Author Topic: 46RH (A518) Conversion project  (Read 19807 times)

Offline legomybago

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #275 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 :'(
Never get crap happy with a slap happy pappy

Offline Sasquatch

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #276 on: September 10, 2018, 03:12 PM »
Which is why I undertook this challenge...

Offline Sasquatch

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #277 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.

Offline Rickf1985

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #278 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.

Offline Sasquatch

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #279 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.

Offline Rickf1985

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #280 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.

Offline Sasquatch

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #281 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.

Offline LJ-TJ

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #282 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

Offline srosa707

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #283 on: March 21, 2019, 09:51 AM »
Been following this and am interested in the post-trip report.  Drive safe.

Offline Rickf1985

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #284 on: March 21, 2019, 02:28 PM »
Are we there yet? :)rotflmao

Offline Sasquatch

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #285 on: March 24, 2019, 11:54 AM »
Yes, I updated my thread on the trip reports.

Offline Sasquatch

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #286 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.

Offline Froggy1936

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #287 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 !
The Journey is the REWARD !

Offline Sasquatch

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #288 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....



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....

Offline Rickf1985

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #289 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.

Offline Berlin-Tioga

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #290 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!!

Online Elandan2

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #291 on: May 15, 2019, 05:59 PM »
Ouch!! I'm guessing your future as a hand model is finished.
Treatzall Waste tank sanitizer, lighting, and other RV related products!
Rick Ellerbeck, 1977 Elandan II

Offline ClydesdaleKevin

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #292 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
Kev and Patti, the furry kids, our 98 Cherokee lifted beastie tow vehicle, and our 1995 Itasca Suncruiser Diesel Pusher.

Offline Sasquatch

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #293 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.



Offline Sasquatch

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #294 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.

Offline Rickf1985

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #295 on: May 19, 2019, 07:03 AM »
As you should well know, anything custom will always need customizing to work.

Offline Froggy1936

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #296 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
The Journey is the REWARD !

Offline Rickf1985

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #297 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!

Offline Sasquatch

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #298 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.

Offline LJ-TJ

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Re: 46RH (A518) Conversion project
« Reply #299 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.

 

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