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Old 08-03-2011, 04:27 PM   #15
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I guess if the engineers made it easier to do this work less people would buy new motorhomes. I made the decision to replace the motor based on two things. 1) It's paid for and everything on it works. 2) My 8yo son nearly had tears in his eyes when we told him it didn't run any more. A dad has to do what a dad has to do.
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Old 08-03-2011, 04:44 PM   #16
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I would agree after owning a fleetwood the only way for you would strip it and go out the driver door. I would strip it to just the block get as much weight off as you can. Don't forget to support the tranny. Remember to post us some picts so we can cheer you along.
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Old 08-03-2011, 04:51 PM   #17
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I've only done it once. Probably never do it again.

I used a loader to lift it. Figure about nine thousand pounds to lift.
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Old 08-04-2011, 04:37 PM   #18
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Smile Here is our experience with an engine change.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RonS1985 View Post
....I was hoping someone here may have taken on this insane task before and can share what they learned about doing it. I would greatly appreciate it.
I have several comments on what has been posted so far so I'll just take them more or less in the order they came up. First of all, my wife and I replaced our motor last year so we are qualified to speak on the matter.

Old motor coming out the driver's door




Wife pulling transmission out



I couldn't have done it without her....


New motor all dressed up for the camera.


New motor going back in.


You'll notice that the only engine disassembly was the headers and the fan. We measured everything carefully before starting and knew that the clearance through the door would only be an inch or so on each side... it actually turned out more like an inch and a half!

We also did plenty of research on the best method of removal. In order from best to worse, according to level of difficulty, amount and type of equipment needed, and associated costs:
  1. Out through the front-not possible on our MH because the front end did not come off.
  2. Out through the driver's door-best solution for us as we had access to a forklift and extension boom.
  3. Out through the windshield-would incur extra cost of removing and installing windshield plus very real danger of breakage.
  4. Drop it out the bottom-some very heavy assemblies with big, rusted bolts and nuts to detach and drag out -way too much work and danger of injury.
So there you are, we had to choose second-best because of our MH, however, you might be luckier.

If you're buying a remanufactured engine with a guarantee, you'll have to check with the company, but they probably frown on you taking it apart even before you've started it....

We got the AREGMC-454MHLB-1 REMANUFACTURED 1985-1990 CHEVY 454 / 7.4 ENGINE from S & S Rebuilt Engines in Spokane, WA. This is a motor home-specific engine with heavy duty pistons, valves, and oil pump plus a high torque camshaft.

It cost us $1886.95 plus $350.00 shipping both ways(engine & core). While we were at it we also got the following:
$397.73 Recore Radiator
$62.99 Harmonic Balancer
$47.46 Starter
$777.37 Rebuild Automatic Transmission (TH475)
$3522.50 Total

We also installed a new water pump as part of doing everything possible to avoid the dreaded 454 overheating syndrome. We even removed the dash A/C and all associated parts including the front mounted condenser, which blocked off 2/3 of the radiator! It's a well-known fact that running your generator and the roof air on the road takes less fuel than powering the dash air! By the way, you want to keep the wheel well splash shields installed as they are an important part of keeping that engine cool enough to live. If you don't have a shield on each side, get 'em.

No, we'll never get our money out of it, but we know exactly what we have now and trust it to take us anyplace. Oh, we also bought 6 new Bridgestone Bridgestone 8Rx19.5 tires.

If your present motor won't turn over because of hydraulic lock, simply take out the spark plugs and she will crank right over, spraying out streams of water and getting everybody wet who is closely watching... hah-hah! Personally I wouldn't try to save an engine that has been overheated so badly. You might get away with it, or it could turn into an unreliable money pit.

Good luck and keep us informed of your progress.
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Old 08-04-2011, 04:57 PM   #19
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I also remember pictures of someone who took their motor out via the side door. They used two cherry pickers one inside (had put plywood down over the floor) where they lifted the motor through the dog house and moved it to the side door where they reached in and grabbed the motor with the second cherry picker and took it outside. He also only removed the fan, accessories and the exhaust manifolds. He did not need to remove the steering wheel, drivers seat or anything inside the MH. He did not pull his transmission just separated it from the motor. I think his was a dodge but might give you another option.

MIke
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Old 08-04-2011, 06:56 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TitanicPilot View Post

No, we'll never get our money out of it, but we know exactly what we have now and trust it to take us anyplace.

.....and it's paid for.
J
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Old 08-04-2011, 07:28 PM   #21
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Awesome pictures!!!!
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Old 08-04-2011, 10:53 PM   #22
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I also remember pictures of someone who took their motor out via the side door.... He did not need to remove the steering wheel, drivers seat or anything inside the MH. He did not pull his transmission just separated it from the motor. I think his was a dodge but might give you another option.

MIke
We had to remove the steering wheel and the seats both for more room to work and to get the motor through the door. Like I wrote earlier, a little more than 1" clearance on each side between the door frame and the dashboard. I even had to remove an assist handle by the doorway for climbing in and out to gain another couple of inches.

Guiding the motor back in...


Turn it 90 degrees...



And in she goes....



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Old 08-05-2011, 07:57 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TitanicPilot View Post


And in she goes....



BEAUTIFUL!
j
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Old 08-06-2011, 08:19 PM   #24
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Well, I've started to tear apart the front interior of my mh to prep her for her heart transplant. The wife is taking advantage of having to rip out the doghouse. Last year we tore out the stinky carpet and put down lamin flooring. We stopped at the DH. Now that I'm ripping that out to make room for the motor she is replacing the carpet in the area. Depending on how expensive they are we might replace the front captain's chairs. The current ones aren't too comfy. Oh, and yes, I'm taking lots of pics for you guys. This is not only my first RV, but it's also my first motor change...on a vehicle. I've changed plenty on aircraft (USAF- '86 to '94).
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Old 08-21-2011, 01:15 AM   #25
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I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this...forgive me if it isn't. I have a 1989 Southwind. The motor recently overheated. The lower smog pump seized up thus throwing the belt. Everything went south from there. So I found out that the left and right heads and/or gaskets cracked or blew (chocolate milk dripping from the exhaust pipes). Since the old girl is in pretty good shape we've decided to replace the motor. The $64,000 question is, what is the best way to remove this monster? I've searched net-wide and the few answers I got were vague at best. I've read about going through the front which involves nearly dismantling 1/3 of the RV , or removing the doghouse completely and pulling it up through the floor and out the driver's door (I have no passsenger door). That route sounds more sane to me. I was hoping someone here may have taken on this insane task before and can share what they learned about doing it. I would greatly appreciate it.
I have read the bulk of the thread and this is a subject that I have put a great deal of thought into because my 84 Winnebago has 92k original miles on it. It is only a matter of time till I'm going to be tackling the same type of job on mine. I have noticed that the underside of the engine crossmember has 6 bolts that fasten it to the frame rails from underneath and I believe 3-4 more on the side of the frame rail on each side. Using my hydraulic leveling jacks and jack stands I can get mine high enough into the air that the rear bumper hits the ground. It does take multiple steps to get it that high, but it's possible and very stable. I have just recently remodeled the interior of mine and could not imagine pulling the motor out through the inside (too much to risk). If I have to do mine I think I will be dropping the cross member, then you can drop the complete engine, transmission and headers at once. I've measured the engine from the top of the intake to the bottom of the oil pan/ crossmember and it's approximately 26", and with the motorhome lifted this high I have 36" of ground clearance between the ground and my lowest obstruction on the bottom of the motorhome. That even gives me 10" of extra clearance for my 4" tall jack. If I have a mishap pulling the motor out this way I might scratch a dirty frame rail. If I have mishap going through the interior of my motorhome I risk damaging far more valuable and far more irreplaceable items. Not that I would, but the chance is there. It's just a thought, I seen the pics that Titanic Pilot posted of his removal/ reinstall, but still couldn't dedicate my self to doing it that way. I will be looking forward to seeing how you tackle this.
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Old 08-21-2011, 01:38 AM   #26
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Dear, Titanic Pilot what headers are those I'm looking for some
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Old 08-21-2011, 04:41 AM   #27
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mike it was "DAVEINET" that went through side door he put a 502 in it was front wheel drive a Revcon i know pics were on rv.net
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Old 08-21-2011, 09:41 AM   #28
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Dear, Titanic Pilot what headers are those I'm looking for some
Hi ftv37,
Those headers are Thorley 303Y Tri-Y headers, feeding into a two-into-one, 2 x 2.5" by 1 x 3.0" Magnaflow #12762 muffler. Thorley also sells a matching large bore heat riser valve to go along with the headers. I also used solid copper header flange gaskets and made a splash shield for the passenger's side to cure the fried wires on that side.
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