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Old 03-28-2010, 08:58 PM   #15
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Disregard the above post - rather than hijack this thread, I've started one of my own - thanks.
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Old 03-28-2010, 09:57 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by JimM68 View Post
That thing's a 454 first, a motorhome second, treat it like you'd treat any other rat motor and it will treat you well.
That's good advice; I've been thinking of it in entirely different terms, and it was intimidating me!

Really appreciate all the advice, guys. Headed up to work on her next weekend!
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Old 04-01-2010, 01:04 AM   #17
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Make sure you check the engine to chassis grounds. This is one cause of the older GM v8s hesitating when the starter is engaged when hot. Can also be a cause of low voltage on the dash gauge.

My 88' Winnie has an electric fuel pump in the tank. Have someone turn the key to the run, not start, position while you listen near the tank, you should be able to hear it come on.
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Old 04-01-2010, 09:07 AM   #18
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I'll definitely check that grounding strap as well. Unlike a lot of stuff on that engine, I think it's easily accessible (and visible without having to look too hard). Unless there's more than one, but I'm thinking there isn't. I'll also do the fuel pump check as well, I need to spend some time on the fuel system while I'm there, anyway. Thanks for the suggestions, MUCH appreciated!!
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Old 05-03-2010, 11:57 AM   #19
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Post May be of help.

[QUOTE=padraig1066;614836]Hi folks,

This is in an '86 Winnie Elandan, with a bit over 121k miles on it. I'm just starting on bringing it back, after it's been sitting for a couple of years. So I have several issues that I would love to have some advice/thoughts on:

1 - New batteries installed, but the dash meter doesn't show that they're being charged to an adequate level at idle speed. Increasing the idle speed will make the needle creep up (more so on the secondary battery than the primary, actually), but then it falls back off when I let off the gas. It's fine at running speed. Could it still be an alternator issue?

2 - Replaced the starter, but it still has the "I think the timing is off" hesitation when starting hot. Could it be a timing issue, or something else? I used to work on my vehicles pretty regularly, and the symptom being exhibited was fixable by correcting the timing (in my experience). Engine turns over nice and fast when cold, and starts reliably (even with the hesitation when hot). Anything special I need to be concerned with in timing this engine? I'm used to doing it on "regular" engines, but I've never done an engine in a motorhome before.

3 - Exhaust manifold leak. Ticking noise near the rear right of the engine that increases/decreases based on engine speed (sounds almost like a valve ticking, but I don't think it is). Strong smell of exhaust in the interior with the doghouse cover off (but goes away with the cover on, thankfully). What can I do? What should I do?

4 - Engine runs cooler than I'm used to. Barely above the 'C' on the gauge. Maybe that's normal, but I'm thinking the thermostat is stuck open. But as with everything else, I'm not going to assume that the standard answers to problems I've had with vehicle engines in the past will necessarily apply here. Anything else it could be? The gauge appears to actually be working, it's just not registering much of a temp change. The dash environmental controls aren't working at the moment, so I can't check to see if the system's blowing nothing but cold air (as I normally would). Somebody before me "worked on" several different things in this coach, and shouldn't have. Stuff half disassembled all over the place. Ugh.

Any other advice for an engine with this many miles on it would be appreciated. Or advice on bringing back an older coach in general. I already have the list of maintenance items going, with the plugs/plug wires, distributor system replaceables done, filters, fluids, etc. The brake system was completely shot, including the lines, so all that's been replaced with new, by a really great RV dealership (if I'm allowed to mention names on here, I'd be glad to give them a plug!!). I'm working on tires. Also fixing roof leaks and repairing minor water damage inside. And bringing back the interior as best I can; whoever owned this one and put most of the miles on it didn't do much to it.

I found that under the dist cap is the voltage regulator must have this special electrical grease type stuff( can not find mine at the moment) to act as an insulator. This will effect the the engine until it will eventuly stop running without this. Your ticking sound my be the auto choke heater. check the port on the exhaust manifold that goes to the carb choke heater. They rust and break and leak.
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Old 05-03-2010, 12:11 PM   #20
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This may help

You might check the choke heater. The port on the head could be rusted or the line my be rusted out. I think the voltage reg is undrer the dist cap and needs to have this special grease stuff that acts as an insulator. With out that it wont run. If it is getting thin or loss due to changing it, may give you running probs.
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Old 05-03-2010, 02:48 PM   #21
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I would check out the voltage at the alternator post (14.00-14.3) volts output is about normal....
When and if you check the timing IF stock it will be 4, I run mine at 11 @750 RPMs and disconnect the vacuum advance please.
You can purchase some nice exhaust gaskets (Thorley) for your exhaust manifold leaks.
I also run "Robertshaw 180" thermostats and cruising down the slab at 62 MPH mine runs about 185....Stay away from the cheap stats...
That is not a voltage regulator under your distributer cap....It's the ignition module and needs "Dielectric paste or grease" to maintain a degree of coolness, Keep it cool and it will serve you well...
Most good parts can be found at your local "Napa" store.

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Old 05-03-2010, 03:20 PM   #22
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I have the same coolant temp issue on the 454 in my '88 Winnie - mine also has the rear heater, with a 1/2 inch line that bypasses the thermostat for hot coolant flow back to the heater. I suspect that the volume of bypassed coolant around the thermostat causes the temperature to run lower than it should - the gauge DOES work, and a stiff uphill pull will bring the temp up into the normal range - but it then falls back to cooler after the grade is pulled - not sure what the best "fix" might be for that - other than some sort of valve to shut off flow to the rear heater. Not sure simply going to a hotter thermostat is the answer - and as it is, even the front heater runs too cool to be very helpful...
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Old 05-03-2010, 08:18 PM   #23
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Here's another thought; GM dashboard gauges can be unreliable and inaccurate. Measure voltage with a meter, and consider an aftermarket temperature gauge & sender for coolant temperature. I have done this on a '95 and '99 GM chassis, and got readings sufficiently different to make me mistrust the gauges - especially temperature. I bought a ScanGauge, which is just great, but it only works for OBD2 engines. Maybe there is an equivalent gadget for your engine (not sure when OBD1 was initiated)
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Old 05-04-2010, 01:04 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by George Schweikle View Post
Here's another thought; GM dashboard gauges can be unreliable and inaccurate. Measure voltage with a meter, and consider an aftermarket temperature gauge & sender for coolant temperature. I have done this on a '95 and '99 GM chassis, and got readings sufficiently different to make me mistrust the gauges - especially temperature. I bought a ScanGauge, which is just great, but it only works for OBD2 engines. Maybe there is an equivalent gadget for your engine (not sure when OBD1 was initiated)
Undoubtedly a good idea - might even be a good idea to use an infra-red handheld temp reader to check actual block temperature. In my case, one pretty solid sign of gauge accuracy, is that the front driver area heater is WAYYYyyy too cool to provide effective heat.

I'll check out the thermostat to make sure it's OK - but I'm pretty convinced the rear MH heater coolant bypass is the primary culprit, You'd think there would be a manually operated valve that controls, or shuts down the flow of coolant to the rear based upon demand, but the only rear heat control is the fan speed - the coolant flow seems constant any time the engine is running - at least I've not seen any flow control devices along that line anywhere.

I hate to use any sort of remotely located ball valve or similar that requires getting out or under the MH to open/close - but if a change in thermostat DOESN'T fix the issue, will have to see what I can come up with - perhaps a cable operated one that can be operated from the driver's seat...
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