Tonight I spoke with a custom build shop in Georgia about building a one off 4 speed OD transmission for my 77" Airstream Argosy 28 motor coach. It will be based on either a 700R4 or a 4L80E. I am torn between having a shop build it or building it myself. My target is a getting my 3200 RPM cruise down to 2200 RPM. And being back up and running by spring. Probably taking my last camping trip of the year this weekend before I take the AS down for the trans build and EFI/TBI conversion

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Tags: EFI/TBI, RV engines, Transmission rebuild


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Comment by david craft on November 17, 2014 at 3:54pm

now i REALLY need to apologize...the flame propagation comment was a joke...albeit a bad one.  flame propagation:  1. the way a flame travels from the spark generated in a combustion chamber.  2. posting on a thread in way that makes others want to "flame" you or others. i.e. causing strife.

#2 definition I made up... hope we can all get a chuckle from my attempt at humor...sorry..

Comment by Rich Thomas on November 17, 2014 at 2:23pm

David, my comments about indexing spark plugs was not in any way related to your post as I had not read it. I'm sorry if it led to your feeling a need to apologize. I simply saw a show on TV related to it's benefits and ask for Jeff's opinion. I felt it was related to this post as he mentioned E.F.I. earlier in the thread. His goal  is to lower engine rpm's and wear on his engine so I felt it proper. So now I will apologize to you for not reading your post and to Jeff for Morphing as well. 

Comment by Pat Daly on November 17, 2014 at 1:55pm

Yup, but I think your comments and the others on this are pretty interesting. I found nothing here to irritate me... except would always like better gas mileage like all the rest of us. But, maybe I missed a "flame" post?... which will tend, mostly, to get a person removed from Good Old RVs... we're too busy fixing leaky and rusty stuff for that.  LOL

Comment by david craft on November 17, 2014 at 1:08pm

I would like at this time to apologize for helping to morph this thread from transmissions into flame propagation.  I'm sure Pat would concur there should be no flame propagating on these boards!!

Comment by Rich Thomas on November 16, 2014 at 5:47pm

The E-3's are interesting, I have them in my chain saw and weed eater and they seem to do the job but I can't say there any better than a regular plug. It stands to reason there would be a better spark on surface area alone and, they have an open space on the diamond shaped electrode that could be indexed as well. It's something I may dig into on one of these dumpy days we have coming up next week. My old girl and my pocketbook both could benefit from something so simple.  

Comment by jeff york on November 16, 2014 at 4:28pm

Interesting post Rich, indexing the spark plugs. Part of me thinks it could make sense, part of me thinks it shouldn't matter how the plug electrodes are indexed. I wonder if a person could simply get the same effect with those E3 plugs ? I have never been one for gadgets to get better performance or fuel econ. I say that because I tried a few and could never confirm improvements. I mentioned I tried this before and did so with a 460 Ford. I tried it will what I would call bolt ons in the form of Banks power packs. The whole kit from headers to intake and such. No offense to Banks or anyone using them. I will again say part of the problem was me. I took advantage of the power by driving to fast and to heavy. You push a heavy weight a higher speed and it going to use more fuel. PERIOD. I dont have the stats in front of me but taking a MH and driving it 60 verses 70 mph uses a considerable amount of additional HP re: BTU's re: fuel

Comment by Rich Thomas on November 16, 2014 at 3:44pm

Hi Jeff, I'm a bit of a motor head too but my disease hasn't progressed as far as yours yet, but hey there's always hope. I happened to catch an episode on the tube today that was talking about indexing the spark plug in the hole so the grounding electrode was 180 deg .out from the intake port to maximize spark and, therefore adding horsepower and fuel economy by having a more complete burn. you have to do this to each cylinder because no two threaded holes are alike. I didn't catch the whole episode but it made since to me because the F/A mix comes straight in on the spark without deflecting around the ground post. I was wondering if you had ever heard of or tried this. 

Comment by david craft on November 16, 2014 at 12:37pm

On a side note. I compressed a forward clutch pack on a dodge 904 with a chunk of 3" ABS. You might find a more suitable material for a press piece was a little

Comment by david craft on November 16, 2014 at 12:21pm
I hope my post was not misconstrued. I meant that the MH was not pulling a dingey. Since the post began to delve into fuel economy, I posted ideas another might try, noting that Jeff was pretty much commited to his present course. Some early GMC MH had a 215 dodge motor. Later the GMC used a 455 and reported 15 mpg. These were low profile, frontwheel drive. The centrally located plug and excellent flame propagation allowed 10.25 stock compression ratio on regular gas.
Comment by jeff york on November 16, 2014 at 12:17am
Richard, I have been told the same. That a 4L80E is a TH400 with OD. Also told a 700R4 is a TH350 with OD and thats why they dont hold up to heavy weight loads. I have never had any of them side by side apart to compare. I helped a friend build a 4L80E for his high HP pickup. It took almost 4 grand to build that trans and another grand for the controler. Thats far to much. I have the 700R4 and I think I can build it to suit the job. but Im still gathering parts and if my friend has his way I would build the 4L80E. But if my 700 doesnt hold up, I can put my TH400 back in. My goal is a 2200 to 2500 rpm cruise. Ive already tested my engine pretty extensively for that cruise and I think I have the right cam and set up that allows the engine to run there well. I do a lot of hill climbing at that rpm and I have two massive trans coolers and a massive trans pan with coolers. I will do the same on the 700 to keep it from over heating and will experiment with a switchable torque lock to test it on hills. My lighter weight ( 11,500 ) Airstream motor home is a good or better platform than most motor homes. I did this on a previous 460 ( Ford) powered Fleetwood. It worked ok but it didnt get where I wanted it to fuel effeciantcy wise. But thats my fault and I learned. It was 4000 lbs heavier too. But, it would keep up with most cars even in hills. It sounded BA too. So does my Airstream 454 with its big dual exhaust pipes , cam and high flow mufflers. Yet gets 12 mpg at 28 feet long. Thats dbl from where it started. Didnt do that well with the 460 after spending 8 grand. In fact my fuel econ on the 460 didnt improve. But as I said thats my fault and I learned



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