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Old 10-10-2006, 04:25 PM   #21
76 Silver Argosy
 
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1975 26' Argosy 26
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G'day Marc:

I purchased Ethyl from a guy named Clay who has a very young son around the same age as mine (2) and is a CTO for a company up in LA some place so I suspect it must be another silver Argosy with lack lens holders.

Cheers,

Andrew
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Old 10-10-2006, 06:29 PM   #22
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Shucks!

Maybe the CEO had long hair and a hippie attitude? Nah.....

It's too bad I live so far away, I'd love to help you with replacing the engine! I love this kind of stuff.
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Old 10-10-2006, 07:33 PM   #23
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If you are doing a short block only (you are reusing your old heads), it would be easier to remove the engine without the heads on it, and after you lift the engine up some, you can pull off the oil pan and oil pump pickup tube, this will give you 'lots' of room, comparatively.
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Old 10-10-2006, 08:41 PM   #24
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my project

hi there. I currently have a 79 28 ft under rehab. the motor came out a while ago, and if you want to see some pics of the process, you can check the site of the shop doing the work. go to www.gmccoop.com. then, click on the "airstream" box. then click on the "airstream projects" box. then click on "79 shiny one" that will get you to the site. follow along, and you will get to the engine removal portion. there's a whole bunch of other stuff too. he stopped posting a few months ago, due to time constraints, so the most current stuff (we're doing the interior now) can be found among his gmc projects in the "daily pose" box, which you can access from the home page on the gmccoop site. good luck. rick in naples, florida
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Old 10-10-2006, 10:17 PM   #25
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Thank you Rick in Naples (and Glen, Marc, Bob, Steve, Alan, and I'd like to give a shout out to anyone else I've missed) I will check out the recommended site right now.

As is typical, I am away on travels (in Denver, CO) right now, so can do nothing. I am anxious to get something started, but will likely have to realistically wait for next month when my latest silly season for traveling finishes. But rest assured, I will investigate every recommendation, check out every site, ponder every bit of advise, before plunging head first in totally the wrong direction as is my want - just ask the Missus if you don't believe me

Once again, thanks to you all, and keep the posts coming as I really appreciate them all.

Cheers,

Andrew
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Old 10-15-2006, 08:22 PM   #26
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The battle has been joined... well almost

Greetings grapple fans.

Well, I have made a start, sort of. I have sourced a local shop here in town who can rebuild my engine for around the same cost as a crate (your thought on this plan are appreciated) but with a known quantity as far as parts go.

So this afternoon I started to remove the engine and progress was… well awful. I have started to remove the front end but have hit a snag in removing the brown fiberglass (well I think it is) ‘cowling’ that sits behind the front bumper and the radiator grill and head light holder. The problem is that the four big steel brackets (protruding rectangles in the image below) that the bumper bolts to prevent me from pulling off the cowling as I cannot pull it forwards as the two side brackets prevent movement in that direction, and sideways motion is limited by the cut outs for the front brackets, Grrrrr… Has anyone experienced this before and got a handy-dandy solution? Pathetic, I know, turning to the forum at the first sniff of trouble, but hey, you guys know these things!



I will see if I can do some more work this week during the evenings, otherwise it will have to wait until next weekend.

Cheers,

Andrew
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Old 10-15-2006, 08:32 PM   #27
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hmmm

can you reach the bolts that hold on the bumper? Remove that first and then the cowling? Or are those bolts hidden too?
Marc
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Old 10-15-2006, 10:03 PM   #28
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New VS Rebuilt

Andrew,

If I were going to keep the Argosy and I wanted the best replacement motor for the unit I would not hesitate to put in a new GM crate motor. The following link to Scoggin-Dickey might be of some value. This is a 'for real' towing/motorhome motor. Generally when 'performance' shops rebuild for more power the torque and HP move up the powerband. This is generally not what you want in a motorhome motor. The GM motor has more HP (338 vs about 230) and Much more torque (500 lb/ft+) than the original motor. The RPM all of this power developed is located close to the original's RPM, so towing and motorhome driveability vastly improved. I believe there have been one or two folks on this board that have made this installation.

Bottom line is it is not cheap now, but should pay dividends in the future with solid reliability and greatly improved driveability.

Search the internet and local sources for the best price; however, S/D is fully conversant with the GM ( and other companies) crate motors and has been shipping worldwide for many years.

Take care,
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Old 10-16-2006, 07:39 AM   #29
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andrew

from your photo it looks like the bumper sub assembly must be removed as well.

john
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Old 10-16-2006, 09:31 AM   #30
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Given the choice (same money) between a local rebuilder and a crate motor with a warrantee....I think I'd go crate motor. As was previously said, you're not looking for a high horspower rebuild here...more like a tow truck motor....high torque at low rpms.
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Old 10-16-2006, 10:12 AM   #31
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Gm Crate..

is what I'd buy. I had a friend build me my 350 v8 for my astro... and then fretted that wherever I was, I wasn't going to get warrenty service unless I took the engine out and back to the shop.

The short blocks are not that expensive... see also Summit Racing (delivered to you). Or your local GM dealer.
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Old 10-16-2006, 10:38 AM   #32
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Is the 502 HT a straight swap for a 454 lump?

Thanks folks:

So the local engine rebuilder (though I don't think there's anyway to confuse him with a hotrodder, more like an original 70's NASCAR mechanic!) is perhaps not my best option, and I thnk you for this valuable advise.

The SDPC "502 HT" engine sure looks a beaut, but is it a direct, and by that I mean bolt hole for bolt hope, replacement for my jiggered 454 block? I must ask the true purists to forgive me this sin, but I am not looking for more work right now, just the quickest and easiest means to replace my engine. If the 502 drops right in in place of the old engine then it could work (minus the $5K+ price tag of course ;-)

As to my pathetic attempts at removing the bumper and cowling, I will have another look (hopefully tonight) and see. These bumper bolts mentioned, do they run along the bottom of the front 'cross member,' possibly visible through the 'scoop' visible the photo in my last post, and number around 8 or so? If so, are they captice (wleded in place) or must I get a wrench on the bolt heads hidden inside of the box section running across the front to undo the nuts?

I am much obliged to you all,

Andrew
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Old 10-16-2006, 12:38 PM   #33
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search "502"

..and I found that it seems to be the same casting block... BUT, you need a different intake manifold (and I'm assuming a new carb to pull more CFM's... what's recommended?). The higher intake means the doghouse needs to be modified (raised a bit) to clear the higher intake manifold (I'm assuming the intake runners are a bit higher/longer).

There seemed to be one member at least that did it...
I see some HP dreams in someone's eyes!
Marc
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Old 10-16-2006, 02:41 PM   #34
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I think there is a difference in the exhaust ports as well (square vs. oval) and some of the newer BB Chevy's don't have a mechanical fuel pump so you would need to go to eletrical.

Pound for pound the 502 would be the way to go. It's bascially what is in the "new" P30s (W22 & W24) from Workhorse.
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Old 10-16-2006, 03:02 PM   #35
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Andrew,

If a straight drop-in replacement is desired then here is another option with an 18 month / 100,000 miles warranty from GM when installed in a Class A motorhome.

The 502 is a better, stronger engine but it will require some additional parts not currently installed on your present engine.

For either engine: headers, aluminum low-rise intake, and a carburetor designed for RV use will make a big difference.

Hope this helps.

Take care,
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Old 10-24-2006, 08:29 AM   #36
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Andrew,
What is the verdict? Have you been able to locate a replacement?
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Old 10-24-2006, 09:36 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abridges01
Thanks so much to everyone sharing my pain here, it's true what they say; misery loves company
I realize I am coming in on this a little late but I sure do feel your pain. Having gone through this same thing with replacing the engine. Mine was ruined by a mechanic who used the wrong oil filter. My insurance company, American Family, paid for the new engine and then went after the mechanic. The work was done by an Isuzu truck repair facility.
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Old 10-24-2006, 05:15 PM   #38
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No way to remove front end!

Hi folks:

Well I finally got to spend some quality time under Ethyl on Sunday, and I am now more confused than ever. From what I can see, there is no way to remove the front end as the box section securing the bumper is welded, with heavy 1/8th inch filets, to chassis and frame! (I cannot upload pictures from my hotel room here in Novi, MI)

This leads me to the nasty conclusion that I am going to have to try and drop the engine, and possibly lift the chassis, to get her out. All this on a slight incline not exactly favorable to trying to use a trolley jack to lower and roll out a very heavy block, but hey, if we wanted the easy way we'd have bought from Fleetwoood, Hoorah! (trying to pump myself up here ;-)

As to what I plan to do once I have the current lump out, I think it will have to be a crate engine; there's just to much unknown about the current one for me to go to all this trouble only to have something else (timing chain, valves, etc.) fail - possibly quickly followed by my marriage Hopefully a crate engne will give me a known starting point to work from.

Of course I am back on the orad for a couple more weeks now, but hope once this trip is over to have some serious time to really get to grips with Ethyl, so watch this space...

Cheers you all,

Andrew
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Old 10-24-2006, 07:41 PM   #39
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Think of it this way...you'll have a brand new engine that will service your cool coach for years to come. I've always looked at engines, transmissions, etc as replaceable components of our coaches. My 345 has almost 200K miles on the coach...everything works and its likely on it's 3rd powerplant.

If you can look at the long haul and plan to keep the coach for a really long time then this concept makes sense. I would rather keep my coach in the family and continue to invest in it as we go rather than make $750 a month payments on a SOB that will leak and fall apart in ten years. But I also drive a 71 Beetle so my sense of "normal" is a little tweaked.

Good luck with your R&R and keep us posted.
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Old 10-24-2006, 07:51 PM   #40
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A couple of ideas....

An angle grinder should get that bumper off... once the engine is in, then weld it back on... or have brackets made to bolt it on.

I think I remember someone took their engine out the drivers window? Not sure how that would work though. Any autoshop classes at a local community college that you could enroll in ... and park that baby on their lift? Out the bottom sounds kinda hard... do you have to take the front axle off?
Marc
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