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Old 01-11-2007, 09:26 AM   #1
tn2
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1978 Argosy 27
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Smile Fuel Octane to use

I just bought a 1978 Argosy motorhome out in Pheonix. I will be driving it back home to Tennessee. It has the 454 engine. Can anyone tell me what fuel octane I should use. Can I use just regular gas or does it have to be premium. Also....if it uses regular....would there be a benefit to using premium in the mountains around AZ.
Add any other tips you can think of that might help me make the trip. I will be taking the southern route out of Pheonix
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Old 01-11-2007, 09:31 AM   #2
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Buy as high Octane as you think your engine is worth!
Also, you didn't ask, but here it is anyway. MAKE SURE your tires are aired either to the max, or to the proper PSI for the weights of your MH weighed at each corner in travel trim! If they are low, they WILL pop!
If they are old (read the dates) or if they are UV damaged, they will pop! It is just a matter of time.
Voice of experience here.
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Old 01-11-2007, 09:38 AM   #3
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Cool. I've done the trip back from NV on the southern route in my Airstream. I run 87 octane on my 1986 454.

As steelbird has pointed out, tires are a big one to look at on an older coach. Also, do a mechanical check for coolant, oil, brakes, fluids, etc. You do not want to be overheating or blowing a tire in the middle of nowhere. A tuneup might even be in order. Grab as many extras as you can think of; fuel filters, oil, coolant, air filter, coil, distributor cap and rotor, some of us even travel regularly with extra plug wires, alternators and starters.

Also consider getting towing insurance from your insurance company or a group like Good Sams Club. It's cheap for a year and well worth it if you ever need a tow.
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Old 01-11-2007, 06:48 PM   #4
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Hold up a second! You really haven't given us much to go on here. How about some more info... I use regular 87 in my coach and do great with it.
How long has the coach sat since last used? How much do you know about it's service history?
I like to drop all fluids in my new/old vehicles prior to taking to the road. Check coolant hoses for integrety too. Note the DOT date on the tires and if they are more than about six years old I'd want to keep an eye on tire temps. A laser thermometer would be handy for checking tires, hubs, rear diff. etc as you travel.
If you're flying taking a big tool box might be an intersting obstacle to overcome too. But you'll need tools for certain.
Details, as usual we need more details....
BTW good luck with this and we're waiting for the pictures.
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Old 01-11-2007, 07:02 PM   #5
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All these engines have compression ratios of about 8.5 to 1 and most all can run on 87 or 89 .As the altitude gets higher such as Denver ,you'll see 85
and 86 due to less octane required for the higher elevations. If your in a hot
area such as Arizona in the summer ,you can run 91 to help prevent preignition /pinging that can happen with elevated combustion chamber
temperatures and heavy loads .Carbon build up in the combustion chambers
also raise compression so a higher rating may be needed ,given the individual needs of your engine .My travelall has 9.5 to 1 compression due to head
modifications and requires 91 or better for sure .The MSD timing controll does
allow me to dial back the initial timing due to lower octane fuels i may get
out on the road ,so i can run 87 if it came to that .engines these days
do not have high octane requirements in general due to knock sensors
and computer controlls and timing controls .any way ,run what makes it run good ,87 ,89 or 91 .See what it likes .

Scott
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Old 01-12-2007, 08:36 PM   #6
tn2
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Camden , Tennessee
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I'm not sure how long this MH has set....its probably at least 3 years might be 4. The person that has it now said that he drove it about 200 miles in 111 degree heat and the engine seem to run real strong....didn't overheat or anything. He said the only thing he felt was wrong is it doing some bouncing in the rear.... I can imagine the air ride bags are not inflating. I plan to have this fixed along with 6 new tires and all fuilds replaced. You don't know how bad I wish I could take all my tools with me. I just know the ones I would take will end up being the ones I don't need. I'm just going to have to through myself to the mercy of some repair place out there in AZ. I normally do all my own maintenance....so all I want done is just what it takes to make roadworthy. I plan to go completely through it bumper to bumper when I get it home to Tennessee. I plan not to push it hard on the road....hoping to do about 400 miles per day
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Old 01-12-2007, 08:59 PM   #7
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hello tn2 ,I would definately bring some tools ,test light ,electical tape ,
some common wrenches ,screwdrivers ,flashlight ,duct tape big roll .
Things like that ,and any other stuff ,so at least you feel like you have somthing in hand ,unless of course your flying out to drive it back .Maybe
someone here like SafariTim ,and others who live in AZ can recommend
a good reputable shop or even close by your new rig to help you out some.

Good luck ,you may get a good honest shop too !

Scott
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Old 01-13-2007, 07:31 AM   #8
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TN2, looks like a 28'er to me. Is the interior camo or a southwest motif on the cushions? Very different.
As a thought you could use a roll of duct tape to secure your tool box or a downsized one. Then box it and ship Fed-Ex ground to the seller or hold at a convenient station for pickup. You can also time delivery to a hotel where you have an overnight reservation. They are all used to receiving packages for guests. Then you don't have to worry about what you can or can't do.
As posted earlier if you ask you may find some very talented help close by to help or inspect prior to flying.
The photos look great.
I wonder if the owner could look from behind the wheel well and tell you if the bags are shot or just down. Not sure I'd want to drive all the way home on just the springs, what with the shape our Interstate highways are in.
We'll be anxious to follow your progress as you go out to pick this Classic up. Stay in touch and let us know if we can help.
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Old 01-13-2007, 07:36 AM   #9
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from the photos it looks like some of the front shot that you've got some clearance lights missing up top. A good time to go LED for about $6 ea.
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Old 01-13-2007, 09:05 AM   #10
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Thanks for all the information. I never thought about shipping fed ex out there with my tools. I'm not to sure I have time to get them there by the 22nd. I'm pretty sure I can take some tools with me on the plane as long as I do it as check baggage. I probably will end up doing it that way....I will call the airline first to see their policy. I'm retired now but for many years I worked as an Airframe/ powerplant machanic and went all over everyplace by air with many tools ( to fix airplanes) and no one questioned it....oh....those were the good old days. Now you have to strip down to your skivies just to get on board.
As far as the interior goes....my wife's into horses....so SHE SAYS ...the motif IS (or will be) WESTERN. But .....shhhh..... really I think it is southwestern motif.
I sure would be open to help from anyone so inclined....but I realize everyone has their own little (or big) RV projects so I understand if there's not a group of willing workers meeting me at the airport....LOL
All you happy RVers have a great day.
Charles
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Old 01-13-2007, 09:13 AM   #11
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We had a 454 in one of our Burbs and used the lowest rated possible. Unless the plugs run cool or hot or you have carbon build up causing engine knock, the 454 should have a label in the front saying keep babies and small objects away from intake...will ingest and combust.

On my 307, I had issues with the plugs and at 165k, it was easier to put in 89 instead of 87 which solved my engine knock issue on that GM engine. I would assume your 454 would behave in a similar manner to our 454. Putting 93 octane in it might not be a good bang for the buck so to speak, but a great test would be to put one tank of 93 meausre the results, put one of 89, mesure the results and one of 87 and measure the results. When I did that, I noticed very little MPG benefit for the .20/gallon (87 vs 93) or .10.gallon (89 vs 93) and when yer getting between 8-10mpg, it only takes a few fillups to see the cost add up if there is no real benefit, so go test and find out your engine's sweet spot.
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Old 01-13-2007, 12:06 PM   #12
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Fed-ex ground has been doing CA to SC?NC in Three Days so I think you're good there buddy. Gotta have tools!
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