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Old 06-01-2016, 03:22 PM   #113
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Hey Erik,
A quick question about the Autobahn (not to distract you from task at hand).

I have limited knowledge about the Autobahn, but I'm surprised at taking the Elandan on it. Question: How slow are you allowed to go?

In my coach I imagine I'd be very nervous going 62 mph with people flying by or coming up behind at 150 mph.

Regards,
W.D.

I'll comment on the cab over stuff after I think about it a while.
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Old 06-01-2016, 07:45 PM   #114
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Why not get an old cab-over tractor and use the cab. Close up the front of the house and then extend the rear of the cab over the house a little with a small overhang so it doesn't touch. Although you would lose access from the house to the cab and the extra space unless you put in a pass-through (but then maybe that would squeak too).
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Old 06-01-2016, 09:02 PM   #115
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Erik, if you stuck to the floor removal idea. Here's something for thought, it may not be a feasible idea however.

What if, at the back edge of the floor, directly behind seat mounts where the sheet metal turns downward.......you were able to weld in a heavy duty piano hinge clear across. The seats stay mounted and the whole floor tilts backward exposing engine area. The weight of the seats would allow you to stand behind the seats and pull back on the head rests and the floor would easily tilt backward.

The only challenge would be calculating how much, if not all of the floor would be able to tilt back without hitting the roof...or other things...but I think a good portion of it would. As for the carpet, it could stay also....cut the new carpet in the exact shape of the tilt-able floor.....you could have a tight seam there, and it wouldn't look bad or noticeable.....you could even have an edging sewn to the carpet seam edges on both sides of seam. This would be durable too, no fraying over time.

For a good seal around floor section....and good support......you could weld in metal under all points (entire parameter) of movable floor, and install a rubber gasket on it all way round for floor to rest on......then devise a screw type latch, or threaded latch system of sorts that would pull the floor tight against it's stops when turned or tightened.

If this was to work successfully, your engine would be completely exposed for view or maintenance from driver and passenger doors. Lastly, of course you'd want to install a safety stop of some sort to keep the floor in "up" position so it wouldn't fall on you while working on engine.

Best regards,
W.D.
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Old 06-01-2016, 10:44 PM   #116
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Where there's a will there's a way. If you have the skills and time you could separate the house from the cab with each having its own wall and a entrance door going back to the house area like the doors on a train. Having the cab separate would allow for tilting. Lots of design work. Interesting thought and one of a kind.
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Old 06-02-2016, 04:14 AM   #117
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Originally Posted by Electra 225 View Post
Hey Erik,
A quick question about the Autobahn (not to distract you from task at hand).

I have limited knowledge about the Autobahn, but I'm surprised at taking the Elandan on it. Question: How slow are you allowed to go?

In my coach I imagine I'd be very nervous going 62 mph with people flying by or coming up behind at 150 mph.

Regards,
W.D.

I'll comment on the cab over stuff after I think about it a while.
Driving on the Autobahn is like driving on most freeways. Most drivers keep their speed under 150kph (90mph) for the sections where there is no speed limit. There is a recommended speed limit of 130kph (80mph) for the sections where there is no posted speed limit. Sometimes there is a different speed limit posted for the different lanes (130+, 100, 80kph).

Not all of the Autobahn is unlimited speed. Much of it in the north west is speed regulated. Vehicles over 3.5 metric tons are limited to 80kph (50mph) and required to stay in the right lane except for when passing. Slower vehicles are always required to stay to the right. All vehicles over 3.5 tons also requires the driver to hold a heavy vehicle licence.

My 3/4-ton Suburban is limited to 80kph in Germany. :( I just hang out in the right lane with all of the trucks and take it easy. It's not as bad as it sounds. You enjoy the scenery and think of all of the gas you're saving.

Yes, people fly by you on the Autobahn. I have been on both sides of it. You get used to the people who fly by you at high speeds. The ones I find most unnerving are the ones who drive just a bit faster than the trucks and block the high speed lane and then duck in right in front of you when somebody comes up behind them.

Most of the time the traffic is so heavy in western Germany that it feels just like being back in Los Angeles.

I would say that driving in Europe I find Norway the most unnerving. The narrow roads (had to fold the mirrors in on the Suburban to negotiate meeting a truck once) next to a mountain with a drop on the other side and tight turns that require the tourist busses to make three point turns. And those are the major roads.

Even with those challenges, I would not hesitate to take my coach on trips across Europe. It's a beautiful continent with loads of destinations only a few hours apart.
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Old 06-02-2016, 04:42 AM   #118
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Electra 225 View Post
Erik, if you stuck to the floor removal idea. Here's something for thought, it may not be a feasible idea however.

What if, at the back edge of the floor, directly behind seat mounts where the sheet metal turns downward.......you were able to weld in a heavy duty piano hinge clear across. The seats stay mounted and the whole floor tilts backward exposing engine area. The weight of the seats would allow you to stand behind the seats and pull back on the head rests and the floor would easily tilt backward.

The only challenge would be calculating how much, if not all of the floor would be able to tilt back without hitting the roof...or other things...but I think a good portion of it would. As for the carpet, it could stay also....cut the new carpet in the exact shape of the tilt-able floor.....you could have a tight seam there, and it wouldn't look bad or noticeable.....you could even have an edging sewn to the carpet seam edges on both sides of seam. This would be durable too, no fraying over time.

For a good seal around floor section....and good support......you could weld in metal under all points (entire parameter) of movable floor, and install a rubber gasket on it all way round for floor to rest on......then devise a screw type latch, or threaded latch system of sorts that would pull the floor tight against it's stops when turned or tightened.

If this was to work successfully, your engine would be completely exposed for view or maintenance from driver and passenger doors. Lastly, of course you'd want to install a safety stop of some sort to keep the floor in "up" position so it wouldn't fall on you while working on engine.

Best regards,
W.D.
Thanks for the tips W.D.

I have given some thought to how the floor would fold, but I was thinking folding the chairs out the side doors. Folding them backwards also has merit. One thing I thought about while reading your post is having the two halves fold separately so that you can get access to only one side of the engine.

One advantage to making a folding floor is that it is much easier and I can do the work with the cab off the frame.

The question then comes to how to best mount the chairs so that they don't shake while driving. Perhaps even make the chairs easily removable. I'll have to take a look at how minivans mount their rear seats and maybe grab a pair for the bases for seat mounts.

I have also started thinking about making a clear doghouse "for show." It shouldn't be that hard to do something in vacuum formed acrylic.
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Old 06-02-2016, 04:46 AM   #119
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Originally Posted by biker art View Post
Where there's a will there's a way. If you have the skills and time you could separate the house from the cab with each having its own wall and a entrance door going back to the house area like the doors on a train. Having the cab separate would allow for tilting. Lots of design work. Interesting thought and one of a kind.
Cool idea. One of my goals though is to keep the interior open. Big vintage RVs are rare here, and I want to keep the "OMG it's huge!" feeling as much as possible.
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Old 06-02-2016, 08:17 AM   #120
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I would suggest forgetting the cab over flip up. While it may seem neat, its a ton of work, compared to how often you would need it. If you do a full rebuild, or install a larger engine, the likelihood of needing to get at the engine to that extent is nill. Even so, if you blew the engine, you can still pull it from the inside, spending a lot less time than it would take to build a water tight flip up cab.

As far as engines and fuel efficiency goes, I would suggest going to a '96 or newer multi-port fuel injected engine, or see if you can find a 8.1 engine with the computer from a junk yard. That old stock 454 will not have the power to make use of lower gearing, so you will not gain efficiency. Secondly, the later GM designs use what is known as fast burn heads. It was discovered that there is an optimum point at which to push down on the piston. Any push before or after that point is less efficient. So that means that if one can focus the burn time to that optimum point, you will gain efficiency. Secondly, fast burn heads allow for higher compression, as the fuel and air is compacted into a very small area. This prevents detonation and allows higher compression on pump gas. Those two issues make a huge difference in fuel mileage. I can not over emphasize the importance of fast burn heads for fuel efficiency.

Lastly, I would suggest going with a 4L85e trans, rather than the 6l85e. You start cramming more gears into the same case, and something has to be smaller. You also need to make sure to get a 2000 year or later 4L85e. The later ones have the trans cooling lines separated with one nearer the back of the trans. That version will last much longer and has several bugs worked out of it. makes sure you get a xx85e, and not just an xx80e. The 85e has a 5 gear planetary rather than the 3 gear, which holds up better.

You need to change trans to change the gearing. The reason is that if you slow the engine down, you end up below the stall speed of the torque converter, and you waste energy on slip. You have to get a lock up torque converter to run the engine at low RPMs. When I first did my engine change, I could see this. Unless I was running above 2500 RPM, the torque converter was slipping. As a result, the mileage did not improve at slower speeds because the converter was slipping.
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Old 06-02-2016, 12:45 PM   #121
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Wow!... You are definately past the point of no return with this project. I can't wait to see how this turns out!
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Old 06-02-2016, 02:17 PM   #122
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I would suggest forgetting the cab over flip up. While it may seem neat, its a ton of work, compared to how often you would need it. If you do a full rebuild, or install a larger engine, the likelihood of needing to get at the engine to that extent is nill. Even so, if you blew the engine, you can still pull it from the inside, spending a lot less time than it would take to build a water tight flip up cab.

As far as engines and fuel efficiency goes, I would suggest going to a '96 or newer multi-port fuel injected engine, or see if you can find a 8.1 engine with the computer from a junk yard. That old stock 454 will not have the power to make use of lower gearing, so you will not gain efficiency. Secondly, the later GM designs use what is known as fast burn heads. It was discovered that there is an optimum point at which to push down on the piston. Any push before or after that point is less efficient. So that means that if one can focus the burn time to that optimum point, you will gain efficiency. Secondly, fast burn heads allow for higher compression, as the fuel and air is compacted into a very small area. This prevents detonation and allows higher compression on pump gas. Those two issues make a huge difference in fuel mileage. I can not over emphasize the importance of fast burn heads for fuel efficiency.

Lastly, I would suggest going with a 4L85e trans, rather than the 6l85e. You start cramming more gears into the same case, and something has to be smaller. You also need to make sure to get a 2000 year or later 4L85e. The later ones have the trans cooling lines separated with one nearer the back of the trans. That version will last much longer and has several bugs worked out of it. makes sure you get a xx85e, and not just an xx80e. The 85e has a 5 gear planetary rather than the 3 gear, which holds up better.

You need to change trans to change the gearing. The reason is that if you slow the engine down, you end up below the stall speed of the torque converter, and you waste energy on slip. You have to get a lock up torque converter to run the engine at low RPMs. When I first did my engine change, I could see this. Unless I was running above 2500 RPM, the torque converter was slipping. As a result, the mileage did not improve at slower speeds because the converter was slipping.
Thanks Daveinet, there's a lot of good information there. If I go with a Chevy engine and trans, I'll have to order them from the States. Heavy duty American engines and transmissions are rare here. But on the flip side, I can probably get some decent cash for my current engine/trans combo.

I didn't know about the 2000 change in the 4l85e and the difference between the 4l80e and 4l85e. I have the 4l80e in my 'Burb which is a nice transmission. Never had a problem with it. I'll have to do some more research on them. I suspect I'll have time before I need to make a final decision.
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Old 06-02-2016, 02:49 PM   #123
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The cab came off today. More of a pain that I expected due to all of the sealant used by Winnebago at the factory to seal all the poor aligned panels.

Starting to lift the cab


The cab is detached and only sealant holding on to it


The cab is free of the frame


Now this is what I call engine access!


Next step is removing the engine and transmission from the frame. Many of the fasteners on the engine and in the engine compartment are rusted beyond being able to get a grip with a wrench on them. I've been spraying them with penetrating oil for a few days now, and hopefully they will give.
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Old 06-03-2016, 12:06 AM   #124
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Not sure if you are able to buy Kroil where you are, but if you can, it is the best stuff out there. If not, mix Acetone and ATF, a well established home brew for removing bolts.

BTY: You stated big gas engines are rare there, so makes me curious what is in the Suburban.

I also can't imagine driving a vehicle that is limited to 50 mph. That seems unsafe, when everyone else is doing much faster. Studies by NHTSA have shown any vehicle traveling at 15% different than the mean speed of the traffic is much more likely to be involved in an accident. In many places in the US, the speed for all vehicles is 75 mph. Since they will give you 10 mph over, that means you can set your cruise at 82-3 mph and no one will bother you. My coach very much likes traveling at those speeds. For what ever reason, I travel faster in my motorhome than any of the other vehicles I drive.
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Old 06-03-2016, 02:16 AM   #125
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BTY: You stated big gas engines are rare there, so makes me curious what is in the Suburban.
I brought the Suburban over from the States when I moved home. It's a 4x4 with a 454 of course! Sits on 33" tires on Humvee run-flat wheels. I bring parts over for it in my suitcase when I travel on business to the States.
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Old 06-03-2016, 05:02 AM   #126
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With all of the diesels over here, why not put a Isuzu or Toyota diesel motor in it, tons of torque, and good fuel mileage! And the ease of finding parts! JMHO ,, Rail!
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