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Damarble, you are correct. Frankly, any axle within reason will work fine so long as the person with the right foot on the go pedal is somewhat sane. Even a 200 HP 4bt isn't going to break the axle under normal circumstances. Try to show off to the buddies and you might be picking up piece of differentials or twisted drive shafts. That low end torque can work wonders with those parts.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
I think I'm going to go with the VT275 since it was specifically designed for F150s and the fact that I can use pretty much all ford parts. However, is Ford Commercial easier to deal with or is International easier to deal with for parts? It only came with the 5r110w transmission but I would like to use a ZF5/6 (if I can even find a ZF6). Can I use a ECU from a 6.0 with this engine that was set up for one of these transmissions? The only reason I'm going with a manual is for reliability, and maybe a little bit for gas mileage (plus manuals are fun ;))

As for the axles, I might try to go to a 10.25/10.50 axle but the issue with the 10.25 is the 7 lug hubs, because 7 lug wheels are kinda hard to find afaik. I'm planning on sticking with 17" rims because I just got new tires for my truck. What axles were used in the front paired with the 10.25/10.5? The 10.25 was offered on the long bed F150s but that's a rarity. I'm definitely going to try to keep 4x4 and coil front suspension for the comfortableness.

I'm trying to get at least another 20k miles out of my 5.4 so I can get the money set aside and start buying the parts, but that may not happen seeing as I'm already getting powertrain codes for the timing system.
Thank you guys for all your help.
 

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To do a manual transmission on the VT275 should be possible. The Powerstroke 6.0 came with the ZF S6-750. You'd need the adapter plate, starter, flywheel, and clutch assembly off a 6.0 to make it work. The adapter plate is part # 1838870C1. See photo below. Might require some transmission tunnel work as that is not a small unit and not cheap either. Big emphasis on not cheap. Transmission, matching transfer case, wiring, etc could easily exceed $3000. Not sure about the ECU question. May need to ask International on that. Don't know that they had a manual transmission either. The 10.25 full floating axles are not 7 lug. They are 8 lug because that's what's under my '90 F250 HD. The 7 lug was an odd ball axle found on a light duty F250 which had the same body as the smaller F150. I believe all the 10.25 8 lugs were drum brakes on pickups and had 8x6.5" lug pattern thru 1996 and then changed to 8x170mm. The 1999 and after models got the 10.50 axle with disc brakes and 8x170mm lug pattern. If you change axles you'll need to be sure what you get so front and rear have the same lug pattern. There were a couple different front axles as well. There were Dana 50 and Dana 60 used with leaf springs in the early models and coils in later years. Here's a link to a VT275 spec sheet you might find useful. http://workhorseservice.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/International-VT-275-2006-Engine-Catalog-4-20-06.pdf You mentioned wanting to stay coil springs up front. You'd need front axle from a 2005 and up truck for that. They had leaves before that. You might want to look out for a '05-07 truck with 6.0 and 6 speed. Might be cheaper than buying parts. Might get a deal on one with a bad engine.
 

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Char,

I don't think Ford switched to the 8 on 170 till 98 or 99. The Sterling axle in my 97 is 8 on 6.5in.

Charles
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Would a ZF5 from a 7.3 probably work? Or would that have to have an adapter? The VT275 was only sold with a 5r110w automatic transmission afaik, and finding a donor truck with a blown engine and a zf6 would be pretty rare. But that's what I'm going to look for because it will be a one stop shop for like 90% of the parts I need. If worse comes to worse I will go with the 5r110w but I would prefer to have the manual. I have seen a few donor trucks that would work in my area but they all have 5r110s.
 

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JD,

I would hazard that you will need to find an adapter... The ZF5 and ZF6 speeds that came behind the 7.3 were interchangeable, but I think there was a casing change when Ford moved to the 6.0 motor. As far as power the ZF5 470 will be fine as can handle 470 Ft-lb of torque - and looking at Chars' link the VT275 is rated to 440 Ft-lbs. Though I have heard of guys that have pushed the ZF5 well past the 470 number.

Cj
 

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Hey everyone,
I was wondering if anyone had any engine suggestions for a 2006 Ford F150 (Extended Cab, 6.5 Bed, have a 5.4 now). My 5.4 has 180k miles on it and I think it is rounding the corner to the end of its life. So I'm looking at swapping a diesel in. So far I have looked at a 4.5 V6 Powerstroke (3/4 of a 6.0), a Cummins ISF3.8 (Can't seem to find these anywhere), or a QSB/ISB 4.5. I have looked at the 4bt, but it doesn't have enough power for what I would like. I'm constantly hauling around tools and materials for work, and I drive a lot so MPG is a big reason for a swap, since I get like 10mpg on average. Does anyone have any suggestions for a good engine? I have looked at Cat, Detroit, Cummins, and International engines and I can't really find a good fit. I'm looking for something with 200 ish hp and around 450-500 ft lbs of torque. As long as I get at least 18mpg I will be happy.

The other question I have is legality in western New York. Has anyone done any swaps here? Is it just getting it to pass OBD II test? Or have any of you guys had any issues getting it inspected?

I would just buy a diesel truck but the issue is they are either waaaay overpriced for one in decent shape or cheap for a beat to crap truck with 300k miles on it or something like that. I also would rather have something that I built and that is unique. I don't have a ton of experience turning a wrench but my goal is to learn a ton from a swap like this. The electronics side of things doesn't really scare me because I'm an electrician, but the mechanical side might be a challenge because while I do have mill/lathe/welding experience, I don't really have access to a mill or lathe.

I have asked this question on a couple different forums, but no one really gives an answer other than I shouldn't do it and just stick with the 5.4.
Any help is appreciated.
Just because you have 180k miles on your engine does not mean it is worn out ! There are testimonials on AMSOIL web site of people ready to roll over 1,000,000mi , but they used AMS oil from day ONE !
 

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1-ton axles are an absurd overkill on a ½ ton chassis that will be designated for road duty. Same for the transmission...

You simply don't have the traction to couple that peak torque to the ground.

½-ton running gear will serve you just fine and cost substantially less.
 

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Discussion Starter #29 (Edited)
@Goat The reason why I was considering a heavier axle and transmission was so I have room for expansion if I want to turn it up in the future. My rear axle is shot anyways, so I thought I would upgrade it since I have to replace it anyways. A 10.25 would probably be more than enough for what I would need. The same goes for the transmission. A ZF5 would be adequate for me but I would rather have room for expansion so I guess that takes a ZF5 off the table unless I can build it up.

@Papa 180k is not necessarily the end of my engine's life, but it is starting to show timing issues which is going to be expensive to fix, and since I would be going to all the work of taking the engine apart anyways I would have to rebuild the heads and likely the block as well. That would be incredibly expensive and would not fix one of the main reasons why I want to swap out the 5.4, the gas mileage. Your claim about an engine lasting 1,000,000 miles by using a specific oil brand is highly suspect. While some oil brands are probably better than others, they do not fix a lack of maintenance. I seriously doubt a 5.4 3v would last that long considering their design flaws, and if someone did they must be super lucky.
 

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The ZF 7.3 transmissions won't bolt up to the adapter plates on the 4.5/6.0. When Ford went with that new engine they changed to a modular bolt pattern. The only manual transmission that fits that is the ZF S6-750. If a 7.3 adapter plate would fit the 4.5 it might be possible but the parts bear no resemblance to each other. Might ask an IHC shop that question. Not sure what adapter plate the IHC VT365 had.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
I guess I might just have to stick with the 5r110w then. There are ZF6s for $2000 ish on ebay but they are all high mile and would have to be rebuilt probably. How is the 5r110 as compared to the ZF6?
 

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I can't confirm it personally but I've seen many references to the 6.0L sharing a bolt pattern with modular gas engines. The ZF5 was available behind the 5.4L for a while so that trans should bolt to a 6.0L.'

I'm using a small block pattern ZF5 in my 04. Initial measurements have the shifter coming up just under the dash. Depending how much farther than the stock V8 I can set back the Isuzu (I see maybe 2" tops to be gained) I might just clear the hvac duct. Also the ZF5 is 3.5" shorter than the stock auto so modifying driveshafts is probably needed.

The only manual that came in this generation was the M5R2. It's shifter is close to 6" farther back than a ZF5.

BTW, a clutch pedal assembly from 97-08 F150s will all fit, and the older ones are easier to come by.
 

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Damarble, that may be possible. I believe some of the gas engines continued to get the ZF S5-47 long after the diesels went 6 speed. Would need to measure both transmissions to be sure they have the same bolt circle. Diesels would might have had a larger flywheel and clutch than any gas 5 speed applications. The 5R110W is actually a very good transmission. Was used from 2003.5-2010 and then they changed to the 6 speed 6R140
 

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Discussion Starter #34 (Edited)
How hard is it to get a ZF6 to fit in a F150? Would I have to move the center console to get the shifter in? Also, does it just bolt up to the 6.0 Powerstroke?

As for axles, I would like to go up to a 10.5 in the rear, but what were these matched with in the front? I'm going to keep 4x4. Are there any differences in where the springs land and shocks bolt up as compared to a 9.75? They are about the same price new as the 9.75 axles. And would I be able to transfer over my calipers or would I have to redo the brakes? Or am I better just sticking with a 9.75 like what I have?

The other problem is finding the engine wiring harnesses and the ECU for a 4.5 Powerstroke. Apparently I can use a FICM from a 6.0 so on that front I will be fine. I probably won't need to get a 6.0 donor truck if I can just find one in a junk yard and steal the stuff off I need.

The engine I'm looking at is just a long block with the compound turbo setup, but that's it. I'm going to see if I can find a ZF6 in decent shape and rebuild it. What parts will I probably need to get a ZF6 in a F150?
 

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Discussion Starter #36
Has anyone done an axle swap like this in a Gen 11 F150? Like to a Dana 60 front and 10.5 rear? What would be involved and would it be worth the work?
 

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A ZF6 definitely needs a body lift to fit in these trucks. A ZF5 I think will fit without one, but it's going to be tight.

Unless you plan to get crazy with power, leave your stock axles alone. Learn from my experience, the more you have to change during a swap, the less likely it is it will be finished. Besides that, I've done a few solid axle swaps and they're never as street friendly as they were before.
 

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Discussion Starter #38
Ok, then I will just replace my rear axle with what it had before, a 9.75. If I can get a ZF5 to match up to the 4.5 I would do that. What is the difference between the small block and 7.3 transmissions (other than the bolt pattern) and how do I build it to handle more power? It would probably be fine stock but it only gives me like 30ftlbs to work with. The other option is the 5r110w but I would much rather have a manual unless it's completely impossible to have one. I would like to avoid a body lift because that seems like a ton of work. Then is the issue of getting it to bolt up to the 4.5. Has anyone put a ZF5 on a 6.0 Powerstroke before?

Also, what about getting the existing brake system to work, and AC and all of that? And for the fuel system, can I reuse my old gas tank or would I have to get a diesel tank?
 

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Doing this swap won't be just a bolt on affair. The ZF 6 speed is a very large transmission. Two probable options would be a body lift or reworking the transmission tunnel. Not sure that any ZF 5 speed existed that mates to the modular diesel bolt pattern. The last year referenced for the S5-47 was 2001. The second issue will be the transfer case. You will either need one that came with the ZF6 or some type of adapter to mate your existing one. You'll need new drive shafts as the parts will all be in different locations and different U joints. You'll need new transmission and transfer case mounts. If you change axles, you will need to be sure they have matching bolt patterns. The axles will have 8 lug bolt pattern so new wheels and tires come into play. In essence, you are rebuilding the whole drive train. The HD trucks came with both leaf spring or coil spring front axle depending on year.That's one reason having a mostly complete donor truck could be an advantage. If you found a 6.0 truck you could also transfer all the mounts for things like power steering pump and ac to the 4.5. There will be other issues to address. If your braking system has a vacuum booster, you'll either need a vacuum pump on the engine which probably wasn't on that series of diesels or change to hydroboost brakes which is what the diesels used. Will need a larger brake master for those bigger axles. May need a larger radiator and will have to mount an intercooler for the engine. Plan on dual batteries. Diesels take a lot of current in the starting cycle. Battery cables will need to be upgraded. Those little things used on the gas engine won't work. Fuel tank(s) will need to be modified. If you have dual tanks a new switching valve will be needed. New fuel lines too. You'll need a new air intake system. Turbo diesels take a lot of air. New exhaust system. You will have a considerable check list as this is sort of like completely re-engineering the truck. Don't feel slighted as this is what many swaps go through and I've only touched on the larger items. You'll find more as the swap progresses.
 

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Discussion Starter #40 (Edited)
I'm aware that it won't be bolt in, I expected it to be pretty difficult. Yes, I'm thinking im going to go through with it, and the problems that will come up I am willing to find a solution for. For me the end result of an awesome truck that gets good gas mileage and will last another 200-300k miles is more than worth it for me. A F250 would probably be cheaper but it also would have a bigger engine that gets worse gas mileage and suspension that isnt as comfortable. At least in my area 250s/350s with a diesel in my price range are all high mile and often beat to crap.

I guess I will do the body lift then. I will try to find a donor truck with a 6.0 but finding one with a ZF6 is going to be near impossible because of how rare they are. I will keep an eye out though in my area. So far I have found a few potential trucks that could work for 2-3 grand in my area (A little more than what I want to spend for something I only really need axles and a few other parts) but they all have 5r110s . I think it will be worth it for the ZF6 though over the 5r110 because manuals will give a bit of gas savings and have better reliability, and I like having more control over my truck. Resale is not really an issue because I'm going to probably run this truck until the frame falls apart.

This truck only has 1 gas tank, and I believe it is either a 23 or a 26 gallon tank. I will probably go for something bigger, and I was figuring I would have to strip the old fuel lines anyways. As for the brakes, I have no clue if they use a vacuum booster or what, that part I don't know much about. I would consider upgrading them to the brakes they had on the LCF to make my life easier but I have no clue what type of brakes those had or how they even work. The same goes for power steering and the AC system. Any help in this area is appreciated.

I was thinking of sticking with the stock 8.8 front and 9.75 rear axles and then finding a new transfer case. I was figuring the axles would have to be lengthened/shortened to line up with the ZF6. The new transfer case could be either electric or manual, the only issue with manual is I would have to figure out how to get a manual shifter in since mine is an electric. Also, was there ever an AWD transfer case that was used with these transmissions?

I don't know a ton about working on cars but my goal with this swap was to learn a ton, so bear with me because I'm still trying to learn. Hopefully it's similar to something like a 4bt swap so I can learn from one of those build threads.

Also, just for the sake of curiosity, would a 6.0 fit in my truck with a body lift? (Not that I would actually do that, I was just curious since it's the same drivetrain that I will be putting in)

And would an exhaust brake do much on a 4.5 powerstroke? They offer ones for the 6.0 that would probably work. I don't really tow anything so it's more just a gimmick but it would be nice to save brake pads.
 
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