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DaGunster

Lakeside CA

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Posted: 12/31/09 11:15am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Good Day,

Well I bought my first motorhome. It's a 1972 Dodge Escapade - a class A - 20ft in length.

Big spender - I paid $300 for it and $100 to tow it.

The body and interior are in outstanding condition given the condition - the paint can use some work - but I think Charger Blue & Yellow will look nice on it :-)

It has a 318 Dodge engine. It does not run at the moment - they owners daughter said that it did run when put in storage.

I've some questions.

* Where can I find technical information on the chassis of this thing?
* How can I tell what transmission is in this thing?

Any advise people can offer me specific to Dodge chassis motorhomes with 318 engines?

Picture 1 : http://i45.tinypic.com/13yexr6.jpg
Picture 2 : http://i46.tinypic.com/2upzbif.jpg

Much thanks in advance.
Cheers
Gunnar

* This post was edited 12/31/09 11:58am by DaGunster *

trop-a-cal

Palm Coast Fl

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Posted: 12/31/09 11:26am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Go to a Chrysler dealer and have them run the VIN. 318's were leaded regular gas for many years, as they did not have hardened valve seats. That was changed somewhere in the 70's so it may or may not need an additive to the todays unleaded regular fuels. If you run it on to days fuel and it was designed for leaded you can burn the valve seats,(in the heads). The transmission probably is torque flight three speed, that should have the filter and fluids changed first thing, even before you drive it. It has points and you can update it to electronic ignition for better performance. Chiltons has manuals, and they may still be available at your local library.

chast

Marlton, NJ

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Posted: 12/31/09 11:29am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hey Gunnar-Congrats on your purchase--much luck and many happy miles in your future. The Dodge 318 is a great engine. How bout some picture posts on your new baby? Google Dodge chassis owners club and you will find all kinds of support. Post any questions you might have here and the answers will be forthcoming. We have owned three motorhomes on the Dodge chassis and while they may not be the most exciting or innovative going, they are strong and dependable. Happy 2010 and best of luck to you.


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MrWizard

Traveling

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Posted: 12/31/09 11:33am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

very likely an M400 chassis, the VIN# will help you identify the chassis

do a google search for dodge M400, and for 318, you will find all kinds of info

the biggest hassle will be identifying your brake system, take a rally good look at the master cylinder and follow the brake lines all the way to the rear wheels

dodge used 3 different systems in the 70's

some have a vacuum boost at the master cylinder

others have boost cylinder under the frame near the rear axle

there are (2) sizes of brake shoes and drums

the electrical for the chassis it pretty std across all models, except for the ignition switch harness & plug which changed around 1978 70-77 should all be the same

I had a 72 lifetime class A from Boise cascade on a 71 chassis, friends with other dodge chassis, i've put a fair amount of time into working on dodge RV's

* This post was edited 12/31/09 11:46am by MrWizard *


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DaGunster

Lakeside CA

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Posted: 12/31/09 12:01pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wow! Thanks for the responses - and so quick. I'll check out the Google area and do some digging.

Pictures are in my original post - I edited the post and added pics.

Cheers and Happy New Year.

sum1

So-Cal

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Posted: 12/31/09 12:07pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My '72 27' M400 had a 413" motor, but to second what Mr Wizard said, brake systems can vary. If I remember correctly, mine had two boosters. The thing stopped on a dime and gave me 9 cents change. Rode like a truck on it's bias ply, tube tires and split rims, but tracked straight and had LOTS of clearance for accessing those remote, rough sites I prefer.

mowermech

Billings, MT

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Posted: 12/31/09 02:25pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Keep in mind that there may be two different VINs, one for the chassis, and one for the finished coach. If you are researching the chassis, you will want the chassis VIN, NOT the coach VIN. The VIN on the title/registration should be the coach builder's number.
I ran into this problem with my old 1977 Pace Arrow Class A on a Dodge chassis.

The 318 is a good engine, to be sure, but if I were to fix one of those old coaches up, I would install a 360 with electronic ignition and throttle body fuel injection. One of the pre-computer ones to make it simple. Of course, a 440 would be nice, but perhaps a little bit much!
Yes, the tranny should be the 727 TorqueFlite three speed. If you ever have any problems with it, there are heavy duty kits available for those things that improve them greatly over the way Chrysler built them. I highly recommend going heavy duty if you ever have to rebuild it!
Good luck, and have fun with your new toy!


CM1, USN (RET)
2002 Fleetwood Southwind 32V, Ford V10
Toad 1: '06 PT Cruiser, Kar Kaddy dolly
Toy (and Toad 2): 2001 Dodge QC SWB, 360 Magnum, Auto, 4X4
"When seconds count, help is only minutes away!"

DaGunster

Lakeside CA

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Posted: 12/31/09 02:53pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

So far I have confirmed - It is an M300 chassis for sure.

Thanks all - I will have some questions as time goes on.

LVJ58

Las Vegas, Nevada

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Posted: 12/31/09 04:13pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Here's a link to transmission rebuild kits etc:

http://spideraccessories.stores.yahoo.net/bm10229.html

Have Fun--


Jim & Sherry Seward
Las Vegas, NV
2000 Residency 3790 V-10 w/tags & Banks System
2003 Suzuki XL/7 toad

johnsonbert

Houston, TX-Ironwood, MI

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Posted: 01/01/10 08:24pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Congrats, we had 72 but 26' long. Had 6000 miles on the 413ci when we got it in 1994. We put radials and regular wheels on it and redid a lot of it and put on about 45000 miles on it before selling it in 1999. JCWhityney haed many chassis parts for it, obtained dash air add on kit from a junk yard and also added a roof air, body was prewired. One disadvantage, ours did not have a grey tank, just one for the black, had to keep a 25 gal tote hooked up when in use. We had a lot of fun in it and somebody else still is. One of the nice things about these is you don't have to be an electronic genius to work on them.

Happy Travels Bert


2006 Monaco Dynasty Diamond IV 42' Tag, ISL 400,(new to us), Residential Refrig, 10KW Onan, Bosch Washer/220V Dryer (previously 2003 American Tradition 40W) 2010 Chev Malibu LT

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