Revcon Forums

The Flying Fortress
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Author:  Daveinet [ Sat Oct 05, 2013 4:46 pm ]
Post subject:  The Flying Fortress

Just a bit about the Flying Fortress and maybe a little about me.

I have an '83 Revcon Prince that I purchased in 2001. Have probably put around 80,000 miles on it since then, and oh what a journey it has been. As you may know, the Flying Fortress had the reputation of being able to withstand being shot to pieces, but still making it back to base. I have thought that was an appropriate name for the Revcon, because in the 16 years I have owned it, it may have broken down many times, but has never left me stranded. Its always been able to limp to store, or where ever it needed to go, to be repaired. There are stories to be told.
Having always wanted some sort of antique automotive toy, the Revcon has somewhat unintentionally gravitated into that vehicle. It seems like every time some thing needs repaired, it's this luring opportunity go crazy. Not sure that has always been the wisest choice, but it is what it is. Probably the most significant upgrade has been the 502 with multiport fuel injection, along with switching to a 4L85e trans. This was originally motivated by a desire to tow a 4600 lbs Jeep Cherokee, with little effort. In the big scheme of things, it was not all that difficult to do. This mod has probably been the most educational experience I have ever had. Dealing with fuel injection, one quickly finds out how little they previously understood. Fortunately there is a ton of information on the net, posted by those who have gone before. I'm always thankful to those one ThirdGen who are constantly there to help.

Probably the most practical modification has been to convert the rear axles to disk brakes. I highly recommend this modification, as the stock brakes are marginal at best. Its not real expensive, and is a direct bolt on upgrade. Because drum brakes depend on the rotation of the drum to activate, this means there is always a delayed response when applying the brake. Disk brakes do not have that delay, and that is often the difference between a moderate hard braking and a sheer panic stop. I never realized the delay was there, until I installed the disk brakes and it went away. Its an amazing difference to be able to stop the coach with confidence.

I can't decide if mechanical aptitude is a blessing or a curse. I was reared around all things mechanical. Having two older brothers, that started at an early age. I assembled my first V8 in 5th grade. Our family was very DIY, and being the youngest of 5 kids, I was always involved in mechanical or electrical projects. While that education is a blessing, often the lure of DIY means you take on more projects then you should. I can't remember a day, when I haven't had more to do than I have time for. I often long for the day when I will be completely bored. Someday all my projects will be complete and I will be truly free to do nothing.

Author:  trueblue2k2 [ Sat Jun 16, 2018 3:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Flying Fortress

Hi Dave: I followed your pioneering work in re-powering your Revcon Prince several years back. It inspired me to dream of such things in the future of my coach. At one point you seemed to drop out of sight online, but it's good to see there was no dire reason for it and that you are still going. It's looking like you miss your departed project now. Just think how easy your next Revcon rework will be after all that you've learned. The trick will be to balance the budget until it's ready to go. Being retired, I'm in no rush to upgrade my coach, and will take it in stride over a year or so. If you don't mind, I want to learn from your experiences by asking you about your mods.

I wonder if a 502ci and el80+ conversion (or similar) is do-able on a low budget. A crate engine is nice, but beyond my means. I'm a usually resourceful type who would try for a low mile salvage power train of that sort, but what little I've read says the 502 crate engine is a special high output beast unlike the common variety used in trucks. Is it practically possible to do go that route? I don't mind a less powerful version of what you've created .... anything approaching 350hp would be fine, especially with having a lockup 4th gear added. Best Regards, Bill

Author:  Daveinet [ Sun Jun 17, 2018 3:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Flying Fortress

You can certainly do a lot for a lot less than I spent. The 8.1/496 ci is not a bad alternative, particularly if you can find a donor truck with engine and trans, along with the ECM and harness. You will need to gut the trans, and swap the tail shaft, so it will bolt up to the transfercase. You will also need to custom machine a 1" spacer between the trans and the transfercase. (The bolt holes line up, you just have a length problem) You will also need to lengthen the driveshaft. The Thorley headers for the 454 still bolt up to the 496. Lyle has this conversion in his coach. HE was the original pioneer of the trans conversion. We have driven each other's coaches. He's got maybe just a tiny bit more bottom end. I had noticeably more top end.

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