Originally Posted by High Roller
I have a '95 Southwind Storm with a 460. I thought the serpentine belt was going to be a tough job, but when I did it, it only takes about 10 -15 minutes.
Just open the doghouse on the inside, and throw an old pillow on top of the engine to lay your chest on. You can just feed the belt down from the top and just slide under the front of the motorhome to put the belt in the bottom pulley and any other pulleys it needs to go around, then go back inside and lay on top of the engine and use an adjustable wrench to take the tension off the tensioner and loop your belt over the pulley and release it.
I haven't changed the water pump yet, but it looks like the previous owner might have changed it already.
But you have to be prepared for unforseen things.
I did change the thermostat which is only 2 little 5/16" bolts, but I ran into a very common problem on these. The bolts holding the thermostat housing on were corroded in the aluminum intake manifold and would not crack loose. I tried penetrating oil, a little heat from a propane torch, and nothing would make these bolts budge. So needless to say they ended up snapping both bolts. I ended up having to drill out the broken bolts. This is a tricky job and make sure you drill dead center.
After I got the broken bolts out, I didn't like the looks of the threads in the intake manifold from the corrosion, and since there was still lots of meat around the holes, I drilled them out and tapped them to take a 3/8" bolt. I used allan head bolts because there wouldn't be room between the housing for a 9/16 wrench on a regular bolt.
Oh ya, I forgot to mention that in order to get a drill on the one thermostat bolt, I had to pull the distributor as well. Make sure you mark the distributor where the rotor is pointing and make a scribe mark on the base of the distributor and the block to you can get the thing back in as close to being timed as possible. You still have to re-check the timing with a timing light, but at lease it'll start.
I wasn't planning on writing a novel, but just wanted to illustrate how a job I thought was going to be hard (the belts) turned out to be easy peasy, and a job that should have been easy took about a day and a half.
Nothing is insurmountable, as long as you have the time, and in my case, I had nothing better to do anyway.
If you do your own work, you really get to know rig, and if you can do it yourself, it can turn a major problem into a minor inconvenience in case of something going wrong on the road.