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Old 10-14-2012, 01:01 AM   #1
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what engine do i have?

I just got a 1981 winniebago brave that needs lots of TLC, and trying to figure out which engine it has, vin decoders keep saying invalid maybe someone knows one that works. the frame stickers says it was build in 06/81 and finished by winnie on 07/81. thanks in advance

vin :1GBJP87W0B3318475
model :WCF26RH
body serial:10F49M263990
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Old 10-14-2012, 01:54 AM   #2
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My guess is the P87 part of your VIN is really P37, a very common number for RV chassis. If that's the case, you have a 7.4 L Chevy motor (454cu). Double check the VIN....

(Changing the 87 to 37 results in a valid VIN)
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Old 10-14-2012, 05:21 AM   #3
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http://www.winnebagoind.com/service/.../81wdf26rh.pdf
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Old 10-14-2012, 09:30 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midniteoyl View Post
By the PDF it could be a Chevy or dodge engine.
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Old 10-14-2012, 11:41 AM   #5
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RVeer was correct in saying that the p87 should be P37

its a 454 chevy big block, weird thing is this motor has a holley carb and not a rochester, is that common or just an odd setup for mine?
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Old 10-14-2012, 11:43 AM   #6
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Note on the VIN decoders.. There is a somewhat comlex mathmatical formula that is sued to determine the value of each digit in the vin, (Each positon has a different multiplier it seems) You add them all up, divide by a constant, and ONE position (it has a multiplier of zero by the way) is the remainder.. Yes, I know which one. And yes I have constructed valid fake vins in the past. (Completely by accident I assure you, I was testing a "Vin-Fixer" at the time so valid is NOT what we wanted)

The letter "O" Is not normally used (Though there is at least one exception).

If the change of 87 to 37 someone up-thread posted made it valid.. I'd guess that is the problem.. Re-check and re-read the VIN to be sure you got it right, DO NOT use your registration/title, Michigan Secratary of state gote mine wrong several vehicles ago (I fixed it the next year)

The above is titled: Things you learn when you get paid to tell cops where to go for a living.
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Old 10-14-2012, 12:47 PM   #7
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holley carb weird ? what intake manifold does it have ? some one might have taken off the original and replaced with an after market. but holley did make some spread bore carbs. i like holleys, but they are not the best on big blocks for gas milage. holley carbs, except spread bores, have the same primary as secondary bores. on a 600 thats ok, but on 750, 780, and bigger the primarys are to large to keep the air speed up at flat land cruise conditions. now the 600cfm primarys are a good size for those conditions. but a 600 will not feed a big block. hence a spread bore (quadrojet) small primarys huge secondaries. imho go to the junk yard and pick up at least a throttel body injection. (easy change over) or better yet get the multi port injection. (more work). and pick up hp. and better yet gas milage.
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Old 10-14-2012, 03:48 PM   #8
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im on a tight budget when fixing this thing, next weekend im heading over to tear apart the upper engine and clean up what i can. strong engine but the holley is dripping gas into the engine rather then misting like it should, and being an '81 i was considering going back to a rochester. but that will be way down line ill be taking pics of my restoration cause it looks like a nice project and after mechanical is done its all redecorating and rebuilding the bunk beds and bathroom.
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Old 10-14-2012, 05:31 PM   #9
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on a holley there are different bowl to body gaskets. as i remember when you take them off there is a hole in the center. if you have this style and use the gasket that doesn't seal around this hole gas comes out of the float bowls and floods the engine. sorry a can't remember more but it's been a long time since i played with holleys. what i did (when i put the wrong gasket on) was take the carb off hook a electric pump to it and run it over a bucket to see where it was leaking from. but it was the wrong gasket. if not, if it has set for a long time maybe the floats are stuck and not shuting off the fuel.
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Old 10-14-2012, 08:55 PM   #10
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o'reilly has a holley rebuild kit for most common carbs, like 30ish bucks so when i head back over I'm just ripping the carb off and bringing it back to were I'm stating so i can break it down without worrying to much about for getting parts (at my moms nearest parts store is like 10 miles),
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Old 10-15-2012, 01:05 PM   #11
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one thing to watchout for on a holley is the power valve. when and if your engine coughs or backfires it would take out the power valve. aftermarket came out with one that would not blow out. now when i played with holleys and big blocks was a long time ago so maybe all the kits have this style valve in them. i'd check out some of the racing catalogs and racing site forums to pick there brains. also the quick check on power valves i did in addition to the stock single stage power valves, they now have 2 and 3 stage power valves available. anyway good luck with your project and have fun with your rv. some thing i also remembered and i dont remember witch mh i was working on that had a 454 in it. they had a habit of breaking the exhaust manufolds. when i crawled under the manufacturer had solid mounted the exhause system to the frame instead of using hangers that would allow the system to move around. (when the chassis flexs, when the motor torques up) i suggect checking yours. (the rubber hangers were the good ones back then)
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Old 10-15-2012, 01:17 PM   #12
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The last time I played with a big block Chevy was my '67 Camaro with the '66 375 HP 396 (NHRA factored to 450 HP) with "rock crusher" trans. Traded it in in '69.
Those were the days!!
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Old 10-15-2012, 01:49 PM   #13
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mr_d that was chevys mystery motor (the 396). hard be believe the 409 was the developement motor for the 396. back in the day were i lived no one had $. when i got into racing bikes i got my 69 f-350, being stupid everyone said you couldn't get the fe's to run (except the 406 and 427) i fould a 428 and worked her over lots of hp (should have put the $ in a 460). f-350 utility body loaded for mech truck with welder. 12 ft cabover and 250 maico on back. against 1/2 ton chevy 283 empty. took it out of the hole and walked away. had to make my own motor mounts, one jab of the throttel would take out stockers every time. good old days.... 36 cents a gallon for chevron white pump. sounds like you had a lot of fun with your camaro. one engine i would have loved to see was chryslers 426. ford wanted to bring their 427 single over head cam out so they could race what is now nascar. chrysler was in favor trying to get nascar to allow theem to use the 427. they had developed the 426 twin over head cam can't remember if it was 2 or 4 valve engine. would have killed the ford and everything else. if i remember right they built some prototypes. still p.o. at ford. that 426 would have been fun to watch. and dream about getting my hands on.
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Old 10-15-2012, 02:02 PM   #14
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The Winnebago web site says it is a 350 engine so it is chevy.
Product Information: 1981
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