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Old 11-01-2011, 09:07 PM   #11
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Default Re: Power to weight ratios?

These guys are local in the Minneapolis area.

http://www.wagamonbrothers.com/

They do lots of marine and truck engines, as well as race and high performance stuff. They are pretty reasonable compared to the high end race shops and seem to get pretty good results. They also are big into GM stuff.
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Old 11-02-2011, 01:35 AM   #12
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Default Re: Power to weight ratios?

Thanks booster. That's exactly the type of place I'm looking for, I guess.
I googled performance engine mods and came up with a handful of shops nearer my neck of the planet, so we'll see if anyone gets back to me locally, but if not, maybe a road trip will be in order.
Wonder if they'd let me sleep in the van while they did the engine up?
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Old 11-02-2011, 02:19 AM   #13
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Default Re: Power to weight ratios?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike
Thanks booster. That's exactly the type of place I'm looking for, I guess.
I googled performance engine mods and came up with a handful of shops nearer my neck of the planet,
so we'll see if anyone gets back to me locally, but if not, maybe a road trip will be in order.
Wonder if they'd let me sleep in the van while they did the engine up?
With some of the shops, and almost certainly Wagamons, you can get them to build you an engine from one of their "core" engines, just the way you want it, and then they keep your engine when the swap happens. That often makes the changout a one day affair, rather than closer to a week, if they did your engine.
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Old 11-02-2011, 01:53 PM   #14
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Default Re: Power to weight ratios?

Just got a reply back from one place nearby, and I quote,"there's no replacement for displacement".
They say it could be stroked to a 383/360HP with relative ease.
I'm trying to get more info from them about it all. I will be calling shortly.
UPDATE:
It looks like it would have to be a tear down rebuild the lower half of the engine, but there might
also be an opportunity to do the cam, valves, springs, and to blueprint the engine at the same time.
Based on a 20 minute conversation I had with the proprietor of the Active Engines Performance
Machine Shop, I expect the cost to be between $4000 and $7000 depending on what I decide to do.
That's around 22 hours to remove and replace the physical engine, as it has to be pulled out of the
front of the van, and all parts, and any polishing and millwork, and any other odds and ends. He
has suggested I may gain as much as 40% in torque and power over the stock numbers.
So it's possible. The question is, is it worth it to me?
Here's their website. Lots of juicy stuff for us automotive-techno-geeks.
http://www.activeengines.com/
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Old 11-10-2011, 05:55 PM   #15
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Default Re: Power to weight ratios?

An engine that produces 40% more torque would be a huge improvement for mountain driving.

If they can build a reliable, cool running stroker (383), that would be the easiest engine solution. If they use a longer (5.7") connecting rod, 3.75" crank, the 062 casting (or equivalent E-Force) heads, and the proper roller cam, you should have the foundation for a strong, cool running engine.

At the same time, you will want to know what RPM range the new engine will be pulling strong torque. You will then want to have the correct gears installed in the rear axle, so that this RPM and desired speed, line up with either 3rd or 4th gear in the tranny. (e.g. 50MPH, @ 2200 RPM, in 3rd gear). I hope all that made sense.

This same approach may help with your current vehicle/engine (gears are less expensive than engines). Flat-land gearing is set up different than mountain gearing. My 2009 190V has 4.11:1 gears in the rear axle, and a 6.0 Vortec under the hood. I have no trouble in the mountains. A flat lander may come with 3.73:1 gears, and this would have a hard time in the mountains. A trip to a dyno would help understand what your torque/hp curves look like (today). Then you can calculate the rest of the numbers to determine the optimum axle gear ratio.

On another note: When a shop reprograms your OBD2 controlled computer, it is only Wide Open Throttle (WOT) that is programmed. I think the EPA made the manufacturers lock out the "normal" portion of the OBD2 control system.

Just more food for thought.
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Old 11-16-2011, 10:26 PM   #16
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Default Re: Power to weight ratios?

I'm putting this on the back burner for now, with winter closing in. I was thinking I might get a slightly better deal on labor, if they're starving for jobs in the cold weather months, but for now it can wait.
If/when I proceed, I'll add updates.
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Old 12-29-2011, 02:14 PM   #17
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Default Re: Power to weight ratios?

Our 3500 Chevy 190 is a 2006, and I can tell you that the 6.0 engine with the 4:11 rear end is a real power house. We have done plenty of mountain driving, and trailered also. Our RT has never wanted for additional power. I am amazed at the terain it will climb without even having to downshift. When it comes to MPG we average 15, but have achieved 19 in ideal conditions. I feel that this engine delivers a great combination of fuel economy and power for your needs. If you were able to find one in a bone yard it might be what you are looking for.
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Old 12-30-2011, 01:58 AM   #18
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Default Re: Power to weight ratios?

It might be. So, you have a 366 cubic inch engine? 6L? Unfortunately, I'm not familiar with that engine size or configuration. It's only 16 cubic inches bigger than what I've got now. Maybe newer technology makes a difference, too.
According to the RT brochure for my year I have 255 HP/330 ft.lbs. and a 4.10 rear axle ratio, however
these numbers are from the Roadtrek Brochure, not from GM, and I am not always certain they get it right. Looking at your year, your engine has 300HP and 360ft/lbs of torque so it's 20% more HP and about 9% more torque than mine. Your rear end ratio is 4.10 according to the 2006 RT brochure, so we're even there. Our empty vehicle weights are comparable. So, I guess the extra HP and torque make the difference.
Could be mine is just older and maybe more tired. I've taken very good care of it, but like us, they age. It's got just over 210,000kms on it.
I've already found out from GM that swapping a different sized/configured engine isn't economically or technically as easy as rebuilding the one I already have. That's from GM/Chevrolet.

Just curious, when you say mountain driving, it would be useful to compare frames of reference.
As examples of stretches of road where mine has some difficulty with grades higher than 6-7%, have you driven the stretch of I-70 from Denver, CO to Grand Junction, CO? That's one of my nemesis freeways for climbing. I have also have some lesser issues on unknown back roads in the PAC northwest near Mt. Rainier and Mt. Hood, US89 south of Page, AZ, and have had issues trying to climb some hills on I-79/I-77 and US19 in WV, and also at the access road to the ski hills in Lake Placid, and sections of the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton.
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Old 12-30-2011, 08:17 PM   #19
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Default Re: Power to weight ratios?

We have not been out west as of yet with our RT. We have driven thru W. Virginia and been on 19, 79 and 77 all with no issue. We have also traveled all thru the smokies and to tell you the truth I remember seeing the percent of grade signs, but really don't recall what the grade was. Our RT handles the grades so well I really don't concern myself with it. It is actually more concerning coming down than going up. I have never had an issue coming down, but I am religious about down shifting and letting the transmission handle the load and not using the brakes unless it is necessary. We have also traveled thru Pa. in some pretty good grade areas without any problems. I read on different forums, of handeling issues, power issues and braking issues that some of the folks are having with the Roadtreks and Pleasureways, but praise the Lord, we have been blessed in our travels with no problems and great times.
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Old 12-30-2011, 09:26 PM   #20
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Default Re: Power to weight ratios?

Glad to hear you haven't had any issues in the eastern hills. It may just be 4 years newer technology and the extra HP and torque ratings on your newer chassis. If you ever get out west, and remember this thread, If you can, would you post up your hill climb findings?
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