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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to put an old 3-53 Detroit Diesel In my 4x4 82 F-250, just curious what i should be prepared for threw out the whole build and what reliable manual transmission would fit.
 

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A 3-53 in that heavy of vehicle will not be very useful. 4-53T would be better. Same transmissions, 5 speed min. I have a 10 speed in mine. I’cooler, beef up front springs, etc. Cruise at about 1750 RPM, so gear it appropriately. 4-53T takes up about same room as 6bt Cummins.

Ed in CO
 

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Thomas, there is a whole section on the forum for Detroit diesels that can be of help. Ed is right in that a 3-53 will be a bit under powered for a 3/4 ton truck. The 4-53 is what we normally see in those or if you're brave there have been a few 6V-53's done. Transmission wise, a 5 speed with OD would be the minimum. There is an adapter for the NV4500 which would be one possible unit. That kit is $1760 + frt fits the 3-53 or 4-53. Adapter Kit - Detroit 3-53 4-53 SAE 3 to NV4500 | eBay
 

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I just sold a 5 speed Clark with SAE 2 circular housing for 500 bucks . It was complete with parking brake and output flange . I also have an RT 610 Fuller ten speed with SAE 2 housing .Used parts are available , but you gotta know what you're lookin' for .
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
A 3-53 in that heavy of vehicle will not be very useful. 4-53T would be better. Same transmissions, 5 speed min. I have a 10 speed in mine. I’cooler, beef up front springs, etc. Cruise at about 1750 RPM, so gear it appropriately. 4-53T takes up about same room as 6bt Cummins.

Ed in CO
Do you think the 3-53 would just be slow (and how slow?) or would it have a hard time taking off with all the weight?
 

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Thomas-------One of the key points I was taught in the '70s as I became a sales rep for Detroit Diesel was to compare engine torque . A 3-53 has around 205 lb.ft. at about 16-1700 RPM. The point here is most people would never be satisfied if the torque was lower than original .engine . Not knowing what engine you are replacing, the 3-53 could match or exceed the old 235' Chevy or 239" Ford flathead , but a 300" Ford 6 cylinder has 265 lb ft, the 370 Ford V-8 also at 265 lb ft., but the 429 Ford V-8 had 326 lb ft , and 460 Ford V-8 had 390 Lb Ft. I copied these ratings from a multipage brochure from a company called Powermark, that was promoting the Cummins RECON engines and POWERMARK conversion kits . I don't think you'd want to drive your truck ...............unless you considered a 4-53 with 282 lb ft .
 

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Neodan, you are very correct. Torque is your friend, especially in a truck. 205 lb ft is pretty weak. A base Cummins 4bt was 265 lb ft which made it an ideal candidate to put in the Ford and Chevy delivery vans. The 130 HP model pushed that up to 325 lb ft which equaled a big block engine. Most guys look for the 4-53T which has torque a little over 400 lb ft as the ideal engine. The one big drawback on Detroit engines is weight which can be up around 1300 lbs for a 4-53T.
 

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With your deep pockets, and only object is to "roll coal", it doesn't make much difference on your transmission selection, but the fewer gears it has, you're more likely to be operating way under peak torque , resulting in more smoke that you desire .
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Thomas-------One of the key points I was taught in the '70s as I became a sales rep for Detroit Diesel was to compare engine torque . A 3-53 has around 205 lb.ft. at about 16-1700 RPM. The point here is most people would never be satisfied if the torque was lower than original .engine . Not knowing what engine you are replacing, the 3-53 could match or exceed the old 235' Chevy or 239" Ford flathead , but a 300" Ford 6 cylinder has 265 lb ft, the 370 Ford V-8 also at 265 lb ft., but the 429 Ford V-8 had 326 lb ft , and 460 Ford V-8 had 390 Lb Ft. I copied these ratings from a multipage brochure from a company called Powermark, that was promoting the Cummins RECON engines and POWERMARK conversion kits . I don't think you'd want to drive your truck ...............unless you considered a 4-53 with 282 lb ft .
The engine i have in it right now is a 454 (wich i assume is the stock engine) but it doesn’t run and we want it as a spare for our irrigation rig, we have the 3-53 sitting in a shed, it runs good and we don’t use it. I don’t expect it to go 85mph down interstate, the most it would ever go is 60mph for about a 30mile trip. Lol it’ll be a project to show off to my buddies basically.
 

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Yeah, that sounds more like it. Is your truck an F250 or F250HD? Back in those days they had a light duty and heavy duty model. The light duty model has a weird 8 lug 6" bolt pattern on the axles where the HD has an 8 lug 6.75" bolt pattern full floating axle. The weight of the truck will depend on which version and which cab type you have, bed length, and whether it is an LD or HD. If you look on the door post on the driver's side there should be a tag that gives GVWR. The other number you need to know is payload. The difference in those 2 number is the gross vehicle weight. As far a rolling coal, that's OK just to show off but very wasteful. You expect to see that on drag racing and sled pulling trucks that are extremely over fueled. In 1982 Ford had 2 different 351 engines. Both had 136 HP and 262 lb ft of torque. Seems like we had a member who was racing a 3-53 and putting out some serious power. Must remember there are a lot of versions of the 3-53. The 3-53N, 3-53T, 3-53 Silver, and you had aluminum blocks on military models. Don't know how much power you can squeeze out of one and keep it in one piece.
 
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