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Author Topic: Boise to Las Vegas, will she work this time?  (Read 1012 times)

Offline Sasquatch

  • *
  • Posts: 303
  • Member since: 2010
  • Year: 1976
  • Make: Executive
  • Chassis: Dodge M-500
  • Engine: 440-3
Boise to Las Vegas, will she work this time?
« on: March 17, 2019, 10:54 AM »
Time for the real test on my 4 speed overdrive converted Executive motorhome.  I am leaving Friday to head to Las Vegas for spring break.  Yes, it is my spring break.  I hit 50 and instead of buying another sports car, I went back to college. 


For those of you who have not followed my story, I have a 1976 Executive on a Dodge M500 chassis that I have been building and customizing for 23 years now.  Family ownership goes back to my grandfather who bought it when it was only a year old.  Last year I did a major mod installing a A518 transmission out of a Dodge turbo diesel pickup into it to gain overdrive.  It was a series of misfortunes ultimately leaving me stranded in Kingman, AZ getting it rebuilt only to have it fail again in Mesquite, NV, but allowed me to limp home under it's own power.  It should be all sorted now as I found the root cause.  You can read the thread here:  [size=78%]http://www.classicwinnebagos.com/forum/index.php?topic=14273.0[/size] 


Here is a general tour of the coach: [/size][size=78%]http://www.classicwinnebagos.com/forum/index.php?topic=13664.0[/size][/size][size=78%] [/size]


[/size]Here is a general discussion on all my power and performance mods: [/size][size=78%]http://www.classicwinnebagos.com/forum/index.php?topic=14311.0[/size]


I will try to update the thread as I travel and let everyone know what I am getting for real world mileage with the OD and power mods.  See you all on the road.
[/size]
[/size]

Offline Berlin-Tioga

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  • Posts: 38
  • Member since: 2017
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1979
  • Make: Fleetwood
  • Model: Tioga
  • Chassis: Dodge MB400
  • Engine: 440
Re: Boise to Las Vegas, will she work this time?
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2019, 04:01 PM »
Good Luck for your journey!


Greetings from Berlin,


Ben

Offline LJ-TJ

  • 14 year member
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  • Posts: 2502
  • Member since: 2003
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1975
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: D21
  • Chassis: Dodge
  • Engine: 440-3
Re: Boise to Las Vegas, will she work this time?
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2019, 05:49 PM »
 :)ThmbUp Let the adventure begin :)clap

Offline Sasquatch

  • *
  • Posts: 303
  • Member since: 2010
  • Year: 1976
  • Make: Executive
  • Chassis: Dodge M-500
  • Engine: 440-3
Re: Boise to Las Vegas, will she work this time?
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2019, 08:51 PM »
Getting ready...



Offline ClydesdaleKevin

  • 11 year member
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  • Posts: 4252
  • Member since: 2005
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1995
  • Make: Itasca
  • Model: Suncruiser 32RQ
  • Chassis: Oshkosh
  • Engine: Cummings Turbo Diesel
Re: Boise to Las Vegas, will she work this time?
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2019, 09:42 PM »
Safe travels, and have fun!

Kev
Kev and Patti, the furry kids, our 98 Cherokee lifted beastie tow vehicle, and our 1995 Itasca Suncruiser Diesel Pusher.

Offline LJ-TJ

  • 14 year member
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  • Posts: 2502
  • Member since: 2003
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1975
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: D21
  • Chassis: Dodge
  • Engine: 440-3
Re: Boise to Las Vegas, will she work this time?
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2019, 06:11 AM »
 :)ThmbUp She's one sweet looking ride. Thought I'd do is just for fun.

Offline legomybago

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  • Posts: 1170
  • Member since: 2013
  • I own: I don't own one but I want one!
Re: Boise to Las Vegas, will she work this time?
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2019, 02:36 PM »
Hey alright!
Never get crap happy with a slap happy pappy

Offline LJ-TJ

  • 14 year member
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  • Posts: 2502
  • Member since: 2003
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1975
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: D21
  • Chassis: Dodge
  • Engine: 440-3
Re: Boise to Las Vegas, will she work this time?
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2019, 03:36 PM »
 :)rotflmao :)rotflmao :)rotflmao :)rotflmao Hoped that would work. Can't wait to here how the adventure's going. :)ThmbUp

Offline ClydesdaleKevin

  • 11 year member
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  • Posts: 4252
  • Member since: 2005
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1995
  • Make: Itasca
  • Model: Suncruiser 32RQ
  • Chassis: Oshkosh
  • Engine: Cummings Turbo Diesel
Re: Boise to Las Vegas, will she work this time?
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2019, 09:59 AM »
How is the trip going so far?

Kev
Kev and Patti, the furry kids, our 98 Cherokee lifted beastie tow vehicle, and our 1995 Itasca Suncruiser Diesel Pusher.

Offline ClydesdaleKevin

  • 11 year member
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  • Posts: 4252
  • Member since: 2005
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1995
  • Make: Itasca
  • Model: Suncruiser 32RQ
  • Chassis: Oshkosh
  • Engine: Cummings Turbo Diesel
Re: Boise to Las Vegas, will she work this time?
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2019, 08:38 PM »
Belay my last post!  I just realized from your other post under projects that you aren't leaving until tomorrow...lol!  Have a great time and safe travels!

Kev
Kev and Patti, the furry kids, our 98 Cherokee lifted beastie tow vehicle, and our 1995 Itasca Suncruiser Diesel Pusher.

Offline Sasquatch

  • *
  • Posts: 303
  • Member since: 2010
  • Year: 1976
  • Make: Executive
  • Chassis: Dodge M-500
  • Engine: 440-3
Re: Boise to Las Vegas, will she work this time?
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2019, 06:55 PM »
I made it.  Other than a slight valve cover leak which I have fought for over 20 years now, the trip went VERY smoothly.





The overdrive worked amazing.  At 65mph, I was turning a nice quiet 2200 RPM's.  I never saw over 180 degrees and that was only on one brutal hill, the rest of the time it hovered between 130-150 degrees.


Plenty of power to climb many grades in OD without even downshifting to 3rd.  If I started loosing speed, a tap of the button and I am in 3rd and stayed right at speed.


Ok, fuel mileage......


Drum roll please.........


From Boise to Las Vegas, overall average: 8.67 mpg. 
Highest stretch was from Ogden, UT to Mesquite NV at 9.97 mpg
Lowest was from Mesquite to Las Vegas, BRUTAL head winds, 6 mpg
Boise to Ogden got 8.72 mpg.


I have traveled this route many times before over the last 23 years with this coach, and kept mileage records.  The OD gained me 1.5-2 mpg.  It also made the ride much more comfortable.  That is a huge improvement.





Offline LJ-TJ

  • 14 year member
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  • Posts: 2502
  • Member since: 2003
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1975
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: D21
  • Chassis: Dodge
  • Engine: 440-3
Re: Boise to Las Vegas, will she work this time?
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2019, 07:31 PM »
 :)rotflmao Great shots of the Cats. Kinda gives yeah that warm and fuzzy feeling. :)ThmbUp Sounds like a great trip. Well done.

Offline Rickf1985

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  • Posts: 5417
  • Member since: 2013
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1989
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain
  • Chassis: Chevy
  • Engine: 454
Re: Boise to Las Vegas, will she work this time?
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2019, 07:58 PM »
That is what I wanted to hear! both that you made it with no issues and that the gas  mileage went up. No bad mileage considering the terrain and wind.




WE ARE THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D :D :D :D :D

Offline ClydesdaleKevin

  • 11 year member
  • *
  • Posts: 4252
  • Member since: 2005
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1995
  • Make: Itasca
  • Model: Suncruiser 32RQ
  • Chassis: Oshkosh
  • Engine: Cummings Turbo Diesel
Re: Boise to Las Vegas, will she work this time?
« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2019, 08:45 PM »
Awesome!!!

Kev
Kev and Patti, the furry kids, our 98 Cherokee lifted beastie tow vehicle, and our 1995 Itasca Suncruiser Diesel Pusher.

Offline TerryH

  • Full-time Adventurer!
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  • Posts: 740
  • Member since: 2013
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1992
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Brave 27RC
  • Chassis: GMC P30
  • Engine: 454 Dual Fuel
Re: Boise to Las Vegas, will she work this time?
« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2019, 01:58 AM »
Having followed and read and been somewhat overwhelmed by your transmission/overdrive modifications it is great to hear that you were successful.
 :)ThmbUp :)ThmbUp :)ThmbUp :)ThmbUp
If you danced with the devil for a very good reason, have you not still danced with the devil?
Tom Clancy  1947 - 2013

Offline Sasquatch

  • *
  • Posts: 303
  • Member since: 2010
  • Year: 1976
  • Make: Executive
  • Chassis: Dodge M-500
  • Engine: 440-3
Re: Boise to Las Vegas, will she work this time?
« Reply #15 on: March 24, 2019, 11:42 AM »
I am really pleased.  There may be a little still left on the table.  I am splitting hairs now, I know that.  I have been trying for years to get this engine to run a bit warmer.  I use the special skirted thermostats, and have run both 180 and 195 degree versions and have a hard time getting this engine to run warmer than the low 170's when cool out and low 180's when hot.  That is a bit on the cool side for me.  I would love to see the engine run in the mid 190's.  That would be better for the motor and a bit better for efficiency.  I can not figure it out.  The thermostats check out when I test them on the stove, but I just can not get this engine to run warm.  It's a great problem to have when it is 100 degrees out and you are pulling a long grade though.  I am open to suggestions.  But again, I am splitting hairs.


I also want to optimize the air filtration system a bit as well.  There is always something to do...


Here is a video I shot while driving.  I had the cruise set at 65, foot off the gas, on level ground.  You can scan the gauges.  Look at the vacuum gauge... awesome.  Also, the transmission temperature gauge that is hooked up is the add on one to the right.  I need to figure out the original gauge and get it back operational.  I toggle the OD on and off and you can hear the noise difference the OD makes as well as watch the RPM difference on the tach.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehirGpzH6q4&feature=youtu.be

Offline LJ-TJ

  • 14 year member
  • *
  • Posts: 2502
  • Member since: 2003
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1975
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: D21
  • Chassis: Dodge
  • Engine: 440-3
Re: Boise to Las Vegas, will she work this time?
« Reply #16 on: March 24, 2019, 02:58 PM »
Where did you hook up your Tranny Temp sender to on the tranny?

Offline Rickf1985

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  • Posts: 5417
  • Member since: 2013
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1989
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain
  • Chassis: Chevy
  • Engine: 454
Re: Boise to Las Vegas, will she work this time?
« Reply #17 on: March 24, 2019, 04:24 PM »
On the cool running do you have a heater return that goes directly back to the radiator? If you do and it is the type that runs all the time you could be passing enough coolant through the radiator that way which is bypassing the thermostats and over cooling the engine. The other suspect area if that is not the case would be the regular thermostat bypass, how big is it? Water pump, do you have the stock pump? I have seen times where people go the "bigger is better" route and put in a high flow pump and it either pushes the water through the radiator so fast that it overheats due to not enough time in the radiator to transfer the heat or it over cools because they have a very efficient radiator. I saw that towards the end of my full time wrenching days when aluminum radiators were coming in and they were cooling better than the copper one that came out.

Online Elandan2

  • 16 Year Member
  • *
  • Posts: 419
  • Member since: 2001
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1977
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Elandan II D27DRK
  • Chassis: Dodge M500
  • Engine: 440
Re: Boise to Las Vegas, will she work this time?
« Reply #18 on: March 24, 2019, 04:31 PM »
You could always go with the "cardboard " in front of the radiator and adjust the size as necessary!! :)rotflmao
Treatzall Waste tank sanitizer, lighting, and other RV related products!
Rick Ellerbeck, 1977 Elandan II

Offline Sasquatch

  • *
  • Posts: 303
  • Member since: 2010
  • Year: 1976
  • Make: Executive
  • Chassis: Dodge M-500
  • Engine: 440-3
Re: Boise to Las Vegas, will she work this time?
« Reply #19 on: March 24, 2019, 07:36 PM »
Tranny temp sensor is in the hot side of the cooler line at the remote filter I installed.


I have the stock, or 'a' stock water pump in it.  Heater lines come off the thermostat housing and water pump housing.  Unsure which is feed and return, have not looked at it close enough.


Thermostat bypass?  Did not even know the 440 had one.  I need to look a bit closer.

Offline Rickf1985

  • *
  • Posts: 5417
  • Member since: 2013
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1989
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain
  • Chassis: Chevy
  • Engine: 454
Re: Boise to Las Vegas, will she work this time?
« Reply #20 on: March 24, 2019, 08:15 PM »
I am not sure but I am pretty sure it has some type of bypass. It has been probably 30 years since I worked on a 440! All of the fleet vehicles I worked on at my last job were 318's and 360's.

Offline Sasquatch

  • *
  • Posts: 303
  • Member since: 2010
  • Year: 1976
  • Make: Executive
  • Chassis: Dodge M-500
  • Engine: 440-3
Re: Boise to Las Vegas, will she work this time?
« Reply #21 on: March 29, 2019, 09:51 AM »
I am getting packed up and ready to head back to Boise this morning.  I did some engine checks this week and other than finding/replacing a vacuum line that was a bit loose, and finding that the main coil wire from my coil to the distributor was falling out of the distributor (!!!), everything looked good and normal. 

I nervously pulled the tranny dipstick to check the color of the transmission fluid and it is still bright and pink and clear.  So that backed up what I saw on my transmission temperature gauge, that no slippage was going on anywhere.  I am starting to gain some confidence in it.  I did adjust my kickdown linkage a little bit to raise the shift points a tad, but other than that, it was all looking normal.

I will update you all either tonight if I can find WiFi in Ely, NV, or when I get home tomorrow.

Offline Rickf1985

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  • Posts: 5417
  • Member since: 2013
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1989
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain
  • Chassis: Chevy
  • Engine: 454
Re: Boise to Las Vegas, will she work this time?
« Reply #22 on: March 29, 2019, 03:02 PM »
Safe travels and hopefully the extreme headwind you had going out is still blowing in the same direction.

Offline Sasquatch

  • *
  • Posts: 303
  • Member since: 2010
  • Year: 1976
  • Make: Executive
  • Chassis: Dodge M-500
  • Engine: 440-3
Re: Boise to Las Vegas, will she work this time?
« Reply #23 on: March 31, 2019, 12:38 PM »
I made it home safe.  Had one scare in Ely, NV that I need to check out further, but I am home.  Here are some observations.


I traveled to Las Vegas staying on the interstate, through Salt Lake City.  I came home on secondary roads from Las Vegas, north through Ely, NV, to Twin Falls, ID where I picked up the interstate again back to Boise.  While one trip is not enough to make a clear decision from, I am seeing a big difference now between secondary roads vs. Interstate.  With more twists and curves, mountains and traffic on secondary highways, I got about 2 mpg less on Hwy 93 vs the interstate.  And a second issue, stress.  With speed limits all at 70 mph and higher even on secondary roads here in the west, there was a TON more stress driving the secondary roads.


My coach is at home traveling at 65 mph.  On a two lane road with 70+ speed limits, I am blocking traffic.  It was relatively easy for cars to pass, but big rigs had a harder time.  I had to communicate with them via CB and coordinate passing opportunities where they would "step out" and I would brake to allow them to get around.  (They were all very appreciative and showed me a lot of respect in that regard) but it hurt my mileage and increased the stress.


After 2 days on 2 lane I jumped back on the interstate and my mileage shot up and my stress level shot down.


Fuel mileage for the return trip.  Winds were still a HUGE issue on day one from Vegas to Ely.  One fellow traveler I met in Ely had a bumper pulled travel trailer and was blown into a guard rail by the insane winds.  While all the suspension mods made Guido (my coach) very drivable in the winds, mileage suffered greatly.... 5.75 mpg at Ely.  Day two to Twin Falls winds were less, but still a factor.  Long mountain grades and multiple mountain passes also negatively effected the mileage, but I got 6.5 mpg.


Here is a real surprise.  I filled up right at the interstate in Twin Falls then drove 122 (122.2 to be exact) miles to a truck stop in Boise.  I had zero winds, and I mean dead calm.  While there are some rolling hills, and a couple had me downshift to 3rd to maintain 65.  I drove at 65 with the cruise on the entire way.  I got 16.5 MPG from Twin Falls to Boise.   :)ThmbUp :)ThmbUp :)ThmbUp :)clap :)clap


I fully understand that this short distance of only 122 miles was an anomaly and not characteristic of real life, I can not believe I got 16 mpg.  The engine was just purring at 2200 rpm and the vacuum gauge was showing 10-15 in of vac most of the way, which means the engine was just idling along.


For the entire trip I averaged 8 mpg.  Comparing my mileage to the last two trips I went south on the same route, I picked up a solid 1.5-2 mpg with the overdrive.  Had I returned on the interstate, which I will do from now on, I would have picked up even more.


Issues:  I started the coach yesterday morning in Ely, and the temps were in the 20's.  I had a loud noise that I originally thought sounded like rod knock.  (the 440 does have 116k miles on it).  But it was not exactly like rod knock.  It was only at low idle and went away as soon as the RPM's increased.  Oil level was fine as was oil pressure.  Being as I was in Ely with no other real option, I carried on.  The noise only showed up at idle for the entire rest of the trip and the engine never missed a beat.  The transmission also worked perfectly.


By the time I got home I was pretty convinced that the noise was not in the engine (at least inside).  I am taking the coach into the shop today so I can clean her up and check her out over the next couple of weeks as I have time.  I will update the group with what I find.  In my mind it could be a harmonic balancer coming apart, maybe a water pump (although it is pretty new), or maybe I missed torquing one of the bolts on the torque converter to the flex plate.... I dont know as of yet.  After 1200 miles, I really need to go back over the mechanicals of the coach with a fine toothed comb.  So much was done with this swap that I need to recheck EVERYTHING.  Every bolt, nut, hose clamp, wire connection, everything. 

Offline Rickf1985

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  • Posts: 5417
  • Member since: 2013
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1989
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Chieftain
  • Chassis: Chevy
  • Engine: 454
Re: Boise to Las Vegas, will she work this time?
« Reply #24 on: March 31, 2019, 06:52 PM »
If you can spray a little water up into the bell housing  mainly to get the flywheel wet. The idea here is if it is cracked the fresh steel will rust and the cracks will jump right out at you when you look in there in a couple weeks. Plus if you move it around any after the spray and sit then any rusted spots will form a dust which is also easy to see.

 

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