Author Topic: 46RH (A518) Conversion project  (Read 17732 times)

Offline Gearhead88

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  • Engine: 460
Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #100 on: December 31, 2017, 01:01 PM »
Very ambitious project !  and inspiring too.

Offline Sasquatch

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  • Year: 1976
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  • Chassis: Dodge M-500
  • Engine: 440-3
Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #101 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.

Offline legomybago

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #102 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?
Never get crap happy with a slap happy pappy

Offline Sasquatch

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #103 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.

Offline khantroll

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #104 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.

Offline Sasquatch

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #105 on: January 25, 2018, 04:20 PM »
Neither have I, but I have a machine shop, so I will have to modify something. :)ThmbUp

Offline Sasquatch

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #106 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.





Offline Sasquatch

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #107 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.



Offline Sasquatch

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #108 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.

Offline Rickf1985

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #109 on: February 07, 2018, 10:26 AM »
And when is your trip?

Offline Sasquatch

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #110 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.

Offline Rickf1985

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #111 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.

Offline Sasquatch

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #112 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.

Offline Rickf1985

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #113 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.

Offline Sasquatch

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #114 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.

Offline Rickf1985

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #115 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.

Offline Sasquatch

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #116 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.

Offline Rickf1985

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #117 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.

Offline Sasquatch

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #118 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.

Offline Rickf1985

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #119 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.

Offline Winnebago Warrior 94

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #120 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 :)

Offline Sasquatch

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #121 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.

Offline Sasquatch

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #122 on: February 10, 2018, 06:22 PM »
Transmission is fully installed.  :)clap





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.





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.

Offline TerryH

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #123 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.
"Success is relative:
It is what we can make of the mess we have made of things."
T.S. Eliot  OM  1888-1965

Offline Sasquatch

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #124 on: February 10, 2018, 09:09 PM »
Perfectionist?????? =)  I wouldn't go that far, but thank you.

 

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