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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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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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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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