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Discussion Starter #1
Could someone please tell me approximately when the air/water intercooled 4bta engines came on the scene and were they used as extensively in the uniform, bread, type vehicles as the standard non-intercooled 4bts? The only ones I've found around here are the base 4bts.
I'ld like to buy a complete 4-spd vehicle just to ensure having most of the needed componants for the swap.
Any suggestions as to what years, models, or other possible optional choices is definatly welcome. Thanks in advance for any input.

Al
 

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4BTA really isn't that big a deal and like most of the 4BT stuff there appears to be no 100% consistent rhyme or reason, just is that way in some of them. The Chevy bread trucks I have seen 4BTA are all air to air, appear to be slightly later conversions ('91ish and later would be my guess). My first 4BT swap was a 4BTA. Again nothing special, and I almost swear the reuglar 4BTs seem to run a little tighter. My current 4BT definetely accelerated better, and I plan to make it a '4BTA' with an air/air intercooler and turn up the fuel a hair and it should run great and very powerfully...
 

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I plan to make it a '4BTA' with an air/air intercooler and turn up the fuel a hair and it should run great and very powerfully...
Amen. Easy for anyone to do.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The main reason I'm shopping for the w/a 4bta is because of limited area in the front of the vehicle for a home-brewed a/a intercooler. With all the AC componants I've got up front, a w/a system would seem the way to go. I figure any cooling of the intake charge has got to be far superior to the standard non-intercooled units.
I'm confused on what their designations are. My understanding is the 4b is non turboed, the 4bt is the turboed non intercooled, the 4bta is the turboed water/air intercooled, and the 4btaa is the turboed air/air unit. Is this correct?
 

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The main reason I'm shopping for the w/a 4bta is because of limited area in the front of the vehicle for a home-brewed a/a intercooler. With all the AC componants I've got up front, a w/a system would seem the way to go. I figure any cooling of the intake charge has got to be far superior to the standard non-intercooled units.
I'm confused on what their designations are. My understanding is the 4b is non turboed, the 4bt is the turboed non intercooled, the 4bta is the turboed water/air intercooled, and thebo 4btaa is the turboed air/air unit. Is this correct?
4bta
4 # of cylinders
b series of engine
t turbo
a aftercooler water or intercooler air to air.

Scott
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks Scott for the clarification. Anyone else that can chime in on any specific years for the w/a units, I'ld appreciate it.

Al
 

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4BTA really isn't that big a deal and like most of the 4BT stuff there appears to be no 100% consistent rhyme or reason, just is that way in some of them. The Chevy bread trucks I have seen 4BTA are all air to air, appear to be slightly later conversions ('91ish and later would be my guess). My first 4BT swap was a 4BTA. Again nothing special, and I almost swear the reuglar 4BTs seem to run a little tighter. My current 4BT definetely accelerated better, and I plan to make it a '4BTA' with an air/air intercooler and turn up the fuel a hair and it should run great and very powerfully...

4bta came with a TH475 behind it...all gm. not sure about the van being a gm chassis, but i would guess that it was.

I agree with the statements though, in stock form, the 4bta has a higher rated output, but the potential is there for both.
 

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Thanks Scott for the clarification. Anyone else that can chime in on any specific years for the w/a units, I'ld appreciate it.

Al
My 4bta came from a Frito Lay van that was converted to Diesel in 1992. It was a Cummins Recon unit that was reconned in 1992. The Van was a Gruman Olsen. Had a chevy style adapter with an SM465 trans.
Bob B.
 

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Same here but mine was a '91 and had the GM TH475 (beefy version of TH400) 3 speed GM auto. GM chassis, Grumman body, recon from gas 350 to the diesel, the truck was a '81 or so. I've never seen a standard 4BTA either... But I'm sure they exist... The water/air, not sure where they came from either. But several people have them and my96z is selling his/looking to trade his for a air/air setup. I would let the engine find you regardless of what it is, and make the swap... Unless you do find a water/air model easily and quickly and reasonably priced near you. All parts of all 4BTs and even 6BT stuff for the most part interchanges.. Hope it helps...
 

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The aftercooler or intercooler are hit and miss ,no year or body style or make .

Now size does make a dfference 16' 18 ' from time to time will have them.The other thing depends on the if the van was a city driver or longer hauls .The ones I had were 16' was a water aftercooler and 18' is a intercooler , both were chevy chassis .

Scott
 

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My '87 18' Frito van (GM chassis) had the aftercooler (120hp 4bta). According to the info with the van (tag on the engine and rebuild sticker on the van) this appears to be the original engine installed when it was rebuilt in the early 90's (can't remember the year right now).

Jim
 

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Intercooler

The water intercooler was used on all of the 4BTA's in the construction/industrial applications....I have one of the newer style that uses the spacer plate if you are interested, probably have the tubing to plumb as well, with the exception of the tube that goes into the head, that can be bought at pretty much any dealer/distributor.
 

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The Water aftercooler was used on CPL 857 automotive engines. I have CPL 857's Water Aftercooler in my Carryall and M37, both came from Chevy Vans and were 1999 Cummins Recons

Paul
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks guys, I really appreciate the help.
I was thinking of just buying a truck with the 4bt and converting it to the w/a intercooler but noticed in one of the other posts that I would have to change the fuel lines, turbo, possably the pump calibration and some other odds and ends. Changed my mind and figured the easiest way to do it is get the right engine to start with. I also noticed what Mallo986 said, the w/a units were used in the construction/industial equipment extensively. Being a California resident, would I not have to have the tag or sticker that says DOT compliant? Is such a tag or sticker on said construction/industrial engines? And yes, I very well might be interested in the w/a componants you have Mallo986, just not sure yet.
I want to get a GM model 4bta for the power steering instead of the VP so as to install a hydroboost in place of the vacume power boost that originally came on the truck.
Since I have allready aquired a tranny and OD, I believe I have to use the Ford adaptor and basic T-19 clutch componants. Is this assumption correct? If I do in fact end up with a GM model hopefully someone here on the board will have the Ford stuff needed and want to do some swapping or selling.
Could someone tell me aproximately what kind of mileage these motors normally have on them being that most of them are well over ten years old? I drive a semi for a living and know just how fast the miles can add up. I just don't want to pick up a unit that actually has a million two hundred thousand instead of the odometer reading of two hundred thousand having been rolled over at a million miles.
Now for the dumba$$ question of the day.
What is the difference between a intercooler and an aftercooler?
Thanks again guys, you've been great.

Al
 

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Thanks guys, I really appreciate the help.
I was thinking of just buying a truck with the 4bt and converting it to the w/a intercooler but noticed in one of the other posts that I would have to change the fuel lines, turbo, possably the pump calibration and some other odds and ends. Changed my mind and figured the easiest way to do it is get the right engine to start with.
I may be wrong, but unless you're swapping from a VE pump to a P7100, then you don't have to swap injector lines. Not all the BTAs were P7100s, right? I think all the 120HP BTAs were VE, and the 130HP BTAs were P7100. (Mine has a JWAC, is a CPL 857 Recon from 1998, and she's got a VE pump. Injector lines seem to be the same as those on the non JWAC or CAC units, but I've not had them side by side to compare..) As far as pump calibrations go, it's just a few screws that you were likely to be turning anyway. Turbos are the same, IIRC.

I also noticed what Mallo986 said, the w/a units were used in the construction/industial equipment extensively. Being a California resident, would I not have to have the tag or sticker that says DOT compliant? Is such a tag or sticker on said construction/industrial engines? And yes, I very well might be interested in the w/a componants you have Mallo986, just not sure yet.
From what I've heard on things in the People's Republic of California on this site (and others) is that you want to go to the DMV, get them to swap your fuel type, and then no smog checks.. I've not seen a single post where they looked for an EPA cert or anything of that nature. If they were checking the EPA certs, then no one would be able to get away with a swap into anything less than a 3/4 ton truck (>8500LB GVWR) for Model Years earlier than 1995, and nothing lighter than 14000 LB GVWR for MY 1995 and up..

If it did come down to the question of "is it automotive or not", then they should have the resources to determine that status from the CPL on the data tag. Note that an Intercooler / Aftercooler was considered a NON-SMOG item on gassers back in the day when I had to worry about 'em there, adding one to an engine that didn't have one in the first place didn't even raise eyebrows at the smog check.

Could someone tell me aproximately what kind of mileage these motors normally have on them being that most of them are well over ten years old? I drive a semi for a living and know just how fast the miles can add up. I just don't want to pick up a unit that actually has a million two hundred thousand instead of the odometer reading of two hundred thousand having been rolled over at a million miles.
A lot of these were used for in-town delivery routes, so mileage may be misleading. Mine was converted in 1998, and per the odometer and records from Frito-Lay it's put on 105K since then (but I have been told that this engine was rebuilt since then, not due to failure, though..). This means they're likely to have a lot of startup / shutdown cycles, a lot of hours, but not a lot of miles for the timeframe. Best bet is to check it out as much as possible beforehand. How's it start cold, smoke, oil appearance / smell, and such. Compression check is great if you can get one, and see if you can't take a look at the turbo inlet / compressor outlet.


Now for the dumba$$ question of the day.
What is the difference between a intercooler and an aftercooler?
Thanks again guys, you've been great.

Al
The way I've learned it is that an intercooler is used to cool the air charge between stages of air compression. Technically correct to use it only if you had twin turbos or a turbo feeding a mechanical supercharger (though not always.. 2 smoke, er, stroke Detroits that had superchargers were considered to be Normally Aspirated, if what I've read is correct, so then it might NOT be an intercooler if between the turbo and that supercharger on those).

The term aftercooler is for any charge air cooler that is located after the last stage of charge air compression, which is what we're talking about on single turbo / stage units.
 

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The way I've learned it is that an intercooler is used to cool the air charge between stages of air compression. Technically correct to use it only if you had twin turbos or a turbo feeding a mechanical supercharger (though not always.. 2 smoke, er, stroke Detroits that had superchargers were considered to be Normally Aspirated, if what I've read is correct, so then it might NOT be an intercooler if between the turbo and that supercharger on those).

For Detroits, you are correct, what they call a "naturally" or "normally" aspirated always has a supercharger. A Detroit will not run without one.

Some Detroits have a charge air cooler between the blower and the block, water cooled wither with raw water, or engine coolant. This type is called an "after cooler" and as such it is after everything, turbo and blower.

Detroits can also have air to air "inter coolers" on some turbocharged models. This will be in line between the turbo and the blower inlet.

Some engines will have one type and not the other, and the terminology is the same, in the block is an "after cooler" and between turbo and blower is "inter cooler".

I feel that if you only have a turbo (no blower) then you could call either what ever you want. That said, an air to air type is most often an "inter cooler", and the water one in the intake manifold I think of as an "after cooler" (probably because I think about Detroits) technically I suppose you could call the water one an "inter cooler", and many people do.

Grigg
 

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I may be wrong, but unless you're swapping from a VE pump to a P7100, then you don't have to swap injector lines. Injector lines seem to be the same as those on the non JWAC or CAC units, but I've not had them side by side to compare.
The non-JWAC engine have the injector lines run right over the top of the intake plate, so the lines would not work if you swapped on the JWAC aftercooler. (I think)
 

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fuel lines

the fuel lines on the 4BT engine come over the top and the water jacket cooler requires them to go around the front and the back...I hav e seen a few that routed the lines around the front and back that were BT's but not many....my experience with these on the most part is Construction/Industrial...and in our Bonneville Salt Flats cars, so, I'm sure I haven't seen nearly as much as some of these folks on this forum....sorry if I've created any issues....I'm done.
 

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Dustin's (Average F250) engine:

 

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Dustin's (Average F250) engine:

Linc,

The link doesn't link..


Well, it gives me a "no permission" page:

"Sorry but you are not authorized to view or download this Attachment"
 
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