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Old 10-31-2012, 07:56 PM   #351
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To start an engine the timing only has to be in a ball park range of say +/- 5 degrees of 0 deg timing mark. I usually just use a socket and breaker bar to turn the engine to line the damper mark up with the 0 deg mark on the compression stroke for the appropriate plug. While most automotive applications always reference to the #1 plug, the 454 MH application could use thhe #1, #5, or #7 plug as a reference depending on where the degree tab is mounted. Those different combinations are what is being shown in the drawing above. YOu then have to ensure the distributor rotor is pointing to the reference plug wire. Once started you have to use a timing light connected to the appropriate plug to set final timing.

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Old 10-31-2012, 09:11 PM   #352
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Thanks to all, I'll be working on her tomorrow.
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Old 11-01-2012, 11:55 AM   #353
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Ok guys...here's the deal. I bought one of those super battery chargers that you can use to jump vehicles with (50a). Some of you may recall a few hundred posts ago that I was having an issue with my negative battery terminal melting when I tried to start her up. Well, I replaced the battery and I can tell that the old one was indeed fried. However, I'm still having the same problem. Although the new battery hasn't melted or fried out yet because I'm being very careful to keep checking it after each start attempt. But...the neg terminal did get very hot to the touch. I think that whatever is causing that to happen is also the reason why she won't turn over normally (rapidly, as vehicles should). My first thought is that there is a grounding wire missing at the front of the motor. I've looked everywhere but I don't see one hanging (I would not have removed it from the frame when I took the old motor out). I verified that the battery neg wire is bolted to the front of the motor, which is where it was when I took the old motor out. There's a wire mesh grounding cable bolted to the rear of the motor going to the frame. I don't recall there being any other grounds when I took the old motor out. How many grounds does there need to be, really?! My house batteries are totally dead but as far as starting the motor I don't think they play a part. I'm charging them anyway. My mind hurts right now trying to solve this. In the words of John Lennon, "Most peculiar, mama!"
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Old 11-01-2012, 09:52 PM   #354
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Ok guys...here's the deal. I bought one of those super battery chargers that you can use to jump vehicles with (50a). Some of you may recall a few hundred posts ago that I was having an issue with my negative battery terminal melting when I tried to start her up. Well, I replaced the battery and I can tell that the old one was indeed fried. However, I'm still having the same problem. Although the new battery hasn't melted or fried out yet because I'm being very careful to keep checking it after each start attempt. But...the neg terminal did get very hot to the touch. I think that whatever is causing that to happen is also the reason why she won't turn over normally (rapidly, as vehicles should). My first thought is that there is a grounding wire missing at the front of the motor. I've looked everywhere but I don't see one hanging (I would not have removed it from the frame when I took the old motor out). I verified that the battery neg wire is bolted to the front of the motor, which is where it was when I took the old motor out. There's a wire mesh grounding cable bolted to the rear of the motor going to the frame. I don't recall there being any other grounds when I took the old motor out. How many grounds does there need to be, really?! My house batteries are totally dead but as far as starting the motor I don't think they play a part. I'm charging them anyway. My mind hurts right now trying to solve this. In the words of John Lennon, "Most peculiar, mama!"
In my motor home I have a switch on the dash that says "Dual, Single and MOM". Do you have a battery selector switch on the dash?
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Old 11-02-2012, 07:20 PM   #355
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A missing ground will not make the neg terminal hot.
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Old 11-02-2012, 07:44 PM   #356
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neg term getting hot

i would suspect that there is a bad connection in that termanl thats getting hot that would account for the engine turning over slow and may have ben part of the reason it would not crank with the jumpers lee
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Old 11-03-2012, 05:29 AM   #357
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i would suspect that there is a bad connection in that termanl thats getting hot that would account for the engine turning over slow and may have ben part of the reason it would not crank with the jumpers lee
I've cleaned all the terminals to all batteries. The terminals to the main battery I've replaced. They are all good.
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Old 11-03-2012, 05:33 AM   #358
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In my motor home I have a switch on the dash that says "Dual, Single and MOM". Do you have a battery selector switch on the dash?
Nope. I have a single toggle that does nothing. It's either on or off and it appears that a previous owner installed it. Why, I don't know. The other stock switches are for gen start, cargo lights, steps, and I forget what the fourth one is but none of them are for the batteries. I also have two switches above the house door for the batteries. House, and main, off and on. Can't go wrong there.
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Old 11-03-2012, 11:28 AM   #359
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Nope. I have a single toggle that does nothing. It's either on or off and it appears that a previous owner installed it. Why, I don't know. The other stock switches are for gen start, cargo lights, steps, and I forget what the fourth one is but none of them are for the batteries. I also have two switches above the house door for the batteries. House, and main, off and on. Can't go wrong there.
Coil cut off switch?
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Old 11-03-2012, 12:13 PM   #360
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Nope. I have a single toggle that does nothing. It's either on or off and it appears that a previous owner installed it. Why, I don't know. The other stock switches are for gen start, cargo lights, steps, and I forget what the fourth one is but none of them are for the batteries. I also have two switches above the house door for the batteries. House, and main, off and on. Can't go wrong there.
I was just curious because you had commented that the house batteries were not charging. As for your actual problem at hand, I am a very visual person, so it is difficult for me to diagnose the problem when all I have to look at is words. If I had to guess at this point I would say that you possibly have a poor connection or the new motor is real stiff and causing a large demand on the starter, which would then cause a lot of heat from the high volume of current going to the starter. I've cranked a hard to start engine before and got the battery wires to get hot. How long are you cranking the engine for? Do you have spark? Do you have proper fuel pressure? Is the base timing set properly? This is the basic check list that I mentally go through when dealing with a situation similar to yours. If you have fuel/ oxygen, properly timed fire and compression then you have a running engine. If you are working by your self then I would invest in a remote starter switch. I would also have a multimeter, timing light and fuel pressure gauge available. If you don't already own these tools and don't want to invest the cost of the tools try checking with a local parts store and see if they will rent the tools to you.
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Old 11-04-2012, 12:44 AM   #361
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If you replaced the battery terminals with the bolt-on style these are notorious for high resistance. The cable itself could be a problem also as battery acid can leach down inside the insulation and cause the wires to corrode.
If you will look at my previous post on how to test the wires and connections with a voltmeter I think you can isolate the problem.

As for the timing if you can figure out what cylinder is used for setting it you can remove the valve cover for the proper cylinder and turn the engine (plugs out easier) until the intake valve closes and then go some more until both valve rockers are setting the same height from the head. You can tell which is the intake valve by following the intake manifold runner or the exhaust manifold. This will be correct or 180' out. Remove the distributor cap and see where the rotor is pointed. Follow the plug wire up for the correct cylinder to the dist. cap to determine the proper spot for the rotor to be pointed.
If it would help you can PM me and I'll give you my phone number and we can arrange a time to talk you thru the checks.
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Old 12-14-2012, 08:45 PM   #362
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Hi folks! I know it's been a long, long road on this thread but I now can report some good news. First, the wife and I were ready to scrap our RV. We were dreading breaking the news to our autistic 10yo son who loves camping. In a last ditched effort I posted an ad on Craig's List for a mechanic who would be willing to help us out. In the mean time we started calling around trying to find a salvage yard willing to haul it away. No such place, as it turned out. I got an email from a local guy who used to own his own garage but had to give it up. He came out and looked over my beast. He tweaked this and turned that. He turned it over a few times then tweaked something else. After barely 45 minutes she was running perfectly. I couldn't believe it. When I offered him money he simply said, "Not interested, Merry Christmas." I was floored. I still have a few things to replace but nothing horrible. Another $50 and and maybe two hours worth of work and we shall be camping once more. He did ask me, as a favor to repay him, if I knew someone who knew anything about jet engines. He's building a speed boat for someone and they are nearing the stage of putting the engine in. I said, "Why, yes, me!" I know jet engines very well. Ok, the problem. The distributor was in backwards, for one. Not my doing. The reason why it wasn't it wasn't turning over in the first place, aside from the timing issue, was because of the house batteries. Instead of having one 12v deep marine battery I have two standard 6v batteries which are shot. They were sucking the life out of the new battery because they shared a neg cable. I cut that cable and, presto, the other battery came to life once again. A happy ending! We are fine-tuning her next week and should be road testing her the following weekend. I thought if share this with everyone who has been following this. Thanks again for everyone's input and help.
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Old 12-14-2012, 09:15 PM   #363
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Thank you for the up date and a great one at that
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Old 12-14-2012, 09:52 PM   #364
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Yes indeedy! She's running quite well now. I have to replace the distrib cap and I have a small hole in the radiator, probably nicked it when I lowered the motor in. Otherwise it ran for about 5 minutes and sounded great. Now to get her cleaned up and back together (chairs & stuff).
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