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Old 06-19-2011, 07:14 PM   #1
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computer chip upgrade?

I was wondering if there is a computer chip performance upgrade for a 1996 E350, 460ci., motor home class C.

I have seen them for cars and trucks but is there one that will help improve the performance (and milage) for a motor home.

Larry
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Old 06-19-2011, 09:23 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BARNES View Post
I was wondering if there is a computer chip performance upgrade for a 1996 E350, 460ci., motor home class C.

I have seen them for cars and trucks but is there one that will help improve the performance (and mileage) for a motor home.
Larry, I had a 1993 351 engine and I ran a chip in that thing. I believe the product came from a company called Hypertech. This chip uses the feature connector in the computer and the chip's interface was on an edge connector. An edge connector is the most unreliable electrical connector that I can think of. It was used quite a lot in IBM XTs and other 8086-8088 machines of that period of time.

The chip made my engine backfire and it never ran right so I had to call tech support and get a new chip. Anyway at the end of the day, I can not tell you for sure that it made a whole lot of difference.

Bank equipment on the other hand on a Ford does make significant strides in cranking up the performance of your vehicle. If your in it for the Penny you may as well be in it for the Pound. I really did like the performance enhancement in the Trans Command.
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Old 06-20-2011, 03:12 PM   #3
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Hi Larry and Welcome to the Forum!

When I got my 460 powered motorhome, improving power was my first concern. I scoured the Internet for weeks looking for information on these "performance chips" for the 460 in a motorhome. The only comments I saw were from a few folks who had paid serveral hundred dollars for a custom burned chip created just for their particular RV. Unfortunately, no contact info was ever given.

It sounds like you want to bump up the power a bit without spending big bucks, like on the Banks system. IMHO, the cheapest way to free up a few ponies on the 460 is to replace the VERY restrictive factory muffler with something freer flowing. If you don't want to be too noisy, look for the Walker "Big Truck" muffler. If you like a louder, throatier exhaust, then Flowmaster, Magnaflow, Gibson and others make some nice mufflers. The next step would be headers and full exhaust.

BTW, if you are looking to improve gas mileage as well . . . stop looking. Not gonna happen.
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Old 06-20-2011, 06:53 PM   #4
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better performance does not equal better fuel mileage. Many chips on gasoline engines will require premium fuel.

My experience would be to put on headers and a low restriction exhaust.

Ken
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Old 06-20-2011, 09:06 PM   #5
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I have contacted a few companies that make reprogramers for the chips. They will work on trucks and cars but nothing for the motor homes.

The first thing I thought of was to open the exhaust. Dont want to get caught without a cat converter on the system, but headers and pipes would be awsome....

I had a 27', 85 Aleggro with a carbed 454. All the smog pump, plumbing etc just ate up the power. I got rid of it about 18 years ago and was glad to get rid of it.

Just purchased this motor home from a 70 year old lady. Was told I would get 9 MPG. She did say she never drove on the interstate. I guess we will see how it does.

Anyone ever put headers on the 460? If so what type did you use?

Larry
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Old 06-21-2011, 02:34 PM   #6
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Anyone ever put headers on the 460? If so what type did you use?

Larry
Larry,

The premium RV exhaust is the Banks system - unfortunately, the cost is also premium.

As you can see in my signature line I have Hedman coated headers and a full Flowmaster exhaust system. Cost was about $1000 for everything and I did it myself. That said, your Class C chassis is much tighter to work on than my F53 chassis so keep that in mind if you plan to DIY. Also, be aware that if you break off exhaust manifold bolts in the process it can be difficult to remove the remaining threads. I was lucky and mine all came out in one piece. Not everyone has had the same luck.

For me the change was well worth it and the 460 really "woke up" now that it can breathe.
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Old 06-22-2011, 04:14 PM   #7
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I know what you mean by waking up a motor. I installed a 350 in my 86 JC-7 jeep. When I lived in Chicago area I had to use the stock 6cyl exhaust on the 350 to be legal in the smog testing.
After the test I would take off the restricted single exhaust and put on the headers and Magnaflow. You talk about waking up......

I can see where the space could be a issue with headers. The heat generated by them would raise the under hood temps. Maybe just leave the stock headsers and put on a dual exhaust off the stock headers. I know that would help.

What did you do about the O2 sensor?

Thanks for the idea.

Larry
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Old 06-23-2011, 10:36 PM   #8
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The headers I used were the Hedman Elite ceramic coated. They are CARB certified with an O2 bung and are a 2 into 1 design for a single outlet. The Flowmaster exhaust followed the factory path and used the original hanger points. I had to make 1 pipe cut for correct length. The rest was completely bolt-on.
Since the headers are coated, they hold the heat in and actually reduce underhood temps compared to the factory cast iron restrictors. Non-coated headers are a different story.
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