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Old 12-15-2005, 02:01 PM   #15
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Well, a rebuilt engine is NOT the same as a new engine! What your drummer (That's why he's the drummer!) is forgetting is that a rebuilt engine has bored piston holes - virtually always at least "30 over". Often on a big block Chevrolet in a "potential high heat" application, that's ALL it needs, even if you had THE same engine rebuilt, to make it run hot. Also, MANY of the "rebuild shops" hire nothing more than trained monkeys to do MUCH if not ALL of the subassembly work. . .

On the other hand, an off the shelf "new" engine can have myriad problems too. These are often assembled by trained UNION monkeys; example - the last Chevrolet Crate 350 motor I installed tossed a rod after 6000 miles. Upon disassembly, I found after mic'ing the piston holes that EACH & EVERY ONE of 'em was a different bore size!

Regarding diesel, that's a VERY "personal" decision. Personally, I have no use for 'em - high initial conversion cost (Don't forget that you'll probably have to change out your genset too!), they STINK, you can NOT fill up a diesel fuel tank without getting it all over your hands and shoes, diesel fuel is AS much if not MORE than (regular) gasoline (albeit with better mileage #'s), they're LOUD, and finally, there's 58 KNOWN carcinogens emitted by diesel exhaust. Yeah, subsequent rebuilds are cheaper than a gas engine, but who wants to go through THIS again?!

What *I* would do if I were you is to buy a Sallee Chevrolet "Extreme 4X4" brand new 454 "crate" engine. I'd get all the "upgrades" they list as options for the engine, INCLUDING a dyno/break-in run. That way, if anything DOES go wrong (at least initially) - even something minor like leak(s), it's out of the vehicle, and THEY will fix it before they ship it to you. Here's a link to the website - let us know what you decide:
http://www.sallee-chevrolet.com/Chev...treme_4x4.html
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Old 12-15-2005, 02:04 PM   #16
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The diesel idea is a good one if it fits the budget. Mileage may not be a lot better, but it will definitely go a lot more miles than the gas engine. Maintenance might cost you a bit more...its all up to what you can and will do.
A good warranteed 454 rebuilt is not a bad choice for most of us, but a brand new crate engine with full warranty is even better.
The gas vs diesel choice will come down to money as it will cost more to install, etc.
If it were mine, I would go with the gas crate engine. Fuel injected, more power,etc.
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Old 12-15-2005, 05:54 PM   #17
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Logan,
You are touching on a lot of topics and while your drummer is right in some respects - the devil is in the details.

Yes a rebuilt can be built well on a fully inspected, re-machined perfectly fine block with all new components and run as long as a new motor. The trick is, not all rebuilds are the same. While there are many sources for quality rebuilts out there there are also many bargains that are not such a good deal. Typically you would be looking for something from a brand name rebuilder with a warrantee for your application (in a motorhome). New is expensive, but you have new everything and a great warrantee to boot.

A deisel swap can be done but it's a BIG and EXPENSIVE project. Motor, accesories, mounts, tranny, fuel system, not to mention what will you run the generator on, etc. A few forum members have done it and can speak to the pros/cons/costs. I've been looking at it on and off myself when my motor gives it up but every time I run the numbers it's just cheaper to put a gasser back in there. If I had extra cash to throw at it then I would go diesel but I don't and I won't so there.

Don't forget about all of the little things you'll need to think about during this replacement. While it's out you should seriously consider replacing the accessories, water pump, radiator, etc. Yes more money now, but less labor hours in the long run. Also, as Alan mentioned, think about upgrading to fuel injection and headers. More power, better economy, etc. Keeping in mind that those "While you're there" items can add up make sure you set a budget for everything including remove and replace labor hours.
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Old 12-15-2005, 05:55 PM   #18
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they STINK, you can NOT fill up a diesel fuel tank without getting it all over your hands and shoes, diesel fuel is AS much if not MORE than (regular) gasoline (albeit with better mileage #'s), they're LOUD, and finally, there's 58 KNOWN carcinogens emitted by diesel exhaust. Yeah, subsequent rebuilds are cheaper than a gas engine, but who wants to go through THIS again?!

Please let's not get into a diesel vs gas ruckus here but I must set the record straight. My new diesel engine is just as quiet as any of your gas engines. I smell no fumes. I Can fill my tank, take off my gloves and wash my hands with out a lingering odor. I wear sandals and my toes never get soaked with diesel fuel. Modern diesel engines are designed to emit less exhaust and be cleaner than a gas engine plus with the coming of bio-diesel our exhaust will be even cleaner. I get 15 mpg without trying day in and day out. What he will encounter is a slower vehicle, more torque but less speed, longer engine life, and higher re-sale value if her decides to sell his motor home. It's a matter of choice both engines have their strong and weak points. He needs to gather as many facts as possible before choosing.
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Old 12-15-2005, 05:59 PM   #19
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Exclamation Not quite!~

Let me start by saying that I would buy the new “crate” engine from GM.

However, to try to help Logan, I must point out the following. Jasper engines (rebuilt) actually carry a better warranty than a new GM engine. The last I looked (around 1993) the GM engine had a 50,000 mile warranty and the Jasper was 70,000 miles. Additionally, the Jasper reputation for rebuilds is excellent. Their shop is operating room clean.

But the clincher is the Jasper service network. If you install a rebuild and it fails under warranty, you can stop at any authorized Jasper dealer and they do the service work. Say you live in Tennessee and are on a trip to Indiana and the unthinkable happens – stop by a Jasper dealer in Indiana and they will fix it free of charge (they get reimbursed by Jasper).

I installed a Jasper 4.3 L in a Chevrolet ½ ton truck and sold it after clocking 211,000 miles. That was 3 years ago and the friend I sold it to is still driving it.

Simply some food for thought from a retired Axleman.

Happy Holidays,
Henry
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Old 12-15-2005, 06:05 PM   #20
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Henry has a good point. I looked up a Jasper 454 for the P30/Motorhome and it was listed at $4200. It required the replacement of the oil cooler to get the warrentee. (In some cases this may be part of the radiator - like in mine)

Jasper Engines & Transmissions at 1-800-827-7455.

One note on the warrantee. It's a 75,000 - 36 month deal. My bet is you would gain more from a longer warrantee with fewer miles since most motorhomes don't crank out 25,000 miles a year. Of course your actual mileage may vary.
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Old 12-15-2005, 06:32 PM   #21
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just for the record

As for diesels, last night I had a last-minute customer with a VW Jetta, that required a quick repair. I jumped in, turned the key, threw the transmission into gear, and shot into the first available bay in the shop.
After getting out, and walking behind the car, I noticed a small chrome tag on the deck lid. This chrome tag had three letters, and thouroughly suprised me, as those letters spelled out "TDI". A quick check of the fuel gauge confirmed this, as it was labeled "DIESEL FUEL ONLY". I reached back in, and restarted the car. I heard the faintest knocking from under the hood, and no fumes. Truck diesels are another story as far as noise, but not as much as you would think from past performance.
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Old 12-15-2005, 06:50 PM   #22
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Lightbulb Oops!

Quote:
Originally Posted by swebster
One note on the warrantee. It's a 75,000 - 36 month deal. My bet is you would gain more from a longer warrantee with fewer miles since most motorhomes don't crank out 25,000 miles a year. Of course your actual mileage may vary.
Steven,

Great addition. It has been a while since I looked at the Jasper line up.

Regards,
Henry
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Old 12-19-2005, 01:33 PM   #23
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Wow, well that is a LOT of good info! I have been talking with people I know and doing some serious "soul searching" and I think I am leaning toward a gas engine; mainly because of initial cost/labor. The things that I would have to change in order to make this work would add up to be more time and money than I think we can afford.

I am definately going to look into the Jasper that you mentioned! That really does sound like it could be a good deal; as mentioned I will have to weigh the time vs milage warantee. Being that this rig is used mostly as a tourbus and less as a recreational (or personal) vehicle I would imagine that it might see a few more miles than a typical "mom rv" that gets driven to some vacation spot once or twice a year.

I realise that none of you will be doing the actual work on my machine but just as a side note, I was thinking (since I can not actually replace a 900lb engine myself) that I might be able to save a few $$ if I do a majority of the "dismantle" prior and the re-assembly after things are installed (radiator, pumps, exhaust, fuel lines, perhaps heads, etc. etc.). I would suppose it would depend on the mechanic I go to...but it seems logical. It also seems logical that they will try to screw me either way.

Well I will be doing more research and I'm sure asking more questions! Your responses are fantastic thanks!!

-Logan
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Old 12-19-2005, 01:49 PM   #24
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Pictures...

IF you decide to dismantle the motor yourself - take LOTS of pictures of hose routing, mounting brackets, etc. When doing my Astro, it helped immensly to have these to reference later. I'm not sure how much you'd save, as taking it apart is the easy part.... but again, you should check around.

Check around on prices for the accessories. You may save (buying online - try partsamerica.com or others) by buying the alternator, powersteering pump, belts, waterpump, etc yourself and supplying them to the mechanic. Remember, he/she needs to feed the family, so "screwing you" really isn't intention, rather, it's the going price of doing labor.

Good Luck and keep us posted!
Marc

Hey - Summitracing sells a GM Parts crate HO 454 for $4800! I'd call to make sure it's right for Motorhomes, but the specs are pretty good!
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Old 12-19-2005, 01:49 PM   #25
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Just a thought

Quote:
Originally Posted by pillageTHENburn
Wow, well that is a LOT of good info! I have been talking with people I know and doing some serious "soul searching" and I think I am leaning toward a gas engine; mainly because of initial cost/labor. The things that I would have to change in order to make this work would add up to be more time and money than I think we can afford.

I am definately going to look into the Jasper that you mentioned! That really does sound like it could be a good deal; as mentioned I will have to weigh the time vs milage warantee. Being that this rig is used mostly as a tourbus and less as a recreational (or personal) vehicle I would imagine that it might see a few more miles than a typical "mom rv" that gets driven to some vacation spot once or twice a year.

I realise that none of you will be doing the actual work on my machine but just as a side note, I was thinking (since I can not actually replace a 900lb engine myself) that I might be able to save a few $$ if I do a majority of the "dismantle" prior and the re-assembly after things are installed (radiator, pumps, exhaust, fuel lines, perhaps heads, etc. etc.). I would suppose it would depend on the mechanic I go to...but it seems logical. It also seems logical that they will try to screw me either way.

Well I will be doing more research and I'm sure asking more questions! Your responses are fantastic thanks!!

-Logan
Just a thought... I've been through this before with an engine replacement. If you can possibly afford it, get the installing shop to do the WHOLE job. At least that way if there's a problem, it's their baby and not yours. Besides, I suspect they are going to get the money one way or another .

Tim
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