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Installed the ECM & TCM upgrades from Brazel’s Ultra RV? Mine are shipping out tomorrow, and I’m curious what your results were. They advertise about 60hp and 80 lb/ft torque, which is pretty impressive, not quite 2005 DP territory but close.

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Hi, your coach seems to have the same or very similar paint scheme as our 2006 LaPalma PCT.

Yes, I did the ECM. I found that there was more power than before and the coach could do better on the grades than before. Jon recommended the TCM upgrade and that is still in the wish list. Would I do it again? Yes and it is not very expensive. The space to work in is very limited and awkward, so expect some possible skinned knuckles.

I had developed an exhaust manifold leak and the proceeded to also replace the exhaust headers with free-flow headers from Banks. This was based on the recommendations of the workhorse owners on the irv2.com forums. I am very pleased with the coaches performance and fuel consumption on our current trip. I an only mad at myself for not retaining the cast iron headers as these have some residual value. The engine is a little louder as a result but not unbearable. I did do some sound insulation for the doghouse and will be upgrading that soon.

Driving results and experience is below.

We are about 1200 miles from home on our 9000 mile journey thru the US at a variety of altitudes. We also did the Wolf Creek pass from West to East without too much effort, sans the toad which was driven separately. Water temp on the dash hardly changed but came down noticeably on the long down grade. 

Fuel consumption for this trip is averaging about 7.5 mpg or better on the last 7800 miles, towing the Honda CR-V. I was hoping for better mpg, especially with the current fuel prices more than double from last year. I prefer not to use the speed control unless the road is fairly level because of the irritation factor to engage and disengage it. Eastbound on the I-90 for the last 2 days I have used the speed control very successfully. Cruising speed is generally 55 to 60 mph are at about 2000 rpm, nicely in the torque band. Generally, I will drop to 4th gear (5 speed Alison gearbox) on an incline to keep the speed and try to not use the other gears unless it is a steep incline.

I hope this helps you with your decision.

Edited by Martinvz
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42 minutes ago, Martinvz said:

Hi, your coach seems to have the same or very similar paint scheme as our 2006 LaPalma PCT.

Yes, I did the ECM. I found that there was more power than before and the coach could do better on the grades than before. Jon recommended the TCM upgrade and that is still in the wish list. Would I do it again? Yes and it is not very expensive. The space to work in is very limited and awkward, so expect some possible skinned knuckles.

I had developed an exhaust manifold leak and the proceeded to also replace the exhaust headers with free-flow headers from Banks. This was based on the recommendations of the workhorse owners on the irv2.com forums. I am very pleased with the coaches performance and fuel consumption on our current trip. I an only mad at myself for not retaining the cast iron headers as these have some residual value. The engine is a little louder as a result but not unbearable. I did do some sound insulation for the doghouse and will be upgrading that soon.

Driving results and experience is below.

We are about 1200 miles from home on our 9000 mile journey thru the US at a variety of altitudes. We also did the Wolf Creek pass from West to East without too much effort, sans the toad which was driven separately. Water temp on the dash hardly changed but came down noticeably on the long down grade. 

Fuel consumption for this trip is averaging about 7.5 mpg or better on the last 7800 miles, towing the Honda CR-V. I was hoping for better mpg, especially with the current fuel prices more than double from last year. I prefer not to use the speed control unless the road is fairly level because of the irritation factor to engage and disengage it. Eastbound on the I-90 for the last 2 days I have used the speed control very successfully. Cruising speed is generally 55 to 60 mph are at about 2000 rpm, nicely in the torque band. Generally, I will drop to 4th gear (5 speed Alison gearbox) on an incline to keep the speed and try to not use the other gears unless it is a steep incline.

I hope this helps you with your decision.

Martin,

     It helps immensely.

     We just returned from our Las Vegas trip two weeks ago and averaged 7.3 mpg. Last week we went to McCall, Idaho and averaged 7.4 mpg. This week we went to Three Island Crossing State Park, at Glenn's Ferry, Idaho, but I didn't keep track of our fuel....I gassed up before we left and have about 1/2 tank left. We towed our Jeep CJ-5 on all of the trips.

     I'm not putting on the Banks headers, mainly because I've met Gale Banks and I don't care for his demeanor, plus I like the cast iron manifolds. I probably do need to replace the manifold gaskets though for good measure, as well as insulate the dog house, and I'll probably use DynaMat.

     Our interior is Onyx, in 2006 is was Onyx II, which gave you a bit different pattern than ours, but the paint scheme is the same...I have both brochures to compare.

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I also installed the ECM and TCM from Brazel's about 4 years ago. I was and am pleased with the results but I won't say they were huge but just noticeable. I get between 7 and 8 mpg depending on the trip. I can't say I noticed any fuel economy improvement but I think I know why. You'll get improved fuel economy or improved performance but not both. I tend to go for the extra performance. If you used to go up a certain hill at 50 mph and now you can go up that hill at 53 mph and you do, you probably won't get better millage. That would be me. If you back off and go up that hill at 50 mph you will probably get better millage. I live in the west (Nevada) and there are always hills.

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7 hours ago, Tom Wallis said:

I also installed the ECM and TCM from Brazel's about 4 years ago. I was and am pleased with the results but I won't say they were huge but just noticeable. I get between 7 and 8 mpg depending on the trip. I can't say I noticed any fuel economy improvement but I think I know why. You'll get improved fuel economy or improved performance but not both. I tend to go for the extra performance. If you used to go up a certain hill at 50 mph and now you can go up that hill at 53 mph and you do, you probably won't get better millage. That would be me. If you back off and go up that hill at 50 mph you will probably get better millage. I live in the west (Nevada) and there are always hills.

I know what you mean, Tom. On our way to Vegas, we broke down in Wells and were towed to Elko…new MAF and O2 sensors overnighted from Brazel’s and we were on the road again in 1-1/2 hours. Instead of backtracking to Ely and continuing on Hwy 98, we took 376 into Tonopah…hills galore.

Does yours have the crossover tube and single 4” exhaust or do you have 3” true dual exhaust? Ours has true duals. I had to have Brazel’s check for me, because the dreaded P.O. redid the exhaust and ran both pipes out the driver’s side and installed mufflers that made it sound like a NASCAR. That was the first thing fixed, after we got home from Vegas.

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After I had installed and tested the new ECM and sent the test data to Brazel's, Jon Brazel contacted me and suggested cleaning or replacing the MAP sensor. I cleaned it first but ended up replacing it. Judging from your experience that was probably a smart move.

I do have dual exhaust on the motorhome. At the time I was making the other improvements I considered getting the performance mufflers from Brazel's but when I weighed the extra noise against the small improvement I decided against it.

Here is something interesting about exhaust. Back when I was towing a travel trailer with my 07 Chevy 6.0L pickup I replaced the exhaust with a new Corsa exhaust system. While the Corsa dual pipe system was supposed to provide more HP the single was supposed to provide better torgue for towing. I went with the single.

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15 minutes ago, Tom Wallis said:

After I had installed and tested the new ECM and sent the test data to Brazel's, Jon Brazel contacted me and suggested cleaning or replacing the MAP sensor. I cleaned it first but ended up replacing it. Judging from your experience that was probably a smart move.

I do have dual exhaust on the motorhome. At the time I was making the other improvements I considered getting the performance mufflers from Brazel's but when I weighed the extra noise against the small improvement I decided against it.

Here is something interesting about exhaust. Back when I was towing a travel trailer with my 07 Chevy 6.0L pickup I replaced the exhaust with a new Corsa exhaust system. While the Corsa dual pipe system was supposed to provide more HP the single was supposed to provide better torgue for towing. I went with the single.

MAP sensor or MAF sensor? I haven’t touched my MAP sensor yet, but I probably need to inspect it. The exhaust theory makes sense. With the new exhaust system I had installed, which routed the pipes back to both sides of the rig, I could definitely tell that the back pressure had increased, because it had a bit more oomph going uphill, but the sound is still still too loud for my taste, so it’s going back in to the muffler shop tomorrow and getting resonators, in addition to the mufflers.

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1 hour ago, FLynes said:

MAP sensor or MAF sensor? I haven’t touched my MAP sensor yet, but I probably need to inspect it. The exhaust theory makes sense. With the new exhaust system I had installed, which routed the pipes back to both sides of the rig, I could definitely tell that the back pressure had increased, because it had a bit more oomph going uphill, but the sound is still still too loud for my taste, so it’s going back in to the muffler shop tomorrow and getting resonators, in addition to the mufflers.

Sorry, I meant MAF.

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