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Old 06-14-2004, 08:41 PM   #1
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Question Operating Temperatures

Hi, I recently acquired a 1984 310 Limited. It was very well maintained and did very well on the 400 mile trip home (after a few starting out pains which have since been cured).

I'm contemplating a 6000 plus mile trip this year so I want to be aware of reasons for concern before they become reasons for towing/mechanics bills.

This coach has an oil temp gauge and a switch which apprently controls a fan which helps cool the oil when needed. What is the ideal/proper/acceptable oil temp?

Likewise for engine coolant temp what is acceptable and what is a problem?

Thanks for your input
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Old 07-18-2004, 10:59 PM   #2
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which engine in your rig?
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Old 07-19-2004, 12:33 AM   #3
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Guy99,
Congradulations on your "new" 310. Assuming you have a 454; they tend to run hot (195 +/-). You can lower the temp by making sure you flush your radiator, and add a 50/50 mix of distilled water and antifreeze. Some of us have had luck adding a product called "Tow Kool" or "Water Wetter". Mine ran hot when I first got it but since I did this maintenance it runs about 180 and will hit 200 only in a long climb.

On the switch: it would be more common to see a temp switch on the radiator that turns on additional fans. Do you have an aftermarket oil cooler installed with it's own setup?
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Old 07-19-2004, 08:13 AM   #4
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Also be aware of the engine heat related failures- the starter is a prime example. Most if not all of us have replaced it. If yours is still in good op condition, you might consider a heat wrap to shield it...like a thermal cloth that goes around and uses wire to hold in place. Also carrying a spare if you are able to install it is a good idea.
If you bget the thermal wrap tape, you can do your starter wires and other cables near to the manifolds.
The watter wetter stuff is terrific, I have driven in 98 degree heat in the Blue Ridge mountains, and never got near to overheating. Used the CRC brand which is sold at NAPA for 5 bucks a can. I carry extra distilled water also for emergencies, and a universal hose repair kit, also some extra belts.
But never fear as many of us have done long trips in our 20+ year old Motorhomes, including the young couple who went coast to coast, and top to bottom of the US in their 310 last year.
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Old 07-19-2004, 06:59 PM   #5
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We installed Banks headers. We never run hot. We have a 454 Chevy and never let revs go over 3000 except up hill. only big hills, we drop down ton 2 nd. gear and run 3200 rpm.
With the banks you run most hills with no problem and we pull a GEO for a tow.
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Old 07-19-2004, 08:10 PM   #6
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Thanks - Leaving on a big trip next Monday.

Quote:
Originally Posted by swebster
Guy99,
Congradulations on your "new" 310. Assuming you have a 454; they tend to run hot (195 +/-). You can lower the temp by making sure you flush your radiator, and add a 50/50 mix of distilled water and antifreeze. Some of us have had luck adding a product called "Tow Kool" or "Water Wetter". Mine ran hot when I first got it but since I did this maintenance it runs about 180 and will hit 200 only in a long climb.

On the switch: it would be more common to see a temp switch on the radiator that turns on additional fans. Do you have an aftermarket oil cooler installed with it's own setup?
Engine is a 454. I had the radiator flushed and will add water wetter when I get the MH back from the shop.

The extra cooler and fan really is for engine oil.

Thanks for the heads up on heat shielding for the starter.

The MH does have the Banks system. So far the biggest hill I've climbed is about 4000 feet heading south out of Ashland, Oregon. This was before the flush. Temp stayed at 200 or below.

Interesting about keeping under 3000 RPM. How fast are you going at that RPM? How did you decide/know that 3000 is the right number?
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Old 07-19-2004, 10:09 PM   #7
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3000 rpm should give you about 60 - 65 mph. I think the consensus around here is there is no need to rev up all that rotating mass on our "older" 454's...besides these MH engines are designed for max torque in the lower ranges. Fuel economy is better as well.

The oil cooler must have been added. Mine runs through the radiator back into the engine. The trans runs through the other side of the radiator and then into an aux cooler. Not sure what it should be set to but engine temp is fine below 200. Adding the Water Wetter should get you down to 185 - 190.

Good luck on your trip. Post some pics. We all live vicariously through each other around here
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Old 07-20-2004, 06:53 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swebster
.......trans runs through the other side of the radiator and then into an aux cooler.
Steven:

Do you think your aux tranny cooler was added by a PO?

No aux cooler on the 345 - straight from the hot side radiator head to the tranny.
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Old 07-20-2004, 08:09 AM   #9
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Oh yeah...it has PO installation written all over it! I considered removing it completely when I had the radiator out last year but ended up keeping it in. I would like to replace it with a stacked cooler and relocated it into a fender at some point....but my list is too long already
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Old 07-20-2004, 08:44 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swebster
I would like to replace it with a stacked cooler and relocated it into a fender at some point....
Steven,

Do it when you take the radiator out again. Once you have the grill off the side plate is only held on by 3 screws. I braced mine from the back to a shell strut so it could support the weight but I did exactly as you describe. Stacked plate, cut into the face of the passenger side air deflector behind the grill. You can hardly tell it is there.
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Old 07-21-2004, 03:12 PM   #11
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I run 180 with a 180 thermostat on a hot day in the flat. Cleaned out radiator, replaced and moved engine oil cooler away from radiator to the passenger side grill. Added tranny oil cooler to supplement the stock cooler. Installed electric fan for engine and tranny oil coolers. Installed headers which moved ALOT of heat away from the engine and under the chasis. 2 1/4" exhaust thru flowmasters I cut and brazed myself. Spring time in VA it does not even get above 160 with electric fan off. Steady 55 in summer on the flat it will creep between 170 and 185 depending on the hills, electric fan on. Going to Galax in a few weeks so will see how it does pulling mountains. Dropping in an ignition advance weight set (performance set from advance auto) sure helped the engine come alive as well. I don't use/pull a toad.
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Old 07-21-2004, 04:05 PM   #12
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Brett,
I remember seeing your setup and liked what you did. I've been looking at aluminum radiators from Jegs as well. It's only a matter of time before mine gives it up for good and I can buy big alum radiator without the oil and trans coolers for less than half of a replacement for the P30. I think I can get better cooling from a wide fin two core alum then from the four core stock....checking with Jegs on this application.
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Old 07-22-2004, 10:11 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IPM
Dropping in an ignition advance weight set (performance set from advance auto) sure helped the engine come alive as well. I don't use/pull a toad.
how about some more info on this mod? Interested in the lesser expensive performance mods. Thought about Jacobs electronics, and have considered MSD HEI upgrades also.
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Old 07-23-2004, 10:01 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALANSD
how about some more info on this mod? Interested in the lesser expensive performance mods. Thought about Jacobs electronics, and have considered MSD HEI upgrades also.
Yep, It's dirt cheap. Most any autoparts have these kits. They have 3 sets of springs and one set of weights. Put the weights in with the weakest springs. Objective is to get all the ignition advance early by 2000 rpm or so. Costs is around $10. The selection will probably be limited to year models where emission laws were not in effect, say to around '78/'79. Buy it anyway. It will fit. Easy to install. Just take the distributor cap off to expose the advance weights. The oem's limit ignition advance to reduce NOX emissions, but then early torque suffers. And that statement only applies to after around year models '79/'80 or so.

Made the motorhome very lively. I've only done stock repairs/replacement and cheap mod's. Last trip I drove conservatively until ............. a modern ford based fiberglass box motorhome pulled up while at a light....................this old airstream left him behind ..........I was quite suprised ....my rig has a 3.75 rear, not at all agressive ......... of course I let off at 60 and he did eventually pass me once he built momentum ........ still, these old style big blocks can crank out the torque .........

anyone ever try a switch pitch torque converter in their turbo 400? Seems like a cheap way (relative to an underdrive) to keep engine rpm's up while mountain climbing without resorting to crawling in 1st gear. Flip a switch and your engine rpm's jump to 2800 to 3200, a rather effortless torque range I think. Should work as long as your rigs cooling is in exceptional condition and tweaked.
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