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VortecZ
03-10-2009, 10:24 PM
4BT Cummins Turbo Diesel in an 05 Silverado

I finally started driving my truck and thought I would show off a little and give the details of my build. I did this engine swap so I could have a full size truck that gets great fuel mileage instead of driving some little crappy compact car. I havenít driven this truck enough yet to check the mileage but I will report back soon. I really did the swap because I thought it would be pretty cool but I use the mileage thing to justify it.

I started with a 2005 regular cab, short bed, two wheel drive, Silverado. It originally had a 4.3 V6 with a manual tranny.

Motor: 3.9L 4 cylinder Cummins Diesel removed from a Frito-Lay step van and originally had a turbo 400 tranny bolted to it. Rated at 105hp and Iím not sure of the torque numbers. It fits in the engine bay pretty nicely. I used hydraulic motor mounts out of the step van. I had to fabricate the motor mount brackets and the cross member under the motor for oil pan clearance. I used the oil pressure sensor and the temperature sensors from the V6. I also used the alternator from the V6 with a custom bracket. I used the starter from the Dodge but wired it from the fuse box instead of letting it go through the computer. The computer would only let the starter crank for a few seconds and shut-off so I bypassed it. The biggest problem I ran into was finding a good wire to use for the fuel pump shut-off solenoid. You need a keyed on power wire to it. I couldnít get the thing to start and couldnít figure out why. I made a real idiot mistake by using a wire that was on when the key was on but didnít realize it shut back off when the key was turned to start mode (these late model trucks shut off a lot of electrical things to conserve the power for the starter). I also added an intake grid heater off of a dodge. These Cummins motors use these instead of glow plugs. I made my own plates for the top and bottom of this and used the dodge relays to power it. I modified a factory fog light switch by putting a momentary switch inside of it to turn the relays on. This way, when itís cold, I hold the fog light switch down for a few seconds before I start it.

http://www.fullsizechevy.com/gallery/data/500/medium/1_0091.jpg

http://www.fullsizechevy.com/gallery/data/500/medium/1_015.jpg

http://www.fullsizechevy.com/gallery/data/500/medium/1_011.jpg

Tranny: NV4500 5 speed manual from a 1994 1-ton Dodge along with the flywheel and adapter plate. The truck originally had a NV3500 that I figured wouldnít hold up to the torque of the diesel. I had to make a tranny cross member to fit the larger tranny. The speed sensors (VSS) between the Dodge and the Chevy were too different for a simple signal converter so I had to make a reluctor wheel for the VSS to read. The chevy VSS reads a 40 tooth gear in the original tranny. My dodge tranny had a harmonic balancer on the slip yoke so I was able to mill 40 ľĒ slots in the balancer and made a bracket to hold the sensor close to it. This worked perfectly. The next problem was the slave cylinder. The NV3500 had a small internal slave and the NV4500 has a large external slave. I wanted to use the original clutch master cylinder because the mounting of it and the clutch pedal are kinda complex and wouldnít be easy to swap out with anything other than a larger one from a Duramax truck and they are too expensive. I ended up finding a smaller slave cylinder to match the volume of my master. I used one from a 1990 half-ton chevy. It needed a lot of modifying to make it fit this tranny but after cutting the flange, drilling some holes, and re-tapping the fitting hole for pipe threads and it worked great. I cut the end off of the factory braided hydraulic line and added a compression style fitting that had pipe threads. I had to use the dodge shifter but cut the lever off and welded the chevy lever to it so my interior looks completely stock.

http://www.fullsizechevy.com/gallery/data/500/medium/1_006.jpg

http://www.fullsizechevy.com/gallery/data/500/medium/1_005.jpg

http://www.fullsizechevy.com/gallery/data/500/medium/1_003.jpg

As I mentioned, I just started driving it but I love it! It runs great. Only 105hp (well the pump is turned up a little) but the torque is awesome. It will smoke the tires in 2nd gear and bark them in 3rd. It doesnít vibrate bad at all like other 4BT owners have complained about. It is a little loud compared to the gas motor but I donít mind it and I donít think it is any worse than an old 12 valve Dodge. My next plans are getting the A/C compressor bolted to it (using the original one from the V6) and adding an intercooler.

1994Gmcsierra71
03-10-2009, 10:29 PM
that looks sweet, definitely unique!!!! Im gonna check back for mileage updates and possible power upgrades?

1994Gmcsierra71
03-10-2009, 10:32 PM
I think even a intake and exhaust upgrade would be enough, you probably won't want a smoker! That looks a stock intake box off the v6 correct? Still running the electric fan?

bighead38
03-10-2009, 10:52 PM
Subscribed for results

ROCKSOLIDHD
03-10-2009, 10:56 PM
thats what im in the process of doing with an 0bs, wasnt sure of what tranny to do, will also be a sfa, as it is a 2wd chassis i am starting with, so I am going to do a 14b, and d60.

foreman00081
03-11-2009, 07:32 AM
great job on the swap! looks really clean. should be interesting to see what kind of milage you get.

1LOWDIESEL
03-11-2009, 09:45 AM
dude you the man. that looks sweet. i'm going to putting a 12v in a 99 1500 too and am trying to figure out ideas to run the stock cluster. i like the ballancer idea you did.

Stucknthemud
03-11-2009, 10:00 AM
Hey man nice build! I'm looking for a 5.9l cummins turbo for an old international truck i have. Where did you find this one and about how much do they run.

il_DURAMAX
03-11-2009, 11:30 AM
Nice!

VortecZ
03-11-2009, 05:52 PM
Thanks guys.




I think even a intake and exhaust upgrade would be enough, you probably won't want a smoker! That looks a stock intake box off the v6 correct? Still running the electric fan?

I am using the stock muffler because I didn't know how loud it would be. I'm considering removing it but not sure. The air filter is the stock one from the V6 so I'll eventually change that. The electric fans are the original ones, still on, and work fin.


dude you the man. that looks sweet. i'm going to putting a 12v in a 99 1500 too and am trying to figure out ideas to run the stock cluster. i like the ballancer idea you did.

I'm running the stock cluster and all the gauges work except the tach and I'm planning on getting it to work with a Dakota Digital DSL-2. Just use your original sensors on the 12v and they will work.


Hey man nice build! I'm looking for a 5.9l cummins turbo for an old international truck i have. Where did you find this one and about how much do they run.

I paid $2700 for a complete step van to part out. I know some people have gotten them a lot cheaper but this one was close to home. If you are looking for a 5.9 then check the junk yards or for old Dodges with rough bodies so you can buy the whole truck cheap.
If anyone is interested in a good low mile (less than 40k miles) 12 valve, my buddy has one for sale. I think he is asking $4000. He pulled it from a wrecked truck to do a Superduty Ford swap and changed his mind. PM me if interested.

sgtshaft919
03-11-2009, 06:08 PM
amazing i am about to start the same swap...thanks for all the info...

crossy's son
03-11-2009, 07:39 PM
$4000 for a 12 valve? yikes.

We can't sell ours for $1300 :( ... we have a spare

Yea the 4bt vans are catching on now and everyone wants a 4b.. seems like the engines themselves go for $2000. Get the alum van and pull the motor and scrap the van.

Need more info on tweaking the pump PM me or join some forums :).... Me and my dad are masters of the VE.

VortecZ
03-12-2009, 09:05 AM
Need more info on tweaking the pump PM me or join some forums :).... Me and my dad are masters of the VE.


Thanks, I'm more of a P-pump man but I plan on learning more about the VE myself. This one was a little wore out so I sent it to Scheid Diesel to get rebuilt. They updated it, did all their little tricks to it, and removed all the cold-start crap off the side of it. It should be good for a while. I think they may have turned it up a little too much because I get some pretty good black smoke. It should help when I get the intercooler on it.

rob
03-16-2009, 03:16 PM
Thanks guys.

If anyone is interested in a good low mile (less than 40k miles) 12 valve, my buddy has one for sale. I think he is asking $4000. He pulled it from a wrecked truck to do a Superduty Ford swap and changed his mind. PM me if interested.


by far, the greatest combo that SHOULD have been made.

damn ford for being loyal to international all those years...

2500ak
03-16-2009, 03:25 PM
That thing is awesome :10:

D_Theater
03-21-2009, 02:30 AM
I think they may have turned it up a little too much because I get some pretty good black smoke. It should help when I get the intercooler on it.

Um, not exactly. Black smoke is unburned fuel. To harness that fuel, making more power and cleaning up the exhaust, you need more air. Gotta make it breathe better.

The intercooler will help lower your engine's IAT's so you don't have a meltdown while you're leaning on it...


P.S. - Install looks good.

VortecZ
03-23-2009, 12:00 PM
An intercooler will give it more air. It cools the air making it more dense. That means more in the same volume. I'm not saying it will help a whole lot and get rid of the black smoke but it should help a little.

ryan_thompson87
03-23-2009, 12:53 PM
Got any pictures of the whole truck?

CodyZ71
03-23-2009, 01:29 PM
SUB'd definately awesome! Try and get some videos of it.

gr8shot
03-25-2009, 08:06 AM
awesome swap!! Very cool. I do agree, take a video of the thing for us!! I'm also hanging on to see what kinda mileage you can pull with it. It'll probably be tough to keep your foot out of it for a while though I bet!

justy
03-26-2009, 04:26 PM
sweet ride.. I want a 4bt to put in a old jeep. Hard to find the buggers.

VortecZ
03-26-2009, 04:41 PM
I'll try to get some pics and videos of it.

I'm getting a little over 30 mpg with it now. I don't have really accurate numbers yet because I need to work on the filler neck. I ended up figuring out the vent hose from the gas tank isn't big enough for diesel fuel. Diesel foams up a lot more than gasoline and requires better ventilation. I'm going to re-do the filler neck and vent hose this weekend.

SteppinLo
03-26-2009, 08:32 PM
Solid info there. I look forward to reading more and seeing this to completion!

willinthe985
03-31-2009, 11:17 AM
Awesomeness. I would love to do this with my truck.

Koots
03-31-2009, 11:25 AM
beautiful work, i was wanting to do this with my K5 and replace the 6.2L in it. Diesels are great engines and only true gearheads know how great they are.

Kudos for putting one in an NSB too. just like that guy who stuck a mercedes diesel in his ECSB last year.

VortecZ
04-14-2009, 07:29 AM
Here are some pics after I lowered it this weekend. The weight of the motor dropped the front a little and I cut a coil off of the springs to up the spring rate and drop it a little more. The rear has a flip kit and I shortened the shackles to pick it back up a little. It is roughly a 3/5 drop.

http://www.fullsizechevy.com/gallery/data/500/medium/truck_0106.jpg[/URL]

http://www.fullsizechevy.com/gallery/data/500/medium/truck_0144.jpg (http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3348/3438714218_ba2b0c495f.jpg?v=0)

http://www.fullsizechevy.com/gallery/data/500/medium/truck_0111.jpg

[URL="http://www.flickr.com/photos/highspeeddesign/"]Video and more pics of it on my picture site. (http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3336/3437902639_5052641b24.jpg?v=0)

willinthe985
04-14-2009, 08:26 AM
LOOKS SICK! I like the emblem too.

VortecZ
04-16-2009, 10:26 AM
I just got my tach working so now ALL of my factory gauges work!
It turns out that the only thing the computer needed to run the tach was a signal from the crank sensor on the V6. I replaced my crank pulley with a pulley/harmonic balancer from a 5.9 Cummins (6BT). The balancer had two notches in it for the 6BT sensor so I had to turn it down and mill three new notches in it to match the crank reluctor wheel on the V6 (6 equal length areas - three raised & three recessed). Then I fabricated a bracket to hold the sensor close to the balancer and extend the wires to it.

It worked great and now I know that I'm turning 2000rpm on the interstate.


http://www.fullsizechevy.com/gallery/data/500/medium/truck_0066.jpg

gr8shot
04-16-2009, 04:53 PM
Damn thats some crafty ingenutiy!! I can say that I would have had no clue how to do that!

xpunter83
04-16-2009, 05:35 PM
looks awesome what are you getting for mileage on that?

VortecZ
04-16-2009, 08:09 PM
I've been getting about 30mpg. I still have some things I want to do to it and hope to get better mileage. For now, I'm really happy with the mileage and the power.

98crewcab
04-16-2009, 10:05 PM
nice job........GM needs to read this forums thread on Ideas on how to improve sales

fortplainman
04-16-2009, 10:24 PM
you need a 5 inch pip out the rear now haha. sweet idea and now i wish even more the 4.5 dmax was going into 1500s

VortecZ
04-17-2009, 09:41 PM
you need a 5 inch pip out the rear now
I did end up putting a 4 inch tip on it. It looks pretty good.

I started planning this build before I had ever heard of the 4.5 Duramax and was really impressed they were actually doing it. I was very interested in one and considered not doing this project because of it. Now that it is on hold, I'm really glad I did it my way anyway. I also doubt the dmax would get this good mileage. On the other hand, I don't have to follow the emissions standards that GM does since there are no smog checks in my area.

If GM would build a full size truck that got 30mpg (gas or diesel) people would buy them like crazy. It is so much nicer to drive a full size truck than it is a pos little car that get's good mileage. Plus I'm setting it up with helper air bags and a good hitch so I can haul stuff and pull a trailer too. You can't do that with a little car!

brutal
04-19-2009, 04:28 PM
that is SWEEEET

Ivan D.
04-19-2009, 11:28 PM
Add a pair of 4" chrome stacks of the miter-cut type through the bed, that will confuse the heck outta people :D Put them in the very corners so you don't lose valuable space and add some stainless-steel shields around them so you don't melt nothing on them if they ever get too hot. Speaking of hot, do you have a pyrometer now that you have a diesel engine? You want one, especially if you have the pump turned up, don't wanna melt a piston down.

CodyZ71
04-19-2009, 11:46 PM
nice job........GM needs to read this forums thread on Ideas on how to improve sales

They've been too busy digging they're hole.

FordeatinZ71
04-20-2009, 12:22 AM
man, that is amazing. i have been bouncing back and forth between 4 and 6bt for my K1500...but every time i see a 4bt swap that goes this well, i think that it's a no-brainer what i should swap to...great job man!

VortecZ
04-20-2009, 09:17 PM
pair of 4" chrome stacks
Not really into the stacks except for the pullers and then they look better through the hood.

I don't have a pyrometer on it yet but I did go ahead and drill and tap a hole in the exhaust manifold while the motor was out. I'll be adding a pyrometer and a boost gauge one of these days.

FordeatinZ71, my advice to you is a 4BT instead of the 6BT. The 6BT will be a bit much for a 1500 but it could certainly be built to handle it.

Ivan D.
04-21-2009, 12:02 AM
Not really into the stacks except for the pullers and then they look better through the hood.
Understandable, I'm not too big on them either - I run a singe 3" on my truck and I'm happy with it, but only cause tis a dually, don't think I'd ever put on a set of 5" bull haulers unless truck is a crew-cab dually. That's why I suggested you the 4" miter-cuts, they are small enough and look simple enough to have this "factory equipment" feel to them, well sort of. In any case tho truck looks awesome as is without them :D


I don't have a pyrometer on it yet but I did go ahead and drill and tap a hole in the exhaust manifold while the motor was out. I'll be adding a pyrometer and a boost gauge one of these days.
Make that sooner than later tho, pyro is to a diesel about as important as oil-pressure gauge to any engine - just gives you that extra piece of mind that you know exactly what the engine is doing at any given moment.


FordeatinZ71, my advice to you is a 4BT instead of the 6BT. The 6BT will be a bit much for a 1500 but it could certainly be built to handle it.
Yah, I'd agree, the 6BT is way too big for a halfton, if a simple reliable daily driver with great fuel economy is the goal the 4BT would be the ticket for it, the 6BT is what you put in when you start hauling big and heavy.

FordeatinZ71
04-21-2009, 04:56 PM
Yea, I agree the 6bt is too big for a stock half ton, but here is why I want one...my truck is going solid front axle and will have 1-ton axles in it, along with 1-ton springs in it. I plan on hauling the same loads a typical 1-ton can tow/haul. My truck is going to be built to wheel but it is and will always be a work truck. I want an all-around truck. A truck that will have plenty of power to tow/haul, wheel with the best of 'em and maybe even run down the dragstrip and get across the finish line before the track closes.

With that being said, I'm still undecided. I think a lot will come down to what I get the best deal on. As things are now, you can get a 12v 6bt for less than a 4bt...and I'll be damned if I'm gonna pay more for less, lol. If I do put a 6bt in my truck (btw, I've been talking to a guy on 4btswaps.com who does Cummins conversions for a living and he assures me a stock 1/2 ton IFS GM will handle a Cummins 6bt just fine, with only a mild t bar crank) I will box at least the forward section of the frame. I will definitely beef up the truck to take it.

If I go that route...lol

Ivan D.
04-21-2009, 09:24 PM
Yea, I agree the 6bt is too big for a stock half ton, but here is why I want one...my truck is going solid front axle and will have 1-ton axles in it, along with 1-ton springs in it. I plan on hauling the same loads a typical 1-ton can tow/haul. My truck is going to be built to wheel but it is and will always be a work truck. I want an all-around truck. A truck that will have plenty of power to tow/haul, wheel with the best of 'em and maybe even run down the dragstrip and get across the finish line before the track closes.

Well then, go with the 6BT, that's a no-brainer there - with what you want to do with your truck, the 4BT will be on the underpowered side, especially once you start throwing big tires on it and so on. By the way, how much weaker is your 1/2-ton frame compared to a 1-ton? I remember the older C/K 10s had something like 6" tall c-channel vs. 8" for the 1-tons...

VortecZ
04-22-2009, 07:40 AM
solid front axle and will have 1-ton axles in it, along with 1-ton springs
Sounds like you would just be better off selling your truck and buying a 1-ton. If you really like your truck and want to convert to a 6bt and all the 1-ton stuff, it seems like it would be easier to put your body on a 94-98 Dodge frame. I have done a lot of different conversions and have never done a re-body but is would probaly be less work than what you are talking about doing.

ryan_thompson87
04-22-2009, 10:52 AM
All he wants is an SAS really ain't that much work, just alot of fabbing. much less than a body swap. Ha Ha Probably less work than putting in that Cummins actually :biggrin:

1989K1500
04-22-2009, 03:06 PM
Very nice swap. Im really impressed with your VSS and tach signal, you really did a badass job on those.

How fast is it compared to the 4.3?


I will box at least the forward section of the frame. I will definitely beef up the truck to take it.
It is boxed from behind the firewall forward.

FordeatinZ71
04-22-2009, 09:46 PM
Wow, I've been at work and missed all these responses. Yea Ivan, that's what I was worried about, with all I wanna do with my truck the 4bt might not be enough.

As was mentioned above, doing what I want would be a lot easier than doing a re body. Not to mention, I wanna keep my truck as much GM as I can, other than what I wanna do. The rear axle just bolts in...the SAS is gonna take fabrication, but that's not THAT hard. I mean, yes there are easier ways to go about it, but I have this planned out exactly how I wanna attack it when the time comes.

Luke...I looked at my truck...I'll be damned...never realized that.

crossy's son
04-22-2009, 10:04 PM
your definely not gonna mate a 700r4 behind a 6bt cummins. Thats a $800 adapter there just to go from cummins to GM.

Most any 6bt you get will have a adapter for a mopar torqueflite trans,

or you gonna go 5 speed route

FordeatinZ71
04-23-2009, 02:04 PM
Lol, who in their right mind would mate a 700R4 to a 12v Cummins?! I wouldn't even mate one to a 4bt for longer than a week or so. I want to go with an NV4500/5600. But if I stay auto I'll go with a 4L80E

Btw, to the op. I'm sorry for the thread jack, it wasn't intentional!

brutal
04-23-2009, 05:11 PM
half ton+6B cummins+auto tranny=:rocking:

jpstreetracer95
04-23-2009, 10:31 PM
man this truck is awsome. me and a friend talked about puting a small diesel in an obs or a c-10.

VortecZ
04-28-2009, 08:09 AM
Very nice swap. Im really impressed with your VSS and tach signal, you really did a badass job on those.

How fast is it compared to the 4.3?

Thanks. It was pretty easy to do. The hard part was finding the info about the sensors to know what they are looking for.

It is just as fast or faster than the 4.3 was. It feels a lot different because it is low horsepower and high torque. I can spin a tire(open diff.) hard taking off in 2nd and bark it when I shift to 3rd and have no trouble at all passing people on the highway. I know that isn't saying much for a truck that is heavy in the front and no weight in the back but the V6 would barely break a tire loose.

Black06
04-29-2009, 06:26 PM
what were your mods to the fuel system.....lift pump and such?

I would keep the 4l65 in mine if I ever did the swap though

VortecZ
04-30-2009, 03:07 PM
I took the pump/float assembly out of the tank, took the electric pump out, put a hose in its place, and put the assembly back in. I bypassed the evap valve and such for the return line and returned directly to the tank. I also added a 1/2" vent hose in the top of the tank for better venting. I cut both fuel lines off at the frame rail and ran new hoses to the motor from there. The lift pump is new but a stock replacement for the motor. The injection pump is freshly rebuilt and turned up some.

I think a 4L65E would hold up ok with one of these motors but my truck originally had a NV3500 manual and I'm pretty sure it wouldn't last long with the torque of a diesel. Plus I wanted a manual to maximize mileage.

Black06
04-30-2009, 04:08 PM
Sounds simple enough......I figure with a big tru-cool trans cooler and a decent shift kit the 65e would survive light towing duty (dump runs and the occasional car trailer) and simplify my conversion.

Keep us updated! I'm interested in some long term mileage numbers once you find the ideal driving style

VortecZ
05-04-2009, 08:29 PM
I now have my a/c compressor mounted and working! I fabricated a bracket to attach to the head and mounted a tensioner to it off of the original V6. I used an old pulley I had off of my 91 Camaro, from when I put power pulleys on it, and modified it to fit over another pulley on the engine. This works great and blows cold air. The compressor is roughly in the same location it was on the V6 so all the original lines bolted right up with minor bending and adjusting. The only problem is it is pretty high up and pretty far forward. It was close to not fitting but all I had to do was make one little notch in one of the hood braces for when the motor torques up.

http://www.fullsizechevy.com/gallery/data/500/medium/air_004.jpg
http://www.fullsizechevy.com/gallery/data/500/medium/air_005.jpg

Couple other updates:

I pieced together my own air bag helper kit with a couple 2500 pound bags, some brackets welded right to the frame, and some brackets bolted to the original spring perches on the axle.

I also cut my stock muffler off and welded in a straight pipe. Now my exhaust is mostly 3Ē pipe with a little bit of the stock exhaust pieces which are almost 3Ē too. It really isnít much louder and sounds much better!

As far as mileage goes, Iím still making little changes like cutting off the muffler and making adjustments. It seems that I am getting better mileage on the highways than I am the interstate. My driving is normally mixed pretty evenly between the two but I spent one week making trips almost entirely driving on the highway with lots of speeding up and slowing down for little towns and the next week was driving on the interstate about an hour at a time. I got 31mpg on the highway and 29 on the interstate. It isnít much of a difference but my Avalanche gets much better mileage on the interstate so I thought it was worth mentioning. Iíd like to try some different gears to see what difference it makes but probably wonít go that far. I may try some taller tires just in the back as a test.

fortplainman
05-04-2009, 08:31 PM
we need some more videos and you need to get a 4-5 inch exhaust haha.

Black06
05-04-2009, 08:47 PM
29-32 mpg works for me! Much better than the dismal 14mpg highway I get in the 4.3 now

Vanquish
05-05-2009, 01:54 PM
Very well done! I am currently piecing together stuff for this swap. Problem being these engines are rare around here.

Shopkins
05-11-2009, 07:01 AM
Plus I'm setting it up with helper air bags and a good hitch so I can haul stuff and pull a trailer too. You can't do that with a little car!

and set it up for a goose neck, that will REALLY get people thinking haha.

-Shaun

Toadz
05-12-2009, 12:41 PM
As far as mileage goes, Iím still making little changes like cutting off the muffler and making adjustments. It seems that I am getting better mileage on the highways than I am the interstate. My driving is normally mixed pretty evenly between the two but I spent one week making trips almost entirely driving on the highway with lots of speeding up and slowing down for little towns and the next week was driving on the interstate about an hour at a time. I got 31mpg on the highway and 29 on the interstate. It isnít much of a difference but my Avalanche gets much better mileage on the interstate so I thought it was worth mentioning.

Are you saying your Avalanche gets better mileage than the diesel on the interstate or are you saying that your Avalanche gets better mileage when driving the interstate vs. highway, compared to the diesel driving the interstate vs highway?

92_half ton_W/T
05-12-2009, 02:09 PM
This is an awesome thread.
I like the write up, and showing how you did everything.
And that little truck is sweet. It probably wasn't easy, but it looks great. Congratulations! :10:

VortecZ
05-13-2009, 11:46 AM
Are you saying your Avalanche gets better mileage than the diesel on the interstate or are you saying that your Avalanche gets better mileage when driving the interstate vs. highway, compared to the diesel driving the interstate vs highway?

The Diesel gets about 31 on the highway at 55mph with some stopping and starting in towns along the way. It gets about 27 if I drive the interstate at 70mph.


The Avalanche gets about 15 on the same highway trip and 18 on the interstate.




This is an awesome thread.
I like the write up, and showing how you did everything.
And that little truck is sweet. It probably wasn't easy, but it looks great. Congratulations!


Thanks to everyone that made comments like this! It is a fun project and I still have lots of ideas to keep it going. Custom paint, and a 14 bolt rear swap are the big ones on the list. I'll keep adding pictures as I go.

BIGMIKE@GAUGE
05-15-2009, 09:54 AM
I told you I would get on here first thing this morning. It great to meet you and your truck is truely badass. Hope that rear axle works great for you!

Black06
05-15-2009, 11:29 AM
Thanks to everyone that made comments like this! It is a fun project and I still have lots of ideas to keep it going. Custom paint, and a 14 bolt rear swap are the big ones on the list. I'll keep adding pictures as I go.


Your best bet is to grab a 14 bolt from a 2wd Silverado SS or Vortec Max truck of the same year range.....they are semi floaters but come 6 lug and should handle all the power that 4bt can throw at it.

VortecZ
05-17-2009, 09:24 PM
I told you I would get on here first thing this morning. It great to meet you and your truck is truely badass. Hope that rear axle works great for you!

It was good to meet you guys too.



The axle refered to in that post is a SF 14 bolt 6 lug out of a '98. I met Big Mike from buying it off of his buddy. I just spent the afternoon working on it. It is only one inch narrower than my original and the leaf spring perches were 2 inched off. I cut the perches off and welded them to the bottom of the axle so I won't need a flip kit for it. I also converted it to disc brakes. The conversion was really easy. I had a junk axle that I cut the backing plate mounts off of, bored them out a little becuase the 14 bolt axel tubes are bigger and welded them on right where I needed them for my discs. No spacers like the kits use.

I also found out that it is a 3.42 posi. It was supposed to be a 3.73 so I was planning on re-gearing it. That little mistake worked out great for me and saved me some money! My rear now is 3.23 so I don't think that little difference will matter too much.



Your best bet is to grab a 14 bolt from a 2wd Silverado SS or Vortec Max
Great idea! That really would have been the best way to go but finding one of them isn't the easiest thing to do and I bet they can get pretty expensive.

Black06
05-18-2009, 03:31 AM
Great idea! That really would have been the best way to go but finding one of them isn't the easiest thing to do and I bet they can get pretty expensive.

considering the amount of fab in your silverado.....I should have known better than to recommend a bolt-in swap :biggrin:

92_C1500_4.3
05-30-2009, 09:01 AM
29-32 mpg works for me! Much better than the dismal 14mpg highway I get in the 4.3 now


You are only getting 14 mpg out of your 4.3, what the hell did you do to it??

I have a 92 with 31" tires and a 4.10 and still get 19-20 on the highway.



Cool swap, I am debating on getting a obs K3500 and putting a 6bt in it or getting a K2500 and putting a 4bt:rolleyes:

Black06
05-30-2009, 11:30 AM
20" SS wheels with 295/50/20's and factory 3:23 rear/ 4l60e

92_C1500_4.3
05-31-2009, 11:04 AM
did you correct the speedo, Cause I have pulled a two horse trailer with 2 horses at 70-75 mph and got like 15-16 mpg.

Black06
05-31-2009, 03:29 PM
speedo is corrected with a programmer....as soon as this motor starts giving me problems it's gonna be swapped

92_C1500_4.3
05-31-2009, 07:27 PM
huh thats weird i have never heard of a 4.3 getting that bad of mileage.

KADILLACKID
05-31-2009, 08:05 PM
Awesome FN machine dude!

'04CCLB7
06-10-2009, 04:51 PM
VortecZ, i gotta say that this is one cool swap. if i had the money, i'd try something like this :D:D

Black06
06-25-2009, 02:59 AM
any new driving videos?

crossy's son
06-25-2009, 10:33 AM
People complain about 4.3's getting bad mileage in a fullsize pickup but its probably becuase they can't keep their foot outta it.

My dad'ss 93 ECSB auto 4.3 tbi truck would nail down 18 around town and 21 on the highway on cruise running 65 with 3.42's :think:

vortecz, awesome build once again, If you're looking for mileage you could bump your timing and get about 1 or 2 more MPG out of it and more power.... I'm not lying... At least thats the way it is on the 6bt's with the VE pumps... bumping the timing is one of the first things we do to our 89-93 cummins trucks, good mod.

VortecZ
06-25-2009, 12:18 PM
Sorry, no new videos.

The timing is turned up from stock. I haven't checked exactly where it's at but the timing and fuel were turned up a little when I sent the pump off to get rebuilt.

I haven't done much to this truck lately other than replace the front wheel bearings. The truck has a little over a 100k on it and this heavy motor quickly finished off both bearings. I don't expect this to be a problem but I could see them wearing out a little more quickly than it would with a gas motor. I would love to switch this over to 8-lug and use larger bearings but I just don't see an easy way to do it.

Black06
06-27-2009, 03:09 AM
2wd 2500 van spindles and hubs?

cubcadet149
06-27-2009, 06:13 PM
Looks great. It is nice to see people putting their brains into their vehicles and not just their money. It must have taken a lot of careful planning and research to get this thing going. Cool stuff like this is why I am an engineering student. Diesel seems to be a great option for commuter vehicles...it's too bad we don't see more small trucks with diesel engines.

VortecZ
06-30-2009, 09:27 PM
2wd 2500 van spindles and hubs?
Is that just a thought or do you know anything about them? I did some research on 1500HD parts thinking they would be similar but with 8-lug hubs. It turns out that the parts are quite different. The simplest way to do it seems to be using HD spindles and hubs and modify the 1/2-ton control arms to use HD ball joints. I may do something like this but I don't think it's worth it right now.



cubcadet149, I'm glad to see this stuff gets other people interested in engineering. I became an engineer because of stuff like this too.

Black06
07-01-2009, 02:02 AM
just checked on the build I was thinking about and he used 6 lug van suspension....sorry

1LOWDIESEL
07-01-2009, 07:53 AM
ha that's weird, that's what i'm gonna do with mine. the rear i got is an 8 lug 14 bolt ff, so i was gonna use my stock 2500 lower control arms and hubs up front to make it 8 lug.

Tang763
07-01-2009, 02:24 PM
I'm acctually glad I ran accross this topic. I also have an 05 Single cab, short bed, 4.3, 2wd but with an auto tranny. I've been looking for a new hobby build and I've been doing a bunch of homework on swapping in a 12valve T Cummins. I was going to purchase a motor/tranny probably in the next week and begin rebuilding everything before install. I was wondering how the factory gauges were going to work with the new sensors, I see you managed to get through it pretty easy, do these same tricks apply to the 12v? I'm also planning on doing an SAS with 1 tons early next year.

Redliner Raw
07-01-2009, 04:19 PM
I have to say, nothing I love more than seeing this.

Any more info on the motor mount fabrication, perhaps some pics? I'm considering this in the near distant future, but mounts for the engine are one thing that would delay this project. I'm not a fan of solid mounts (possibly why so many people complain about vibrations, like you said), but I have no idea about fab'ing flex mounts.

Very nice work here. Are you running higher boost with the turned up pump? Stock compression? High flow injectors? Also, is it the same turbo as the 5.9? My cousin has considered a 8.3 turbo on his 5.9, little more airflow, I don't know if you can do the same with the 3.9 to 5.9.

LonLB
07-01-2009, 05:57 PM
One vote for pump cranked to the max, o-ringed head, 70lbs of boost, and mini-tub....

Given the numbers the 6cyl cum ons get I would think that thing should be able to hit 500hp, 1000lb/ft with a bit of work.

Redliner Raw
07-01-2009, 06:05 PM
One vote for pump cranked to the max, o-ringed head, 70lbs of boost, and mini-tub....

Given the numbers the 6cyl cum ons get I would think that thing should be able to hit 500hp, 1000lb/ft with a bit of work.

Did they make an ISB version of the 4BT? I've heard that the 12V pumps on a 24V ISB can crank some serious HP, like 800HP, 1200 lb/ft easy hands down, with some other mods of course.

Black06
07-01-2009, 09:22 PM
best bet is to just do the p pump conversion and intercooler. Although easier said than done since the 4 cylinder p7100s are harder to find

VortecZ
07-02-2009, 02:39 PM
i was gonna use my stock 2500 lower control arms and hubs up front to make it 8 lug.
You might want to do some measuring. I think the frame width is different between 1500 & 2500 causing a little more work? I haven't given up on that idea, I just don't have the parts in front of me to try. I hope you figure it out first!


I was wondering how the factory gauges were going to work with the new sensors, I see you managed to get through it pretty easy, do these same tricks apply to the 12v? I'm also planning on doing an SAS with 1 tons early next year.
Yes, all the same tricks apply and good luck with your build. I've got a lot of local buddies trying to talk me into doing a SAS & adding a transfer case to mine right now. I think that would be hard on my 30mpg though!


Any more info on the motor mount fabrication, perhaps some pics?
Very nice work here. Are you running higher boost with the turned up pump? Stock compression? High flow injectors? Also, is it the same turbo as the 5.9? My cousin has considered a 8.3 turbo on his 5.9, little more airflow, I don't know if you can do the same with the 3.9 to 5.9.
I don't have many good pics of the mounts. The process of fabbing my mounts was no different than fabbing any type of mount. You just start by welding plates to the frame so the hydraulic mounts have a place to sit, then bolt plates to the motor and start welding to them to connect to the mounts. The motor was hanging from a hoist and and positioned where I wanted it while I was making the mounts.
Currently, my motor is 100% stock with the exception of the fuel pump being turned up. The turbo is an HC1 wich is the same used on the first generation 5.9s. I do have plans to upgrade it but haven't decided on what exactly I'm going to do. (one bigger one on top of this one or one bigger one instead of this one)


One vote for pump cranked to the max, o-ringed head, 70lbs of boost, and mini-tub....

Given the numbers the 6cyl cum ons get I would think that thing should be able to hit 500hp, 1000lb/ft with a bit of work.


Did they make an ISB version of the 4BT? I've heard that the 12V pumps on a 24V ISB can crank some serious HP, like 800HP, 1200 lb/ft easy hands down, with some other mods of course.


best bet is to just do the p pump conversion and intercooler. Although easier said than done since the 4 cylinder p7100s are harder to find


I have heard of guys getting over 800hp with these little motors but that will take more money than I am willing to spend right now. I really wanted a p-pumped motor to begin with but they are a lot harder to find and usually draw more money. They did make a 16 valve version and bumped the cubes to 4.5. We have one in a Case skid steer right now but I haven't heard much of anyone putting them in trucks.

VortecZ
07-02-2009, 02:46 PM
I'm finishing up the rebuild of a wrecked Duramax truck right now and have decided there is no way to fit a Dmax intercooler in a non-HD truck without a lot of work. I've got it figured out that it could be done by dropping the frame horns 2" like you would if doing a 2" body drop then use an HD core support (which is 2" taller) so the intercooler will fit like stock. You would also want to use the HD bumper pad to which would look really cool on this little truck. I just don't think it is worth it plus the HD core supports aren't cheap.

I still have a few other options. I have two other intercoolers that I'm going to try to fit in when I have time. I can also see it may be best to do some measuring and just have one made to fit.

Black06
07-02-2009, 04:12 PM
I hate to continued hijacking your thread VortecZ:sorry:

the 16v 4.5's came along with the new 6.7's the cummins lineup. Unfortunately they are longer than the traditional 4bt due to the timing gear and injection pump being positioned to the rear of the motor. Good luck finding much information on the 4.5's other than the cummins website. I have also hear of there being an ISB based 16v 3.9 as well. Both the 16v 3.9/4.5's were found in the new Fedex and UPS trucks made by Workhorse until the recently changed engine manufacturers. From what I have read the Homeland Security Act mandates that all private shipping trucks be destroyed at the end of their use, that's why I never see them for sale.....unless you buy a Fedex Ground franchise including the route and the trucks.:damnit:


Of course there are always the industrial applications that the 4.5 are used in as well as purchasing one direct from cummins.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q142/1993lx/other/QSB-45.jpg
http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q142/1993lx/other/4BE.jpg
http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q142/1993lx/other/ISBE-DHLtruck.jpg

Redliner Raw
07-02-2009, 08:16 PM
So are the mounts really just some form of bracket, with a rubber bushing or washer, for lack of a better description?

VortecZ
07-02-2009, 09:48 PM
Black06, I don't mind the thread-jack, that is good info on these motors!



The motor mounts I used were in the step van I got the motor from. They are a manufactured mount with hydraulic isolation. Kinda like a shock encased in rubber. One stud on top and two on the bottom. You just have to fab a bracket on the truck to hold the mount and then fab a bracket on the motor to sit on top of the mount. I'm not sure where you would go to get a new pair but probably some kind of a fleet truck service store.

Here is pic I robbed from someone else because it shows the mount itself better than any of my own pics.
http://i226.photobucket.com/albums/dd315/nhdiesel/Cummins%20Durango/P1010066.jpg

Redliner Raw
07-02-2009, 09:54 PM
Black06, I don't mind the thread-jack, that is good info on these motors!



The motor mounts I used were in the step van I got the motor from. They are a manufactured mount with hydraulic isolation. Kinda like a shock encased in rubber. One stud on top and two on the bottom. You just have to fab a bracket on the truck to hold the mount and then fab a bracket on the motor to sit on top of the mount. I'm not sure where you would go to get a new pair but probably some kind of a fleet truck service store.

Here is pic I robbed from someone else because it shows the mount itself better than any of my own pics.


Awesome, that's kinda what I was thinking. So other than that bit of fabbing, this seems like a really, really straightforward swap. Any pics of the underside of the truck, and accessibility to the oil pan, etc.?

VortecZ
07-02-2009, 10:05 PM
The very first post shows the front crossmember with the oil pan haning down and another pic of the transmission crossmemeber. Not much else to see under there. Plenty of room.

Redliner Raw
07-02-2009, 10:07 PM
The very first post shows the front crossmember with the oil pan haning down and another pic of the transmission crossmemeber. Not much else to see under there. Plenty of room.

Yeah, missed them this time through it all.

You could damn near fit a second 4BT in all that space down there.

Black06
07-02-2009, 11:29 PM
from the looks of my original pictures I think the ISB version runs a CP3 style injection pump....further searching states that the 4.5 makes upwards of 170 hp and 450 lb ft in it's most potent version

damn I want a Fedex truck! my little shortbed would cook the hides with that kinda power, I couldn't imagine what injectors and a tune would produce

Redliner Raw
07-07-2009, 06:07 AM
from the looks of my original pictures I think the ISB version runs a CP3 style injection pump....further searching states that the 4.5 makes upwards of 170 hp and 450 lb ft in it's most potent version

damn I want a Fedex truck! my little shortbed would cook the hides with that kinda power, I couldn't imagine what injectors and a tune would produce

How does that compare to say a stock 305? I'm curious how a 1/2 ton transmission (4L60E/ NV3500) would hold up, seems like a lot of torque, but I have to wonder, if it's your daily driver, you'll never be making that engine produce that kind of torque. I assume you'd only want a 4L80E/ NV4500 if you plan on using all that power.

1LOWDIESEL
07-07-2009, 12:06 PM
from the looks of my original pictures I think the ISB version runs a CP3 style injection pump....further searching states that the 4.5 makes upwards of 170 hp and 450 lb ft in it's most potent version

damn I want a Fedex truck! my little shortbed would cook the hides with that kinda power, I couldn't imagine what injectors and a tune would produce

correct except the cp3 is at the back of the motor and runs off the flywheel.


How does that compare to say a stock 305? I'm curious how a 1/2 ton transmission (4L60E/ NV3500) would hold up, seems like a lot of torque, but I have to wonder, if it's your daily driver, you'll never be making that engine produce that kind of torque. I assume you'd only want a 4L80E/ NV4500 if you plan on using all that power.

simply put it wouldn't hold up. you cna do a 4l80e or nv4500 they would be fine for it.

also vortec you might want to consider doing a water meth kit, it will give you the same cooling results and at the same time better mileage.

Redliner Raw
07-07-2009, 09:29 PM
correct except the cp3 is at the back of the motor and runs off the flywheel.


That must be one pain in the ass to time.

VortecZ
07-07-2009, 10:00 PM
That must be one pain in the ass to time.

No, the computer would take care of that. The problem with one of those is I bet Bully Dog and other companies like them don't have a programmer to do anything extra. Of course, I would be very happy with the stock horsepower of one of those right now!

Black06
07-08-2009, 12:51 AM
you might be able to run the PPE Dual Fueler bracket setup for the 5.9 ISB and delete the rear mounted pump. I have yet to see a 4.5 in person so I could not give a definate answer there.

http://www.pacificp.com/images/FGDF.JPG

Redliner Raw
07-08-2009, 05:45 AM
No, the computer would take care of that. The problem with one of those is I bet Bully Dog and other companies like them don't have a programmer to do anything extra. Of course, I would be very happy with the stock horsepower of one of those right now!

Yeah, I forgot about the whole computer thing. I guess that makes life a little easier. And I assume it'd be a common rail injection system, and all you're injection is from a pulsed solenoid?

VortecZ
07-14-2009, 09:26 AM
INTERCOOLED!

Yep, I finally got the intercooler in my truck. I ended up using a '94 Dodge intercooler. I'd like to take back what I said about there being no way a D-max intercooler would fit in a non-HD truck. I did a lot of measuring and I really think it will fit with some trimming. I had a D-max, a 6.0 Powerstroke, & this Dodge intercooler all in the shop at the same time deciding which one to use. The Dodge was the obvious winner because it has the same basic size and shape of the D-max but the core is slightly shorter therefore a better fit in the shorter non-HD core support.

I used the intercooler and all of the piping from the Dodge. The cast aluminum intake elbows from those 12v motors have a big bracket on them that bolts to the front of the head. I cut that off because it would hit my a/c compressor plus it looks nicer this way. I cut a little off of one of the intake pipes and had to make a custom elbow from the 2" turbo outlet to the 3" IC pipe. I had to move the chevy computer and cut out the bracket because the outlet comes out right there. I also had to do some trimming on the bracket that connects the core support to the air-box bracket. I made new mounts for the intercooler and the radiator. The intercooler is now where the radiator is supposed to be and the radiator is set back about 3". The original radiator just barely fits between the inlet and outlet of the cooler. The factory air-box no longer fits in the truck because the radiator is in the way. This forced me to make a custom filter set-up. I also made a trim panel to cover the top of the radiator and made it look like it is part of the core support.

The engine compartment is really starting to fill up now! I think to do a 6bt, you would need a radiator and fan combo that takes up a little less room because it is getting close.


Results....
Well, I'm not impressed yet because I was expecting more power. I was also worried about the 6bt intercooler being too big for the predominantly stock 4bt. I thought it would be too much volume for my little turbo to have to pressurize. That part of it doesnít seem bad at all. I think it spools up just as fast as it always did. I was expecting some power gains but it doesnít really feel any more powerful though it certainly didnít hurt it.

I'll report back in a week or two with mileage info. I have had a lot of people tell me it would help my power and my mileage if I added an intercooler. Havenít noticed the power so Iím not getting my hopes up on the mileage. It is also supposed to help with the EGTs a little too but I donít have gauges yet to know.



http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2129/3718370909_0d735112f9.jpg?v=0

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3432/3718370791_71f2145836.jpg?v=0

fortplainman
07-14-2009, 11:11 AM
what do you think you could do to make more power? is the turbo on the 6bt bigger and could the 4bt handle it? im new to diesels so dont yell at me haha. very clean engine bay though.

VortecZ
07-14-2009, 01:08 PM
The first generation 6bt used this same turbo. The newer ones are slightly bigger. The turbo is the next thing I want to upgrade. I'll either go with a single larger turbo or keep mine and add another even larger one to it.

I'm actually very pleased with the power this motor makes the way it is. I just hoped the intercooler would give it a little more and upgrading the turbo should give it a little more too. It is just one of those things that guys want more of no matter how much they have!

fortplainman
07-14-2009, 02:13 PM
The first generation 6bt used this same turbo. The newer ones are slightly bigger. The turbo is the next thing I want to upgrade. I'll either go with a single larger turbo or keep mine and add another even larger one to it.

I'm actually very pleased with the power this motor makes the way it is. I just hoped the intercooler would give it a little more and upgrading the turbo should give it a little more too. It is just one of those things that guys want more of no matter how much they have!

i have to agree that men cant get enough power. im sure you will tinker with it for a while and you will come up with more hp down the road.

Black06
07-14-2009, 02:24 PM
usually you would lose a pound or so of boost with the addition of an intercooler....so now you could crank up the boost to compensate

1LOWDIESEL
07-14-2009, 02:28 PM
turn the pump up a little more now. with the cooler in there it will keep your egts lower across the board, do to off set the added air you need more fuel. i would run either an HY35 or HE351 turbo. the HY is a 57mm and the HE is a 60. both would help a ton. also the IC isn't really designed to give more HP just cool the system more efficently. you would have felt more of a gain from water meth actually.

any pics of the install?

VortecZ
07-14-2009, 02:49 PM
I have an HX35 already so I would like to use it but my current manifold puts the downpipe so close to the firewall, I don't think the wastegated exhaust housings will work. I'm going to have to build a header or modify a 6bt manifold to make it work. I'd prefer to run twins so I'm looking for a larger turbo.

crossy's son
07-14-2009, 03:04 PM
turn the pump up a little more now. with the cooler in there it will keep your egts lower across the board, do to off set the added air you need more fuel. i would run either an HY35 or HE351 turbo. the HY is a 57mm and the HE is a 60. both would help a ton. also the IC isn't really designed to give more HP just cool the system more efficently. you would have felt more of a gain from water meth actually.

any pics of the install?

WORD on everything he said ^^

I was about to type it... Find a HE351 off an 05-07 5.9 cummins to put on there, its a 60/60/9 ... very efficient turbo.

I made some videos on how to tweak the VE pump, they're on my youtube channel "91CTD"

You could also buy a DennyT fuel pin- www.dennytperformance.com/products you won't believe what that will do..... It will increase power across the board.

Then a 3200 rpm gov. spring... POD injectors....muhaha

1LOWDIESEL
07-14-2009, 03:19 PM
I have an HX35 already so I would like to use it but my current manifold puts the downpipe so close to the firewall, I don't think the wastegated exhaust housings will work. I'm going to have to build a header or modify a 6bt manifold to make it work. I'd prefer to run twins so I'm looking for a larger turbo.

it looks like that manifold is off center to one side. if it is, should be able to flip the manifold around and upsidedown. then it would mount the charger forward and higher.

Black06
07-14-2009, 11:51 PM
I would definately do the ISB 5.9 manifold....just chop the 1st and 6th cylinders and plate the ends

VortecZ
07-15-2009, 08:49 AM
I'll certainly keep these things in mind. I don't want to hurt my milage at all so I'm ok with a turbo upgrade but a little nervous about doing anything else to the pump or injectors.

hubob
07-19-2009, 10:51 PM
I have an 08 Silverado 1500 and I was wantin 2 do something like this 2 mine roughly how much did the whole build cost ya?

VortecZ
07-21-2009, 09:48 AM
I paid $2700 for the truck that had the 4bt in it. I had the fuel pump rebuilt for $800. The rest of the expensive parts like the tranny, intercooler, and other various Dodge parts came from a buddy that I have not paid because we are working out a trade to do a lot of custom paint work on his truck. I've seen better deals on motors and hopefully you wouldn't need to rebuild the pump. I'm not sure what to expect to pay for the Dodge parts at a salvage yard but I suppose you could do the swap for less than $4k if you found good deals on everything.

VortecZ
08-04-2009, 09:53 PM
The intercooler made the truck pick up a couple more miles per gallon.

I'm up to 32 now!

Mark13
08-04-2009, 10:14 PM
The intercooler made the truck pick up a couple more miles per gallon.

I'm up to 32 now!

Not fair. I wish my truck got that, heck I'd be happy if my s10 got that.

Toadz
08-05-2009, 01:51 PM
32, nice! Would you be able to compare it to a 5.3 performance wise?

VortecZ
08-06-2009, 02:01 PM
Hard to compare to a 5.3. It feels like it has way more torque and probably does but I don't think I could out run one. It has tons more low end power but runs out of rpms quickly. I used to have a rcsb with a 5.3 and this is more fun to drive.

randeez
08-06-2009, 02:24 PM
badass. i really wish i hadn't started building a 355 now

Toadz
08-06-2009, 04:58 PM
Hard to compare to a 5.3. It feels like it has way more torque and probably does but I don't think I could out run one. It has tons more low end power but runs out of rpms quickly. I used to have a rcsb with a 5.3 and this is more fun to drive.

I know it'd be hard to compare to one because of the RPM difference. What is the usable RPM range?

VortecZ
08-06-2009, 10:10 PM
700-2500 rpm

It pulls pretty good off of idle then hits around 1300 and starts really building boost. It will cruise down the interstate at 2000 but gets better mileage if I keep it back around 1600-1800 (65 mph).

gr8twhite
08-07-2009, 02:02 AM
Jeez, this is a great thread!

Subscribed!

32 Mpg from a fullsize.......unreal.

<goes to check local autotrader>

Toadz
08-07-2009, 01:56 PM
700-2500 rpm

It pulls pretty good off of idle then hits around 1300 and starts really building boost. It will cruise down the interstate at 2000 but gets better mileage if I keep it back around 1600-1800 (65 mph).

That's what I love about diesels. The short RPM range where you make great power. The biggest thing I hated about my 5.3 was that it didn't make power until past 3500 RPM. I RARELY ever drove it above 2500 RPM.

gr8twhite
08-07-2009, 02:23 PM
So, been thinking about it.

I think you may have given me "the bug"...

seems 28-30 MPG is the norm for these little buggers.

My 350 is pretty much new and running great, but I may start slowly accumulating what I need for a swap. I've got lots of time, so I can afford to wait for the deals.....

I must say, after looking around at what others have done, your swap is very clean.....

reesez
08-18-2009, 03:12 AM
ok so how this thread eluded me til now ill never know. i want to do this swap someday too. i saw u in greenfield not long ago over by the taco bell. i was looking everywhere for the diesel making all that noise and couldnt find it til i went by you after u parked lmao. very very very nice truck, BA swap. no one ever suspects a lowered 2dr silvy with a cummins lmao.

i want a 4bt but i cant find one decently cheap, and when i do have money something breaks!

BIGMIKE@GAUGE
08-18-2009, 10:21 AM
ok so how this thread eluded me til now ill never know. i want to do this swap someday too. i saw u in greenfield not long ago over by the taco bell. i was looking everywhere for the diesel making all that noise and couldnt find it til i went by you after u parked lmao. very very very nice truck, BA swap. no one ever suspects a lowered 2dr silvy with a cummins lmao.

i want a 4bt but i cant find one decently cheap, and when i do have money something breaks!


Thats exactly what happened to me. My buddy sold him a axle and he pulled up in this truck all lowered down with a 4" pipe puffin smoke out the back. I had asked him to pop the hood before I even got his name : ) Definatly one of the coolest swaps Ive seen .

brutal
10-08-2009, 06:52 PM
this is a great project

crossy's son
10-09-2009, 06:12 AM
I found a Non intercooled 4bt for $1800.

:lol: thats the cheapest i've found on the whole east coast. I can get 6bt's running for $700 all day.

The 4bt is a beast with a 3200 governor spring and some pump tweaking...

2500ak
10-09-2009, 01:51 PM
I want to see a video of one of those things in action.

JustinSilverdo
10-10-2009, 09:53 AM
Awesome truck man!

Redliner Raw
10-10-2009, 07:29 PM
I want to see a video of one of those things in action.

Just like a sex toy... You turn it on and it sits there and makes lots of noise while vibrating.

Word is they're lots of fun too.

2500ak
10-10-2009, 07:58 PM
I wasn't talking about a video of it idling I mean a vid of the gauges as it takes off and goes.I just thought it would be interesting to see how it accelerates and cruises with such a narrow powerband.

Redliner Raw
10-10-2009, 09:35 PM
I wasn't talking about a video of it idling I mean a vid of the gauges as it takes off and goes.I just thought it would be interesting to see how it accelerates and cruises with such a narrow powerband.

Yeah, I was just teasing. I'd like to see what this thing can do.

VortecZ
10-14-2009, 01:59 PM
Never really thought about taking a video of the gauges driving down the road. There really isn't much to see. You drive this thing just like you would any other truck with a manual tranny. It has a short powerband but when you drive a gas truck normally, you don't get the high rpm's anyway. Peak power is less but gas motors have thier peak power at an rpm that is so high, you rarely see it. With a diesel, you see it all the time. Basically the torque is the same or better with this little 4bt than a small block at the low RPMs that you normally drive at.

=Lawrence=
10-14-2009, 02:06 PM
So can you swap a Dodge engine in and keep a Chevy transmission?

I didn't think so, but in the first post he says he "figured" the NV3500 wouldn't be enough so he switched, but I thought you had to anyway.

crossy's son
10-14-2009, 02:11 PM
So can you swap a Dodge engine in and keep a Chevy transmission?

I didn't think so, but in the first post he says he "figured" the NV3500 wouldn't be enough so he switched, but I thought you had to anyway.

Dodge engine?? Dodge made their own trans adapter to hook their trans to the cummins.

You can hook any trans up to a cummins, they make every adapter you can think of.

What he meant was- Most 4bt's come out of a bread-trucks and have TH400's behind them or SM465's..so most of the time when you buy a 4bt engine, it has the Cummins TO GM adapter already on it....so the NV3500 would bolt right up to the adapter that the 4bt would of had on it.

but the NV3500 would of blew.

VortecZ
10-14-2009, 02:14 PM
So can you swap a Dodge engine in and keep a Chevy transmission?


Not a Dodge engine...but yes there are several Cummins engine adapter plates. You can get them for ford dodge or chevy. My 4BT was originally mated to a turbo 400 in the potato chip truck I pulled it out of.

crossy's son
10-14-2009, 02:51 PM
:biggrin:

=Lawrence=
10-14-2009, 02:53 PM
I see, thanks for explaining it. Yea, it was stupid of me to say it was a Dodge engine. Don't know what I was thinking.

sledgarage
11-15-2009, 11:40 PM
Really clean swap and thanks for all the pics/info. Would love to put one in my 08 1500.

bored&stroked
11-16-2009, 03:59 PM
It will cruise down the interstate at 2000 but gets better mileage if I keep it back around 1600-1800 (65 mph).

Ever thought of re-gearing so you can move a bit faster and keep the rpm's down still? I would hate to be doing 65 all the time.

VortecZ
11-16-2009, 09:04 PM
Ever thought of re-gearing so you can move a bit faster and keep the rpm's down still? I would hate to be doing 65 all the time.

Yeah, I do want to try something different but haven't decided yet. I'm going to try and get to that this winter when I won't be driving it as much.

I have a semi-floater 14-bolt for it but I don't think there are a lot of options for that. I think a 3.23 is as high as I can go but not sure. There are tons of options for the 10-bolt so I'm thinking about 2.73 or 3.08.

Toadz
11-16-2009, 10:00 PM
Don't forget that driving at 65 MPH will usually yield better MPG than 70 + because of wind resistance. The faster you go the more resistance you will encounter. Gearing will help to a point but you'll never achieve maximum efficiency at 70+ MPH.

HoosierZ
03-13-2010, 02:54 PM
Just found this thread. Great job on the truck Nate. Any updates?

MrGoodtime
03-13-2010, 09:45 PM
<3

Rampage2
03-14-2010, 11:52 AM
Here is a site with tons of info on swapping the 4BT into various vehicles. http://www.4btswaps.com/forum/index.php

VortecZ
03-15-2010, 02:10 PM
Just found this thread. Great job on the truck Nate. Any updates?

The only updates I've done in a while is throwing on a set of 20's. I need to get it cleaned up and take some pics of it.

I also bought a turbo for it but haven't totally committed to it yet. It is a Holset HE351VE from a 6.7 Cummins motor. It has electronic variable geometry that I plan to convert to mechanical with a waste gate actuator. If it was a simple bolt-on, it would already be on there. It looks like it is going to take a little time and fabrication to get it to fit and work so now I need to find the time.

jaked1985
03-15-2010, 05:24 PM
Very cool! Beats my 79 k20 with a 6bt :P

rancherkid33
03-15-2010, 05:47 PM
Man you are makin me want to buy back my grandpa's 90 2wd and do this for a daily driver. Sure would beat my 10. Are your miles on the open road or in town?

VortecZ
03-16-2010, 09:52 AM
Miles are mixed but a little more open road. Sometimes I take the interstate and sometimes I take regular highways. The regular highways seem to be a little better but I always get somewhere between 30 and 32.

JeffsJeep04
03-16-2010, 10:09 AM
Ever thought of using a separate (ranger style) OD unit? It'd give you a whole bunch more gear options without messing with the rear end.

2500ak
03-16-2010, 03:56 PM
Ever thought of using a separate (ranger style) OD unit? It'd give you a whole bunch more gear options without messing with the rear end.

Twin stickshifts and a cummins 4BT would be pretty epic.

VortecZ
03-31-2010, 07:27 PM
Some updated pics of the truck:

New 20" wheels, Silverado HD front bumper, and my MSD boost/egt gauge in the dash.

http://i905.photobucket.com/albums/ac255/vortecz28/03-31-10003.jpg

http://i905.photobucket.com/albums/ac255/vortecz28/03-31-10002.jpg

http://i905.photobucket.com/albums/ac255/vortecz28/03-31-10004.jpg

lbranchguns
04-01-2010, 09:16 PM
Interesting project, how did you deal with the wiring and computers?

strateaxlechevy
04-03-2010, 12:00 AM
Hi, I just wanted to say that the conversion is very impressive. I have a 2002 chevy 3/4 ton that I recently 4-linked with a straight-axle. It has the vortec 6 liter in it and its just a gas hog. I am interested in putting a 4-bt in it. Price range what do you think I am looking at?

JeffsJeep04
04-03-2010, 08:22 PM
Interesting project, how did you deal with the wiring and computers?


Hi, I just wanted to say that the conversion is very impressive. I have a 2002 chevy 3/4 ton that I recently 4-linked with a straight-axle. It has the vortec 6 liter in it and its just a gas hog. I am interested in putting a 4-bt in it. Price range what do you think I am looking at?

Both of these are questions are already addressed in the thread.

N0DIH
04-03-2010, 09:14 PM
Awesome!

I saw a OBS Suburban (pictures) some time back with a 6BT in it and I have always wanted to do that, would be beat the pants off my 454 for torque and mpg!

1LOWDIESEL
04-13-2010, 07:06 PM
hey man you have any pics of how you did the hydroboost lines and such?

VortecZ
04-14-2010, 11:02 PM
hey man you have any pics of how you did the hydroboost lines and such?

Sorry, the pics I have in that area aren't good enough to tell what is going on. I remember when I did it, there was an HD sitting right there to look at so it was really easy. I know you have one sitting there too but I also know you have a different power steering pump. Mine came out of a Chevy P30 van with hydroboost brakes so the pump was set-up just like it should be for a chevy. You may not have as many lines. I'm not sure if you can add on to what you have or not. You may have to find a pump like mine, which may be hard to find, or just get one from a 1-ton dodge cummins since they have hydroboost too.

1LOWDIESEL
04-19-2010, 02:47 PM
cool deal. yea i actually have the cummins ps box laying around here somewhere but it's not designed for rack steering ya know..

haha your not far from Shelbyville i see, i'm actually looking into moving out that way SOON.

VortecZ
06-08-2010, 12:36 PM
I still don't have any good data for the mileage change with the new gears because I haven't driven it much. As soon as I did the gear swap, it was planting season around here and I needed to be driving my big truck all the time instead. Then, when we finished putting the crops out, I pulled the little truck into the body shop and did a quicky paint job on it. Check it out!!!
http://i905.photobucket.com/albums/ac255/vortecz28/06-07-10017.jpg
http://i905.photobucket.com/albums/ac255/vortecz28/06-07-10014.jpg
http://i905.photobucket.com/albums/ac255/vortecz28/06-07-10013.jpg
http://i905.photobucket.com/albums/ac255/vortecz28/06-07-10011.jpg
http://i905.photobucket.com/albums/ac255/vortecz28/06-07-10009.jpg
http://i905.photobucket.com/albums/ac255/vortecz28/06-07-10021.jpg

I also reuphostered the seats in leather and had a local t-shirt shop do some embroidery in them.
http://i905.photobucket.com/albums/ac255/vortecz28/06-07-10002.jpg
http://i905.photobucket.com/albums/ac255/vortecz28/06-07-10001.jpg

BIGMIKE@GAUGE
06-08-2010, 01:06 PM
Damn that trucks looking good. Are you going to bring it out to Slamology next weekend?

VortecZ
06-24-2010, 11:49 AM
Damn that trucks looking good. Are you going to bring it out to Slamology next weekend?

Didn't make it to Slamology. I plan on going to a few shows but mostly diesel events.

supersteve1191
06-24-2010, 11:30 PM
love the look of the bowtie, looks like cummins was ment to be there!!

CodyZ71
06-25-2010, 02:15 AM
god this truck is sickkkkkkkkkkkkkkk

Chevy-Art
06-25-2010, 12:18 PM
Awesome project, I would like to do this in a 73-87 Chevrolet/GMC Truck. Is there a 6BT or 8BT? Intercooler or after cooler. What did these come in, so I know how to search for them? I haven't read the thread yet but once I do it will probably answer some of my questions.

VortecZ
09-29-2010, 07:00 AM
updates: I'm up over 33 miles per gallon now and I have a HE341 turbo sitting on the workbench that will probably go on this winter. I think the new turbo will help me clear up some smoke and help with mileage because of that.
Now for the real update:

Good news! I made the cover of Diesel World Magazine!

This is probably a once in a lifetime thing and I am so proud of it!

The reason I, all of a sudden, painted the truck was because Diesel World contacted me. They wanted to take a few pics of the truck and put it in the magazine. I decided that I couldn't have it in the magazine with it looking like it did. I know the pics of it in blue don't look bad but up close, it was really beat up. Anyway, I painted it very quickly and met the guy for a photo shoot. The guy loved it and took a ton of picutes. Since then I've just been waiting with no idea when it would hit the magazine. Last week I got the December issue in the mail and, to my surprise, not only was it in there but on the cover!!!
Thanks to everyone that has given suggestions to me and to others on this site becuse I have learned a lot here.

http://i905.photobucket.com/albums/ac255/vortecz28/dieselworldmagazinearticle-1.jpg

~Super~Midget~
09-29-2010, 07:10 AM
congrats on making the cover, thats a sweet truck ya got

93ChevyTBI
09-29-2010, 07:29 AM
'Nuff said...I'm buying that issue when it comes out....not only for your build but I also saw where it had a Duramax Tahoe in it. Since I can't do any of the work myself though, I highly doubt I'd be able to afford such a swap.......(sing song) "but ya never know"....lol

Congrats on the cover. You should be very proud of yourself. LEt us know when it comes out.

BIGMIKE@GAUGE
09-29-2010, 08:18 AM
Huge Congrats !!!!!!!!! Looks awesome.

HoosierZ
10-03-2010, 10:02 AM
Congratulations Nate! The truck looks awesome on the cover. Now when are you gonna let me drive it?

CodyZ71
10-03-2010, 02:00 PM
BAD ASS! Congrats! And 33mpg wow... Someone should do a Fbody 4BT swap lol

stRanger
10-04-2010, 08:49 AM
I'm sure it's in the thread somewhere, but with the 4BT and making 30+mpg, how fast is this truck?

93ChevyTBI
10-04-2010, 09:01 AM
But I bet the truck is slow as hell though. Did I see it mentioned it had like 105 hp? That would absolutely be the only downside to it. Sure it has torque but dang it would need some get-up-and-go, wouldn't it? Anyone care to through out how it would compare to a gasser performance-wise? Like a 5.3? A 6.0? A V-6?

Still it is an awesome rig.

JeffsJeep04
10-04-2010, 01:57 PM
But I bet the truck is slow as hell though. Did I see it mentioned it had like 105 hp? That would absolutely be the only downside to it. Sure it has torque but dang it would need some get-up-and-go, wouldn't it? Anyone care to through out how it would compare to a gasser performance-wise? Like a 5.3? A 6.0? A V-6?

Still it is an awesome rig.

My step dad has an 01 Jetta TDI. 90 hp at the crank. That little car is quick as hell because it has SO much torque. You have to realize that most diesels will make power to ~3k, and in 99% of driving, you won't go above that RPM. I'd imagine a 105hp 4BT would feel quite strong in a RCSB truck, especially with the NV4500.

VortecZ
10-05-2010, 05:38 AM
Thanks for all the nice comments! I'm really proud of this truck.

CodyZ71: I have seen a 4bt in an Fbody (it was a third gen firebird). The dude says it vibrates way too much for a unibody car. My engine doesn't vibrate bad at all. I think it could be made to work.


As far as power goes....It does run good. I'm not sure I could keep up with a 5.3 or not but it does have a ton of torque. I was worried about it when I changed to such a high gear ratio but it is just fine. I know it is a truck and light in the back but I can do a hell of a burnout and even bark the tires when shifting to third gear. The gasser V6 I pulled out of this truck would not do that!

JeffsJeep04
10-05-2010, 06:02 AM
...As far as power goes....It does run good. I'm not sure I could keep up with a 5.3 or not but it does have a ton of torque. I was worried about it when I changed to such a high gear ratio but it is just fine. I know it is a truck and light in the back but I can do a hell of a burnout and even bark the tires when shifting to third gear. The gasser V6 I pulled out of this truck would not do that!

Yeah, it's really hard to compare diesel power to gas, it's so totally different in how it comes on. A diesel pushes you back pretty hard right from the get-go and stays there, but it's all over pretty fast. With a gas motor, it might feel like it's starting to come on strong around 2k and builds up to around 5k. A diesel is RIGHT there off idle and stays there until about 2500 or 3k and it's all over. You pretty much shift a diesel at the same RPM whether you are trying to drive fast or economical, it's just a change in how much foot feed you are giving it. The 04 cummins ram I drove while working on the road was like that. Not a ton of power for how heavy the truck was, but the torque was phenomenal. Starting out in 3rd gear was no problem at all, and unless there was a serious hill or the gooseneck was behind it, 1st was utterly useless.

N0DIH
10-05-2010, 07:55 AM
I have seen it done, but I would love to drop a 6BT into my 99 K2500 Suburban.... Still toying with the idea, would love to ditch the 454 for some mpg.... then I could justify it for a daily driver, right now, no way!

reesez
10-08-2010, 02:11 PM
Just saw your article in diesel world. Congrats!!!!!! Looks sweet

cam_action
10-08-2010, 02:59 PM
Thats A Nice Chevy, Congrats On The Cover.. Do You Have Any Video Clips Of It?..

MrGoodtime
10-08-2010, 03:28 PM
We were at walmart yesterday at like 1 in the morning and I happened to stumble upon this,

http://i308.photobucket.com/albums/kk325/lowercasef/imagejpeg952_01.jpg

Congrats

heavrolet9894
10-10-2010, 10:44 PM
I'll have to go pick this up tomorrow.

93ChevyTBI
10-11-2010, 08:39 PM
I picked it up today around 6:00 and read half of it at the soccer field while my son was practicing....awesome edition too. Friggin 30mpg Duramax Tahoe.....MAN I WANT ONE!!!!!!!!!!

Man, they were bragging on Nate so much I'm sure sure his head has swelled up many times over by now....."jack of all-trades" to summarize. And like they mentioned, yeah I hate those kind of guys. Damn...why I can't I be like that? It's pure jealousy. That's how I feel about the guy who tuned my truck...he's just like Nate....can do anything.

Nate...one question....they mentioned seeing "a forum thread"....why couldn't you have made sure they mentioned FSC????!!!! Come on!!! That would have been the perfect opportunity!!! All jokes aside...FSC is proud to have you as a member. They really showcased your talents and I bet this won't be the last project we see you working on.

They also mentioned the BabyMax on page 18 and how GM is still listening to enthusiasts about starting production on it. We can only hope.

Nate....just ballpark figure...What would it cost to put a duramax in a Tahoe?? $6k-$8k? If I could get a 200k+ Tahoe for cheap, I'd think long and hard about doing this.

Again...Congratulations.

VortecZ
10-12-2010, 06:01 AM
I don't know if I'm the jack of all trades but I have been fortunate enough to be at the right place at the right time to learn a lot about trucks from friends and family. I'm very thankful for that.

Duramax Tahoe.....A couple years ago, I had a guy wanting me to build him a Duramax Avalanche. It never happened but we got pretty serious about working up prices and details. Obviously a Tahoe and Avalanche are close enough to the same. A ball park figure is hard to come up with without more details. The biggest trick is finding the right vehicles to pair up. By that I mean finding a wrecked Duramax truck that is trashed with the exception of a good drivetrain so you can get it as cheap as possible. I suppose you could buy any Duramax truck and sell off any parts you don’t use in the conversion. Then you also need to find the Tahoe you want that is preferably the same model year as the truck. Back then, you could find a wrecked Duramax truck with 100k on it for a little more than $6k. Now, wrecked diesel prices are up for some reason so I would expect $8k would be a good buy. Then all you got to do is slam it all together! With a Avalanche or Suburban, you could start with a ĺ ton Suburban frame but with a Tahoe, I would just do a front frame clip combining the truck frame and Tahoe frame. That would be a challenge but not too bad. There would be a ton of little things that are time consuming like wiring, fuel line changes, brake line changes, and so on. All the big stuff and the little stuff would quickly add up to a few week project once both vehicles were in the shop. I could see spending around $5-6k on labor and misc. parts if you paid to have it done instead of doing it yourself. There was an article in Diesel Power a while back about a shop building Duramax Suburbans and getting something like $80k for them I don’t know who is paying that much but I’d sure build one for that!

93ChevyTBI
10-12-2010, 08:26 AM
Oh crap!! I was hoping $8k would cover everything (duramax,ally, and labor). Looks like the build alone would cost $12k plus the cost of the Tahoe itself. Around $20k....that's a bit much for me....didn't know it would be that high.

If you have the time, you should definitely be doing those $80k conversions.

VortecZ
10-12-2010, 11:08 AM
Yeah, the deal I was working with the Avalanche was around $15k using his Avalanche to start with. He had several other things adding to it like some custom paint, lift kit, and a few more things.

Cartman372
10-20-2010, 05:19 PM
So I was walking through Walmart and I decided to look through the magazine section and I saw something familiar out of the corner of my eye. So I looked over and look what I found :D

http://i159.photobucket.com/albums/t151/cartman372/FSC/Diesel%20World%20VortecZ/DWFront_R.jpg

Just bought it today :D

rickypopham
10-20-2010, 07:56 PM
Congrats, I remember reading this on here in the build thread and then while at Walmart I saw it on the cover and had to buy it.

jccloud9
07-11-2011, 06:21 PM
Does anyone happen to have an extra copy of Diesel World (Dec 2010) featuring this truck in it? Or maybe one that they are through with that I could purchase from you. I've actually been thinking about doing the exact same thing to my 2000 GMC Sierra 1500. I just happened to do a search expecting to find zero results but I couldn't have been more wrong. If you do have one but don't want to get rid of it maybe you can just scan that particular article for me? I would greatly appreciate it if someone could help me out with this. Thanks in advance!

VortecZ
07-21-2011, 01:06 PM
Does anyone happen to have an extra copy of Diesel World (Dec 2010) featuring this truck in it? Or maybe one that they are through with that I could purchase from you. I've actually been thinking about doing the exact same thing to my 2000 GMC Sierra 1500. I just happened to do a search expecting to find zero results but I couldn't have been more wrong. If you do have one but don't want to get rid of it maybe you can just scan that particular article for me? I would greatly appreciate it if someone could help me out with this. Thanks in advance!

Send me your email and I can send you a scanned in copy of the article. The article doesn't really talk about a lot of specific stuff you need to do for this swap. There is a lot more information just from reading this thread.

jccloud9
07-27-2011, 05:16 PM
VortecZ,

PM sent

oshpunit987
08-03-2011, 09:46 PM
hey man you have any pics of how you did the hydroboost lines and such?

1LOW, if your main concern is about the extra return line on the power steering pump used with the hydroboost, I just made a "Y" pipe out of a piece of 3/8's steel fuel line. I made a hole in the middle of a 3 inch piece and brazed another piece into the hole. Then I ran a drill bit in the tube to clean out any braze that was on the inside. Attach your return lines from the hydroboost and the power steering to the "Y" and attach it to the pump and it's done.