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Hello from the alps in Austria - Europe!
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Author:  Austro-Revconeer [ Thu Jan 21, 2021 5:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Hello from the alps in Austria - Europe!

Hi there and thank you very much for the admission into your forum society! :D

My name is Matt, I am from Austria and I bought a 1979 30ft. Revcon from an owner in Germany in June last year. He had the Motorhome for over 20 years and he was the second owner. It´s a monster! Nobody drives such a beast on the small and winding roads here in Europe. We do! Local ordinary mortals stick to their high-priced small and tiny Volkswagen Camper Tin Boxes with their "clean" Diesel engines, so I´m a fine dust terrorist in their sight. ;) We drove with the Recvon about 2.500km (1.553m) last summer and we did some refurbishment. Almost everything is working so far - we had some issues at the beginning, I will talk about
them a little bit later. It´s still an adventure. I even had to get a truck driver´s license because our regular ("B" - car) driver´s license only allows to
operate vehicles up to 3.5 tons (7716lb) gross weight. European restrictions, don´t get too big here - you know... :lol:

My 1979 403cu Oldsmobile Toronado UPP Revcon with a 425 transmission has got a heavy vibration problem when you go faster than 93 km/h (58 mph) and so I hope that I can get the right informations from you fellows to identify the reason for this annoying hitch...

Best greetings and have a nice evening!

Yours, Matt
(from the Corona hotspot in the heart of Europe - we are under full quarantine right now ;) )

Author:  Daveinet [ Tue Jan 26, 2021 1:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Hello from the alps in Austria - Europe!

I think I saw a post from you earlier on another forum when you first bought your coach. That Revcon was featured in an issue of the Revconeer many years ago, back when the Revconeers were still a viable group. I always wondered what happened to it. That has to be a show stopper at the campgrounds. Revcons of that vintage are only 92 inches wide, I wonder what they would do with a modern USA built coach that's 102 inches wide and over 12 feet tall?

I'm sorry I don't know a lot about the Olds version Revcon drivetrains. I think it would be interesting to Lift the front end and run it with and without the front wheels. Make sure the load is supported under the lower A-Frames, as you don't want to run it with the suspension fully extended. Otherwise you may be fooled by the C-V joints. I don't know if there is a differential cover you can pull, but I would also look at that too. Make sure there is not a bunch of slop in the ring to pinion gear mesh. The GMC motorhomes were also notorious for going through front wheel bearings. I would assume Revcon would have the same potential. With the trans and differential all tied together directly, it makes it much more difficult to isolate an issue.

Of course the other solution is to just drive faster. At one point I had a tire vibration that would start to fade away above 70 mph, so I would just try to keep it closer to 80 . :)

Author:  Austro-Revconeer [ Sat Feb 20, 2021 8:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Hello from the alps in Austria - Europe!

Yes, I am writing some contributions in two forums about my Revcon and other U.S. RVs at the moment, one forum is located in Austria ( ... =3&t=55190) the other one in Germany ( Sorry, but both are written in German language. The specific issue of the Revconeer ("Willkommen" - issue number 79 - June 2001) was given to me when I bought the coach last year...I have to find out how to post some pictures here... ;)

Driving my monster on Austrian highways is a big (financial) problem because of the high toll we have to pay for vehicles over 3.5 tons. Let me tell you, the distance to go from West to East across Austria is about 120 Euros (145 USD) toll fee in ONE direction (440 km / 273 miles) on the Autobahn. Now you can imagine why a Class A Motorhome is such a rare event on Austrian Highways. But no problem: You can use the country roads for free. ;) It takes a little bit longer to get to your destination although the difference is not that high. The speed limit on the Austrian Highways for RVs over 3.5 tons is only 80 km/h (50 mph). On the country road it is 70 km/h (40 mph). So much for driving faster to get rid of the vibrations :lol:

Now, what for Heaven´s sake is my reason to drive such a big coach on bendy Austrian country roads? In short it´s all about the feeling and besides that, it´s all in the reflexes as Jack Burton would say. I have been driving American Cars for almost 30 years on a daily basis mostly full size. I started with a black 1971 Ford LTD 6.6 V8 4-door in Feb. 1994, I owned a blue 1977 Chevrolet Impala Station Wagon, a red 1979 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, a black 1978 Ford LTD2 5.8 V8 4-door, a red 1980 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Brougham 5.0 V8 4-door, a black 1977 Ford LTD Hearse from the Vienna Central Cemetery and a white 1971 Ford LTD Convertible.

Right now I´m driving a black 2003 Ford Crown Victoria P-71 Police Interceptor, ex California Highway Patrol (ID-1147), bought on Ebay and imported by myself with 2 stealth light bars (front/rear), wig-wag, hidden strobes, radar, siren, Motorola Data Terminal, PA, LED traffic advisor, Eyewitness video system etc. Our family van is a 1997 GMC Safari Gulf Stream High Top with lots of wood inside, ambiente lights, 2 fullHD screens, rear AC, leather, captains chairs, electric bed/sofa etc.

I will definitely lift up the front end of my Revcon to search for the reason of the strange vibrations. I have found some useful material in your file collection concerning balancing the wheels and so on. The former owner of my Revcon thinks that it could be the torsions suspension. He had this problem since he bought it from the first owner in 1998. Under 58 mph it´s no big deal. I can only feel the vibrations on the accelerator pedal. But when you go faster the whole dashboard in front of you starts shaking very badly it even tossed my attached smartphone out of the holder once. I wonder if bad wheel bearings could cause so heavy vibrations.

However, I have to check this from the outside. As you said - isolating the issue on the FWD drivetrain is not that easy...

Author:  Austro-Revconeer [ Mon Feb 22, 2021 6:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Hello from the alps in Austria - Europe!

Sorry, but I forgot to mention some other U.S. Cars which I owned during the years: I also had a red 1993 Mercury Grand Marquis. I converted it into a “Sheriff Project Car“ with decals, lightbar, antennas, spotlights and so on. In 2006 I bought a red 1990 Chevrolet Caprice in Germany. It was one of the first new curved models (whale) and fully loaded. I also imported two Caprices with the 9C1 police package from the U.S., one 1996 - a former prisoner transporter from Miami equipped with the so-called “Baby LT“ engine 4.3 lit. V8 and the other one was used as a College Police Car, a 1993 Caprice 5.7 V8 with only 62.000 miles. The years went by and I wanted to share the feeling of riding in an old North American car together with the whole family. I could never forget the sound of an old carburator engine from the 70ies. So the idea of buying an old motorhome came into my mind. When I was young I stayed in Fairbanks for 2 months. In that summer I saw hundreds of big Motorhomes on the Alaska Highway. Of course, I was impressed but I had no intention to buy such a giant - compared to European dimension for myself. Almost 30 years later...and here we are... :lol:

Author:  Austro-Revconeer [ Mon Feb 22, 2021 8:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Hello from the alps in Austria - Europe!

Driving a U.S. fullsize car in the 90ies in the countryside was not that easy...before Austria joined the European Union in 1995, the country especially the countryside was very old fashioned and small-minded. It still is in certain parts today. I was born in Vienna and we lived there until I was 8 years old, but my father finally got a well paid job in Lower Austria so we moved north to a small village close to the Austrian-Czech border - the iron curtain in those days. As we all know, borders can also exist in your mind. The big dream of every driver' s license newbie in this small town was a German car, a VW GTI for example but not for me! How come? You could blame my father for my U.S. Car enthusiasm, a nice and silent man who was satisfied with driving a Saab. Every evening, when my mother was on night shift in a residential home for deaf-mute children, he let me watch TV until I felt asleep. What was on in those days? The Streets of San Francisco! And who were also stars in the series? Two big Ford Galaxie 500 Sedans (green and brown) and some other LTD models! Ford did a good job to get enough airtime for their cars. Malden and Douglas could often be seen just sitting in their Fords talking about their case, drinking coffee or cruising around. There were a lot of outside shots where you just watched the Fords arriving, parking or performing a U turn. Those takes went directly into my young brain - I was 5 years old at that time. German, European, Japanese cars??? YUK! I want such a U.S. fullsize car!!! And as fate has ordained, my first American Car was a bad and black 1971 Ford LTD Brougham, for sale at a dealer located in Vienna who was a former pimp. The typical stereotype in those days. I' m going to tell you more about that tomorrow. :roll: If you think:“What does this have to do with a Revcon Motorhome???“ Relax, everything is connected, I just like to provide a full description of how I became a Revconeer. :D

Author:  Daveinet [ Wed Feb 24, 2021 3:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Hello from the alps in Austria - Europe!

Certainly OK to talk about the love of cars here. Most Revcon owners are gear heads. They have to be in order to survive. If you really want the old American car feel, try and find a 1966 Olds 98. Jay Leno refers to those types of cars as boulevard cars. The idea was to be see and be seen in one of those monsters as you cruise the boulevard. The trunk behind the rear axle almost dwarfs your Revcon, OK not really, but they were huge. Those care would just float down the highway. Completely isolated from any road feel at all. As I recall, I think they actually had a negative castor, so the wheel was easy to turn. One of the things I always remember is stomping on the gas. When you stomp on the peddle, there was a slight delay as the suspension and body twist absorbed the torque and then the car would take off. It was like it had to wind up its muscle before it could go. Once everything tightened up, it would accelerate quite well, especially for the weight. They were not cumbersome to drive, but just unique. Once you threw the car into a corner, it would just stay in the corner, as the shear weight made it very stable. The weight made it very forgiving.

Author:  Daveinet [ Wed Feb 24, 2021 3:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Hello from the alps in Austria - Europe!

One more comment. I read a translation of your posts on the US car forum. You made a comment about the engine wanting to run hot if run at high speed for very long. If this is the case, you may want to check the mixture on the 4 barrel secondaries and make sure it is not running lean. I've seen this with other Olds Revcons. Once they figured it out, it ran perfectly cool. You may be running into detuning because of smog issues. Confirm the timing curve is acceptable as well. It may retard too much making it run hot. Again an emissions thing. The intake manifold on that thing is not the most efficient thing in the world. Its low profile is doing you no favors. As such, the cylinder pressure won't get that high, so it should not retard the timing that much when you step on it. I don't have any specific info on how poorly it may be tuned from factory, but typical for GM was not that good back then.

Author:  Austro-Revconeer [ Wed Feb 24, 2021 8:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Hello from the alps in Austria - Europe!

Yes, a 1966 Olds 98 would be a nice piece of machinery. Good thought. I' m more into the Ford LTDs of the 1970ies, but who knows? It' s a very fascinating model and not so popular in Europe, which means it is much cheaper than a well-known Ford Mustang, Corvette and so on. The “U.S. car meeting people“ here in Austria - the “true specialists“ - who have got a U.S. car beside a “clean“ European Diesel daily eco box, while the American brand is only be used as a third or fourth vehicle on the weekends and only be driven when the sun is shining - laugh about FWD U.S. Cars. In their opinion it' s not the real thing. I have done my best to show them the huge variety of the legendary Oldsmobile Toronado FWD UPP, planted in American Class A Motorhomes. I can tell you, to do the writing in the forums was a lot of work...and it' s still not finished yet. But I think some people have already stopped laughing. :roll:

Maybe the translation of my posts in the other forums from German into English language went a little bit wrong. :? However, thank you very much for your advices. The problem, which I referred to, was the danger of overheating my Revcon when for example going up a hill at an outside temperature of more than app. 20 Grad Celsius (70F.) and more. The former owner has installed two extra fans in front of the one row radiator, they can be switched on anytime when needed. He has also implemented a heavy duty water pump. I once had a cooling problem in my 1978 Ford LTD2 too, so I put in a 3row radiator. This did the trick. In Sweden 2001 we got stuck in a traffic jam during the Power Big Meet in Västerås. We sat there idling for hours and it was very hot outside, but we had no coolant temperature problem.

My Revcon doesn' t like sudden stop and go traffic caused by construction sites on the German Autobahn, especially when I have driven it with about 55 mph over a long distance before. The 2 fans can hardly manage the temperature. In this case it stays on a high level while the engine is idling during the traffic jam. As soon as I continue my trip on a plain highway with a speed of about 40mph or more, the coolant temperature goes down immediately. No problem when driving on a flat surface up to 75mph. It' s also very very low when going down a hill. It is highly recommended to keep an eye on the temperature gauge.

I have read that the Alu L80 Oldsmobile 403 V8 has got a heating issue because of its construction, but it also cools down very fast. It is said to be too weak for working in a Revcon Motorhome, the reason why they switched to a bigger Chevrolet engine in the second half of 1979. I' m personally satisfied with its power. Oh boy, you have to drive a loaded 1979 Volkswagen Westfalia Camper High Top with a 70hp 4 banger up a hill and you know what I mean... :lol:

Anyway, I want to install a 3row radiator in my Revcon, because I think that would solve the problem. By the way, I have put a 3row in my 1997 GMC Safari too - the van stays cool under all driving and temperature conditions. 100mph for hours (German Autobahn - no speed limit) with AC on - no overheating issues.

Does a 1979 Oldsmobile Toronado radiator fit? My Revcon has no AC, so a plain 3row would be enough.

I' m also wondering if there is enough space for a 3row radiator. :?

Author:  Daveinet [ Thu Feb 25, 2021 2:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Hello from the alps in Austria - Europe!

I'm not sure about the radiator, although many times, these radiators had the extra row available in the end caps. You could also look for an aluminum radiator from the USA. This should have better heat transfer.
They talk about siamesed cylinders having overheating issues, but my 502 also had siamesed cylinders and it never came close to overheating in any conditions. This included one run pushing 90 mph up a 6+% grade on a 2 mile stretch towing a 4600 lbs Grand Cherokee. I did run a 3 core radiator, but it also produced a lot more power, which means producing a lot more heat. The engine was also running headers, which helps to keep it cool as well. I tend to believe much of the heat is due to smog tuning more than anything else. Smog engines always run hot. Of course if you ever get the urge to do something really crazy, Jim Bounds from the GMCCOOP has a new intake which has bosses on it for port fuel injection. Once you get over the initial learning curve with fuel injection, its really not that hard to get set up. You would wnat to have a friend with a machine shop to drill out the bosses for the injectors.

Author:  Austro-Revconeer [ Thu Feb 25, 2021 7:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Hello from the alps in Austria - Europe!

Thanks, I will look for an aluminium radiator. I get all my stuff from or ebay. You can' t pay the prices for U.S. spare parts here in Austria or even in Germany at an official dealer, they are sometimes up to 6 times higher than importing them by myself. I have been doing this with my needed parts for the last twenty years, shipping costs and custom duties don' t matter, it' s still much cheaper. It only takes 3 business days to have the parts express delivered to my home address and I can pay the custom duties in advance.

Here is the sound of my Revcon 403 L80 engine:

“This included one run pushing 90 mph up a 6+% grade on a 2 mile stretch towing a 4600 lbs Grand Cherokee.“

OMG! The Autobahn-Police would shoot you if you do this here in Austria or Germany with such a heavy coach AND a trailer :o They are always curious when they see my Crown Vic :roll: :

Driving 115 mph can also be surprising :? but I' m used to it. I go up to 120 mph several times when doing a 560 m trip on the weekend. The average travelling speed is about 100 mph.

But you also need good brakes when driving at night on our small roads in Austria. I have upgraded my braking system and there is a Belltech Anti Sway Bar Kit installed in my Safari Van:

My Motorhome is equipped with 3 onboard cams.

Here a picture of my 1997 GMC Safari and my 1979 Revcon.

rps20210225_193440.jpg [ 120.65 KiB | Viewed 15293 times ]

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