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Old 08-16-2006, 10:16 AM   #99
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What is the story on US 221 to HH? The directions on the link said it was not suitable for RV use. I take that to mean narrow, steep, and curvey. I tried Rt 58 to Hillsville once and I was expelling square aluminum bricks the whole way from Martinesville. 221 is not even as wide as 58, or so my map says.

It does look like it would be a great test for your GV unit Tim. Hard on the nerves though.

Steve
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Old 08-16-2006, 11:09 AM   #100
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Originally Posted by Geophilist
What is the story on US 221 to HH? The directions on the link said it was not suitable for RV use. I take that to mean narrow, steep, and curvey. I tried Rt 58 to Hillsville once and I was expelling square aluminum bricks the whole way from Martinesville. 221 is not even as wide as 58, or so my map says.

It does look like it would be a great test for your GV unit Tim. Hard on the nerves though.

Steve
Steve,
The climb up US 221 is curvy and steep, but it is 3 lanes for the entire climb. (two up one down) The climb up the Blueridge Parkway is more gradual. But, the Parkway has its share of curves. Either way you have to climb Bent Mountain. (if you look US221 and the Parkway have almost the same curves) We have done both ways and I like to take our Overlander up via US 221 but I would rather go down via Blueridge Parkway. Either way it takes about 40 minutes from Roanoke/Salem
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Old 08-23-2006, 07:50 PM   #101
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So.... ah, Tim.... where've you been? Out testin' the GV this past week? It's been so quiet here. Any news on the latest and greatest in RPM reduction?
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Old 08-23-2006, 08:17 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by GlenCoombe
So.... ah, Tim.... where've you been? Out testin' the GV this past week? It's been so quiet here. Any news on the latest and greatest in RPM reduction?
Only one short run down to Outer Banks last weekend. GV was perfect. Shifts automatically, manually, or a combination of the two. My overdrive ratio is now 4.12 vs 5.29 before. That gave me a steady rpm of 2200 @ 57 mph. Outside temp was 90, so I was anxious to see if the GV helped any with the heat. It did. Temps ran between 185-205, generally @ 190. Had to run stop-and-go for over 50 miles ! (Learned never to go to Outer Banks on a weekend ). Needless to say, that killed my mileage, but I managed 6.6. Had to run the generator for over 4 hours because I took my elderly parents along and it was just too warm behind the driver/co-pilot seats. Dash AC on all the time. Covered about 200+ miles. Also got to run at 65 mph and 70 mph. At 65 I ran 2500 rpm, temp @ 190. At 70 I ran 2600 rpm, temp @ 195. One of the biggest surprises was the quiet ! The air compressor now makes more noise than the engine. Amazing.

I hadn't reported in yet because the trip was so atypical of how I usually travel in the Blimp. I always avoid stop-and-go traffic (unless I just can't), so I guess my ONLY disappointment was hitting that 50 mile stretch of bumper-to-bumper . I'm planning a few more runs (not to the Outer Banks ) in the next few weeks, and I'll post the results. I'm hoping for better mileage, but comparing to my last trip before the GV, I think she did fairly well.

So, what do you think?
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Old 08-24-2006, 06:41 AM   #103
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Well at first blush it sounds very interesting indeed. I'm concerned about the big jump from drive to OD though. Does the shift pattern give you double or single overdrive above D? As the GV is a true gear spliter the benefit is in shorter shifting to take advantage of the torque....yes?
I want OD relief but only about 500-650 rpm so as not to get into a lugging rpm range.
So, Tim, can you give us more of a blow by blow of the operation as you've found it? How big a drop in rpm's are you getting in your final shift? It would seem to be a great relief for your engine/tranny. Enquiring minds and all that?
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Old 08-24-2006, 09:51 AM   #104
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Originally Posted by GlenCoombe
Well at first blush it sounds very interesting indeed. I'm concerned about the big jump from drive to OD though. Does the shift pattern give you double or single overdrive above D? As the GV is a true gear spliter the benefit is in shorter shifting to take advantage of the torque....yes?
I want OD relief but only about 500-650 rpm so as not to get into a lugging rpm range.
So, Tim, can you give us more of a blow by blow of the operation as you've found it? How big a drop in rpm's are you getting in your final shift? It would seem to be a great relief for your engine/tranny. Enquiring minds and all that?
The OD gives you a single overdrive above D. Even my 5.29 couldn't handle a double. It would definitely be too high and lug the engine. You are correct in the GV giving you shorter shifting and that allowing you to take advantage of the torque. The underdrive gives me a gear above 1st, and another above 2nd. Adding the overdrive, that's a total of 6 gears vs the 3 I started with. In my limited usage so far, I can see the need for the underdrive gears climbing mountains, long grades, or towing. I did not need it in flat-land driving. Of course, you can choose any combination of gears at any time just by pushing a button on the floor. The shifting is quite smooth regardless of what you're using, and results in just about half the gap that is in the original tranny - a major improvement just by itself. There is not a big drop in rpms when it goes into overdrive (I'm getting about 600-700 rpms at 57 mph). When I found myself climbing an overpass during that time, I just left it in 3rd until I got enough speed to let it go into OD without lugging. Sounds a little complicated, but really was quite simple - once I did it a few times.

I think the major advantage for me, and I suspect for anyone with one of the Classics with a 3-speed, is the ability to run 65-70 at a good rpm range. If you're running 3000 rpms or higher at, say, 65 - then you could run that somewhere in the lower 2000s (the exact number depends on your axle ration, of course). That's where the benefit comes in running much more in your torque curve, less heat, wear on engine, tranny, and everything that is driven off the engine. If you are running 65 below 3000 rpms, you may not want to spend the money - IMHO. Remember that the gap between 3rd and OD is .22, since the OD ratio is .78. It's less than any gap you have in the stock 3-speed, but still enough to slow the revs down. If you have a typical Classic Chevy setup of about a 4.56 axle, the OD would put you at 3.56. That should still be plenty of rpms to stop you from lugging at interstate speeds. Of course, the lower your axle ratio, the more you need the relief of the OD gear. Remember that you can go to the stock 3rd at any time - accelerating or decelerating. It's very simple, and lets you control what's going on. If you were interstate driving, for example, and had to slow down to an rpm that you could tell was lugging, just pop the floor button and you're back in 3rd. What speeds do you normally run? (I'm assuming you're doing lots of 65-70 the way you use your coach.) What rpms are you getting at those speeds? (IMHO if you're 3000 or higher, you would really benefit from this OD.)

I'm not selling GV or USGear . My Blimp was simply reving way too fast at highway speeds. This has definitely fixed the problem.

What do you think? Now let's hear some of your figures .

Best,
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Old 08-24-2006, 11:39 AM   #105
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Tim, as I write... on I-20...I'm getting about 66mph at 3000 rpm with 15 inches of vacum about 185 on temp as today is still only mid 80's OAT and clowdy.

60 gives me 2750 at same vac / temp, 55 I'm at 2550 and 18 inches....but I'm grtting dirty looks from passing truckers.

70 = 3150-3200 12in/200 and it gets noisy as you know.

how about those pictures? I'd like to see the controls Tim, foot switch has me intreged.
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Old 08-24-2006, 01:01 PM   #106
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Originally Posted by GlenCoombe
Tim, as I write... on I-20...I'm getting about 66mph at 3000 rpm with 15 inches of vacum about 185 on temp as today is still only mid 80's OAT and clowdy.

60 gives me 2750 at same vac / temp, 55 I'm at 2550 and 18 inches....but I'm grtting dirty looks from passing truckers.

70 = 3150-3200 12in/200 and it gets noisy as you know.

how about those pictures? I'd like to see the controls Tim, foot switch has me intreged.
Glen,

Pictures are coming, probably in about a week and a half. I'm waiting to get the front end up on ramps for my routine tranny filter change so I can have enough room to take a few clear shots. The foot switch is just like the old headlight dimmer switches used to be - mounted so I can just tap my left foot to engage or disengage the GV unit. Another dash mounted lighted toggle switch for fully automatic (operates like a 4-speed - no UNDERdrive) or manual (you shift through the gears and GV goes through half gears and finally to OD as you manually shift the column shifter) - all 6 speeds. Again, sounds complicated, but very easy. I'll try to get those pics up today (if I can figure how to put pics on these forum postings ).

With your numbers, sounds like are right on the border-line about the need for a GV UNLESS you run, or need to run, 65-70 much of the time. If so, I strongly believe you would love it, but if less than 65 is a good speed for you I'd leave it alone. I always found 3000 rpms to be uncomfortable, but the 454 does develop its torque at a little higher rpm than the 460 (remembering that torque is fairly flat). Second decision is based on how often you climb and deal with the down-shifting required. If that happens very often, it would also be worth it, especially if you start heating up and can't quite find the right gear when you're doing mountains. None of this is to say you wouldn't be happy with a GV, and get use from it. But you are definitely not suffering from the severity of problems I had. Sounds like your axle ratio may be even higher than the 4.56 I mentioned?

How are you thinking with the info. so far?
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Old 08-24-2006, 06:22 PM   #107
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I believe my ratio is at least 4:10 but could be 3.73 though I'm less inclined to believe that is true. I cover all of NC/SC for my territory so my speed depends upon my locale. I try to be gone as little as my bank account can afford so with current gas prices I'm forced to work harder and more often afield... yes I know this is conterintuitive.
If I can demonstrate a ROI based upon the next twelve months of use then it will be a clear winner. The price of gas is not coming down.
It never occured to me to look for a GV used but for grins I eBayed it today.... what was your net cost Tim? The used unit is at $1800 and climbing!!!
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Old 08-24-2006, 06:32 PM   #108
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Glen,

With the speeds and rpms you quoted, I suspect you're right about being somewhere near 4.10. I can't imagine having one of these rigs with anything higher than that, so I also think you're correct that you don't have a 3.73. My Suburban is a 4.10 because the 3.73 wasn't rated to tow my 30' 7,500 lb. trailer. Anyway, I paid just at $2750 for my unit from GV with a PO thru Camping World to get a 10% discount. (2 year warranty) Figure $600-$800 for an install, if you want it done well. The shop that did mine took all 3 sections of the drive shaft off, so it could be balanced as a unit. I can tell the difference, even though I hadn't realized the vibration I had previously picked up had been from the drive shaft sections.

Keep me posted. I didn't make it to the pictures today, but I'll try again tomorrow.
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Old 08-26-2006, 07:43 AM   #109
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Aw YEAH BABEE!!!!

Been out on the road, just returning to read the great news. CONGRATULATIONS, NOIVA!!!!

Bet your magnificent 370LE really feels totally first class now, huh? Think you'll agree the cost for the GV is probably one of - if not 'the' - BEST investments you've made thus far; certainly a consideration for every Classic owner, whether they've got the Chevy, Ford or diesel engine. As you've already experienced, the overdrive feature allows the engine to run much quieter and cooler at lower rpms; highway speeds, mountain ranges, interior noise - nothing's a concern anymore. And have no worries, the increase in mpg's will come, too - that is, if you can manage to back off of 70 mph on the interstate.

Continue to enjoy that Airstream - and SAFE TRAVELS!!

Regards, the Old Goate
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Old 08-26-2006, 08:08 AM   #110
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Been out on the road, just returning to read the great news. CONGRATULATIONS, NOIVA!!!!

Bet your magnificent 370LE really feels totally first class now, huh? Think you'll agree the cost for the GV is probably one of - if not 'the' - BEST investments you've made thus far; certainly a consideration for every Classic owner, whether they've got the Chevy, Ford or diesel engine. As you've already experienced, the overdrive feature allows the engine to run much quieter and cooler at lower rpms; highway speeds, mountain ranges, interior noise - nothing's a concern anymore. And have no worries, the increase in mpg's will come, too - that is, if you can manage to back off of 70 mph on the interstate.

Continue to enjoy that Airstream - and SAFE TRAVELS!!

Regards, the Old Goate
Thanks for the kind words. I have to agree that it's a very different Blimp now. I would also agree that I suspect that any Classic owner with a 3-speed transmission would benefit from the GV unit. It was very hard to make the plunge, especially considering the initial cost, but even at this early stage I'm glad I did it. By the way, I don't run 70 mph unless I'm rolling down a long open interstate. A little too fast for my sense of control.

Thanks for writing, and best in your travels as well!
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Old 08-26-2006, 08:34 AM   #111
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I put the Zeppelin in the shop yesterday to get the headers and the gearvenders put on. I am told that it will be completed next week.

Tim: thanks for the mention of the full driveshaft balancing--I wouldn't have thought of it.

I am awaiting the bill with stiff drink in hand.

And--the fuse in the charging circuit has blown again. At least it's a familiar problem!!!
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Old 08-26-2006, 08:51 AM   #112
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I put the Zeppelin in the shop yesterday to get the headers and the gearvenders put on. I am told that it will be completed next week.

Tim: thanks for the mention of the full driveshaft balancing--I wouldn't have thought of it.

I am awaiting the bill with stiff drink in hand.

And--the fuse in the charging circuit has blown again. At least it's a familiar problem!!!
Rob,

Congratulations ! I can now speak with (at least a little ) experience. You won't be sorry. Of course, I wish you well with the completion "next week" Actually, that could happen. My shop had to order a part, ran into a mechanic shortage when the guy who was supposed to do mine got injured, and then I think they decided to take lunch tours in the Blimp .

I'm glad I wrote about that full shaft balancing. I certainly would never have thought of it either! Gave me some confidence these guys were really concerned with doing a good job. Kind of rare.

I did get a stiff bill , but even that was worth it - once I found out how well they had done the installation.

Really sorry about the charging circuit fuse problem. I'm out of ideas on that one, but I'm sure you'll get it . Maybe someone on the Forum will recognize the problem, and get you an answer. This has certainly been the source of almost all the help I've gotten. In fact, I think I would have just sold the Blimp after the first few problems developed if I hadn't had the Forum help .

Keep us posted. Now we're all waiting to hear YOUR experiences!

Best,
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