Does not happen every day for sure these but yes, 2 coaches …. 2 sets of 6 wheels each made it off the property and onto the sidewalks of America …. get your children outa there because these are badass coaches each in their own way.
First, Willie and the 2 year project “Savoy Brown” finally took off north. Obviously it looks nice but it also has it under the skin…. quad bag rear suspension, FiTech fuel injection, new brakes all the way, fuel delivery system, maserator, Mach 8 with a condensation pump…. water comes away from the AC out of a drain pipe!!! Mac dash, all new interior, floor…. man just everything! Thanks guys for the opportunity to build such a nice machine….. enjoy it well…. Our next delivery yesterday was also a very special launch….. the gold Rocket Olds 350 with FiTech left to go home I’m excited to see what it does on an upcoming 2000 mile trip to see the eclipse…… we should get some good driving reports. For you tech-geeks we’re not padding this project test at all….. Consider these points:
350 Olds 40 over, line bored, balanced, flat tappet “Kryptonite” cam, stock 3.07 diff gears, stock 16.5″ tires, stock intake, FiTech 400 fuel injection system, ignition stand alone stock, Thorley headers, cleaned and rodded stock radiator, stock trans.
In other words nothin fancy other than the FI system. The set up is installed in a 76 23′ (lighter body) Birchaven rear bath coach He’s gonna havta change the “455” letters on the side of the coach…. hey, maybe not! The coach has good power off the line actually being a rev motor it doesn’t have to wind up the torque converter to get going….. 1st & 2nd get the R’s up to where this motor feels good and reacts well. Vacuum drops under acceleration but that’s what a fat cam in a smaller motor will do. 3rd gear is defenetly a cruising geat. There isn’t the torque to just grind your way up to speed. This rev motor youpour it on in 1st & 2nd… wind our 2nd a bit and hit 3rd to hold speed. The motor pulls 10″ of vacuum at 60mph! This means it is not sucking fuel holding highway speeds. More testing will prove this out but right now it looks like our skunkworks project already has some successes. With a taller gear this set up would really do well looks like….. No generator or dash AC as yet, the 40-2-air cooling system is on high as the Pineapple pulls out onto the road…….. Hold onto those horses buddy… lemme know how things go….. I have to say the motor build, swap and tuning of this project worked out well, I feel the FiTech system is a key that will bring this project together. Not a roller cam motor like our conventional 455 and 403 builds, Spacely will be using special oil hi in ZDDP levels (1500ppm). I want him as much as possible to run non -Ethanol fuel but also we need to know performance WITH Ethanol so please run tests with both. Spacely has a pile of information to follow from the FiTech control panel so testing can be very accurate. Guys, this just may be a viable option for future projects. Diesel is too pricey for the common man, Chevy motors don’t fit…. take too much mod without replacement parts off shelf and the electronics on new GM fi is stupid complicated. The Cady swap is going from the frying pan into the fire in reliable, on the road maintenance … u think it’s hard finding Oldsmobile performance parts try and look for Dady stuff! This is the most cost effective… bolt in motor swap for a GMC we can find. Costfor this motor build was $5500 plus a good complete core. Labor R&R was exactly the same as a 455 or 403… 30 hours. Swap was straight forward with everything bolt-in hardware and brackets fitting directly from a 403 motor. headers and oil pan are a perfect match and even using an aluminum off shelf intake (we didn’t on this build) you can have a flat floor! There are many more cores out there….. it’s a little less $ but the real reason to consider this is it is adapting to new driving habits we all should consider driving a 40 year old machine plus adapting to fuels and oils of today this set up may very well see GMC’s into the future. The 455 and 403 motors have always been and are still great options for the GMC power plant hey, but things change and if you don’t you will be moving backwards……. stay tuned for field test on this 350….
With everyone up, the musical chairs parade starts at the shop….. Steve gets his rear wheels and suspension apart The old parts box is filled with stuff that will be replaced including the non riveted shoes and Bruce B. “Mr. Clean” gets the baseline on fluids and a thru bumper hitch before coming off today for it’s new toll booth windows…. stay tuned to see those go in Marlin P., I’m test driving your FiTech as soon as I get away from here…… tough life test driving…. hey but someone has to do it!…. all wheel bearings, air compressor, all brakes, shocks, radiator, quad bag, new rins and tires….. man…. this is gonna be fun! I like Fridays like this!
Alrightythen, I’m on a mission… stay tuned for more on Marlin’s FiTech ……see ya tomorrow……
Initial Report on the 200 mile road test home:
We left the Co-op at the worst time possible @5:30PM – rush hour….
Filled up the tanks with gas and headed out all the way to the first traffic light. Three cycles to get through that one, then another and another……We passed the first test of sitting in traffic! Engine got up over 200 sitting, but dropped as soon as we started going again. Took and hour just to get ti Kissimmee (usually about 15-20 minutes) as I take a ‘back road’ to get there. Well it’s a major commute road at that time and only 2 lane…
Once we got down to US 192 (4-lane divded) we got going in the 50-60 mph range and everything was good. Hit a patch of Florida Monsoon rain, an overturned bucket truck (most likely driving too fast in the downpour and lost it) with Police and Fire on the scene.
Finished it up with about 100 mile run down the interstate cruising at 60-65ish (still breaking in the motor) She turns about 25-2600 RPM at 65 and vacuum is about 9.5. Drop back to 60 and the vacuum sits right around 10. When drafting a semi at 65, the vacuum went up to 14.5!
Overall the ride home is just under 200 miles and per the fuel gauge used about half a tank. The tell will be when I fill it up again and calculate the mileage. For a reference, when I drove it up there with the dying 455, I had to stop and fill up once using about of 40 gallons fuel on the exact same trip (with no traffic either)!
Going to be a busy thrash this week, getting her ready for our trip (interior work to be done, wash and wax, etc.) . Follow out blog below if interested.