Author Topic: Strykersd's 1971 C20 Brave  (Read 30983 times)

Offline Rickf1985

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Re: Strykersd's 1971 C20 Brave
« Reply #100 on: September 11, 2017, 06:39 PM »
If you take the time to run the lines for the coolant heat exchanger it is nice to have free hot water on the road and also as soon as you get to your campsite. I put valves on my lines since they also go to the rear heater and there is no way to turn the hot water off to the rear heater so I now turn it off at the engine. I will eventually run separate lines for the heater and the hot water and put another heater valve inline on the rear heater to work in conjunction with the vehicle heater. This way you don't have a hot heater core under the bed during the summer.

Online TerryH

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Re: Strykersd's 1971 C20 Brave
« Reply #101 on: September 11, 2017, 07:38 PM »
Adding valves also gives you the ability to isolate any leak that may occur in the lengthy lines to the rear heater.
“Who is more foolish? The fool or the fool who follows him?”
Obi Wan Kenobi, Star Wars, but very current.

Offline strykersd

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  • Year: 1971
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  • Engine: 350
Re: Strykersd's 1971 C20 Brave
« Reply #102 on: September 12, 2017, 07:49 AM »
The concept of having hot water right when I pull into a campsite sounds nice.  If you guys were going to run lines for the coolant heat exchanger, what kind of lines would you  use?  I wouldn't want to use rubber lines that far. 

Offline Rickf1985

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Re: Strykersd's 1971 C20 Brave
« Reply #103 on: September 12, 2017, 08:30 AM »
Ideally stainless tubing but realistically probably copper plumbing pipe. Stainless would resist all of the elements of the road like salt and calcium but then how often do you go out in that? Copper is much cheaper, easier to work with and much easier to access and find fittings for.  Do not use PCV, the water is far too hot for that, you are talking about engine coolant that can get up to 220 and possibly 240 degrees on a long hard pull. Needless to say you want to keep the lines away from your fuel line or insulate them.

What is under mine from the factory looks all the world like EMT electrical tubing! Wouldn't surprise me, cheap and light and galvanized. Who is ever going to know W% ?

Offline legomybago

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Re: Strykersd's 1971 C20 Brave
« Reply #104 on: September 12, 2017, 10:21 AM »
My rig uses automotive 5/8" heater hose for the bends, than the long straight stretch in the middle of the coach is copper tubing with a barbed end for getting a good seal on the rubber hose. I have rear heat and auto heating on my hot water heater. Definitely put shut off valves so you can kill the system if needed.
Never get crap happy with a slap happy pappy

Offline strykersd

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  • Year: 1971
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Re: Strykersd's 1971 C20 Brave
« Reply #105 on: September 26, 2017, 05:19 PM »
Anyone else have the issues of your cabinets swinging open while going down the road?  After further review I realized that the latches on our cabinets have worn down over the years.  I looked online but didn't have any luck finding replacements.  Thankfully at my work we had to burn some of our budget so we recently purchased a 3d printer.  With the use of a pair of digital calipers, Google Sketchup free edition and the 3d printer I was able to design and build new latches. 

Here's a pic of the design in Google Sketchup


The new piece on top and the old on the bottom



And the new pieces placed back in the latch's housing.  New one the top, old on the bottom.

Offline M & J

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Re: Strykersd's 1971 C20 Brave
« Reply #106 on: September 26, 2017, 06:51 PM »
Now that is cool.
M & J

Offline CapnDirk

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Re: Strykersd's 1971 C20 Brave
« Reply #107 on: September 26, 2017, 08:22 PM »
Way cool!
"Anything given sufficient propulsion will fly!  Rule one!  Maintain propulsion"

"I say we nuke the site from orbit.  It's the only way to be sure"

Offline legomybago

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Re: Strykersd's 1971 C20 Brave
« Reply #108 on: September 27, 2017, 08:55 AM »
You should make a bag full of them and put them on Feebay or something...
Never get crap happy with a slap happy pappy

Offline khantroll

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Re: Strykersd's 1971 C20 Brave
« Reply #109 on: September 28, 2017, 06:56 AM »
Any chance of uploading them to the sketchup warehouse... W% ?

Offline strykersd

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Re: Strykersd's 1971 C20 Brave
« Reply #110 on: March 08, 2018, 08:15 PM »

Hey guys, it's been a while but the Winnebago has been on the back burner the last few months.  Two and a half weeks ago I get an email from a buddy telling me that Motor Trend is hosting a new show called the $3k Hooptie Challenge where $3,000 cars drag race for a cash prize.  I applied with my 1998 GMC Sonoma that has a small block chevy engine and nitrous.  My application was accepted, I was invited and guaranteed $250 for showing up.  I then hatched the plan to tow my Sonoma with the Winnebago for the 850 mile round trip to Tucson Dragway! 

Planning on towing I worried about transmission temperatures towing up the grade leaving/entering San Diego.  I didn't have time to install a transmission temperature gauge so I just added a FTI billet transmission pan that gave me another two quart capacity.





Things I learned along the way
-With my new radiator setup I was unable to use my original fan shroud, so with around a 15,000lb load on a 350CI SBC, my engine was overheating with just the clutch fan.  Thankfully I had the forethought to pack my stock rigid fan and that cured the problem. 
-We left Thursday night from San Diego and had to get to Tucson by 8AM the next morning.  We totally forgot Arizona doesn't do daylight savings time so we lost an hour there.  We had to push the Winnebago pretty hard to get out there, results in 3.95MPG one tank.  After taking our time on the way back, we got a dismal 5.5MPG.
-The little SBC had issues pulling the weight up the grade and I had to take the grade at 30MPH at the top of first gear. 
-My large, thermostat controlled transmission cooler with deeper aluminum pan works great!  I measured the temperature of my transmission pan with my temp gun numerous times through the trip and it held steady at 150 degrees.


All in all it was a good trip!






What I've learned
-I need either a 383 or a 454 engine for the Winnebago
-I need a shroud for my cooling fan
-My harbor freight air compressor I use to pressurize my water grenaded.  It was only $10 and you get what you pay for so I'll be replacing that with something better. 
-I need to fabricate a trailer hitch for the rear of the Winnebago.  I used the tow ball on the bumper of the Winnebago and the sheet of probably 1/4" steel bent a little.  Plus it'd be nice being able to set the height of the tow ball. 

This trip got me excited to work on the Winnebago again, so hopefully I'll have more to share these next few weeks!

Offline M & J

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Re: Strykersd's 1971 C20 Brave
« Reply #111 on: March 08, 2018, 08:46 PM »
Ok. But how did you do in the competition?
M & J

Offline strykersd

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Re: Strykersd's 1971 C20 Brave
« Reply #112 on: March 08, 2018, 09:10 PM »

Offline M & J

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Re: Strykersd's 1971 C20 Brave
« Reply #113 on: March 08, 2018, 10:06 PM »
Oh.
M & J

Offline Winnebago Warrior 94

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Re: Strykersd's 1971 C20 Brave
« Reply #114 on: March 09, 2018, 11:03 PM »
Glad your back to working on your Winnebago ..we have been doing a lot of work on mine and for it looking good ..in doing my paint job nowand its looking so very cute..im excited..I got my new tores too ..almost ready to hit the road ..yippee..that sounds like a cool trip you took and akot of fun

Offline Rickf1985

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Re: Strykersd's 1971 C20 Brave
« Reply #115 on: March 10, 2018, 08:34 AM »
Looking at how much the rear of the Winnie is squatting with the trailer be sure to check the frame extensions VERY well! If they are good then you really need a good class 3 or 4 hitch and a weight distributing receiver. A fan shroud which is set up right make all the difference in the world as far as coolant temps. Most people think the whole fan should be in the shroud and that is wrong, half of the the fan blade should be under the shroud and the back half exposed. This allows air to be pushed out away from the fan in addition to rearward. You can move a lot more air that way. The biggest problem with a motor home is once the air is moved from the radiator is has to be moved from the dogbox area!
And with a shroud the thermostatic clutch fan will actually work correctly since it is not pulling cool air from the sides keeping it from engaging. That will make a big difference in your mileage.

Offline strykersd

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  • Year: 1971
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  • Model: Brave
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  • Engine: 350
Re: Strykersd's 1971 C20 Brave
« Reply #116 on: March 14, 2018, 02:02 PM »
While prepping for this trip I planned on flat towing my truck behind the Winnebago.  I did a test run flat towing the Sonoma and it was a huge pain preparing so I ended up borrowing the trailer from a friend.  After seeing how much of a pain it is flat towing the Sonoma, I doubt I'll ever do it again.  I'll just use the tow bar for towing my Jeep in the future.

The Brave can definitely use some help in the towing department.  I don't even a tow hitch on the back of the Winnebago, just the tow ball.  The frame extensions were definitely a worry of mine but I didn't have time to re-enforce them before this trip.  I definitely plan on adding a tow hitch to the rear of the Winnebago sometime soon.  It'll allow me to adjust the height of the tow ball and to run a luggage rack/bike rack out back if needed. 

As for cooling, I was working on the Brave yesterday and thought to measure fan to radiator gap, it was a huge gap at 4"!  With the fan clutch I had it down to a more usable 1" gap.  I'll definitely add a shroud and close that gap up a little bit.  I keep hearing everyone talk about how much heat builds up in the dogbox area.  Maybe it's because I have a small block instead of a build block, but my dogbox is always cool to touch.  Which makes me think twice about converting to a big block Chevy engine.

Offline strykersd

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  • Year: 1971
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  • Engine: 350
Re: Strykersd's 1971 C20 Brave
« Reply #117 on: March 19, 2018, 07:09 PM »

When my Harbor Freight air compressor I use to pressurize my water tanks failed on me during my last trip we were stuck with 25 gallons of water in our tanks that we couldn't use.  When I built my last water tank air compressor setup, I tapped the output on the air compressor to 1/16NPT so even if I did find a Harbor Freight to buy a new compressor, I didn't have my 1/16NPT tap in the Winnebago.  In Tucson I ended up just going to Home Depot and buying an air compressor fittings kit that had a Schrader valve to barbed wire fitting and just used the air compressor I carry to air up my tires to pressurize my water tanks.  After this failure I decided that when I redo my water tank compressor that I would first get a better compressor, second I would power the new compressor via a cigarette lighter socket and finally hook the compressor to my water system via a Schrader valve.  This way if my air compressor fails in the future I can just pick up another compressor from an auto parts store/walmart/target and get back on the road.

I ordered the smallest air compressor in Viair's lineup, their 70P compressor for $40.  I cut a small piece of aluminum sheet and shock mounted it with rubber isolators I got from my work.  It's much quieter and rattles much less than the old Harbor Freight setup!



Here's a picture of everything installed in the factory location including the water pressure switch and cigarette lighter socket.









While preparing for the Tuscon trip, I had a buddy who was supposed to come down from Phoenix and hang out for the weekend but with how crunched for time I was prepping for the event and never really knew if I'd make it until we were actually there, he didn't end up coming down.  In preparation for a third guy in the Winnebago I had to get the bed above the driver and passenger seat in operating condition.  Funny story, for the first few months of having the Winnebago I had no clue there was a bed up there haha.  The bed has always pulled out just fine, but I never quite trusted it to hold weight.  Before the trip I decided to test it out myself and it held all 200lbs of me.  The problem is that after I got up there I didn't have a good way of getting down haha.  I went to amazon and picked up a bunk bed ladder for $56 and its the perfect size.  Here's a picture of it setup and my storage spot for the ladder when the bed isn't in use. 








Eventually I find time I'll go through this whole thread and repost the pictures on my Google Drive to get rid of all the photo bucket ads on my old photos. 

Offline Rickf1985

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Re: Strykersd's 1971 C20 Brave
« Reply #118 on: March 20, 2018, 02:46 PM »
I see all of your old pics, all you need is the photobucket imbed app.

Offline strykersd

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  • Year: 1971
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Brave
  • Chassis: Chevy
  • Engine: 350
Re: Strykersd's 1971 C20 Brave
« Reply #119 on: July 30, 2018, 07:42 PM »

Been busy with life, a new job and working on my other projects so that Winnebago has been neglected the last few months.  I'm still doing a little work here and there to get it where I want it. 


After sitting for years the plastic in my guages got brittle and cracked.  I didn't mind it at first, until the plastic stopped my oil pressure guage from operation correctly so I had to do something about it.  I had to replace the oil pressure gauge and decided to change my ammeter gauge to a voltage gauge while I was at it.  I picked up a 2" Bosch gauge kit from summit racing for $40 and they bolted right into place.  Here's a shot of my old gauges on top and the new gauges down below. 





The next project was my outdoor shower.  Although the rear dinnette models came with a 30 gallon grey/black water tank, my base model only came with a 21 gallon tank.  With that in mind I wanted an option to rinse off at the beach, wash the dogs or even just test the water system without having to give up the prescious space in the our tanks.  After poking around the RV I decided to install the outdoor shower between my water heater and bathroom so that I could just T into the water lines that connect the two.  I built a frame out of 2X4's, cut a hole in the side of the winnebago, then sealed it all up with butyl seal tape.  The whole thing only cost me $70: $40 for the shower and $30 for fittings. 







I'm hoping to get more use out of the Winnebago more here the next few months.  I want to host a bonfire at the beach before summer is over, do a few weekend camping trips down in Baja and am considering a long trip up the west coast all the way to Vancouver.  I'll keep you posted!

Offline srosa707

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  • Year: 1973
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: D20
  • Chassis: Dodge
  • Engine: 318
Re: Strykersd's 1971 C20 Brave
« Reply #120 on: August 28, 2018, 06:29 PM »
Very cool!  Love the updates! 

Offline strykersd

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  • Year: 1971
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Brave
  • Chassis: Chevy
  • Engine: 350
Re: Strykersd's 1971 C20 Brave
« Reply #121 on: May 21, 2020, 06:22 PM »
It's been a busy 2020 for my Brave!  In January I started the year out with a trip to Tuscon and Tombstone, Arizona with some buddies.  We were in Tuscon for Roadkill's zip tie drags and decided to shoot out to Tombstone since we had a three day weekend for presidents day.  The Winnebago towed my GMC Sonoma and a dual axle trailer (probably 5000-5500lbs total) and got 7.5MPG while doing it!  My Sonoma blew second gear out of it's TH400 transmission on the first pass but I still had a good trip!

Come the end of the trip, my starter was acting up a little bit so once I got it home I decided to swap it out.  Thankfully I have so many SBC parts I had on one my shelf.  I took this opportunity to finally swap out the massive direct drive starter and replace it with a much smaller gear reduction starter. 



In February, a buddy and I drove the Brave out to Johnson Valley, California to spectate at the King of the Hammers race.  Nothing too crazy but it's so much nicer sleeping in the Winnebago than a tent in the desert. 

When I got back from King of the Hammers I've been working on my offroad toy, my 1975 AMG Postal Jeep.  A big reason why I bought the Winnebago was for it to tow this jeep and my Sonoma.  When I got it, it was stock with a inline six engine, 2WD and 24" tires.  I've since added full width axles, stretched the wheelbase, converted it to 4WD and swapped in a V8 engine.

Once I got the postal jeep build done, I had to figure out some way to tow it with the Winnebago.  In the past I towed with a bumper mounted tow ball, but due to the height I would need my tow bar to be, I had to install a tow hitch.  Here's what I started with.

I re-enforced my frame extension, beefed up my bumper and added more supports that tie back into my frame.  Here's the finished product. 




Then this past weekend we took the Brave and my postal jeep out to the desert for the first time!  It was my first time flat towing and although it's not as nice as towing a trailer, it's a whole lot better knowing I can break the postal jeep and still get home.

And a picture of my girlfriend Taylor, our two dogs and myself.

 

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