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'Bird Projects & Modifications Share with us that latest project or modification that you have done to your 'Bird right here.

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  #1  
Old 08-15-2011
lucaswillemse's Avatar
lucaswillemse lucaswillemse is offline
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Smile FC 35 upgrade

About 4 month ago I experienced a problem with the Allison 643 transmission slipping badly in 3rd gear. I had to slow down and go up hills in second gear. We came back from Solvang to LA this way.
I found a truck transmission repair shop in Southgate who quoted $1800 for a rebuild 643 Allison. As I was talking to him I discussed maybe upgrading the transmission to one with and overdrive ratio on the top gear. Our Bird had the 5.29 rear end and at 55 we were running 2500 rpm.
They instead suggested going to a 2 speed rear axle with ratios of 4.31 high and 5.86 low. Total cost including the labor for the transmission rebuild/exchange and a rebuild 2 speed axle and installation was quoted at $9500.
Since we decided to keep the coach and I have always considered this upgrade we elected to go ahead.

The rpm at 55 is now 2000. I still have the low speed high power available which I think is needed. We pulled out of a campground in Northern California last year and I did not think the Bird was going to make it, we had to make a run at it in order to get out. I have not checked the fuel use yet but there has to be an improvement also.

We have made put on about 700 miles and there is a great improvement in operation. The coach climbs hills very well in 3rd gear now and we are at a higher speed, I keep up with or can pass some trucks.

As soon as I get a mpg figure I will update this post
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Paramount, CA
1995 WB 42
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  #2  
Old 08-15-2011
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NIce gear ratios,mountain gears and flatland gears.
Sounds like a perfect combination.
You are still running a non-turbo engine?
Good to see you here!
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Randy Dupree
2000 LXI 43
Bainbridge,Ga.
Port St Joe Fl.
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  #3  
Old 08-15-2011
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lucaswillemse lucaswillemse is offline
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Smile FC 35 Upgrade

Randy, we upgraded to a 250 Turbo years ago. This latest just improved the performance even more.
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1995 WB 42
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  #4  
Old 08-15-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucaswillemse View Post
Randy, we upgraded to a 250 Turbo years ago. This latest just improved the performance even more.
Thought so!
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2000 LXI 43
Bainbridge,Ga.
Port St Joe Fl.
www.buybyebluebird.com

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  #5  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucaswillemse View Post

The coach climbs hills very well in 3rd gear now and we are at a higher speed, I keep up with or can pass some trucks.

As soon as I get a mpg figure I will update this post

I'm waiting...
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Good Ole Bird - 1980 FC35 250T

Rockpapa

Larose, LA
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  #6  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Well considering this post was from 2011, you might want to grab a bowl of popcorn, it might be a bit on the response.
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Dana (The Wanderer, Builder, Restorer)
Tony (The Grumpy Mechanic)

Lee County, Florida

1983 FC35 3208T "Gen X Express"
1991 Toyota 4Runner TOAD or
1980 Camaro TOAD

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  #7  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Hey, that's MY Bird you're talking about !!
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Good Ole Bird - 1980 FC35 250T

Rockpapa

Larose, LA
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  #8  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
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lucaswillemse lucaswillemse is offline
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Default 2 Speed Axle

Good Ole Bird, I Private Mailed you my contact info. The 2 speed works great but you have to remember some important operational procedures unless you have experience shifting and driving with a 2 speed axle.
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1995 WB 42
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  #9  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
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I was planning to call you this weekend. I've been gathering info to ask you a few questions. I have a class B CDL and 35 years experience with stick RVs so I feel I'm up to the challenge...
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Good Ole Bird - 1980 FC35 250T

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Larose, LA
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