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Author Topic: Boise to Las Vegas, will she work this time?  (Read 789 times)

Offline Shawn62

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  • Posts: 16
  • Member since: 2016
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1987
  • Make: Fleetwood
  • Model: Southwind
  • Chassis: P30
  • Engine: 454
Re: Boise to Las Vegas, will she work this time?
« Reply #25 on: March 31, 2019, 07:51 PM »
Glad you made it home safe.  Thanks for the progress report. I find it very interesting and informative.  Really appreciate you taking the time to keep us updated.  I know I would be stressed on 70 mph two lane roads driving my motorhome.

Online LJ-TJ

  • 14 year member
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  • Posts: 2492
  • 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 #26 on: March 31, 2019, 07:54 PM »
 :)ThmbUp  Hey mate thanks for taking us along for the ride. Listening to others adventures and experiences is inspiration for the rest of us. Thanks again.

Offline Sasquatch

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  • Posts: 304
  • 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 #27 on: March 31, 2019, 09:06 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.

Rick, you learn something every day.  Thank you.  I can make a rust solution and put it in a spray bottle.  I would need to google the ingredients, but it something like water, peroxide, and salt (or something close to that).  Untreated (or freshly cracked) steel would rust almost instantly, or at least within an hour or so.  What a great way to find a crack.  But we are not going to find any flex plate cracks, right????  RIGHT????!!!??? =)  I can not tell you how much I do NOT want to pull this transmission again. 

I drove it into work today and again, she drove perfect.  In fact, the noise was almost gone.  Which is never a good thing.  Issues just do not fix themselves.  I will keep you all posted what I find as I do my full chassis inspection over the next week or so.

Offline Rickf1985

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  • Posts: 5262
  • 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 #28 on: April 01, 2019, 08:27 AM »
I never know if you are joking or not but I would use just plain water and be sure to get the entire flywheel wet and then let it sit for a couple days or so. I would not make up something that accelerates rust since you only want to rust the freshly cracked section that is sure not to be there and that way you don't rust the starter teeth and flywheel teeth off which will also be fresh steel.

Offline Shawn62

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  • Posts: 16
  • Member since: 2016
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1987
  • Make: Fleetwood
  • Model: Southwind
  • Chassis: P30
  • Engine: 454
Re: Boise to Las Vegas, will she work this time?
« Reply #29 on: April 01, 2019, 01:52 PM »
Years ago I had a truck with a strange sound that acted like yours.  It ended up being the heat riser valve on the exhaust. I don’t even know if your 440 has or had one. Just a thought.

Offline Sasquatch

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  • Posts: 304
  • 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 #30 on: April 01, 2019, 02:01 PM »
Rick, I was not joking, I had never thought about using rust as a tool.  Thank you for that.

Shawn, no heat riser.  Full headers.  No carb any more either, replaced with fuel injection.

It is sounding like it is coming from the bellhousing.  I am fearing something is cracked or loose. 

Offline Sasquatch

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  • Posts: 304
  • 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 #31 on: April 01, 2019, 07:05 PM »
Broken flex plate.  Snapped right at one of the ear mounting points.  All the bolts were tight.  It had the original star shaped flex plate.  I am going to purchase a higher end B&M solid circle flex plate as a replacement.  The downside.... Transmission needs to come out again.  Well, not completely out, but I need to be able to move it down and back far enough to get clear so I can access the bolts and remove it.  This will be a pain in the butt, again.

Offline ClydesdaleKevin

  • 11 year member
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  • Posts: 4118
  • 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 #32 on: April 02, 2019, 09:51 AM »
Broken flex plate.  Snapped right at one of the ear mounting points.  All the bolts were tight.  It had the original star shaped flex plate.  I am going to purchase a higher end B&M solid circle flex plate as a replacement.  The downside.... Transmission needs to come out again.  Well, not completely out, but I need to be able to move it down and back far enough to get clear so I can access the bolts and remove it.  This will be a pain in the butt, again.

I hear you on the pain-in-the-butt part.  I just installed a used transmission in my Jeep Cherokee, and THAT was a pain in the butt...and I would imagine the Jeep transmission is a lot smaller than the one in your motorhome.

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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  • Posts: 304
  • 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 #33 on: April 02, 2019, 02:10 PM »
I hear you on the pain-in-the-butt part.  I just installed a used transmission in my Jeep Cherokee, and THAT was a pain in the butt...and I would imagine the Jeep transmission is a lot smaller than the one in your motorhome.

Kev

Might even be a heavier duty version of what you have in your Jeep.  It is an A518 or 46RH overdrive transmission that I installed.  But it is still a pain.

Offline Froggy1936

  • 13 year member
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  • Posts: 1521
  • Member since: 2004
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1977
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Minnie Winnie
  • Chassis: Chevy G30
  • Engine: 5.7 1995
Re: Boise to Las Vegas, will she work this time?
« Reply #34 on: April 02, 2019, 08:19 PM »
Make sure you triple check your centerline alignment , Flex plates usually do not fail Except during collisions . If all looks OK pulling the torque convertor off wile accessible and checking the frt pump bushing for wear would be advisable Due to the welding done . The new solid flex plate (if it bolts up to the convertor with no problems )may magnify an alignment problem ! Just saying It,s a real pain to do things over !  Frank
The Journey is the REWARD !

Offline Sasquatch

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  • Posts: 304
  • 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 #35 on: April 03, 2019, 05:14 AM »
Froggy,
I have been digging the internet for solutions on how to check this again on an automatic transmission that is already assembled.  All of the techniques for checking alignment use the empty bellhousing or transmission case and a dial indicator on the inside of the pump flange to check center.  My transmission is already assembled.  It is not like I can just do it with a tape measure, it needs to be within very tight tolerances.


I spend time on the mopar car forums.  I have picked up tons of tips there for the 440.  I did a search of flex plate failures and failures of the OEM flex plate was actually quite common.  When you look at it you really wonder how that flimsy thing can hang on to the power and weight of a car, let alone a coach.  Then add to the fact that the transmission was in and out a bunch last year, each time an opportunity for damage.  When I started unbolting it the other night to find the problem, the kid who put the transmission back in last year in Kingman WAY over torqued the TC bolts.  They only need 270 in/lbs, and I needed a breaker bar to break them (no loctite).  The failure happened right at one of these bolt holes.  I am hoping it was just a combination of all these things that caused the failure (and 115k miles).


But, if you have a technique to check alignment at this stage in the game, please, by all means, send me a PM.  Heck, if you want to describe it verbally, send me a PM and I will shoot you my phone number.  If anyone reading this is familiar with transmission alignment issues and how I can do it now with an assembled transmission, please let me know.  I am going to call a couple of transmission builders here in town and see if I can find anyone who knows as well.  Finding offset dowels is easy, just need to know if I need them.

Offline Rickf1985

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  • Posts: 5262
  • 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 #36 on: April 03, 2019, 07:26 AM »
I have had to replace a lot of big block Mopar flex plates over the years and I think that with all that yours has been through it was probably due. I remember when you had it apart last you did all of those centering measurements and they came out perfect, I would be it is running more true than a factory unit. The bushing might show some offset wear due to the cracked plate also, That could be a double edged sword using just that for an indicator. Didn't you build a plate to bolt to the bell housing that had a perfect circle cut into it to run an indicator against? I have an idea but it would involve a fixture for the crankshaft minus the wheel and the afore mentioned plate, Too hard to explain in typing but I will pm you my number if you want to call.

Offline Froggy1936

  • 13 year member
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  • Posts: 1521
  • Member since: 2004
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1977
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Minnie Winnie
  • Chassis: Chevy G30
  • Engine: 5.7 1995
Re: Boise to Las Vegas, will she work this time?
« Reply #37 on: April 03, 2019, 01:41 PM »
After reading yours and Ricks posts I have changed my mind . I did not know about the common failures of those flex plates , And the over torquing indicates other things may have not been done correctly . So maybe just replacing the flex plate properly will solve your problem , If not you will know that a complete removal next time will be required , Hopefully it will never be necessary again !  Good luck Frank !
The Journey is the REWARD !

Offline Sasquatch

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  • Posts: 304
  • 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 #38 on: April 03, 2019, 06:28 PM »
For my peace of mind, I want to find a way to recheck the alignment, if possible.  There may be no problem, and just fatigue on that OEM flex plate, but it will just let me sleep better at night knowing it is right.


I got the parts in today.  I dont have the energy tonight to get after it.  I may just come in on Saturday to do it, or at least make a dent in the project.  I have too much homework to get done tonight for my classes.  Yes, I said classes.  I had a mid life crisis and went back to college.  Last weeks trip was spring break for me.

Online LJ-TJ

  • 14 year member
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  • Posts: 2492
  • 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 #39 on: April 04, 2019, 09:09 PM »
Classes! I've herd about these mid life crises's. BUT Classes, back to school never herd of them type of crises's. Girls crises's maybe. :)rotflmao :)rotflmao :)rotflmao  Congratulations. Schools more important right now. Yeah never stop learning. Well done.

Offline Sasquatch

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  • Posts: 304
  • 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 #40 on: April 04, 2019, 09:47 PM »
I never went to college when I was young.  I became an engineer because I had the knack for it and worked hard.  Spent 25 years as a Non Degreed Engineer in both the structural steel and electronics industries.  Lately I have been volunteering a bunch helping offenders reintegrate back into society after prison as well as mentoring college aged kids through programs at church.  Enjoy it so much I thought I would take a couple counseling classes to help out.  Ended up with some scholarships and I am back full time.  Still running the business though.  I love the challenge.

Offline TerryH

  • Full-time Adventurer!
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  • Posts: 729
  • 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 #41 on: April 05, 2019, 12:09 AM »
 :)ThmbUp :)ThmbUp :)ThmbUp :)ThmbUp :)ThmbUp
"Success is relative:
It is what we can make of the mess we have made of things."
T.S. Eliot  OM  1888-1965

Offline Rickf1985

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  • Posts: 5262
  • 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 #42 on: April 05, 2019, 07:34 AM »
A Non degreed engineer in structural steel, Now that is impressive! But the volunteer work is even more so. Keep up the good work. I am curious what the recidivism rate is for the ex-cons that you work with. I remember many years ago I would work with groups that were on supervised work release where I was running a backhoe on roadwork jobs. These guys were more than happy to be out there and have an actual purpose in life. They worked much harder than the paid workers. I would run into many of them later in the years in the same industry after they got out and that was all they needed was a little direction. And the chance to show employers that they wanted to work. Nowadays, at least in my area, they bring the prisoners out in a van to clean along the roads and dump them out and then the guards get back in the van and just let them do their own thing. Which is just what they do inside. The strong sit and the weak bust tail. Half of the trash is left behind on the ground.

Offline Sasquatch

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  • Posts: 304
  • 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 #43 on: April 05, 2019, 08:52 AM »
Recidivism rates vary depending on crime.  Drug/alcohol near 70%.  Theft/etc. 50-60%.  The group we have zero problems with and that are more eager to fix themselves and never go back again is the sex offenders.  Rates for them are 1-4%, pretty much zero.

Offline Sasquatch

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  • Posts: 304
  • 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 #44 on: April 05, 2019, 07:07 PM »
Throwing in the towel.  $@!#@!


Sort of.


I was under the coach analyzing things and I got the TC unbolted from the flex plate.  One ear totally snapped off, another one was about half gone.  Too many questions, too many things that could be off with my welded up bellhousing.  Just too many "possibilities" for me to feel comfortable taking another big trip.  And without tearing the transmission down, there is no way to really get in there and make sure it is fully centered and flat.  There is simply no way I can convince myself that this will not happen again.


I ordered a JW Performance 92457 adapter bellhousing.  I am going to cut off my welded up bellhousing and bolt up new one that is a proven product.  Then I will KNOW that things are right.  I will be able to use a dial indicator on the new bellhousing and see if I need to center it a bit with offset dowels without having to tear apart the transmission.


With the new bellhousing, the upgraded flex plate, and now the transmission working perfectly, I will have peace of mind. I will be able to put it all together and forget about it.

Offline Froggy1936

  • 13 year member
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  • Posts: 1521
  • Member since: 2004
  • I own: a Motor Home
  • Year: 1977
  • Make: Winnebago
  • Model: Minnie Winnie
  • Chassis: Chevy G30
  • Engine: 5.7 1995
Re: Boise to Las Vegas, will she work this time?
« Reply #45 on: April 05, 2019, 09:23 PM »
Hmm, I looked at the JW  Bellhousing (not cheap ) it looks like it bolts to the frt pump ?? I do not understand how you cut off the old bell housing ?? And surely there must be more of a connection than just the frt pump bolts ?? Im confused , Frank
The Journey is the REWARD !

Offline Sasquatch

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  • Posts: 304
  • 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 #46 on: April 06, 2019, 09:22 AM »
Hmm, I looked at the JW  Bellhousing (not cheap ) it looks like it bolts to the frt pump ?? I do not understand how you cut off the old bell housing ?? And surely there must be more of a connection than just the frt pump bolts ?? Im confused , Frank

That is exactly it Frank.  You cut off the bellhousing with a saw, grind everything smooth, and then bolt up the new bellhousing using the pump bolts.  Many drag racers use these even if they do not need to do a swap as many times they are much stronger than the cast bellhousing.  They carry all the drag race safety ratings, so they are quite strong.

I found one on Ebay, second hand, but never used for $350.  That is worth my piece of mind.

Offline Rickf1985

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  • Posts: 5262
  • 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 #47 on: April 06, 2019, 10:53 AM »
If you had one ear that broke completely then finding a second is normal, You were real close to a total failure. One one breaks the whole plate starts to do a hula dance and the other three follow the first pretty quick. But for the price and considering you have the machinery to do the cutting I would do the same. Didn't you make a plate that bolted to the front of the bell housing way back that had a perfect hole in it so you could check the center against the case center? If so all you would need to do is rig a indicator on the back of the crankshaft and run it on your centering plate. I am trying to remember if you have the removable lower plate on the trans that you would need to work through.

Offline Sasquatch

  • *
  • Posts: 304
  • 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 #48 on: April 06, 2019, 02:57 PM »
I did make up some tooling, but used that material for something else.  I could have made a mistake on the original tooling.  The tolerance is only .008" off center, which is not much.


What I will do this time is the way I should have done it the first time.  Bolt the bellhousing to the engine before hooking it to the transmission.  Using a magnetic base put a dial indicator on the flywheel and run it on the inside lip of the flange that bolts to the transmission pump.  Run it around in a circle by rotating the engine.  Mark the measurements at 4 quadrants.  By doing this I can see if the new bellhousing is within the .008" tolerance that is needed. If not, I will get some offset dowel pins and make it correct.  Hopefully they did a good enough job that it wont need any, but you never know.

 

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