Q: We own a 32-foot 1992 Pace Arrow with a Chevrolet 454 engine and an automatic transmission. We like the motorhome very much but would like to improve its stability and performance. Please advise whether the following changes would be feasible and beneficial:
Would the addition of an aftermarket suspension kit, such as those offered by ipd Co. Inc., improve the motorhome’s stability and control?
Would it be possible to substitute a Chevrolet 8.1-liter engine and an Allison transmission in place of the present drivetrain? This obviously would be expensive, but would it be a reasonable substitution?
James Carll, F167938
Scotia, New York
A: Since your motorhome is more than 10 years old, the addition of an ipd suspension kit would probably result in a great improvement in ride, comfort, and control. But I would not recommend installing the Vortec big block engine and Allison transmission, for a couple of reasons. First, it would be prohibitively expensive, even if you could find such a combination. Also, it’s unlikely that the Allison transmission would or could be made to fit in your chassis (it would more than likely entail major modifications to your doghouse and, possibly, your floorboards). There are many other modifications that can be made to your current 454 engine that would be much less costly, such as new headers, a dual exhaust system, an electronic fuel injection system, a high-performance ignition, or a cam, to mention just a few.
No Cruise Control
Q: I have a 38-foot 1986 Monaco motorhome with a Williams air throttle and a Bendix cruise control. I need to repair the system, but I can’t find parts, and no one seems to know anything about it. The engine is a 3208 Caterpillar. The air throttle is a series 476F, and the cruise control is an SD-10-1.
Grant Lovejoy, F206475
FMCA Mail Forwarding
A: I’m assuming that the first thing you did was call Monaco to ask whether someone in their service and parts department could help. After that, you might try contacting a large truck salvage yard or calling Precision Rebuilders in St. Clair, Missouri, for the air throttle; (636) 629-1444. They evidently rework some of the parts. Unfortunately, I can’t find any reference for an SD-10-1 Bendix cruise control. Bendix says that an SD-10 is an air-conditioning compressor part number. Bendix does make several models of heavy-duty electronic throttle treadle systems for the Caterpillar pedals, so you might upgrade to one of those.
Power Converter Problem
Q: I have a power converter (series 6300A, model 6332) that was made by BW Manufacturers of Kokomo, Indiana. As near as I can ascertain, the company no longer exists. The series SCR is defective, and an exact replacement is not available. (I checked with Motorola.) Is there a suitable replacement, or can the battery charger circuit be serviced? To replace the entire unit, which includes the 110-volt AC distribution panel, would be a nightmare.
B.V. Deltour, F172865
El Cajon, California
A: This converter/charger is a 32-amp unit, of which approximately 5 amps are dedicated to battery charging. BW Manufacturers sold this line to Magnatek, and later still, it was acquired by Parrallax Power Components. The rectifier in question should be bolted onto a heat sink and if the numbers are legible, the part should be available from BR Wholesale Inc. (800-848-0934, www.brwholesale.com). If the numbers are not legible, try to find a schematic and hope some description is there.