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Old 02-21-2010, 02:37 PM   #57
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1986 34.5' Airstream 345
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The thing I hate about good machinist/miller is they're a one man shop and by the time they get really good at it they get too old to do it. I know of 3 or 4 shops in all of central Oklahoma I truest. They all say, "Don't put a 502 in a motor home, can't cool them." And, "Put a Commins in it and don't worry about it any more." The Commins would be my first choose, but is more than I want to do.
Almost bought a school bus for the Commins, but chickened out and installed EFI.
mel
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Old 02-22-2010, 08:35 AM   #58
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Cool napa engines

Mel:
Last 2 m/hs have been diesels, and I know everyone praises Cummins, but for the most part I think diesel is overrated. I had a FRED with a 210 HP Cummins, and performance was poor as far as I was concerned. The good thing about it was it got 11 MPG. I just sold a 40 ft Diesel Pusher, and although it was a beautiful coach, when Diesel prices went higher than gasoline, it was kind of lackluster. My 1984 310 is much smaller but I am having more fun putting it up in shape. Performance is markedly better with the stock 454 than I enjoyed with the 350 HP Caterpillar in the last coach. The big plus to me is the lack of on-board computers. KISS principle applies to m/h too!!!

Mike
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Old 02-26-2010, 08:39 PM   #59
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1986 34.5' Airstream 345
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Mike, Cost/power is something I've looked/thought about. A 12 valve Commins would have a little more torque than a 454. Can get more power from the Commins, but the cost goes up with the fuel consumption. At this point in my life, the only reason I'd put a Commins in would be to say I did it and the older I get the less I want to. One of those 'Bucket List' things I guess.
But a long stroke 496cid is more in reach, just runs the overhaul cost up $1500 or so.
I know a guy that has a 496 in his race car puller and a Commins setting on the shop floor he's ready to swap. I've been trying to talk him out of the 496 or the 5.9 for 4 years now. He's one of those that say go diesel and forget it.
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Old 02-28-2010, 10:42 PM   #60
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Red face napa engines

Mel:
Sorry to be so long in replying, but I've been fighting a water heater ptoblem on my 1984 310.
I have decided that even though compression ignition engines appeal for lack of complications, I can deal with the 454 Chevy because there is so much info and so many fixes for them. I kind of like to do my own stuff on the m/h, so I don't have to buy a new set of tools to work on the 454. I already have most of the learning curve on the 454, so I suppose I just feel more comfortable with the gasoline job.
Mike
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Old 02-28-2010, 10:57 PM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nti06 View Post
When I read:

"So I called back napa cause their engine is so cheep."

I almost closed the window.
For what you are doing, you do not want cheap. You want quality, however at a reasonable cost. At the Ford dealer I worked at, we did service motorhomes. They are hell to work on. The labor rate at that dealer for motorhomes was $100 per flat rate hour. Coach builders build coaches with no regard to serviceability of the chassis. Techs at the dealer I worked at have had screws into gas tanks, chassis harness spliced into and cut into. High amperage battery cables routed next to fuel lines. Its ridiculous.

So if you want to fix it, it will cost money, but spending the right amount of money to fix it right the first time, will keep you from spending twice that amount to fix it all over again.

Locate a local engine builder, who can build you an engine for power and durability.

This right here is the bottom line. IMOP, the only way to go if at all possible.
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