Cummins 4BT & Diesel Conversions Forums banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I posted this in the Cummins Forum, but the community here has always been full of lots of helpful info, so I wanted to try here as well. Been reading through a lot of older similar posts on both this forum and many others. Found one on Pirate 4x4 that was helpful, but I wanted to see if anyone here might be able to help.

Here's the VERY basics. I want to take the entire drivetrain (engine, tranny, transfer case, intercooler, cooling system, etc.) out of this 2004.5:
128711


And put it into this 2004 Bigfoot Class C:
128712


Now, I know it CAN be done, I just want to know what kind of nightmare I'm in for. I've read many different E Series conversions, and have talked to MGMETALWORKS in Oregon about his 6.7 his dropped in an E350. Also, I plan to eventually convert the motorhome into a 4x4 using the UJoint Offroad conversion. It looks like the Dodge transfer case output shaft and the SuperDuty front axle have the front drive shaft on the drivers side. Plus, I made sure that the Dodge I picked up has the electronic shift transfer case, so no having to hog a hole in the floor of the motorhome for the shifter.

Here's what I know so far. Diesel Conversion Specialists sell motor mounts, but thats about it. I think they also said I can send both the wiring harnesses off to them so I can have them work together. Other than that though, a lot will be custom, including the rear tranny and transfer case mounts, drive shaft, etc.

I also plan to do a very mild build. I installed a set of 30% over injectors on my early 04, and it made a pretty good difference. I plan to do the same here, but I also plan on installing a 2nd gen manifold kit so getting the downpipe in will be easier, and hopefully not run into the doghouse. I don't plan on doing any other motor mods; my goal is RELIABILITY and FUEL MILEAGE.

Along with that, I need to rebuild the tranny to match. My early 04 is the NV5600, so working on the 48RE is pretty foreign to me. I need to find out what I need to make it reliable, and able to take the weight of the motorhome. Also, where in WA could I take to get it rebuilt and NOT cost a fortune.

My biggest hangups right now are all the ancillary components; power steeting, brakes, A/C, cruise control, and the BIGGEST part, which will be the wiring to make it all work together in the Ford Chassis. Would I be better to try to use the factory dodge harness, or use standalone harnesses for the engine and tranny? And if I do that, will I still be able to get all the other factory Ford stuff to work? Since this IS a motorhome, I plan to be travelling a lot in the summer. Meaning that cruise control and A/C are going to be a big deal. Will it be difficult to get all that working together?

I haven't started the swap yet, at this point I'm acquiring as much info as I can before I make the leap. I've wrenched on Dodge Diesel's for years, but have never done a swap. Is this going to be a nightmare? All suggestions are appreciated! Thanks!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,339 Posts
Sounds like you are taking the correct approach. Want to know how deep the water is before you jump in. Something I was wondering. You mention your 04 has the NV5600. Are you saying the truck has a manual transmission and you plan to covert to automatic? To make a 48RE work will require an outboard controller since that transmission is computer controlled. Not sure what all is involved on the engine to feed into to the transmission. If you plan on a 4x4 conversion your transfer case has the wrong input shaft for the 48RE. It is 23 spline and the manual transmission is 29 spline. The 23 spline input shaft costs a tad over $100 so that can be fixed. That transfer case should be the NV273D which is plenty strong so no issue there. Again, there is a control module in the truck for that electric shift on the fly transfer case. May be some electrical issues there too. Probably the biggest headache will be getting all the electrical issues ironed out. You have a computer controlled engine and a computer controlled van of 2 different manufacturers. Most of the swaps we've seen have been straight mechanical 6bt's into an E350. The vehicle power accessories and ac shouldn't be a major hang up. Cruise control may be more complicated. There will probably be a zillion little things that crop up and you'll have to address each one as they show up. You'll want to add some gauges to monitor the engine. I saw you mention something about changing the exhaust manifold. By 2nd gen are you talking about the 24 valve engine? Your 2004 manifold has the turbo tight to the block but closer to the back. Not sure that would interfere with the dog box. The 98.5-02 manifold puts the turbo farther forward but it sticks out toward the fender. That may not work in the E350 as that compartment is rather cramped.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Heh, I guess I should probably make a little clarification, I can see how this would be confusing.
I have two trucks. I have an early 04 that is my main truck I use for hauling, towing, etc. This one has the NV5600 manual, has the 30% over injectors, and I installed the A Pillar gauges; Boost, Egt, Fuel Pressure.
Here's a shot of my early 04 in my shop:
128713


The truck that I'm pulling everything out of is a 2004.5, and this is the one that has the factory automatic with transfer case, everything. Thats the black one in the first photo. I picked it up for a great price, mostly because it has some mechanical issues. Tranny will need to be rebuilt, which I was expecting, and it has the typical Dodge front end issues. But, she runs very strong, and everything I need out of it, is solid.

I was looking at output shaft on the Dodge Transfer case, and the output shaft is on the same side as the Superduty D60 front axle pinion that would be going in. At least from what I can tell.

Regarding the 2nd gen manifold swap, this is what I'm looking at:
The biggest reason why, is it moved the turbo forward about 4", and makes getting the downpipe for the exhaust installed much easier. Its already going to be tight, and I've seen several 12v guys already having issues with their downpipes. The factory manifold on these trucks mounts the turbo further back, so I anticipate getting the downpipe on with the factory location and not have it collide with the doghouse in the van might be difficult. However, if it sticks the turbo too far out, it might be a moot point anyway...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,339 Posts
OK, understand the plan a bit better. Not sure the standard exhaust on the '04.5 would hit the dog box. Below are photos that show the exhaust placement. An option might be install an HX40W cobra head down pipe. More compact and points the exhaust straight down. There are adapters available to mate it to your turbo outlet. Below is a photo of that setup. Lot cheaper than changing manifolds. Fun part may be working out the 4" exhaust plumbing which is needed for that turbo. Probably will need to do a trial fit of the engine into the chassis to see where everything lands. Not sure if the ac compressor placement will clear a Ford frame or not. One item of concern would the the air inlet tube on the intake. That sucker sticks straight out and may be an issue. Might need one of a different style. There again that's one of the things that can be judged once the engine is sitting on its mounts in place.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
I would either go with a Georend built 48RE or ditch it completely and go with an Allison 1000. In reality you probably don't even need the 6 speed since .6 OD is not that useful with a giant brick like that going down the road.

Personally, I would hate to drive something heavy with a 4 speed dodge auto. Either screaming in 3rd or lugging in 4th.

What does it weigh as it sits now?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Char, thanks for the suggestion on the Cobrahead downpipe. It looks pretty restrictive though, will it bolt straight on to the turbo using the V Band clamp? I sure like the idea of only having to spend a couple hundred maybe, rather than close to $3000 for a new turbo, manifold, and all the other stuff...

I've talked to the builder of this van, with a 6.7 and Allison tranny.
He was a WEALTH of knowledge. However, he pulled the body off to accommodate the swap. It sounded like the A/C pump wasn't an issue. However, it sounds like a bigger issue is the crossmember under the engine, as it has to be modified extensively to clear the oil pan. We talked about that for some time.

He also used a standalone controller for the tranny. He was the one who recommended for simplicity purposes to just use the entire Dodge drivetrain, as it would make having all the parts work together significantly easier.

The weight of the motorhome currently with the V10 in it is right around 14k - 15k. Yeah, she's a big girl. Surprisingly though, it doesn't handle that bad. It actually handles a little better than my previous Winnebago View I had.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,339 Posts
On the cobra head parts, that unit is not restrictive. Although it is somewhat flat looking, it is also extremely wide. These were commonly used on the 6ct Cummins which used the HX40W turbo. To mate it to the HE351cw turbo on your engine takes a short adapter as seen in the photo below. You'd have 2 band clamps, one for the HX40W side and a different one for the HE351cw. If you look at the photo in post #4 you see the 2 clamps are side by side. The Cummins part # for the HX40W cobrahead is 3927862. There is a used on for sale on ebay for $129.99 + $15.99 frt. Brand new one from Cummins is probably near $300 and most new ones you see come from China. I believe that used one is USA. Here's a link to that ebay one. Used: Cummins 6CT Diesel Engine Cobra Head Turbo Air outlet Tube Part# 3927862 | eBay You can scan the net for the adapter piece. Many companies have them in either plain steel or stainless. Prices run from around $55-90. The band clamps will be the one you have on the turbo plus an HX40W clamp. Exhaust pipe is a slip fit and you just use an exhaust pipe band clamp on that.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks man! Thats definitely helpful, and I would much rather go that route than a new manifold and turbo.

Mostly right now I'm gathering resources and info, which is why this thread has been helpful so far. I know the biggest challenge is going to be the wiring. Aside from the ExpoVans guys sticking the 6.7 in a E350, I did see the DCS guys with a video of a 5.9 common rail in a 97 E350. The guy I talked to at DCS before wasn't much help, as he said they've done it, but didn't have much in the way of resources or parts. I'd love to find other info of anyone else who has maybe done the conversion as well, I'd like to think I'm not the only crazy person out there...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,339 Posts
No, you're not crazy. It's just that the most of the E350 type swaps we've seen were 12 valves. As far as the physical fitting, both engine styles are pretty much the same. We've even had guys install a manual transmission in those vans but OEM factory parts like pedal assembly and dog box did exist but sure aren't common. You had talked about transmissions. The 48RE isn't a bad unit and with a bit of reinforcement can probably do fine. Someone had mentioned the Allison and that is definitely a possible. We have a member who does some heavy towing who is leaning that way. The Allison 1000, 2000, and 3000 series have been used behind the 6bt. The 2000 series is a slightly heavier duty unit that was more common in commercial vehicles. It is physically the same size as a 1000 which isn't exactly small. Now, if you wanted to go whole hog, the 3060 might be considered. That unit came in medium duty trucks and motorhomes and would be just about bullet proof in your van. Main draw back is that is a big sucker plus there is no 4x4 option if you lean that way. That puppy weighs around 600 lbs and holds 29 quarts of fluid. The 1000/2000 weighs 330 lbs and only holds 14 quarts. 4x4 output section are available on those although most we see were GM applications. All the 1000's in the GM's after 2005 were 6 speeds and got higher torque ratings as power increased with the Duramax line. Not sure you'd ever use 6th gear in a motorhome but the transmissions have it.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top