Author Topic: 46RH (A518) Conversion project  (Read 17075 times)

Offline Sasquatch

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #175 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.

Offline TerryH

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #176 on: March 22, 2018, 04:40 PM »
Best of luck. You have quite a following here.
"You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete."
 -R. Buckminster Fuller

Offline legomybago

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #177 on: March 22, 2018, 05:37 PM »
Yeah! Good luck!! have fun
Never get crap happy with a slap happy pappy

Offline M & J

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #178 on: March 22, 2018, 05:52 PM »
Via con Dios.
M & J

Offline moonlitcoyote

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #179 on: March 22, 2018, 06:10 PM »
 Have fun and safe travels!

Offline Froggy1936

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #180 on: March 22, 2018, 09:08 PM »
Good Luck, keep records RPM,MPH,VACUUME . check fluids ea stop first few days Frank
The Journey is the REWARD !

Offline Rickf1985

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #181 on: March 24, 2018, 01:22 PM »
Sorry, late to the party, computer died. Safe travels and good luck.

Offline Sasquatch

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #182 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.

Offline Rickf1985

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #183 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.

Offline Sasquatch

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #184 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.

Offline Rickf1985

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #185 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.

Offline Sasquatch

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #186 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.

Offline khantroll

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #187 on: April 02, 2018, 09:08 AM »
Do you have any thoughts on how to adjust that pressure control system?

Offline Froggy1936

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #188 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
The Journey is the REWARD !

Offline Rickf1985

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #189 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.

Offline Sasquatch

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #190 on: April 03, 2018, 10:49 PM »



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.

Offline Shawn62

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #191 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.

Offline Rickf1985

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #192 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.

Offline Sasquatch

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #193 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. 



Offline Wantawinnie

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #194 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.

Offline Sasquatch

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #195 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.


Offline Froggy1936

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #196 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
The Journey is the REWARD !

Offline Rickf1985

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #197 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.

Offline Wantawinnie

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #198 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.

Offline Sasquatch

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #199 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.

 

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