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Topic: Life Expectency of a Chev 454 in Fleetwood?

Posted By: EKS on 09/15/04 03:24pm

Have a chance to purchase a '95, 30', Cl A
Fleetwood Storm from some inlaws who want
to unload it,65,000mi., average to a bit
under maintance record, what is the engine
expectency? have heard 65,000 to 150,000,
said they would sell it for what they owe
on it after 9 yrs. of payments, what would be
a bottomline wholesale price I could offer?
am aware of the NADA books and others,
thanks for your time


Posted By: CaFlyFisher on 09/15/04 03:34pm

Without knowing the condition of the MH, I would say a bottom-pricepoint could be quite subjective. Maybe if all systems are operatable and it shows no more than normal signs of wear and tear for a 65K/10 year old Fleetwood Southwind/Storm MH, I would put a rough value of about $23k to $25k on it. Like I said though, it is subjective due to age and condition.


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Posted By: GSF on 09/15/04 03:35pm

The answer depends on who you talk to. Many of the folks on this forum seem to think that 65,000 is high mileage for a gas truck engine. But if you talk to people in the commercial truck repair business, a well maintained 454 can be expected to last 250,000 miles or more.


George
97 Airstream Land Yacht
01 PT Cruiser Dinghy
2011 Can-Am Spyder RT-S
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Posted By: Sully2 on 09/15/04 03:47pm

Quote:

The answer depends on who you talk to. Many of the folks on this forum seem to think that 65,000 is high mileage for a gas truck engine. But if you talk to people in the commercial truck repair business, a well maintained 454 can be expected to last 250,000 miles or more.


In the right enviroment...MAYBE yes!....but from the avg RV owner...NO WAY IN HADES!


Posted By: Sully2 on 09/15/04 03:51pm

$19,700.


Posted By: Argosy24 on 09/15/04 04:10pm

A commercial truck 454 and the engine in a mh very likely aren't the same block. Life expectancy of an engine is hard to predict, service is part, how it was driven is also a large part. If you have any doubts a good mechanic should be able to run a few tests to help with the condition.

John


Posted By: KOG on 09/15/04 04:16pm

The MH engine is the medium duty truck engine. Exactly in all details. And you can expect it to last somewhere between 40,000 and 200,000 miles depending on how it's driven and serviced. On the '95 model expect to spend more on transmisions than engines.


Posted By: Sully2 on 09/15/04 05:27pm

LOG:
..."expect it to last somewhere between 40,000 and 200,000 miles depending on how it's driven..."

I guess that means that I'll live somewhere between 72 and 97 years then...lol Talk about a WIDE margin!!!


Posted By: macira on 09/15/04 05:49pm

Is the 95 year 1 of the Vortec 7.3 or is that 96? Makes a big difference as the 7.3 (454) is a far different engine that the previous 454.


Mac USAF retired
2001 Seaview 32 ft model 8311
Ford f53
2007 HHR
Brake buddy
Falcon2 Towbar


Posted By: mr. ed on 09/16/04 09:25am

Quote:

Hi EKS, I traded my 89 Itasca Chev 454w 3 sp trans. and had 135+ miles on it. No major repairs or brake downs in 7 years. Had good maintaince and running well when I sold it. The fellow who bought it is still driving it 3 years later.


My engine/transmission is essentially the same as the one mentioned by Novi (although his may have been carbureted vs TBI). I now have about 44,000 miles on the engine, it uses very little oil (synthetic) and passes the CA smog test with improved results every 2 years (she gets better as she gets older. Go figure!). I feel very comfortable taking her on long trips and she's never let me down (only recent replacements were the fan clutch and alternator). This engine, along with the older 3-speed tranny is a pretty good combination. At least it has been for me.


Mr. Ed (fulltiming since 1987)
Life is fragile. Handle with prayer.

2007 Hitchhiker II LS Model 29.5 LKTG (sold)
2007 Dodge Ram 3500/6.7 CTD/QC/4X4/SB/SRW/6-speed man/Big Horn edition (sold)



Posted By: LarryFR on 09/16/04 10:05am

EKS,

Anyone here who is saying that the life expectancy of a Chevy 454 is less than 100K just doesn't have enough experience with this and other modern big block engines.

The 200K quoted by others is on the other end of the spectrum. If you are familiar with the statistical term "natural distribution" you will understand this statement. The likely mileage of a well cared for 454 is between 100K and 140K miles. Those that fail at 40K and at 200K are unusual.

I personally have an '88 Bounder with the 454. I have had it 7 years. It had 63K when I acquired it and now has 97K. I change oil at 3K miles and use synthetic (don't really think it matters if you change oil often). I drive it VERY hard. As an example, this last weekend I traveled west out of Denver on I70. I ran full throttle at ~4000 RPM most of the way to the top of Vail pass. The engine as been used this way for a long time. It used 1 qt. oil every 1500 miles when I acquired it and it uses 1 qt oil every 1500 miles now.

I have a friend with an '89 HR with the same motor. His is 120K and climbing as we speak.

If the engine is well cared for, it is not worn out. Breakage failure can occur in any engine including new ones. Breakage failure is not the common failure mode of worn out engines. They die a slow death of losing power, using oil, smoking and being hard to start. If it doesn't smoke and has good power it probably has another 60K miles in it.

I have personal experience with other truck big blocks that tell the same story.

If the price is right, buy it and enjoy.

Larry


'88 Bounder on a P30, Gear Vendors, Thorley and other goodies.


Posted By: jspringator on 09/15/04 06:52pm

Do an oil analysis. If the engine is a Vortec, they are subject to leaky intake manifolds, which introduce coolant into the oil; a sure engine killer. I don't think new shortblocks for the 454 (you could upgrade to the 502) are that expensive. Do a cylinder pressure test to make sure you don't have a bad cylinder. This will tell you the overall condition of the engine. Look at the transmission fluid. Does it look burned? Likewise the rear diff. It is about water pump and radiator time. This can kill the engine if not attended to.


Jim & Sherri
02 Winnebago Sightseer 27c Class A;
"Scout" Springer Spaniel, gone but not forgotten;
"Boo" Chocolate Labradoodle.


Posted By: toolman1 on 09/15/04 07:36pm

To Argosy24 [quote]A commercial truck 454 and the engine in a mh very likely aren't the same block. Yes they are. Been w/ Chevy dealers forever. Truck engines are 366CID. and ARE very different to the 454. Maint. wise, the engine should be good to go for 150K or so, depending on maint. history. I would seriously recommend new cam chain and gears before 100K, as the OEM has plastic covered teeth, and the plastic breaks down and can come of of the sprocket. Replace with Sp. HP. double row chain and sprockets. That way you won't ever have to bother w/ replacing them again. See Ya.

Note: Due to invalid formatting, all formatting has been ignored.


See ya out there!!
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Posted By: 2lMan on 09/15/04 07:45pm

I don't think 100K to 150K is unreasonable for any well maintained gasoline engine.

The medium duty truck engines are generally 366 CID or 427 CID. Most GM big blocks of that era are essentially the same.

Watch out for manifold gaskets, and the mentioned timing chain and gears. Maybe even check engine compression as well.

However, keep in mind I am the guy with a 6.5 L diesel in a commercial vehicle with over 90,000 miles, and still going strong.


2003 GMC Yukon XL 2500 8.1L 4.10 Axle - 2002 Sprinter Quad Bunkhouse

Home is where you bring it!


Posted By: Novi on 09/15/04 07:45pm

Hi EKS, I traded my 89 Itasca Chev 454w 3 sp trans. and had 135+ miles on it. No major repairs or brake downs in 7 years. Had good maintaince and running well when I sold it. The fellow who bought it is still driving it 3 years later.


Posted By: goob on 09/15/04 09:08pm

A heavy duty truck engine has a deck height .400 inches taller than the ones in dually's and moho's. The taller deck allows for an extra compression ring on the piston. As far as how long a 454 will last it depends on how you take care of it and drive it, just like any other motor. My last truck had 85000 miles on it and ran perfect and butned no oil. I would say about half of the miles on the truck were with a truck camper and pulling my 30 foot boat. I have also seen boats, (the Mercruiser 454 310 HP isthe same) with over 1000 hours and no problems. I think its agreat motor and you'll be fine.
Mike


Posted By: Magic_Puzzle on 09/15/04 09:22pm

EKS, I suspect that the average life of that engine is a lot closer to 65,000 than it is 200,000, even in a truck, much less a motor home. There isn't a gasoline engine made that will haul a Class "A" for 200,000 miles unless it is treated like a baby, oil changes every three months or 3,000 miles, tune-ups, fresh coolant, all fluids changed when the time limit, not the mileage limit is reached. Read any RV magazine and check out the mechanical questions posed by motor homers. 90% of the break-downs and mechanical woes are from gasoline motor homes. For every 454 you can shop me with over 100,000 miles I can show you fifty that don't make it that far. Anyway you cut it, those engines are not designed for motor homes. They are a truck engine, used for a much heavier vehicle.


Magic_Puzzle


Posted By: Daveinet on 09/15/04 09:45pm

I would contend that the wear on the motor probably has more to do with how it is driven and how well the ventilation is on that particular MH. Generally speaking, MH engines run very hot. There are many discusions on trying to keep a 454 cool in a MH. If you want a real sense of average life of a 454, look at RvTraderOnline for your particular coach. See how many of them advertise new or rebuilt motor and what the mileage was on it. Anomilies abound are everywhere, but you really need to look at your particular brand and see what its history is. I do know a guy who has an old Revcon w/455 ci which is a car engine with over 330,000 mi on with original engine and trans. He also tows a car and although he takes care of it, I don't think its babied that much. Alot can have to do with how the motor was broken in as well.


IRV2


Posted By: nixiejen on 09/16/04 06:14am

I have a 65k on my 89 Southwind. First time out it didn't burn any oil, which is good. I have always changed my oil in my POV's every 3 months 3,000k and have never ever had engine problems. I also use LUCAS products in them. I have the rig in the shop right now for service just so I have my own maintenance records. I paid 18,900 for it but the inside is immaculate and everything works great. If you purchase it, find someone who can work on it and try to stay with them. Need special lifts to work on these beasts. Good luck and keep us posted.


Happy Trails to You, GO STEELERS!!!
"A Stranger is just a Friend that you haven't met yet"
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Jenn-
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Posted By: Argosy24 on 09/16/04 06:26am

[quote]To Argosy24 [quote]A commercial truck 454 and the engine in a mh very likely aren't the same block. Yes they are. Been w/ Chevy dealers forever. Truck engines are 366CID. and ARE very different to the 454.[quote] 366 is the base big block tall deck truck engine as described in goob's post. They also came in 427 and 454 ci, but most likely you won't find them in a motor home. I say most likely because I worked in the GM hd truck plant for years and saw enough weird combinations to learn anything will happen eventually. A real easy way to tell is look at the thermostat housing. 1 thermostat is an automotive block, 2 is the tall deck block.

Note: Due to invalid formatting, all formatting has been ignored.


Posted By: Peralko on 09/16/04 06:46am

EKS,

Bottom line on all these responses, is that nobody on this forum can tell you how long that engine will last. It all depends on how it has been treated. I can tell you the engine in our 91 Pace lasted 112,000 miles before we sold it, and the engine was in excellent shape. It still got about 3,000 miles to a quart of oil, and compression was just marginally less than when new. The mechanic where we bought that motorhome also told us about a customer who had "burned up" three engines in two new motorhomes. It is all in how you drive it. That being said, if the engine checks out in oil use and has good compression, chances are it will last as long as you will have the motorhome. If I were you, I would worry more about the transmission than the engine. The 4L80E is the weak link in that powertrain--we had to replace two in the Pace. Neither one showed any sign such as burned oil, and with auxiliary cooler and gage on the transmission, there was no overheating.
Also consider this: If any of the house systems fail, they can quickly add up to more expense than a transmission or engine rebuild! Check all systems carefully!
As far as cost goes, the worth is only what the owner and you can agree on. Low book is a good guide, the owner should not expect to get more.


Peralko
USAF Retired
2000 Prevost Marathon H3-45
2006 Nissan Maxima


Posted By: Hodag71 on 09/16/04 11:41am

HI EKS. Thanks for brining this topic up again. It comes up every now and then, and I enjoy reading the great variety of opinions regarding the 454.

Here is my 2-cents worth.

I have a '94 Flair 28 with a 454. It had 49,000 mikes on it when I bought it five years ago. It has 68,000 miles on it now. It does not burn a single drop of oil.

The previous owner keep good records and took good care of it. I have continued the same.

A major difference between MH's and trucks is that MH's tend to sit for several months each year. To overcome that, I take mine out for a drive at least once a month. I run up and down the highway for 20 miles or so just to keep the seals from drying out and make sure everything works.

I also change the transmission fluid often. The owner's manual doesn't call for it, but I figure that a few dollars spent on regular maintainence every couple of years is better than several thousand dollars worth of repairs.

There are no guarantees, but I hope to keep mine running for a long time. (Knock on wood.)


Posted By: tucsonmc on 09/16/04 12:06pm

Hey guys, don't scare me. I have just turned 50,000 miles on my 7.4 vortec and really hoped to get at lest 50000 more..Oh well the engine replacement is well below sales tax on a new MH..


tucsonmc
99 Pace Arrow 36B
Family & Friends + Travels



Posted By: patnchris on 09/16/04 12:40pm

Can't say, for sure about Chevy's, though I do know that Marine engines have two thermostats, and had one boat that was used in charter fishing service, that had 4000 hrs on a pair, and they didn't burn oil. They both used so little oil that I never had to add between changes.
As for the light truck vs, medium truck engine in a MH.....When I went to replace my Ford MH engine, a few months ago. (failed due to a total lack of maintenance by the previous owner...No maintenance!...and I truely mean NO MAINTENENCE) I was told that all MH's use medium truck engines, and that there was enough of a difference between them, that a light truck engine could be guarenteed to fail, prematurely, if installed in a MH.
The 460 I had installed in my MH was built to medium truck specs, with forged pistons, rods, and crank, a special cam, lifters, valves and springs, double row all steel timing gears and roller chain, special medium truck cylinder heads, along with many other differences....I would have to say that one would not find an engine, built to thoose specs. in a Ford pickup truck.....Pat


Patrick and Christine
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Posted By: CPO on 09/16/04 01:20pm

Quote:


The 460 I had installed in my MH was built to medium truck specs, with forged pistons, rods, and crank, a special cam, lifters, valves and springs, double row all steel timing gears and roller chain, special medium truck cylinder heads, along with many other differences....I would have to say that one would not find an engine, built to thoose specs. in a Ford pickup truck.....Pat


The engine in my MH was replaced by the dealer before I bought it (probably why it was traded... engine problem). It was a factory rebuilt from a Chevy dealer... there is a metal tag on the block with a part number, date & other info. Is there anywhere I can look up the part number to see what specifications it was built to? (IE - if this engine is intended for use in a MH or other severe application).

Also, since it was rebuilt, it has only 2760 miles on it, about half of which I put on. Regarding the comment 'depends on how it was broken in' - is there anything special I should be doing, other than regular maintenance & routine oil changes?

Tks,
Kevin


========================
Kevin & Darla
+ 4 kids (3 at home)
1990 Fleetwood Flair 29E/454 & TH400
2000 Mazda Protege
2002 Ford Explorer
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Posted By: patnchris on 09/16/04 01:37pm

Again, not being familiar with Chevy, I cannot say. However with Ford, all that information is available through Ford Fleet Services. They actually answer the phone, when you call them, and are a wealth of information.....Pat


Posted By: patnchris on 09/16/04 01:40pm

I was told to drive it easy, varying my speed up and down for the first 500 miles. After that, drive it like I stole it for another 1500. Then change the oil, and I was all done.....Pat


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