The Dieselfication of Coach 1046
BigRabbitMan
Posted 2011-01-05 2:11 AM (#1311)
Subject: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046



Elite Veteran

5001001001002525
Location: Cottage Grove, OR

The time has come!

As a number of you know, I have long felt that if an FMC is to be converted to a diesel engine today, the best engine to use is the GM Duramax 6.6L turbo diesel along with the Allison 6spd double overdrive transmission.  Some indepth discussion of what engine to use has been discussed in other threads.  To my knowledge, only one coach has been so converted to this point in time.  Conversions done in the 1980's and 1990's did not have this engine as a choice as it wasn't manufactured until 2001. 

FMC's did not have a diesel originally as the smaller diesels that would fit into the coach at that point in time were "dogs" as the former FMC Motor Coach Division Sales Manager has stated.  They would not provide the performance characteristics the designers were looking for so the Chrysler 440-I was the engine chosen.  It was a good engine then and it continues to be a good engine to this day.

Converting a coach is not a small undertaking!!  It is inappropriate for the vast majority to even consider.  They should just drive their coaches and enjoy!  For a few though, the positive features of a good diesel conversion outweighs the cost and trouble of going through the conversion process.  Personally, I have been balancing on the edge for some time.  I have reached the point in my life where I needed to either do it or abandon all thoughts of doing it.  I tipped over to the "do it" side!

At present, the coach is still in my driveway and the donor vehicle (pictures in the album section) is in Gilroy at a fellow FMC owner's home.  He has a larger driveway!  As some of you suspect, the person who so generously is helping (leading?) the way in this project is Eric Whedon, #587, and he is also host of the Northern California Work Days (you need to seriously consider being at the next one!).  His expertise in electrical and computer control systems in addition to his mechanical abilities is what is going to make this project doable as this is a computer controlled engine and a computer controlled transmission.

I want to stay away from cost issues during the project, but will be maintaining a detailed cost and labor record so at some point cost figures will become available.  We also intend to keep a detailed photo and written record of the what and how of what we do.  This will also be available later to help guide someone else should they want to follow the same path.

For now, wish us luck and stay tuned!!!

Top of the page Bottom of the page
denshew
Posted 2011-01-05 9:08 AM (#1312 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046


Veteran

1002525
Location: Canton, (Sixes) GA
Stephen – WOW. You have done your homework so should be a great project. My mind is flooded with a hundred questions and suggestions but will just say good luck and wish I was there to lend a hand. Eat the elephant. Denny
Top of the page Bottom of the page
andy1canada
Posted 2011-01-05 9:27 AM (#1313 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046


Veteran

10010025
Location: Victoria, BC. Canada
Good luck Stephen! I'll be following this venture with the utmost interest.
Question: If you compared the overall length/weight of the stock 440/727 driveline to the Duramax/Allison setup, what would the differences be?

Thanks,
Terry
Top of the page Bottom of the page
BigRabbitMan
Posted 2011-01-06 12:30 AM (#1314 - in reply to #1313)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046



Elite Veteran

5001001001002525
Location: Cottage Grove, OR

andy1canada - 2011-01-05 9:27 AM Question: If you compared the overall length/weight of the stock 440/727 driveline to the Duramax/Allison setup, what would the differences be? Thanks, Terry

Terry, the transmission adds a couple of hundred pounds fairly close to the centerline of the rear axels.  The engine adds 100-150 lbs further back.  The overall length is about 1-2 inches longer than the stock setup.  The replacement radiator should be lighter than the stock one and will counteract some of the weight increase.  This is particularly good since that is weight that is further back and has greater positive or negative effects.

This setup has a lot of aluminum in all of the components so it is the lightest diesel/transmission combination that is available.  For comparison, the DD 8.2TD with transmission adds about 800-1000 lbs. In my specific case, I already switched to the AT545 transmission from the 727 a number of years ago and gained that weight at that point in time. 

My new transmission and bell housing will actually be lighter than the one I am currently using.  So in my specific case, I may have an actual net reduction in weight after the radiator is also taken into consideration.

Top of the page Bottom of the page
andy1canada
Posted 2011-01-06 8:04 AM (#1315 - in reply to #1314)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046


Veteran

10010025
Location: Victoria, BC. Canada
This is getting really exciting Stephen. May as well add wings while you're at it cause she's gonna' fly!

Couple more questions if I may:

1) I know there are two computers at play in this set-up (1 for the mill/1 for the trans), what forward (drivers seat) electrical upgrades will need to be done or is it all controlled by the trans with the shift linkage?

2) Keeping with shift-linkage, with a couple more forward gears your stock shifter won't cut it any more. What's the plan here, loosing that cumbersome dash-shifter for a B&H floor shift or the like?

3) With the added weight and somewhere around double the torque of the stock mill, are any frame/chassis strengthening upgrades planned? If so, could you share it with us?

This chassis/frame upgrade stuff really interests me because although I'm quick to understand the usefulness of the alum/shearplate (gusset-like) application, I'm not yet convinced this is the 'only' way to beef up the chassis for more weight & torque.

Looking forward to the pics as you go with this. Jerry's post of his re & re was awesome and I look forward to the conclusion of that chronicle.

Stephen: I smell a new 'Motorhome Land Speed Record' in the offing with this project! (If I'm not mistaken, you only need to better 106/mph!)

Thanks
Terry
Top of the page Bottom of the page
BigRabbitMan
Posted 2011-01-06 11:00 AM (#1316 - in reply to #1315)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046



Elite Veteran

5001001001002525
Location: Cottage Grove, OR

andy1canada - 2011-01-06 8:04 AM This is getting really exciting Stephen. May as well add wings while you're at it cause she's gonna' fly! Couple more questions if I may:

 1) I know there are two computers at play in this set-up (1 for the mill/1 for the trans), what forward (drivers seat) electrical upgrades will need to be done or is it all controlled by the trans with the shift linkage?

This can all be done with minimal upfront changes as the transmission computer is controlled by cable from up front.  The throttle has to switch to an electrical sender. This could be placed in the engine compartment and operated by the standard throttle cable but we are transplanting the electrical throttle pedal and sender.  In this case, we are also transplanting the entire gauge cluster to get those benefits. 

 2) Keeping with shift-linkage, with a couple more forward gears your stock shifter won't cut it any more. What's the plan here, loosing that cumbersome dash-shifter for a B&H floor shift or the like?

Go sit in a new vehicle with the six speed.  The shifter has PRNDM1.  The same number of places as our stock shifter.  When you put it into "M" (which stands for Manual), you now use the momentary switch (will be moved) on the gear shift lever to electronically move up or down through the gears.  With the dash/gauge cluster, the gear display switches to a six gear display and tells you what gear you are in.

3) With the added weight and somewhere around double the torque of the stock mill, are any frame/chassis strengthening upgrades planned? If so, could you share it with us?

 As I have pointed out above, there will be minimal weight change with this conversion.  That is a major reason for using this engine vs some other engine that may be easier to install but weighs 400-700 lbs more.  Yes, there will be significant maximum torque changes, but the amount of torque actually applied is controlled by the position of the right foot pedal.  No discussable plans at this point.

This chassis/frame upgrade stuff really interests me because although I'm quick to understand the usefulness of the alum/shearplate (gusset-like) application, I'm not yet convinced this is the 'only' way to beef up the chassis for more weight & torque.

 Neither am I.

Looking forward to the pics as you go with this. Jerry's post of his re & re was awesome and I look forward to the conclusion of that chronicle.

My pictures are/will be in the Album I have started on this site of the same name as this thread.

Stephen: I smell a new 'Motorhome Land Speed Record' in the offing with this project! (If I'm not mistaken, you only need to better 106/mph!) Thanks Terry

In stock configuration, the top speeds with the six speed transmission are computer limited in 5th and 6th gears.  Who buys the 100+ mph rated tires?

Top of the page Bottom of the page
andy1canada
Posted 2011-01-09 10:49 AM (#1317 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046


Veteran

10010025
Location: Victoria, BC. Canada
Wow. This power-package sure is lightweight (LBZ + Allison 1000 = approx. 1200/lbs) for the big whallop it packs.

http://www.duramaxdieselspecs.com/allison_transmission.html

I emailed a guy down your way some months back who had a take-out Duramax/Allison that he measured end-to-end for me and came up with 70-inches OA and about 66-inches without the fan.

Can you confirm this Stephen? Does that number wash out to 1 or 2-inches longer than the 440/727 like you said?
Got to measure my driveline...
Top of the page Bottom of the page
andy1canada
Posted 2011-01-10 9:24 AM (#1319 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046


Veteran

10010025
Location: Victoria, BC. Canada
Just got a reply back from a guy who had a take-out 440/727 (1975' that he measured for me: approx. 64-inches (front of fan to end of e-brake).
Does this # jive with being 1 or 2-inches less than your D/A unit Stephen?
Top of the page Bottom of the page
BigRabbitMan
Posted 2011-01-10 11:20 AM (#1321 - in reply to #1319)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046



Elite Veteran

5001001001002525
Location: Cottage Grove, OR

andy1canada - 2011-01-10 9:24 AM Just got a reply back from a guy who had a take-out 440/727 (1975') that he measured for me: approx. 64-inches (front of fan to end of e-brake). Does this # jive with being 1 or 2-inches less than your D/A unit Stephen?

Close enough for me.

Top of the page Bottom of the page
BigRabbitMan
Posted 2011-01-15 12:16 AM (#1325 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: RE: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046



Elite Veteran

5001001001002525
Location: Cottage Grove, OR

Time for an update. 

The 2006 GMC HD shop manuals with the diesel supplement and the corresponding one for the Allison transmission arrived and are being reviewed to analyze the wiring system of the donor.  This will help ensure that all goes well when the actual movement of the components is started.  It is also allowing us to evaluate which of the features of the dash module to retain and which ones to eliminate.  I don’t need it to tell me when the door is ajar or to put on my seat belt. 

Also the mechanical vacuum pump from a 2002 LB7 Duramax has arrived.  A different alternator mount bracket will be needed to mount the vacuum pump as the pumps were no longer used after 2003.  The pump will provide the vacuum for the brakes.  A second electrical vacuum pump may also be installed inline as backup. 

I am also in the process of attempting to secure a second alternator as this engine is setup for an optional second alternator.  With two alternators, one will be tied into the automotive system and the other one will be tied into the house system so each battery system will have its own dedicated alternator.  I already have a mechanical crosstie between the two systems if it is ever needed.

After many discussions and consideration of various factors, the decision has been made to use the Allison from the donor vehicle and its control module. It will not have the wider ratios for the first couple of gears that my current Allison 545 has, but I can live with that.

I have confirmed with the Allison technical advisor of Allison West that the GM 1000 can be converted from a 4 wheel drive unit to a 2 wheel drive with provisions for the standard driveline brake.  This is a requirement in this case. He will be researching the part numbers to pass along. The transfer case will be removed and the correct tail housing and tail shaft will be installed. He may also have a buyer for my transfer case!

... to be continued ...

 

Top of the page Bottom of the page
BigRabbitMan
Posted 2011-02-28 3:25 AM (#1368 - in reply to #1325)
Subject: RE: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046



Elite Veteran

5001001001002525
Location: Cottage Grove, OR

Since my last posting, work has continued with interuptions for family matters and weather as we are working outside.  We are ensuring that we properly identify everything that is removed or disconnected so that anything that is to be reused will be clearly identified.

I have posted more pictures in the album section with descriptions of what is being done.  The engine's actual removal from the donor will happen in a couple of weeks, weather permitting.  Then it will get even more interesting.

 

Top of the page Bottom of the page
BigRabbitMan
Posted 2011-03-13 3:58 AM (#1382 - in reply to #1368)
Subject: RE: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046



Elite Veteran

5001001001002525
Location: Cottage Grove, OR

The work progresses.  The transmission lines, driveline, etc. have been removed.  We then moved up into the cab and finished removing the interior stuff such as seats, center console and floor mat all of which have been sold.

That opened it up for the disassembly of the dash to begin so that the guage cluster, throttle pedal assembly and body control module could be removed.  More pictures have been added to the photo album.

Top of the page Bottom of the page
andy1canada
Posted 2011-03-13 10:05 AM (#1383 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: RE: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046


Veteran

10010025
Location: Victoria, BC. Canada
Been following your project with great interest Stephen; the pics are great. This is so exciting and you sure are lucky to have a guy like Eric to help you out here.

One question: It seems you are toasting most if not all of the original dash/instrumentation for this retrofit. I understand the need for the throttle sensor and control module, but other than that imperative could a guy do this swap and keep the original dash/gauges intact for the most part?
Top of the page Bottom of the page
BigRabbitMan
Posted 2011-03-13 8:15 PM (#1384 - in reply to #1383)
Subject: RE: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046



Elite Veteran

5001001001002525
Location: Cottage Grove, OR

andy1canada - 2011-03-13 10:05 ... could a guy do this swap and keep the original dash/gauges intact for the most part?

Yes.  

We are doing a "full swap" to the extent possible in this case.  You could do a "minimal swap" which would not involve the dash cluster, etc. and with that swap you would retain the original guages/dash.  We are doing it as the full swap so that the benefits of the full guage cluster and the Driver Infornation Center (DIC) would be retained.  This includes cruise control.  The exisiting systems on all non-computer controlled engines will not work as there is no linkage for the cruise control to attach to.

An example of the two levels of conversion are like what we are involved in right now when it comes to the engine fan.  The donor fan will not work as it is a puller and not a pusher fan.  It also has an ambient air (exiting the radiator) thermal viscous clutch to control fan speed which also will not work as the air is going the opposite direction and will never engage the fan.

The simple solution would be to just remove the clutch and bolt the fan, by using an adapter, to the idler and have the fan operate at engine rpm the same as our fans do on the 440, 8.2, 5.9 etc.  The drawback to that simple solution is that the fan is always drawing full horsepower for the given rpm and, therefore, energy and fuel.

In an attempt to improve on that situation and have the fan only operate at the speed needed for conditions, we are currently looking for a fan clutch/controller combination that will electrically control the fan speed via a viscous coupling based on engine coolant temperature.  When cruising on flat land in cold weather the fan could operate at significanlty less speed than what is needed on a hot summer day if we find the right combination.  Given the amount of air that the fan will be capable of moving, the difference can be significant over a number of miles.

Stay in touch as we work our way through this project.  Your questions/sugggestions are always welcome.

 

Top of the page Bottom of the page
andy1canada
Posted 2011-03-14 8:10 AM (#1385 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046


Veteran

10010025
Location: Victoria, BC. Canada
Thanks Stephen. Sounds like you're going to build her to the 9's.
I think you've already touched on the reinforcement of the chassis issue and if memory serves you said that because the weight difference - between the stock mill & the Duramax - is minimal, that you're not planning on beefing up the chassis. If this changes during the project, could you please also include updates on that as well.

Can't wait to hear the results on performance and fuel economy on this baby. You'll need to find a set of Pirrelli's for her.

Give'r Buddy!
Top of the page Bottom of the page
BigRabbitMan
Posted 2011-03-14 9:44 AM (#1386 - in reply to #1385)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046



Elite Veteran

5001001001002525
Location: Cottage Grove, OR

andy1canada - 2011-03-14 8:10 AM ... if memory serves .... you're not planning on beefing up the chassis. ![/QUOTE]

 

If you refer back to message #1316, the response was "No discussable plans at this point.".  That has not changed to this point.

Top of the page Bottom of the page
BigRabbitMan
Posted 2011-04-02 11:45 PM (#1408 - in reply to #1386)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046



Elite Veteran

5001001001002525
Location: Cottage Grove, OR

We we haven't made much progress lately as we are working outside and it has been raining every weekend here in Northern California.  The mountains have 165% of normal snow load!  That has given us time to debate another conversion issue/question.

The question is: Should we move the donor steering wheel and upper steering column as well as the dash instruments to the FMC from the GMC Sierra? 

Changing the column would add the complications of doing that transfer, but would simplify the wiring as the four radio control switches, two DIC switches, shifting switch, tow/haul switch and cruise control switchs would no longer be needed to be rewired or moved to dashboad switches.  The steering wheels themselves are within 1/4 inch diameter of each other.  It would also be nice to have all of those controls on the "smart" steering wheel with the factory lighted rocker switches and their symbols.

Eric and I were fortunate to have Harry Day (and his wife, Sandy) stop by on their way south so that we could visit and debate the steering column question.  After that discussion, I believe we will be adding that change to the list of changes.

My coach will move to Eric's next weekend.  In the following weeks the engine and transmission will come out of both the donor unit and the FMC.  At that point, more pictures will be posted and we may have some more issues to solve. 

See the "For Sale" section of this site for things I no longer need and you may want.  I will be adding things over time.

 

Top of the page Bottom of the page
Bair
Posted 2011-04-08 8:04 PM (#1413 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046


Regular

252525
Location: Santa Cruz, Calif.
So now all you need is a "F" to paste over the G in GMC on the wheel. ;-}
Top of the page Bottom of the page
BigRabbitMan
Posted 2012-04-22 1:11 AM (#1583 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046



Elite Veteran

5001001001002525
Location: Cottage Grove, OR
With my stove project almost done (pictures to follow), we are back to the engine. Currently removing all of the misc stuff to prepare for engine removal. I have posted a few pictures in the photo album - see page 4.
Top of the page Bottom of the page
BigRabbitMan
Posted 2012-04-29 11:18 PM (#1585 - in reply to #1583)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046



Elite Veteran

5001001001002525
Location: Cottage Grove, OR

The project continues.  Pictures and commentary continue into page 6 of the album.

http://www.fmcowners.com/mbbs22/photos/photo-thumbnails.asp?albumid=77&Page=5&sortdir=asc 

That link will take you to page 5 where we finish the preparation and start the actual extraction of the engine and tranny combination.

Top of the page Bottom of the page
andy1canada
Posted 2012-04-30 12:35 AM (#1586 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046


Veteran

10010025
Location: Victoria, BC. Canada
Way to go Stephen! Thanks for the running commentary and the great pics which will remain forever as good-as-gold in the FMC archives.

Give'r Steve, can't wait to see what this baby will do when she's done.

Terry

#846 - Future candidate for an 8.1L GM LPI Vortec/Allison conversion.
Top of the page Bottom of the page
BigRabbitMan
Posted 2012-05-13 8:27 PM (#1593 - in reply to #1586)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046



Elite Veteran

5001001001002525
Location: Cottage Grove, OR

Thanks Terry!

Work has progressed and now the engine is out and the firewall has been cleaned up.

Pictures of the clean engine firewall are on page 7 of the photo album: http://tinyurl.com/7xt6pro

I also removed the unused Thermosan waste disposal unit and it is pictured there as well.  There is now a lot of nothing in the engine compartment.  The next step will be the lining of the existing firewall with sound suppressing material and then relining the firewall with a new layer of aluminum.

Top of the page Bottom of the page
BigRabbitMan
Posted 2012-06-11 2:05 PM (#1617 - in reply to #1593)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046



Elite Veteran

5001001001002525
Location: Cottage Grove, OR
The TURNING POINT has been achieved!  The installation of the first of the new things has started.  While more things (throttle cable, wires, center section of dash, etc.) still have to be removed, the lining of the engine compartment has started.  It is rewarding to be putting something into the coach instead of taking something out.  I have started the installation of the FatMat sound suppression material which will be followed by 1/4" small cell foam board and by 1/8" sheet aluminum.
Top of the page Bottom of the page
BigRabbitMan
Posted 2012-07-15 9:17 PM (#1634 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046



Elite Veteran

5001001001002525
Location: Cottage Grove, OR
Progress continues. Here I am putting in some of the last of the approximately 75 rivets that hold the new engine compartment liner in place.
http://www.fmcowners.com/mbbs22/photos/show-album.asp?albumid=77&ph...
The next photo shows the finished firewall before anything has been attached to it. Attaching things will be the next phase after we finally remove the new engine from the donar vehicle this next weekend. We have left the engine just sitting in the donar vehicle to this point as it was secure there and we did not need it to be out to this point in time. It will still be awhile before it gets put into the FMC as there is still a lot of prep work to do to the FMC and I need to take the transmission in to have the tail shaft and housing changed to convert the transmission from 4-wheel drive to 2-wheel drive and to provide for attaching the driveline parking brake.
Top of the page Bottom of the page
BigRabbitMan
Posted 2012-09-29 11:47 PM (#1675 - in reply to #1634)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046



Elite Veteran

5001001001002525
Location: Cottage Grove, OR

Donor engine extraction has happened!  The following link goes the first of the new pictures:

http://www.fmcowners.com/mbbs22/photos/show-album.asp?albumid=77&photoid=2068

There are a couple of pages of pictures with comment.  You end up in the driver's seat.

Enjoy,

Top of the page Bottom of the page
Bair
Posted 2012-09-30 1:13 AM (#1676 - in reply to #1675)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046


Regular

252525
Location: Santa Cruz, Calif.
You've come a long way, Stephan and probably a lot mopre time than you expected. But it is looking great and it has been an impressive education for all of us. Are you goiong to paint flames on the sides of the coach?? ;-}
Top of the page Bottom of the page
BigRabbitMan
Posted 2012-09-30 1:48 AM (#1678 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046



Elite Veteran

5001001001002525
Location: Cottage Grove, OR
Yes, it is taking longer than expected, but to do it "right" just takes time. No flames, just will be quietly showing people my exhaust pipe!
Top of the page Bottom of the page
byegorge
Posted 2012-10-03 1:00 AM (#1679 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046


Veteran

100
Location: Olympia, Washington
Quietly?
Top of the page Bottom of the page
BigRabbitMan
Posted 2012-10-03 5:44 PM (#1683 - in reply to #1679)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046



Elite Veteran

5001001001002525
Location: Cottage Grove, OR

byegorge - 2012-10-02 11:00 PM Quietly?

It will be quiet up front where I will be sitting!  The Duramax is a relatively quiet diesel.  I will be running a Banks tuner and will keep it in the Economy setting most of the time.  But if I select the extra 75 hp setting, it might not be so quiet for those that I pass.

Top of the page Bottom of the page
BigRabbitMan
Posted 2012-10-22 12:55 AM (#1703 - in reply to #1683)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046



Elite Veteran

5001001001002525
Location: Cottage Grove, OR

The project moves forward. The fuel tank is out of the donor so that the fuel pickup assembly is assessable and the fan pulley is back from the machine shop.

http://www.fmcowners.com/mbbs22/photos/show-album.asp?albumid=77&photoid=2301 

Top of the page Bottom of the page
BigRabbitMan
Posted 2013-02-24 6:23 PM (#1805 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046



Elite Veteran

5001001001002525
Location: Cottage Grove, OR
This winter progress has been slow due to time being required for some other activities, but some progress has been made relative to the fuel tank. If you go to the following link, it will put you where the new photos start.

http://www.fmcowners.com/mbbs22/photos/show-album.asp?albumid=77&ph...

You will be able to see the complex fuel pickup/return/sending assembly and how it will be attached to the FMC tank. Since I retire in another month, much more time will be available before long. Things will move much faster then.
Top of the page Bottom of the page
andy1canada
Posted 2013-02-24 10:20 PM (#1806 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046


Veteran

10010025
Location: Victoria, BC. Canada
Great meeting you and Eric, Stephen. Hope your retirement keeps you busy and happy as hell.

Also hope Eric can keep up with you.
On the ferry back to Vancouver then Blaine Wa. in the morning for my second attempt to get #509 across the border.
Keep us posted on the progress.

Terry Anderson

#846
#509?



Top of the page Bottom of the page
BigRabbitMan
Posted 2013-03-19 10:03 PM (#1826 - in reply to #1806)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046



Elite Veteran

5001001001002525
Location: Cottage Grove, OR

A little more progress has been made.  With the very capable and appreciated assistance of Larry Enoksen, #968, the fuel pickup assembly and the fuel tank have been removed.  Those photos start here: http://www.fmcowners.com/mbbs22/photos/photo-thumbnails.asp?albumid=77&Page=12&sortdir=asc 

Additionally, the master brake cylinder was also removed and taken to Randy Bradshaw, #299, for analysis and rebuilding.

Top of the page Bottom of the page
larryenok
Posted 2013-03-19 11:03 PM (#1827 - in reply to #1826)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046


Contributor

25
Location: Cupertino, CA
Stephen, thanks for letting me help! Perhaps when you return we can make some more progress. I may go to Eric's and reinstall the brake plunger we took out that could have been left in. A little less to do when reinstalling the master cylinder.

Top of the page Bottom of the page
andy1canada
Posted 2013-03-20 9:09 AM (#1828 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046


Veteran

10010025
Location: Victoria, BC. Canada
 No time for rest Stephen. Can't wait for the day when you let us all know that the 'D-Max Sings!' Love diesels.  Carry on and please do say hello to Eric for me.
Top of the page Bottom of the page
BigRabbitMan
Posted 2013-08-17 10:49 AM (#1966 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046



Elite Veteran

5001001001002525
Location: Cottage Grove, OR
At last!!!! Some more progress in that the new fuel tank has been completed and awaits installation. As most of you know, work on the coach has been delayed by many months due to my moving to Oregon. With the move almost completed, work on the coach will resume and at a faster pace as I have also fully retired. Here is a link to the latest photos in the photo album detailing the process.
http://www.fmcowners.com/mbbs22/photos/show-album.asp?albumid=77&ph...

If you have not done so, you are encouraged to go back to page one of the album and follow it from the begining so that you have a full appreciation of the process and all that is involved.

Comments are welcome as are wrench spinners!
Top of the page Bottom of the page
BigRabbitMan
Posted 2013-12-15 8:44 PM (#2062 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046



Elite Veteran

5001001001002525
Location: Cottage Grove, OR
Some more progress has been made. Here is a link to recent activities including the placement of the fuel pickup module into the tank.
http://www.fmcowners.com/mbbs22/photos/photo-thumbnails.asp?albumid...
Top of the page Bottom of the page
BigRabbitMan
Posted 2014-03-06 11:11 PM (#2141 - in reply to #2062)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046



Elite Veteran

5001001001002525
Location: Cottage Grove, OR

And some more progress is being made.  Here is a link to page 15 of the photo album on this site.  The fuel tank is ready to go in and the generator has been removed and the dash gauge cluster has been removed.  See the comparison pictures of the 1976 gauge cluster and the 2006 gauge cluster.  What will take time with the gauges is the trimming of the new cluster and the design and fabriction of what will suround it and hold it in place.  Hopefully, it will also be pleasing to look at!  One step at a time.

http://www.fmcowners.com/mbbs22/photos/photo-thumbnails.asp?albumid=77&Page=15&sortdir=asc 

There just is a LOT of steps!

Top of the page Bottom of the page
andy1canada
Posted 2014-03-07 12:56 AM (#2142 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046


Veteran

10010025
Location: Victoria, BC. Canada
Thanks for sharing Stephen - sounds like a blurb from an 'AA' meeting :-)

Keep pushing my friend, the good-weather's a com'in!

I agree with your sentiments on the new gauge cluster vs the old with one caveat: when something on the new one calves you buy a new unit; whereas, if something goes on the old school one, you'll likely be replacing
a bulb.

Walk-on...

Your Canuck friend,
Terry
Top of the page Bottom of the page
BigRabbitMan
Posted 2014-03-14 7:09 PM (#2156 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046



Elite Veteran

5001001001002525
Location: Cottage Grove, OR
It appears that the engine is slipping into the coach!
see page 17: http://www.fmcowners.com/mbbs22/photos/photo-thumbnails.asp?albumid...
Top of the page Bottom of the page
BigRabbitMan
Posted 2014-05-24 1:30 AM (#2186 - in reply to #2156)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046



Elite Veteran

5001001001002525
Location: Cottage Grove, OR

Well, the engine has been in and out a few times since my last post.

Here is a link to where the photo album has continued the installation process.

http://www.fmcowners.com/mbbs22/photos/show-album.asp?albumid=77&photoid=2882 

At this point the engine is permanently in the coach, the parking brake mechaism designed and installed and the stuff is being put onto the engine such as the dual 145 amp alternators.  Click on the link and follow the pictures for the expalaination in the picture captions.

Come and see the coach in Carthage in July.

Top of the page Bottom of the page
larryenok
Posted 2014-06-07 10:42 PM (#2209 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046


Contributor

25
Location: Cupertino, CA
BRM hasn't posted progress lately, so I wanted to let you know that he has put on many of the engine accessories, Eric has begun the installation of the wiring harnesses and will be working on running the wires front to rear to make things work.

Another milestone was achieved today, or at least it felt like it when Stephen and Mark (his son) installed the fuel tank, ran the fuel lines and wiring.

Next in line is bleeding the brakes and converting the Generator to Propane before its reinstallation.

Stephen is working faithfully on the coach with the goal of it being on the road soon. Next milestones will be getting the intercooler and radiator installed and running the motor. Then it will just be making sure all the parts that have been disconnected have been reconnected and doing a test run.

It is hard not being excited about the progress being made and seeing the shell of an engine compartment being filled with soon to be working parts!

Keeping the faith with Stephen, I am,
Top of the page Bottom of the page
BigRabbitMan
Posted 2014-06-08 12:36 AM (#2210 - in reply to #2209)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046



Elite Veteran

5001001001002525
Location: Cottage Grove, OR

larryenok - 2014-06-07 8:42 PM Another milestone was achieved today, or at least it felt like it when Stephen and Mark (his son) installed the fuel tank, ran the fuel lines and wiring.

I would like make one correction to the above post in that it was Larry and Mark that did the real heavy lifting in getting the new fuel tank into the coach.  I could not have done it without their help.  Here is a link http://www.fmcowners.com/mbbs22/photos/show-album.asp?albumid=77&photoid=2951  to a photo of the tank being put into position.  You can see that some serious lifting was done by the two of them.  Mark is on the left and Larry is on the right.

It is exciting to see a light at the end of the tunnel and know it is NOT a train!!

Top of the page Bottom of the page
BigRabbitMan
Posted 2014-06-16 11:33 PM (#2218 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046



Elite Veteran

5001001001002525
Location: Cottage Grove, OR
All fuel filters and lines are now in place as well as the engine compartment computers.

See it here: http://www.fmcowners.com/mbbs22/photos/photo-thumbnails.asp?albumid...
Top of the page Bottom of the page
BigRabbitMan
Posted 2014-06-25 10:04 AM (#2221 - in reply to #2218)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046



Elite Veteran

5001001001002525
Location: Cottage Grove, OR

Still not a train at the end of the tunnel! The work continues on getting the coach on the road and to Carthage.

This link takes you to page 23 of the photo album.  http://www.fmcowners.com/mbbs22/photos/photo-thumbnails.asp?albumid=77&Page=25&sortdir=asc   It shows the location of the water to air intercooler (technically an "aftercooler".

Top of the page Bottom of the page
BigRabbitMan
Posted 2014-07-16 11:47 PM (#2241 - in reply to #2221)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046



Elite Veteran

5001001001002525
Location: Cottage Grove, OR

Still plugging away on the project.  Here is a link to page 27 of the photo album.

http://www.fmcowners.com/mbbs22/photos/photo-thumbnails.asp?albumid=77&Page=27&sortdir=asc

Don't know where you left off in your picture viewing, but the last two pages at the moment are #27 and #28.

The time to turn the key is getting close.

Top of the page Bottom of the page
BigRabbitMan
Posted 2015-02-02 8:55 AM (#2519 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046



Elite Veteran

5001001001002525
Location: Cottage Grove, OR
The project is still progressing. Here is a link to page 29 and 30 of the photo album where you can see the current status. Close, but still not done!

http://www.fmcowners.com/mbbs22/photos/photo-thumbnails.asp?albumid...

Too many other projects and life events!
Top of the page Bottom of the page
andy1canada
Posted 2015-02-02 10:06 AM (#2520 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046


Veteran

10010025
Location: Victoria, BC. Canada
Looking good Stephen!
Can't wait to hear them tires squeal.

Give'r!

Terry
Top of the page Bottom of the page
BigRabbitMan
Posted 2015-10-10 12:09 AM (#3064 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046



Elite Veteran

5001001001002525
Location: Cottage Grove, OR
Time for a project update. Progress has been slow as last fall we purchased a fixer-upper house in Cottage Grove and that has taken time away from this project. In fact, after having worked on the coach last February, I was unable to do any more work on it until yesterday. BUT, yesterday was a good day in particular because Eric was able to spend all day and into the night working on the electronics.

The end result? THE ENGINE WAS STARTED AND RUNS VERY SMOOTHLY!!!!

We are now working on all the little things that can now be identified that need adjusting or tightening or etc. such as putting a fuse where missing, attaching the ground wire that was missed, tightening the hose fitting that was loose, new adapter bracket that attaches the shift cable to the transmission, searching for the vacuum leak .... you get the idea!

I will be running a couple of Banks Power ( http://bankspower.com ) add on units: the engine tuner and the Speed Brake (provides engine braking using the OEM turbo). We started and ran the engine without and Banks items, just the OEM units, to prove that we had that part properly connected before we started changing things. It was nice to see the full dash cluster functionality all working as it did originally in the donor vehicle.

We are now connecting the Banks units and will then retest everything after that is done. I will then provide another update.
Top of the page Bottom of the page
LCAC_Man
Posted 2015-10-10 6:51 AM (#3067 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046


Extreme Veteran

1001001001002525
Location: Oceanside, CA
Awesome news! It's nice to hear about someone successfully completing one of these conversions rather than the half dozen FMC's I've seen setting with no engine and "I planned to swap in a diesel but never finished" comments attached to them.
Top of the page Bottom of the page
BigRabbitMan
Posted 2015-10-10 11:38 PM (#3071 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046



Elite Veteran

5001001001002525
Location: Cottage Grove, OR
Today's report is found at these two links. I might note that all of the Banks units are installed. Still more things to finish up but the list is getting very short.

https://vimeo.com/142032281

https://vimeo.com/142032711

It is very exciting to have reached this point.

Top of the page Bottom of the page
LCAC_Man
Posted 2015-10-11 7:28 AM (#3074 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046


Extreme Veteran

1001001001002525
Location: Oceanside, CA
sounds and looks fantastic!
Top of the page Bottom of the page
BigRabbitMan
Posted 2015-10-14 10:59 AM (#3085 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046



Elite Veteran

5001001001002525
Location: Cottage Grove, OR
Ok, here is a little more "eye candy" as someone described my photo album. Page 31 of the album includes pictures of the installed dash cluster with engine running.
http://fmcowners.com/mbbs22/photos/photo-thumbnails.asp?albumid=77&...

Today's project is to replace the front brake booster and bleed all of the brakes prior to driving the coach.
Top of the page Bottom of the page
LCAC_Man
Posted 2015-10-14 4:11 PM (#3086 - in reply to #3085)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046


Extreme Veteran

1001001001002525
Location: Oceanside, CA
I think we need to see a black smoke full power launch!
Top of the page Bottom of the page
BigRabbitMan
Posted 2015-10-17 12:10 AM (#3089 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046



Elite Veteran

5001001001002525
Location: Cottage Grove, OR
No black smoke today, but it did move from its position where we did the transformation to a more accessible spot in the driveway. Here is the link to a video of it being moved. https://vimeo.com/142708885
Top of the page Bottom of the page
LCAC_Man
Posted 2015-10-17 6:59 AM (#3090 - in reply to #3089)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046


Extreme Veteran

1001001001002525
Location: Oceanside, CA
You'll be logging miles with it in no time!
Top of the page Bottom of the page
BigRabbitMan
Posted 2015-10-18 5:36 PM (#3091 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046



Elite Veteran

5001001001002525
Location: Cottage Grove, OR
The first test miles have been logged!

All I can say is SWEET!, SWEET!, SWEET!!!!! It has good acceleration, shifts as smooth as butter and is very quiet inside. I don't have a video from inside as of yet so I cannot give you a sound level test, BUT, I can give you an 8:43 min video from the chase car of a portion of the initial test drive. The chase driver (Eric) and I were on speaker phone to each other so if you listen carefully you can hear my side of the conversation.

When it starts we are comparing speedometer readings and it appears that mine is reading about 3 mph faster than actual (his). That will be compared to a GPS at some point in the future. I am turning about 1850-1900 rpm at 65 mph. Just for Len, at about 1:11 min remaining I advise Eric that I am going to see if it makes black smoke. I floored it and it just blew gray and dust off the road. That does show that the engine is running efficiently. My acceleration rate was very good for a motor home!

Here is the link to the video, enjoy: https://vimeo.com/142810917
Top of the page Bottom of the page
LCAC_Man
Posted 2015-10-18 6:47 PM (#3092 - in reply to #3091)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046


Extreme Veteran

1001001001002525
Location: Oceanside, CA
Fantastic...gives me the motivation to get mine done as soon as possible!
Top of the page Bottom of the page
andy1canada
Posted 2015-10-18 9:11 PM (#3094 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046


Veteran

10010025
Location: Victoria, BC. Canada
Wow! Looks good - sounds good - goes like stink!

What more could a guy want?

Way to go Stephen, Eric and all those who helped out on this huge project.

Terry

Top of the page Bottom of the page
LCAC_Man
Posted 2015-10-19 6:51 AM (#3095 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046


Extreme Veteran

1001001001002525
Location: Oceanside, CA
Stephen,
Have you tried any of the other Banks Power settings?
Also, I want to get some info about the fuel tank flange rings used on your tank in this picture:
http://www.fmcowners.com/mbbs22/photos/show-album.asp?albumid=77&ph...
Also, did your end up using these alignment tools?:
http://www.fmcowners.com/mbbs22/photos/show-album.asp?albumid=77&ph...


Edited by LCAC_Man 2015-10-19 6:57 AM
Top of the page Bottom of the page
BigRabbitMan
Posted 2015-10-19 9:19 AM (#3096 - in reply to #3095)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046



Elite Veteran

5001001001002525
Location: Cottage Grove, OR



Yes, I did use those alignment tools.  You can make a set from materials at the hardware store as Harry Day shows in this photo album:

http://fmcowners.com/mbbs22/photos/photo-thumbnails.asp?albumid=26&useralbum=47



I have not tried any of the other Banks settings.  I will try the economy mode later.  I primarily wanted the Speed Brake for control going downhill.  Uphills are always easy: just use a lower gear!  It is the downhills that get people into trouble.  Adding the engine controller and exhaust sensor added the ability to read the exhaust temp on the same screen.  That could have been done by a dedicated, separate sensor and gauge.

 The split ring that you see I had made by a metal fabrication company.  I took the upper ring to a metal cutting firm and they used it to make a pattern of the hole spacing.  I then gave them the inner and outer diameters and thickness that I wanted and they cut it out on a laser including the holes.  I used 1/8 thick material.  I then tapped the holes with #32 thread.  For the gasket, I purchased the silicon gasket material in a sheet online and then cut out the gasket as shown in my photo album.  When cutting out the fuel pickup from the tank go big and then trim to the size shown.

 

 

LCAC_Man - 2015-10-19 4:51 AM Stephen, Have you tried any of the other Banks Power settings? Also, I want to get some info about the fuel tank flange rings used on your tank in this picture: http://www.fmcowners.com/mbbs22/photos/show-album.asp?albumid=77&am... Also, did your end up using these alignment tools?: http://www.fmcowners.com/mbbs22/photos/show-album.asp?albumid=77&am...

Top of the page Bottom of the page
BigRabbitMan
Posted 2015-10-19 3:57 PM (#3097 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046



Elite Veteran

5001001001002525
Location: Cottage Grove, OR
I did a good check of the speedometer reading vs my gps and the speedometer is in exact agreement with my gps. That means that all the gearing is within OEM specs and that all the driver information readings will be as accurate as GM made them (which is not totally accurate).
Top of the page Bottom of the page
BigRabbitMan
Posted 2015-10-19 5:19 PM (#3098 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046



Elite Veteran

5001001001002525
Location: Cottage Grove, OR
Correction: I used nitrile material for the gasket.
Top of the page Bottom of the page
LCAC_Man
Posted 2015-10-20 4:22 PM (#3100 - in reply to #3096)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046


Extreme Veteran

1001001001002525
Location: Oceanside, CA
BigRabbitMan - 2015-10-19 7:19 AM

 The split ring that you see I had made by a metal fabrication company.  I took the upper ring to a metal cutting firm and they used it to make a pattern of the hole spacing.  I then gave them the inner and outer diameters and thickness that I wanted and they cut it out on a laser including the holes. 


Do you have the name of the shop that laser cut those rings? I'm thinking they may still have the files for them and could cut a set and ship them to me.
Top of the page Bottom of the page
BigRabbitMan
Posted 2015-10-21 12:53 AM (#3101 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046



Elite Veteran

5001001001002525
Location: Cottage Grove, OR
I will check with them.
Top of the page Bottom of the page
LCAC_Man
Posted 2015-10-25 8:35 AM (#3104 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046


Extreme Veteran

1001001001002525
Location: Oceanside, CA
Have you put together a return trip report? would be interested in mpg, temps, engine braking, speeds/shifting/rpms?
Top of the page Bottom of the page
BigRabbitMan
Posted 2015-10-25 11:48 PM (#3106 - in reply to #3104)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046



Elite Veteran

5001001001002525
Location: Cottage Grove, OR
 
 
LCAC_Man - 2015-10-25 6:35 AM Have you put together a return trip report? would be interested in mpg, temps, engine braking, speeds/shifting/rpms?

The trip went well and it was very rewarding to be back at the wheel of my coach after a five year hiatus.  Of course not all of that time was due to the work on the coach as we moved to Oregon from California and then bought another place that required a lot of rebuilding and then moved again! 

For this trip, I was pulling my '87 Subaru Brat loaded with my tools and a few extra things as a tow vehicle.  The Brat weighs 2600 lbs. plus stuff in the back.  The main effect of having a tow vehicle is on the grades, both up and down: more power needed to go up and more braking needed coming down. 

The engine performed as expected running smooth as silk and starts immediately.  The first thing I noticed is that the six speed transmission keeps the engine in its efficient power band (1600-2000 rpm) so smoothly the shifts are not noticed unless one is looking for them.  At 65 mph the engine is turning 1800 rpm which is just right as a small hill that would cause the engine to slow actually pulls the engine into a slightly higher torque point.  At 55 mph the engine is turning 1500 rpm which is the bottom of the usable torque band (1500-3200 rpm).  The wide torque band would come in useful with the current configuration.  Our earlier test runs over Pacheco Pass (1300 ft.) had shown us that pulling a grade at speed would overheat the engine as it will make more power and thus more heat than the cooling system could reject.  

Cruising on the flats at 65 mph the temp gauge reads 210 degrees which is what it also reads going down grades so I don't know what the actual temperature is in degrees.  Ostensibly it has a 180 degree thermostat.  I have a second sensor installed so at some point I will rig up a digital temperature gauge and see what it says at the various places on the OEM dash gauge.  As previously reported, the dash speedometer and my GPS agreed on the MPH so that makes the mileage traveled figures as correct as they will ever be and as correct as they were in the original vehicle. 

So on the flats and on short hills temperature is a non-issue as the installation handles the heat generated and all is well.  In the long term, I will need to increase the heat rejection capability for mountain driving and/or pulling a tow vehicle.
 
For this trip, to go up grades of more than a mile in length I simply geared down to increase the mechanical advantage between the engine and the ground.  This allowed the engine to work a little less which meant less heat was generated and it also increased heat rejection rate by increasing fan speed.  The amount of gear down varied by the steepness of the grade and its length.  It was at this point that the ability to easily manually shift the transmission came into its own.  The transmission has D, M, and 1 as the gearshift positions.  D is drive and it selects the gear the same as any other vehicle. 1 puts it into first gear and keeps it there.  M stands Manual and allows the driver to select the gear electronically with a momentary rocker switch.  When M is selected the DIC (Driver Information Center) switches to show the numbers from 1-6 and which one is selected.  I could then shift the transmission into the gear that I desired and it would stay there until I changed it or shifted back to D.  On gradual grades I would shift to 5 th gear to just add a few rpms and all was fine.  For steeper or longer hills I would take it down to 4th and at the extreme for one pass I moved it down to 2nd gear both going up and down.  That was the Siskiyou pass just north of the CA/OR border.  It is a 7-8 mile 6% grade going up and coming down.  I just dropped it down to 2nd gear and climbed the pass at about 3,000 rpm and 40 mph with the trucks and came down the other side the same way.  With that gear selected, I did not use my brakes at all coming down the grade.  Brakes should only be used for stopping, not for speed control.  By selecting the appropriate gear using the M mode, all the grades and were easily handled without any excess engine heating issues. Going up the grade the engine temperature was at the white mark to the right of 210 and only half way to the red spot on the gauge.  Coming down it was at the 210 mark.  For most of the trip the transmission temperature was right at 200 degrees with it being a little lower on the flats at night. 

The trip was made in three segments.  The first was from Gilroy to Dixon where I made a stop at our favorite produce stand.  At that point I checked the mileage and mpg.  I had traveled 125.6 miles and it had gotten 14.5 mpg to that point.  There were only a few hills and one low pass for that segment.  From there I turned North and into a strong headwind.  I took it out of 6 and put in into 5 which is 10% lower gear than 6th.  Rpms went up by a couple hundred to 1800 and the temp held steady just to the right of the magic 210 mark on the gauge.  For some periods I was able to slip stream a truck or two for awhile.  I then stopped in Redding, CA to stretch my legs and check over everything prior to the mountains.  At that point I had traveled 288.8 miles and had gotten a cumulative 14.1 mpg.  Not surprising with the head wind and some hills.  The third segment was from there to my house in Cottage Grove, OR.  When I arrived there I had traveled 583.0 miles and had gotten a cumulative 13.1 mpg with that stretch being mostly mountains with some flat sections thrown in.  That section has two passes at 3000 ft+/-, one 4300 ft pass and several more at 2000 ft.

When converting to a diesel, with its heavier weight, how the coach will handle is always a question.  Given the design with the engine and transmission to the rear of the rear axel it is a very important question as excessive weight can destroy the original handling characteristics as designed by FMC.  That factor was one of my major considerations in selecting the GM Duramax as the only engine I would put into my coach other than a gas engine.  I am pleased to report that I could not discern any change in handling relative to how it had handled prior to the conversion.  That was great news!!  After Eric had also driven it, I asked him how he would compare the handling of 1046 to the handling of his 440 powered coach.  He said that as far as he could discern, the coaches handled the same.  There was no "tail wagging the dog" handling issue.

In summary, I am very pleased with how the coach turned out as to how it performs and how it drives.  I do caution anyone reading this to understand the magnitude of such a project as this both in time and money.  Do not attempt to do this unless you have in excess of $20,000 to spend NOT counting any labor costs.  For 99% of you, the original 440 is the correct engine for your use of a FMC motor coach. 

Drive them and enjoy them.
   
Top of the page Bottom of the page
borrmann
Posted 2015-10-26 6:52 AM (#3107 - in reply to #3106)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046


Contributor

25
Location: Bluevale, Ontario
Congratulations Stephan and Eric, what an epic achievement. Hope to see you both at Red Oak in 2016. Frank
Top of the page Bottom of the page
LCAC_Man
Posted 2015-10-26 7:09 AM (#3108 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046


Extreme Veteran

1001001001002525
Location: Oceanside, CA
Stephen,
I've owned two Duramax pickups, both ran 210dgs when fully warmed up, the main bypass thermostat doesn't fully open until 212dgs so that's a temp that you'll see alot, I also saw 225dg when towing, what I learned quickly was that watching the egt was more important, keeping it below 1300dg is the most important parameter.
Really glad to hear about the handling, I'm going to great lengths to lighten the load behind the rear wheels, so this makes me more comfortable.
Those MPG's are fantastic! Better than I'd have guessed, hopefully I can get close to those.
I'll be fabricating the passenger side motor mount today.
Top of the page Bottom of the page
hemi354az
Posted 2015-10-26 11:39 AM (#3109 - in reply to #3106)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046


Veteran

1001002525
Location: Scottsdale, Aridzona
Thought fan speed was electric motor/computer controlled based on coolant temp (http://www.fmcowners.com/mbbs22/photos/show-album.asp?albumid=77&photoid=2937) not engine speed ("which meant less heat was generated and it also increased heat rejection rate by increasing fan speed."- below) ?

Did you start with a full tank of Fuel ?
Have you refilled with fuel since you got home to Cottage Grove?
How does the actual gallons used compare with the computer generated avg MPG for the 583.0 mile trip ?

All that work . . . and it drove all the way home without a glitch ! GOOD JOB !!!
Congratulations to you, and Eric, and your Diesel Conversion Gang.
Lou #120

Top of the page Bottom of the page
BigRabbitMan
Posted 2015-10-26 12:20 PM (#3110 - in reply to #3107)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046



Elite Veteran

5001001001002525
Location: Cottage Grove, OR


borrmann - 2015-10-26 4:52 AM Congratulations Stephan and Eric, what an epic achievement. Hope to see you both at Red Oak in 2016. Frank

 

Yes, I will be at Red Oak next June.  See you then!

Top of the page Bottom of the page
BigRabbitMan
Posted 2015-10-26 1:22 PM (#3111 - in reply to #3109)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046



Elite Veteran

5001001001002525
Location: Cottage Grove, OR
 

hemi354az - 2015-10-26 9:39 AM Thought fan speed was electric motor/computer controlled based on coolant temp (http://www.fmcowners.com/mbbs22/photos/show-album.asp?albumid=77&photoid=2937) not engine speed ("which meant less heat was generated and it also increased heat rejection rate by increasing fan speed."- below) ?

Did you start with a full tank of Fuel ?
Have you refilled with fuel since you got home to Cottage Grove?
How does the actual gallons used compare with the computer generated avg MPG for the 583.0 mile trip ?

All that work . . . and it drove all the way home without a glitch ! GOOD JOB !!!
Congratulations to you, and Eric, and your Diesel Conversion Gang.
Lou #120

The fan is a viscous clutch and not an electric motor.  The fan and clutch were OEM for the UFO chassis built by Workhorse which had a pusher setup like the FMC but with a GM 8.1L engine.  The computer for the 8.1 had the ability to control the fan speed.  I have a nephew that is building a stand alone controller for me, but it is not complete at this point in time so I traveled without the controller.  The default for the clutch is full on so not having the controller just meant that the fan clutch was fully engaged at all time.  The controller is going to have to be re-configured as the normal temps for the engine are higher than previously thought.  Heat rejection was one of my early concerns as the Workhorse fan has fewer blades and is slightly smaller than the Duramax fan.  That aspect will be getting some review over the winter.  For now, the coach is very usable and it will get used!

Yes, I started with a full tank of fuel.  I filled it to the top of the fill spout opening to the tank in Gilroy on a level pad.  To the best of my ability on a slightly slanted pad, I did the same here in Cottage Grove.  I then did a manual calculation and it came out very close, but slightly less (less than 0.1 mpg)  than the calculated mpg by the DIC.  It is close enough for me.  I will keep track over multiple trips and multiple fills to determine is there is any significant difference between the DIC and the manual calculations.  I also want to see what it does under different conditions such as level ground and not towing a vehicle.  I will do that with a trip to see my grandchildren up in WA in a few weeks.
 
I want to join Lou in thanking those that assisted with this project.  It would not have happened without their help.  The primary helpers were Eric Whedon, Larry Enoksen and my son, Mark Heinrichs.  Each of them challenged my thoughts on how something should be done.  Those challenges helped me to either find a better way of doing something or allowed me to confirm my thinking as to the original path.  The end result was the trouble free 583 mile trip home.  That is a good omen for my future trips!

 

 

Top of the page Bottom of the page
LCAC_Man
Posted 2015-10-29 4:09 PM (#3119 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046


Extreme Veteran

1001001001002525
Location: Oceanside, CA
Stephen,
Were you able to use the Banks system to monitor inlet air temp and get a feel for how your water/air intercooler performed? I haven't committed to water/air or CAC yet.
Top of the page Bottom of the page
BigRabbitMan
Posted 2015-10-29 5:15 PM (#3120 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046



Elite Veteran

5001001001002525
Location: Cottage Grove, OR
No I wasn't as the Banks system didn't push the data through the extended wires. I will be in touch with them for a solution at some point. Have house things to deal with at the moment.
Top of the page Bottom of the page
LCAC_Man
Posted 2015-10-30 7:08 AM (#3121 - in reply to #3120)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046


Extreme Veteran

1001001001002525
Location: Oceanside, CA
I posted some pic's of the fan I just received and the vendor starting here: http://www.fmcowners.com/mbbs22/photos/show-album.asp?albumid=127&p...
Top of the page Bottom of the page
Duramaxer
Posted 2015-10-30 9:28 AM (#3122 - in reply to #3121)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046



Veteran

1002525
Location: Oslo Norway
Congratulations to you Stephen, Eric and the rest of the Duramax-crew.
Great work!

Kjetil
Top of the page Bottom of the page
byegorge
Posted 2015-10-30 3:11 PM (#3124 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046


Veteran

100
Location: Olympia, Washington
Len, Stephen:

I have read about 'shear plating' to stiffen the structure to better handle the weight of a Detroit diesel, is that a concern with the Duramax swap? Thanks.
Top of the page Bottom of the page
LCAC_Man
Posted 2015-10-30 8:45 PM (#3125 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046


Extreme Veteran

1001001001002525
Location: Oceanside, CA
The 8.2 is over 200lbs heavier than the Duramax, I'm also replacing the Onan 6.5kw with a Yanmar than is 115lbs lighter, and moving the battery forward. I don't think weight will drive structure changes.
Additional torque/power is another matter, while I'm still not sure it will be required, I'm going to make my new engine and transmission crossmembers more structurally significant portions of the frame, the original engine crossmember that incorporated the circular design to accommodate the exhaust couldn't have provided much if any additional frame rigidity.
Top of the page Bottom of the page
andy1canada
Posted 2015-10-31 12:53 AM (#3126 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046


Veteran

10010025
Location: Victoria, BC. Canada
Great observations Lenny! Can't wait to see what the outcome actually is. If we don't strive to make improvements - in spite of the prospect of failure - nothing will get better.
Please do keep us posted on your progress. It's people like you and Stephen and others who strive for improvement in what was originally a very good idea - that keep us all glued to our screens.

Terry
#846
Top of the page Bottom of the page
BigRabbitMan
Posted 2015-10-31 10:53 AM (#3127 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046



Elite Veteran

5001001001002525
Location: Cottage Grove, OR
As I recall from memory (which is dangerous in my case!) the Detroit 8.2 weighs about 1400 pounds and the Cummins 5.9 about 1000-1100 pounds and the Duramax about 850 pounds and the 440 about 650-700 pounds. One problem with all of these numbers is getting them with the engine at the same state of "dress". The best comparison would be with them all fully dressed as they would be when installed in a vehicle with manifolds, generators, carbs, oil filter, etc. all installed. I haven't found those numbers as of yet. At this point, I leave that up to others. It would be good for the community if those numbers were found for those engines and any other engine under consideration with links to the source of the data so correct interpretations could be verified. Upgrading the transmission to an Allison also adds about 200 pounds to the mix.

But pound numbers are only part of the mix to be considered. Leverage is the other factor. A pound added to the transmission has half the leverage effect of a pound added out at the end of the frame. Due to the length of the Allison 1000 transmission, my engine is a couple of inches further back than the stock position of the 440. But the center of gravity of a V8 is further forward than the center of gravity of an inline six. I replaced the heavy brass radiator that was out at the end of the frame with a light early 2000's aluminum radiator. The 440 has a torque rating of about 350 ft.lbs. while the Duramax is rated at about 650 fl.lbs.. That is a factor to be considered, but it is a variable factor as torque is only generated as called upon by the fuel pedal. Weight is there 100% of the time including when parked!

In my and Len's case with the double overdrive transmission, we are able to retain the stock high ratio gearing between the drive shaft and the ground. That reduces the torque needed from the drive shaft/engine to achieve a given forward force as compared to diesel setups that have larger wheels and/or lower ratio differentials. All of this and more comes into play when making changes.

As to shear plating, I think that it adds to the stiffness of the body of the coach but if one looks at the structure of the frame members of the coach and how the body is attached to the frame in the rear and where the engine is attached, there is no direct support of the frame members that support the engine as a result of shear plating. So does shear plating solve a flexing issue or does it simply mask it? How much flexing of the engine support members is acceptable? As Len has noted, with and without the 440 causes things to flex. Some expected flex is designed into machines such as our coaches. How much is tolerable is the question! When I reattached the lower portion of the ladder to my coach, all of the bolt holes lined up. To me, that was a good sign that the frame members that support the bumper were in approximately the same position as they were originally. But, yes, that was a static measurement.

Bottom line for me is that shear plating is a good thing as it stiffens the side panels of the coach, but it is not to be expected to materially support a diesel engine nor the torque it generates.

Top of the page Bottom of the page
andy1canada
Posted 2015-10-31 11:33 AM (#3128 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046


Veteran

10010025
Location: Victoria, BC. Canada
Very interesting Stephen.

Perhaps we might start a new thread focused on chassis capacity based on other owners real-world experiences and results with engine conversions?

Over the 8 or so years I've been involved with FMC's I have read occasional threads about issues with handling and measurable - if not visible - sagging in the butt-end of these things as a result. I think a new thread might be a good idea.

Frankly, I find it hard to swallow that FMC's motorhome was not overbuilt like most other stuff they made. One would imagine that those two primary aft frame members that carry the engine/trans load were stressed/engineered to handle at least twice the projected service weight. FMC tended to build stuff that way. Yet, we all know there were a few recalls on the coaches that, from what I can gather, were addressed.

So, anyone else think this would be a good thread to start? If so, I'd like to see info/results/observations on other projects of today & yesterday. If there were issues, how were they detected or measured? What are the original chassis specs that one can reference to see if theirs has moved any over the years or as a result of an engine swap? Tools and methodology: is a simple laser the way to go? what points beneath the coach can one easily reference? what signs on the exterior to look for? etc etc...

I remember one thread (IIRC) where a guy used a string pulled from one end of the coach to the other to determine if there was any frame/chassis deflection.

Wow! Way too much coffee this morning.

Feedback?

Terry
#846
Top of the page Bottom of the page
denshew
Posted 2015-10-31 1:52 PM (#3129 - in reply to #3128)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046


Veteran

1002525
Location: Canton, (Sixes) GA
Mighty 890, 8.2/545, alum radiator weighs in at 16560 with fuel, propane & water tanks full, family (4) aboard, fully provisioned. Sheer plated. One or two finger steering when underway. Very slight bulge aft of passenger side door that has not changed in past 8.5 plus years. Would be good to get coach weighs with qualifying details. I am going to try to get it weighed with just fuel, propane water tanks full, no people or provisions. Scales at Red Oak II 2016?
Top of the page Bottom of the page
BigRabbitMan
Posted 2015-10-31 4:50 PM (#3130 - in reply to #1312)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046



Elite Veteran

5001001001002525
Location: Cottage Grove, OR

denshew - 2011-01-05 7:08 AM Stephen – WOW. You have done your homework so should be a great project. My mind is flooded with a hundred questions and suggestions but will just say good luck and wish I was there to lend a hand. Eat the elephant. Denny
 Well Denny, we ate the elephant!!

 

 

 

Top of the page Bottom of the page
BigRabbitMan
Posted 2015-10-31 5:46 PM (#3131 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046



Elite Veteran

5001001001002525
Location: Cottage Grove, OR
Here is weight information for 1046 prior to the conversion. At some point, I will weight the coach again and we will see what changed. I also did some ground to end of frame rail measurements immediately before and after removing the 440 and immediately before and after installing the Duramax. The information is below.

****************
FMC 1046 weights as of 4-8-2011 prior to Duramax conversion.

Current set up is Chrysler 440 with an Allison 545 transmission and Edelbrock MPI fuel injection. Stock radiator converted to 6 rows. A 120 pound internet antenna is centered on the roof near the front. The generator is an Onan Marquis 7000 (290lbs.)

At the time of weighing, the fresh water tanks were full (they are to the right of the centerline near front axel) and the waste tanks empty (they are to the left of the centerline in front of the rear wheel).

Also, to weigh the left side the coach was driven half on and half off the scales. There was a small difference in height so the coach was slightly tipped to the right which would cause a slight weight bias to the right that would not be there if everything was level. The right side weight was derived by subtracting the left side weights from the axel weights. It was a segmented scale so the axel and total weights are all actual scale weight and not calculated.


Cat scale, Dixon, CA

Left right
Front: 5,200 2,480 2720

Rear: 9,500 4,480 5,020

Total: 14,700 6,960 7,740


Frame rail height from ground before and after engine (440 w/Allison) removal:

Left Right

Before: 21” 20 ¼”

After: 21 3/8” 20 ¾”

Rise: 3/8” ½”

Frame rail height from ground before and after Duramax (w/Allison) installation.

Before 27 15/16 27 3/16

After 27 ¾ 27 1/8

Drop: 3/16 1/16 Note: Generator not yet reinstalled.

Note that the difference in rail height by approximately 6 inches was due to measuring to the bottom vs the top of the rail. Also overall coach height changed due to re-jacking/leveling the coach in the intervening time period.

****************

Hopefully this information will give others something to compare to. At such time as I am able to re-weigh the coach, the numbers will be posted.

Enjoy,
Top of the page Bottom of the page
hemi354az
Posted 2015-10-31 7:05 PM (#3133 - in reply to #3124)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046


Veteran

1001002525
Location: Scottsdale, Aridzona
Please see Page 7 of "Discussions", Subject - FMC Chassis, messages #862, #863, and #872 by Duramaxer (Kjetil #477 Bergflødt).

All FMCers should review ALL of Duramaxers PHOTOS as he has rebuilt FMC #477 into the GOLD STANDARD that we all aspire.

There are many other PHOTOS of FMCs "without the skin" by others that are also worthwhile reviewing.

Bend(?) ON ! Lou #120
Top of the page Bottom of the page
Duramaxer
Posted 2015-10-31 7:08 PM (#3134 - in reply to #3128)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046



Veteran

1002525
Location: Oslo Norway
It's hardly a "tread" on the chassis as it got few comments and caused little discussion but this was some of my thoughts on the subject http://www.fmcowners.com/mbbs22/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=200&...

Sag on

Kjetil, #477

 

 

 

 

Top of the page Bottom of the page
LCAC_Man
Posted 2015-10-31 8:54 PM (#3135 - in reply to #3129)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046


Extreme Veteran

1001001001002525
Location: Oceanside, CA
denshew - 2015-10-31 11:52 AM

Very slight bulge aft of passenger side door that has not changed in past 8.5 plus years.

Do any of them not have it? I've seen 5 in person, every one of them had that buldge (including mine with no engine in it).
Top of the page Bottom of the page
byegorge
Posted 2015-10-31 11:33 PM (#3138 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046


Veteran

100
Location: Olympia, Washington
Is anything being done to increase the 'GVWR' beyond the stock 15,000 Lb. (10K rear & 5K front)? Maybe a better question would be how many 'Coaches' are currently being operated in an overloaded condition (ie: GVW in excess of 15,000 Lbs.)? I have yet to weigh #506 but I have no problem believing it will be in excess of 15,000 Lbs. fully loaded. How does one go about increasing the 'GVWR' of the Coach? What would need to be upgraded the tires, wheels, springs, bearings and/or frame structure? In a bone stock FMC what is the weakest link in the 'GVWR' equation?
Top of the page Bottom of the page
borrmann
Posted 2015-11-01 7:23 AM (#3139 - in reply to #3138)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046


Contributor

25
Location: Bluevale, Ontario
Number 645 has a 5.9 Cummins and an Allison 2200, has been shear plated. Have scaled about 5 different times, full of fuel and fresh water and passengers. 15,000 lbs., 10,000 on the rear and 5,000 up front. Have never done individual wheel weights, would be interesting. Maybe at Red Oak. Frank.
Top of the page Bottom of the page
LCAC_Man
Posted 2015-11-01 7:44 AM (#3140 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046


Extreme Veteran

1001001001002525
Location: Oceanside, CA
Re-classifying a vehicles GVWR/GCWR is very difficult/impossible depending on what state you're trying to do it in.
From a practical standpoint, you really need to consider what elements drove the current GVWR. After looking at the existing suspension, brakes , chassis structure, tires, and drivetrain the weakest link in that chain is the transmission/driveshaft/parking brake system. I don't know of any applications where the 727 is rated beyond 15000lbs GVWR and I'm not sure how the FMC engineers got comfortable with using a slip driveshaft with only 1.375" 10spline shaft.
The parking/emergency brake must have been the minimum to meet DOT requirements at the time as it the same size as what was installed on my 4000lbs 75 Toyota Landcruiser FJ40 (previous vehicle).
The 140 series Rockwell differential is well below its max rating (I saw references to it being used in 24000lbs GVWR vehicles).
The tires are critical elements, but, most commercial tires in the 19.5" size fit the high weight ratings.
The suspension, while a little soft for higher weights can easily be stiffened with air bags.
The chassis construction is as good as/better than more modern coaches with high GVWR's, the 6" rectangle tube configuration in the drivetrain area is extremely strong.
I haven't spent any time really evaluating the drum brakes/brake surface area capacity, so, it is still something to consider. The duramax/allison is much more effective with engine/trans braking so a considerable amount of the load can be offset with them.

Edited by LCAC_Man 2015-11-01 8:02 AM
Top of the page Bottom of the page
BigRabbitMan
Posted 2015-11-01 3:07 PM (#3142 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046



Elite Veteran

5001001001002525
Location: Cottage Grove, OR
I have copied and pasted all of the above posts from George's post #1311 on from this thread to Duramaxer's FMC Chassis thread as that is where this discussion should be continued.
http://fmcowners.com/mbbs22/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=200&posts=5#...
Top of the page Bottom of the page
LCAC_Man
Posted 2016-03-13 8:50 PM (#3378 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046


Extreme Veteran

1001001001002525
Location: Oceanside, CA
Stephen,
Were you able to use the FMC Cruise Control Switch? Looks like it's wired slightly different and may confuse the ECM. Were you successful in making that system work?
Top of the page Bottom of the page
LCAC_Man
Posted 2016-03-14 1:58 PM (#3380 - in reply to #3378)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046


Extreme Veteran

1001001001002525
Location: Oceanside, CA
A little more research makes it look like if I want to use the factory CC switch I can either disable the "resume/accel" function and use as is or add a couple relays to get all the functionality to work..
Top of the page Bottom of the page
BigRabbitMan
Posted 2016-03-14 10:03 PM (#3381 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046



Elite Veteran

5001001001002525
Location: Cottage Grove, OR
We could not use it in its original configuration so we split the actions between two switches. The "on" and "engage" functions remained on the stock stalk. We added a double action momentary switch on the dash to increase and decrease speed.
Top of the page Bottom of the page
LCAC_Man
Posted 2016-03-15 6:53 AM (#3382 - in reply to #3381)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046


Extreme Veteran

1001001001002525
Location: Oceanside, CA
That matches what I've been reading...there appears to have been a shift at GM in the early 80's from "Closed" circuit switches to "Open" circuit switches in later electronic cruise control equipped vehicles. I'm leaning toward the relay solution, here's the schematic:
http://www.fmcowners.com/mbbs22/photos/show-album.asp?albumid=127&p...
Top of the page Bottom of the page
LCAC_Man
Posted 2016-03-21 7:44 AM (#3393 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046


Extreme Veteran

1001001001002525
Location: Oceanside, CA
Stephen,
Did you incorporate the donors headlight switch? Looks as though it could be done without it but a couple relays would be required to produce "switched grounds" rather than power to the Instrument Panel Cluster. Trying to decide if it would be easier to stay with the factory switches or convert now.
Top of the page Bottom of the page
LCAC_Man
Posted 2016-03-25 9:52 AM (#3401 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046


Extreme Veteran

1001001001002525
Location: Oceanside, CA
Also curious if you attempted to integrate the ambient light sensor?
Top of the page Bottom of the page
BigRabbitMan
Posted 2016-03-25 3:47 PM (#3403 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046



Elite Veteran

5001001001002525
Location: Cottage Grove, OR
We did not incorporate the donor light switch for the head/parking lights as I like the stock switches. We did change the wiring so that the switches do not carry the load current. They now operate relays that carry the lighting load to the lights themselves. The donor light switch was retained to operate the dash cluster lighting. The donor switch is now behind the bottom of the steering column. The ambient light sensor was not incorporated, but we have the ability to incorporate it at a future date. Someday(!) I hope to do a complete dash reconstruction to properly incorporate the lighting functions and the steering wheel switches for the DIC (driver information center) and possibly the donor's radio as well. I also need a better position for my Manual Shifting momentary switch and the Tow/haul momentary switch.
Top of the page Bottom of the page
jadat1
Posted 2016-03-25 4:02 PM (#3404 - in reply to #3403)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046


Contributor


I purchased #09 a few years age. Drove it for awhile then parked it. I'm considering installing a ford 7.3 diesel. Does anyone have any experience with this conversion. I have this engine in my pickup. In my opinion it is one of the best. Appreciate any input. Thanks
Top of the page Bottom of the page
LCAC_Man
Posted 2016-03-25 9:06 PM (#3405 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046


Extreme Veteran

1001001001002525
Location: Oceanside, CA
Stephen,
Thanks for the light switch info, I'm still kicking it around and may do similar to what you did.
jadat1,
The 7.3 Power-Strokes are great motors. They are really large and heavy though, with the available transmissions(and resulting total length) they would be a very tough swap.
Top of the page Bottom of the page
jadat1
Posted 2016-03-25 11:20 PM (#3406 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046


Contributor


Thanks Stephen. Your input saved me a lot of hard work and headaches.
Top of the page Bottom of the page
BigRabbitMan
Posted 2016-03-26 12:01 PM (#3407 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046



Elite Veteran

5001001001002525
Location: Cottage Grove, OR
Actually, it was LCAC Man that responded, but I agree with him. When doing a conversion, many times one looks at an engine/tranny setup in its original location and sees it as a good unit - which is true - and thus thinking it will be good in a new application. But what is more important than how it works in the original application is how it will fit and work in the new application. The first thing to do is look at the restrictions/characteristics of the receiving application and see what best fits that application.

In the case of the FMC and how they are used, weight and torque band are the first things to consider. When I looked at doing a conversion, the first thing I looked at was weight and center of gravity as that is a major factor in the handling characteristics of an FMC. When I did that, I ended up feeling that the added weight of the Duramax/Allison combination would be tolerable, but that anything heavier would create issues that I, without a full shop and unlimited dollars, did not want to deal with.

I also looked at the torque band of the prospective engines as a wider torque band makes the driving characteristics more flexible. The Duramax also had the widest torque band of the prospective engines. At that point I made my decision that if I converted to diesel, it would only be a Duramax - no other diesel met my criteria. Lacking that, I would stay with a gas engine. As I had a fresh 440 in my coach, I would have stayed with that engine as it is a good engine and is engineered for the coach and is fun to drive. I put over 60,000 miles on my coach with that engine so I know how they perform. For 99% of the people, staying with the 440 is the correct decision. If I was going to upgrade to a newer gas engine, I would go with the GM 8.1 liter engine coupled to a 5 speed Allison transmission. That combination was used in many motor homes in the late '90's and 2000's until GM stopped production of the 8.1 so they are available.

But the bottom line is that no conversion is worth the dollars invested unless one plans on driving a lot of miles. One can buy a LOT of gas for less than the cost of any conversion. For a diesel conversion, don't start it unless you are prepared to invest $20-30,000 other wise you will end up with a partially converted coach that becomes unusable and virtually unsaleable. Almost no one wants to buy someone else's project. The most recent example is coach #192 in Santa Maria, CA.

As I tell most people, just drive your coach, maintain your coach and have a great time with it.
Top of the page Bottom of the page
hemi354az
Posted 2016-03-26 1:08 PM (#3408 - in reply to #3407)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046


Veteran

1001002525
Location: Scottsdale, Aridzona
Other old sayings come to mind . . .
$400 saddle on a $20 mule.
Cheap, Fast, Reliable . . . pick TWO.
$8,000 later, what have you got ? A fast Volkswagen !
If it won't go . . . Chrome IT!
If you can turn it . . . you ain't going fast enough.
All Engineering Programs will consume all available funds . . . before the time allotted, or the "product" is completed.
It is very expensive to achieve high unreliability. - Norman Augustine
All electronic devices fail in a mechanical mode.
An electron cannot fail . . . only the circuit that it is in can.
The "load limit" of a pickup truck is when the front wheels come off the ground and it is no longer steerable.
Do not add any weight behind the rear axle of a FMC motorhome . . . not even bumper stickers.
The last one I made up. Press ON ! Lou #120
Top of the page Bottom of the page
denshew
Posted 2016-03-27 5:43 PM (#3409 - in reply to #3408)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046


Veteran

1002525
Location: Canton, (Sixes) GA
Although 890 is old school with a non computer controlled 8.2L Detroit Turbo Diesel/Allison, I appreciate the power, torque, reliability and fuel milage it provides. Love the discussions. Enjoy your coach, we sure enjoy ours.
Top of the page Bottom of the page
LCAC_Man
Posted 2016-04-08 1:53 PM (#3413 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046


Extreme Veteran

1001001001002525
Location: Oceanside, CA
Stephen,
How did you handle the large fuel tank vent connection on the fuel pickup assembly? I'm looking at some universal charcoal vapor canisters.
Thanks

Top of the page Bottom of the page
BigRabbitMan
Posted 2016-04-19 5:44 PM (#3426 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046



Elite Veteran

5001001001002525
Location: Cottage Grove, OR
Since that vent was a closed loop within the tank/fill system and it did not connect to any canister system, I simply plugged it. There is no vapor recovery system needed for the Duramax as diesel doesn't vaporize like gasoline does. Given our very short fill neck, bubble back is a non-issue. You do need to use a vented fuel tank cap for expansion/contraction allowance. Napa has one that fits our tank.  
Top of the page Bottom of the page
BigRabbitMan
Posted 2016-04-19 7:03 PM (#3427 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046



Elite Veteran

5001001001002525
Location: Cottage Grove, OR

Since I now have just under 5,000 miles on my conversion, I thought that I would do an update.

The first thing to note is that I am very happy with what I call the "drivability" of the coach.  I like the ease of merging with traffic at speed, not slowing down for most hills, engine starting in a revolution or two, an even quieter interior and other smaller factors.  Many people are interested in what my fuel mileage is as that is a significant factor with any motor home.  Historically, with the 440 I got about 7.0 mpg most of the time. That is probably about average for an FMC.

As expected, I have seen a significant increase. Since fuel mileage varies with driving style, weather, terrain etc. I decided to do some close measurements under specific conditions to help define what was occurring rather than just post a series of numbers. So on a recent trip to CA I decided to do a flat land test and a mountain test.

The flat land test was from Redding, CA to Bakersfield then back north to Santa Nella, CA. That was a run of 674 miles over three days time. The first half of the trip was with a storm coming in and a lot of cross wind. The second half was with relatively calm winds. I also made five diversionary trips into towns for various reasons so it was not all straight down the freeway driving. I spent most of the time in the truck lane at 60-63 mph as it was a comfortable driving speed and I didn't want to be in and out of the 70+ mph left lane. The net result was that I got 14.7 mpg for that segment of the trip. I was not towing the Subaru Brat.

For the mountain segment, I went from Redding, CA home to Cottage Grove, OR. The beginning and end of the trip were at a similar altitude with an initial gradual climb from Redding to Weed at 3,900 ft. It then dropped down to the Shasta river and back up to 3,000 ft then back down to the Klamath river. Those were 4 or 5 mile 5 & 6% grades after some flat stretches. It then went from the Klamath river down in the canyon up to the top of the Siskiyou pass in Oregon at a little over 4,100 ft which is the highest point on I-5. After dropping down the 7 mile 6% grade into Ashland it became a series of ridge crossing with the first several at the 2,000 ft level then into the vallleys in between. As I continued north, the ups and downs became less significant until I reached home in Cottage Grove. Again, I was primarily in the truck lane except when passing trucks on grades. When descending 6% grades, I slipped the Allison 6 speed tranny into third gear (which is the same gearing as second gear in the 727 tranny) and came down the grades at 50-55 mph without needing to use the brakes.

 The mountain portion of the trip was 301 miles and the coach got 13.3 mpg which is a respectable number in my opinion. 

 With those two numbers in mind and the conditions that created them, I expect my long term number to be somewhere in between them. Towing the Brat will probably reduce those numbers by a mile per gallon.  Even with this kind of fuel mileage, it will take a lot of miles to recover most of the cost of the conversion excluding the unpaid labor cost for myself and the others who invested significant hours as well. 

 But, yes, I am glad that I did it and hope to see all of you on the road or at a future rally.  Schedule yourself for the June Mega Rally in Carthage, MO and you may have the opportunity to take my coach for a test drive. 

Top of the page Bottom of the page
hemi354az
Posted 2016-04-19 7:19 PM (#3428 - in reply to #3426)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046


Veteran

1001002525
Location: Scottsdale, Aridzona
Gates #31640 is a VENTED gas fill cap with finger tabs that fits my #120.

Stant #10292 (7 Lb.), and Balkamp #703-1428 (10 Lb.) is a RECOVERY type radiator cap that fits the stock radiator on my #120.
Stant #10282 is a NON-recovery ope n type radiator cap of same size.
You may also see: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/FMCMotorCoach/conversations/topi...
for more Part #s.
Press ON ! Lou #120
Top of the page Bottom of the page
dkarnath
Posted 2016-04-20 8:42 AM (#3429 - in reply to #3428)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046



Extreme Veteran

10010010025
Location: Medford, OR
Quick question.....Since fuel tank vent lines were mentioned. I am putting in a 3-port fuel filter "after" the fuel pump. I am going to tie the existing fuel tank vent line into the "vapor" port on this new filter. Will I need to buy a vented gas cap now? My vent line just hangs in mid air now with smelly fuel, so obviously it's venting. I'm taking the answer to this is yes....
Top of the page Bottom of the page
BigRabbitMan
Posted 2016-04-20 10:37 AM (#3430 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046



Elite Veteran

5001001001002525
Location: Cottage Grove, OR
Originally your vent line was connected to two vapor recovery canisters which recovered the vapors given off when temperatures rose. The unvented cap directed the air and vapors through the canisters. If that line is no longer open to the atmosphere then some other means of preventing excess pressure or a vaccum in the tank must be provided. A vented cap would provide that link. You would still get the same vapor smell as you are now.
Top of the page Bottom of the page
dkarnath
Posted 2016-04-20 12:23 PM (#3431 - in reply to #3430)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046



Extreme Veteran

10010010025
Location: Medford, OR
Ok. I will buy one Stephan. Thanks for the part # Lou.

Top of the page Bottom of the page
byegorge
Posted 2016-04-20 2:30 PM (#3432 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046


Veteran

100
Location: Olympia, Washington
Stephen:

How about the smell, are you learning to like it? I like the smell of gasoline can't say the same about the stench of diesel. Remember, when your hands are black as coal from the diesel use dirt to clean them. I don't think I'll ever get over that one. Diesel on.
Top of the page Bottom of the page
BigRabbitMan
Posted 2016-04-20 7:08 PM (#3433 - in reply to #1311)
Subject: Re: The Dieselfication of Coach 1046



Elite Veteran

5001001001002525
Location: Cottage Grove, OR
That is a positive of the newer computerized Diesel engines like the Duramax - very little diesel smell. Only when I have to fill the tank but with a 700 mile range I don't need to do that very often.
Top of the page Bottom of the page