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Well, I finally did it. After lurking here for about 4 years, I have finally started a project. A little backstory: I am not a mechanic, but I love the aspect of working on and building vehicles, because there is so much room for creativity. I started working on my first project vehicle, a 1969 Bronco, which was a frame up restore with a 20 footer paint and body job!

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After putting about 500 miles on it and only getting 14 mpg's, I decided I should find better alternatives to build a nice on-road fuel sipping beach cruiser. I found this site after googling fuel efficient motors, and I purchased one locally from a diesel boat mechanic for $2800! This was complete with the Muncie transmission and the GM adapter plate and flywheel. It had almost no blow-by and cranked up perfectly and had an intact serial number plate. (Thanks for the checklist of stuff to look for 4bt swaps)

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Well, I sold the whole transmission setup for $800, and went and bought a 4wd 4l80e from a 6.5l K2500 for $400 bucks! I then purchased what was to by my original project, and m1009 k5 Blazer with a 6.2l diesel in it. However, I ended up liking the 6.2l too much after fixing the K5 up a bit. Here is a picture of it after body work and bedliner were applied to it:

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However, after researching the 4l80e and shift controllers and having to buy a >$1000 adapter kit, I decided to sell the transmission for $400 to a guy in need. I then drove 8 hours to Tampa Florida where I purchased a 2wd NV4500 (2nd gen dodge 2500) COMPLETE conversion kit from a guy for $1800! I haggled with him and I even got a whole A/C accessory setup (water pipe, ac bracket, idler pulley, etc), clutch pedal assembly, fan/fanclutch, harmonic balancer, and a few other knick knacks thrown in with it! I've been sitting on my setup for a little over a year since purchasing the transmission, in hopes that I would find something to put it in. I also took the time to upgrade from my 120 flux core welder to a 220 tig welder. I figured the cost of paying people to weld stuff for me would pay the welder off after 2 uses of it if I learned how to use it. So I purchased, and spent a few weeks welding on lawnmower blades and scrap aluminum! I'm getting good at it!

List of things done to motor:
KDP / Gaskets
A/C accessories installed
All thread holes cleaned/bolts cleaned.
Harmonic balancer and Fan installed.
New water pump
6bt exhaust manifold purchased, cut, and 1/4" plate welded on ends after heating for 30 minutes with a propane torch. It looks good! Told dad I welded cast iron, and he told me I fucked up. Wrong! The google told me otherwise!

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Chopped the charge pipe, and welded it back together to shorten it to the length I needed for turbo placement.
Degrease, degrease, degrease, pressure wash, degrease, acid wash, and POR 15 whole motor? Yup. It looks good!

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I purchased an oil drain tube adapter from Fleece, but the thing was hot garbage imo. It was wobbly. So I took the stock oil drain tube and welded on a AN bung so that I could use my flex hose on turbo. It looks better too!

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After completing what I could on the motor, and arguing with my dad about wasting my time on a diesel that he said looked like it needed to be in the trash, he changed his mind. He is who I use to bounce ideas off of whenever I go visit him for a beer. And after one of these beer nights, we both agreed that this needed to go into his 1965 C10, that is fully restored and a smoooooooth riding 2wd. It has been sitting for about 15 years. I changed my mind a few weeks later though, because I don't want to stand out anymore than I have to, and a BMW green 1965 C10 that is louder than a tractor will definitely stand out. It'll cause me to get into too many conversations when I'm filling up or driving. So, after seeing a guy on here who had a Dodge Dakota for sale that was completed, I decided to go with a 1/2 pickup truck. A Ford Ranger Super Cab 2wd! I like the idea of having a small pickup to haul wood with that will hopefully be in the 23 or 24 mpg range when I'm done. That said, I found exactly what I was looking for (minus the manual transmission) in Panama City Beach, so, I took the day off of work, rented a trailer, borrowed a truck, and purchased one for $800 that had a blown motor! It was super clean inside, and the body was in pretty damn good shape minutes a few scratches on the paint!

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I didn't wait to start tearing into it either! I live in an HOA community, so I have to work on stuff in my little garage so that the old porch sitters don't complain. The covenants say "No working on vehicles in your driveway." I gotta move one day. I need a shop very badly.

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I tried to not get in too much of a hurry. I made sure I labelled every single wire's function with painters tape, so when I go to clean up the harness for what I need, I will know what goes to what! I'm thinking that I'm going to scrap the stock cluster though, and make my own. Time will tell! Also, I hate spot welds so much. There must have been 40 of them on the front clip. that was 4 ours of drilling haha.

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It took me 2 days to tear this thing down. I work slow, and I watch TV in my garage while I fiddle a little at a time with it. Also, for anyone who has never seen a transmisison with a slip yoke. Beware. When I pulled the motor and trans out, I couldn't get the driveshaft off because it is not adjustable. I dumped about 3 gallons of fluid onto my garage floor. My clean, well used to be clean, garage floor. I had to run and get oil dry super quick after throwing rags down to make boon. Sigh. It's all out though.

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This is where I'm at now. I purchased Farmstrong mounts, and they are VERY nice, but they are way too wide to fit the motor onto the frame without hitting the suspension cups and steering rod! So, using them as a template, I plan on welding the stock Ranger mount brackets onto 1/4" pieces of plate and adding some gussetts. I will have to put the motor into the bay to get exact measurements. And, you bet I will be on here.

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Research has also told me that I HAVE to have a 3" bodylift to be able to shoehorn this into the bay, so my next set off offdays, I'll be installing these babies.

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A few other issues that I have been mulling over are weight on the suspension. This has a Torsion bar, and no springs. I'm not sure what the hell I'll do about that. I don't want to do a SAS if I can avoid it. I've thought about enlarging the spindle holes to use F150 ball joints? I'm not even sure if its possible. But I did find taper kits on ebay. That will be down the road, as I will have to level out the front end so that it doesn't look completely ridiculous. Plus I don't want to have to replace balljoints every year. As for wheel bearings, I may be screwed, but that's the price I pay to experiment. Any thoughts guys?
 

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I just bought my friend a 2003 Ford Ranger, Single Cab, 5-speed manual transmission, 2.3L I4 engine, manual locks/windows/everything, with 188K miles on it. Awesome little truck. She Vidmate loves it,
 

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Nice project. You have something very wrong on your turbo install. You have the drain on top and oil feed on the bottom. That will not work. You need to clock the turbo to have the drain at the bottom and oil feed on the top. Your drain hose will get much shorter and the feed line longer.
 
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