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Old 06-27-2010, 06:48 AM   #1
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Talking Initial cleaning equals lucky find!

Hi Everyone, I was doing an initial cleaning on the motorhome I posted earlier (1972 Apollo 26' class A) and in the very back compartment, under all the cassettes, tools, and mouse nests I founs a leather bag that has "Apollo Motorhomes" stamped onto it.
Of course I had to stop and look thru it. I found out that I am the 3rd owner, I have all the repair/ owners/ and parts books for every apliance in the MH. I also have the original Equipment Identification sticker, the Dodge chassis operation manual, the original emmisions book, and a whole bunch of receipts from the past 30 years.
So, finding this has answered one of my questions. What motor the thing has. On the internet, everything pointed to a Chrysler 440. I did not have a chance to crawl under ot get the numbers off the motor, so I was assuming. But the equipment card identifies the motor as being a Chysler 413-1. So of course I did a little research and found many hot rod links that say this motor is a gem for motorhomes and if taken care of, should last 250 - 300,000 miles.
Does anyone have any experiece with this motor and how it pulls a motorhome? And possibly with a 26' pontoon boat (another 1972 antique we use). Would love to hear any stories.
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Old 06-27-2010, 07:29 AM   #2
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Those old 440's are the best, hands down. Just give it a good clean cooling system, an A-1 tune up and you are ready. Pulling the boat will be no problem. The hard parts in the 727 trans are bulletproof. The rubber seals after 30+ years may give you trouble, but a rebuild should be inexpensive. Change the rear end oil, grease or replace all of the u-joints in the drive shaft and have fun. Buy you an extra ballast resistor and put in your mobile tool box or doodad box.
Front wheel bearings, service them at home now. When is the last time it has a full brake service? The rubber in the braking system could be on it's last leg, check the system. Do as much as you can while at or near your home, having things done on the road can really cost you . The shops know that you have two choices, leave it dead or fix it, either way you lose.
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Old 06-27-2010, 09:36 AM   #3
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I thought it was the 440 but it is the 413 instead. From the numbers I have seen, this 413 ci has 40 more hp and 100 more fp than a 1975 440 ci.
We are cleaning up the inside, and during the cooler days (less than 100 degrees) I will be doing bearings, brakes, and other exterior things. Of course I will be going thru all the fluids, changing seals that I come across that will change out without major parts removal. I know that I want to be certain that it is ready before it hits the road and we just want to enjoy ourselves.
My next major project will be the brakes. The system is dry which means a leak somewhere. I will fill, bleed, and inspect the system. Then find the parts to fix. More than likely, for safetys sake, I will rebuild all wheel cylinders and master cylinder. All I know is that I don't want to be hauling my boat, then loose brakes due to a 50 cent seal that was questionable in the first place. I have looked at the NAPA website and this chassis is listed in their database so parts should be easy to find
Thanks for the concern. Any help or advice is always welcome due to this being our first motorhome
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Old 06-27-2010, 04:45 PM   #4
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I thought it was the 440 but it is the 413 instead. From the numbers I have seen, this 413 ci has 40 more hp and 100 more fp than a 1975 440 ci.
My next major project will be the brakes. The system is dry which means a leak somewhere. I will fill, bleed, and inspect the system. Then find the parts to fix. More than likely, for safetys sake, I will rebuild all wheel cylinders and master cylinder.
By 1975 smog laws had really hurt all of the big blocks, but they still did a good job, especially if you tweaked them. Do you know what the date code is on your engine? What carb do you have? One of the big jobs that I did do my Dodge was the brakes. Everything was OK until one day, on the way back home through the mountains, and the brakes felt funny. Got back home OK and off came the wheels, the rears were the problem, but I did all four. Have fun with your project.
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Old 06-27-2010, 04:58 PM   #5
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Along with the other projects you might consider "opening up" the exhaust for better flow if a previous owner has not done so. Exhaust headers and larger exhaust system would, I think, provide a little more usable power, perhaps better fuel economy and allow some heat to escape.
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Old 06-28-2010, 06:57 AM   #6
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I have not checked the date code on the motor, but in the paperwork I found, I also found the date of Mfg was 4/13/72. It does have a Holley 4 bbl on top of it so I think some tweeking has been done already. Not sure if it was original equipment or not.
The smog laws took effect in '72 and I know it hurt the power on all motors. But here is the link that I keep going to for comparison and if you notice it is between '72 & '73 that horsepowers really drop. I do have the 412-1 motor for '72 which should have all the power I need.
Engine Specs & Comparison Chart
I am going to go thru everything and am looking forward to using this thing. We always go camping in the fall thru spring due to the summers being too hot. We are hoping to have it done before this next fall. We just want to make sure everything will be trouble free. It's a good thing you made it home to check those brakes Gold.
Thanks for the support and info again.
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Old 06-28-2010, 07:54 AM   #7
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those old 440 run great we use to go to Pismo Beach tow a big trailer with sand buggys bikes wood had a great time Enjoy
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Old 06-28-2010, 10:01 AM   #8
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The 413 was a great engine. It's a member of the RB or "Raised deck B series" line. It's the same family as the 426 wedge and the 440. It has the same stroke with a slightly smaller bore which favors it toward torque production which is great for truck applications.

Chrysler big blocks are great engines and bulletproof. You should have a long happy life from it.

I'd convert it to electronic ignition and let it ride. Mopar Performance used to make an electronic ignition conversion kit in a box. Excellent kit, just dropped in with minimal wiring and worked great.
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Old 06-28-2010, 01:45 PM   #9
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Nice find there Mr. Apollo!
The old Apollos were well built and a premium coach in their day.
My neighbor has had 2 old Apollos and a Champion (at different times), ALL with the Chrysler BB and ALL of them suffered from exhaust manifold leaks. Headers and a good exhaust are recommended.
As for the drop in HP/TQ ratings, it was in the early 70's that the method of reporting those figures changed and therefore the numbers changed. As I recall the difference had to do with taking readings with open manifolds, no accys, open air cleaner, etc. as opposed to full exhaust, all accys, factory air cleaner. There shouldn't be any substantial power difference between a '72 and a '73 engine. The only real change happened between '70 and '71 when Detroit quit making high compression engines (emissions regulations). Obviously a high compresssion engine will make more power than the a low compression one (all other things equal).
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Old 06-29-2010, 07:25 AM   #10
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When I first pulled it out of the weeds I checked all the fluids, put some gas to it, and the thing started! So, I know it will run with the current ignition system. Sometimes, I think the older systems are more reliable, sure, more maintenance with the points, resisters, etc. but I don't think we'll change it due to cost also. Maybe later down the line, but for now, we are looking at all the crucial items (brakes, trans, seals, etc). I'll have plenty of time to price them though.
My Apollo does have a small exhaust leak when it first starts, but once it's warm it goes away. I know that it will only do this for a little while before it gets worse so it is on the to-do list. So, it soulds like exhaust leaks are common on these old chysler motors? But, something that looks this cool should also sound good, so I like the header/new exhaust idea better.
I look forward to any more input.
Thanks, Dave
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Old 06-29-2010, 12:15 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by 72apollo View Post
When I first pulled it out of the weeds I checked all the fluids, put some gas to it, and the thing started! So, I know it will run with the current ignition system. Sometimes, I think the older systems are more reliable, sure, more maintenance with the points, resisters, etc. but I don't think we'll change it due to cost also. Maybe later down the line, but for now, we are looking at all the crucial items (brakes, trans, seals, etc). I'll have plenty of time to price them though.
My Apollo does have a small exhaust leak when it first starts, but once it's warm it goes away. I know that it will only do this for a little while before it gets worse so it is on the to-do list. So, it soulds like exhaust leaks are common on these old chysler motors? But, something that looks this cool should also sound good, so I like the header/new exhaust idea better.
I look forward to any more input.
Thanks, Dave
For the exhaust leak, new donuts and tighteninig up bolts works wonders.
You know how to set points? Wow, a lost art, the points work well in an RV because we don't rev to five and six thousand rpm.(no need to rush) They are also the easiest to diagnose (test light) when there is a problem, plus they are cheap to buy. If you buy headers, buy a good set, cheap ones can be a headache also.
J
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Old 06-29-2010, 04:55 PM   #12
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I have a few vehicles that still have points ('51 Chevy 4400, this RV, old farm equipment, etc.) but I have a tool that I don't think you can even buy anymore, a dwell meter. Makes the job alot easier. Like you said, easy to trouble shoot and shouldn't give any problems unless I start racing with it. Just a little more maintenance and parts are cheap.
We are on a budget also, so thing have to remain simple for now
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Old 06-29-2010, 07:01 PM   #13
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Ha! I have an old dwell meter sitting in my tool box in the garage at the stick house. I also have a vacuum gauge that I had to use for a 1973 Vovo - but I probably forgot how to use it.

As for the find of the manuals and receipts, that is just a great find. I can imagine that you were slightly elated.
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Old 06-29-2010, 09:04 PM   #14
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Ha! I have an old dwell meter sitting in my tool box in the garage at the stick house. I also have a vacuum gauge that I had to use for a 1973 Vovo - but I probably forgot how to use it.

As for the find of the manuals and receipts, that is just a great find. I can imagine that you were slightly elated.
I use mine on a regular basis, although I really don't want to. But I'm glad to see that there is someone else who still has the tools to work on the older stuff. Of course I have my vacume gauge in the same box as the dwell meter. Just a 15 minute adjustment every 6 months and you're good to go. So easy but still so complicated!
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