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Thread: Motorhome Conversion for CA?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Posts
    5

    Default Motorhome Conversion for CA?

    Hi Everyone!
    So, I have a 1984 Airstream Motorhome. Chevy P30 chassis with a Quadrajet'd 454. Weighs in at 18,000lb.

    When I bought it in Kansas, it had a fresh Jasper 454, Banks Power kit and runs great. However, when I got home to CA I found that all the OEM, Carb and smog gear was missing, broken or disconnected.

    It's a Federal smog version and after months of reserarch I found what I think is the correct smog configuration.
    Quadrajet carb, AIR, EFE controlled by vacuum TVS. No EGR, No Charcoal canister.

    The Carb was an Edelbrock performer, the complete smog pump, air injection, and pipework was all missing. The EVE valve is broken as well as all the TVS valves are broken.

    I have the searched and gradually found most of the stuff now. A rebuilt correct Carb, and most of the smog gear now but the smog pump diverted valve is broken, and NLA anywhere, like the EFE valve in the exhaust the TVS switches.
    I looked at swapping a TBI setup from a later 454 on but it seemed complicated and still old!
    It's been a huge uphill battle!

    This news that I could bolt on MSD Atomic FI on her and pass CA smog came as a bombshell!
    But I have questions!

    1/ Will the MSD Atomic be able to handle the unusual heat and load in the Motorhome?
    2/ To pass CA smog would I just go to a Star Smog Station or do I need to go to a Referee?
    3/ With the problems I am having finding the missing or NLA smog parts, would the Smog test accept the fact I am missing some of the OEM components if the emissions are good?

    Now onto fitting issues...
    1/ The 80 gallon gas tank is some 30' behind the engine I doubt running rubber pipe is practical or wise. Can I use the original 3/8 metal piping or run new lines?
    2/ There is a return line, so returnless or return?

    Many other questions... but I want to get this baby back on the road this year!

    Help me MSD!!!!

    This is how she looks to date...
    Last edited by Keyair; 09-11-2017 at 09:59 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Posts
    5

    Default

    OK, figured out how to post a pic!

    Here she is!

    006 (4).JPG

    Anyone have any opinion, comment or Knowledge???

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Wow.
    2 weeks since I posted this and no comments, advice, or input from members, or MSD Staff?
    Even wrote to MSD Customer support after week one, and no response despite the form saying that it takes 2 days on average.
    Doesn't bode well for if I'd bought this system, and had a problem out on the road!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Posts
    23

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Keyair View Post
    Hi Everyone!
    1/ Will the MSD Atomic be able to handle the unusual heat and load in the Motorhome?
    2/ To pass CA smog would I just go to a Star Smog Station or do I need to go to a Referee?
    3/ With the problems I am having finding the missing or NLA smog parts, would the Smog test accept the fact I am missing some of the OEM components if the emissions are good?
    1. I don't see why not. Load is load. As long as electronics will survive where you mount your power distribution module, you should be OK. Be mindful of places water can get into, too.
    2. A standard smog station should suffice, although with modified cars smog techs have a tendency to get a little antsy, so it will depend on the individual technician.
    3. No. You need to have all the other emissions components working correctly. Did this motorhome come with an E4M or an M4M QuadraJet (electronic or fully mechanical metering)?

    Now onto fitting issues...
    1/ The 80 gallon gas tank is some 30' behind the engine I doubt running rubber pipe is practical or wise. Can I use the original 3/8 metal piping or run new lines?
    2/ There is a return line, so returnless or return?
    1. I don't think 30 feet or 5 feet really make a difference, no matter what you go with you need to make sure it's supported correctly over the length of the run. I used PTFE hose with steel braid. PTFE is supposed to last longer and be less likely to have fuel weep through the material. It's also more tolerant of ethanol. - aaaaand, it's harder to work with versus standard AN line.
    2. IMO, return is the way to go, particularly since you have a heat concern. More modern cars dead-head the fuel system (returnless), but I don't know the intricacies of fuel system design that they considered when doing this.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Thanks for the reply!
    The Motorhome originally came with a M4M, which I had to find and have rebuilt. As it's federal smog, vs CA smog I only have to adhere to whatever it came with to start with.

    Let's start at the top, the smog test, as this whole thing hinges around what I can and can't do.
    I cannot find the correct divertor valve for the smog pump. Mine is broken internally somehow. I've searched for months and cannot find one. I also cannot find the EFE flap that goes on the exhaust. Or the correct TVS valves that go in the coolant. It's a frustrating nightmare.
    I was hoping that I could fit the MSD Atomic and forget everything else.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Posts
    23

    Default

    Yeah, the MSD is only supposed to replace the fuel system (carburetor), other systems have to remain in place, no matter how nonsensical they are w/ EFI. I got dinged in my pre-test for not having the hot air stove, which is pretty meaningless with fuel injection.

    So yes, whatever the car came with you needs to be there. I was able to source a diverter valve for my car (78 Corvette) off another year car. I had to clean up the mounting surface a bit as it was slightly different from my AIR pump. It may be worthwhile to look at similar year pickups and see if there's something you can use.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Got it, thanks for the input.

    Interesting that I still have not received a reply either here, from MSD Techs, or from my MSD Email inquiry.
    Not impressed so far...

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