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Old 02-06-2011, 04:35 PM   #1
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Looking for advice 94 pace arrow can/should I tow

We have a 94 Pace Arrow 34 ft 454. Gasser. Wondering if we can tow a vehicle and what would be best? Any mods we would need to do? Went on a 14 day Colorado trip last summer and can't imagine towing over the passes. We could barely do 40 mph on the big hills. Any and all advice is welcome.
Ron
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Old 02-06-2011, 09:32 PM   #2
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Well, you need to check your paperwork (*there should be a sticker inside one of the cabinets listing all the weights, including GVWC and GCVW.
The difference between the 2 is what you can (legally) tow (should someone check).

Your PA will most likely have a class 3 hitch receiver on the back, rated at either 3500 or more likely 5000 pounds. It will be clearly marked on the hitch.

As far as what you can really pull... You can probably pull a small car or mini-SUV. You may want to enhance your power somewhat to be more comfortable with it. Nice thing about a 454 (and it's turbo 400 or 700r4 trans) is the sky is pretty much the limit. That and your wallet.
If you want 600 horsepower it's a check away. If you want a 502 CU engine... write a check. Maybe a blower, another check. Unlike us Ford V10 guys, Chevy power is just dollars away.

By all means though, get a TOAD braking system. You gotta stop that baby too.

For what it's worth, my 99 PA (ford F53 - V10) is rated to tow 5000 pounds. My only mod is an ultrapower tuner. she pulls my 2000 wrangler very easily. Hills like you described are a bit of a bitch, toad or not, but much better with the chip than before.

The only time I unhooked was running teton pass. 23 miles of 8% grade. Not for the faint of heart.
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Old 02-07-2011, 04:40 PM   #3
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For improved power, we're dealing with the basics here.
> Fuel delivery
> Air flow in
> Exhaust flow out
> Ignition timing

Fuel delivery - I assume your 454 is fuel injected so a fuel pressure check, preferrably under load, will tell you if the pump and regulator are performing properly. A fresh fuel filter should be installed first.

Air flow in - Fresh air filter. Check for kinks or restrictions in the air inlet tube. Note that critters seem to like nesting in these areas.

Exhaust flow out - Factory manifolds and exhaust are fairly restrictive and designed to be quiet and cheap to mass produce. Headers and a large, free- flowing exhaust system will free up many needed ponies and reduce engine temperatures. Coated headers are recommended.

Ignition timing - I'm not sure if the '94 454s had completely computer controlled distributors. If yours still has internal timing advance weights, they could be sticking. Motorhomes tend to sit a lot and a common problem is frozen advance weights - absolutely kills performance. Also, I remember seeing a thread on a different RV forum about a custom computer chip with revised timing curves that work well for motorhomes. Made a lot of sense, but I have NO personal experience with this. Here is the link to the last page (of 11) with the pertinent info. Worth reading all 11 pages!

RV.Net Open Roads Forum: Tech Issues: Timing Curve - 454 TBI - 1991

Best of luck and Happy RVing!
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Old 02-07-2011, 06:53 PM   #4
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Nick, That was a fun thread and I believe many folk's benifited from it.

Jim
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Old 02-07-2011, 07:13 PM   #5
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Nick,
It does have TBI and I will have to check the distributor for weights. I replaced fuel filter, plugs, wires, distributor cap and rotor. not overly mechanical but replacing the manifolds sounds good,is this something I can do? Are they plug and play or can I put them on and have local muffler shop do the rest? The did new exhaust from cat converter back for $150.00. Ideas on what kind would be best and where to buy
Thanks
Ron
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Old 02-07-2011, 07:42 PM   #6
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4Knights View Post
We have a 94 Pace Arrow 34 ft 454. Gasser. Wondering if we can tow a vehicle and what would be best? Any mods we would need to do? Went on a 14 day Colorado trip last summer and can't imagine towing over the passes. We could barely do 40 mph on the big hills. Any and all advice is welcome.
Ron

Ron
I had a 1993 Pace Arrow, 34 ft w/454 and towed a 1999 Chey Blazer. Long pulls at times were a problem but in my mind I could not justfy putting money into MH to get more power. Remembering from my old hot rod days was when you messed with one thing then you had to mess with something else.
One can always go like hell down and hope it helps you to go up.
JD
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Old 02-08-2011, 02:58 PM   #7
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Ron,
Replacing the stock manifolds with headers is not for the faint of heart but is really just turning bolts. The "gotcha" could be bolts that break off. Big headache but like anything else can be worked through. Most of the time broken bolts can still be removed but worst case would be needing to replace a head. I was fortunate when I removed my manifolds and ALL the bolts came out in one piece.
Since you have a converter equipped exhaust you'll want to shop for a header package that merges the 2 headers into 1 pipe like stock. Thats what I got and it fit perfectly. I got the Hedman Elite coated headers but I think you'll also find that Gibson, Doug Thorley and Banks make similar header packages. I found the Hedman to be a good value and Summit Racing a good source.

Also, JD makes a good point. How much are you willing to spend on the improvement? For myself, I felt that my MH was SO underpowered that it was worth the cost and effort to get all the gain I could. YMMV.
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