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Old 05-11-2015, 06:28 PM   #1
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1996 P-32 Chevy 454 engine temps....

Since I bought my rig back in December, it has consistently run in the 210 area on the factory gauge, climbing up to 240+ on steep grades. My chassis is a '95 and the engine is a TBI. The engine starts and runs flawlessly so I will not mess with the timing.

It has never boiled over into the overflow tank...yet. I think those temps are a little on the high side and now that summer is here I am doing some preventive maintenance. A rad flush first, followed by a thermostat change. My local auto parts place looked up my engine/year and sold me a 180 degree thermo. The one in there is a 195. I did some research and found that a 195 is correct. I inspected the hoses and found both the top and bottom very soft...so soft I could pinch them flat with very little effort. So I pulled both hoses & will replace them.

In addition to main cooling fan I also have an electric one on front of the radiators. I checked the fan clutch and it does not wobble and won't free spin when the engine is off. I do hear the "roar" when climbing a moderate grade.

I am missing something on the air intake...this is all that came on my coach:

So where the intake comes through the firewall there is just the lagre tube in this hole:

I assume there is supposed to be some kind of rain cover to keep water from flowing right down the intake to the air filter & TBI?
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Old 05-11-2015, 08:11 PM   #2
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Assuming , the factory gauge is correct, those temps are a little high, but at least they're consistent , and with no burping into the overflow, this may be a gauge problem.
When you have the coolant drained , get a good look into the tank , through the rad cap opening, if you see any build up around the core tube openings , I'd say it's time to pull the rad.
If access is a problem , and you can't see in the opening, rent or borrow a bore scope ( flexible camera ) for a good look.

On the intake question; I think there should at least be a baffle in front of that hole in the firewall shrouding , but I can't see any broken screws or mount holes that would point to a missing part.
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Old 05-11-2015, 08:23 PM   #3
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Quote:
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Assuming , the factory gauge is correct, those temps are a little high, but at least they're consistent , and with no burping into the overflow, this may be a gauge problem.
When you have the coolant drained , get a good look into the tank , through the rad cap opening, if you see any build up around the core tube openings , I'd say it's time to pull the rad.
If access is a problem , and you can't see in the opening, rent or borrow a bore scope ( flexible camera ) for a good look.

On the intake question; I think there should at least be a baffle in front of that hole in the firewall shrouding , but I can't see any broken screws or mount holes that would point to a missing part.
Yeah, Skip is correct...There should be a baffle in front. As for the temp, the factory gauges are probably off somewhat.
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Old 05-11-2015, 09:28 PM   #4
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Is your firewall close to the nose of your rig? I know that some air intake hoses have a snorkel that points down and a lot of people take them off to increase airflow.
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Old 05-11-2015, 10:33 PM   #5
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On the snorkel, it looks like you're missing the roar-chamber. It's a baffle box that helps tame the sound of engine's noise and drains/collects water on those rainy days, to keep from getting sucked up to engine carb.
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Old 05-12-2015, 07:06 AM   #6
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Skip, good info, I'll take a close look into the rad. The neck is long and curved, but I'll do the best I can...no scope here.

Lee and Jayco, do you happen to have a picture of this baffle? If I can see the design, I bet I can fab something up from the sewer pipe department at Home Depot What about extending it to the grill with a built-in water trap & making it a Ram-Air?

Talbot, it is about 18ish inches from the grill. This rig was/is in great shape, but is missing many "covers".....the fuse cover under the hood(I made a new one out of the bottom of a rectangular plastic bottle), the hot water heater electronic board cover, & the refrigerator electronic board cover. I'm going to make new ones for the refer & hwh too since finding the right cover on fleabay is like hitting the lotto.

Oh, and those soft hoses must have been collapsing under load right? I think I even saw 250 degrees while climbing Clinch Mountain(it's 11 miles away so we travel up and over it frequently). Once at the top, the temps fell back to normal quickly.
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Old 05-12-2015, 07:10 AM   #7
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On another note, while crawling around on my back under the nose I can see multiple pin holes in my 4 sealed beam rectangular headlight reflectors. Two of them have moisture in them and since I fixed my ground problem they are brighter, but still only slightly adequate. Time to pull all 4 and replace them.

Before I found the ground problem, I added these LED spots....they are extremely bright:
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Old 05-12-2015, 10:03 PM   #8
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Smile

Motor7, yes, the hoses will suck shut if they are really soft. That happened on my rig also. We must think alike too, because I was going to suggest a trip to Lowes and look at some of the outside drier vent caps, lol!
My future plan is to get a couple and run some of the stainless steel vent hose back to the the sides of the radiator and engine compartment to help move some air and thus keep temps lower.
Keep us informed and shoot some pics of what you come up with, I am interested in what you come up with.
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Old 05-13-2015, 01:23 AM   #9
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[QUOTE=Motor7;2552502]
Lee and Jayco, do you happen to have a picture of this baffle? If I can see the design, I bet I can fab something up from the sewer pipe department at Home Depot What about extending it to the grill with a built-in water trap & making it a Ram-Air?

Motor7, Need to look for it in my junk pile tomorrow. If I find it I will sent it.
thx
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Old 05-13-2015, 06:54 AM   #10
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No, sorry don't have any pics of what the box would look like. I do like your idea of going to some form of ram air though. Even going to a slightly taller air filter to raise up the filter cover to uncover the filter will help let in all the air the TBI can handle for better performance.

In the olden(we have no money in our pockets) days we would flip the filter cover upside down to gain performance increases. This was of course if you still got a good filter seal to also keep out trash from getting into the carbs.
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Old 05-13-2015, 07:20 AM   #11
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Additional comments. Someone mentioned the temperature gauge might be faulty, and I agree. We had a '95 P chassis with the GM 6.5 Diesel, and now have a '99 with a Vortec 454. The '95 gauge failed, I put an aftermarket gauge and sending unit, and found the dashboard gauge had been reading at least 20-30 degrees too low. The '99 is OBD2, so I installed a Scangauge. This reads everything the engine CPU sees, and again indicates temperatures a good bit higher than the dash gauge.

I think your '95 chassis is too old for OBD2, but an inexpensive laser temperature gun might be handy to check temperatures at different locations and compare to the dashboard gauge. If it is reading low, then your temps are even higher than shown
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Old 05-13-2015, 09:28 PM   #12
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[QUOTE=leesdx1;2554109]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Motor7 View Post
Lee and Jayco, do you happen to have a picture of this baffle? If I can see the design, I bet I can fab something up from the sewer pipe department at Home Depot What about extending it to the grill with a built-in water trap & making it a Ram-Air?

Motor7, Need to look for it in my junk pile tomorrow. If I find it I will sent it.
thx
Motor7, getting back with you on the baffle. It always happens, when you looking for something and you can't find it, then one day out of the blue you find it. Well that's what happen today, but i did find a pix of the baffle. Hope it helps.
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Old 05-14-2015, 05:53 PM   #13
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I had the same problem. I used 4 inch heavy duty flexible aluminum drier vent. I ran it from the snorkel of the air cleaner to the front above the radiator and put some 1/4" mesh in front of it to keep the critters out.
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Old 05-14-2015, 10:05 PM   #14
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I replaced the hoses & thermostat today. Put water and Prestone flus(two quarts) in and ran it to warm things up. "Hmmmm, I smell antifreeze and it's getting stronger".......yep forgot to tighten the clamp at the thermo so my engine got a top down bath Now I have to go get two more quarts of flush and drain/refill again........

While it was running I checked the temps with a laser thermometer...it was showing exactly what my gauge was reading. Have not had time yet to shop for ram-air parts............
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