Thursday, October 27, 2011

In Search of Parts For a Old Motorhome

     I had an old motor home.  It is a 1980 Executive Sandpiper.  It has a dodge 440 engine in it.  They stopped making the 440 in 1978.  Dodge had a number of motor home chassis left over and they continued selling them and they can be found in 1980 model year motor homes.  The first challenge in finding auto parts is that this chassis does not appear in any of the computer at any of the auto parts stores. 

     The next problem is that the 440 in the motor home is different than the one found in the dodge cars.  You can not find a set of headers that fits the motor home engine at any parts store.  The engine was originally design to run equipment at remote industrial sites such as oil fields.  So you can not buy a performance manifold that will fit.  It has something to do with the angle of the pistons.  The angle on a motor home 440 is wider that on the 440 found in a car. 

     Finally there is the issue of parts quality.  For what ever reason a lot of auto parts are now being manufactured overseas.  The quality has dropped with these parts.  So I always look for auto parts made in the United States or Canada.  These auto parts maintain the quality.  They are is sometimes a little more expensive, but in the long run it is well worth the difference.

Now I have a old bus.  It is a 1960 GMC PD-4104.  The engine is a Detroit Diesel.  Fortunately this is a very common motor and parts are still available.  But it is still difficult to find the exact replacement part for the application.  

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