Just got back from vacation with the family in our 1985 Georgie boy 34'.
Went to Missouri, The RV ran good, so it seemed. Needed gas sooner than I thought we would, the 1st campground had some steep windy hills back to the camp area. chugging up one of the hills we came to a crawl than a stop. Engine was running but it would not pull all our mass up the hill. Very Nervous being stopped in the middle of a winding hill.
We pull a Dodge caravan on a dolly so we unloaded the van to lighten the load. The motorhome could now pull the hill and we got situated in our site for the night. After getting set up I figured the mileage of our 1st tank of gas 4.3/mpg UGHHHHH this is gonna be an expensive trip.
From the forum I knew I should be getting better MPG, so I got looking at the plugs/wires. I pulled a couple plugs on the passenger side, the whole time nervous something would snap off and being 300 miles from home. Plugs looked good, gapped at .045 looked good. Air filter new, the drivers side plugs not as easy to get at. I crawled underneath to see if it was easier. thats when I noticed #1 plug wire BURNT off-part of boot still on plug but wire hanginging down. SWEET that could be the problem. Previous owner had changed the wires more than once and kept the old ones as well as some belts stored in the steps. Glad we didnt throw them out. Found a wire and swapped out the burnt one. We only stayed at this campground for the night as our destination, The Johnson Shutins, didnt have a site open until the following 3 nights.
We debated, when we left if we should leave the van off until after the hills. I decided to hook it up and see if the way out was any better. What a difference having all the plugs firing made. We made it up/down all the hills without issue and got to our next destination. Power and MPG was better but still MPG was only a bit over 6. After we spent a couple days enjoying the campsite and being on vacation, I realized when I noticed the burnt off wire I didnt pull the spark-plug to check it, figured it was fouled and may have been contributing to lower than expected MPG.
I crawled underneath to pull the plug, when I discovered the Plug Wire BURNT OFF AGAIN!
Factory heat shield was in place, but I knew heat was causing the wire to burn off. The wires were 8 mm ac/delco's. Looked around an auto parts store. Decided to get new plugs and wires. THey only had house brand wires or BWD 8 mm high tmp wires. I went with the BWD's then found some of these HEAT Socks for the boots.
I found a 3" piece of exhaust with a 1.5" i.d.
Got back to the challange at hand and was determined to protect the wire from heat.
Changed out the plug, found the piece of exhaust I had gotten fit snuggly into the factory heat shield but wrapped 100% around the boot and about an 1" further.
So new plug/wire. Wire wrapped in above pictured boot, plus the piece of exhaust to act as a heat shield I was feeling pretty good.
A couple days later it was time to try it out. Glad to say we made it home with no issues. Wire still intact, but MPG still lowsy. 7.3 mpg. much better than the originial 4 mpg but still not quite what it should be.
I will pull the plugs again to see how they look, then I will check with my mechanic and see what he thinks. I am going to print out Jim Elliots suggestions (below) to have the HEI set up, then we will look into carburation.
ALL and ALL Great trip. just one day of rain (got to replace an A/c gasket) lots of fun and good food and drink.
Even helped a guy with 2 children, whose car had broke down at the Elephant rocks near the Johnson Shut-ins. ANother lONG STORY, so I will spare the details.
Jim Elliots suggestions: These were suggested before we knew about the burnt plug wire.
Sluggish up the hills indicates your ignition is really retarded so now you will need to find a "Guru" in your area that understands the "HEI" ignition and is willing to set it up to these specs....
(1)....Base timing 10*, NO vacuum connected at the distributer advance (yet).
(2)....Distributer mechanical setup to 22*-24* at 3,000 RPM.
(3) Stock vacuum advance hands out way tooooo much advance (25*) and will need to be cut back to 10*---15*.
Base 10* + mechanical 22* = 32* without the vacuum hooked up yet..
Now with the vacuum advance reconnected which while lite footing it down the flat & level road add in the 10* or so advance and when your foot is into the floor board and you have ZERO vacuum you have at least 32* of built in advance and your engine will love it.....
Please find this socalled "Ignition guru" and just ask him the above questions.......WALK AWAY if he makes NO sense......
Cannot get into the carb section YET until your ignition is setup and locked down (forever