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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
2003 Chevy 6BT conversion...???

Hey everyone,

I'm new here so, don’t flame me too much. LoL

I’ve got a 2003 Chevy Avalanche 1500 4x4, I’ve already got a 14 Bolt FF rear axle conversion AND a ZF6 6-spd Manual conversion from a Duramax Diesel in the truck. Yes, I do ALL my own work…

I know a Duramax is almost a bolt in swap for my truck but, I think the Cummins is a way better motor! I would probably do a Solid front axle swap because I would buy a 2500-3500 4x4 Ram donor truck and take the front end parts as well as the motor.

I found a company that makes the adapter to run the ZF6 behind the 6BT and I see that Painless makes a wiring harness for the 6BT as well.

My goal is to get the best MPG’s possible BUT, I also want to have plenty of power so that its fun to drive. I would like to maybe even do a Veggie secondary fuel system from www.greasecar.com. This truck is my DD and off road toy, it never really has to tow anything but, goes on plenty of road trips…

My questions to yous guys are as follows:
1) Which Year/Model 6BT is best for the conversion? I really don’t want to deal with any Computer crap if I don’t haveto.

2) What basic upgrades are a must have with the motor?

3)What kind of power can I get from the recommended motor?

THANKS!!! :)
 

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I know a 12 valve

would be great for veggie. A common rail would work as well. I suppose if you want electronic vs. mechanical I suppose the choice is yours. If you used a P-pumped motor you could make a lot of power very cheaply.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
would be great for veggie. A common rail would work as well. I suppose if you want electronic vs. mechanical I suppose the choice is yours. If you used a P-pumped motor you could make a lot of power very cheaply.
I want the simplest set up, I am not a big fan of the fancy azz electronics in the newer trucks. Thats one main reason why I am avoiding the Duramax...

I am trying to learn as much as i can about the 6BT and the difirent models as I can...
 

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I'd think a 98.5 to 02 24 valve with a P7100 pump installed would look right under the hood of a newer truck yet be extremely simple. Not to mention have huge power potential.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So, the 98.5+ have a computer control and the 98.5 and back are all mechanicly (mostly)?
 

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The 94-98early 12-valve engines are all mechanical and very cheap to turn up. The 12valves are probably the most simple and most common engines to swap. You can go from mild with intake and exhaust upgrades to wild with a maxed out injection pump, huge injectors, twin turbos, fire ringed head, etc. Engine mods really depend on what kind of hp you are looking for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The 94-98early 12-valve engines are all mechanical and very cheap to turn up. The 12valves are probably the most simple and most common engines to swap. You can go from mild with intake and exhaust upgrades to wild with a maxed out injection pump, huge injectors, twin turbos, fire ringed head, etc. Engine mods really depend on what kind of hp you are looking for.
Well, it looks like I will be using a 94-98 for sure, found out that the Greasecar Veggi fuel kit is only $1,300 for them. It's $2,900 for the 98 and newer motors!

I don't know how wild I want to go with it, I am used to the way my truck drives now with the custom turbo charged 5.3L making about 500HP and 550TQ at the wheels... I am thinking if I can get the 6BT to put out at least 600TQ at the wheels it should be damn fun to drive...

I have started shopping for a 94-98 Donor 2500-3500 4x4 Ram to get me started, not bad seems like i can get one for about $4,000 with around 150,000 miles on it... Should be able to part out the lefts overs and maybe even turn a profit! :dustin:
 

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Hey everyone,
I’ve got a 2003 Chevy Avalanche 1500 4x4, I’ve already got a 14 Bolt FF rear axle conversion AND a ZF6 6-spd Manual conversion from a Duramax Diesel in the truck.
Is the Duramax ZF6 6-speed bellhousing bolt pattern different than the Ford ZF6 6-speed? I think it is. :confused:
Scott at www.destroked.com might have the transmission adapter you need. I know he has the ZF6 6-speed for the Ford.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Is the Duramax ZF6 6-speed bellhousing bolt pattern different than the Ford ZF6 6-speed? I think it is. :confused:
Scott at www.destroked.com might have the transmission adapter you need. I know he has the ZF6 6-speed for the Ford.
GM is not the same but, the GM ZF6 is the same bolt pattern as all the GM Automatics!!! So, the adapter for the GM Auto's should work, then use the spacer that Scott offers for ZF6 flywheels...

The GM ZF6 is also a better built ZF6 then the Ford, Ford cheapend up the parts in theirs to save money. I have seen tons of Duramax making over, 1,000tq and sled pulling on stock GM ZF6's (after market clutche of course)!!!!
 

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The GM ZF6 is also a better built ZF6 then the Ford, Ford cheapend up the parts in theirs to save money.
Don't bash Ford too much, at least Ford retained the internal pump so you can run a cooler for your fluid. GM cut the corners on their ZF6 and had those removed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Don't bash Ford too much, at least Ford retained the internal pump so you can run a cooler for your fluid. GM cut the corners on their ZF6 and had those removed.
Ah but, adding a cooler to the GM one is not hard and its better then having the syncros go out early or busting a tooth of a gear. I haven't seen anyone need a cooler on their ZF6 unless pushing it past the recomended towing rating while in Arizona in the the sumer time.

I guess its like presidents, go the which ever you feel is the lesser of two evils. LoL :grinpimp:
 

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The GM ZF is the cheaper version and has a high failure rate. Hence the reason GM completely dropped the ZF behind the duramax because it wasn't holding up. It doesn't hold up because GM specified it built without an oil pump and cooler. The Fords have pressure pocket bearing lube which is very important when you try to run a manual on ATF that doesn't offer the same lube properties as gear oil.

The GM ZF's have non-existant hard parts support (price out a mainshaft for one, something they all need when they cook bearings).

I don't think you could run the GM ZF behind the standard small block adapter. The 6 speed flywheel is a lot different from the chevy adapter flywheel, you'd have some major starter issues to figure out.

Gm has always put far more emphasis on thier autos than thier manual transmissions. Thier NV4500's were built cheap and it only follows that their ZF's are the same way.
 

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I don't know how wild I want to go with it, I am used to the way my truck drives now with the custom turbo charged 5.3L making about 500HP and 550TQ at the wheels... I am thinking if I can get the 6BT to put out at least 600TQ at the wheels it should be damn fun to drive...

:dustin:
haha, a '98 12valve from a manual truck with just a #10 fuel plate can get you to about 750 ftlbs, and a fuel plate can be customized for free. You might consider shooting a little higher like say 1500. Now that would be fun to drive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
haha, a '98 12valve from a manual truck with just a #10 fuel plate can get you to about 750 ftlbs, and a fuel plate can be customized for free. You might consider shooting a little higher like say 1500. Now that would be fun to drive.
i didn't think the gains were that high that easy... dang... thats pretty good. :grinpimp:
 

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750 ft lbs is what a #10 plate is rated at. If you move the plate full forward and crank the star wheel you will have plenty of power to play with. I'm not sure how much those numbers will change running on wvo but more than likely they will go down.

There are several cheap or free mods with a 12valve engine that make it run worlds better than stock. If you start turning it up just be sure to get yourself some good gauges so you don't melt something down. Pyro and boost are a must.
 

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the #10 plate works extremely well the numbers popsted are conservative. full forward doesnt always yeild max power. 3/4-7/8 forward with gov arm adjustments has been proven to yeild upwards of a 30 hp difference over full foward. best ive been able to net out of a #10 on a 215 hp pump remember the pump and plate match are important was 392/821 with an hx35 hybrid 60mm/14cm combo. the start wheel was not loosened up so much that the motor belched black smoke all the time, just enough to give a little puff off the line. bounce


The GM ZF was the cheesy tranny that was cheapened not the ford.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Some good info here, thanks... I am hoping to start this conversion in the next couple of months once i get settled into a new house with a garrage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
OK i want to start putting together my plan of action for this project... Here is the basic list i have so far, please feel free to make suggestions on this list.


Basics
- 94-98 Cummins 12valve 6bt Motor
- Custom Wiring Harness (need a diagram to work from)
- Custom Motor Mounts (maybe modify stock Dodge to fit)
- Transmission Adapter Plate
- Fuel Tank (maybe use stock Dodge)
- Custom Fuel Lines
- Radiator (maybe use Stock Dodge)
- Intercooler (custom/aftermarket)
- Electric Fans (must have for space savings)
- Custom 5-6 Inch Exhaust
- Paint Motor Black and Red

Possible Motor Upgrades (don't want to go crazy)
- Tweak Fuel Pump
- Fuel Block Off Plate
- Turbo Upgrade (if needed)
 

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OK i want to start putting together my plan of action for this project... Here is the basic list i have so far, please feel free to make suggestions on this list.


Basics
- 94-98 Cummins 12valve 6bt Motor. Best choice, but hard to find because everyone wants a P7100 equipped 12 valve.
- Custom Wiring Harness (need a diagram to work from). Don't really need one when using a 12 valve, keep yours & adapt your sensors.
- Custom Motor Mounts (maybe modify stock Dodge to fit). Yes, keep as many stock Dodge parts as you can, so you can find readily avaliable replacements if you need to.
- Transmission Adapter Plate. www.destroked.com You wont be dissapointed.
- Fuel Tank (maybe use stock Dodge). Your Chevy one will work just fine, unless you want more capacity?
- Custom Fuel Lines. Maybe I don't know how yours are right now.
- Radiator (maybe use Stock Dodge). If it fits well, but you don't need a huge one, unless your making huge HP/TQ numbers.
- Intercooler (custom/aftermarket). The Duramax one might almost be a bolt in.
- Electric Fans (must have for space savings). Good idea, but get a name brand.
- Custom 5-6 Inch Exhaust. Yes, no real need to go too overkill.
- Paint Motor Black and Red. Be different, that paint scheme has been used many times.

Possible Motor Upgrades (don't want to go crazy)
- Tweak Fuel Pump. Good idea for efficency, power and MPGs.
- Fuel Block Off Plate. If you keep your stock setup, you just need a pressure regulator.
- Turbo Upgrade (if needed). Always good, just pricy$$$
What I think is typed in red.
 
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