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Old 12-01-2008, 08:12 AM   #1
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We took our first 350 mile trip this weekend after a major chassis update - UltraPower ECM flash, rear track-bar, and complete tune-up.

If I didn't know better I could swear I got a new motorhome. It rides better, it's much quieter, and the performance is incredible.

I wanted to thank Driver for all of his investigation of updates for our chassis, as well as Dale/OEMY for his research and reporting. I'm sure there are many others, but these two are really key on our forum here. And of course, the crew at Brazel's, Jon Brazel and Mike Bronzini for their great products and service.

I have kept abreast of the reporting done on chassis mods and the engine control programming, with some definate skepticism. We really never wanted for performance since we run a pretty short box for the heavy duty Workhorse chassis. But we bought a car to tow this year and after a couple of trips I came back in earnest to learn more about how to get more from our coach. It just couldn't quite do the job.

The Ultrapower with the plugs and wires upgrade gave me at least a 15% increase in fuel economy. But that pales in comparison to the improvement in performance. With the car in tow I mostly drove with overdrive locked out as the motor just wouldn't pull it. Now it cruises beautifully in overdrive, not even shifting down for freeway overpasses and 1-2% grades. Even the steeper grades that we used to pull in 3rd gear with the engine screaming at 3500 now are done at 60 in 4th gear. I am absolutely amazed at the difference. It's night and day. The engine is much quieter now too since we are running in a higher gear that before.

My other issue was that the coach was downright scary to drive over 60 with the car behind. It just swayed and wandered all over the place, like the car was whipping the coach. With the new Ultra-Trac trackbar the whole rig drives like it's on rails. Set the cruise for 62 and just sit back and sail along. Again, I cannot believe the difference it has made in the handling. We also got into some cross winds on this trip, and now we are no longer blown all over the road - the wandering has virtually dissappeared.

I was trying to figure out a way to get into a diesel pusher as I just wasn't happy with the handling and performance. But now it just doesn't make sense because this unit now runs the way one would expect it to from the factory. I highly recommend both of these products for your workhorse custom chassis motorhome.

Thanks again guys, for the info and the unbiased testing and reporting. I couldn't be happier.

BTW, I did the brake flush and inspection during my last major chassis service. The old fluid came out black so I was really glad to have that done. The brakes worked flawlessly and have over our 19K miles of troublefree driving.

With gas under $2 we're ready for our next two big trips cross-country - whoohoo!!

Happy Trails!!
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Old 12-01-2008, 08:12 AM   #2
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We took our first 350 mile trip this weekend after a major chassis update - UltraPower ECM flash, rear track-bar, and complete tune-up.

If I didn't know better I could swear I got a new motorhome. It rides better, it's much quieter, and the performance is incredible.

I wanted to thank Driver for all of his investigation of updates for our chassis, as well as Dale/OEMY for his research and reporting. I'm sure there are many others, but these two are really key on our forum here. And of course, the crew at Brazel's, Jon Brazel and Mike Bronzini for their great products and service.

I have kept abreast of the reporting done on chassis mods and the engine control programming, with some definate skepticism. We really never wanted for performance since we run a pretty short box for the heavy duty Workhorse chassis. But we bought a car to tow this year and after a couple of trips I came back in earnest to learn more about how to get more from our coach. It just couldn't quite do the job.

The Ultrapower with the plugs and wires upgrade gave me at least a 15% increase in fuel economy. But that pales in comparison to the improvement in performance. With the car in tow I mostly drove with overdrive locked out as the motor just wouldn't pull it. Now it cruises beautifully in overdrive, not even shifting down for freeway overpasses and 1-2% grades. Even the steeper grades that we used to pull in 3rd gear with the engine screaming at 3500 now are done at 60 in 4th gear. I am absolutely amazed at the difference. It's night and day. The engine is much quieter now too since we are running in a higher gear that before.

My other issue was that the coach was downright scary to drive over 60 with the car behind. It just swayed and wandered all over the place, like the car was whipping the coach. With the new Ultra-Trac trackbar the whole rig drives like it's on rails. Set the cruise for 62 and just sit back and sail along. Again, I cannot believe the difference it has made in the handling. We also got into some cross winds on this trip, and now we are no longer blown all over the road - the wandering has virtually dissappeared.

I was trying to figure out a way to get into a diesel pusher as I just wasn't happy with the handling and performance. But now it just doesn't make sense because this unit now runs the way one would expect it to from the factory. I highly recommend both of these products for your workhorse custom chassis motorhome.

Thanks again guys, for the info and the unbiased testing and reporting. I couldn't be happier.

BTW, I did the brake flush and inspection during my last major chassis service. The old fluid came out black so I was really glad to have that done. The brakes worked flawlessly and have over our 19K miles of troublefree driving.

With gas under $2 we're ready for our next two big trips cross-country - whoohoo!!

Happy Trails!!
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2005 Itasca Sunrise 31W - W20 and 8.1
2015 Chevy Colorado 4X4 Toad
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Old 12-01-2008, 10:09 AM   #3
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by CJBROWN:
With the car in tow I mostly drove with overdrive locked out as the motor just wouldn't pull it.

</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

WOW! How much does your unit and car weigh? We've always been able to tow our toad in 6th gear without any problems...and that's going 70-75 mph....and thats right at our 26K GVWR limit.
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Old 12-01-2008, 12:17 PM   #4
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Wow, what an endorsement. Almost sounded like a miracle or an infomercial
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Old 12-01-2008, 12:30 PM   #5
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Mark,
I imagine if I could have driven it at your 70-75 in overdrive then it would have done a lot better. But mine doesn't even shift into OD 'till you get to about 60mph. The engine is loafing at about 2100rpm at 60, and there's not much extra power on tap at that rpm. At 25-2800 the motor generates a LOT more torque.

But the wandering issue with the toad kept me at 58 so 4th gear put the motor at about 28-2900 which was fine but not so fine for fuel economy.

Now I can run at 62-65, the limit for safe speed as far as I'm concerned (our legal speed limit in CA towing anything is 55) and it pulls great there, and in overdrive for best mileage.

I figure we're at about 19K on the coach and 3K on the car. This model has a 2700 CCC, that's one of the reasons I really liked it when we bought it. Gross combined is 27.5K on them, right?

I think I mentioned to you before that I thought the diff gearing is a tad too high for towing. Works great empty, with nothing towing, when you can cruise along at 65-70. But the rpms are pretty low if your cruising speed is anything under 60. 55 is just ridiculous on these units, they are obviously built for 65mph hiway cruising.
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Old 12-01-2008, 12:40 PM   #6
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Here's a pic of us with the boat in tow. Please ignore the ol' lady standing in front It's just under 5K-lbs. I'm not sure why, but the boat tows easier than the car. I think it has something to do with the trailer brakes and it's weight distribution. I've done at least two trips to the river with it, or about 1200 miles total. Mileage isn't very good, but it gets us there and back. Launching is interesting, usually draws a few onlookers.

I still need a get a pic with the new Scion.

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Old 12-01-2008, 01:53 PM   #7
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Gross combined is 27.5K on them, right? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
CJBROWN: Sorry, but both the W-20 and the W-22 have a GCVWR of 26,000 pounds. FWIW, I love the GW, is that the 20 offshore walkaround?. ED
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Old 12-01-2008, 02:19 PM   #8
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by edgray:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Gross combined is 27.5K on them, right? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
CJBROWN: Sorry, but both the W-20 and the W-22 have a GCVWR of 26,000 pounds. FWIW, I love the GW, is that the 20 offshore walkaround?. ED </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Ah yes, I knew that, just couldn't remember. I just know that I don't have to worry about it with either the boat or the car since we're well under. Sometime I would like to go weigh each wheel on the MH with a full tanks. I think it's a good idea to know. But with the CCC on our unit I've never worried too much on it.

Yes, the Grady is a 2006 208 Adventure with Yamaha 150 four stroke. Great little boat, the Grady's are really nicely made and are extremely well laid out. The trailer is aluminum, common on the east coast but not so much out there in CA. Saves about 500lbs pulling. Here's a pic of us running on Mojave Lake, it's on the border of California, Nevada and Arizona.

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Old 12-01-2008, 03:19 PM   #9
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Here's a pic of us running on Mojave Lake </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
The hull graphic looks like it could be a yellowfin. Catch many on the Lake? ED
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Old 12-01-2008, 04:12 PM   #10
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LOL. The graphic is actualy a striped marlin, and we're usually out on the bay. The yellow-fin tuna were within day-trip range this year, had one on but lost it, broke the line off. Did get a few dorado tho, you call them dolphin-fish on the east coast. It's all good!!
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Old 12-02-2008, 12:53 AM   #11
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CJB--

You gotta come up with a better picture of yourself-- You scare me everytime I look at you!!


Your picture is as deceiving as "Gramps" name is on this forum----
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Old 12-02-2008, 09:18 AM   #12
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Hey CJBROWN .... seems like the only other major improvement your missing is the Koni FSD shocks! Ask Santa Claus for 4 of those little gold clinders.

Then your post would be saying ....."it's much smoother" and you wouldn't have this:

Happy Trails to you too,
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Old 12-02-2008, 09:22 AM   #13
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Duner:
Hey CJBROW .... seems like the only other major improvement is the Koni FSD shocks!

Then your post would be saying ....."it's much smoother" and you wouldn't have this:

Happy Trails to you too, </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Are they much better than the Bilsteins? I put them on the last coach, and on my duramx, and of course this one came with them. But yeah, they ride hard. I guess I haven't paid attention to the reports on Koni's - tell me more.
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Old 12-02-2008, 09:41 AM   #14
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What everyone will tell you about the Koni Shocks is, "Get R Done". This will be my next upgrade/improvement.
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