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Old 10-05-2013, 11:58 PM   #1
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1988 Tioga 27' E350, 454 sluggish up hills

* Engine is a 460* not 454, sorry. So I took my RV out for the first time since purchasing it several months ago. We have been using it in the driveway and getting some overnight experience with it, and working on it. We have equipped it with all the stuff one would normally take with them camping. Pots, pans, food, cloths..... and the list goes on. We aren't towing anything but I really want to. I bought this machine to take fishing and tow my boat. However, it had a hard time going up hills! I am out in Ft. Irwin, driving up fort irwin road. I wouldn't describe the road as particularly steep, and it isn't marked with any grade percentage to give reference. I have no problem maintaining 60 straight and level, however add some grade to the road and she is challenged. 40 in 2nd is about all I am getting out of the 454. Is this normal? The heat seemed normal, climbed a bit towards the upper 1/3rd at the end of the climb, but still 40 was where it was at. Is this normal for this rig? What info would you need to assist if this isn't enough?
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Old 10-06-2013, 09:37 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by mfsb View Post
* Engine is a 460* not 454, sorry. So I took my RV out for the first time since purchasing it several months ago. We have been using it in the driveway and getting some overnight experience with it, and working on it. We have equipped it with all the stuff one would normally take with them camping. Pots, pans, food, cloths..... and the list goes on. ....... However, it had a hard time going up hills! I am out in Ft. Irwin, driving up fort irwin road. I wouldn't describe the road as particularly steep, and it isn't marked with any grade percentage to give reference. I have no problem maintaining 60 straight and level, however add some grade to the road and she is challenged. 40 in 2nd is about all I am getting out of the 454. Is this normal? The heat seemed normal, climbed a bit towards the upper 1/3rd at the end of the climb, but still 40 was where it was at. Is this normal for this rig? What info would you need to assist if this isn't enough?
I have no idea where Ft Irwin is or the altitude it sits at.
What you are seeing might just be normal. I simply must ask what are you comparing it to when you say it has a hard time on the hills?
Have you tried changing the fuel filter? It is the cheapest part that that could effect the power and (with it being over 20 years old)its probibily due for a new one.
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Old 10-06-2013, 10:01 AM   #3
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I'm with, Mekanic , on this one, 25 year old unit , Ford ( will not go into that any further). Change the fuel filter, check or change , plugs and wires, remember that gasoline has a shelf life , so any that was in the tank when it sat in the driveway, wasn't the greatest and even diluted with new fuel can effect performance for three or four tanks full.
Next time your out loaded for travel, get the RV weighed, and check against the GVWR.
Good news is that the fact you held 40 without over heating , would indicate to me that the cooling system and the cat. convertor, are in ok condition.

Some early, carbed 460's , late 70's, responded very well , to a timing gear change; installing gears from a 60's, 429. Don't know if that would be the case for your vintage though.
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Old 10-06-2013, 11:44 AM   #4
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* Engine is a 460* not 454, sorry. So I took my RV out for the first time since purchasing it several months ago. We have been using it in the driveway and getting some overnight experience with it, and working on it. We have equipped it with all the stuff one would normally take with them camping. Pots, pans, food, cloths..... and the list goes on. We aren't towing anything but I really want to. I bought this machine to take fishing and tow my boat. However, it had a hard time going up hills! I am out in Ft. Irwin, driving up fort irwin road. I wouldn't describe the road as particularly steep, and it isn't marked with any grade percentage to give reference. I have no problem maintaining 60 straight and level, however add some grade to the road and she is challenged. 40 in 2nd is about all I am getting out of the 454. Is this normal? The heat seemed normal, climbed a bit towards the upper 1/3rd at the end of the climb, but still 40 was where it was at. Is this normal for this rig? What info would you need to assist if this isn't enough?
I have the 454 in my 82 Pace Arrow 44,000 miles. I bought it last year. It had sat off and on for the last 6 years. The first long trip (560 miles) we broke down Fuel filters (2 in lines) clogged had them changed. Ran good.
This year we changed them again and added a few additives too Premium fuel only, and the plugs. still ran only okay we are pulling a 99 concours on a KarKatty SS.
Last week we changed the plug wires and what a difference like day and night no hesitation at stop lights and sooo smooth, I even think it rides better.
We took a few of the old plug wires apart and 3-4 of them had lots of rust and corrosion on the metal. I just wish we had done them when we changed the plugs. The new wire set was only $35.00 but the results are unbelievable.
Try them the $35.00 will be the best you spend. Take 2-4 off and inspect to see if the isn't any corrosion on them. Then spend the 35 bucks. Let us know it this helped.
Tim
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Old 10-11-2013, 11:13 AM   #5
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pull the cover off the motor at night..with the engine running and check to see if there is any arcing in the plug wires. I replaced mine and it makes a big difference.
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Old 10-11-2013, 11:35 AM   #6
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Run some Lucas fuel treatment through it in double concentration to make sure the carb or injectors are good and clean. If this is a carbureted 460 remove the sight check screws on the passenger side of the fuel bowls and make sure the fuel bowls are filling to the edge of the sight check on both bowls. You need to do this on a level surface. I had this same problem on my 82 E-250 Club Wagon after a carb rebuild and it turned out to be the primary fuel bowl set too low. To adjust the fuel level with the engine running loosen the lock screw on top of the adjustment nut (5/8") and turn CCW to raise the level CW to lower. If fuel levels are OK and Lucas doesn't fix it then it could be a number of things as others have mentioned. I have a 460 in a 37' MH and pull a Honda Accord and can maintain 45 - 50 mph up Jellico Mtn in Tennessee. Not sure how that compares to Ft. Irwin. 460 and 454 both like gas but are good motors for RVs.

John
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Old 10-11-2013, 11:38 AM   #7
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pull the cover off the motor at night..with the engine running and check to see if there is any arcing in the plug wires. I replaced mine and it makes a big difference.

I hope not to see any now that we replaced the wires.
We changed them on the 64 caddie last night and can't wait to take her for a ride. I will check and see if we see any. What would be the next step if we see any arching?
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Old 10-12-2013, 04:47 PM   #8
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If you see arching, it means the harness (plug wires) need to be replaced. They dry out and crack or simply wear out. Make sure you purchase the right wires for YOUR
motor, as the wires come in different lengths. Do one plug at a time. This is a great time to replace plugs if they need it. Mine was a pain in the butt to do, but it improved performance 100 percent. I also had trouble on grades and loss of power.
....keep in touch...........hal
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Old 10-13-2013, 01:04 AM   #9
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Rv update

I have driven the Motorhome a total of 120 miles and the power with flat roads is pretty normal I think. I also think that old gas, lack of use, and dirty injectors is all adding up to poor performance. I plan on putting 20 gallons and sea foam fuel treatment in and driving more. Plugs and wires are on the list as well. Overall I think you guys are right about it being in need of some scheduled maintenance
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Old 10-13-2013, 06:55 AM   #10
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From where I'm sitting it sounds like it needs to be used more often!
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Old 10-14-2013, 12:04 AM   #11
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Use it often

Yeah I agree hard to do while still active duty military.
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Old 10-20-2013, 03:58 PM   #12
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Check the weights in the distributor. Make sure the are free to move/advance. If not it will cause sluggishness.
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