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Old 06-29-2015, 09:11 AM   #15
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Check for replacement harness at salvage maybe.
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Old 06-29-2015, 04:46 PM   #16
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I would add that you should solder the connections rather than using crimp connectors. This make the repair permanent. Crimp connection corrode over time.

I agree the fire was most likely gasoline leaking onto the manifold.

Agree the solenoid you were sold overheated because it was a short duty model. I prefer to use latching relays as opposed to solenoids.
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Old 06-29-2015, 04:48 PM   #17
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Agree the solenoid is a starter solenoid (intermittent short-term use) and should have been a continuous duty solenoid. The tube thing was heat pipe for the old carb, you can just make a plate out of some steel (say 1/8 inch) to cover that hole in intake, use a gasket to seal it. Fire could have been stuck float that flooded, or the backfiring could cause flames to shoot out the top of carb. Your air filter housing can work, just get longer stud. Fix the burnt wiring and rubber parts. The run-on (dieseling) is usually symptom of incorrect timing. My guess is you need to check the value and compare to what it recommends, as well as new cap, rotor and other ignition parts. You want a good clean spark at the right time for best performance and fuel mileage.

have a friend with mechanical knowledge and skills help you out if needed. The Edelbrock carb is a decent choice, no need to change it. Just make sure it is adjusted for best running. Idle mixture, idle speed, float level, are some examples. You can do more adjustments, but these get into more skilled carb expert type changes.

Good cooling system is a must, especially out west in hotter temps.
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Old 06-29-2015, 05:29 PM   #18
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For the doghouse cover (hump) I had considerable success covering the inside with the silverbacked insulation material which was cut to fit and spray glued in place. The helped a LOT on heat and noise from below. I have used this on a couple of motorhomes and it always helped. I think I got mine by mail order, but it may be available in auto parts stores or maybe even in building supply stores.
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Old 06-30-2015, 12:04 PM   #19
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You mentioned the engine 'running high.' Do you mean high RPM or a rich mixture? A rich mixture could have caused the dieseling and backfire. Also, I wonder if some vacuum hoses were left off or leaking that caused the shifting and other issues? These vehicles in the last few years of trying to make a carbureted engine work with the stricter emissions regulations were a nightmare. Smog pumps and other stop-gap methods that few mechanics understood were all alleviated by engine computers and fuel injection. You might look to swap your rusted and burnt carbureted engine with a wrecked or junked contemporary engine with ECU controlled engine. You've put so much work into the living quarters that look great, it would be a shame to have a taped and epoxied together, rough engine.

Sounds like you need a new/rebuilt radiator, and a lot of other components under the hood. Look into buying a complete van front end and remove the systems to update your RV and fit in the space of the '84 body.

You might even look into a wrecked Dodge/Cummins pick up to convert your RV to diesel.
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Old 07-01-2015, 02:31 AM   #20
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100% agree wrong solenoid duty cycle...

I would purchase another E350 for a few hundred dollars with the same motor similar year... I would then carefully work through the wiring... (and carb)...

Also go to a marina and get some marine quality wire/connectors and visit marine wiring sites (RV industry wiring scary)... Personally I would clean up all the wiring and simplify it.. put in a marine switch and fuse/breaker everything!! I was 100% solder guy on all my builds but marine industry has me re-thinking this.. Go to a Marina and look at the crimp connectors great for inexperienced to get great lifetime connections..

Antifreeze should be mixed as per bottle (some comes pre-mixed), but never straight without water...

It will run again... Just take it slow... make it clean and neat, everything on a fuse, and swap to electric or mechanical choke....
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Old 07-01-2015, 09:51 AM   #21
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Thank you everyone! A lot of great advice here. We are now almost positive we didn't have the carb adjusted right and are trying to find a mechanic in the area to help us with that once we get there. We will be replacing all the vacuum lines as they were all brittle and are thinking of possibly desmogging too to clean it all up in there. While trying to figure out where everything went we did find two vacuum lines that weren't plugged so that was also an issue we didn't even know about.

Thanks again, you've all been super helpful. We'll start working on getting our beast on the road and keep you updated.

Wish us luck!
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Old 07-01-2015, 10:07 AM   #22
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Wait on the de-smogging part until you get it running well.

However that does not mean to rebuild a smoged engine...

First check with your DMV regarding requirements for YOUR UNIT.

Some states only test on transfer while others test every 2 years while most stop after certain age.

If you can avoid smog stuff then removing it will improve things in yours as most were bad things to performance that made engine run lean and hot.

How to...?

Simple...

That same engine was in use for many years so you need to locate a manual for similar vehicle with same engine in pre-smog condition.

Look for "non-california" version in almost same year.

It will show federal version that has minimal if any stupid smog stuff.

Distributor will be different as california one may have vacuum advance AND RETARD.

Do seek out some help as it can be difficult to learn in cramped quarters.
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Old 07-01-2015, 10:39 AM   #23
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The issue with removing emission control devices is registering the vehicle in a locality with emission restrictions. The RV will not be able to be registered in California and many metropolitan areas of the U.S.

I agree, the emission controls on engines in those years are difficult to maintain and restore to proper operation, but removing one component can have serious performance and durability issues on the engine. Timing, fuel mix, transmission shifting, all are cross-linked in a way that just removing or bypassing some can create conditions that are tough to correct. With all the investment in restoring this RV, to leave the engine as is/was is going to cause issues down the road. (literally!) Even if it's restored to running, finding a mechanic that remembers how to diagnose and repair it while traveling will just get more difficult. Sadly, today's 'technicians' know how to hook up a computer and follow on-screen directions, but tweaking a carburetor, setting points and timing are no longer in many shops skill set.
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Old 07-01-2015, 11:26 AM   #24
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FL. Has NO inspections at all. Do you feel safe now.
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Old 07-02-2015, 10:00 AM   #25
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Like twinboat said, Florida has no inspections at all so we're ok in that aspect. One of the biggest issues we have encountered is what BFLinn181 mentioned, we can't find a mechanic that actually knows how to work on our kiddo, most won't even look at it!
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Old 07-02-2015, 10:02 AM   #26
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I think you might want to dig a little deeper before sinking money into this rig. I would have a mechanic do a comprehensive check of the engine, including a compression test, before doing any repairs.
How many miles are on this engine? Do you know if it was service properly before you obtained it? I would be concerned that you may have burnt or leaking valves, a bad timing chain or other internal maladies.
Although you believe that the carburetor was the problem, don't assume anything.
I think you would be heartbroken if you re-wired, installed new carb, fixed the radiator and everything else, only to have the motor be on it's deathbed.
Find someone you trust and have them tell you exactly what will be needed.
A motorhome of that vintage could have many hidden gremlins.

Good luck with the process and keep us updated.

Best regards
Bill
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Old 07-02-2015, 10:04 AM   #27
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Great advice, we have the Haynes but for our year/model, we're going to try this out so even if we don't end up de-smogging we know what's essential and what's clutter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TQ60 View Post
.

How to...?

Simple...

That same engine was in use for many years so you need to locate a manual for similar vehicle with same engine in pre-smog condition.

Look for "non-california" version in almost same year.

It will show federal version that has minimal if any stupid smog stuff.

Distributor will be different as california one may have vacuum advance AND RETARD.

Do seek out some help as it can be difficult to learn in cramped quarters.
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Old 07-02-2015, 10:10 AM   #28
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Hi Bill,

It has 64,000 miles but no clue how it was maintained before us, we were bamboozled when we bought it unfortunately (partly our fault too for not knowing enough before buying) but I'm going to assume it wasn't serviced properly.

We had a mechanic who is a friend of my dads take a look at it when we first brought it home and he said it needed a new thermostat, thermostat housing & gasket, valve cover gaskets and a new carb, so that's what we replaced. It's incredibly difficult finding someone to even come look at a rig like ours down here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by superlucky View Post
I think you might want to dig a little deeper before sinking money into this rig. I would have a mechanic do a comprehensive check of the engine, including a compression test, before doing any repairs.
How many miles are on this engine? Do you know if it was service properly before you obtained it? I would be concerned that you may have burnt or leaking valves, a bad timing chain or other internal maladies.
Although you believe that the carburetor was the problem, don't assume anything.
I think you would be heartbroken if you re-wired, installed new carb, fixed the radiator and everything else, only to have the motor be on it's deathbed.
Find someone you trust and have them tell you exactly what will be needed.
A motorhome of that vintage could have many hidden gremlins.

Good luck with the process and keep us updated.

Best regards
Bill
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