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Author Topic: Griff's Project #1 (aka MLP)  (Read 11270 times)
Griff in Fairbanks
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« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2009, 12:02:23 AM »

The second fuel level sensor arrived a couple of days ago.  The ARP engine & accessory bolt set is still inbound.

The #$&^*% volcano has disrupted shipping to and through Alaska ... one Alaska bound bulk container on a plane diverted from Anchorage to Fairbanks was trucked to Anchorage, where it was opened, sorted, and the Fairbanks bound packages trucked back to Fairbanks.  (Some air freight shipments to and from Asia and Europe have also been disrupted because they pass through Anchorage.)

Ordered the Lokar gas pedal, brake pedal pad, one parking brake handle, two parking brake warning switches, and carburetor bracket & springs kit.

Yes, two parking brake handles ... one for the tranny-mounted driveline parking brake and a second for the standard parking brakes in the rear axle.  A buddy came up with a slick idea for adding a second warning light, buzzer, and relay grounded through the neutral safety switch.  When either parking brake is engaged and the engine is running, a yellow LED will light up.  If the transmission is shifted into gear, the relay will switch to a red LED and sound the buzzer to warn the driver he (or she) is trying to drive with parking brake(s) engaged.  The picture below is the basic circuit for making this happen.



* Parking Brake Warning.jpg (61.52 KB, 1796x984 - viewed 252 times.)
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Griff in Fairbanks
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« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2009, 12:48:54 AM »

I also managed to get my hands on a "super" transmission rebuild kit.  The kit included the bushings, in addition to the standard collection of seals, clutch plates, clutch steels, and bands.  (A local shop had one of the old "super" kits on the shelf ... most modern "master" kits don't include the bushings ... and usually cost more than the kit I bought.)  I may need to get a few other parts, such as thrust washers, but most of what I'll need to restore the transmission to like-new condition is in the kit.

I'm planning to keep the transmission more or less stock.  I considered, and decided against, adding a shift kit.  I also decide most of the possible modifications are suited to transmissions used on race cars and aren't necessary (or, even advisable) in my transmission.

I do plan to replace the pan with an extra capacity pan, probably the stamped steel deep pan kit from Mopar Performance.  I considered a cast aluminum deep pan but decided against it because of the possibility of a rock or debris hitting it and cracking it.  (A stamped steel pan will dent where an aluminum pan would probably break.)

I plan to add a transmission temperature sensor and gauge so I'll probably have to weld a bung into the pan for the sensor.  (I'll check first to see if there's a more appropriate place, already designed into the transmission, for mounting the sensor.)

I'm seriously considering replacing the pressed-in sprag with a bolt-in sprag because the pressed-in sprag is a known weakness in the A727.

An auxiliary transmission cooler has been a sticking point in the plans.  Fairbanks summer temperatures routinely have highs in the 80s to 90s, with occasional heat waves as high as 100 degrees.  Likewise, my wife and I plan to tour the Lower 48 and may be driving in high temperatures, especially if we travel through deserts.   On the other hand, an auxiliary transmission cooler might cool the transmission fluid too much in the seriously subzero (-50 and below) we routinely experience in interior Alaska.

Leeann suggested getting a viscous controlled cooler that would bypass the auxiliary cooler whenever the fluid got too thick to need cooling.  However, I ran across an article in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul Star Tribune that suggested a better alternative.

Most people put their auxiliary cooler in the line that returns from the radiator to the transmission.  The Star Tribune article suggested putting the cooler in the other line, the one that goes from the transmission to the radiator.  That way, if the transmission fluid gets cooled too much, the heat in the radiator will warm it back up to a reasonable operating temperature.

I also won't put the auxiliary cooler in front of the radiator, like most people do, because I don't want to block airflow into the radiator.  Instead, I'll mount it to the side, possibly with a thermostatically controlled fan.

The torque converter will have to be replaced, possibly with a better aftermarket unit, because the orginal was going out when I tore everything apart.  (I had to just about keep the throttle floored to maintain highway speeds the last time I drove it.)

The only other modification I'm considering is adding a Gear Vendors Over-Underdrive unit.  Gear Vendors makes a unit specifically for motorhome transmissions like mine, with a better quality driveline parking brake on the tailcone.  Unfortunately, the units cost several thousand dollars so I'll probably have to wait until everything else is done and working first.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2009, 12:57:32 AM by Griff in Fairbanks » Logged

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Griff in Fairbanks
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« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2009, 01:18:35 AM »

BTW - as some of you know, the exterior color scheme will consist of the brightest, reddest red I can find, natural wood panels on the sides and back, and black and bright metal (chrome, stainless, or polished aluminum) accents.  The red paint will probably be a three stage, consisting of a gold or silver base coat, translucent red main coat, and a clear top coat.  The natural wood panel will consist of lauan (aka Philippine mahogany) plywood, clearcoated with a fiberglass/marine epoxy laminate, and trimmed with interior Alaska birch, stained with a light reddish brown stain.  (Imagine a woody on steroids ... )

The interior will be mostly light reddish brown wood, possibly birch stained with the same stain used on the exterior trim.  Upholstery will be a light brown and curtains will probably be red.  As with the exterior, I will make judicious use of black and bright metal accents.

We are also considering a limited use of exotic woods for interior accents and trim.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2009, 01:21:09 AM by Griff in Fairbanks » Logged

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« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2009, 05:27:27 AM »

There is a damn good tranny man just west of St. Louis that puts the auxiliary coolers in parallel with the stock one. Most hook them up series. With it in parallel you could use a thermostatically controlled valve to control flow to the add on.
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Griff in Fairbanks
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« Reply #19 on: April 23, 2009, 04:03:27 PM »

Well, I was offline for eighteen hours on Tuesday ...

Got up Tuesday morning to find my computer had dropped offline.  Tried reconnecting but kept getting a "Server not found" message.  Figured the folks at my ISP were doing maintenance and ran into problems, so I worked on the plans for the motorhome while trying to reconnect periodically.  (Cycled and reset the DSL modem several time, just in case.)

After several hours, I decided to call the ISP to see what was going on and how much longer it'd be.  Discovered the telephone was dead.  Had noticed Monday that the electric company was replacing some of their poles towards town so I figured they'd manage to knock out the telephone lines.

After several more hours with no DLS and no phone, decided to see if problem might be at my end.  Disconnected phone from DSL modem, took it outside and plugged it into the phone company's box on the outside of the house.  Amazing!  I got a dial tone.

Went back inside, disconnected the DSL modem from the wall jack and plugged in the telephone ... got a dial tone again!  Plugged in the DSL modem and tried connecting to the internet again ... no go, same "Server not found" message.  So, started checking the cord between the wall outlet and the DSL modem ...

Oh, did I mention?  I got a new puppy Monday ... anyone want a somewhat-chewed telephone cord?  (Great for blocking annoying telemarketers and relatives.)

Worked until the wee hours of Wednesday morning, finding a another (intact) telephone cord and rerouting wiring and LAN cables so 'somebody' couldn't reach them.

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Griff in Fairbanks
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« Reply #20 on: April 23, 2009, 04:21:36 PM »

There is a damn good tranny man just west of St. Louis that puts the auxiliary coolers in parallel with the stock one. Most hook them up series. With it in parallel you could use a thermostatically controlled valve to control flow to the add on.
Another good idea ... I like the redundancy -- one cooler will probably still function if the other gets blocked.  (The lockup clutch in A518 torque converters are notorious for disintegrating and plugging the stock cooler in the radiator ... happened to my daughter's Dodge van and destroyed the tranny in the process.)

I still like the idea suggested in the Star Tribune.  (Auxiliary cooler in series in the line going from the tranny to the stock cooler in the radiator.)  I like the idea of the radiator cooler being able to reheat the tranny fluid to normal operating temperatures if the auxiliary cooler cools it down too much, plus the two-stage cooling effect of two in-line coolers.  (Three stage, if you count the thermostatically controlled fan I plan to add to the auxiliary cooler.)  This also allows me to follow the K.I.S.S. principle by using a simple flow-through cooler instead of the more complex viscosity-controlled cooler.


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Griff in Fairbanks
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« Reply #21 on: April 23, 2009, 05:24:07 PM »

Some of my new Lokar stuff came in Monday ... transit time was very good, four days from New York to interior Alaska via USPS Priority Mail.

Got the gas pedal assembly (Lokar p/n BAG-6105), brake pedal pad (BAG-6108), one parking brake handle (EHB-7000F), two parking brake warning switch kits (EHB-7001), and the carburetor bracket and springs kit (SRK-4000).  The first picture below is the pedals I'm using (I still need to get the dimmer switch cover), the second is the parking brake handle, and the third is the carburetor bracket diagram.

I'm still trying to decide if I want to add the matching footrest, the fourth picture below.



* oval-pedal-set-small.jpg (22.03 KB, 480x640 - viewed 236 times.)

* floormounthandbrake.jpg (20.76 KB, 640x480 - viewed 239 times.)

* srk4000-drawing.jpg (65.61 KB, 800x574 - viewed 234 times.)

* oval-billet-footrest.jpg (41.82 KB, 480x640 - viewed 242 times.)
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Griff in Fairbanks
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« Reply #22 on: April 23, 2009, 05:46:38 PM »

As I mentioned, I've been working on the plans some more and double-checking the finished plans while I wait for the rest of the snow to melt.  All the snow and ice is off the tarp covering the chassis and enough snow has melted to find most of the stuff in the yard.  There's still shaded areas with snow, making some areas still difficult to walk through, plus muddy areas.  Fortunately, the snow melt has been slow enough that we don't have large puddles/ponds/lakes forming in the yard.

I'm hoping, by the time the snow flies again this fall, to have a rolling chassis, although I don't know if I'll get that far.  Most of my initial focus will be on the cab and front of the body.  The floor of the cab is gonna be tricky, making sure the seats, pedals, steering column, etc., fit right and are comfortable.

I also plan to sandblast the frame, weld closed all the unused holes, and prime it before this fall.  (Hopefully, before the annual rainy season starts in early August.)

Haven't seen it yet but I've got a shop I can use for some of the assembly work, about 30 miles away.  No power so I'll either have to get my 5K generator working or string power to the shop for the owner.  (A lot of the assembly work on the body doesn't require any power ... especially the epoxy bonding and 'glassing of components.

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« Reply #23 on: April 23, 2009, 06:49:05 PM »

So you gonna post a pic of your new, very helpful assistant?  Tongue

The Lokar stuff looks great - and 4 days from New York is really pretty good.

What's wrong with your 5kw generator?
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1973 Concord 20' Class A - 440/727
Griff in Fairbanks
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« Reply #24 on: April 23, 2009, 11:03:50 PM »

So you gonna post a pic of your new, very helpful assistant?  Tongue

The Lokar stuff looks great - and 4 days from New York is really pretty good.

What's wrong with your 5kw generator?
The new "assistant" ... the one who helped me adjust my computer network Tuesday morning ... according to the pound where I got her, she's a 'husky mix' ... standard rural Alaska mutt, although she's too laid back to make a good sled dog.

The pedals 'break' the fundamental design in terms of shapes used ... square or rectangular objects with rounded corners.  I could have gone with rectangular pedals but the wife liked the oval ones.  Plus, according to aesthetic design principles, too much uniformity is boring and select variations add visual interest and impact.

The last time I tried the 5K generator, it ran (Robins-Subaru engine) but didn't kick out any juice.  I think the alternator needs to be 'excited.'  Also, it's sat long enough that I should de-gum the gas tank and alternator.



* Christy_001.jpg (47.71 KB, 664x564 - viewed 230 times.)

* Christy_002.jpg (42.98 KB, 566x539 - viewed 210 times.)

* Christy_003.jpg (53.19 KB, 927x489 - viewed 215 times.)

* Christy_005.jpg (59.59 KB, 818x544 - viewed 219 times.)
« Last Edit: April 23, 2009, 11:10:14 PM by Griff in Fairbanks » Logged

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Griff in Fairbanks
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« Reply #25 on: April 23, 2009, 11:08:12 PM »

In case you missed the pictures I posted before the crash, the new supervisor ...

(Pictures are several weeks old ... it's hard to get him to sit still long enough lately to take any good pictures.)



* Palo - 001.jpg (97.77 KB, 939x556 - viewed 215 times.)

* Palo - 002.jpg (31.01 KB, 425x465 - viewed 211 times.)

* Palo - 004.jpg (46.79 KB, 640x480 - viewed 209 times.)

* Palo - 005.jpg (32.8 KB, 640x480 - viewed 229 times.)
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« Reply #26 on: April 24, 2009, 06:30:01 AM »

I like the pedals.  So, if you decide against them....

Kittens look so harmless.
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« Reply #27 on: April 24, 2009, 06:49:45 AM »

So the next question is, do the supervisor and assistant get along?  Tongue

Plus, according to aesthetic design principles, too much uniformity is boring and select variations add visual interest and impact.

Absolutely. Too much of the same is too much of the same. Too much different is dissonant. A little different here and there is pleasing...like human faces, which are absolutely not uniform left and right.


The last time I tried the 5K generator, it ran (Robins-Subaru engine) but didn't kick out any juice.  I think the alternator needs to be 'excited.'  Also, it's sat long enough that I should de-gum the gas tank and alternator.

Generators need to have their fields flashed on occasion. And if it's sat for more than 6 months, I would definitely de-gum the tank.
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Griff in Fairbanks
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« Reply #28 on: May 03, 2009, 02:41:22 PM »

So the next question is, do the supervisor and assistant get along?  Tongue
Yes, the supervisor is too busy gnawing on the assistant (and vice versa) to bother me ...

Got a call Thursday.  My ARP engine and accessory bolt set is in but the parts guy has the flu so I'm not going near him until he has a chance to recover.

My new mirrors came in last week.  Velvac 2025 mirrors ... heated and remotely adjustable.  (Side mirrors out of adjustment drives me nuts ... I've been driving vans and big trucks too long.)

Got hit with some unexpected bills so the short block is gonna have to wait, probably until the Alaska Permanent Fund dividends come in next fall.  (I've got plenty of other work to do on the motorhome in the meanwhile.)

We had a heat wave last week (highs in the mid-70s) so most of the snow has melted ... along with minor flooding due to the rapid melt and ice jams in the rivers.  Pulled the tarp off the chassis and rearranged things to make work easier.  Haven't fired up the welder yet but did cut some of the wood for the (final version) of the backside of the front deck.  (The body mounts at that location go under the wood instead of the front deck framing.)

Gotta clear the junk off my flatbed trailer so I can use it for a work platform when I strip the axles off the chassis and start refurbishing the frame.



* Deck Side.jpg (19.79 KB, 600x400 - viewed 227 times.)

* Deck Back.jpg (23.62 KB, 890x280 - viewed 210 times.)
« Last Edit: May 03, 2009, 02:43:22 PM by Griff in Fairbanks » Logged

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Leeann
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« Reply #29 on: May 03, 2009, 02:49:08 PM »

Excellent! You did good...must keep both occupied so they leave you alone.

Cool - and no, I wouldn't either.

Oh, I am jealous...very, very jealous.

Ouch. But, like you said, you have plenty to do before you actually need the block.

I can't wait to see some progress pics...once things have dried out and you can get movin'.
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1973 Concord 20' Class A - 440/727
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