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Old 11-12-2004, 10:22 PM   #1
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MH 454 Engine Warrenty and ?

I am asking for someone that sent me this question.

Jeanne owns a 1986 325 and took it in for transmission service/replacement. After the transmission service (I think), the engine started to blow blue smoke. The shop is now saying the engine needs replacing and has talked Jeanne into a new crate 454 engine but says the engine's 50,000 mile warrenty is not valid for a MH. True?
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Old 11-13-2004, 07:11 AM   #2
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That's a good question. I can see where it would be shorter, it is pretty severe duty and they often sit for months at a time. I mucked around on the Goodwrench site and found their engine warranty .pdf but it is only for auto and md trucks. There is a snail mail address for consumer relations on the form, and an email contact form on the site, so I asked them about the motor homes. When they answer I will post their response if you don't get something definitive first.

John
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Old 11-13-2004, 08:23 AM   #3
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Jeanne is in Boston. All systems worked during her drive back here, but transmission fluid began leaking, which led to the overhaul, followed by the blue smoke from the engine.

Does anyone know a good shop in the Boston area for a second opinion for Jeanne?
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Old 11-14-2004, 03:35 PM   #4
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We installed a GM Crate engine in the Argosy. One of the reasons I did it was because there was not an exclusion to the 3 year 50K mile warranty. The warranty card states a P30 and Motorhomes are covered.

One of the tings that you do get by using a GM crate engine is that they only reuse the block and head castings. EVERYTHING else is new. In a typical rebuild they reuse lots of parts. This is not the case in a GM Crate.

If she has it installed at a GM shop ( it will be $$) they will warrant the install as well. Should the engine fail in warranty they will replace it without cost for parts or labor. An independent will normally not offer that kind of coverage. My crate motor was approx 2600.00 the install will all the new parts I added was 4600.00.
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Old 11-14-2004, 09:56 PM   #5
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Is there a reason that the engine would emit blue smoke after the transmission work? It still seems odd that she needs an engine replacement after transmission work.
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Old 11-15-2004, 07:10 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1985air345
...It still seems odd that she needs an engine replacement after transmission work.
It could well be coincidence, especially if the engine hadn't been used in a while. It often happens that the entire drive train "goes" all at once.

Also, if the oil in the engine had been recently changed to a thinner viscosity or to a synthetic the "slippier" oil could be getting past rings, seals, o-rings, etc. that the old oil could not penetrate.

Then again, if the unit had been sitting for a long while because of the bad tranny, the gas could have degraded, blocking the carb, and causing an over rich condition resulting in blue exhaust.

Of course, it could be the electricals or ignition.......

And on, and on, and on......

As most of us have found out, age is almost as bad as miles if an engine has not been properly maintained.......I would definitely advise Jeanne to get a second opinion - a full ignition diagnosis, an accurate exhaust gas readout, and a compression test would reveal (or eliminate) a lot of reasons for the blue exhaust.

Luck.
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Old 11-15-2004, 08:06 AM   #7
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I went looking at a really special 1985 motor home this weekend. Wow! I've only thought of getting a trailer, and the gentleman selling this one has decided to go for a trailer because he lives in the boonies and can't get reliable service locally. I had discussed the idea with a customer of mine who does fleet maintenance on trucks and he said, the thing that makes these engines go is from letting them sit for months then starting them up without rotating the oil pump manually first - claims you'll get 40K more on the average 454 engine (and the generator too) if you run them for an hour or so once a week. Eliminates condensation and keeps all of the parts penetrated with oil. Sounds sensible to me.
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Old 11-15-2004, 08:23 AM   #8
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Fred,
I for one would be interested in knowing why exactly they think the motor needs to go. What was the compression, oil pressure, etc? Leakdown test, blue smoke or brown smoke? Oil condition, blowby in the air filter, etc.? In other words what was the baseline of the engine.

Mine started blowing smoke recently and I was very worried I had a bad cylinder. Turned out to be a very over rich condition cuased by a problem with my carburator - easily fixed in 60 minutes.

PaulaFord - I think your friend is correct. More MH engines die an early death because they are under-used. Starting and running up and down the highway once a week is great, same for the generator. If its been while since we went camping, I'll take the office to lunch in mine just to get her on the road.
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Old 11-16-2004, 08:51 AM   #9
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454 engine warranty

Hello. We can't get any kind of warranty, either for years or miles, for a new 454 engine for our 325 Airstream. Tell us, in what year did you buy the engine? From whom did you buy it? How much did you pay for it? Was it a brand-new GM engine? Was it a Jasper engine? Who installed it? You said that the warranty states motorhomes are covered. Does the warranty also state that a GM service center must install and/or service the new engine?
This is our first venture into MH ownership and we are learning the hard way. Any help much appreciated.
Jeanne
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Old 11-16-2004, 09:09 AM   #10
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Paula- I drive my MH once a week year round and run the generator once a month or more for min. two hours. I use the MH, with the generator on, roof air or heat on to load the generator, and drive it around town a bit, and maybe on an errand or two. I have had very little trouble with the MH and it never fails to start right up. Same for the generator.
I also change the oil every 6 months or 3000 miles, filter too.
Using a "dry gas" or gas additive that will help eliminate moisture from the tank makes a difference as wellYou see many used MH for sale with very low mileage. As discussed here before, this is not necessarily a good thing. Regular use will prolong the life of the MH.
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Old 11-16-2004, 09:16 AM   #11
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So based on this thread so far, if you find an older low mileage motor home, it may not be the bargain you think it is.

Jack
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Old 11-16-2004, 11:11 AM   #12
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true- you would want to see service records of some sort, also check the engine and trans as closely as one with high miles. I saw a 78 Blubird advertised recently with 39,000 original miles on it. Could be a bonus... or a costly problem.
I have also seen low mileage vehicles with gunked up oil that was never changed, laying in the pan under newer recently changed oil...to try to fool a purchaser.
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Old 11-16-2004, 06:07 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 85air325
Hello. We can't get any kind of warranty, either for years or miles, for a new 454 engine for our 325 Airstream. Tell us, in what year did you buy the engine? From whom did you buy it? How much did you pay for it? Was it a brand-new GM engine? Was it a Jasper engine? Who installed it? You said that the warranty states motorhomes are covered. Does the warranty also state that a GM service center must install and/or service the new engine?
This is our first venture into MH ownership and we are learning the hard way. Any help much appreciated.
Jeanne

I was quoted on a Jasper, but I felt the shop was taking me for a ride, so I had it towed to a different shop. The Motor is a GM Crate engine (GM PN: 12339193 ENG454) I purchased directly from a GM dealer. The Engine excluding core ran 2134.00 for a long block, delivered. List is $3026.00. I purchased it in July of 2003. The card I have that came off the engine does not exclude motorhome installations. It states that installation in series 10-30 chassis is 36/50000 mile warranty. The Motorhome I have is on a P30 chassis. It does limit Medium duty (series 40-70) series trucks to 12 months unlimited miles if not installed at the dealer. The dealer parts manager I worked with assured me that the warrany is valid in a motorhome installation. Are you asking the service writer?? They often don't know what end of the pen to use.

I had an independent shop install it. The shop does not warranty the engine, or the install. The install was billed at 28 hours alone, not counting all the other stuff I had them do. But I trust them enough that I just had another $1200.00 worth of work done there last month. If you pay the bucks and have a GM dealer install it, they will warrant the install. The warranty does not state that the installer must be a GM shop. Just a certified one.

Service on the engine can be done by anyone, including the owner as long as you have the documentation should there be a claim. This is something that many folks don't know. Having someone else change the oil, etc does not void the warranty. We have the right under federal law to take our engine for service to any mechanic and have basic fluids, etc done. If the engine has a warranted failure all I have to do is prove I did what they said I should and they have to warrant the claim.
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Old 11-16-2004, 09:09 PM   #14
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warranty

Thanks for such a thorough reply to my questions. Really helpful. We'll go back to the GM service guy tomorrow and see what they say about the warranty. Will let you know how it goes.
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