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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
HI,

I just got a 1995 motorhome with a 454 TBI. It has 27k miles on it. Our plan is to use it this summer for about a 3000 mile trip and more than likely sell it.

According to Carfax and some receipts I found in it, it had the radiator, lower hose, fan clutch and harmonic balancer replaced about 5 years ago. Which was really nice to see since everything else has been neglected over it's life.

I've been going through it for the last 2 months and have almost everything sorted out.

I am going to change all the belts, hoses and the thermostat, all those are easily accessible. I am struggling with the idea of weather to tackle the water pump or not. The pump is going to be a nightmare to get to, specially trying to get the fan clutch and the pulleys off. The engine runs great, no over heating issues that I saw in the 100 mile drive home. It was a couple months ago and temps were in the 50's. The coolant looks clean. There's no reason to suspect any issue with the cooling system.
What do you think?

Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeap, that's the issue. If anything goes wrong on the road then it's several thousand to fix. Not to mention a $100 per mile to tow this thing. So I'll go ahead with it. Even with using an ACDelco part, it's still just $50.

Just ordered all the new parts, including the water pump. I did know that I should replace it. Just needed a second.

Thanks.
 

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That motorhome has a lot of brake line on it , a vehicle that isn't driven regularly has can tendency to eat brakelines & hoses . If the tires are more than 5 or 6 years old I wouldn't trust them either .
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I will be replacing the brake hoses also. Working on building a vacuum bleeder now.
Front tires are 8 years old. Rears are almost 15. Got 6 new tires in the garage, they're going on in a couple days.
The under carriage is coated, but I will look over the brake lines.
Thanks
 

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My luck I'd put a new one on and it'd be defective. Long ago my neighbor replaced a leaky pump and the car kept overheating after with the brand new unit, turned out the impeller was just loosing up/expanding enough to slip when up to temp.

If the radiator, t-stat and inside the hoses aren't all gunked up I'd prob not worry bout the pump with those low miles
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I considered the possibility of a bad new pump. That's why it's been a mental struggle to go ahead with or not. I also considered just keeping one as a spare on the drive, but it's not something I can do on the road. I may end up having to pull the radiator. We'll see how it goes. I am repalcing everything with OEM, so hopefully that'll help.
I think its had about 3k miles put on it since the radiator swap, so the fluid is fresh. Pretty sure the upper hose is original so looking inside it will give me good idea of the system.
Thanks.
 

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If I were doing this I would definitely pull the radiator to do the water pump. This gives you good access to the front of the motor. While you are there don't forget to replace heater hoses!!!. While your radiator is out it would be a good time to give the radiator a good flushing... I have been there. I had a 33ft Class A coachman with the 454 and had to change the waterpump and I tell ya what I would remove the radiator to give you access to the front of the engine. It is a nightmare laying on your back trying to disconnect all the stuff working over head lifting and reaching without being able to see what you are doing.. With the radiator out of the way removing the pump and heater hoses are easy.

Either way you go I wish you Good Luck :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
If I were doing this I would definitely pull the radiator to do the water pump. This gives you good access to the front of the motor. While you are there don't forget to replace heater hoses!!!. While your radiator is out it would be a good time to give the radiator a good flushing... I have been there. I had a 33ft Class A coachman with the 454 and had to change the waterpump and I tell ya what I would remove the radiator to give you access to the front of the engine. It is a nightmare laying on your back trying to disconnect all the stuff working over head lifting and reaching without being able to see what you are doing.. With the radiator out of the way removing the pump and heater hoses are easy.

Either way you go I wish you Good Luck :cool:
Heater hoses are on the list. I'm thinking to either remove the radiator, or cut and remove the doghouse cover. The current doghouse opening is way too small to be able to reach the pump. If I do that then future repairs can be done by just removing the doghouse. Only issue then will be to put it back in place and not have it look bad and have it secure. All that can be done with some clamps and hinges and whatever. Right now I'm thinking this is the way to go.

Removing the radiator also means removing the AC condenser, an aux fan and working through a 18" opening while reaching in at full arms length. Even that sounds like a giant pain. I have the next week off and will be starting on it in a day or so.
Thanks.
 

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Heater hoses are on the list. I'm thinking to either remove the radiator, or cut and remove the doghouse cover. The current doghouse opening is way too small to be able to reach the pump. If I do that then future repairs can be done by just removing the doghouse. Only issue then will be to put it back in place and not have it look bad and have it secure. All that can be done with some clamps and hinges and whatever. Right now I'm thinking this is the way to go.

Removing the radiator also means removing the AC condenser, an aux fan and working through a 18" opening while reaching in at full arms length. Even that sounds like a giant pain. I have the next week off and will be starting on it in a day or so.
Thanks.
I knew there was a reason I always had a pull behind !!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
If I were doing this I would definitely pull the radiator to do the water pump. This gives you good access to the front of the motor. While you are there don't forget to replace heater hoses!!!. While your radiator is out it would be a good time to give the radiator a good flushing... I have been there. I had a 33ft Class A coachman with the 454 and had to change the waterpump and I tell ya what I would remove the radiator to give you access to the front of the engine. It is a nightmare laying on your back trying to disconnect all the stuff working over head lifting and reaching without being able to see what you are doing.. With the radiator out of the way removing the pump and heater hoses are easy.

Either way you go I wish you Good Luck :cool:
What are your thoughts on replacement or not?

Thanks.
 

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If you replace the pump, I suggest using a Stewart Stage One high flow pump, The iron version is not much more than an original Delco, and it should flow more and cool better. Also use a high flow 195 degree thermostat, which should already have a small bypass hole drilled in it.

Bruce
 

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What are your thoughts on replacement or not?

Thanks.

Well I had an inside access cover that was big but not quite far enough forward. It was great for carb work and I could reach some of the pump items but not all. I had a 16 inch dead space in front of my radiator with no AUX Fans to deal with but I too had a Air con condenser. Either way you go it will not be that pleasant. I do believe engine access in Class A front engined motorhomes was intentionally made small so the dealer could charge up the Kazoo to do any work... I am glad I sold mine. It was a low mile motorhome at 46,000 miles but it did too much setting in it's life and that added to the failures I had over the time I owned the rig. Keep that in mind when working on the rig. My recommendation would be to plan out your moves and do it at your leisure over a couple of days. It isn't any good trying to complete a repair with a time line hanging over you head.. Just go at it and be calm!!! :cool:
 

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With a vehicle nothing like the motor home, but -still- a vehicle, I planned a trip across CA, NV and into Utah last summer and decided to be prepared and replace virtually everything I thought might ever fail first as a preventative. Frankly I should have left it alone...after a few hundred miles the new P/S pump was leaking in a dribble when the car was stopped and fully failed on the way home, having to be replaced again roadside, the new water pump resulted in higher running temps somehow, the new Gates serpentine belt slipped and screeched as did its' two replacements also done on the road. Thinking the screeching was an accessory problem, everything on the front of the motor was eventually replaced, sometimes more than once, but that problem was not solved until I re-installed the old dried-up and cracked serpentine belt that had been in there before, which worked fine. (A new Continental belt finally worked OK.) There were things I didn't replace but should have, I hadn't replaced a particular heater valve as it was only a year old, that blew out resulting in yet another roadside repair. To add to the general sketchiness on the trip the motor started a little misfire thing, addressed with all kinds of tune-up parts but later only actually fixed with a new IAC motor (uh, ok...).

If I'm to make a point, I guess it's just this: (1) Use good parts, which I can't tell you what's good or not but don't necessarily trust GM parts, I've had them fail within a few months of install, and for crissake stay away from Gates serpentine belts, and (2) Don't wind up in the spot where you're making last-minute changes, plan on at-least a couple-hundred mile trip close to home to test things out as long trips somehow seem to bring out the problems better than multiple short ones around town.

Good luck, RV trips can be a hassle but you get time with the family and for me it's preferable to unloading your stuff into strange $100 & up motel rooms every night.
 

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The thing is, you need to visually inspect your fuel and brake lines for severe rust.......not just surface rust like most vehicles have. I would drain the fuel tank and look inside with one of those inspection cameras and see if any debris or ust is inside. If it does, remove it and have it cleaned. If its clean inside....thats great. After all that I would replace your fuel filter. Residue in the fuel system is a major concern in any vehicle that has been sitting. I would also consider removing the battery from whatever vehicle you are leaving at home, charging it well, and taking it along with you on your trip. Then you always have a way to start your motorhome if you have a problem. Just store it somewhere along with the tools needed to install it. I would also consider taking a short weekend trip to some place reasonably close by before you take the longer trip.
 

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I would install a block heater on the lower radiatior hose. Have it on a timer or just plug it in a few hours before you leave. It eliminates a good amount of wear and allows for heat almost instantly.
 

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I'll take a different approach. Water pumps almost never die from time. They die from how many times they spin.

Feel free to do whatever you want, but a mechanical part that is responsible for cooling a whopping 235 hp is not on the top of my priority list. I would focus on fluid changes and inspecting things, but tearing into a 27k water pump is a recipe for "if it ain't broke..."

I would wager that the chances of a 27k factory water pump failing are far less than a brand new aftermarket pump failing.

Drive it. Tell the family it's an adventure. If you break down (unlikely), just hunker down for a day or two while you get it fixed. Use it to explore wherever you ended up. A similar thing happened to us when I was young. Dad loaded the slide-in camper on our 78 Chevy pickup and we took off. He had the title in the glove box just in case. We got a flat and had to spend the day in the tiniest town (Cooke City MT) just outside of Yellowstone NP. I had such fond memories of that time that I went back to visit as an adult just because.

Just drive. It has 27k miles and you're going to sell it later. If you're worried about a tow, add the roadside assistance to your insurance. Mine costs something like $5 per 6 months and gets me 25 miles and $2.50 each additional mile.
 

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In a similar vein... Many years ago (about 2003) I bought a 73 Impala station wagon with a 454 on a fly-n-drive. The car had 58k original miles and had been stored in a barn since 1981 unused. It still had nylon bias-ply tires on it.

I forked over the cash, drove it to a tire shop for new shoes, filled the tank with 87, and proceeded to drive 1700 miles back home with it. Those were my younger and dumber days, but it was fine. I realize that is a single example and not every vehicle will conform to that standard, but I suggest you just bloody drive it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I'll take a different approach. Water pumps almost never die from time. They die from how many times they spin.

Feel free to do whatever you want, but a mechanical part that is responsible for cooling a whopping 235 hp is not on the top of my priority list. I would focus on fluid changes and inspecting things, but tearing into a 27k water pump is a recipe for "if it ain't broke..."

I would wager that the chances of a 27k factory water pump failing are far less than a brand new aftermarket pump failing.

Drive it. Tell the family it's an adventure. If you break down (unlikely), just hunker down for a day or two while you get it fixed. Use it to explore wherever you ended up. A similar thing happened to us when I was young. Dad loaded the slide-in camper on our 78 Chevy pickup and we took off. He had the title in the glove box just in case. We got a flat and had to spend the day in the tiniest town (Cooke City MT) just outside of Yellowstone NP. I had such fond memories of that time that I went back to visit as an adult just because.

Just drive. It has 27k miles and you're going to sell it later. If you're worried about a tow, add the roadside assistance to your insurance. Mine costs something like $5 per 6 months and gets me 25 miles and $2.50 each additional mile.
YES!!!
That makes perfect sense. I still don't have all the parts to start on the cooling system. I will replace everything except the water pump. I will take the pump with me and I will add road side assistance to my coverage. Still need to work on the suspension, steering, brakes, etc.
After already replacing about a 100 other things (literally) on the coach side, I'm a little burnt out. Upping my coverage to include everything is the best way to go.
Thank you!
 
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