Saturday, November 13, 2010


Well, the time finally came to winterize my Travco. It is fairly simple to do so...
For the curious, read on.
I remove the city water inlet plug to allow the water to drain from it to the check-valve, replace cap later. My fresh water tank does not have a drain, so I have to pump it out, I should probably add a drain to it. After it is empty, I open the drain on the water heater and open all the faucets. After that is complete, I switch the valves on the water heater to bypass, switch the intake valve to the jug-inlet, and attach the hose that goes to the anti-freeze jug. I close all the faucets but the kitchen cold and turn on the pump until I get anti-freeze, close the cold, open the hot, etc. Same with the bathroom sink, but I flush the shower hose as well. I also make sure enough goes down the traps to dilute/displace any water. With all faucets closed, I allow the system to pressurize to take on a total of 1/2 gallon of anti-freeze. I have to make sure my accumulator gets filled/diluted as well. Then I relieve the pressure in the system with a faucet. I have a monomatic toilet, so I just make sure it has dumped to the tank. Lastly I make sure the grey/black water tank is drained.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Jinxed by my last post.

I guess I jinxed myself with my last post. I was getting ready to turn around the Travco to stage for the camping trip to Devil's Den this weekend. It started on the first try, but died and would never start again. I got out the Voltmeter and checked for power at the coil, coil resistance and they were both good. I got out the O-scope and checked the output from the module and only was getting 3V. I checked the input from the pick-up and got a saw-tooth like pattern, so assumed it was good. I decided that the HEI module was bad. The PO had installed the upgrade and had soldered the connections and mounted the module on a small piece of aluminum on stand-offs from the frame. I assume that the module went bad due to overheating.

I bought a new module from Larry the parts guy and installed it directly to the metal frame around the doghouse, with thermal grease between them. Since the module was soldered in, I decided to cut the wires off and crimp-on connectors for each. One of them is the smaller 3/16" size. From the photos one of the websites from the previous post, I decided the pick-up wires were reversed as installed by the PO, so I corrected that. After doing so, I had to adjust the timing as it was back-firing. I didn't check the timing with a light, I will do that later. But after the adjustment it ran great!

Here is a picture of Ben and Jack in the back of the Travco. This weekend was a little cold, but no precipitation.
On the second day at the camp, the furnace blower started having fits. It would not spin-up without a little help. From previous posts you would know I have an old furnace and the motor has brushes. I suspect the brushes need some work. I just ran the furnace for a while before going to bed, shut it off, then used my electric heater for the rest of the night and all was well. I will post later with what I found-out. Let's hope it is not three months till my next post.

BTW, I got 6.43MPG on the round trip, it was hilly, going about 45MPH, RT was 54.8 miles. (I have a 440-3 with 727 and diff. from the original set-up with the 318.)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Electronic Ignition Conversion

There has been some talk on the Yahoo Travco group about the stock electronic ignition, so I decided to post on what I have. The previous owner of the '66 270 converted the Mopar electronic ignition (it has a '73 440 in it) to a GM HEI ignition module controlled system. He replaced the stock coil with an MSD #8202 Blaster 2 coil, 45kV output.

Here are some links in regard to similar conversions:

The module is basically a drop-in... Here is a quote from the first site, just the connections:

"An GM HEI module has four terminals - two at each and - that should be labeled C and B on one end, and W and G on the other end, with G being the "smaller" size terminal.
  • C = Coil (negative side)
  • B = Battery (positive side of the coil, or any appropriate power source that is live in ignition and start)
  • W = positive lead (+) from the pickup in the distributor
  • G = negative lead (-) from the pickup in the distributor"
You can eliminate the resistor if you have a coil that can handle direct connection such as mine above, or the GM E-coil that is stock with GM HEI (without computer control).

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

'67 Dodge Mahaul Master Cylinder Rebuild Middle

I have completed modifications to the master cylinder for the remote reservoir. All I need to do now is do a finish hone of the cylinder to remove any paint over-spray, install the new pistons and check-valves in the MC, and partially fill and bench-bleed the MC. I have temporarily connected the hoses that were used on the Mitsubishi Eclipse for the pictures. I need to check the heights, but I should be able to mount the reservoir on the metal frame behind the engine and run the two hoses to the MC... maybe 3 feet away? Then I will need to create a dash LED to illuminate when the fluid level gets low.

I will be posting to the Yahoo Travco group asking how much interest there would be for a group buy on a kit including a used reservoir w/bracket, hoses, fittings, cap, gasket, clamps, and cover hold-down bolts. I would not do this to make money per-se, but to allow others to enjoy this upgrade. Quantities would affect the cost. Everything would be new except the reservoir, but I could find some new ones as well I am sure, I just pulled this off of one of my parts cars.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

'67 Dodge Mahaul Master Cylinder Rebuild Beginning

My brother and I removed the master cylinder (MC) a month or so ago from the '67 and I finally started the rebuilding process this week. The master cylinder is a dual (split) system, with a separate system for front and rear brakes. My '66 has a single system, so if I had a loss of pressure, I would loose all my brakes excluding the parking brake.

I went to Larry at Prairie Grove Auto and he ordered a rebuild kit, Carquest part# brk M448, about $50. The chassis is a p375 and the MC piston diameter is 1.25".

I disassembled the MC and bead-blasted it, but I still need to hone it and paint the outside. One of the curses of the MC location in the Travcos is that it is under the floorboard in a dirty environment and hard to fill and even check the level. I have decided to design and install a remote reservoir for the master cylinder. Roughly copying best examples on the net, I have drawn a cover for the MC that will be tapped with two fittings, one over each OEM reservoir, made from 3/8" aluminium plate and bolted down onto a gasket. The fittings are connected to one hose each that will go up to a Mitsubishi Eclipse remote reservoir from one of my parts cars and mounted somewhere TBD, just above the MC to allow proper gravity flow. I have access to a CNC mill and will mill the cover early next week. I will also attach the low level switch in the Mitsubishi reservoir to an LED I will mount in the dash to warn of low fluid level, but even if it is empty, there should still be liquid in the OEM reservoir. I plan to use DOT4 fluid and hope to find speed bleeders to bleed the system often to mitigate water absorption. The MC failed as it had rust sludge and pitting in it, the result of moisture. BLEED YOUR SYSTEM OFTEN! (I need to follow my own advice BTW, LOL).

No pictures yet, sorry.

The '67 MC has a "flat" oval/rectangular cover that is held in place by a wire snap/clip. The '66 has a screw-on cap (cap has male threads) and I will be designing a remote unit for it after we complete repairs to the brakes on my brother's '67.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

1967 Travco Dodge Mahaul towed home

Just yesterday my brother and I traveled to another part of our great state of Arkansas to tow his "NEW" Dodge Travco motor-home back to my house. It will stay here until it is ready for the trip to his house, hopefully soon. It is a 1967 Dodge Mahaul (Travco) with a 318cuin Dodge truck engine and a Kohler 6.5kw generator. We drove my Travco down there to tow his back as a last resort if we could not fix his brakes. After all other items were ready, I put brake fluid in the master cylinder and nope. It was totally done, no more to give, rubber was rotted-out. So, that meant we would have to attach a tow-bar and tow away! So plan 'B' was to have him ride in the second rig when we got to the hills to help the pair up the hills. Ok, even though it was able to move on its own, it was not able to help at all. So, plan 'C' was... my Travco was on its own. Well, you know what, it made it just fine. Round trip was 266 miles, 54 gallons, 5MPG, 5.5 hours drive time, 47MPH average. So I would say that the towing power of the Travco is Excellent!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Bill of Rights

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

Declaration of Independance

Just thought it would be good to refresh our memories of this historical document. I am not sure I have ever read it from beginning to end, but I have now.

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Furnace Fix

OK, so I took the furnace apart and discovered that two of the three burners had been plugged by dirt-dobber's nests. This prevented it from producing the heat required to trigger the fan to come on in a timely manner and when the fan did come on the heat was weak to say the least.

This furnace is a 1966 era model and has a cast iron burner manifold with brass burners. The whole assembly I removed weighed over 6 lbs not including the blower mind you! I has a pilot/safety shut-off valve, then a
regulator, then a solenoid valve, all separate.

The heat output is much better now! I don't know if it can keep the Travco warm in the coldest of weather, but it will in any weather I will be out there in. I know that this furnace is not as efficient as newer ones, but it is paid for at least!