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Old 11-05-2014, 04:45 PM   #15
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We live in CO and I think have done all the major passes in CO (Monarch, Rabbit Ears, Vail, Eisenhower tunnel, Vail, Wolf Creek etc) . We have fuel injected 454 but I see lots of RVs older than ours on the road. We do not have an overheating problem because we go slow up but then were not towing anything either.

We find that we occasionally have to pass a trucker going up as they often go much slower. Regular cars pass us. Sometimes a pick-up or SUV towing something will pass us with a roar and then we pass them later when they are pulled over cooling down because they over heated.

If your engine is in good shape I think you can go anywhere. The big diesel trucks are often the slowest going up because of their load and it is sometimes hard to pass them if there is a ton of traffic but you only see those on the main transport roads like I-70. If you are on the secondary roads where many of the other passes are it is smooth sailing.
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Old 11-05-2014, 06:01 PM   #16
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Just curious of those with 454 experience if you installed a tranny cooler to save a bit of wear and tear on the transmission. I picked up one from Summit Racing, but have yet to install it...having a bit of a struggle finding someone to install it for me. Was hoping my son..but he seems a bit frustrated with it and has yet to start.

I know it probably would reduce the tranny temps by 25 degs or so, but I may postpone the install as we are planning on heading out in a few weeks. Also, anyone here with a 454 install the $1800 banks system. I've heard its great but not sure if it is necessary.

Thanks...
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Old 11-05-2014, 06:16 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wbonsell View Post
Just curious of those with 454 experience if you installed a tranny cooler to save a bit of wear and tear on the transmission. I picked up one from Summit Racing, but have yet to install it...having a bit of a struggle finding someone to install it for me. Was hoping my son..but he seems a bit frustrated with it and has yet to start.

I know it probably would reduce the tranny temps by 25 degs or so, but I may postpone the install as we are planning on heading out in a few weeks. Also, anyone here with a 454 install the $1800 banks system. I've heard its great but not sure if it is necessary.

Thanks...
I do not have a trans cooler, but one of the P/O's of my Bounder (or perhaps factory...) installed the auxiliary electric fans in front of the radiator. They come on with a roar when the temp reaches a preset number, run for a minute or two or three at the most, and then shut off.

It's my understanding that one of the problems with the 454 in the P-30 chassis is air flow past the exhaust manifold and down past the tranny. Anything you can do to supplement that area, or keep it un-clogged, is good. I've heard of owners fabricating sheets of aluminum or sheet metal to route air flow back in that direction, but don't have any concrete examples to cite. Ours doesn't seem to be overly hot. We did a cross-country in the summer of 2012 the temps between Columbus Ohio and Salt Lake City hovered in the high 90s and low 100s for two weeks. It was 104 on Antelope Island in the GSL. We went up the Vail and Eisenhower on July 2, in the 90s. Kansas City was 98' on the 3rd, and St Louis was 94 on the 4th. Never even came close to overheating, in fact the needle rarely moved above the mid mark.

Obviously, towing adds a whole new dimension, which we do not do. And, as a side note, we have that old GM TH400 (I think that's the designation) 3-speed transmission that was standard in the 55-MPH national-speed-limit era of the 80s. 60mph is very nearly 3000 rpm, which is the upper limit of the useful range of that engine.

Make sure the the radiator flows well, make sure the fluid is up to date and fresh, and make sure that you don't obstruct air flow past the thing any more than absolutely necessary, and you should not overheat in normal circumstances.
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Old 11-05-2014, 06:42 PM   #18
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Thanks Jim....we have yet to have any over heating issues with the engine or radiator as the temp gauge needle seems to stay pretty much straight up. But I do know the tranny experiences pretty good heat which blasts off those headers. We do have a huge aux fan sitting right in front of the radiator which will come on occasionally but the tranny cooler is just an insurance policy to keep the tranny running nice and cool - in the 160-170 range from everything I have read.

Probably not totally necessary, but it's been bought and should be installed. I tend to be a bit anal about upgrading and/or replacing things before they go "south".
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Old 11-05-2014, 06:44 PM   #19
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And getting back to the OP question, we motored up several grades heading down I-5 a while back without a hiccup. I am sure the 454 will do the job...just a bit slower up the steeper grades. I do wish I had a tach though just to monitor engine RPM's
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Old 11-05-2014, 07:21 PM   #20
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Had a 85 Georgieboy 27 ft with a 454 that got 5 mpg up hill, down hill, head wind, tail wind pulling a 14 ft box trailer with two Harleys on board. Not fast, but steady.
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Old 11-05-2014, 07:46 PM   #21
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I have a '92 carbed Gen V 454 in a heavy 25' boat. It pushes fine in the flat but have never had it up a 7% grade.
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Old 11-06-2014, 05:13 AM   #22
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454

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wbonsell View Post
Just curious of those with 454 experience if you installed a tranny cooler to save a bit of wear and tear on the transmission. I picked up one from Summit Racing, but have yet to install it...having a bit of a struggle finding someone to install it for me. Was hoping my son..but he seems a bit frustrated with it and has yet to start.

I know it probably would reduce the tranny temps by 25 degs or so, but I may postpone the install as we are planning on heading out in a few weeks. Also, anyone here with a 454 install the $1800 banks system. I've heard its great but not sure if it is necessary.

Thanks...
When I had my 1994 Bounder, I did everything to keep it running cool. 1. I installed two transmission coolers right behind the grill, if you do install one don't use rubber hoses with clamps on the ends, I use copper tubing with brass fittings connecting to the coolers. I had a cooler on a pickup one time and a hose blew off the cooler, lucky I was near a gas station and was able to get tranny fluid and tighten up the hose clamp.
2. That cooling fan you mentioned in front of your rad. that comes on automatically, I also put a switch on the curcuit that I could turn on the fan anytime I wanted, and did so going up a hill when needed.
3. I pulled the rad out of the motor home, my rad man whom I've know for 40 years said it was a 4 core rad. he said they put in the cheapest rads they could get by with. He put 5 core in it, the rad tanks had room for another core to be put in.
With all this I had cooling power now, and would you know it? Ended up buying my Islander when I seen that beautiful coach! Someone got a nice Bounder, I really took good care of it, infact, the dealer sold it the same week.
I am not bad mouthing the 454, just stating what I did to keep it cool.
It is easy to put a tach on, I put one also, a free standing one, screwed to the dash.
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Old 11-06-2014, 12:37 PM   #23
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...And, as a side note, we have that old GM TH400 (I think that's the designation) 3-speed transmission that was standard in the 55-MPH national-speed-limit era of the 80s. 60mph is very nearly 3000 rpm, which is the upper limit of the useful range of that engine.
...
Depends on which version 454 is in it. The stock 454 that was used in the Revcon was a 4 bolt main truck engine. The peak torque was at 3200 RPM. I've discovered some motorhomes use that engine and some don't. Changing gearing was very easy to do in Revcons by swapping gears in the transfercase. It was common practice to swap the gears, which meant at around 70, you were turning 3200 RPM. It seemed to do OK up there, although the mileage took a dump. Installing headers and Magnaflow saved the mileage at higher speeds. Didn't make any difference at 65, but kept it from taking a dump above 70 - 80 mph. (and yes this is all pre 502)
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Old 11-06-2014, 01:32 PM   #24
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I drive mine that has a carb and th400 most places. I drive slow, 65 tops, going up the mountains out here I don't fear the gear. I drop the trans into second and the MH will hold about 40mph towing a small trailer going up the mountains. I get about 6.3mpg going up hill running the genny and average around 7.5-7.8 mpg all around with the genny running. Just go slow and enjoy the view!
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Old 11-06-2014, 07:19 PM   #25
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Just to keep the facts straight, the earlier Chevy big block was a 427, not 454, but I'm not exactly sure when it started. I know our 1983 Winnebago Chieftain was a carburated 427, and I think this engine had throttle body fuel injection before the 454 came along.

Back to one of the topics; I also added a secondary transmission cooler to every MH I owned, and almost always tow a race car trailer with tires, toolbox, etc.

1976 Midas Mini. Driven 97,000 miles from new.
1983 Winnebago Chieftain. Driven 115,000 miles from not quite new
1995 Safari Trek. Driven 137,000 miles from new
1999 Safari Trek. 36,000 miles in our ownership and still counting

None of these vehicles had a single issue with their transmissions. I'm a big believer in monitoring transmission temperatures. I originally used an aftermarket transmission temperature gauge, but now use a scangauge
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Old 11-06-2014, 08:21 PM   #26
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Your Chieftian would have been unusual as my Dads '78 Midas had a 454. I very distinctly remember that. It also had plenty of engine out west in the higher altitudes. But that coach only weighed 11K lbs.

A little further reading shows that the 454 began in 1970. There was a commercial 427 that was used in some of the Bluebird buses up until 1995. So it possible the Winnie used that engine version, even though most other motorhomes used the 454.
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Old 11-06-2014, 09:27 PM   #27
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Hmmm. Is the memory really the first thing to go?. I sure thought my Winnie was a 427, and I had the full set of factory service manuals. It was only a 26' long class A, but that was some time ago...

And, our '76 Midas Mini class C was definitely a small block 400. It had to climb the road up to the Eisenhower tunnel on the shoulder with the hazard blinkers on (towing the car trailer). The next year, the Winnie hauled the same trailer; slowly up the same grade, but easier than the Midas.

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Your Chieftian would have been unusual as my Dads '78 Midas had a 454. I very distinctly remember that. It also had plenty of engine out west in the higher altitudes. But that coach only weighed 11K lbs.

A little further reading shows that the 454 began in 1970. There was a commercial 427 that was used in some of the Bluebird buses up until 1995. So it possible the Winnie used that engine version, even though most other motorhomes used the 454.
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Old 11-06-2014, 10:06 PM   #28
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I have a '92 carbed Gen V 454 in a heavy 25' boat. It pushes fine in the flat but have never had it up a 7% grade.
So your say'n it won't go up Hoover Dam? I think if you get a really good run at it??? I want to see the video! Rail!
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