFI and the 4L80E

Just thought I needed something to do this winter in my man cave. I hope this goes smother that the 4L80E installation of last winter!
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Old 10-15-2012, 01:21 PM   #66
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Sounds great!
I would go for the minimum overbore, as wall thickness is more important that max cubes...
The stroker kit makes sense, but I not sure if forged pistons would be a blessing or a curse, as they need more clearance... but are more heat and pressure safe...
I would look at roller rockers too, as they reduce friction, and sideload on the valves...

Cant wait for your build thread!!!
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Old 10-15-2012, 03:16 PM   #67
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Finally found a fix to a problem that we have had since we bought the 310 a couple of years ago. It has a 454 with a carburetor. It has always had a vapor lock problem that would show up only when then engine was fully warmed up after about a half hour of driving. It would run all day on the highway and had no problems going up long hills. The problem would show up when I took my foot off the gas, like coming off the freeway. After that, it would do okay in slow traffic, but when I hit the gas again to go up a hill or get back on the freeway, it would act like it was running out of gas. As long as I was rolling fast enough, it would eventually catch and run fine.

Before our last trip I wrapped the hard fuel line from the mechanical fuel pump to the carb. Problem is gone. Apparently that line was soaking up enough heat from the water pump and heat coming out of the radiator to vaporize the fuel.
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Old 10-15-2012, 03:35 PM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waipio Rim
Finally found a fix to a problem that we have had since we bought the 310 a couple of years ago. It has a 454 with a carburetor. It has always had a vapor lock problem that would show up only when then engine was fully warmed up after about a half hour of driving. It would run all day on the highway and had no problems going up long hills. The problem would show up when I took my foot off the gas, like coming off the freeway. After that, it would do okay in slow traffic, but when I hit the gas again to go up a hill or get back on the freeway, it would act like it was running out of gas. As long as I was rolling fast enough, it would eventually catch and run fine.

Before our last trip I wrapped the hard fuel line from the mechanical fuel pump to the carb. Problem is gone. Apparently that line was soaking up enough heat from the water pump and heat coming out of the radiator to vaporize the fuel.
Great find and fix! What did you use for the wrap?
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Old 10-15-2012, 10:05 PM   #69
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Great find and fix! What did you use for the wrap?
One thing that I tried along the way was wrapping the right side header wherever it came close to the fuel lines. That didn't help, but I had some material left over so I used it to wrap the fuel line. It was kind of a shade tree fix that involved zip ties and pulling the wrap up to the top of the engine with the handle of a fly swatter, but it did work. There are better products out there.
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Old 10-15-2012, 10:18 PM   #70
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Do you still have the wrap on the header?
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