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Old 03-05-2011, 06:06 PM   #1
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1988 Fleetwood No Power

My Southwind with 454 has aproblem if I accelerate heavy for any length of time. I usually only have a proble if I try to maintain some speed up a hill, I live in Florida so I don't think hill is the right word. The engine acts like it is starving for fuel and the vacumm gause botoms out to zero, I can let off the gas for maybe 2 seconds and it goes back to running normal.
The engine how has about 73K, had about 61K when we bought it about 2 years ago. I believe there could many possible culprits.
1. High speed jets partially gummed up. The folks I bought it from did not drive it far or fast.
2. Fuel filter. At some point the fuel line was cut to remove the screw in in-line filter and a clamp on was installed. I have not changed the filter yet.
3. Float level to low making the engine starve.
4. Fuel pump can't keep up. RV runs out fine other than under heavy acceleration and has been this way since we purchased it.
I hate just changing parts and not knowing for sure if that part is the problem. . Does anyone of any ideas
Thanks
jim
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Old 03-05-2011, 06:22 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BUB1988 View Post
My Southwind with 454 has aproblem if I accelerate heavy for any length of time. I usually only have a proble if I try to maintain some speed up a hill, I live in Florida so I don't think hill is the right word. The engine acts like it is starving for fuel and the vacumm gause botoms out to zero, I can let off the gas for maybe 2 seconds and it goes back to running normal.
The engine how has about 73K, had about 61K when we bought it about 2 years ago. I believe there could many possible culprits.
1. High speed jets partially gummed up. The folks I bought it from did not drive it far or fast.
2. Fuel filter. At some point the fuel line was cut to remove the screw in in-line filter and a clamp on was installed. I have not changed the filter yet.
3. Float level to low making the engine starve.
4. Fuel pump can't keep up. RV runs out fine other than under heavy acceleration and has been this way since we purchased it.
I hate just changing parts and not knowing for sure if that part is the problem. . Does anyone of any ideas
Thanks
jim
Plugged up inline fuel filter is the #1 suspect, Could be a carb float level being a dab low but that's pretty remote.
Forget about the main jets gummed up.
Maybe a weak fuel pump, (I had that problem) so an "Edelbrock 1722" manual fuel pump was installed.....
After you change the filter (Get the BIG ONE $18.00) run some Sea foam through the system (1 16oz can per 20 gallons) and drive it around some (100 miles) and see what happens.
By the way what year and engine is your rig?

Jim
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Old 03-05-2011, 06:46 PM   #3
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After re-reading your post and it's an (88 454) I believe your fuel pump is in the tank correct?
It kinda boils down to a badly plugged fuel filter plus if it has a Rochestor carb on it there is a filter inside the carb on the fuel inlet line which needs a change out also.....(PITA)

Jim
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Old 03-05-2011, 06:48 PM   #4
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I just had a similar problem. Also in FL. Was coming back from GA after running up and down north GA mountains with no problem. Filled up in Fayette GA. I think? $1.20/ gal. Couldnt believe it. BP I think. Rv ran like crap til ocala. Barely making the "hills" on 75. Filled up in ocala again. Yea crap mileage too! About 10 miles later running great again. Soooo i'm gonna change gas filters but I'm thinkin. With price of gas like it is stations are doing some nasty stuff to save $$$. Coulda been coincidence but I doubt it.
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Old 03-05-2011, 09:04 PM   #5
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Hi Bub1988 and Welcome to the Forum!

If your 454 still has the original Rochester Quadrajet carburetor on it, the filter in the carb fuel inlet (as well as the one on the main fuel line) should be replaced first as Jim Elliott recommends.

If you've never replaced the inlet filter on a Rochester before, be VERY careful when removing and replacing the inlet fitting. Use 2 wrenches - one to hold the inlet fitting 'nut' and the other to loosen the flare nut on the line (5/8" as I recall). If you just put a wrench on the line and start twisting, you'll twist and damage the line. Remove the inlet fitting slowly, there is a spring inside to hold the filter in place.

When you replace the inlet fitting, the threads are very fine and it is easy to cross-tread it and ruin the whole job. Go slow and make sure it threads in straight.

Just some words from someone who's been there and done that WAY too may times before.

Best of luck solving the problem!
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Old 03-05-2011, 10:48 PM   #6
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The engine acts like it is starving for fuel and the vacumm gause botoms out to zero, I can let off the gas for maybe 2 seconds and it goes back to running normal.
You really need to check for a clogged exhaust system. You described the classic symptoms. Think of a toilet backing up as you flush it with your foot on the floor up grade then when you let off it for a second or two the overflow in the toilet has time to go down and you can reflush with your foot on the floor for another short period of time under a moderate to full load. It won't show up on a level since your not flushing the system enough.

In this case when you flush your trying to get rid of burn gas (exhaust) but the exhaust gases can't get out the tail pipe and if the exhaust can't get out the fresh gas charge can not get into the cylinders to produce power, hence the lack of gas feeling you describe.
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Old 03-06-2011, 05:38 AM   #7
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Do the filters first as they are a maintenance item.

When the rig is cooled down, crawl under and tap fairly hard on the mufflers with your hand or a rubber hammer. I have had the baffles come loose in the muffler and they will move around and partially plug the exhaust. Sometimes there will be an area of discoleration on the outside of the muffler where the galvanized coating got real hot.
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Old 03-07-2011, 11:40 AM   #8
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do as every one said my 1985 has a external electric pump on frame above pass. rear wheels this may be the problem but rember this one is used with power (12 volts) off the oil pressure sending unit so dont buy a new ont till you check it out
dave
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Old 03-07-2011, 05:25 PM   #9
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Thanks for the replies.
I did not put the exhaust on the list since it looks fairly new, A previous owner had a Banks system installed in 2006.
I belive that the carb is the original and I have replaced the filter on the carb. Unfortunantly I also have had the bad experience of cross threading the line while replacing the filter.
It will be the weekend before I can check the location of the fuel pump and replace the filter.
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Old 03-09-2011, 01:14 PM   #10
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Fuel system drawing in the Chevrolet Motor Home Chassis Guide indicates you have both a mechanical and electric fuel pump (1985 1/2 - 1989). The fuel filter is about 1/2 way down the passenger side frame rail (outboard side of framerail). Electric pump is in the tank. Electric pump connects to a pressure regulator at the the rear of the passenger side framerail. Safety relay (electric pump power) is operated via the oil pressure switch.

Hope that helps a little,
Dave
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Old 03-22-2011, 05:44 PM   #11
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Thanks for the advice. I am going to try and replace the filter this weekend. Once I take it on a test drive I will send an update.
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