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Blogs => Projects => Topic started by: Sasquatch on November 13, 2017, 02:27 PM

Title: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on November 13, 2017, 02:27 PM
I just started down the rabbit hole.  I have been researching an 46RH (A518) trnsmission swap for a while now.  I have researched more about these transmissions than I would have thought possible.  I was ready to pull the trigger when a 46RH popped up on CL for near nothing.  It is about a 1992, non-lockup, two wire, from a diesel.  I bought it.


While this will not be a step by step how to build thread, I will post important information and my feelings on the project for others to use if they are considering it.



I will be installing it in this:
(https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2897/33595210665_dcda852245_b.jpg)


1976 Executive on a Dodge M500 chassis, 440-3/727 combo.


This will be updated over the next few months as I acquire parts, fully rebuild and upgrade the 46RH, and do the swap.  I will be taking a trip from Boise to Phoenix in March which will be the real test.


What am I trying to accomplish:
1. Lower noise levels inside.  At 65mph I am turning 3100 rpms, the girl is noisy.
2. Be able to cruise at 70 easier.  Out here in the west we have endless miles of open freeway with 80+ mph speed limits.  65 gets old real quick.
3. Maybe better economy.  But I am not holding my breath there.  Lower RPM's does not always equate to better mileage.  As long as I get #1 and #2 without loosing mileage, I am ok with that.


Regarding point #2.  The chassis on my coach has not only been completely rebuilt, but upgraded with Bilsteins, air ride on all four corners, larger sway bars, 225/70/19.5 radials, all new brakes from the master cylinders to wheels, and a fully rebuilt steering system.  I feel quite comfortable and safe in her at 70.


Issues that I needed to consider and address:
1. Reliability of the 46RH.  Through quite extensive research, the real reliability issues showed up when they went to the lock up torque converter.  I do not have this.  Other reliability issues have been completely taken care of by the aftermarket performance industry over time.  These issues will be handled during the rebuild process on mine.  Many of the reliability myths floating around the net, while based on some level of truths, have either been blown out of proportion, or were tracked down to misuse or poor servicing.


2. Will it handle the load?  Yes.  Countless Dodge one ton diesels have traversed this country towing massive 5th wheel trailers once the few issues were dealt with without much issue.  They are pulling much heavier loads than I am.  Many with over 200k miles on the transmissions with needing nothing but regular servicing and adjustments.  A well set up cooling system is a must.


3. Differences between the gas and diesel versions of the early 46RH.  Namely the difference in shift points.  I already found how to address this and have a new hydraulic governor assembly from a gas unit on order.  The other differences are actually a benefit to my application.  Stronger planetary gear sets, more clutches in a couple of the packs, stronger shafts.  These are all good things.


4.  How to mate it to the 440.  The easy route is by cutting off the original bell housing and installing an Ultra Bell adapter.  $450 and direct bolt up.  I am going to make an attempt at removing a bell housing from a BB 727 and welding it onto the 46RH.  I have a full machine shop and am a proficient welder.  My time is free.  It will be a process, but I am in no real hurry, and if it does not work to my liking I will just go the Ultra Bell route.  I have read threads on Mopar forums where others have done this with good results.


5. Dealing with the loss of the tail shaft mounted parking brake:  First, I rarely use the barely effective stock parking brake.  I have HWH hydraulic leveling jacks and always park on level surfaces in RV parks anyway.  So I am going to use a manual line lock for the rear axle for the short term needs where I need more.  I can add an aftermarket disk type parking brake to the drive line down the road if I feel I need it.


6.  Electrics; controlling the overdrive.  It is just a two wire system, hot and ground.  I am going to put a toggle on my shifter and an adjustable vacuum switch on the engine.  When the OD is on, and if I am on cruise control and start up a hill, if my vacuum falls below my preset amount, it will automatically kick me out of OD.  If the conditions are right where it hunts between 3rd and OD, I can just manually shut it off.


So grab a cold drink, follow along with Sasquatch's follies, I am sure there will be some mistakes that will give you something to laugh at.  If you have info you think I should know, pipe up.  If you want to harass me for such a project, go ahead, say what you want.  Other than that, enjoy.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: legomybago on November 13, 2017, 04:28 PM
I like it  :)ThmbUp
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on November 13, 2017, 08:34 PM
The 46RH IS a lockup converter transmission and that IS what you want for lower transmission temps and better overdrive performance. There are plenty or high quality torque converters out there. Be sure you don't use the diesel converter since it is a very low stall converter and you will be below your power band.



"The 46RH transmissions that were used from 1990-'95 have a three-pin electrical connector on the driver's side of the transmission which controls two solenoids, the overdrive solenoid and the torque converter clutch solenoid. These two units are mounted inside the valve body on one common bracket."

Quoted from, https://www.hemmings.com/magazine/mus/2006/07/Chrysler-A-518-Overdrive-Transmission/1301453.html
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on November 14, 2017, 12:01 AM
Rick, with all due respect, the first generation 46RH in the DIESEL trucks (90-92.5) were not lock up converters.  All 46RH transmissions mated to gas engines were.  You can tell the difference by looking at the plug on the transmission, 2 wire is non lock up, and 3 wire is lockup.  (2 wire simply switches overdrive, 3 wire switches overdrive on one pin, lockup on the other (3rd is ground))  To add to this, the non lockup 46RH transmissions will accept standard big block 727 torque converters.  The transmission I have is a two wire, non lockup unit.  The second check is to look at the input shaft and torque converter, if the shaft is splined to the end of the shaft, it is non lockup.  If it has about 1.5 inches machined like a pilot shaft with no splines on the end, it is lockup.  The final is that I checked the transmission part number stamped on it and it showed it as a non lockup unit from a 1992 3500 turbo diesel.

But I do agree with you that lockup will allow the transmission to run cooler.  And I agree to not use the diesel torque converter.  After much reading on the diesel Mopar forums the consensus is that the heat can be easily controlled in the trucks for hauling heavy loads by putting a massive transmission cooler on the front of the radiator and not using OD while pulling up hills.  I have one in the works for this.  I also have a sump temp probe in my 727 that I will transfer to the new transmission to keep a watchful eye on it.

I will be buying a new torque converter when I am ready.  I already spoke with a reputable builder about my project and he said he will build me a weighted TC for my externally balanced 440 that will have the right stall speed to function properly for my application.  He was quite excited about the project and said I was on the right path so far and asking the right questions.

I also learned that if I have my vacuum switch working properly that switches OD off at the right point, the transmission will not get too hot, especially with a properly sized cooler.  But load it by pulling a hill in OD, and yes, temps will go up.  I will just have to watch the temps and calibrate the sensor and learn.  Worst case is that I will just switch it off in the hills with the switch on the shifter.

And you are probably right that the lockup unit would have been the better choice, with less "learning" to keep it cool.  But, I got this one right, so I am going to deal with it and see how it works.  If I fail, I will hang my head and admit my mistake and then buy you a beer... =)
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on November 14, 2017, 08:53 AM
Sounds good and since I don't drink you get by cheap with buying me coffee. :)ThmbUp :)ThmbUp  Be sure to keep us updated.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on November 14, 2017, 10:42 AM
Well, I don't drink either, so coffee it is.

Update:  I found a good used 727 out of a motorhome for sale locally for $50.  I am going to try and cut the bell housing off of the 727 and the 518 and weld the 727 one on to the 518.  The front housings are almost identical castings between the two, so that will make it easier.  I have a full machine shop, so getting the two housings machined to match each other while time consuming, will not be a problem.  I have seen this done a number of times with success, so I am taking a shot at it.  Worst case scenario is that it does not work to my satisfaction and I have to remove it all and just order an Ultra bell adapter which bolts to the pump housing using longer bolts.  So the worst case is it costs me some hours and an extra $50.  If I can pull it off like I think I can, it will save me $400.  Lots of measurements, and patience will be required for this part.

I hope to start pulling the 46RH apart this week, or maybe this weekend to assess it's condition.  I spent some time talking to the very knowledgeable folks at the local trans parts supplier and getting parts pricing for all the rebuild stuff.  Replacing everything inside will run me about $325.  I wish my Porsches and BMW's were that cheap.  He suggested pulling it apart first and finding out what it needs, but I may opt to just replace everything with new.  Breaking down in the middle of nowhere in a coach does not interest me.  Not like we are talking thousands of dollars here.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: srosa707 on November 15, 2017, 12:20 PM
Sounds like a fun project.  Ill be watching this one for sure.


Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on November 17, 2017, 02:07 PM
11/17/17 Update:  Donor bellhousing is removed from core 727 case.  46RH mostly disassembled.  I am not seeing anything in the transmission yet that screams problem.  The o-rings are hard, probably some pressure loss, bands look good, etc.  I will pull the clutch packs when I am ready to start assembling.  I mainly want to get the front case bare today so I can start measuring where to cut....
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on November 17, 2017, 04:26 PM
Pictures man!! We want pictures!!!!
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on November 17, 2017, 10:41 PM
I pulled the 518 apart and rough cut off the bellhousing, I also rough cut the 727 bellhousing.  Then chucked them in the mill to dress them to final size.  They fit perfect.  Will weld either tomorrow or on Monday.  I am beat today and I need to clean on them a bit because cast aluminum is a bit tricky, then add oil to the mix....


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4537/38460827152_d13a6d5074_c.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4557/26717211699_cf76d7b9e4_c.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4525/26717211819_e0562c5366_z.jpg)



Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on November 18, 2017, 03:56 PM
Getting the oil out of the castings is going to be tough. Are you TIG welding? Some REALLY nice work there! DAMN I wish I had a mill and lathe!
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on November 18, 2017, 06:02 PM
There is also the brake and shear.  But all they do is create work for yourself.  Yes, I have a nice Lincoln square wave TIG that I will be using.  I had a hard time deciding between the TIG and JB weld though........ =)
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Froggy1936 on November 18, 2017, 06:55 PM
I would try spray choke cleaner , It penetrates the surface well and lifts out oil , then finish with brake clean spray Stay away from welding area both are highly flamable  , Unless you decide on JB Weld , You could also add some straps on the outside  W%  Frank
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: TerryH on November 18, 2017, 07:03 PM
 :)rotflmao :)rotflmao :)rotflmao :)rotflmao
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on November 18, 2017, 08:40 PM
The only way I have found to get oil out of castings for welding is heat and soapy water alternating. Heat on the kind of machined surface you need will be iffy though, curious to see how you go about it.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on November 18, 2017, 10:57 PM
I am far from a professional welder, but I can usually get it done.  Sometimes it is not pretty, but it will be strong.

My technique for dirty cast is I do my best with simple green and a wire brush.  Then I use a new flapper disk on the angle grinder and grind the entire surface I am welding.  If it was really bad, like this one, I will also use a propane torch to heat the area and boil out the oil.  Like you said Rick, heat, clean, heat, clean. 

My final step is the weld itself.  I use the "Clean" setting on my Tig and just pour the heat into the weld allowing the crap to come to the surface.  In cases like this I am not going for pretty.  No stacked dimes.  I want it strong.  If it starts to go to crap, I stop and reevaluate the situation and start again.  It should be fine.  I will be welding it on Monday.

Froggy, If I am not happy with the weld, trust me, I thought about adding some webbing across the weld in some critical areas.  I highly doubtful it will come to that.  I would just say I added fins for cooling... Makes it go faster.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: skloon on November 19, 2017, 01:48 PM
I worked at a machine shop and they had a huge oven thing that they baked parts in to get oil out- don't know if it would work on this
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on November 19, 2017, 03:19 PM
I worked at a machine shop and they had a huge oven thing that they baked parts in to get oil out- don't know if it would work on this

Well, I am single and can remove the batteries from the smoke alarms at home.....
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: skloon on November 19, 2017, 03:29 PM
Well, I am single and can remove the batteries from the smoke alarms at home.....

That sounds like me using the oven to cure powder coating-
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on November 19, 2017, 05:50 PM
I would not do it.  Just joking.  That stink would linger all winter in a house.

I forgot an old trick we used all the time back in the VW days, easy off oven cleaner, let it soak, then blast it with a hose.  Should take care of the big build up, then work on the weld areas by hand.  I will update tomorrow.  Hopefully it welds good.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: legomybago on November 20, 2017, 11:52 AM
(http://www.fmcowners.com/mbbs22/photos/get-photo.asp?photoid=3633)

This 518 tranny was out of a 90's small block 4x4 truck, he was able to buy a 440 bolt up adapter. It is going in an FMC coach. Is this the same tranny you are using?

Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on November 20, 2017, 12:15 PM
My question on that adapter would be what is he doing about the extra length of the adapter? Spacing the converter out from the flywheel is about the only option and that adds stress to the mounting points on the flywheel/flexplate.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: legomybago on November 20, 2017, 12:49 PM
yeah good question Rick, I don't know about the TC/flexplate spacing, he was able to retain the factory starter motor mounting position by relieving some of the 518's case. it's in a motorhome now being tested though....
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on November 20, 2017, 01:37 PM
Basically the same transmission I am using Lego...  Mine is from a 1992 Dodge diesel.  The diesels have a stronger planetary sets, and more clutch plates in a couple of the packs I believe, but basically the same.  Mine is from a 2wd.

I picked up a master overhaul kit, new bands, and a Transgo shift kit this morning.  $331.  Not bad.  Photos from the welding to follow later today.

Lego, keep me posted on how the testing is going.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on November 20, 2017, 01:55 PM
So much for "Taking my time"! I figure you will have this in and running by Christmas.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on November 20, 2017, 03:29 PM
Well, probably not.  I have to wait until after Christmas when dad brings his 43' coach home before doing the swap.  I am in Idaho and it is 43 degrees and raining.  NOT going to do this outside.  I will wait until he clears his rig out so I can pull it in the nice heated garage out of the weather.

That said, I may have it all built before then.......  Off to the welding store.  Ran out of 1/8 4043 filler rod.  It is tacked though.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on November 20, 2017, 05:39 PM
What a pain in the rear.  I am a bit over half way through welding.  The inside seam is welded, now working on the outside.  Since I was not able to preheat something this large I had to do a bunch of 1" stitch welds and keep doing them over and over again until it was one piece.  Then I was able to do a good deep weld all the way around.  Letting the TIG torch cool a bit before I go back and finish the outside.  Now is one of the times I wish I had opted for a water cooled torch.


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4549/24678116478_0d929b3351_c.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4518/24678115878_2f15ba71c0_c.jpg)
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on November 21, 2017, 11:12 AM
NICE work! Yea, That is definitely water cooled territory. Now be sure to run the mill on the face of the bell to be sure it is flat to the rest of the transmission. Last thing you need is to wipe out the input bearing or converter due to misalignment.


THAT'S where my damn tape measure went!!! D:oH! :)rotflmao
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Froggy1936 on November 21, 2017, 03:52 PM
Hi Rick  You ment square  D:oH! not flat Right ? Frank
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on November 21, 2017, 05:25 PM
Exactly what I meant Frank, Bad day, Migraine day today.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on November 21, 2017, 05:46 PM
I have a few tape measures, and I can never seem to find one when I need it.

Yes, I will fly cut the face.  I am sure it warped a bit with all the welding.  There are a couple of spots I am thinking about grinding out and laying a new bead.  I think there was some embedded contaminates that boiled up and contaminated the weld.  Even as is, I do not think there is any chance of it breaking, but for my peace of mind.  I will look at it fresh tomorrow and decide what to do.

I may have an issue with my mill though.  I can not get the table down far enough to get the transmission under the spindle.  It is just not tall enough.  I think I can rotate the head a full 90 degrees, but then there is an issue finding a truly flat surface to clamp the transmission to.  I'll take a bunch of measurements tomorrow.  I may just take it to a buddy's shop who has a larger mill.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on November 21, 2017, 06:46 PM
After all that work it doesn't pay to try to rig something. If he has a mill that will do it then go there.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on November 24, 2017, 09:15 PM
Pulled my intake and fuel injection throttle body today to update the dual plane manifold into an air gap.  Many threads that confirm that throttle body injection systems prefer an air gap style manifold.  Chucked it in the mill and got that done. 

Looked down the intake tracks of the head and found my oil burn issues.  Valve seals.  Every intake valve that was closed had a puddle of oil pooled up on them.  I had planned to get those changed here shortly, so now I am going to start on them this weekend.  Already had a new set of seals and all the tools to do an in frame swap of them using my leak down tester to pressurize the cylinders.  I have done it before on other motors, not too bad of a job.  It will be nice to have the oil burn reduced.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on November 25, 2017, 07:46 AM
If you are burning that much past the bad seals you might want to check the movement of the valve in the guides. You could have worn guides also and in that case the new seals will not stop as much as you hope.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on November 25, 2017, 09:46 AM
If you are burning that much past the bad seals you might want to check the movement of the valve in the guides. You could have worn guides also and in that case the new seals will not stop as much as you hope.

I agree.  The heads were rebuilt with new guides and seats in the early 80's.  Probably 30k miles ago (dad did not write the mileage on the receipt....).  So I hope not, but they may be.  If they are, then that will give me an excuse in the future to go with a rebuild of the motor and install aluminum heads, flat top pistons, etc., to get the most out of the motor, at least in realistic terms anyway.  All kinds of ideas are floating around in my head about what I could do with the motor.  Leave it low compression and add a low boost turbo, increase the compression and leave it normally aspirated, etc.  Much to consider, but I have time.  Even if the guides are worn, the motor runs too fantastically to be worn too bad.  I have time.

The next big project for the coach is paint.  That is going to be a big one.  I am going to completely strip the exterior, pull windows, etc.  While the windows are out I am going to replace all the seals, guides, and hardware so they function like new again.  So far I am convinced I am going to keep the original paint colors and style, in restomod fashion.  Keep the classic look, but be all new under the skin and inside.  I love how many comments I get on this coach when I travel.  I feel some of that would be lost if I went to modern colors and graphics.  But I have a couple more years to save and decide about that.

I am installing new tires before my March trip to AZ.  At that time I will have the wheels sand blasted and I am going to professionally paint them as new again.  No more bomb cans every couple of years.  I need to talk to the local auto paint shop to get a paint recommendation so I can do it right.  I thought about powder coating, but that is still expensive and my yearly budget is busted for this year on her.  A quality paint job on the wheels should last until I swap tires again in another 8-9 years or so.  Stuff does not rust in this part of the country.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: legomybago on November 27, 2017, 10:17 AM
Powder coating in my part of the country is actually really affordable...But a new coat of acrylic enamel would make them sparkle too! I'm still voting on you painting the hubs shiny black... W% And yes keep the original colors on the exterior
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on November 28, 2017, 10:02 AM
Hubs will be painted.  I am deciding between black and a machinery gray.  The stark contrast between bright white and gloss black may look out of place.  Maybe a satin black, not sure yet.

Today I will be starting the building of the transmission.  I have all the parts and the new gas governor showed up yesterday.  I am going to take this very slow and make sure it is right.

Saturday I am planning on doing the valve stem seals.  It looks like it will be mid January before my coach can get pulled into the heated garage for the transmission swap.  So I am working on inside projects where I can just kick on the heater in the coach.  Plenty of things to keep me busy.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: legomybago on November 28, 2017, 10:12 AM
Here's one of my wheels, I used Stainless Steel color vs. gloss black hubs(http://www.fmcowners.com/mbbs22/photos/get-photo.asp?photoid=3963)
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: legomybago on November 28, 2017, 10:16 AM
Another example from a different rig, I didn't like the front lugs painted black, it looked funny(http://www.fmcowners.com/mbbs22/photos/get-photo.asp?photoid=2742)(http://www.fmcowners.com/mbbs22/photos/get-photo.asp?photoid=2741)
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on November 28, 2017, 11:01 AM
I like the black contrast, I painted the hubs gloss black on my Dodge dually pickup and it came out nice. They stay cleaner in gloss paint also. Got the same old semi rusty lug nuts though.  :D :D  Was going to buy new ones til I saw the price for 32 lug nuts!
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on November 28, 2017, 12:17 PM
Thanks for the visual.  Black hubs look great.  I am pricing powder coating for the wheels now.  Much more durable than paint, in my opinion.  We will see what the cost is.  I am also thinking about trying to find some of those stainless lug caps like the truckers use that will fit my lug nuts, then have them powder coated at the same time in white.  That is probably a long shot, but worth a try.

Ok, out to the shop and start stacking this transmission.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: tmsnyder on November 28, 2017, 12:57 PM
I might be wrong but iirc there's a reason they don't powdercoat rims.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on November 28, 2017, 03:00 PM
I might be wrong but iirc there's a reason they don't powdercoat rims.

I have been trying to figure this one out.  But there are a lot of rims that are powder coated from the factory.  I have done a ton of motorcycle wheels, and some friends have done many aluminum rims for cars.

That said, I can think of two problem areas.  One is on the taper seat of where the lug nuts tighten down.  You do not want to get any powder coat there.  The second, and I do not know how to deal with this one yet, is where the two flat mating surfaces of the dual wheels mash up to each other.  I can not remember if they go flat to flat on the M500 chassis or if there is a gap.  But, powder coat is not perfectly flat, so if they mashed up, it could be slightly off in regard to being true to each other.  And, powder coat offers very little coefficient of friction.  It would put a much higher stress on the lug bolts as the wheels will not be locked together via friction.

Still trying to figure it out.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on November 28, 2017, 06:25 PM
Started rebuilding components.  Got the pump and the front most clutch assembly rebuilt.  So far I am not seeing any red flags.  It looks like this was a good used transmission.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on November 28, 2017, 07:06 PM
When I bought my 98 dually I pulled the trans since he had used it since new to pull a four car trailer daily. with 120,000 on the clock I figured it HAD to be toast. Well, I really did not even have to replace the clutches. I did anyway since I had upgraded clutches but the originals looked like new! He took very good care of the truck. That was a 47RE.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on November 28, 2017, 10:58 PM
When I bought my 98 dually I pulled the trans since he had used it since new to pull a four car trailer daily. with 120,000 on the clock I figured it HAD to be toast. Well, I really did not even have to replace the clutches. I did anyway since I had upgraded clutches but the originals looked like new! He took very good care of the truck. That was a 47RE.

Same thing I am finding.  Some of the seals were a little firm, a couple bushings showing some wear, clutches and bands look great.  But everything is getting replaced.  Other than service, I want this transmission to live as long as I have the coach, which will probably be another 20 years.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on November 29, 2017, 09:24 AM
Did you get a chance to run a mill against the face of the transmission? I am curious to see just how close you got it.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on November 29, 2017, 10:27 AM
Did you get a chance to run a mill against the face of the transmission? I am curious to see just how close you got it.

I mounted it up on the granite slab and rigged up my depth gauges and took a bunch of measurements from the flange to the pump mounting surface to check how straight it was in relation to each other.  Pretty much nailed it.  I think using a precision mill to measure and mill the welding surfaces really helped make this happen.  So machining was not necessary like I thought it would be.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on November 29, 2017, 04:59 PM
Good to hear.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: khantroll on November 30, 2017, 10:26 AM
Hi Sasquatch,


I'd like to pick your brain about something on your coach, but it isn't directly related to this project. Would it be alright to private message you about it?
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on November 30, 2017, 01:27 PM
Hi Sasquatch,


I'd like to pick your brain about something on your coach, but it isn't directly related to this project. Would it be alright to private message you about it?

Sure, shoot me a message.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on December 02, 2017, 04:07 PM
Todays project, valve stem seals.  The heads were rebuilt about 35k miles ago, but that was in the early 80's when my dad owned the coach.  But I found evidence of severe oil leakage down the valve guides the other day when I had the intake off.  So today, they are being done.  Yes, they were junk.  exhaust sides were in pieces.  The intakes, so far, are intact, but hard as a rock and fall right off the valve stem.


It is nice to see that there is no carbon residue in the valley or in the heads. 


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4519/27017021669_9894f9bc11_m.jpg)


I took a break for lunch.  I have 5/8 done.  Hope this cures much of my oil burn.  I have been doing a leak down test on each cylinder and so far they have been between 14-16%, so there is nothing wrong with this motor.  The motor is very cold (30 degrees F), so a warm motor would have even less leak down.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on December 03, 2017, 05:55 PM
Valve stem seals are done.  Found a good set of aluminum valve covers on CL here locally for $60, so hopefully that will help with the normal 440 valve cover gasket leaks.  She all went together smoothly and fired right up.  Man, I love fuel injection.


I am trying to take care of some of my smaller projects before I bring it into the shop in January for the transmission swap.


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4540/23952257187_de1df0d43e_m.jpg)


Nice and clean engine bay, for the most part.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: khantroll on December 03, 2017, 08:06 PM
Hi Sasquatch,


What do you have for fuel injection? Also, where'd you get the air intake and filter in the picture?
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on December 03, 2017, 08:23 PM
Hi Sasquatch,


What do you have for fuel injection? Also, where'd you get the air intake and filter in the picture?

The fuel injection is a Professional Products Powerjection III.  The air filter assembly is from a V8 Jeep out of the junk yard mated to a K&N cone filter.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: khantroll on December 04, 2017, 09:36 AM
Cool. I'll have to look for one of those air filter tops the next time I go out to the pick and pull.  Eventually, I'd like to setup a ducted system, but that'd work until I could.


I had never heard of the Powerjection products before. I'm trying to decide right now between a Holley Sniper kit or a just save my money for an engine swap. What has your experience with the Powerjection been like?
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on December 04, 2017, 11:50 AM

I noticed that Professional Products is no longer making the system.  That is my bad.  I should have bought a Holly or Edelbrock system which stood a better chance of being in business much longer.  But, the system is working well, so until it fails, I will run with it.

I love it.  Never would I go back to a carb.  And when I bought this kit it was $2k.  You can buy newer systems for around $1k now.  If you drive your rig at all, I would ditch the carb and make the switch.  Power improved, but not by much.  Economy improved, but not enough to pay for it for quite a while.  The biggest difference is that it just runs perfect, everywhere.  Does not care what altitude I am at, what the temperature is, how much humidity is in the air, or where I bought fuel at the last stop.  Turn the key and it fires and goes.  No hiccups, no vapor lock, no flat spots, no fuel smells, and the engine is noticeably smoother.  No wondering if your jetting is right.  No fiddling with air fuel screws, power valves, or cleaning out the carb because you forgot to put in fuel stabilizer and now a jet is plugged.


I have had some growing pains with it, but none with the injection unit, all to do with the cheap aftermarket fuel pumps.  I have replaced three of them.  Luckily, none left me stranded away from home.  I finally have the solution though.  I bought a fuel pump from a 90's era Ford F150 which, from the factory, was designed to be mounted externally on the frame rail.  I also bought a package of the Ford quick disconnect fuel hose connectors and 20' of the new plastic fuel line and the matching Ford fuel filter.  I opted for the top of the line Bosch pump, which I picked up for around $80.  This is one of my projects to do along with the transmission swap once I get it inside in January.  This will give me a fuel delivery system that is designed to work exactly how I am using it.  It will also allow me to swap a component in minutes, anywhere.  Every auto parts store across the country will have a pump in stock along with a fuel filter.  Avoid the fuel pumps supplied with these FI systems at all costs.  Just build your own with off the shelf Ford parts which will last many, many years.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on December 04, 2017, 12:02 PM
BTW, after doing the valve stem seals, my smoke issue at idle is gone.  She used to smoke a bit at hot idle.  Now there is no hint of smoke or oil burn smell from the exhaust.  I highly suggest that if your motors are older like mine, do this project.  It is really not that bad if you have an air compressor to pressurize the cylinder you are working on.  Tons of YouTube videos of how to do it.  All in all it took me a day to do the work.  It idles smoother as well, no more vacuum leaks on the intake side.

I love this old coach.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: legomybago on December 04, 2017, 01:07 PM
Quote
I love this old coach.

Oh yeah? Why don't you marry it then???

Going back to my elementary school days.. :)ThmbUp
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on December 04, 2017, 01:59 PM
Oh yeah? Why don't you marry it then???

Going back to my elementary school days.. :)ThmbUp

LOL.  If you consider the amount of money invested in her, she is a lot like a wife....
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: khantroll on December 04, 2017, 03:57 PM
That's why I was thinking the Holley Sniper. Originally, I was thinking about the Go EFI, which is a little cheaper, but the company hasn't been around nearly as long. It's a pretty safe bet Holley isn't going anywhere anytime soon.


My rig currently has an aftermarket carb (Holley) on it that came with it, and I'm sure it needs to be rebuilt. It'll cost me 200 or so for that, and then time to hook it all back up and get it set right again. Or about 1200 or so to get EFI going. I'm leaning real hard toward the EFI, even though it costs 6 times as much.


Does you kit control the distributor timing as well?


Also, do you happen to have the part number for the front air bag kit you are using?


Thanks!
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on December 04, 2017, 07:49 PM
Do your research, I have heard a LOT, And I mean a whole lot, of bad reviews and comments on the Holley system. Mostly pertaining to customer service and replacement parts and support of the system. On a custom system like this you HAVE to have good support.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on December 04, 2017, 09:29 PM
I have not done any research on the new crop of FI systems. Another one to consider is the FItech.  But like Rick said, do the research.  But to be quite honest, I have never had to call PP about mine.  The system just works.  Holly was if not the first, very close to the first in the business with bolt on EFI.  Their original systems were really buggy, but they have improved a lot since then.  I would hope their customer service is good.

As far as the air bags go, they were a Firestone Ride Rite system that they no longer make.  In fact, they do not even admit that they ever made it.  Part of my Jan/Feb projects is to relocate the front air bags a bit farther outboard than the way it is designed.  They come too close to the headers and I have melted two on the left side.  When I get it apart I will get the bag numbers, I have to order a new one anyway, and take photos of the existing mounting brackets and my new or modified ones.  It is not rocket science and I am sure anyone can come up with their own mounts, or design them and have a small fab shop weld up some.  The bags themselves are still available.

I also ordered 4 individual air control switches and 4 mini pressure guages.  I am installing an on board air system and a control panel for the air bags in the above compartment above my drivers seat.  It will be nice to be able to use the air bags for minor leveling when dry camping at WalMarts as to be able to tweak the pressures on the fly depending on road conditions.

I will be taking photos of all that I am doing so if any of you want to copy it, have at it.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: khantroll on December 04, 2017, 10:59 PM
Will probably do so. I'd like air ride; if I can't do air ride I'll do helper spings and rubber, but I think air would be better.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on December 05, 2017, 12:14 PM
Go air ride.  The difference in handling is nothing short of amazing.  No more body sway, wiggle, wag, and getting blown all over by passing semi's.  Probably the single best improvement in ride over any other single upgrade I did to the suspension, followed by ditching the cheap Monroe shocks in favor of more expensive Bilsteins.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on December 05, 2017, 03:54 PM
You guys keep saying air ride, I am assuming you are talking about the air assist over the springs because converting to actual air ride would be very expensive! Here is the air ride on the rear of mine.


(https://s25.postimg.org/z7h6qcq7j/DSC03496.jpg) (https://postimg.org/image/n5lsw7gyz/)


Here is one of the ride height controllers.
(https://s25.postimg.org/kfj34g94f/IMG_20170928_124602.jpg) (https://postimg.org/image/jq0as38kr/)


One of the air bags, This is on jack stands on the frame so I could get above the axle to get to the gas tank mounts. That is why the bag is all the way up like that. In all of the pictures they are blown up so I could get under it, in normal position the shiny area of the mount is where the bag rides.


(https://s25.postimg.org/h8ojksttb/IMG_20170928_124643.jpg) (https://postimg.org/image/fgvkpwagb/)


Here is the bag with weight on it but still pumped up above normal pressure. This RV has a Jetco leveling system where I can control the pressure in each bag so that when I am parked I can use them to level the coach.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on December 05, 2017, 04:01 PM
Yes Rick, I we are talking about the add on air bag "helper" springs.  A true air ride like yours would be much better, but as you say, a very costly upgrade.  I thought about designing a system, but it would be a lot of work to get it right.  The Firestone system mounts between the leaf spring and frame.  I think as the leaf springs age, they sag and loose some of their spring.  These air bags help to get that back without pulling the spring stacks and having them re done.  But, with the factory springs not working up to par, I think this helps us gain the benefit from the air bags.  Air springs respond much smoother to the road, so letting them do their thing really helps the coach ride very good.

I run very little pressure in mine to get the coach to ride really well.  About 20 psi in the front and 40-50 in the rear.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on December 05, 2017, 05:48 PM
Air ride is nice but you do get a lot more roll from it than you do from leaves. You can see the sway bar in those pics, it is almost 2"!!! And then you also have a massive drag ling to keep the rear end centered which in my case needs new bushings, not something you pick up in the aftermarket.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on December 05, 2017, 06:20 PM
Are both your air bags on the same axle tied to the same circuit?  If so, when your body wants to roll left, all the air from your left air bag just transfers to the right, doing nothing for the roll.  If you can keep them independent, then you will get better roll control.  That is a massive sway bar for sure.  I wonder if they did that to compensate?

Many aftermarket air bag systems tie them together to use one control to control the entire axle.  I did not like this idea for the reason I mentioned above, so I keep each corner on it's own circuit.  It works really well.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on December 05, 2017, 07:10 PM
The bags are separate, That is why the height adjusters are there. The height adjusters are also delayed release type which means if the axle drops the air does not immediately dump. This produces see-saw on a single axle and is very hard on the compressor. If you are in a long turn it will actually add air to the outside bag which is the compressed side. If you want to engineer your own setup look at Kelderman for inspiration. https://kelderman.com/ (https://kelderman.com/)


I was looking all through that Kelderman page and their systems are a bit different than those I have installed in the past. Nowadays they have a steup that uses the factory springs and attaches the ends of the springs to the airbags. This still gives you a full air ride suspension without changing too much stuff under the truck. The old setups used to cut out just about everything under the frame and put in a new framework that cradled the rear and had the airbags back at the rear bumper. It was a nice setup and through leverage gave a very smooth ride but articulation was not the best. With this new setup articulation will be much better than stock. And for 1400 bucks for my Dodge dually that is not a bad deal! I already have an air compressor and tank for the helper bags that were on it when I bought it. Got me thinking! I bet if you call them and tell them what you have they could price out a system for you.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on December 05, 2017, 07:42 PM
See what happens when I get fixated on something? 1900.00 and you are ready to go with air ride suspension! That would go for about any of us. Well, except me since I have the Jet system. I think I would rather have this!


https://kelderman.com/shop/general-medium-duty-2-stage-rear-air-suspension


https://smhttp-ssl-53780.nexcesscdn.net/shop/media/extradownloads/files/g/2/g2_2-stage_rear_1.pdf
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on December 05, 2017, 07:51 PM
I have seen this before!!!! Mike or Mark, do you remember a ways back someone was having trouble with a system that the bags were on an angle? It was on a tandem axle unit. THIS IS IT!!


https://kelderman.com/shop/general-medium-duty-2-stage-rear-air-suspension
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: M & J on December 05, 2017, 08:00 PM
I remember it Rick. The owner was trying to re-engineer it to get the bags upright.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on December 05, 2017, 08:08 PM
This is definitely the setup that he had but it had extra parts on it like that big link that was being twisted sideways I kept asking about.
Anyway, that is for another thread, I just wanted to verify that I did see it here and it was sort of the same with modifications to it.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on December 05, 2017, 08:44 PM
Now you have me looking...  Rick, you are evil....  =)
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: M & J on December 05, 2017, 08:49 PM
Rick is evil. Yes.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on December 05, 2017, 09:54 PM
 W% W% W% W%
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on December 11, 2017, 08:22 PM
Got the overdrive assembly rebuilt today.  Converted the governor from diesel to gas specs.  Got it all assembled then built a tool on the lathe to check the end play and thrust shims.  I need to buy those tomorrow morning.


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4687/27218444899_8d6e054c15_c.jpg)


Everything in the donor transmission looked good and was within specs.  I could have swapped the governor and ran it as is.  But, I would have always been wondering in the back of my mind when it would fail, so better to do it this way.  Probably the only thing that was iffy was all the seals and o-rings were old and hard.  So good to get a new seal kit in there.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on December 11, 2017, 08:25 PM
The only thing left is to go through the valve body and install the shift kit and do final assembly into the case.  Then it is a waiting game until dad clears his coach out of the shop so I can get mine in to do the swap and test.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on December 12, 2017, 11:32 AM
Be careful with the 2-3 servo piston, mine was jammed and I had to drill it to get it out figuring it would not be hard to get a replacement.......................... yea, right. I used a Super servo and it works well but it is super touchy and I do not like the way I had to set the band looser than what I would normally like.  Bottom line, try to stay with the stock piston. And if you happen to have a good spare piston.................................. W% W% W%
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on December 12, 2017, 08:46 PM
Done.  Now just to wait until I have shop space.


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4584/25148659188_25283b86c8_c.jpg)
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Froggy1936 on December 12, 2017, 09:39 PM
Hmm  Done  ?  without paint ?  Frank
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on December 12, 2017, 09:57 PM
No one will ever see it.  I may paint it, but is very low on my priority list.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on December 13, 2017, 02:20 PM
You HAVE to do the silver paint! :)rotflmao :)rotflmao :)rotflmao :)rotflmao :)rotflmao :)rotflmao
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: lance6611 on December 15, 2017, 06:14 PM
Hi
Very new to the RV scene, love it.  I would like to know how you maintained the center-line of the 2 pieces you welded and if you checked them again after welding. In my racecar transmissions I actually dial in the center-lines of the block and transmission with offset dowels. Do you intend to check the block to trans center-lines and if so how?  I went the expensive bellhousing route with my dually but would love to copy your method. Great work by the way and thanks for posting this, really helpful.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on December 16, 2017, 11:01 AM
I lucked out, at least so far in my opinion.  I had heard that the front casting of the 46rh was basically a 727 with different mounting holes, and I found this to be true.  I chose carefully where I made my cut and the casting was exactly the same.  It lined up perfectly.  All the curves matched perfectly.  I made before and after measurements from the 727 to the 46rh, and everything matched. 

Now, how I am going to verify this is when I have the torque converter on the shaft, if it does not match perfectly the bolt holes on the flexplate, that will tell me it is off and I will consider it a failure and just order the ultra bell, cut off what I did and mount it up.  The way I did it saved me $500.  But, I may still have to spend that and get the ultra bell adapter if I did not hit it right.

I am 98% convinced it will be right the way it is, but I accept that it may be off.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: lance6611 on December 16, 2017, 07:55 PM
I have reservations with using the casting, Maybe you could use a dial indicator on the crankshaft and install the transmission without the convertor and check the runout on the fixed shaft of the transmission just to check. It will bolt up with even .020" runout but the convertor bolts will constantly loosen up on you. Sorry to be a Debbie Downer, as I want to do the same thing to my 75 Indian. I think I might make some alignment shaft up that goes off an engines main bore and the transmission pump housing or other bearing bores in the tranny.
   When do you plan to put the transmission in?  Seeing as how you are a great guy who loves to share info, maybe you could explain the vacumn switch. I just had an on/off button and ya sometimes I forgot. lol 
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on December 16, 2017, 08:27 PM
I will do some checks as you suggest.  That is a good idea.  I can take measurements from the mounting flange to the fixed shaft on the 727 I remove and compare them to the welded up bellhousing.  Should not be hard to fab up a fixture to measure it.  I can do a plate that mounts to the face of the bellhousing and bolts to the torque converter on the 727.  If it slides right on the 46RH, then I nailed it.  When I have the 727 out I will have them side by side and I will figure out how to best measure it.

I will be doing the swap in late January.

Since I have a non lockup 46RH, there is only a two prong connector to control the overdrive solenoid.  Power and ground.  My circuit will be 12vdc at the dash to a toggle switch on my shifter.  From there it goes to the vacuum switch at the manifold, then to the transmission solenoid and then to ground.  The vacuum switch I chose is adjustable and I will set it to shut off (open contact) at somewhere between 5-7 inches of vacuum.  That way, when the OD is active, and I am cruising, if I hit a hill and the engine vacuum drops below the set point, it will cut power to the OD solenoid.  I can also override it by flipping the switch if I am on a gentle enough hill where it hunts between 3rd and OD, shutting off the OD. 
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on December 16, 2017, 09:54 PM
Here is an idea for finding center. Lay the trans bell down on a piece of sheet metal and use drills that are the exact size of the bolt holes in the bell housing mounting points to just start a  hole, more of a witness mark for hole center then a hole start. Do this for all holes. Take trans off of metal and draw straight lines across from side to side from the witness marks to determine center and then machine a hole of your choice dead center. This will be what you run the dial indicator against. Now drill the holes out for the bell housing mount bolts exactly the same size as the mount holes and bolt the piece to the bell housing. Mount the indicator on the input shaft and run the tip on the plate and turn the shaft and that will give you what you are looking for. I am guessing you will need to cut a hole for hand access off to the side the manipulate the gauge. I know you have machining equipment so that is why I am suggesting the rather involved plate.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on December 16, 2017, 10:15 PM
That is a great idea Rick.  I have a rack of sheet metal I can use for that.  I will work on that this week.  I have a ton of dial gauges and mounts, so I can find something that will work.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on December 16, 2017, 10:31 PM
If it is out, I can possibly correct it with offset dowel pins. Thanks guys.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on December 17, 2017, 10:54 PM
I hit the jackpot.  Through lots of searching I found the dimensions and layout of the BB transmission mounting holes and sizes.
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4690/39091878132_b8af898bf1_b.jpg)


I am going to draw this up in CAD tomorrow.  From the cad drawing I can easily machine a plate to check how centered the input shaft is.  This way I know my holes are all in the right places.  I will machine two holes to properly accept the dowel pins so it will be tight.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on December 18, 2017, 09:59 AM
Actually, Can't you use the factory separator plate? Nice find on the drawing. It has all the measurements you need for the center of the shaft.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on December 18, 2017, 10:22 AM
Actually, Can't you use the factory separator plate? Nice find on the drawing. It has all the measurements you need for the center of the shaft.

I do not think there is a factory separator plate on my rig.  Transmission bolts right to the engine with no plat in between.  Maybe some had them.  I dont know.  Heck, maybe there is one on mine, I will have to look closer at the mating area between the two and see if there is one in there.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on December 18, 2017, 04:40 PM
There is none on my diesel but it also has the SAE flywheel housing adapter to the Cummins engine. Totally different animal.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Froggy1936 on December 18, 2017, 05:27 PM
?Question How do you accuratly measure digital dimensions that large ?  Micrometer ? 18 in range ? Frank
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on December 18, 2017, 07:06 PM
Generally you are only measuring sections so you would only use small sections. Most calipers go up to 6 inch. I have micrometers up to 8 inch but above 4 inch they are hard to handle. Only use them for rare work. Mostly you would use a indicator caliper and then measure that for big stuff.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on December 18, 2017, 08:05 PM
Well, on to another option.  I took the drawing and converted it to a cad drawing.  I then measured the radius from the center of the input to each mounting hole.  I made a tool to find the center of the holes and have a 12" verneer caliper to get some initial measurements.  Things just were not measuring correctly.  I finally discovered that the center input shaft has a fair amount of side to side play that was throwing off the dimensions.  I also discovered that the 727 bellhousing was off a bit from the dimensions I had.  A few thousands here and there was enough to really mess with the measurements.

So, I am going to look for other ways to accomplish this.  I may wait until I mount it up and measure the difference between the threaded holes in the TC in relation to the holes in the flex plate.  They will be easier to measure. 

I am open to other options if any of you have them.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on December 18, 2017, 08:23 PM
It seems that they also reference the pump bolt holes, you should be able to use them for comparison to the bell housing holes.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on December 28, 2017, 09:32 AM
I am about 2 weeks out from having the indoor shop open up to bring my coach in and perform this mod.  Fingers crossed everything works out.  I will also be starting another thread detailing the other mods/upgrades and repairs I will be doing before this spring's trip to AZ. 

I have new tires ordered and will be in next week, at that time I will be repainting the wheels, lugs and hubs.  I am going with white wheels, black hubs and nuts as you guys have suggested.

Next will be upgrading the cheap aftermarket fuel pump system for my fuel injection to a complete system out of a mid 90's Ford F150/250 complete with plastic fuel line and Ford quick disconnects.  This should be worlds more reliable and easy to get replacements on the road if needed.

Then an on board air system.  I have a pump, 1.5 gallon tank, DOT air lines and fittings.  It will also supply constant air to my air bag system installed on all four corners with a panel I made up in the drivers area.

I need to pull the heater box from the front of the coach and go through it with a fine tooth comb.  It leaks air, makes noise, and the heat is horrible.  It will be restored and updated to the best of my ability.  I have all the sheet metal tools if I need to do major modifications to it.  I already pulled the air conditioning evaporator out of it, but it needs more work.  Probably a new fan motor, foam sealer on the flaps, silicone seam sealing, and a heater core flush.

I will be replacing my back up camera and monitor, as the one I have installed failed on the last trip.

Of course the transmission swap and hopefully a cheap e-brake solution I thought of.  I am keeping that idea under wraps until I get the transmission out and take a look at it.  It is a real long shot, but I have a machine shop..... (evil laugh).

I also have a few pages of projects that I make as I travel.  Some are repairs, most are upgrades.  I will see if I can address a few of them before I head out.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Gearhead88 on December 31, 2017, 01:01 PM
Very ambitious project !  and inspiring too.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on January 25, 2018, 08:48 AM
Spent most of the day yesterday working on removing the transmission.  I should have it fully out by Saturday.  Because of all the room under there vs. a car, I thought it would be quicker, but no.  There is a lot of big heavy stuff to address to get it out.  I had to remove my headers as they obstructed the bellhousing.  I wanted an excuse to get them out so I could wrap them anyway, so no big deal.  The torque converter is disconnected, driveline, exhaust, headers, starter and tail mounted parking brake are all pulled.  I just need to unbolt the transmission and drop it.  Of course that is easier said than done.


A note about running long tube headers on a M500 chassis.  they will completely block in the starter.  They fit, but there is simply no way to remove the starters without removing the driver's side header.  This would be a royal pain in the butt.  I am using this opportunity to replace my starter with one of the newer compact starters from a much newer Dodge.  I think the mini starter comes on just about anything Dodge after 1990 or thereabouts.  Reports say it actually spins the motor faster as well, time will tell.  But, the compact design should be serviceable with the headers in place.  A good thing if a repair is needed on the road.


I used my vacuum sucker which is powered by shop air to suck all the oil out of the transmission as well as sucking out the transmission cooler lines and coolers.  This worked very well.  I need to replace all the lines with larger diameter 3/8" cooler lines which I will fabricate from new tubing.  I will bypass the in radiator cooler which when you do a swap is too restrictive for the A518/64RH transmissions and only use the massive cooler I have on the front of the radiator.  Countless guys are doing this in the muscle car world doing this swap with no problem.  I am not too worried about cold days because this rig is never used for short drives, and even without the radiator cooler installed (which can warm up the transmission fluid when cold), I think the engine/transmission will generate enough heat to operate fine.  I have a good aftermarket temp gauge installed, so I will keep tabs on it.


I am also adding a spin on transmission fluid filter.  It is simply a remote oil filter casting designed for engine oil and a good quality spin on filter.  They work fantastic for this application and should keep my oil much cleaner than the marginal at best transmission filter in the pan.  I can change this filter every couple of years when I do an oil change.  Just spin off the old one, pre fill the new one and spin it on.  Easy peasy. 


The driveline will need to be shortened.  By how much I will not know until the new transmission is installed.  I have a local shop that does great drive line work who will handle this job for $100.  I will also need to change the front yoke that went to a flat plate that bolted up to the parking brake assembly to a slip yoke for the new transmission.  I was blessed that the core transmission that I got came with the slip yoke.  The universal joints are the same size, so it will press right on.


Parking brake.  For this first trip I will probably not have anything in place, only using the park lock in the transmission.  While it will get addressed in the future, I am not too worried about it right now as the original parking brake was barely adequate to begin with and I rarely used it anyway.  I am researching my options on what to replace it with now.  I can adapt an aftermarket drive line parking brake that is basically a disk brake that mounts to the differential or go with some sort of brake line lock.  There are pros and cons to each option that I am trying to digest and decide which way to go.


One major thing I am going to do while the transmission is out of the rig is to go through my undercarriage.  This coach is 42 years old and has been repaired and modified extensively.  There are tons of old wires and hoses that are no longer used and new ones ran alongside the old ones.  I plan on spending time pulling apart the old wire looms and sorting this all out.  Removing stuff no longer used (like all the remnants of the 70's era emission controls), binding up new wiring in all new wire looms, checking wiring connections, and cleaning it all up.  I also need to run a new cable for my replacement rear view camera system, install antennas for my tire pressure/temperature monitoring system, and run DOT air lines for the air system.  This will all be much easier with the drive train all removed.  I also want to run new larger wiring to the alternator engine and ground points.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: legomybago on January 25, 2018, 10:01 AM
Quote
I also need to run a new cable for my replacement rear view camera system

Why not go wireless?
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on January 25, 2018, 10:43 AM
Why not go wireless?

Multiple reasons.  Probably the most important is that I have a pile of rear vision camera systems from my years as an engineer in the RV industry, so I already own one.  Second is that I have heard numerous complaints about the wireless systems failing, poor picture quality, and electrical noise.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: khantroll on January 25, 2018, 02:57 PM
I can't wait to see what you come up with for the parking brake. I haven't found a driveline/pinion brake that bolts up to the d70 transmission.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on January 25, 2018, 04:20 PM
Neither have I, but I have a machine shop, so I will have to modify something. :)ThmbUp
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on January 25, 2018, 11:29 PM
The transmission is out.  I got it out and it is sitting on the floor beneath the coach.  I will dig it out on Saturday and start some cleanup of wires, plumbing, etc. under there.  i will also take some photos.  The rear main seal is dry, which impressed me.  I did find another major vacuum leak in the main vacuum line going back to the dual master cylinders.  I will correct that right away.  I am sure I will find a few other issues as I fully check the chassis out.




Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on January 27, 2018, 09:03 PM
Man, I worked like a dog on it today and it feels like I got nothing done.  I did get some stuff done, but wow, I felt like I was just chasing my tail. 


Got the 727 and the 46RH up on a table and got all the linkages swapped over along with fittings for the cooler lines.  Replaced the electronic speedo sender with the one from the 727 so the cable will attach.  Cleaned up the cross member and started to form a plan of attack for the transmission mount.


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4664/26064346258_a43344f7bb_m.jpg)
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on February 06, 2018, 08:28 PM
Transmission is in!  :)clap :)clap :)clap


Barely, but in.  It is bolted to the engine block, but that is it.  It slid right in.  I also got the transmission cooler lines fabricated and ran with the filter mounted and hooked up.  Things are moving right along.


I need to fabricate the rear mount.  Still mulling over which way to go on that one.  I also need to measure the drive shaft and get it off to the driveline shop for shortening.  Then it is a matter of just putting everything back on the coach like the exhaust, headers, starter, etc.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on February 07, 2018, 10:26 AM
And when is your trip?
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on February 07, 2018, 03:46 PM
Last week of March.

Today I need to finish the install, get it all bolted in then measure the drive shaft for shortening.  Then start working on the transmission mount.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on February 07, 2018, 10:33 PM
With a wide open frame it shouldn't be too hard. Can you cut off the rivets and move the original frame mount brackets back some and work off of them? Does the cross member itself even have to be moved? The mount should not be that much further back and should be on the same plane, maybe extend the mount back from the original position on the cross member.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on February 07, 2018, 11:13 PM
The mount is about 6" or so farther back.  The original cross bar mounts had two positions it could be mounted to.  I chose the secondary mounts which were about 2" farther back and an inch lower.  I Still need to build a support to reach back to the mount point.  I am going to modify the Dodge mount on the rear of the transmission to accept the M500's transmission mount.  That will be the easiest to do.  I will take some photos tomorrow night.  Sorry, I get into working and dont want to stop to go grab my phone.

Tonight I finished up the bolt up, hooked up the linkages, plumbed the cooler, installed the cross member and the starter.  She is getting there.  I will be dropping the drive shaft off tomorrow morning to have it shortened.  I still have the headers to install along with the mount.  But I am getting close.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on February 08, 2018, 11:07 AM
I am the same way, Once I get going I don't want to stop. A lot of times I am done for the night and then I look at something and figure, well if I get that done tonight then I can start on something else tomorrow. Next thing I know the sun is coming up and I still am in the garage! As I have gotten older and my joints have started failing those long nights are fewer. Pain usually stops me by 7-8 at night now.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on February 08, 2018, 05:53 PM
I'm feeling your pain Rick.  My back is killing me.  Getting under the coach about 50 times a session, plus lifting, etc., is just killing me.  I am seeing the end in sight, my prayer is that it is worth it.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on February 08, 2018, 07:15 PM
The overdrive will not help much in the mountains but it should more than make up for that on the flat runs. All the other stuff just adds dependability and peace of mind.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on February 08, 2018, 10:57 PM
I am really looking for the ride to be quieter. It will be nice to cruise at a much lower RPM. Mileage has to get better turning 1000 less rpms.  How much better, well, that we will have to see.

Your right, all the other stuff will make the coach more reliable and easier to service when something fails, and it will.  The on board air system will be nice.

I am really stressing though.  All the worries if my rebuild was done right.  Did I miss something?  Did I get a measurement wrong selecting the shims?  Etc.  I will rest when she moves under her own power.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on February 09, 2018, 10:35 AM
9 times out of 10 when a machinist does a project like this it is found that the tolerances are much closer than they were from the factory mainly because as a machinist you are looking for perfect. As a manufacturer they are looking for serviceable. Where they may allow for .020 you are only going to allow .010 or even less.
You are going to know within the first ten miles at 60 MPH itf it is right or wrong, I am betting for right.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on February 09, 2018, 04:27 PM
I hope you are correct Rick.  I was pretty anal when I built it.  The part that bothers me is that the rebuild kit for the transmission was a kit that fit many different models and years of this transmission.  Then add in the fact I put in a shift kit which replaced some of those parts.  I have a nice pile of parts left over.  Being anal that I am when I take something apart and rebuild it, I want zero parts left over.  That reassures me that everything that came out went back in.  With transmission kits this is impossible.  Had this been my 125th transmission build I could trust my own work knowing were everything goes.  But being my first, my normal "check and balance" is not possible.  So there is the unknown.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on February 09, 2018, 06:00 PM
Well, you shouldn't have any "extra" parts. You should have the same number of left overs that you had new ones going in, like springs and pistons and clutches. Did you stay with the stock servo on the 2-3 band? I went with a super servo and had a lot of problems with the band adjustment and getting a good release on the band. I ended up with a pretty loose adjustment. I used the factory Dodge pan gasket which is reusable and kept a clean pan available so I could reuse the fluid after each pan drop. At 7.00 a quart for the synthetic you don'y want to just dump it.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Winnebago Warrior 94 on February 09, 2018, 10:25 PM
You have been doing a lot of work on your rig ..I,know your ready for that camping trip ..i just got my transmission fluid and filter,changed ..the guy changing it took pictures of how dirty it was and it was clean after he finished ..I also got belts changed and new awning installed ..fixing to het extra battery as my rig just had one ..fix the wiring properly to the battery and get,some new tires and start my paint job and ill he ready to roll :)
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on February 10, 2018, 09:14 AM
Rick, extra parts from the kit which supplies much more parts than needed.  Every part removed from the transmission was replaced with new, so I should be good.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on February 10, 2018, 06:22 PM
Transmission is fully installed.  :)clap


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4742/28412764159_c29c38b23e_c.jpg)


Just got the rear mount welded up and installed.  It ended up being easier than I had thought, but still took some time to figure out. 


Here is the cooler and filter assembly all plumbed in.  The transmission temperature sender is installed on the inlet side of the filter.  It may read a couple degrees cooler than if I mounted it right on the transmission output port, but there was no room because of the old style linkages.  I doubt the fluid will cool that much before the filter, so it should not be an issue at all.


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4715/28412766079_ede0d2b3b8_c.jpg)


I should have the drive shaft back by the first of the week.  Looking at my list of things I must do before she moves under her own power I should be ready in a week or two for the first test run.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: TerryH on February 10, 2018, 06:42 PM
I have followed your thread from the start, even though much of the work is over my head and experience. I have to tell you though it is a pleasure to see a perfectionist at work.
Best of luck on your test run.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on February 10, 2018, 09:09 PM
Perfectionist?????? =)  I wouldn't go that far, but thank you.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on February 11, 2018, 09:57 AM
I figured that mount would be pretty easy, I also figured you would overthink/engineer it. Engineers's tend to do that. :)rotflmao  Good job all around. I see your fuel pump hanging out over there also. If you were running a diesel with the additional torque I would have suggested adding sides on the mount but you are not running 800 ft.lbs. of torque so you will have no problems at all with what you built.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on February 11, 2018, 10:09 AM
I do tend to over think/design things.  I am using the original mount for the 727, which held up well for many years, so it should be fine.  I will order a new one though.  I am getting excited to fire it up.  But I have some more work to do before I can do that.  I need to replace some heater hoses, rebuild the heater box, install new tires and paint the rims.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on February 11, 2018, 11:29 AM
So you have one days work ahead of you.................. No sweat. W% :)rotflmao  I would leave the rear wheels in the air with tires on and run it in gear and count shifts. That way you know you have all four gears plus it is a lot easier to pin down a vibration in the shop on stands than it is on the road. Just don't do what I have seen SO many people do and that is throw it in park with the rear tires spinning because they forgot they are in the  air!   ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzBANG!
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on February 11, 2018, 04:37 PM
LOL, I have done that one before....  Good idea.  I had planned on doing basically that.  Let the transmission warm up and burp out all the coolant lines and get oil fully flowing around in there to get the levels set right.  But I never thought about checking the shifting out.  Good idea.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on February 24, 2018, 10:01 AM
I got her started yesterday and ran her on the stands.  She sucked in 12 full quarts of ATF +4.  I ran her in all the gears up on the stands and everything rotates the right way.  :)clap  I am a bit concerned because I get some amount of noise from the pump on the transmission.  It sounds just like power steering whine.  It has quieted down a bunch after running it a bit, but it is still there.  I spent some time with my buddy who owns an auto repair shop and in his youth built a lot of transmissions.  He told me to relax for now.  The assembly lube I used is a special grease designed for transmissions.  He said it does not melt until about 150 degrees or so and I never got it anywhere near there.  He said there are lots of passages, check balls, etc., that I packed with that grease through the build process and he said I really need to drive it and get it up to temp and really let everything get bled out.  He also said that all the clutches/etc. take a bit to take a set and some noise is somewhat normal.  It is not loud, and it is slowly diminishing as time goes on, so it may be totally normal just like he said.  So, still some worry, but I am going to not make any rash decisions until I get some miles on her.


But there are no bangs, grinds, or expensive sounding noises.  So we may be on our way.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on February 24, 2018, 05:34 PM
Found the noise problem.  The shifter cable was not adjusted properly so it was not sitting fully in the chosen gear.  Got it adjusted and she is as quiet as a mouse.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on February 24, 2018, 09:54 PM
 :)ThmbUp :)ThmbUp   Now go see if you can smoke the tires! :)rotflmao
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on February 24, 2018, 10:29 PM
 Hm?  I wonder.......


 W%
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on March 04, 2018, 03:28 PM
Well, epic failure.  Took it for a drive and it drove like crap, had pump whine (sounded like a ford power steering pump), overheated the transmission badly, and had intermittent flow to the cooler (intermittent at first, then no flow by the time I limped her back to the shop).  I am in the process of pulling her again to perform an autopsy and try and figure out what failed or what I did not put together correctly.


So far I pulled the valve body and went through it.  I matched everything up to the drawings and it all seems good.


Pulled the OD unit off the back to make things lighter and did a initial basic tear down of it.  It got hot, but I see no damage yet.  I need to get into it and pull it apart and check to make sure I got the one way bearing in correctly and to check out the internal parts.


Blew threw the cooler system and air passed freely, so I do not think there was a restriction there.


Drained the TC, fluid was clean, but it had been hot.


I am suspecting something with either the TC, pump or alignment (my fabbed bellhousing). 


Looks like my trip may be off.  I want to get this right.  For the brief moments that I was able to hit overdrive, it was fantastic.  60mph, 2100 rpm, and 15" of vacuum.  It will be worth it if I can get it right.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on March 04, 2018, 05:57 PM
Found the root cause.  I was missing a control spring on the switch valve in the valve body.  This would answer the question why coolant flow and line pressures were hit and miss.  Mostly miss.


Now I probably still need to go into the rest of the transmission and check everything out to make sure there is no hidden damage.  Not looking forward to pulling it.  You think it would be easy on a coach, but it is far from it.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on March 04, 2018, 07:51 PM
If you didn't go all that far and didn't really push it then I would reassemble the valve body and try it. I seriously doubt you got it hot enough to damage the seals in that short time and the clutches are far tougher than than that. If it does not work then you have not really lost anything but a bit of time and some fluid. It it works fine then you are good to go on your trip knowing you found the problem.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on March 04, 2018, 09:36 PM
There was some aluminum in the pan.  Not brass or steel, but aluminum.  The only part that is aluminum is the two planetary gear assemblies.  I am sure the lack of proper lubrication and heat caused it.  The question is if it did any significant damage.  None of the aluminum made it past the filter into the inner workings, but I am worried that I will always wonder when it will fail because I did not go all the way and check it out.  My buddy who owns an auto shop will check with his tranny guy (not his guy who is a tranny.... lol), and see what he says. If he hesitates at all I am pulling it the rest of the way down.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on March 05, 2018, 09:05 AM
You didn't mention the metal in the first post. You should be able to do this in one weekend, I just watched an episode of Roadkill where they pulled the Hemi out of one of the guys cars and completely built a new motor including buying a new aluminum block and raced it at the end of the weekend. And they did it in a parking lot. Ahh, to be young again. AND have unlimited funds!!!!!!!!


Here is that episode just in case you need motivation. W% :D
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZLLVdlYpb8&t=0s&list=PL12C0C916CECEA3BC&index=4
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on March 05, 2018, 08:13 PM
I got struck with a moment of clarity last night and realized that the aluminum was probably from me grinding and machining on the case and hid some where where I did not get it cleaned out.  So, hopefully no damage internally.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on March 08, 2018, 11:48 AM
3/8/18 Update:  Ok, fixed all my fluid flow problems by fixing the valve body.  Quiet pump now.  But, I did hurt something inside.  No engagement in D, but will engage properly if manually select 1st.  According to the most excellent service manual, it sated this problem exactly and said the fault lies with the overrun clutch (sprag clutch).  Basically a one way bearing.  I purchased two new ones, one for the OD unit and one for the main body which is the culprit.  Got the OD unit off last night and went through it with a fine tooth comb.  All the clutches and bearings looked good, but replaced the seals and sprag clutch in it anyway.  Pulling the main case today to go through it. 

I am getting close, I have not lost hope yet.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Froggy1936 on March 08, 2018, 03:32 PM
Be very carefull with installing the sprag,s They will only work if installed properly (only lock in one direction ) They can be installed backwards very easily . Also First gear in low uses the frt band . In drive first gear it does not it only uses the clutch pack  .  Frank
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on March 09, 2018, 12:29 PM
Thanks Froggy.  The sprags on the 518 have the cage cut to only fit in one way.  You would have to force them to go in backwards, if at all possible.

Pulled it apart yesterday.  The damage was much more extensive than I thought.  Destroyed both planetary gear sets, sun gears, and a few bushings.  But the upside is that I took apart my low mileage 727 core I used for the bellhosuing and everything inside was a direct match that I needed and in great shape.  Only needed a bushing and a full new seal kit.  So she will start going back together today.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Froggy1936 on March 09, 2018, 04:08 PM
Hmm. That sounds like a lack of lubrication problem . (same as towing with the engine off )  Look at my post about redoing my OD after a 20 mi tow in the pouring rain. with the driveshaft still installed . See if your looks like that . You will have to check all pressures ,after reassembling and before driveing  (done with the wheels off the ground ) I think there is a chart somewhere that shows what each test port should have .  Have you added an extended oil pan ??  That will require more fluid . I cannot think of any reason for gear damage except lack of lube !  Frank  http://www.classicwinnebagos.com/forum/index.php/topic,5978.msg41429.html#msg41429  hilight address and click on it to see old post  Frank
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on March 09, 2018, 11:40 PM
It was lack of lube, and it was my fault.  Somehow when I built it the first time I missed the spring on the outside of the switch valve.  This valve controls fluid flow all over the place.  Without the spring there was no control of the valve and no flow through the cooler.  So I had a lack of lubrication, and super heated oil where there was some, double trouble.  And it was all my fault.  All this in less than 10 miles of travel.  The coolant got so hot I could hear it boiling in the transmission.  One of the sun gears was purple (Yes, I replaced it).

It is all back together again as of tonight.  Tomorrow I spend the day getting it back installed and hopefully have a functioning transmission.  Everything checked out, all bad parts replaced, and I got the valve body repaired, so it should all be good.

I have the stock pan on the transmission.  But I also have a large filter in the cooling circuit, and a super sized cooler.  Total capacity is about 14 quarts.  That should be plenty.  The 727 I had in it had far less capacity and it worked perfectly for 113k miles and is still a great transmission.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on March 10, 2018, 08:12 AM
Yea, yea. He is not telling us it was that 100 foot burnout that had something to do with it. :)rotflmao :)rotflmao
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on March 10, 2018, 10:07 AM
There was almost a burn out..... But of a different type.  It got so hot that the sprag bearing's cage was melted.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on March 10, 2018, 12:59 PM
I caught him! Sounds real healthy, no effort at all to spin those tires.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgbBuJZTcT0 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgbBuJZTcT0)


Here is his buddy
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YKHqtVRqkw (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YKHqtVRqkw)


Of coarse Dad had to get in on it
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9dFZDt1mPY (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9dFZDt1mPY)
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Froggy1936 on March 10, 2018, 01:34 PM
Spinning your tires is a saying meaning wasteing your time , I think it is the most stupid thing you can do to a power train , Unless you are warming tires for a drag race it is a total waste , And it stinks too !  Frank
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on March 10, 2018, 06:14 PM
Where's your sense of humor frank? Yea, it is pretty much certain death for a motor home transmission to do that and I have never ever sen the fun in these extended burnout contests.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on March 10, 2018, 10:40 PM
Drive report:  Yes, I said drive.  It took me about 5 hours to get it back in the coach and all buttoned up.  Took it for a drive and it felt great.  Shift points are a little low for my taste, but I can adjust that with the kickdown linkage.  Shifted up and down really nice and the overdrive is fantastic.  At 65 mph overdrive dropped the RPM's from 3050 to 2200 rpm.  The motor had plenty of torque to pull her along while still keeping a good amount of vacuum in the intake.  Step into the throttle and the vacuum switch I installed would kick off the OD and it would shift back to 3rd and pull.


I am a bit concerned about the transmission temperatures. It was a 55 degree day and they rose slowly to 210-220 and stayed there pretty rock steady.  I really want to see those numbers below 200 on a hot day. 


The coach used to have the temperature sender for the transmission temp gauge in the return line, i.e. cold side.  It has been that way since forever.  So I really have nothing to compare my current readings to.  It used to never get above 190 pulling hills on a hot day, but like I said, that was on the cold, return, side.  Now I am reading on the hot side which is correct.  I may be seeing the same real world temps that I was getting in the old transmission but I have no way to tell.


I ordered a 30,000 gvw transmission plate cooler to add into the circuit.  I am still unsure as to if I should replace my current cooler with the  new one, or to run both of them.  I am not using the in radiator cooler as the tubes are too small for the new transmission, so the external coolers are all I have.  The original cooler I am sure is something my grandfather created.  It looks like an air conditioning evaporator.  It's cross section is like 6x6 and 18" long with a lot of passes back and forth with 3/8 aluminum tubing.  It is tube and fin construction.  Maybe the new Haden 679 will be more than enough.  If any of you have comments, please pipe up.  Here is what I bought:  [size=78%]https://www.amazon.com/Hayden-Automotive-679-Rapid-Cool-Transmission/dp/B000C3BBKS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1520739542&sr=8-1&keywords=hayden+679 (https://www.amazon.com/Hayden-Automotive-679-Rapid-Cool-Transmission/dp/B000C3BBKS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1520739542&sr=8-1&keywords=hayden+679)[/size]
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Froggy1936 on March 10, 2018, 11:06 PM
Congratulations This learning as you go is a lot of extra work eh ? Mine runs a lot hotter than i would like  but stays below the danger point .But is is not a steady temp ,it goes up and down depending on load, I only got about a 900 RPM drom with my OD ? But i also have a lock up TQ . I also use a refrigerator condenser they hold quite a bit of fluid  I did not mount it in frt of the rad but off to the side .And my temp gauge pickup is in the rear of the oil pan . Frank
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on March 11, 2018, 09:22 AM
The most efficient cooler is a stacked plate cooler, that is one step up from the one you got which is one step up from the basic cooler. Now what I would do, and you can do it with the cooler you have, is add a thermostatically controlled fan to the cooler and mount it remotely.


Something like this.


http://www.jegs.com/i/JEGS/555/60345/10002/-1?CAWELAID=1710522205&CAGPSPN=pla&CAAGID=39714413703&CATCI=pla-484224304472&CATARGETID=230006180039220951&cadevice=c&gclid=CjwKCAiAxJPVBRB4EiwAsCA4aQUm-cUOZgOVF3XKR0E3Nrw-usEprnwD8iS_V1NX8zf-VOl20nv_oxoC5O0QAvD_BwE
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on March 11, 2018, 02:35 PM
I did some digging in the Dodge manual and found that the 46RE, the lockup version of my transmission has an internal thermocouple that sets the danger point at 260 degrees and will kick it out of overdrive.  So that tells me where the threshold is.  But I still want to be well below that.

Rick, you and I are thinking alike.  I thought about getting a motorcycle fan assembly because they are reliable and designed to be in the weather (and I can get them cheap) and do what you suggest.  I ended up ordering the stacked plate style cooler and what I thought about last night was to mount it right up against the radiator so that the radiator fan will suck air through it quite often when going slow, or pulling a hill, etc.  If that is still not enough, I will move it out away from the radiator and put its own fan on it.  I just want to avoid adding another electrical circuit if I can.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on March 12, 2018, 11:38 AM
On my 89 I have an interesting cooler from the factory. The right side is the AC condensor and the left side is the engine oil cooler. My transmission cooler is in front of that on the right and my power steering cooler in in front on the left. That is a lot blocking the radiator for engine cooling but since I went to the aluminum radiator I have had no troubles. I was thinking that oil/AC cooler would be good for your application. Just sort of throwing that out here for those who are following this since you already have the stacked [plate cooler which is the best out there. I think maybe the cooler you were using in front of the rad with the stacked plate and fan as a backup underneath somewhere on a thermostat for the fan. The overdrive without lockup is going to create a lot of heat.  Once you lock that convertor it drops the temps drastically.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: tmsnyder on March 12, 2018, 12:36 PM
I put in a very similar cooler.   One thing to notice is that there is correct way to mount it so it fills without air in it and works properly.   I'm sure you did but just something to double check. B&M has a tranny temp gauge that shows it in the green until 220F, and that's in the tranny itself.   The oil exiting the tranny would be even hotter.  You're good.  You're looking at the hottest oil and it's only 220, it's fine.   The pan temp will be cooler.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on March 12, 2018, 10:30 PM
I should have the new cooler on Thursday for an install.  According to B&M, the temps exiting the cooler (cold side) should be below 200.  If I am 220 on the hot side, I may be ok already, but I might as well get a better cooler on there.

Went to start the genny tonight and I have a fuel leak on the suction side fuel hose at the top of the fuel tank.  Just great, now I need to drop the tank and fix it.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on March 12, 2018, 10:33 PM
Ok, Lets make some bets.  As long as I can pull off the trip to AZ on the 23rd, what are your bets on fuel economy with the overdrive?  As a long term average, I got about 7.5 before.  That is twisting 3100 rpm at 65mph.  Now I will be at about 2200-2300 rpm at the same speed.

So, what are your guesses?  I am hoping for 8.5-9.5, with ocasional tanks hitting 10 on great days and 7 on bad days (wind, hills, etc.)
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: legomybago on March 13, 2018, 08:58 AM
If you were averaging 7.5 with the screaming 3-speed, I think you are going to get close to 10 like you say....
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on March 13, 2018, 09:59 AM
Ok, Lets make some bets.  As long as I can pull off the trip to AZ on the 23rd, what are your bets on fuel economy with the overdrive?  As a long term average, I got about 7.5 before.  That is twisting 3100 rpm at 65mph.  Now I will be at about 2200-2300 rpm at the same speed.

So, what are your guesses?  I am hoping for 8.5-9.5, with ocasional tanks hitting 10 on great days and 7 on bad days (wind, hills, etc.)


What kind of terrain? there are some pretty steep hills out there. Flat running you could see 10 but if running OD on the hills it could drop to 5. Remember, you are still pushing a barn door down the road and every MPH over 60 increases the horsepower requirement exponentially. So once you drop out of that power band below about 2600 RPM you are going to hit a point of diminishing returns, and once you get the speed up to a point that you are back in the power band in OD you now need double the horsepower so basically you could be damned if you do and damned if you don't. There is no free ride here. I am really curious to see what you get though. I have long since forgotten what the mods were on the engine. did you go with the long tube headers?
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Froggy1936 on March 13, 2018, 11:09 AM
I would not put a no on it As i was dissapointed in my results , I do believe that lower RPM,s Do not always result in better MPG .  Frank   neither does TBI . over a good Quadrajet !  i??
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on March 13, 2018, 05:10 PM
I have had long tube headers for a while now along with a good TBI system that continually self learns and a proper cam for low end torque.  On my test run I was wondering if she would have sufficient torque to pull the lower RPM's at speed.  She did it wonderfully getting over 10" vacuum at cruise, so she should be good.  Pulling hills, OD off, she will be no different than before.

Terrain between here and Phoenix is mostly flat, some rolling hills and two ranges to cross.  So a mix of everything.  But, there are many many miles of flat wide open terrain to cross (Nevada).
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on March 13, 2018, 07:53 PM
Then depending on winds you should see an increase. I am going to venture 8.5 average. What does the closest person win? :D
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Wantawinnie on March 14, 2018, 10:43 PM
The A518 non lock up behind the Cummins in my Winnebago has temp senders at the transmission hot side exit and one in the pan. Typically there is a large difference in the two. Hot side will fluctuate a lot and spike easily. I've seen occasional spikes to about 220-230 pulling hills and that was in double overdrive(gear vendor also). Pan temps were way less in the 180 range and did not follow the spikes. This tells me the fluid is being sufficiently cooled before returning to the pan. Typically, hot side is closer to 200 on level stretches with pan temps in the 150 range. I've got a stacked plate cooler in front and a fan cooled underbelly cooler near the transmission. With the lockup converter I would expect you to do at least that good or better.

As far as mileage....honestly, if you get over 8-9 mpg at highway speed I'd be surprised. Last trip in the fall I ran 65mph with a bad headwind and got about 9mpg with the Cummins on a 300 mile trip. If I could get myself to slow down it would be better but 65 is effortless and feels about right for my combo on the highway.

I have yet to get on a decent stretch of road and run 55mph in straight overdrive for an extended period. Best tankful for me has been about 12mpg and that was mixed driving prior to having the injectors rebuilt. I had two dribbling and the pop pressures were way off on two others. I'm hoping to get up to the 13mpg range this coming summer. Although, I turned up the fuel screw on the pump 3/4 of a turn at the same time and am getting 35psi of boost instead of the low 20's. Power has increased substantially with that change as well.

Thanks for sharing the transmission modifications and swap. BTW: I have one of the JVX adapters to put a A518 behind the big block in my Charger some day.

Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Froggy1936 on March 15, 2018, 01:11 PM
Yes, This veh is another MAJOR PROJECT (look it up in the projects section) And save yourself a ton of time and money , Looking for increased MPG . But as you see if you cannot slow down , All modifications are just extra work. THere is an unwritten law that says Pushing a 4x8 sheet of plywood down the road at 65MPH will NEVER GET GOOD MPG . Frank W% It,s got something to do with why sail boats work ! :)rotflmao
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on March 15, 2018, 09:45 PM
I am not hoping for good mileage.  Just better, an improvement.  I can not see why it would not improve at the same given speed when the engine slows down by almost 800 rpm.  That is a lot of pumping air and fuel.  Not to mention wear and tear on the motor.  And engine noise.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Froggy1936 on March 16, 2018, 01:04 PM
My therory ,In overdrive ,is that you increase throttle opening Thereby passing more fuel . Under load the RPM Does not increase . Even though there is more fuel being used To create the HP Needed at the same RPM (each explosion has more force But not more speed . )My RPM went down approx 900 RPM for every speed recorded  .   RE: at the lower RPM,s More fuel is required to do the same work ! Frank :-[
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on March 16, 2018, 03:25 PM
Froggy, you are right and something I was concerned about until I drove it.  At 65 in 3rd I was pulling 16" of vacuum, in OD at the same speed I was 13-15", so that tells me that the throttle is not that much farther open.   Hoping that the reduced RPM will outweigh the slight increase in throttle load.  I will hook my computer up to the injection on the trip and it has a readout of GPH (Gallons per Hour) and on a flat stretch of road I am going to toggle the OD on and off and watch the fuel flow rate through the injection.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on March 17, 2018, 04:39 PM
The new 30,000 GVW transmission cooler is installed.  Getting ready to take her for a nice run to prove everything out.


The old cooler looks like something that came out of a heater box or AC box back in the 70's.  I am sure it did.  While it did have 3/8 tubing, I measured it and there was 34 FEET! of tubing in that cooler.  With all the bends it had to reduce flow a bit.


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4783/39056321460_e2b9b0a843_c.jpg)
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4785/39056320940_522afc0bec_c.jpg)
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on March 17, 2018, 06:22 PM
Have you gone over that radiator as it heats up with a temp gun to see if all the tubes are flowing? It is looking a bit, uh,.............. old? I notice that you put the cooler to one side, did you know there was more airflow from the fan there than in the middle? Most people put it there so they don't block the radiator not even knowing there is more air moving there at slow speeds.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on March 17, 2018, 10:43 PM
The radiator is only discolored because of spillage when I fill it.  I had it cored and checked a few years ago and the guy said it did not even need it, it was perfect inside.  I have trouble getting my 440 to run warm enough.  Cooling with this coach has never been an issue, ever.


I placed it to the side because my electric radiator fan is slightly off center.  It also will allow me to install another cooler on the right side if needed.


Test run report.  I was not liking that I was seeing 230 degrees on my gauge for the transmission on the freeway.  Never got above 240, but still too high.  When I pulled back up to the shop I pulled out my laser temp gun and started checking temps.   Gauge was reading 230 with the engine running in park. Inlet to the cooler 180, outlet 117, oil filter housing (mounted on the hot side) 189, oil pan 190, overdrive section 175, main body 180.  So, my temp gauge is not reading correctly.  I bet the fact that I have liquid thread sealant on the T fitting I used to install it on the inlet of the filter assembly is adding some resistance to the ground side.  This would increase the temp readings.  I am going to dig out my Fluke and test this theory tomorrow.  I may ad another ground, or just replace the gauge and sender before the trip.


Just ran and checked.  I have zero resistance between the sender body and ground.  I also checked the sender, as it was cooling.  The higher the resistance, the cooler it reads, so my theory would have the opposite effect.  I am going to go look at some gauges tomorrow or Monday.  May swap it with a new one (with the sender) or just know it is reading high.


Did about 50 miles.  Ran like a champ.  Sorry for the blurry photo, but at 70 I was turning 2300 rpms.  So much quieter in the coach.  I can hear myself think (and heard a few new rattles).


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/799/40829132722_59791d8398_z.jpg)


(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4781/40829132932_82e33937ea_s.jpg)
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on March 17, 2018, 10:45 PM
Why does it make some of my photos so small?
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on March 18, 2018, 08:57 AM

That is a decent RPM considering the modifications you have made. I am curious to see how this works out. For those watching that RPM would be a little on the low side on a stock engine.

What are you using for pictures? If postimage use the tab that says "hotlink for forums". Second choice from the bottom.


(https://s25.postimg.org/675z5xvun/IMG_1376.jpg) (https://postimg.org/image/sj3rzbuyj/)
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on March 18, 2018, 10:13 AM
It has been so long since this motor was stock, I have no idea what it would be like.  Funny story.  When my dad first got this coach from my grandfather when he passed away, he had the heads rebuilt and installed a Crane "RV" cam.  It says RV, right?  So it should be for low end torque, right?  Good lord no....  When I got the coach it would cackle and sound like a top fuel dragster at idle.  Probably less power than stock below 3k, and when you had your foot in it the thing became insane at 4k.  The sound she made was unreal, and slightly orgasmic.  That big block idle loping..... I could just sit and listen to it.


When I finally had enough and pulled the cam and installed a proper low RPM torque producing cam it lost all it's audible character, but boy did it wake up below 3k.  The power really starts to come on at 1500 and pulls really well to 4k.  The package along with the headers/exhaust, intake, FI system, and ignition work really woke up the motor down low.  And, it still has the original low compression pistons in the holes.


If you have a coach with a 440, and you plan on keeping it and using it for some years, I highly suggest you make a couple very impressive mods.  Yes, one of them is some $$, but worth every penny.


1.  You must get a proper cam in there.  I am using a Comp cams, but Hughes also makes a cam specifically for motorhomes that on paper, looks even a tad bit better.  I also advanced mine via the timing gear set another 4 degrees to bring the power down even lower.


2.  With the cam change you must address the intake and exhaust side.  A relatively inexpensive Edelbrock manifold and one of the current throttle body 4bbl fuel injection kits.  Over a properly tuned carb, you may not see any real power gains, but your mileage will go up some, especially as you travel at different altitudes and temperatures.  But the real benefit is it just works.  Everywhere, any temp, any altitude, any fuel.  Hit the key and she fires, idles, and runs like a much newer car.  Worth every penny spent.


3. Exhaust.  Right now on eBay are $99 shorty headers for 440's.  Dump these into a properly sized exhaust system and let that big motor breathe properly.


I also did ignition work, but I am not sure I saw any real gains there.  Swapped from mechanical fan clutch to electric and the motor seemed to rev more freely, but the real benefit was how much quieter she ran.


I am going to stop at a couple of auto parts stores after church and look for a new transmission temp gauge kit.  I hate paying retail but I do not have the time now to order anything.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Froggy1936 on March 18, 2018, 01:47 PM
I dug up some old No,s  From 11/2/13  Driveing from North Wales to Pittsburgh all Turnpike Best with the Quadrajet was 9.2 @ 58 mph AVG. With the TBI & OD it went to 10.6 RPM DRopped from 2900 down to 2200 in 4th gear with lock up . The RPM ,s for ea gear are 55 MPH= 1975, 60 MPH= 2100 , 65 MPH= 2200  & 70 MPH= 2400. If the best HP is acheived @  above 2500 I am running below optimum all the time . I think i have a problem with vacuume  With the old engine and QJ carb, Turbo 400 . I had 16in @ 60 MPH   Now with TBI & 4L80E Od & lock up i only get 11 in @ 60 mph ?? Frank
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on March 18, 2018, 04:49 PM
Froggy, I think some loss of vacuum while cruising at a lower RPM is normal.  You are, like you suggested earlier, running a bit more throttle to maintain the same speed.  It is a win loose situation.  Lower RPM = less fuel used but more throttle to maintain it which uses more fuel.  The hopes is that you save more than you loose when it is all said and done.  Time will tell for me, I am heading to Arizona Friday morning.  2000 mile trip, sure hope I built that tranny right....  I am sure there will be a learning curve of when to override it and kick off the OD and just let her twist.

I found a Bosch oil temp gauge at the FLAPS (friendly local auto parts store) that is all mechanical for $19.  I will get it installed tomorrow.  Going to test it in some boiling water to make sure it is close to accurate.  I would rather have no gauge than one that is suspect.

Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on March 22, 2018, 04:31 PM
Wish me luck.  Coach is home and mostly loaded.  I am leaving for Phoenix tomorrow morning.  I will be taking the same route and getting fuel at the same places as last year so I will have an excellent way to compare fuel economy.  I am even loaded the same.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: TerryH on March 22, 2018, 04:40 PM
Best of luck. You have quite a following here.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: legomybago on March 22, 2018, 05:37 PM
Yeah! Good luck!! have fun
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: M & J on March 22, 2018, 05:52 PM
Via con Dios.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: moonlitcoyote on March 22, 2018, 06:10 PM
 Have fun and safe travels!
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Froggy1936 on March 22, 2018, 09:08 PM
Good Luck, keep records RPM,MPH,VACUUME . check fluids ea stop first few days Frank
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on March 24, 2018, 01:22 PM
Sorry, late to the party, computer died. Safe travels and good luck.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on March 25, 2018, 09:26 AM
I made it to Phoenix.  I will do a detailed write up later about what worked and what did not.  But to give a very brief rundown (full details later):


-Transmission did not like my vacuum OD control idea with such a heavy rig.  Removed it and went back to manual control.
-Fought very high head winds all the way from Idaho to Phoenix.  Some of the worst I have traveled in.  Even with that, mileage seems about on par with what I got last year when I had no winds, so, there is some improvement.
-I never drove my coach for extended periods above 65 in the past.  She glides effortlessly now at 75.  I still prefer, 65, but I was just testing things out.
-Rick, you were absolutely correct about your question if the 440 has enough grunt to really work with a .68:1 overdrive trying to move the coach at such low RPM's.  Even with my mods, more low end grunt is needed. It works, but I have to be selective where I use it (the manual control actually works well for this).  On flats, or down hills, it works fine.  Any grade and no way.
-I have been watching my injection's readout of instantanious GPH fuel flow to adjust my driving style and when and where to use the OD.  This is a learning process.  I am trying to compare the readout to the vacuum gauge so I can best choose what gear to be in.  In a perfect situation, on flat ground, on the rare occasion the wind died down, at 65 in 3rd I would be using 5-5.5 GPH, switch to OD and it went to 2.75-3.5 gph.
-I got pissed with the wind, etc., and flogged her like a rented mule yesterday from Kingman to Phoenix.  Set the cruise at 75 and she stayed in OD most of the way.  Probably saw the best mileage of the trip.  I wont have  numbers until next monday when I fill up, but I went almost 200 miles and did not use half a tank of fuel.  Hopefully I will not fight the winds on the way home and can get some more realistic numbers.


Problems:
I fought the vacuum switch banging it in and out of OD for most of the day Friday until I figured out what was going on and disabled it.


-Even with the switch disabling the OD, in 3rd, if I lift off the throttle it will not hang on to 3rd and engine brake, it slips into OD and freewheels.  Roll on the throttle and it is back in 3rd again.  I think the problem is in the valve body/OD solenoid, will investigate when I get home.


Gotta run, will fill in more details later.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on March 25, 2018, 09:35 AM
No breakdowns, That is the big thing. The other stuff is a learning curve like you said. I really don't think you are going to get much more usable bottom end grunt out of it. There is a limit to how low you can go in RPM. It all figures into that bit with how much horsepower and torque is needed to push a barn door down the road. And that is actual scientific mat not just a saying.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on March 25, 2018, 10:33 AM
You are absolutely right Rick.  I still plan on pulling the motor at some point and rebuild it.  The only thing I really plan on doing is getting rid of the 70's era low compression and install some good flat top pistons, flow the heads a touch, some port matching, and call it good.  Getting the compression up from 8.1 to around 9.5 should make the motor run better everywhere, but it will not turn it into a diesel.


I think my issues are all centered in the valve body.  Either a stuck OD solenoid, or the way the shift kit was set up.  I will be making some calls this week to see what their tech support can help me with.  Oh, temperatures on the hot side hovered between 160 and 190, which is perfect.  It hit 210 for a short period when I was really working on a long hill, but that is still well within safe parameters.  I am going to swap the spin on filter while I am here.  I was pretty hard on it the first part of the trip when it was bouncing in and out of OD and the fluid is dark, but does not smell burnt and it never got hot.  I had planned on a full fluid swap when I get home, but throwing on a fresh filter now is not a bad idea.


Honestly, the transmission feels solid.  Never slipped or shuddered between shifts, so I think the core of the transmission is in great shape.  I think my remaining issues are just tweaking and adjusting.  There is a pretty steep learning curve figuring out how my coach wants to be driven with it.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on March 25, 2018, 02:25 PM
Drain as much fluid out of the filter as you can and then put it in a heavy duty freezer bag so you can cut it open when you get home to check and see what is in it. That will tell you tons about what is going on.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on March 29, 2018, 11:44 AM
I called Transgo yesterday to talk with them about the couple of glitches I was seeing in my transmission operation.  Got a very sharp tech who was more than willing to help.  Unfortunately, not much can be done until I get home.  He felt the transmission was fine, just something amiss in the valve body.  I can drive around the problems, so should not be a problem getting home.


He gave me specific instructions and wants me to hook up a pressure gauge and test the pressures while driving under some specific scenarios so that he can nail down exactly what circuit my problem lies in.  I am very impressed with their tech service so far.  Very willing to help, lots of knowledge, and very patient answering my questions and explaining them in a way I can fully understand.  Rare these days with tech support.


I am leaving Phoenix Monday morning for the journey home to Boise.  When I get home I will do a full trip report with fuel mileages and my thoughts on the whole swap issue. 


It might be a bit early, and my opinions may change by the time I am home, but so far I am thinking positive about the swap.  I am not getting the mileage increases I had hoped for, but I was prepared to not see a bunch in spite of my hopes.  But the one area that very impressed with is how much more quiet the cab is while driving.  I can easily drive 65-70 and the engine is making almost no noise.  Just the reduction in noise and RPM makes the drive so much more relaxed and enjoyable.  If I ever get married again it will make quiet conversations much more enjoyable.  As far as mileage, it is hard to tell.  I bucked some serious high winds all the way down, and for the first half of the trip I was fighting my vacuum switch playing havoc with the overdrive.  But even with all that, I did see about a 1mpg improvement over last year, and that was cruising at 70 vs. 65 for last year.  When I get home I will do a full trip average of mileage which will give a more complete result and better to compare against last year's trip.  I have even decided to take the exact route home, which is a bit longer through Salt Lake City so that I can compare the two exactly.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: khantroll on April 02, 2018, 09:08 AM
Do you have any thoughts on how to adjust that pressure control system?
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Froggy1936 on April 03, 2018, 12:01 PM
I do not k now where you would find that information  I believe its all done with valves and spri ngs in the pump and valve body ! The service manual should give the correct specs for Line pressure and sevo pressure . Frank
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on April 03, 2018, 08:29 PM
Spring behind the valve piston, an adjustment screw set with a feeler gauge when setting up the tranny and with the cable preload that comes up to the carb. In that order of adjustment.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on April 03, 2018, 10:49 PM
(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/807/26350108907_e28fc5cb03_z.jpg)


Well, it ended badly.  I pulled over in Wikeup, AZ for a break, and when I tried to go, it refused to move.  Overdrive unit is completely locked up.  I did all I could on the side of the road, but there was simply nothing I could do.  I had to call a tow into Kingman to a transmission shop.  I Got in last night and finally squeezed into a stall right before they closed tonight, so they will get on it tomorrow. 


The theory:  Analyzing my symptoms, my tech call to Transgo, research and talking with the owner here we think there was a failure in the overdrive solenoid or check ball that did not dump the pressure to the OD piston when the switch was shut off.  This kept a load on the OD clutch packs binding them and completely wearing them out ultimately siezing them.  If we are lucky, we can get away with rebuilding the OD unit and then the valve body to figure out what the cause was.  We will see.  This is going to be expensive.  But, it is a reputable shop and the owner is pretty anal, so when he is done, there should be no more questions.


Before the failure I was totally enjoying the OD unit.  The winds died down and the coach was able to cruise at 70 at 2300 RPM's maintaining a vacuum reading of 10-14".  I was really enjoying it until it blew.  This is the first time in my coaches 42 year life that it has ever been on a hook or had to pay for someone else to repair it (other than tires and alignments). 


Let me tell you, there is no worse feeling than being stuck in the middle of nowhere with a broken rig, 800 miles from my own shop, and two cats in the rig so I could not leave it.  Good Sam roadside assistance paid for itself in spades with the tow.  The tow was $750 and all covered by the insurance.


If anyone is in Kingman, I am at Kermit's Transmission.  They are really nice, even giving me a key to their outdoor work area bullpen where my rig is parked getting worked on so I can come and go after hours if I choose.  They are a small shop but have excellent Google reviews and just watching them work through the day and hearing their interactions with customers gives me a better feeling about them.  Kermit does good work and treats his customers well for what I can see. 


I am totally embarrassed having to write this.  I am a good mechanic and pretty anal myself.  I can not figure out what I missed in that circuit, but I must have missed something.  I did not check the solenoid for it's operation, so there is a chance it was plugged from the get go or failed shortly after installing it again, who knows.  We will find out shortly what I missed.  I will keep you all posted.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Shawn62 on April 04, 2018, 07:47 AM
Sasquatch,


     Sorry to hear about your breakdown.  Don't be embarrassed.  You are more than a good mechanic. In my opinion you are a craftsman.  I think it is great that you are sharing your experience. Thank you for that.  You write about it very well. Your coach is like a family heirloom. Not only do you keep it maintained you upgrade it and improve its drivability. Thanks again.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on April 04, 2018, 07:59 AM
Absolutely nothing to be embarrassed about, we are all human and therefor we all make mistakes. This may not have even been a mistake, it may have been a running failure, you don't know yet so don't beat yourself up. And even if it was caused by leftover crap, who cares? Anyone else here got the balls to do what you did?...................................... nope, didn't think so. :D  I wouldn't try it for sure! I might try what you did and test it locally over a long period but sure as hell not a couple thousand mile trip right out of the box! Nope, no embarrassment allowed. N:(


On another note, I thought Good Sam would ONLY tow to one of THEIR service centers? That is what they always told me and that is why I cancelled them. That and they left me on the side of the road because they would not tow my car trailer.
Sounds like you found an excellent shop, I bet they will be quite intrigued with your work. Bet they let you in the work area while they work on it.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on April 04, 2018, 09:50 AM
Thanks guys.  I appreciate the support.. Now, go to my "go fund me" page.....  $@!#@!   A joke, but I am still trying to figure out how to pay for this repair.  I am sure it aint gonna be cheap.


Good Sam advertises that they will tow to the closest "qualified" repair facility.  At least that is what I read.  Kingman was closest, and I picked a transmission shop there and it was a non issue.  I have always bounced between AAA and Good Sam for years, but until this pull, never used them.  This paid for my years of non use in spades.


While they have given me access to their shop, I am trying to be a respectful customer and stay out of their hair.  As a mechanic, it really is bothersome to have a customer watching you work.  I will crawl under there this morning with the tech who is going to pull it and give him the codes to the magic handshakes that will make his life easier to remove it.  I have done it enough now to know the short cuts to getting it out.  Then I am going to bug out and let them work.  I am going to have to just put my faith in another mechanic and trust that he will figure it out and get me back on the road.  I am sure he will bring me in and show me the carnage and cause, but beyond that, I am keeping my distance and not wearing out my welcome.  They said it was a first for them allowing an RVer to stay in their coach on the property while they did the work.  I want to make darn sure that when I leave they are more than willing to do it again for another RVer who gets stuck with no where to go.  It has been a blessing, heck, they even ran power out to my coach so my batteries stay topped off so I can watch TV, post my failures on this forum, etc.  Kermit even came out and played with the girls a bit in the coach last night.  My Siamese liked him and believe me, I trust her judgement.  Some people she really does not like.


As I type this they are rolling into the shop getting things opened up, so hopefully by this afternoon I have some news for you all. 


Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Wantawinnie on April 04, 2018, 10:26 AM
Really sorry to hear you had a breakdown. I was curious when you said earlier on the trip down how it was banging in and out of overdrive. Was that perhaps the lockup converter engaging? How is your "manual" setup operated now that the vacuum setup is unhooked? On mine the solenoid for overdrive is either powered and in overdrive or not. I flip mine into overdrive at around 45mph and flip it out when slowing down below that mph. How was it still going into and out of overdrive on its own? Like you I am wondering what went wrong and ,provided there is no obvious mechanical issue, what else may have happened.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on April 04, 2018, 01:03 PM
Really sorry to hear you had a breakdown. I was curious when you said earlier on the trip down how it was banging in and out of overdrive. Was that perhaps the lockup converter engaging? How is your "manual" setup operated now that the vacuum setup is unhooked? On mine the solenoid for overdrive is either powered and in overdrive or not. I flip mine into overdrive at around 45mph and flip it out when slowing down below that mph. How was it still going into and out of overdrive on its own? Like you I am wondering what went wrong and ,provided there is no obvious mechanical issue, what else may have happened.

Keep in mind that this is the two wire non-lockup unit.  How I did mine was to wire 12 volts through a toggle switch on the dash, then to a vacuum switch on the manifold then to the OD solenoid.  What I was thinking, was that I could just leave the switch on, and if the vacuum was above 7" it would turn the OD on, below it would turn it off.  Good in theory, bad in practice.

When I started pulling a hill the vac dropped.  It would kick the OD off, then the vac would instantly jump up, turning it back on.  This caused the OD to kick on and off.  I resolved it by bypassing the vacuum switch and going completely manual.  But the problem that caused this failure was still there hiding in the shadows.  It was way more drivable with just the manual switch.  In fact, I am going to buy a shift knob from a Semi truck with the flip switch built into it for their gear splitter and replace my knob with it.  That way I can just flip OD on and off without reaching for the dash when needed.

Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Froggy1936 on April 04, 2018, 01:37 PM
So sorry that you have experienced this problem so far from home, I know the feeling when a project fails in any way . Hopefully they will diagnose it correctly and make repairs . I have always used Good Sam they took me where I wanted to go . I believe its 90% up to the driver , and or owner of the tow rig . Have ing owned and operated tow trucks under contract with AAA They will reimburse any claim as long as membership is good , They do not know the how when and wherefore . The only problem I had with Good Sam also applies to all towing memberships , They cannot respond to any member needing assistance on a limited access HI way (Pa Turnpike ) all the towing there is by contract .Best Wishes see if they will allow you to get pictures  Frank
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on April 04, 2018, 02:03 PM
I am sure by now they already know about the modified bell housing and all of that but if not be sure to tell them ahead of any extraneous things you did so they will know what to look for. I know what you mean about customers hanging over your shoulder but that pretty much usually pertains to the ones that don't have a clue.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Wantawinnie on April 04, 2018, 03:32 PM
Keep in mind that this is the two wire non-lockup unit.  How I did mine was to wire 12 volts through a toggle switch on the dash, then to a vacuum switch on the manifold then to the OD solenoid.  What I was thinking, was that I could just leave the switch on, and if the vacuum was above 7" it would turn the OD on, below it would turn it off.  Good in theory, bad in practice.

When I started pulling a hill the vac dropped.  It would kick the OD off, then the vac would instantly jump up, turning it back on.  This caused the OD to kick on and off.  I resolved it by bypassing the vacuum switch and going completely manual.  But the problem that caused this failure was still there hiding in the shadows.  It was way more drivable with just the manual switch.  In fact, I am going to buy a shift knob from a Semi truck with the flip switch built into it for their gear splitter and replace my knob with it.  That way I can just flip OD on and off without reaching for the dash when needed.






Ok, for some reason I thought I read you had a lockup version in an earlier post....my mistake. My gear vendor operates off a dimmer switch to control it in manual mode. Fairly convenient but in my case having two side by side could prove to be confusing while driving. I typically let the gear vendor electronics control that gear shift and manual flip the factory overdrive with a repurposed factory toggle on the dash.


I assume you have already read up on using a pressure switch off of the test port to operate overdrive and decided against it? I've heard mixed reviews on it.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on April 05, 2018, 12:05 AM
Yes, I wanted to keep it simple.

Update.  Got the overdrive off and it is absolutely toasted.  The hard parts look ok, but the frictions and steels, totally wasted.  Metal on metal.  But then we saw at least one place I messed up.  I had the OD clutch packs in backwards with the pressure plate on the wrong end and the thinner of the two taking all the pressure.  This could have been all it was.  But, we are going through the rest of the transmission to check it out, clean it, and to make sure all is good.

So, it was my mistake.  I have no idea how I got them backwards.  Total brain fart I guess.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on April 05, 2018, 08:47 AM
And rushing to get it done for your trip. I can tell you about a couple good screwups due to that. Ever forget to tighten the lug nuts on a trailer wheel? Bad things happen. W% W% ;)
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on April 05, 2018, 09:30 AM
Too many nights working on it until midnight after a full day of work I guess.  I am not a young buck any more.  When I question if I am alive enough to drive, I shouldn't have been building a transmission.  D:oH!
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Froggy1936 on April 05, 2018, 01:39 PM
Opps,  Were the burned plates still flat ? or were they concaved  ? Got any pics ?  Frank
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on April 05, 2018, 05:16 PM
Going back together.
(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/804/40366580995_273909377d_m.jpg)


The carnage.  Did not check flatness.  I doubt they were flat.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/869/40548517474_cba357a740_m.jpg)
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on April 05, 2018, 06:45 PM
So what did they think of your modified transmission? And how did the front pump bushing look?
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on April 05, 2018, 11:06 PM
Not only were they impressed by the modified transmission, the coach as a whole has become quite popular.  Even other customers are asking to see the inside and talk to me about it.  They are astounded that it is 42 years old.  The other mechanics even come over and sneak in and give my girls love when I am off doing other things.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/798/40553489594_85bb0369dd_z.jpg)


But they were really impressed with how the modified bellhousing worked.  They also blew off my disgrace for my failure in the transmission and said that it was really easy to make the mistake I did and that even pros do it on occasion.


Rick, the front pump busing showed no wear.  Everything is great.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on April 06, 2018, 09:43 AM
So there you go, alignment spot on, probably better than original and I figured those guys would be all over it. Yea, as a mechanic I never liked people hanging over me giving their "opinion" of what was wrong and how to fix it, since their "opinion" was 99% of the time miles off from correct or what was needed. But if they were a true mechanic there is a big difference, first off they usually sit off to the side and say nothing until asked or they offer up very concise descriptions of the problems they were having, and then they leave it to me to diagnose. At that point I know I am dealing with a real mechanic and I will usually involve them in the repair.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on April 09, 2018, 11:12 PM
I'm home, but the adventure is not quite over.  During the test drive Friday evening, we had no OD with the switch.  They swapped the OD solenoid with one out of a core transmission they had laying around and OD came back to life.  I left Saturday morning early and was happy as a clam until I left north out of Mesquite, NV heading for Salt lake.  After 30 or so miles pulling steep grades in 3rd it flattened out and I hit the OD switch, nothing happened.  The transmission felt great, just no OD.  Temps were cool, shifts nice and firm, good down shifts, etc.


I spent the night at a Walmart in Provo and I went through the wiring to the OD unit and everything still checked out ok.  I drove home Sunday, and quite frankly, the head winds were unbelievable.  I would have been in 3rd all day anyway.  I do not think anything is wrong with the core of the transmission.  It feels fantastic.  I think the issue lies in the solenoid/valve body or OD piston, all of which can be serviced without pulling the transmission, again. 


I am going to hook up my pressure test equipment and take it for a drive with the gauge plugged into the OD port and see what it does.  This will give me a good idea where the problem lies.  And another point, I am going to get really techie here, but there may be another cause.  I noticed a few electrical glitches with the coach while driving home, and at the same time the 440 was not running as smooth as it should.  This evening I checked some things out while it was idling roughly.  I grabbed a spray bottle with water in it and started spraying the distributor and spark plug wires and you should have seen the light show.  Cap was arcing through as well as all the wires.  The electrical noise in that engine compartment must have been intense.  The power wires to the solenoid ran right by the spark plug wires.  It is very possible that this level of intense noise, or a few stray electrical spikes could very well have damaged that solenoid or interfered with it's operation.  Sounds like a long shot, but not really out of the realm of realistic possibility.


I wanted to be able to really see a fuel mileage increase, but with the transmission failure, plus the seriously intense head winds both going and returning, and now with the bad ignition system, I am surprised I got the mileage I got. I averaged 7 mpg both going and coming for the entire trip.  Exactly what I got last year with no winds or problems.


The times I did have the OD functional, it was great.  While I hang my head in failure over no real fuel mileage increase, the added comfort it adds of being able to drive 70 in a much more relaxed manner is worth it.


So, I am still working on it, but she is getting close.  I have new ignition wires and components on the way, when they get in I will take it for another drive and see what the pressures are like of if the electrical noise affected the operation.  I'll keep you all posted.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on April 10, 2018, 07:39 AM
I seriously doubt that you would have enough inductive current to cause damage and generally that kind of noise does not affect mechanical solenoids. It is high voltage but low current. It will definitely affect your fuel injection system though! And it will affect the fuel mileage on the injection system. Are you still in touch with the Trans-go people?
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Froggy1936 on April 10, 2018, 01:20 PM
Very good to be back home where you can Diagnose one thing at a time with less pressure Good Luck  Frank
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Shawn62 on April 10, 2018, 01:46 PM
Glad to hear you made it home to your own shop.  Hope the OD problem is a simple fix.  I had a wiring problem with a solenoid once.  I checked the wires for continuity and voltage drop and they were ok.  I was about ready to order a new solenoid. I then remembered to check the resistance.  Turned out a wire was badly corroded inside the insulation.  Resistance was way high. PO had a habit of poking holes in wires with test light probe. I rewired it and was good to go.  Good luck.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on April 10, 2018, 07:29 PM

Rick, you are probably right, but I want to dot every I and cross every T so that I can narrow in on the real cause.  I am not going to drive it again until my new parts come in.


Shawn,  I also checked resistance as well as continuity through the wires and solenoid.  All is good.  In fact, the Solenoid even checks good as far as resistance, so in theory, it should work.  But theory is not always correct.  The ball could be stuck, debris in it (doubtful with how clean they got everything), or some other issue. 


I am betting, quite frankly, that when I burnt the transmission to the ground on my first attempt that somehow I warped the valve body so that the OD selector valve does not slide properly in the bore once pressures get up to running pressures.  If that valve is hanging up or dragging, it would cause the multiple things I have experienced with the OD since I got on the road.  So, that is where I am placing my money.  I did order a new solenoid, and will install it in any case, but I bet I will have to pull the valve body one last time and focus on that valve.


Teaching my youngest daughter how to drive the RV....


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/818/41376430691_f19ca26385_z.jpg)


My traveling companions


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/786/39567710670_8b6c0ab3f7_z.jpg)
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Froggy1936 on April 10, 2018, 11:11 PM
Don't you have a spare valve body ? Frank
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on April 10, 2018, 11:15 PM
Frank, no, i dont.  I had a core 727, but that does not help me.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on April 14, 2018, 05:03 PM
Just swapped my spark plug wires, cap and rotor.... can I have a re-do on my vacation?  Old wires ohmed out at between 11K and 16k ohms with two of them dead.  New ones all between 700-900 ohms....  She runs so smooth now...

Next, transmission pressure test.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on April 14, 2018, 06:12 PM
Just got back from a drive.  In 3rd, zero pressure on OD piston.  Throw the switch and I get 10 psi to the OD piston.  Switch off, it goes back to zero.


So it seems like the solenoid is working, but I am not getting pressure build up in the OD piston.  Time to pull the valve body and figure out what is seized up.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on April 14, 2018, 07:54 PM
Before you do that you ought to call the Trans-Go guys and see what they suggest. They may want you to test a couple other things first.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on April 14, 2018, 10:57 PM
On my list for Monday morning Rick.  I am also going to check main line pressure.  Since 1-3 feel fantastic, I do not anticipate any pump issues, but I am going to do it any way just to put a check on that question.


I am betting that I have a shift valve hanging up in the bore.  We will see if I am right.


I still feel that nothing is wrong with the core of the transmission.  There is a ghost somewhere in the valve body that I need to find.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on April 16, 2018, 04:24 PM
Spoke with Transgo and he gave me my marching orders for the tear down.  First, pull the valve body but leave it intact.  Pressure check the OD piston from the VB port.  If that is ok, back pressure test the VB's OD circuit from the OD port backwards looking for leaks.  If that is all good, pull the VB down and look for stuck pistons.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on April 16, 2018, 06:54 PM
You are going to have to make up some round adapters to plug into square holes for those pressure tests. A buddy of mine had a whole pegboard covered with homemade adapters that would bolt to the trans and seal up all the ports and provide test fittings for all of those test. He had them for every transmission ever made. He probably still has them but they would be in boxes somewhere. He just does rebuilds in his garage anymore. You take it there and you pick it up.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on April 16, 2018, 08:13 PM
Well, nothing is needed.  It was quickly seen what the problem is as far as OD pressure.  Hunks of the lip seal for the OD piston were in the bottom of the pan.  Also a good slime of clutch material from the OD clutch.

I called Kermit who's shop built it and discussed it with him.  He told me that for some reason the VB was not dumping the pressure when the switch was turned off leaving the OD clutches trying to hang on.  He said that he can gaurantee the OD clutch plates are smoked again and when they smoked the OD piston over extended allowing the lip seal to flip out and tear into pieces.

He is building me a completely new VB assembly and will be shipping it to me.  He told me to go ahead and pull the OD section and replace the frictions and steels (at his cost).

I pulled the VB and found a couple of the OD pistons hanging up in the bore.  This may have been the ultimate cause of the pressure build up.  Hopefully the new VB will take care of the issues.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on April 17, 2018, 08:02 AM
Kermit is one hell of a guy!!!! He needs special mention on here in case anyone else has issues anywhere in that area.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on April 17, 2018, 10:37 AM
I agree.  If you are ever in or around Kingman Arizona and need any auto work, I highly recommend Kermit's transmission.  They are a full service shop.  Do not judge them by their looks, it is kind of a cluttered, dumpy shop, but Kermit is a stand up guy who takes care of his customers.

Kermit's Certified Transmissions
2425 Northern Ave.
Kingman, AZ 86409
928-757-1020
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on April 19, 2018, 12:46 PM
Bloody 'ell, I think I found the smoking gun.


Upon first glance, other than seeing the carnage to the OD clutch, I could see nothing wrong in the OD unit.  But something has never sat right with me.  How can the OD clutch have drag on it but the OD direct clutch still be engaged?  They are both operated at the same time by the same piston.  As the piston moves, it disengages the OD direct clutch and engages the OD clutch right after.


So, back to the manuals, parts diagrams, and engineering papers on this system...  There are multiple configurations for clutch stack ups depending on the application.  Everything from a 2 friction OD clutch in a Jeep, to a 5 friction setup in the diesel, which I have.  Somehow, I made the mistake of putting the correct number of frictions in there but also installed a thick pressure plat on the outside of the pack where the application called for just a steel to act as the pressure plate.  Ding, we have a winner.  My clutch pack was too thick and dragging at all times.


The shop in AZ, just followed suit because the exploded diagrams showed a pressure plate in the diagrams.  You had to go deep in the paperwork to find where it specified diesel applications as having no pressure plate which would make it .25 thinner clutch pack.  So, this answers my concerns.  I think I am going to have it nailed this time.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on April 19, 2018, 01:40 PM
So now what are you going to tell Kermit and do with the valve body he is sending you?
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on April 19, 2018, 04:32 PM
I still think there is an issue with the VB.  A couple of the valves do not move as freely as they should.  I am still going to get it from him and if all is well see if he will take some money from me to pay for it.  It is peace of mind for me to have another VB in there.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on April 19, 2018, 08:35 PM
I was going to suggest that but I did not want to sound pretentious. You should let him know what you found though. And tell him what you just said here about the VB.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on April 19, 2018, 10:11 PM
Yup, I have a call into him already.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on April 20, 2018, 03:39 PM
Just spoke with Kermit and told him what I found.  He cussed a lot.  :)rotflmao  I offered to pay for the valve body and his reaction was "nope, we should have caught that even if you did it".  So, we are all good.  I admitted my mistake, and he said they should have caught that mistake when they built it especially since they were looking for a failure cause as well.  He will be shipping the VB to me next week so I can get it back together and we should be all good.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on April 20, 2018, 07:58 PM
You owe that man a steak and beer at next years trip!
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on April 20, 2018, 11:34 PM
I'm going to send a gift pack to him and all his mechanics.  I will get a collection of Idaho candies/treats.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Elandan2 on April 21, 2018, 06:45 AM
I've heard of candied yams, but candied russets??  :D
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on April 21, 2018, 07:49 AM
And an autographed framed set of fried overdrive clutches. :)rotflmao :)rotflmao :)rotflmao
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on April 21, 2018, 11:40 AM
Chocolate covered potatoes....

We have a local candy company that makes some seriously tasty treats.  I thought that an assortment of those would be appropriate.  I also know that Kermit has a habit of going to Ihop on Friday nights after work, so I was thinking about a gift card.

Then one last thing.  He absolutely loved my girls (cats).  So for giggles, I thought about framing one of my good shots of the two of them and having them both "sign" a thank you note to him.  He would get a good laugh out of that.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Froggy1936 on April 21, 2018, 01:58 PM
All excellent ideas, And deservedly so, But I would wait till after the road test , Due to the length of time it takes for the problem to surface . Good Luck Frank
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: M & J on April 21, 2018, 05:23 PM
My mother loved our "girls" (cats), they would send her a birthday card. I would spread a little pink school paint on a paper, then their paw, and press them on her card to "sign". The paint washed off easily.  She loved it.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on April 21, 2018, 10:24 PM
My mother loved our "girls" (cats), they would send her a birthday card. I would spread a little pink school paint on a paper, then their paw, and press them on her card to "sign". The paint washed off easily.  She loved it.

I have used stamping pads and let them stamp their prints in cards before.  Never thought about kid's school paint.  Great idea.  Its funny, I never had any kids by choice.  These two girls are my kids.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: chicknnhead on April 26, 2018, 12:18 PM
I just binge read 10 pages....man that went by quick...you know how on Netflix you can binge watch a complete season of a show but the next season isnt out yet?

 well i felt like the season finale was the cats greeting card stamp as it fades to black/credits....i'm waiting for the next season to be released!!!!!!

awesome read....i have been wanting to try this for years, but have small block 360 so not sure some of the things would be the same
I have had my rig for 13 years and will never get rid of it, but i keep telling my wife the next are RV we get is a dodge executive and BAM here i am reading yours

thanks for the hours of typing/thought you have put into this thread
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on April 26, 2018, 10:16 PM
With the 360, you can just bolt up the transmission with out the bellhousing mods if you get the right one.  Thank you for the compliments.  My coach is a labor of love for the past 22 years.  I have so much into her that I do not think I could ever get rid of her.

The overdrive has been reinstalled, everything checks out.  I even smoke tested all the lubrication passages to make sure all were good.  I am now just waiting for the rebuilt valve body to show up.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on April 30, 2018, 06:36 PM
 :)clap :)clap :)clap :)clap :)clap :)clap


Just drove about 20 miles, stop and go, highway and even a 6% grade.  It feels fantastic.  Shifts perfect (other than I need to adjust the throttle valve just a tad), goes in and out of OD perfect.  I still have the pressure gauge hooked up on the OD circuit so I can watch the pressures.  90-100 psi with OD switch ON, Zero with it OFF.  It holds 3rd on deceleration like it should (and never has).  Temps never got above 170 degrees, and spent most of it's time at between 140-160.


Ok, so now the fine print.  I am not going to put this one to bed for a while yet.  I will be watching it like a hawk for a while.  I have no idea how long I need to go before I fully trust it.  This is what I found.  I decided to go back through my valve body like an engineer would.  I have a large precision granite slab in the machine shop to check flatness.  All three sections of the VB were warped, and quite badly.  It took me about 2 hours total with lapping paper carefully lapping all the sections back to flat and true.  This could have caused two issues.  First, it would allow pressure from one of the small channels to leak into another channel that was not supposed to have it at that time.  It also could have caused valves to stick once the VB was torqued back into place that would not have been seen on the bench.


But all in all it works absolutely perfect at the moment.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Froggy1936 on April 30, 2018, 07:03 PM
Yipee  :)clap :)clap :)clap OK to send thank you gifts, Sounds like you got it whipped, But how long before you will trust it probably never, Every hiccup, burp will bring you to full attention . Frank
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on May 01, 2018, 07:26 AM
Well, It sounds like in the name of research you need to do that same trip all over again at the same speed and route to include the trip to the trans shop to say hello, and back home. That should pretty much do it.  So lets get packing! :D
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on May 01, 2018, 07:38 AM
I want a redo on my vacation for sure, but that will have to wait until next spring.  I am going to take a couple of shorter, closer weekend runs in the coming months around here.  This will give me the chance to fully test the transmission much closer to home.

I need to address the emergency/park brake issue asap.  I also need to clean up the mounting for the second transmission cooler I installed and install the aux fan on it.  I want to have no cooling issues no matter the temps outside.  Then a bunch of clean up.  Oh, I also want to come up with a better switch for my OD.  Thinking about a push pull switch mounted to the front of my shifter like a two speed rear end switch in older semi-trucks.  I dont know yet how I want to do that one.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on May 01, 2018, 03:51 PM
That gives me an idear! A Cummins conversion and a 13 speed Fuller transmission. Plenty of room for it. I know a guy who had that combo in a Dodge pickup. Matter of fact I have his injectors and exhaust brake. Come on, get them wheels spinning in your brain.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on May 01, 2018, 10:16 PM
Darn it Rick.... Stop it.  I am already a slave to the voices in my head (and they are all engineer gear heads that slam race gas and snort tire rubber...)
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: legomybago on May 02, 2018, 09:15 AM
That gives me an idear! A Cummins conversion and a 13 speed Fuller transmission. Plenty of room for it. I know a guy who had that combo in a Dodge pickup. Matter of fact I have his injectors and exhaust brake. Come on, get them wheels spinning in your brain.
You could do a double overdrive conversion to that 13-speed and that motorhome will be a triple digit rig....
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: khantroll on May 02, 2018, 11:10 AM
The 6 speed allison is a good match to the cummins as well, and gives you double overdrive. Just sayin
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on May 02, 2018, 11:34 AM
La la la la la la la la..... I hear nothing.....
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on May 02, 2018, 03:57 PM
The autos out there now are just amazing, 5, 6, 8, 10 speed. I was in the motorcycle shop getting parts and I was looking at the new Gold Wing, 7 speed automatic!!!!
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on May 02, 2018, 04:03 PM
A friend of mine bought a Rousch Mustang, brandy new with the 600 plus horsepower supercharged engine and the ten speed auto. I was busting his chops about the auto until he let me drive it. Around town it is like driving the family car and out on the looong highway when you lay into it............................................... Lets just say it is real close to sexual experience!! Just solid pulling power and the engine is in the right power band the entire time. Ten speeds! I used to drive tractor trailers with ten speed road rangers. They are the size of a mustang! Now they put ten speeds in an automatic in a car. Got to love modern tech.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on May 02, 2018, 05:59 PM
Feeling better, just gave her a bath.


(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/868/40957922755_b55b8d36ff_c.jpg)
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: chicknnhead on May 15, 2018, 10:22 AM
maybe i missed the reason, but why not go with something like this
https://www.hgmelectronics.com/compushift-mini-for-chrysler-a518-46rh-and-chrysler-a618-47rh/

Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on May 15, 2018, 04:57 PM
That would work on an "RE" transmission that is electronically shifted.  Mine is all hydraulic and does not have a lock up torque converter.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on May 15, 2018, 05:00 PM
Ok, I just looked closer, it will work on an RH, but it also wants to see a lockup torque converter and needs a throttle position sensor that it can access.  I could rig one, but probably not worth it.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on May 15, 2018, 06:03 PM
It has the option of no converter clutch and they can supply a TPS for a carburetted engine. You are running out of excuses. :)rotflmao  Looks like a decent unit. I would like to see one like that for the 4l80E GM trans at that price.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: tmsnyder on May 15, 2018, 07:01 PM
No excuse needed for doing a cool combo like this one though.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on May 15, 2018, 09:33 PM
I looked deeper at it.  It could be a neat product.  I am going to keep that one in mind.  I want to prove the transmission out for a while first with my switch.  I need to feel confident all the issues are put to bed.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on May 16, 2018, 07:44 AM
You know I am just busting your stones. I am waiting for my suggestion of the 13 speed to get the best of you, it is going to happen. The voices are getting louder. :D :D
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: chicknnhead on May 16, 2018, 10:58 AM
Yeah i read about that unit over on another site, of a guy doing something similar to yours..the reason he went with that was because he wanted his wife to drive and it was hands off sorta situation....so far so good has been reported
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on May 16, 2018, 12:42 PM
The 13 speed is not going to happen Rick.  I went through hell with this conversion, although most was my own fault.  I really want to focus on enjoying the coach.  My last major upgrades will be a new modern AC unit for the roof with a wall thermostat (I travel with animals), and a full repaint and window rebuilds.  Some minor upgrades as well like new dash and modern insturments and switches, modern lighting, etc., are also planned, but they are not huge changes.  Other than that, nothing major is planned.  At some point the motor will need a full rebuild and I will plan that one carefully and build it the best I can for how I use it with lots of low end torque and efficiency (yes, I said efficiency regarding a 440) in mind.  No diesel swaps, no flux capacitors, hybrid drives, warp generators, or cloaking devices.... sorry.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on May 16, 2018, 01:55 PM
Listen to the voices! Diesels are efficient. The trans will bolt right on with a class three bell housing (or #3, I can never remember which) All you need is a hole in the floor. No electronics, No 50 gallons of lost transmission fluid. Listen to the voices!!!














Boy am I glad I live a LONG ways away from you!! At least right now anyways. :)rotflmao :)rotflmao :)rotflmao :)rotflmao

Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on May 16, 2018, 03:54 PM
The last time I listened to the voices it ended up very badly for me.  So, I shall resist.  Diesels are more efficient, but I really do not want to do that.  I simply do not put the miles on the coach to make that worth it.  One could argue the same for the overdrive, but it is so much more quiet and relaxed at 2100 rpm vs over 3k.  That in itself makes it worth it.  As it sits, my mileage is not bad at 7-8.5.  I am still curious what it will do with the transmission working properly.  Even if I only pick up 1 - 1.5 mpg I will be happy.  I tend to drive hard, so my mileage will suffer.

But bottom line is that I am going to take the next year and just work on details.  Continue on really jazzing her up.  People are so blown away when they walk inside her, I just want to finish that.  Some new modern back splashes, LED puck lighting, and a bunch of small details that have been neglected.  And bottom line, use her.  Go camping.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: srosa707 on May 16, 2018, 04:04 PM
Those are some great plans, Sasquatch!
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on May 16, 2018, 05:35 PM
OK, OK, I will stop pestering you. Just hope I don't trip over a 671 Detroit laying around anywhere. That and a Road Ranger and MY wheels will be turning!
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: TerryH on May 16, 2018, 06:02 PM
Sasquatch, I hope you realize that is has been a while since we have seen Rick - particularly - and many others so interested and intrigued in a member project!
You can't quit now! :)ThmbUp :)ThmbUp :)ThmbUp
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on May 16, 2018, 06:55 PM
You KNOW I was interested in that project since it was so off the wall and technical. AND he had the balls to test drive it so far with little preparation. And on top of all that he put up with all of my crap! :D :D :D
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: TerryH on May 16, 2018, 07:14 PM
It has been great following this, and all of the comments. Actually, it's been a hoot.
Keep up with us please, Sasquatch, regardless of and including your upcoming projects!
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on May 16, 2018, 07:24 PM
Rick, there is an ice tea waiting for you if you ever make it to Idaho.....
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Froggy1936 on May 16, 2018, 07:30 PM
You get to a point where you do not want to work on the beast any more, I think I may have set my timing to late , But cant get up the energy to recheck it (it is not as easy as usual) I am happy to just get in and drive, With only checking fluids and air pressure ! Frank
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on May 17, 2018, 08:02 AM
I know the feeling Frank, I need a few more replacement joints before doing anymore big jobs.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: tmsnyder on May 17, 2018, 08:40 AM

What would the mpg be with one of those?  They aren't very fuel efficient are they?

OK, OK, I will stop pestering you. Just hope I don't trip over a 671 Detroit laying around anywhere. That and a Road Ranger and MY wheels will be turning!
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on May 17, 2018, 10:23 AM
On a vehicle as light as a motorhome it would be probably 12-15. You could also hook it into an Allison 6 speed auto but Detroits were pretty sensitive to rpm, they had a pretty small range they liked to be in. Especially the 6 cylinders. I drove a 1971 Autocar heavy tractor with a 12V71 12 cylinder Detroit and that thing would pull like you would not believe between 1600 and 1800 RPM. It pulled hard all the way down to 1200 but at 1600 it would spin the tires with anything less than 10,000 lbs on the axles. But man it was a thirsty beast! It got 4-6 MPG at best. Being a two stroke they were not the most efficient fuel engine but damn they sound good! :D
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on September 08, 2018, 08:35 PM
Major update.  I finally had a chance to get her out and put 100 miles on it this afternoon.  This is my first main test of the repaired transmission and I am pleased to say she is working perfectly.  Did some city stop and go and about 70 miles of interstate with some hills (It is Idaho). 


Temperatures ranged from 160 to 190 max on the hot side output of the transmission.  Shifted perfect, ran perfect, no issues at all.  I set the cruise on the freeway at 70, threw her into OD and enjoyed the silence (well, almost).  Engine was turning a comfortable 2350 rpms at 70 and had plenty of poop to pull the minor hills I encountered.


So, she is home from work, winterized and tucked away for the winter's slumber.  I am looking forward to next year and taking some trips and enjoying the benefits of all the hard work and frustration I put into this project.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on September 09, 2018, 10:37 AM
Great to hear! You have closure for winter knowing that come next summer you will be able to just jump in and go. I guess I can forget about getting you to try the 671/Road ranger combo now. :)rotflmao :)rotflmao :)rotflmao  After this last trip with mine if I had a garage big enough I would be looking for that combo. Hm? N:(
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on September 09, 2018, 05:20 PM
No Rick, I am not going to do a motor swap.  :P   I seriously considered a Cummins swap years ago before I invested a ton in my drive train and there was two major reasons I decided against it. 


I know people have a hard time believing me, but I really do not need any more power than what I have.  It cruises effortlessly at 70 and will pull any hill I encounter with ease.  When I first acquired the coach, climbing over the Blues eastward from Pendleton, OR I would top the summit at about 40 mph having to climb it in 2nd.  I did it a couple of years ago and never even needed to take it off cruise control and topped it at 54 mph.  That is plenty fast enough for me.  I could have even gone faster if I really laid into the throttle.  (my original cruise control would only pull on the throttle about 5/8, so it would not see full throttle on cruise)


As far as drive train is concerned, I have only one more project to do and that is to come up with a more permanent parking brake solution.  I will probably find a drive shaft mounted cable operated disk brake setup, or something of the sorts.  I looked at the drum brake setup off of the original 727 and I just do not think there is any way to really make that one work without a ton of fabrication.


When I searched for the aftermarket parking brake setups, no one had anything for a Dana 70HD that I could find.  But I need to measure the yoke bolt spacing and look at them from that angle and see if I can find one that either fits or that I can machine a bit and make fit.  My redneck line lock works in a pinch, but it is not a long term solution.


I have two major projects left on my list for this coach.  One is a MAJOR undertaking and that is a new paint job.  But I want to do it right and pull everything off the exterior including the windows.  It will give me a chance to rebuild all the windows, put all new hardware everywhere, and make sure everything is screwed back together nice and tight after the paint work is done.  I am going to keep it the original color and graphics, just new shiny and fresh.


The next is to replace the air conditioning unit on the roof with a more modern one that is smaller in physical size and has a heating option.  It would be nice to use shore power when I am paying for an RV spot instead of burning through my propane.  My original Frigiking air conditioner, believe it or not, still works perfectly though.  But I know at 42 years, it's days are numbered.  It worked perfectly yesterday while I was on my test drive. 
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: legomybago on September 10, 2018, 09:19 AM
(2.Noise.  One of the huge benefits of doing some of my mods was to reduce cabin noise while driving.  It is pretty darn quiet now.  Stuffing an older 12 valve in there would be quite a bit louder, and I am liking the relaxed feeling that the quiet cab gives me now).

This is one example of how sweet an FMC coach is, engine is in the back! Nice and quiet up front......BUT with stock gearing, my 440 is screaming 3,400 rpm's @60 mph....AND very thirsty :'(
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on September 10, 2018, 03:12 PM
Which is why I undertook this challenge...
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on March 11, 2019, 07:33 AM
I am gearing up for another trip, hopefully this time all the problems are sorted and will have real numbers to report.  I am leaving in 2 weeks to travel from Boise to Las Vegas for spring break.  Other things I found after my last disaster trip to Arizona last year was that I had a shot rotor in the distributor, all my spark plug wires were arcing, and the plugs more worn than I would have thought for how many miles were on them.  I also replaced two failed engine mounts.  Now all that is new, the engine is purring nice and smooth.


The transmission worked perfectly on the 90 mile or so test run after finding and repairing the warped valve body.  Shifted better than it ever did since starting this project.  So, combined with the engine repairs, I am hoping for a smooth run and some good fuel mileage numbers.


Regarding mileage, I am going to have to learn when to shift out of OD on hills.  During my test run I pulled a couple of moderate grades, just left the cruise control on at 65 and let them pull in OD.  It pulled the hills just fine only loosing a couple of mph.  But, I am sure that it was using more fuel than it would have been had I downshifted to 3rd and let the motor rev.  I also wanted to beat on the OD to see what temperatures it would run at.  Now it was a cooler day, in the 50's/60's if I remember right, but the hot side temps never even hit 200 on the hills and stayed in the 150-160 range on the flats.  So this is perfect. 


I am going to keep my computer hooked up on the trip so I can watch the fuel usage from the fuel injection system.  Watching the gallons per hour (GPH) reading under different driving situations I will be able to quickly figure out optimal shift points for economy.


Keep in mind, all the problems I had on this transmission were due to MY mistake rebuilding it the very first time and the damage that occurred to the valve body that was very hard to catch, which caused all the future failures.  Anyone else wanting to do an OD swap would probably not run into these issues if you have someone QUALIFIED to rebuild your transmission.  Have it rebuilt, and then use a bell housing adapter kit or plate and you will be off and running.  How I did mine with welding on a 727 bell housing and making the rebuild mistake turned a mole hill into a mountain of problems that never should have happened.


When I start my trip I will start a thread in the travels section and report how well the transmission is doing and how the trip went.  If anyone is located in Las Vegas and wants to get together to swap stories, shoot me a PM.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on March 11, 2019, 10:12 AM
Best of luck and I am really looking forward to your report on the mileage. I have tons of data on big block Chevy engines and mileage but when people ask me about big block Dodges all I can offer is the Chevy info and tell them it should be similar. I am curious to see if I am right.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on March 11, 2019, 10:15 PM
Best of luck and I am really looking forward to your report on the mileage. I have tons of data on big block Chevy engines and mileage but when people ask me about big block Dodges all I can offer is the Chevy info and tell them it should be similar. I am curious to see if I am right.

Before the overdrive install I would average about 7 mpg.  Sometimes into the 8's, sometimes as low as 5.5 if I am beating on her in the mountains or high winds.  I am not the slowest driver.  She is most happy between 65-70 on the freeway and 60-65 on secondary roads.  She has plenty of umph to carry those speeds and all the suspension upgrades as well.  I posted somewhere all the 440 mods I have done and what worked and what was a waste of time.  But long story short, she runs infinitely better than she did when she was completely stock.  The three biggest upgrades were 1) Fuel injection, 2) proper cam for torque/efficiency, 3) Headers/exhaust.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on March 12, 2019, 09:30 AM
I remember your mods and they were pretty much the same specs that I use for the Chevy engines.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on March 17, 2019, 10:33 AM
This is my last posting here unless someone has questions.  I am leaving Friday, March 22nd for Las Vegas.  This is it, to see if everything I did is sorted and working well.  Prayers happily accepted.  :)ThmbUp


Took it down to get propane yesterday and it drove as she should.  Overdrive kicked in and out just fine, my hopes are rising.  I will start a thread in the travel section to give a trip report as she unfolds.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: LJ-TJ on March 17, 2019, 10:41 AM
Holy Crap! Don't leave us blowing in the wind. You can lay over in Walmart parking lots and use their free wyfi or MacDonalds or ???? Geeeeezzzzzz. Now yeah got us following along we got to know how the trips going. D:oH! i?? :)rotflmao :)rotflmao :)rotflmao
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: srosa707 on March 21, 2019, 09:51 AM
Been following this and am interested in the post-trip report.  Drive safe.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on March 21, 2019, 02:28 PM
Are we there yet? :)rotflmao
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on March 24, 2019, 11:54 AM
Yes, I updated my thread on the trip reports.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on May 13, 2019, 04:52 PM
The rabbit hole keeps getting deeper.  Due to the broken flex plate I decided to replace my welded bellhousing with an Ultrabell to make sure that everything was right.  Cutting off the old bellhousing again I proceeded to try and cut off my finger.  That set me back some time to heal.  First time I have had stitches like that.


Finally last week it was going back together but my torque converter would not fit in the new bellhousing (it is much thicker than original).  Come to find out my coach has a 12" torque converter and the ultrabell only accepts 11" or smaller.  Ug.


Spent some time with the fine folks at Precision of New Hampton and settled on a 11" low stall RV torque converter.  Stall speed will be a bit lower than original which should help with mileage a bit and keep the tranny cooler (not that I had a problem) as well.  It has some nice performance upgrades over stock that I am quite sure I will not notice at all when driving except for a lighter wallet.


The saga continues.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Froggy1936 on May 13, 2019, 05:39 PM
Did you get any pictures of the cutting and installing of the new bell housing  (Sorry to hear about your accident) ?  Another bonus is it will need less fluid ! Good Luck !
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on May 14, 2019, 11:45 PM
I did not.  I was so driven to get it done that I did not take photos.  I will take some as I fit the new TC and bolt it up.  It is due in by Thursday.


I guess I did take one photo....
(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/47792204612_8918c91f94_z.jpg)


Dont worry, it'll buff right out.  ;)


Going the route of installing the new bellhousing will ease my thoughts and concerns.  The broken flex plate has me second guessing all my calculations and measurements when I did the welded bellhousing.  I know that with the new one I can not just travel and not worry if it will break in the middle of nowhere.  The new flex plate (B&M race certified one) and the ultra bell are so overbuilt for my application it should never fail.


Speaking of fluid capacity, with all the coolers, filters, etc., it held almost 4 gallons of fluid.  I was going to put a deep sump on the transmission for an additional 4 quarts, but I really dont need it.  It stayed plenty cool and 4 gallons is enough.  That reminds me though, I need to order a weld on drain pan drain bung to put on the transmission pan.  It makes changing the oil much easier....
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on May 15, 2019, 08:39 AM
That is one of those injuries that they tell you to come back in two weeks to get the stitches out and I would always take them out in ten days and they go back in the two weeks and get yelled at because I ' Don't know how to take out stitches". Well, Been doing it for 50 years now with no ill effects. By the way, My mom was a nurse so yes, I was taught the right way. LOL. Thats a bad spot though, I hope you are not left handed.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Berlin-Tioga on May 15, 2019, 08:56 AM
OT
I bought one of those tiny BOSCH 10.8V angle grinders not to long ago.
The first time I used it, I had the gnarly multi-cut wheel on it.
Because it is so small you naturally use it on handed.
After the first cut I tried to shut it off an while reaching for the switch with the thumb I got my middle finger around and in the blade.
Always funny to have that finger wrapped and thereby kinda exposed  :D
That's half a year ago an the tip is still a little numb.








Good luck for your you healing!!
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Elandan2 on May 15, 2019, 05:59 PM
Ouch!! I'm guessing your future as a hand model is finished.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: ClydesdaleKevin on May 15, 2019, 08:57 PM
Ouch!! I'm guessing your future as a hand model is finished.

Hey Rick Ellerbeck!  Tell me more about your battery watering system that you sell on your website.  I have two Trojan T-105 batteries, but pulling the caps with all the wires going over them is a pain.  What would I need to have an easy fill system?  Tell me more about the Aqua-Pro Battery Watering System you sell.

Thanks!

Kev
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on May 17, 2019, 10:38 AM
New torque converter arrived.  Precision of New Hampton built it for me in one day.  That is fantastic.  It is their RV series of torque converter.  11" vs my original 12" which would not fit in the JW performance Ultrabell.  The new TC has a 1500 stall which is 400 lower than stock.  Plus it has a bunch of revisions to the inside that I will probably never notice while driving it.  But for $190, I can not complain.  I spent some time with their tech on the phone prior to ordering and he really took the time to discuss options and his advice for my application.  Seemed really knowledgeable about RV's.


(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/47869424241_3b38ce7378_c.jpg)
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on May 18, 2019, 09:56 PM
I am so ready to be done.  Everything has fought me the entire way.  The B&M flexplate I bought that said it fit "cast crank" torque converters, didnt.  It did not have a relief to clear the TC balancing weight.  I had to take it back apart and pull the flex plate and machine it to fit.  That meant that I had to build a jig to bolt it into my balancing fixture so I could balance the flex plate again.


Ok, so finally got the transmission bolted up and the TC torqued.  Installed the crossmember and started in on the starter.  Nope.  I do not know if it is miss-casted or what, but the starter flange does not fit in the hole.  Made a template and stuck that up there so I could see what it was hitting on (headers are in the way) and there is one small spot where I have to grind it out a bit. 


I really wanted to have it mobile today, but that is not happening.  Oh well, back under there with a dremel to massage the starter hole.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on May 19, 2019, 07:03 AM
As you should well know, anything custom will always need customizing to work.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Froggy1936 on May 19, 2019, 01:31 PM
 Do you have one of the new style Mini Starters ? With the permanent magnets . Or are you trying to jam an old style monster in there ? There is a major difference in size and weight !  Frank
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on May 19, 2019, 03:54 PM
And amp draw! The newer starters have it all over the old dinosaurs! Unless you just can't drag yourself away from that old Chrysler starter gear whine!
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on May 20, 2019, 09:50 AM
I need some encouragement.  Really a bit depressed right now.  I got it all together last night and fired up.  I thought all was well.  In fact, my thought that somehow my original welded bellhousing was off a bit I think was confirmed.  No matter how well the transmission worked, the pump made a bit of noise, just like Ford power steering whine.  Some of you will know what I am talking about.  With the new bellhousing it was silent, so somehow my weld job was a bit off.


So, I am adding fluid, letting it run in N, cycling it through gears, feeling the TC load.  All was well until I crawled under the coach to take a look.  Drip, drip, drip....  The tranny was puking fluid from the lower bellhousing bolts. (where the bellhousing bolts up to the front pump).  My heart sank.  It has to come all the way out again to address this leak.


I did some searching on the web and found this sort of leak was common with the JW bellhousings and read about some of the solutions people came up with to get it sealed. 


But anyway, it needs to come out again.  My back is killing me and I just want to be done with this project.  I still believe this is a worthwhile upgrade to the coach, but if I were to do it all over again I would have spent some more money up front and bought a rebuilt/upgraded transmission from a professional and did the JW bellhousing swap right away.  Even if I dealt with a leak or two it would have in no way compared to the number of times I have had this transmission out trying to do things on the cheap.  Not only that, I could have bought a very high performance transmission from one of the big builders who build these things to hang on to modified diesels, and still been money and headache ahead.  Do it right the first time or do it again.  Or in my case, do it right the first time or do it again, and again, and again, and again......


Sorry guys, I am rambling, but I needed to vent.  I am close.  I think it is all there, all done, just need to sort out the bellhousing seal issue.  I think I know how I am going to do it. 


Regarding the starter, yes, I have the newer mini starter.  With the long tube headers I would not be able to replace the original starter without pulling the exhaust.  So I went with the mini.  Each time I do a mod, I try to think through having to repair it on the road and make things as easy as I can.  That is the reason I went to the complete fuel delivery system from mid 90's F150 Fords for my fuel injection system.  Everyone has parts for it, and it was designed to work exactly how I have it installed, so it should never be a problem as those F150's actually have pretty robust fuel pumps (unlike the GM in tank pumps).


Ok, I am off to work.  Need to get some customer's bikes done then I will dive back into pulling the tranny this afternoon.  I will update you all later.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: LJ-TJ on May 20, 2019, 11:01 AM
 :)ThmbUp I'm sure many of us will muse over your dilemna only because "Ben there,Done that,Got the T-shirt." We really do feel your pane. Personally I think you've done it right because your doing it yourself. Trust me chances are you'd probably worse off if you went to a Professional.(Rick and Dave are the exception. )Plus this way you'll now the jobs been done right.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Rickf1985 on May 20, 2019, 03:05 PM
So refresh my memory, why didn't you go with a 47RH? I am thinking incompatible bolt pattern? I can't believe that Advance or Novak doesn't have an adapter plate for that setup since it is a really strong overdrive tranny. I would be wary of an adapter that bolts to the pump bolts. Seems like that is kind of sketchy. The pump bolts are only designed to hold the pump in with no rotational force on them to speak of and the bell housing has massive rotational torque on it. I guess if they race them it is a proven design......................... I don't know though.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Froggy1936 on May 20, 2019, 05:15 PM
Yep really hate redoing anything, I had that with the slow fluid leak right after overhaul and installation with mine , And also not cheap. I questioned you on the mounting of the new bell housing , Looking at things . Using the Frt pump bolts seemed suspect ? Did you Pull the pump and renew the O Ring ? Or just install the bell housing ? Do they use the original bolts Or are the longer ? How about some picture,s this time so we can get a better idea of what you are doing . We want to offer any expertise we have so you do not have to do it a third time   Frank
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on May 20, 2019, 11:42 PM
I did not go with the 47RH because I felt that with the gearing a lockup TC would drop the engine speed too far.  Second was the additional circuitry to make OD and Lockup work.


Using the pump bolts is just fine.  They have longer bolts and O-rings to seal them.  Many drag racers with tons more power have been using these bellhousings for years. 


I found my problem.  I missed one small area getting the transmission case ground down enough holding the bellhousing off the pump just enough to leak like a sieve. 


So I will do some more clean up tomorrow, install new o-rings and try again.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: tmsnyder on May 21, 2019, 07:16 AM
You have a lot of admirers on here Sasquatch!  I'm pretty amazed by the conversion personally.
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Froggy1936 on May 21, 2019, 11:40 AM
Pictures of the problem would help us understand the situation better, Good Luck, with we hope final repair , Yes We admire anyone who has the guts to reengineer anything To get the results they want ,Even though there is a lot of redo,s for fitment It is extremely satisfying when you succeed ! Frank
Title: Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
Post by: Sasquatch on May 21, 2019, 06:48 PM
(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/47851862392_a2d57acce3_z.jpg)
(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/47851862542_b6855b3829_z.jpg)


The problem was that there was a collision between the new bellhousing and a bit of the existing case that I had not shaved down enough.  Some mill work cured that.  Did some test fits with some putty on the contact points and got it to mate properly.  Added some new o-rings, sealant, teflon washers and got it bolted back up.  Just got the transmission mated to the engine and some bolts started.  Taking a break before diving back under the coach to get it all bolted up.


Here is a comparison shot of the new high torque mini starter vs. the boat anchor OEM one.


(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/46987902755_d3bc262a6f_z.jpg)


Back to the salt mines.  I am getting too old for this crap.