4-53; 1950 Chevy 3800
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Thread: 4-53; 1950 Chevy 3800

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    Default 4-53; 1950 Chevy 3800





    got this for really cheap otherwise it would have been scrapped, still runs great and had a new water pump put on it, eventually would like to put it in a late 40's or early 50s chevy 1 ton flatbed, curious if anyone has any info on bellhousings etc. to mate a sm 465 to it?
    1950 chevy 3800 453T Detroit Diesel
    2007 Toyota Tacoma TRD

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    Sure, You can learn a lot about your proposed swap by looking at my pictures:
    http://rides.webshots.com/album/483943098JelLUj

    I have installed a 4-53T in a 48 Chevy 2 ton, still have work to do, but the hard part is done. I also have a 52 1 ton, and the swap would be identical as the front of the frame measures the same.

    About a flywheel housing to fit an SM420 or SM465. The 3-53 in a Gamma Goat military "truck" used an SM420. The flywheel housing from one of those engines is the easiest way to put one of those transmissions on your 4-53. The flywheel housings from a 2-53, 3-53, and 4-53 are interchangeable.

    Looks like you have an industrial engine, it probably has a variable speed governor. It will work in a vehicle, but a limiting speed governor would be a better choice. You can use one from the 2, 3, or 4 cylinder as long as it comes from the same side of the engine.

    Grigg

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    Note that the blower is on the right side(passenger side in north America) of the engine you have. The Gama Goat setup has the blower on the left side. There may be a starter clearance issue with putting a GG bell housing on this engine as the starter on the GG housing would be on the right side and thus the starter may not clear the blower. Usually, Detroit put the starter opposite the blower on the inline engines(as is the case with your engine here).

    You have an SAE flywheel housing there, likely a #2. This enables many smaller medium duty transmissions to be mounted to that housing. The Spicer 3053(5-speed) variants would mount and are available due to mil surplus from 2.5 ton 6x6. Another would be the IH T3x 5-speeds; close, wide, and OD versions available.

    You may find more info about Detroit swaps at the 'DetroitDiesel' group at yahoo groups.

    Ken

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    you may also check soem old log skidders .. many had 3-53 or 4-53s with 4spd trans I thing the 4speeds were normally the 435 trans or the sm465s?
    Good luck I mess with them too... I have 6v53 Im doing up..it was Doug Doring's (www.teamdiesel.com) older race truck from the 80's ran 10 sec in 1/4 mile ..any how.
    Thanks
    Deo

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    Ken,
    On my 4-53T the starter and blower are both on the left side, same with all the late 70's 4-53T engines used in Chevy and GMC trucks.
    here are a few pictures of mine:



    I looked at a GG engine a few weeks ago, Just looked at the pictures I took of it, and went out and looked at my 4-53...

    I am pretty sure he can using the Gama Goat flywheel housing (to fit GM 4 speed SM420, SM465, or a 5 speed T5 transmission). Although I think for some reason the Gama Goat uses a different starter, 24 volts I know, but not sure about the bolt pattern. If you can confirm that your old starter fits the GG housing I see know reason why you can't switch the two housings.

    Grigg

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    That's good to know Grigg, thanks for the info and pics. I have an SAE #2 flywheel housing for inline 53 series that I would like to put on a GG engine and I was concerned about a possible blower/starter interference issue. Looks like from your photo I needn't worry about that anymore.

    Now I'm a bit confused on why I was thinking there was a problem there.

    Thanks again,

    Ken

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    Ken,
    I guess there is a chance the GG housing has the starter mounted higher up and there could be a problem?
    Although from the pictures of GG engines that I have I think it will be OK.
    Let us know what you find.
    Grigg

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    Quote Originally Posted by IHWillys View Post
    Note that the blower is on the right side(passenger side in north America) of the engine you have. The Gama Goat setup has the blower on the left side. There may be a starter clearance issue with putting a GG bell housing on this engine as the starter on the GG housing would be on the right side and thus the starter may not clear the blower. Usually, Detroit put the starter opposite the blower on the inline engines(as is the case with your engine here).
    If my memory serves me correctly, that is a reverse-rotation engine, rotation on a Detroit is determined by gear placement and if the blower is on the passenger side it'll make it reverse-rotation. They are, however, easy to switch around, hell the block can be switched front for back!

    CD

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    If he would post a model number of his 4-53 we could decode it to tell if it is right hand rotation, but my guess is that it is.
    The Gama goat engine is regular rotation (right hand).

    Blower can be on either side and engine can turn either way independent of blower placement. It's the placement of the idler gear that determines rotation, the blower is driven from the cam, (or balance shaft) gear, and no matter engine rotation those two shafts turn the same way.

    Grigg

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    i know its a been a while, but i recently moved up to PA, down here for the holidays, got the Model# 5043-7201, Unit# 4D-29373, im leaning more towards a reverse rotation, engine was facing backwards in the loader, but i could be wrong
    Last edited by tankoma; 12-24-2007 at 10:41 AM.
    1950 chevy 3800 453T Detroit Diesel
    2007 Toyota Tacoma TRD

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    Quote Originally Posted by tankoma View Post
    ...5043-7201...
    My 53 series book has this to say about this model number:

    5 = 53 series
    04 = number of cylinders
    3 = fan to flywheel - industrial application
    7 = right hand rotation (counter clockwise as viewed from flywheel end), exhaust manifold opposite side of blower, blower on the right(as viewed from flywheel end)
    2 = 4 valve head, non-"N" engine, non-turbo
    01 = starter opposite side of blower


    So it's a 'standard' rotation engine according to the model number.

    Ken

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    Would this model 4-53 also be a non-turbo?

    Model # 5043-7001

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    Quote Originally Posted by 77gmcserria View Post
    Would this model 4-53 also be a non-turbo?

    Model #
    True,
    5043-7001 designates an "N" engine
    5043-7301 would be a turbo engine

    Grigg
    1948 Chevrolet 6400 (2 ton) updated with a Detroit Diesel Silver 4-53T and Roadranger RTO-6610 --click for all my pictures--
    "First, get a clear notion of what you desire to accomplish, and then in all probability you will succeed in doing it..." -Henry Maudslay-

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    well i got a hold of this guy in WA who has 5 gamma goat motors, i ordered everything from the flywheel housing to the trans bell housing, just need to finy an old chevy truck is the next big thing
    1950 chevy 3800 453T Detroit Diesel
    2007 Toyota Tacoma TRD

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    Quote Originally Posted by tankoma View Post
    well i got a hold of this guy in WA who has 5 gamma goat motors, i ordered everything from the flywheel housing to the trans bell housing, just need to finy an old chevy truck is the next big thing

    More info on this fellow please.
    '77 Scout Terra, Extended Cab, SOA, 4bt, ZF 5 Speed, Ford NP205

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    +2

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    name is Larry Tommer Sr.
    # 509 754 3783
    cell 509 750 6753

    hes in Ephrata

    maybe not exactly 5 but he has a couple more
    Last edited by tankoma; 04-03-2008 at 11:05 AM.
    1950 chevy 3800 453T Detroit Diesel
    2007 Toyota Tacoma TRD

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    Cool, thanks. I even drive to Ephrata weekly driving a half empty cube truck.

    If you don't mind posting, how much is he selling them for? 3 or 4 cylinder?
    '77 Scout Terra, Extended Cab, SOA, 4bt, ZF 5 Speed, Ford NP205

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    im not sure how much hes selling the engines for, he charged me about 350 for the parts
    1950 chevy 3800 453T Detroit Diesel
    2007 Toyota Tacoma TRD

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    finally received everything from the GG flywheel housing to the transmission, the starter is on the opposite side though with a 3 bolt pattern, im hoping i can stick with the original housing thats on it, since they do have the same bolt pattern, flywheels are same diameter, hopefully both housings are the same depth, i am still in the process of moving stuff up here, ill post pics soon
    1950 chevy 3800 453T Detroit Diesel
    2007 Toyota Tacoma TRD

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    Quote Originally Posted by tankoma View Post
    well i got a hold of this guy in WA who has 5 gamma goat motors, i ordered everything from the flywheel housing to the trans bell housing, just need to finy an old chevy truck is the next big thing
    Beware the Gamma Goat 3-53N, they're aluminum block and have a nasty habit of dropping cylinder liners.

    CD

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    Quote Originally Posted by CREEPING DEATH View Post
    Beware the Gamma Goat 3-53N, they're aluminum block and have a nasty habit of dropping cylinder liners.

    CD
    You know, I've heard similar for years but have yet to talk to someone that actually had it happen. I've more commonly heard of issues with the liner seals. I'm not saying it isn't true but I am group owner of the yahoo group DetroitDiesel so I've been reading about various Detroit issues for years now and we have multiple members with GG 3-53 in use.

    The GG 3-53 are relatively easy to find with low hours(the GG was a maintenance nightmare), are setup for an SM420, are 105 HP, another 10 with a simple bolt-on of a cast manifold, and the dual oil pump means it can be steeply nose up or down without loss of oil pressure, and reports of mpg are on par with a 4BT. I'd use one. Too bad 'they' didn't see fit to equip them with the Al head.

    CD, or anyone else here, if you have first hand experience with the liner issue I'd genuinely appreciate some more info on what happened, the app etc. You can email me directly at ken.dunnington@hemko.com. I don't wish to have my head in the sand but I also don't want to rule out use of an engine type based on remote hearsay.

    Again, I've been told this and read this many times(but always "third hand") so I wouldn't be surprised if it happens, just that the lack of this issue with other folks has me in a position of not knowing if this issue is more prevalent with Al 3-53s than with Fe 3-53s. This or similar issues do happen with Fe block 53s(we had a picture of a 4-53 with broken liners on the group site for awhile).

    Ken

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    I'm trying to remember, I did a huge amount of research into 3-53s about a decade ago in preparation for an M37 swap that never got off the ground for a variety of reasons.
    Most of what I remember is:
    GG 3-53 engines have a lot of block-related issues, but they're cheap.
    2-valve industrial 3-53 engines are even less expensive.
    Buying both and a gasket set (and possibly an overhaul kit) will build a million mile iron-block automotive engine by putting all the GG parts on the iron block.

    Goats were noted for losing engines with less than 5,000 miles on them due to liner issues, I'm not sure if it was caused by structural issues or lack of/bad antifreeze 30-40 years ago. A lot of surplussed Goats were repowered with gas SBC engines. But then the Goat is what happens when designers are given an unlimited budget and some rather creative specifications...

    CD

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    Quote Originally Posted by CREEPING DEATH View Post
    ...Buying both and a gasket set (and possibly an overhaul kit) will build a million mile iron-block automotive engine by putting all the GG parts on the iron block...
    ...the Goat is what happens when designers are given an unlimited budget and some rather creative specifications...
    That's a very good point. Though I would note the GG dual oil pump and pan setup won't mount to the iron block. I'd be fine with a standard oil pump/sump arrangement though.

    And again, very good point.

    Ken

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    just as a quick hijack, a 4-53T came up relatively cheap here. i googled it and it said 1300 lbs ! is this right ? it also said 175hp. does anyone know what the torque rating is and what the mileage would be like ? assuming apropriate gearing and 5000ish lbs.
    It pulls like a 14 year old with a playboy !

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    The HP souds about right, the weight I believe is just under 1200 lbs but that all depends on what accesories are installed. The Torque should be around 400 ft lbs I believe at 1800 rpm.
    Someone correct me if I am wrong.

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    i keep hearing from mechanics they have "unlimited" power i think 400 is about right
    1950 chevy 3800 453T Detroit Diesel
    2007 Toyota Tacoma TRD

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1986 CUCV View Post
    The HP souds about right, the weight I believe is just under 1200 lbs but that all depends on what accesories are installed. The Torque should be around 400 ft lbs I believe at 1800 rpm.
    Someone correct me if I am wrong.
    All sounds correct to me as well,
    Grigg
    1948 Chevrolet 6400 (2 ton) updated with a Detroit Diesel Silver 4-53T and Roadranger RTO-6610 --click for all my pictures--
    "First, get a clear notion of what you desire to accomplish, and then in all probability you will succeed in doing it..." -Henry Maudslay-

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    so gearing wise, similar to the cummins stuff ? i.e 1800 ish rpm at my target speed ? and what sort of mileage ?
    It pulls like a 14 year old with a playboy !

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    Correct, in a light truck with a 53T you should shoot for about 1800 rpm (peak torque rpm) at cruising speed. Much more than 6,000 or 7,000 lb, and also depending on the hills, you will probably want/need a few hundred more RPM.

    In a 5,000 lb truck driven easy at about 65 mph and 1,800 rpm with 4-53T you should see 20 mpg, some folks say even more. In regular everyday use don't be surprised if it is around 15 mpg, and towing it could be 10-13.

    My truck I estimate will be 7,000-8,000 lb, and I will be pleased with 16 mpg, but have hopes for 18-20 on occasion, and I'm expecting 12-13 when towing.

    Grigg
    1948 Chevrolet 6400 (2 ton) updated with a Detroit Diesel Silver 4-53T and Roadranger RTO-6610 --click for all my pictures--
    "First, get a clear notion of what you desire to accomplish, and then in all probability you will succeed in doing it..." -Henry Maudslay-

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