HI, This is a great thread, and I believe a lot will pertain to me also. I just purchased last Thursday a 1995 Safarai Trek Model 2820 with the 454. It is a TBI motor and of course as soon as we said yes to buying it things started to go wrong in the next 24 hours. And, a lot of things had just been done to it so of course I thought what could go wrong? Well, the a/c belt went and then it overheated while idling, for just a short while, on a Hollywood, CA neighborhood street, while we said good bye to the seller. Thankfully he drove us around Hollywood to Pep Boys, Autozone, and Home Depot to get a thermostat, themrostat gasket, and some tools, and then bought us dinner. Driving back to Albuquerque was uneventful, except for the potholes to China on I-40 east between Barstow & Needles. We averaged 9.4 mpg (me) while trying to maintain 60 mph from LA to Seligman and 10.7 mpg (wife) while trying to maintain 55 mph from Seligman to Albuquerque. I put in a OEM 195 degree thermostat from Pep Boys and ended up reusing the thermostat gasket as I had bought the standard oval shape one, and this engine uses a round rubber gasket that sits down in the manifold with the thermostat on top of the gasket. But, since I want to change that gasket out with a new one sometime I will buy that Summit racing thermostat and have it ready to put it in.
I am curious about blocking the air flow gaps and directing air into the radiator. Do you have any pics of what you did to achieve this goal? Did you completely block off the bottom of that front area from the road below, so no air can pass under the radiator? Did you attach a piece of sheet metal or something else to the bottom of the frame in that area? Did you put a piece of sheet metal to the sides of the radiator, streching from the radiator to the grill, so the air can only go thru the radiator and not past it on the sides? There is so much stuff in that area I am thinking it would be difficult to get that area closed off so as to make what I envision is a completely focused air shaft into the front of the radiator. There is also a huge electric fan on the front of my radiator that I have not seen come on yet so I do not know what it really is...is it the fan to the engine? Does it only come on when the a/c is turned on? Is there a "regular" fan behind the radiator, and viewable only from the doghouse in the coach? And, how does the rubber air dam look attached to the frame?
And, I am sure I have an HEI ignition & distributor on this 1995 motor but is there anything that can be done to it to make it better?
Finally, anyone have any experience with the Glowshift gauges? They are sure "pretty looking" and are inexpensive, as some of the Autometer, VDO, a S-w gauges go, but is there any substance? The reviews are mixed from what I see but I sure like their set-upp for water temp: cut the upper radiator hose and insert their "extension" and that is where the water temp sensor goes. That seems a lot simpler and easier than drilling & tapping a new sensor in the thermostat housing, or looking for an existing spot to use. I am considering the black 7 color series. And, although I know not all these gauges are needed I think it would be slick to have lots of gauges. The "required" gauges are: water temp, oil pressure, volt meter, and tachometer. The "discretionary" gauges are: oil temp, tranny temp, vacuum, wideband air/fuel, fuel pressure, (2) dual air pressure - 1 to measure the front two air suspension bags and 1 for the two rear bags, and (6) air pressure - 1 for each tire ..now, not saying I am buying all these gauges but it would be slick to make this coach look like a cockpit! LOL GlowShift Performance Gauges & Pods
Oh, living in Albuquerque my driving involves a lot of "hills" to get out of this city, especially the steep one (10% grade) into & out of my neighborhood at about 5 - 10 mph.
Thanks for the clarification about the air flow & dam. Pictures would be great!