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#1 Old 11-26-2012, 07:40 PM
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Fixing cruise control?

Is it worth trying to fix cruise control on these vans?

I finally thought to test cruise control on my van today on the way to the shop to get more work done on it.. and it didn't work. By that I mean, I switched it on and pressed the set button, then let off the gas pedal.. and it didn't maintain speed.

I was sure hoping it would work...

1978 Dodge B300 Xplorer 228 Class B motorhome (5.9L 360, A727, 19ft long)
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#2 Old 11-27-2012, 10:01 AM
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Is it worth trying to fix cruise control on these vans?
It is if you enjoy having CC.
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#3 Old 11-27-2012, 06:07 PM
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The problem is finding the parts. They don't appear to be available at alll new/rebuild.

A little off topic but.. I got a new virgin mobie android with a 4.3" screen and I installed a free speedometer app. I hate how hard it is to the speedometer on my van, day or not. It's almost impossible to see what speed i'm going without taking my eyes off the road for a while to try to focus in on the stock speedometer and figure out what it's pointing to. So the Android app will help a lot. it can be used standalone or it puts a floating number for mph over google maps so you can be in navigation while seeing your MPH at the same.

1978 Dodge B300 Xplorer 228 Class B motorhome (5.9L 360, A727, 19ft long)
Van-Dwellers.com | My Blog

Last edited by Cubey; 11-27-2012 at 06:13 PM.
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#4 Old 11-28-2012, 05:39 AM
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I had the same problem with my 1997 B1500 a few years ago. It turned out that it was a Vacuum leak to the Cruise Control unit which is located in the front of the engine near the right fender. Or on your van it MIGHT be located under your battery tray.
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#5 Old 11-28-2012, 10:21 AM
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I found a weird big component a couple weeks ago that was waup up under the van mounted to the right side of the transmission and had a somewhat rotten hose going to it, of fairly big diameter.

It also had linkage going to the transmission it looked like.. and of course some wires going to whatever the component is. I replaced the long vacuum hose it had going to it, thinking it may have been some component to the cruise control. It had a somewhat flexible plastic shroud around 3/4 of it to help keep water from splashing up on it I guess.

I don't have my factory service manual in front of me (it's 18 miles away in the van at the shop) but looking at the Hanyes manual, it says that earlier models only consist of:

- a vacuum servo motor
- brake switch
- control switches
- a relay
- associate vacuum hoses

...but then the wiring digram for 71-76 (saying 77-78 is similar) for auto speed control shows a speed control switch as well.

I guess in 78 they were putting the servo under the van next to the transmission. There's nothing else it could be that I can think of.

I can't seem to remember if anything is under the battery tray or not. It's a bit rusted out from battery acid over the years and at one time i was trying to see how it could be removed.. but it doesn't even look possible without cutting it out. It's still good enough to hold up a battery so I decided to leave it.

When I get it back, I'll pull the doghouse cover again (uugh what a pain) and look around and see if i can find the servo that is shown in an illustration in the Haynes manual.

1978 Dodge B300 Xplorer 228 Class B motorhome (5.9L 360, A727, 19ft long)
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Last edited by Cubey; 11-28-2012 at 10:29 AM.
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#6 Old 11-29-2012, 02:02 AM
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I remember reading a past post some years ago concerning the location of the cruise control vacuum servo control unit in eariler years for our vans. It was under the battery tray. There was a concern that battery acid destroyed the vac hose going to the CC servo control unit. If the servo unit is under there, then check the hoses for leaks and also check to see if the servo units rubber diaphragm does not have a hole in it. I looked in my 1979 and 1982 Dodge van shop manuals for information about cruise control, but nothing was listed about it. Maybe Dodge had a supplemental manual concerning cruise control back in those early years. I did not have cruise control in my 1979 and 1982 Dodge vans. Which is why I can't tell you for sure where the servo unit for the CC is located. But I would check under the battery tray. Hmmmm in later years, maybe that what is why Dodge moved the Vacuum servo motor to the other side of the van to keep away from the battery acid.
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#7 Old 11-29-2012, 02:14 AM
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Okay, when I get it back home I'll check that. The shop it's at is taking forever.

They called today and said the mechanic couldn't get the steering gear box out without cutting part of the wheel well fender behind the tire (i know the piece they mean, it's just a wall of flat sheet metal). Boggles my mind since it looked to be like it should come right out the bottom ... but.. they don't jack it up with a floor jack, they use a lift for the whole vehicle so it had it's weight on the axle, which might be why.. I don't know. But they'd have to jack it up to get the wheel off to cut the sheet metal so who knows. I was at the hospital with my mom (she injured her back) so I couldn't run over there and see what they were doing.. so i just have to trust them. They said it won't be visible with the tire on. I assume it's just a few inches they have to remove down low on the sheet metal. I told them to paint the edge where they cut it and they said they'd see if they have any around.

This was supposed to have been finished on Tuesday.. their excuse was that the mechanic started on some old SUV for someone and a bolt broke on the timing cover, the intake or something like that so it ended up being they had to finish that. Today they called at 2:45 or so telling me they had to cut the sheet metal because the mechanic tried everything and couldn't get it out.

At least they do ask you before doing it.

I keep forgetting.. the factory service manual has a separate one for electrical so it won't be in the one I have ether.. like yours. It covers the engine, transmission, chassis, etc.

1978 Dodge B300 Xplorer 228 Class B motorhome (5.9L 360, A727, 19ft long)
Van-Dwellers.com | My Blog

Last edited by Cubey; 11-29-2012 at 02:37 AM.
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#8 Old 11-29-2012, 03:06 AM
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Sorry to hear about your mother, hope she is ok.
Concerning the steering gear removal. On page 19-13 of my 1979 Dodge manual, it does not say anything about cutting sheet metal. The manual says to first completely detach steering column from floor and instrument panel and remove it from van. Next step is to disconnect power steering hoses from gear. Then from under van remove steering arm retaining nut and lock washer. Remove steering arm with tool # C-4150. Finally remove three gear to frame retaining bolts or nuts and then remove gear. Thats it.
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#9 Old 11-29-2012, 11:17 AM
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Yeah.. but I was at the hospital and didn't have a manual to reference so I just had to take their word for it. They said they checked the repair manual they have (computerized I think, that's what even small time garages use these days) and it didn't say anything about it they said.

Guess I should have just done it myself but I'm so tired or working on it at this point and wanted it done. They are one of the few shops that will even touch an old 1 ton van.
~ ~
EDIT: The van is ready but I called just as they finished so I have to wait to get a callback from them on the total price. They used some of the belts i already bought and had in the van so that lowered the price some. They said that the mechanic was able to bend the sheet metal to get the steering gear box out and bent it back when he was done installing the new one... so they didn't have to do any cutting after all.

1978 Dodge B300 Xplorer 228 Class B motorhome (5.9L 360, A727, 19ft long)
Van-Dwellers.com | My Blog

Last edited by Cubey; 11-29-2012 at 12:54 PM.
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#10 Old 12-02-2012, 03:23 PM
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Okay.. I'm 100% sure the component down under the van next to the transmission is the cruise control servo. It has 2 cables coming off of it.. one going straight to the transmission (the speed sensor cable) and one going up to the carburetor (throttle). And a small wire harness of abotu 2-3 wires. The hose I put was a little bit squished/collasped from the hard bend it expects out of the hose so i pulled the slack and hopefully made it where it's not got restricted vacuuum. If that doesn't fix it, I won't mess with it anymore unless I just try another piece of hose, or a 90 degree bend fitting. The hose I bought and paid new priced for from the local place felt half way rotten... all hard. It was a pain to get it onto the servo.

The only thing directly under the battery tray really is the horn and the steering gear box.

1978 Dodge B300 Xplorer 228 Class B motorhome (5.9L 360, A727, 19ft long)
Van-Dwellers.com | My Blog
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#11 Old 12-02-2012, 05:04 PM
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OK, thanks for clearing that up.
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