440 motorhome engines
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Thread: 440 motorhome engines

  1. #1
    BBD LEGEND satellite65's Avatar
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    440 motorhome engines

    I have a friend who has a 440 powered '74 Winnebago class C motorhome. The engine is tired and needs a re-build, burns LOTS of oil. He has a fairly decent 440 laying around that he could freshen up and drop in (to save on downtime) but the guy at the truck repair shop that he brought it to told him that it will absolutely not interchange, the engines are totally different. Am I missing something here? To the best of my knowledge, the only differences were the cylinder heads with water jackets around the plugs and an occasional oddball water pump housing. I took a quick look at this engine (still in the chassis) and I can't for the life of me see any visual difference.

    Anyone know anything about these things? I know motorhomes have become prime targets for donor engines. I figure if a motorhome engine will drop into an A-body then a standard passenger car engine should fit into a motorhome chassis.

    What's the real skinny on motorhome engines?

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    You're absolutely right, they're the same thing. 74 and later engines supposedly have higher nickle content, but who cares? That guy just doesn't want to do the job, or he doesn't know enough about MOPARs to let him touch it. Give him one of these .

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    Quote Originally Posted by satellite65 View Post
    I have a friend who has a 440 powered '74 Winnebago class C motorhome. The engine is tired and needs a re-build, burns LOTS of oil. He has a fairly decent 440 laying around that he could freshen up and drop in (to save on downtime) but the guy at the truck repair shop that he brought it to told him that it will absolutely not interchange, the engines are totally different. Am I missing something here? To the best of my knowledge, the only differences were the cylinder heads with water jackets around the plugs and an occasional oddball water pump housing. I took a quick look at this engine (still in the chassis) and I can't for the life of me see any visual difference.

    Anyone know anything about these things? I know motorhomes have become prime targets for donor engines. I figure if a motorhome engine will drop into an A-body then a standard passenger car engine should fit into a motorhome chassis.

    What's the real skinny on motorhome engines?
    Go tell that HOLE IN THE WALL GARAGE that hes absolutely correct and to go back to his shitter and read or do whatever he does in it and that you located a 440 mitsubishi that will identically exchange with your Dodge 440

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    BBD LEGEND satellite65's Avatar
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    Yeah, that's just what I thought. He said 'the guy' told him that the crankshaft was different as well as the bolt pattern for the bellhousing/transmission. He also said that the crank gear for the timing chain was different. The only thing I could think of is that it's a double roller as opposed to a silent chain which would explain the different gears but so what? Supposedly, the starter is on the passenger side. He was told that this is called a "wide block 440". I never heard of such a thing

    This friend isn't someone I know very well, but he's a friend nonetheless and I don't like seeing people I like getting screwed. He said that if he decides to rebuild it he'll likely do it himself and I offered to help. I'm very curious as to what I'll find. Probably nothing I haven't seen before. I think 'the guy' is full of shyte and/or doesn't know wtf he's talking about.

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    Super Moderator bremereric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by satellite65 View Post
    I have a friend who has a 440 powered '74 Winnebago class C motorhome. The engine is tired and needs a re-build, burns LOTS of oil. He has a fairly decent 440 laying around that he could freshen up and drop in (to save on downtime) but the guy at the truck repair shop that he brought it to told him that it will absolutely not interchange, the engines are totally different. Am I missing something here? To the best of my knowledge, the only differences were the cylinder heads with water jackets around the plugs and an occasional oddball water pump housing. I took a quick look at this engine (still in the chassis) and I can't for the life of me see any visual difference.

    Anyone know anything about these things? I know motorhomes have become prime targets for donor engines. I figure if a motorhome engine will drop into an A-body then a standard passenger car engine should fit into a motorhome chassis.

    What's the real skinny on motorhome engines?
    The only thing that you gave up with that year model is you have a cast crank and some shitty heads...the engine block may have some better block bosses on it but other than that is the same motor as when it was first interduced...I think that guy is smoking some crack...tell him to put his crack pipe out and go straight..by the way mine is a 73 Winebaggo motor home engine and it had a forged crank and six pack rods...try to break one of those...I have the same type old motor sitting on engine stand in my storage..take care satellite65
    Last edited by bremereric; 07-16-2010 at 11:22 PM.
    Eric Bremer
    Tomball TX 77375

    1968 Dodge Dart 440 Big Block, Edelbrock Performer RPM Heads, Performer RPM intake, Holley 770 CFM Street Avenger, .541/.538 lift hydraulic roller cam, Harland Sharp 1.6 Ratio Roller Rockers..Crane Roller lifters..580 Final lift, MSD pro-billet distributor, MSD ignition, 355 Auburn Suregrip 8 3/4 rear end.



    1977 Dodge Aspen R/T...318...4 speed tranny with 355 gears in a 8 1/4" rear.

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    Senior Member buck440's Avatar
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    my duster has a 76 motorhome 440 i put right in place of my 413. no differance at all my 915's bolted right on been best of 11.94 so far yeah tell your friend he will be just fine.

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    Super Moderator bremereric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buck440 View Post
    my duster has a 76 motorhome 440 i put right in place of my 413. no differance at all my 915's bolted right on been best of 11.94 so far yeah tell your friend he will be just fine.
    You got it Bobby
    Eric Bremer
    Tomball TX 77375

    1968 Dodge Dart 440 Big Block, Edelbrock Performer RPM Heads, Performer RPM intake, Holley 770 CFM Street Avenger, .541/.538 lift hydraulic roller cam, Harland Sharp 1.6 Ratio Roller Rockers..Crane Roller lifters..580 Final lift, MSD pro-billet distributor, MSD ignition, 355 Auburn Suregrip 8 3/4 rear end.



    1977 Dodge Aspen R/T...318...4 speed tranny with 355 gears in a 8 1/4" rear.

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    BBD LEGEND satellite65's Avatar
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    O.K. So anyway, we're back on this subject again. My friend pulled the heads and sent them to the machine shop to be cleaned. They found cracks at two of the exhaust valve seats on both heads (I saw them myself - WITHOUT my glasses!). Oh well, big heavy paperweights now, I guess. Anyway, he needs a set of heads, I think they're supposed to be 902 castings if my memory serves me. I know a lot of people use MH engines as a starting point but I doubt anybody would use those heads on a performance build. Does anybody have a set laying around?

    Also, would it be safe to assume that he could slap on a set of Stealth heads? They lack the cooling passages around the plugs but should that matter much?

    BTW - I saw the block with the heads removed and the cylinder walls look mint. No ridge, still has a nice crosshatch. Engine only has about 23K miles. I could see why people want these to build into hot rod engines.

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    Mine is a 77 motorhome 400...no problems at all.
    Dave...451 Dart

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    BBD LEGEND satellite65's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by damopars View Post
    Mine is a 77 motorhome 400...no problems at all.
    I think either you misunderstood me, I wasn't clear, or maybe you didn't catch the beginning of the thread. This motorhome 440 is actually staying in the motorhome!!! Imagine that?

    What I meant was, would it be ok to put stealth heads on a motorhome engine that's going to remain in the motorhome?

    I figure those spark plug cooling passages were put there for a reason but I'd hate to see this guy spend money re-working a set of old iron heads only to have the same thing happen again.

  12. #11
    Super Moderator bremereric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by satellite65 View Post
    O.K. So anyway, we're back on this subject again. My friend pulled the heads and sent them to the machine shop to be cleaned. They found cracks at two of the exhaust valve seats on both heads (I saw them myself - WITHOUT my glasses!). Oh well, big heavy paperweights now, I guess. Anyway, he needs a set of heads, I think they're supposed to be 902 castings if my memory serves me. I know a lot of people use MH engines as a starting point but I doubt anybody would use those heads on a performance build. Does anybody have a set laying around?

    Also, would it be safe to assume that he could slap on a set of Stealth heads? They lack the cooling passages around the plugs but should that matter much?

    BTW - I saw the block with the heads removed and the cylinder walls look mint. No ridge, still has a nice crosshatch. Engine only has about 23K miles. I could see why people want these to build into hot rod engines.
    Okay now I get you and what you are taking about...one that I am running right now had some very wierd stuff coming out of the intake manifold and some have been said to have extra cooling passages in the heads...take some pics and let us see...please..
    Last edited by bremereric; 07-27-2010 at 11:57 AM. Reason: bad spelling
    Eric Bremer
    Tomball TX 77375

    1968 Dodge Dart 440 Big Block, Edelbrock Performer RPM Heads, Performer RPM intake, Holley 770 CFM Street Avenger, .541/.538 lift hydraulic roller cam, Harland Sharp 1.6 Ratio Roller Rockers..Crane Roller lifters..580 Final lift, MSD pro-billet distributor, MSD ignition, 355 Auburn Suregrip 8 3/4 rear end.



    1977 Dodge Aspen R/T...318...4 speed tranny with 355 gears in a 8 1/4" rear.

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    BBD LEGEND satellite65's Avatar
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    I'll shoot some pics and post 'em up but you're not going to see anything out of the ordinary. It looks just like any ol' 440 except the heads have a couple of extra cooling passages around the plugs. It even has a Thermoquad!! The block also has matching passages. I don't remember if my pass car 440 block had the extra coolant holes. I ain't taking my heads off to find out!

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    some motor homes used normal type heads, i've seen other with some really funky looking heads. almost looks like a pontiac head. anyway the blocks are all the same.
    68 GTS Dart 10.32 @ 130.4mph 3780# pump gas street car!!
    69 Roadrunner 440 6BBL 5 gear driver

  15. #14
    BBD LEGEND satellite65's Avatar
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    Yeah, I know what you're talking about, they seem to have a lot of extra meat on them and look really weird. I've senb pictures of them somewhere before.

    Anyway, the guy located a set of 902 castings for $100.00 from someone in California, supposedly magnafluxed. Gonna cost him about 200 to ship 'em here plus whatever it takes to refurbish.

    I would have just thrown a set of 440Source heads on it and called it a day. In a strange way, I'm sort of looking forward to the day my 906's take a dump!!!

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    Senior Member acpat's Avatar
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    The reason for the 902 head is the extra cooling passages around the spark plug area. DO NOT put a standard head back on a motorhome. A car no big deal but a motorhome needs all the cooling it can get. Even very low mile motorhome enginges have wiped guides and exhaust seats. Think about how hard they work pushing that big brick up and down hills. Buy the correct heads (902's) or you will be doing the job again.

  17. #16
    BBD LEGEND satellite65's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acpat View Post
    The reason for the 902 head is the extra cooling passages around the spark plug area. DO NOT put a standard head back on a motorhome. A car no big deal but a motorhome needs all the cooling it can get. Even very low mile motorhome enginges have wiped guides and exhaust seats. Think about how hard they work pushing that big brick up and down hills. Buy the correct heads (902's) or you will be doing the job again.

    His heads actually looked pretty nice except for the cracks, on the exhaust valve seats on the two center exhaust valves, typical. All the seats (the un-cracked ones, anyway) were in fairly decent shape and yes the valve guides were a bit sloppy, especially since this engine only has about 28K miles on it.

    I hear what you're saying about the cooling passages, they were put there for a reason. I would think an aluminum head would cool every bit as good as a 902 and given the fact that he's going to spend almost as much to re-furb 40 year old heads as a pair of Stealths, I'd be willing to give them a shot. But it's not my money and I'm not doing the work so I really have no say in it.
    Last edited by satellite65; 07-28-2010 at 08:09 PM. Reason: sp

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    Super Moderator bremereric's Avatar
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    Just to let you know.....

    Neither of my 1973 Motor home blocks had special heads of extra holes...and I know for a fact that they came out of Winnebagos....now if they were in something else they may have special heads and extra holes...either next week or the following I will bang the heads off of my extra motor and let everyone have a look see...I have to take my hand sledge hammer and hit them hard to get them off...all of the head bolts are out and they will not budge....last motor I had to lift the head with engine hoist and hit it to get it off...WTF...oh I said it again...
    Eric Bremer
    Tomball TX 77375

    1968 Dodge Dart 440 Big Block, Edelbrock Performer RPM Heads, Performer RPM intake, Holley 770 CFM Street Avenger, .541/.538 lift hydraulic roller cam, Harland Sharp 1.6 Ratio Roller Rockers..Crane Roller lifters..580 Final lift, MSD pro-billet distributor, MSD ignition, 355 Auburn Suregrip 8 3/4 rear end.



    1977 Dodge Aspen R/T...318...4 speed tranny with 355 gears in a 8 1/4" rear.

  19. #18
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    I have not done it,( on a motorhome) but I would do the stealth heads in a minute.
    I have run them on my Dart.
    Look at every new engine out there. Ive got a 5.7 in my 04 Ram.
    I run the heck out of it, pulling tailers and 4 or more passengers,
    running air in 105d heat.
    I believe the aluminum heads will get rid of more heat.
    I would add headers to move more heat away.

    Go with the stealths, headers and a performer, or other alum dual plane.
    That Winnie will like it.

    Rick
    2014 Ram 1500 Eco Diesel - Daily driver, Hauler

    1979 Jeep Cherokee Chief - Gen 3 Hemi- Turbocharged, running E85, 1 ton axles,
    4.56 gear on 38" tires - Toy in progress

  20. #19
    Senior Member guzzimike's Avatar
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    Re: The 902 Heads.

    That's what I have on my 383.

    These ones were ported and decked, and I believe larger valves were fitted.

    They work OK on my daily driver, and since my Dart sees not track time, thay are good enough for my application.

  21. #20
    BBD LEGEND satellite65's Avatar
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    Here we are, back on this topic again.

    This guy gets his 902's from California, brings them to the machine shop and it turns out, they're cracked too!!! The guy in California won't refund him the money but instead he's going to send him out a set of 452's. We'll see how that works out.

    I told this guy to look into the Stealth or Eddy heads. He says he called Edelbrock and they claim that their heads won't work without their "special" intake manifold and 2" primary headers. They wanted to sell him the whole power pkg. with the cam and all the B.S. including the rocker arm assemblies, which, by the way, they say the stock ass'ys won't work with their heads either.

    Everyone he talks to is feeding him a line of shit and he's buying it, hook line and sinker. He won't listen to me because "all the real engine builders" tell him otherwise. So, I can't help him anymore. I doubt this ol' Winnie will ever see the road again.

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