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Old 02-10-2017, 10:00 PM   #1
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Location: Oswego,NY
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Mid 90s motorhomes...Fords or Chevys

this has probably been debated over and over again on this site, but I'm looking to buy a mid 90s class A...an upgrade from my current 94 leprachaun...the prices are generally 7-11,000 depending on the coach...so I've been wondering about the engines. is there one that is really any better or more dependable than the others? I've owned chevy trucks, and ford vans all my life, seems like theres always something that needs to be fixed on any of them...but how about power or gas milage...was there one coach in your life that stood out...that you wished you never would have bought, or never should have sold?

2009 sun valley Bridgeport 285
1994 coachmen leprechaun 29' (sold)
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Old 02-10-2017, 11:58 PM   #2
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I would tend to go Chevy, but it depends. With Fords you are likely to either have the old 460 or the early 6.8 liter V10 engine. The 6.8 as well as the rest of the Mod Motor family of engines suffers from having an Aluminum head with deeply recessed spark plugs held in by few threads. (google it) This means a high chance of expensive engine work if anything goes wrong changing spark plugs, and just hope whoever last changed the spark plugs used anti-seize or else you may rip the threads out of the head trying to unscrew the spark plugs.

On the Chevy / Workhorse Platform the engine options depending on year will be either the Throttle Body 454 while a good engine the basic design dated back to 1969 and converted to Throttle body injection in the mid 80's was getting very long in the tooth by the mid 90's it also only produced 230 HP, it was replaced by the somewhat Improved Vortec 454 in about 96 which put out 290 HP. Then was replaced by the all new much improved 8.1 Vortec with 340HP in 2001.

As to the suspension, both needed a lot of help from aftermarket parts to drive good (sway bars, trac bars, etc.)

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Old 02-11-2017, 10:28 AM   #3
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Location: Memphis, TN
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Our 98 Pace Arrow Vision has the chevy 454 with 65,000 miles on it has never had any problems since day one. Starts right up and does what it should! My only complaint is that it is a little gutless out west on the long steep grades. I just put on the flashers and get in the slow lane while enjoying the extra time to enjoy the scenery ... lol.
Kirk - "Fly Navy"
98 Fleetwood Pace Arrow Vission
Itís not old - Itís Vintage
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Old 02-11-2017, 10:49 AM   #4
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Chevy 454 cid L29 engine starting in 1996 is a solid engine and runs on regular gas (VORTEC 7400). I get 9.5MPG on mine with a 14,400lb motorhome - 8.8MPG when towing a 2500 lb car.
Friend has the Ford V10 - it has had some engine issues and fuel economy was about 6.5 to 7MPG I think.
Ford 460 was a good engine.
Tom and Amy from Northern Virginia.
2000 Allegro 454/Workhorse P32/TST/Crossfire
Life is a DIY project, so own less and live more
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Old 02-12-2017, 01:35 PM   #5
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One thing to look out for is leaking exhaust manifold gaskets. Both the Fords and Chevy's are prone to this. I had a 95 460 Ford, and it certainly did have the problem, and they were a son-of-a-gun to get to for repair (especially on the drivers side). As far as the engines being good, I think they were both excellent but economy tends to be poor. But, hey, we don't buy a motorhome for economy!
Ken & Jeannie - 96 Vectra Grand Tour 35' DP Freightliner 6 spd Allison Jack (silky terrier), Hannah (poodle), Casey (Cairn Terrier)
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