Yes this is "RV" related so bear with my story...

Purchased a 83 Southwind with 48k on the engine.

Started up slow but expected it.. Drove it 15 miles to nearest Oil place to get all fluids gone threw,

Died in parking lot.. Had it towed to local shop.they said "bad fuel" replaced some fuel lines to aux tank and got it running (I asked them after the fact and they said they did check fluids) Drove it 10 miles. blew the engine large bang. Had it towed home did compression/leakdown tests 7 were fairly good/even #4 was toast. pulled heads,manifolds .. Heads and carb are rebuilt. I cannot even turn crank to try and unhook the trans . it ate #4 piston and rod.(also dropped a "keeper" into the oil pan (along with the rings of #4 - see photo i have NO clue what this near 2 inch keeper goes to) and imploded the piston when the old intake gasket dumped all the antifreeze in the cylinder. cranked it over for comp tests and flushed it with kerosene . took 2 weeks to get the pan out (eventually cut it out) and the kerosene i think seized all the bearings/rings. i need to turn crank 1/8 turn to get the rod in #4 out to even look at the cylinder damage.(no it has not "ran" since it went bag other than comp and leakdown tests.) Replaced the balancer bolt with a milodon and a 4 ft breaker on 3/4 drive stock will not turn it. (it did turn it tighter by 2 revolutions but I stopped at that point in tightening it.) impact wrench no joy.. i need a 13/16 3/4 drive socket to loosen the mains with the 4 ft breaker (on my list)

Looks like engine comes out the front. As I am as of yet unable to turn crank at all. I have no clue about #4 and for sure cannot pull it loose from the transmission. (Engine is down to a "short block" and both engine and trans is loose.

(NOW the RV part)

I could not lift the block high enough to get the pan out , i even trimmed the wood inside the doghouse/rv floor a small bit "IF" I can break the crank loose and could disconnect the transmission and I need a short block. can/has ANYONE pulled a 454 out of a Southwind. I have been told that a RV Shop would just lift off the body. But that kind of repair is way beyond my budget.. 

And No I  cannot take a sawzall to it. it was purchased as a home for my ex-wife and she is now living in it.

Tags: 454, Chevy

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Hi Paul sorry you are in such a mess. I think you should be able to pull the tranny with little effort even with the block sized by pulling the drive shaft off the transmission, Place a floor jack or bottle jack under the transmission pan and then remove the transmission mount / cross member. at this point you can then remove the bell housing bolts and carefully back the tranny off the block. you can lower the back of the tranny to gain clearance and it will slide off the torque converter leaving it ( the torque converter) attached to the flex ring. Once the tranny is pulled back out of the way you will then be able to access the torque converter bolts. should be three of them and remove it from the block. You may have to remove the air cleaner or other components from the top of the engine to allow it to tilt on the motor mounts and allow the transmission to tilt down but this will work well if you a careful. Good luck Phil.

i have block down to just block, crank, pistons and accillery stuff on front. 

so the t converter is not "key locked into the transmission ?

great thats a good thing to know.thank you..

Nope, just slip splines, be careful you just need to pull it back about 4-6 inches to disengage the converter. I would drain the tranny as well. makes less of a mess and lightens it up a bit as well. also it can be done with one person but I highly recommend you have at least one other. Also may I suggest you look at a couple videos. You tube is hit and miss but, if you go to Monster Transmission, they have some good info video's about torque converters and transmission R & R. I just replaced my tranny and converter in my 78 Travel Craft on a Chevy cutaway. it's a 350 small block  with a turbo 400 automatic but pretty typical of most setups . If you don't see exactly what you are needing at least it will take the mystery out of the converter to tranny & motor set up. good luck!

My 2c or future reference.

To sneak an oil pan out with the engine in frame:

drop the pan and remove the oil pump and pickup bolts letting it all fall down into the sump.

That is usually enough to be able to get the oil pan clear.

Also the gen1 Vortec 350 is as powerful (255hp 330ft/lb vs 240hp 355ft/lb), much cheaper (to purchase, maintain and run) and a much better engine then the old peanut port 454.

Also when separating a seized engine from transmission with the torque converter bolted to the flex plate, always be careful not to let the weight of either bear down on the input shaft of the trans.

Good luck!

my biggest concern about a engine swap i one has to deal with oil pans, electronics, transmissions and even drivelines.and fuel systems.

IF the Gen1 was a direct swap that would be great. I doubt it is,

I would consider writing off the head cost or having them re-ported or even replacing all 8 pistons. 

Pulling the block itself out of the RV looks like one huge undertaking so if cyl #4 is usable with some honing thats my preference.(i will not know for a few months as i cannot turn the crank to push #4 out.

also cost is an issue and I had the carb rebuilt and the heads done before I got the pil pan finely cut off and found that over two weeks the pistons have seized so bad i cannot turn the crank with a 4 ft breaker bar so I have to pull all pistons next and thats waiting for either help or a little bit better weather as is all outside work..

A smallblock is a bolt in except exhaust and maybe power steering pump and radiator fan.

You'd have a non squealing serpentine accessory drive. That alone would be worth the trouble!

No electronics. Use your carb on a 4bbl intake and the big block HEI and flex plate/torque converter.

Sell what's left of the big block and probably get half your money back.

As far as an engine swap goes, it doesn't get much easier.

Love those old Chevys!

If you wanted fuel injection and an electronic overdrive trans with locking converter then yes. You'd need a doner truck with wiring and computer.

You could use an older carby smallblock for an even easier swap, but you wouldn't get modern accessory drive, those nice Vortec heads or roller cam.

I'm not trying to push you in a direction you don't want to go.

I just hate seeing a guy going broke trying to do the right thing.

One more thing:

Since you have the engine down to short block and the trans basically out, you can gorilla hump the engine up through the dog house and out the drivers door.

You bay be able to do it with just the drivers seat removed. Just tilt the steering wheel all the way up.

The 350 is smaller and a lot lighter than a complete 454 and with the trans out of the way you should be able to slide it right in with a floor crane.Maybe remove the exhaust manifolds as they always seem to catch on something.

I think you're going to find that #4 bore is beyond honing.

manifolds are out.. that is a REALLY good thought thank you..

 hope not on #4

 the #4 does move or at least whats left of it does but the rod is in such a position against the wall by the cranp i need to rotate the crank clockwise about 5 degrees.. which is impossable at this point even with 4 ft and 3/4 drive and aftermarket balancer nut.. when weather warms will remove all available piston caps and try again.. 

Those pieces look like they might be the side of the connecting rod big end! Never saw one come apart like that before!! Don't keep trying to turn it, It is not going to happen. The rod is jammed into the pan rail or through a hole in the cylinder/block. Just how fast was this turning when it let go? You might as well plan on another engine, this one will cost more to repair than another engine even if it is repairable.

The pics are of a piece of the top compression ring.

I think the old gas caused the engine to ping and detonate, breaking the piston crown and ring lands of #4 piston. If the ring was in the pan, then the piston collapsed when it rammed a chunk of aluminum up against the cylinder head.

It's probably wedged sideways in the bore.

That is NOT a piston ring! Rings do not have embossed numbers on them nor do they have forged angles. And when have you EVER seen a ring that thick?!  Old stale gas will not detonate, it will not even burn let alone preignite!

Yeah you're right. I'm an idiot




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