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Old 09-04-2017, 05:17 PM   #1
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Hey Guys
Just purchased a 1977 GMC Brigadier
I plan on stretching the frame to accommodate a 28ft living quarter
Still in design stage
Gathering info and advice on what will be my biggest project to date
I think I'm going to start off by installing a Hiab crane in my driveway so that I can do the heavy lifting and shuttling toward shop entry for welding and fab work
I'm also going to work on a rendering to post up and get response on any changes I should make
Thanks and let the games begin
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Old 09-04-2017, 08:11 PM   #2
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Welcome to the group! We have a lot of great people here to help you. But we love Freightlines, petes etc. And I personally believe you can do more with a new model, and spend less bigger is better. That old GMC is going to limit you on cap. hp and more.

Good luck
Sam
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Old 09-06-2017, 09:14 AM   #3
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I had to take a minute to look it up. That is a good looking truck! I'm a sucker for anything old school.

Wikipedia listed standard power for that rig as a 427 gas engine. I know they can make anything pull with enough gears, but I agree with Sam that you may find yourself wanting for more power, especially if you plan on any trips through the mountains.
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Old 09-06-2017, 09:46 AM   #4
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I should have added that this truck is powered by a screaming demon and has Eaton fuller 10 speed
If it needs more power I'll just turbocharge it
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Old 09-06-2017, 12:13 PM   #5
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New should have been newer truck, and be very honest any gas powered truck you wont be happy, trust me, I had a Class C Workhorse powered,and it was pulling a jeep liberty and if the road thought of going an inch higher it would down shift and slow down trying to get up the rise. only had 40 gal of water, that would last the wife and I 2 days, and the Black and Gray tanks were full too, It was a great RV for what it was. Big truck you will want a bigger gen set, and more water gray and black not counting a bigger box. That adds up to more weight. Do your figuring and see what wt your going to be at.

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Originally Posted by Beaudacious View Post
I should have added that this truck is powered by a screaming demon and has Eaton fuller 10 speed
If it needs more power I'll just turbocharge it
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Old 09-06-2017, 12:20 PM   #6
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Screaming demon is a detroit diesel
She's got the power boys
I need help with floor plan layout and slide engineering

I'm going to do an in chassis overhaul on the engine so we will be starting fresh at nearly 300 go
I'm also going to put a silent choice exhaust system on it so we can travel in comfort then flick a switch when we pull into the pits and make some noise to our site at the drags

Thanks again
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Old 09-06-2017, 01:17 PM   #7
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Ok then your good to go. So what do you need in floor plan help, Don't know anything about installing and building a slide. I have to hit my motor sometimes it stops on a dead spot.

Sam
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Old 09-06-2017, 03:21 PM   #8
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I'd like to do my slides on hydraulics but I'm seeing that not many guys on here like them but don't say why
I like them for the power they have and speed (don't care about speed in this case)
I also want to put a compartment on the outside with outdoor kitchen setup.How do those normally get plumbed?
This RV will be used as a family get away machine as well as racecar hauler
It may even get used to do a few snowmobile trips a year. But I may build another one strictly for this as I want to use it to do guided snowmobile tours (all inclusive) and may need to leave it commercially licensed
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Old 09-06-2017, 05:38 PM   #9
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I've always thought that the weak, slow electric slide motors served as a sort of safety device. I figure that they give me plenty of time to react if they hit something, and probably won't do too much damage if they do.
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Old 09-10-2017, 04:39 PM   #10
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If it's not too late to weigh in... Me being a former Master Detroit Diesel Guild member of 20+ years, may I ask does this truck have an Inline 6-71 or an 8V-71? Reason I'm asking is when doing an in-frame overhaul if you're truly considering a turbo install you need to be aware that most inside parts that will be changed will need to be changed to accept a turbo. The camshafts are different, the gear train timing may need to be changed (Which means the flywheel housing needs to come off to reposition gears to proper timing marks.) the piston crowns are different compression (If they are not changed to the lower compression the fire rings will fail very quickly from to much heat.) and lastly, some of the GMC Brigadiers had body changes to allow the turbo and exhaust pipes to fit. The cylinder heads should be ok as far as valve material unless this engine has the original head. They changed the valve material in the late 1980's to make them all turbo safe but prior to that the naturally aspirated engine valves were a softer material and would fail prematurely with the higher heat of a turbo.
I'm not saying don't do the job, just make sure you build it right or you will hate life in the long run on the Detroit Diesels.
Good Luck and please don't be afraid to ask questions.
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Old 09-10-2017, 04:47 PM   #11
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Oh yeah I forgot to tell you about exhaust... The 2 stroke Detroit moves a lot more air than any other engine made, watch exhaust back pressure closely as; A. The air movement allows scavenging of the cylinders to allow for clean air for the next fire cycle and if the exhaust is backed up it won't have horsepower. B. The air cools the inside of the engine as it moves through so same as above fi the air can't get out the heat builds up and causes issues.
I did a repower one time and the salesman gave me a muffler to install he got from the owner trying to save a buck. The engine had triple the backpressure when I checked it on the dyno and the engine that was rated at 350HP would only put out 250HP. Dropped the muffler and had over 350 HP.
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Old 09-10-2017, 10:34 PM   #12
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Thanks for that very insightful post
Definitely gonna look into those upgrades
Probably just gonna leave it aspirated
It's got more than enough power to do what I need
It is a 6 inline 71
When I do the in frame I am going to attempt the impossible and solve the oil leaks
Those motors look so good in their original industrial green , I can't have it covered in oil
I can't believe that no one has chimed in about the fact that I'm gonna mount a hiab crane in my driveway
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Old 09-11-2017, 11:14 AM   #13
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Good luck with the oil leaks! If you beat them, you will have accomplished something few have. We have a pair of 6V92 DDECs on our boat. Years ago, I gave up on my SprayNine and rags routine. Now I just change clothes before going into the engine room!

Had a buddy with 8V71s in his boat. He had a very strict regime of strategically locating feminine napkins to catch each leak. The day after each trip, once the engines had cooled down a bit, he'd send his son into the engine room to "change the manhole covers"!

A naturally aspirated 6-71 is a rock solid engine, just messy like all its cousins.
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Old 09-11-2017, 11:15 AM   #14
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Sorry I don't know what I hiab crane is... I know I would have to fab something to do lifting at my place to attempt what you're doing. I have built several fire brush trucks in my "Shop" (It is a carport and a gravel driveway.) The last two were built out of M923 Military 5 ton cargo trucks. The biggest issue is wire feed welding in the wind. I used the old reliable "Cherry Picker" for lifting the pumps and engines onto the decks. Tanks were installed using ingenuity and levers made from wood.
As far as your 6-71 leaking oil having worked for a Detroit Diesel Distributorship for all of the 20+ years, if you put them together properly the only "Oil leaks" are supposed to be the air box drains. You can out a collector on those to keep it from dripping on the ground. If the drains are not open the oil can fill up and cause the engine to over-speed from a secondary fuel source being the oil. (Diesel engines don't runaway, the engines over-speed. The mechanics runaway, at least the ones that don't know what they're doing.)
The main thing that causes oil leaks is people use sealants on the gaskets. The gaskets are designed to be installed on clean dry surfaces, use guide studs on vertically hanging gaskets and use proper thread sealants and copper washers where directed on bolts in the service manual. I personally built a lot of engines and years later were still not leaking oil.
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Old 09-12-2017, 08:33 PM   #15
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Rough sketch
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Old 11-28-2017, 09:26 AM   #16
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It's an inline 6-71
I'm going to perform an in chassis rebuild
I've opted to not turbocharge as it makes more than enough power to do what I need
I'm about to get started on the frame stretch and air ride axle upgrade
I'll provide pictures as they come
I'd post a picture of the truck as is but I'm kind of ashamed of its condition
I did manage to get my hands on a mint Brigadier cab that basically needs paint and the dog house flange for the in line engine as it was a 3208 Cat
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Old 01-12-2018, 03:00 PM   #17
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Keep us posted on your build. I'm a heavy equipment operator and bus conversion guy and really like the reliable 2cycle. To get in the right frame of mind to drive this truck first shut your hand in the door hard. Once you are good and pissed off it will run like a scaled cat. As you get to know your rig pay attention to the oil level every time that you check it. Dad had a 318 in an MCI bus that would lose about 1 gallon of oil on the 850mi trip from Evansville, IN to Orlando. He noticed that the oil level was often in the same spot when he check it. Dad made a new mark on the stick at this level. With the oil at the new mark on the stick he rarely needed to add oil. The old Detroit will always drip a little oil but should not puke it out excessively.
Note: be sure to use the correct oil. 15W40 is for 4cycle engines. In most places your 2-stroke needs straight 40wt diesel oil.
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Old 01-17-2018, 05:47 AM   #18
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Look forward to seeing pics of this build!
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Old 05-29-2018, 10:34 PM   #19
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Sorry for the delay
Been collecting things for project while still trying to run a business and have a family
Snapped some pics of the 2 donor trucks
Should have the splice done over the next 2 weeks
Thanks
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Old 06-05-2018, 09:44 PM   #20
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Under the knife
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