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Snorin 10-21-2014 05:38 PM

Advice on engine removal '95 Seabreeze
Hello everyone! Need some help/suggestions. This is my first post.

Last year I put Thorley Headers on this RV engine (Chevy 454) and it's been running good but the last four weeks it's been making a clattering noise (more-so when cold) and much less when warmed up, during my weekly start and run for 30 minute sessions, as I don't drive it out but 4-5 times yearly.

Past Friday, we were headed for Luckenbach and while going up a slight hill as engine was revved-up, the engine started clattering and went into forced neutral so immediately pulled over. I was able to come to a stop (engine making a noticeable clattering-no oil leaking underneath), stop and start the engine and drive back home (we were only 5 miles down the road). We drove 20-30mph with engine staying at normal operating temperature back to the slip. It sounds like a rocker arm or rod? Not sure.

I would like to remove and rebuild the engine in my '95 Nat'l RV Seabreeze! I've rebuilt engines before but never in a motorhome! Yikes, I know it is a huge undertaking, to say the least. .

Is there anywhere I can go to find how this engine is supposed to be removed? Either by end-cap, or under or through the passenger window? Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated.


eddieelk 10-21-2014 05:45 PM

Google engine replacement on the Forum. Member pulled and rebuilt his 454, and posted great instructions. Eddie Elk.

MSHappyCampers 10-21-2014 07:17 PM

Hi Oren! Welcome to IRV2! It's great to have you join the gang! :dance:

Sorry I can't help with your questions.

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless! :thumb::D

Fred1609 10-21-2014 07:24 PM

Welcome to the forum Oren....all the best with your rebuild.

pivotdoc 10-21-2014 07:25 PM

Your cold clattering is probably collapsed piston skirts, they will rattle until they are warm enough to expand. The clattering (detonation) under load is probably galded piston skirts, they probably welded themselves to the cylinder wall due to excessive clearance (collapsed) and pulled aluminum from the skirt. A compression/blowby test will help confirm - but if it's high mileage and it's coming out anyway just save yourself the work. Good luck on the removal.........:dance: JB

jamesrxx951 10-21-2014 07:35 PM

How sure are you it is in the engine. I under stand the noise you are hearing but if the transmission neutraled out the source may be in the transmission. I have heard transmissions (usually out of the torque converter) make some heavy metallic knocking noises. The old 7.3L with the 4R100 transmission was notorious for very loud torque converter noise. You would swear it was in the engine. Broken flex plates can also replicate an engine knock. Being a GM it should be an easy test. Remove the torque converter bolts and push the converter back into the pump. Start the engine and listen for the noise.

DieselTech39 10-21-2014 09:42 PM


Glad you're aboard Oren. Sorry you're having problems. Hope you can get it repaired. Enjoy your adventures and be safe.

JohnRR 10-21-2014 10:07 PM

Good luck with your endeavor.

Medico 10-22-2014 07:48 AM Welcome and glad to meet you!

ahicks 10-22-2014 07:55 AM


Second vote for compression check. Until that's completed, my fingers would remain crossed!!

speed racer 10-22-2014 08:11 AM

If this is a P series chassis you would probably be better off taking it out in pieces(intake ,heads,trans) and then the short block. First make shure its nessasary. Another thing to check is the flex plate that the torque converter bolts to. I have seen people that thout they hade a rod knocking and it turned out to be a cracked or broken flex plate.(Fly Wheel)

Nick-B 10-22-2014 02:37 PM

Hi Oren and Welcome to the Forum!

I agree with those who recommend checking other causes. Your comment on a "forced neutral" would indicate transmission issues.

If it turns out that you do have a bad engine and need to pull it - do you have a driver's door on your Seabreeze? Pull the driver's seat and steering wheel and you should be able to pull it out the driver's door with a cherry picker hoist. Worst case, you might have to remove the heads first.

Best of luck and hoping it is something simple.

Snorin 10-27-2014 10:03 PM

Well, thanks to all for the advice. I've finally done the compression check and here are the results.
P1=120 P2=130
P3=135 P4= 0
P5=130 P6=130
P7=125 P8=130

NOT GOOD NEWS, of course! I would presume from my experience, it means tearing it down to the pistons and a complete overhaul? Are there any other possibilities or scenarios? Also, I could see where the gap for plug 4 was compressed to what it should normally be, suggesting that the piston may have hit the plug? I put these plugs in and know the gap was right on all about 30,000miles ago.

I couldn't find the link to the fellow who posted removing the engine. Sorry, just new here and couldn't figure it out.

Thanks again everyone for your help! :)

JohnRR 10-27-2014 10:20 PM

Have you considered doing a wet check as well? Put a couple of shots of oil in each cylinder and recheck the compression so as to be able to check the condition of the piston rings. This will let you know about the need for and extensive engine tear down compared to what looks like pulling one cylinder head as well as the intake manifold to make the repair.

With a few shots of oil you should see an increase of compression in all but the 0 cylinder, if you see a big increase then it would indicate time to replace the piston rings as well along with at least the rod bearings. Run a goggle check on it for more complete information.

It so far seems like a burnt valve or maybe a bent or stuck push rod.

Also if you have access to a vacuum gauge running a test with it would not hurt.

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