Cummins 4BT & Diesel Conversions Forums banner

1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Guys I have a Ford 150 pick up truck but the gas price is killing me, so I wonder if I could get advice from ya all people over here ....And my first question is: Which 6 speed manual transmission is the perfect match the 4 bt?? .....Do i have to fabricate the engine mounts for the swap or are they available for sale?.....and the most important question .....How can I reduce noise and vibration to a minimum.....?:confused:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
500 Posts
Smooth Daily driver = Old Caddy RWD with a 5.7L :eek: but seriously - do the ends justify the means? Would it be cheaper to get a more economical vehicle or are you restricted because of work (You need a truck for tools, etc).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
477 Posts
Guys I have a Ford 150 pick up truck but the gas price is killing me, so I wonder if I could get advice from ya all people over here ....And my first question is: Which 6 speed manual transmission is the perfect match the 4 bt?? .....Do i have to fabricate the engine mounts for the swap or are they available for sale?.....and the most important question .....How can I reduce noise and vibration to a minimum.....?:confused:
If you don't need a truck pick out your favorite compact car and find a nice used one. You have to love the 4bt to make a conversion worth while. My Cavalier gets better fuel economy than I hope to get from my truck when it is finished. If gas is more expensive than diesel the fuel bill is a wash. The 4bt needs 10 qt of oil and an expensive filter at oil change time, then add the cost of the fuel filter. The compact car will need half the oil and a cheap filter. When the little car breaks and you don't have time to work on it any shop can. That is not the case with the diesel conversion. They say "You got WHAT?" When the little car needs tires all 4 cost less than $300. With a truck and the quality tires you need because of the diesel weight, $300 buys only 2 tires.
Thats my 2 cents worth.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
Hate to discourage you, but all the above advice is right. You really need to put the pencil to anything you may want to try. You might think about converting your PU to one of the modern propane conversions. I see you are in Tx., they have been supportive of this in the past. (Tax creidits ect). You still need to put the pencil to it. I built a full time propane engine (with 11 to 1 compression and a feadback system for my 140 mi. per day commute and it has served me well for about 2 1/2 years now. But thats a story for another forum. Even if I can get 30 mpg with my 4bt conversion it will still cost a little more to operate. I am building it just because. Good luck and sharpen that pencil
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,203 Posts
what about a 5 or 6 cylinder MB diesel instead of the 4bt? mid 80's MB's seem to be everywhere, and cheap. I haven't done all the research to validate the idea, but it seems like a decent way to go.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,391 Posts
The Cummins 4BT in stock trim in good condition will outlast 3-4 gasoline engines in similar useage. You can get 30+ mpg in a 5,500 lbs truck, I do all day long. If you install a bypass oil filtration system your oil useage is one quart for makeup in filter housing about once a year or so, no other additional 'oil change' required. Bypass filtration was offered by Cummins and some of their engines had no provision for any other filtration.

A 6 speed transmission shouldn't be necessary for what you describe as requirements but there's at least one Dodge version 6 speed that can be used with a Dodge adpater plate. They are pricey! A 5 speed should fill the bill for most common useage, such as an NV4500.

The swap can cost from maybe $3,000 to sky's the limit, with something like $5K-$6K about average. I haven't added it all up but $4,000+ for mine I'd say, give or take. Good fabrication skills are mandatory unless you want to double the cost of installation. A semester or two of night school classes will teach you welding while you search for the best deals. You need tool$ and a place to work, but I did mine in the back yard with a couple of 4'X8' sheets of 3/4" plywood for my 'shop' floor under and in front of truck.

The higher noise levels and some vibration cannot be avoided but like the Caddy comment, is it a truck you need or a luxo-plushed out cruisermobile?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,462 Posts
4BT with small block ford adapter and motor mounts= APPX $2000 or less
Ford M5R2 close ratio 5 speed= $200
80-97 300 six frame stands if your truck doesn't have them= $10 from U-pullit
Power steering/vacuum pump= $200 evilbay
New belt, hoses, misc= $200

That's a good recipe for 30 MPG in an 80-97 F-150 2wd for under $3000

Honestly, the 90's Ford 4BT swaps I've done have been rather quiet in the cab even with the cheez rubber mounts used. The exhaust noise with full 3" exhaust was a lot louder than the engine noise inside.

There is no cutting or modifying of anything for this. The only clearance issue is removing the rear 4BT lifting bracket from the head to clear the firewall and you can either beat in the firewall an inch above the rearmost valve cover for clearance to remove it or for the super easy method just remove the rear two injector lines when you need to adjust the valves and the rocker cover comes right off without any firewall modification.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,391 Posts
4BT with small block ford adapter and motor mounts= APPX $2000 or less
Ford M5R2 close ratio 5 speed= $200
80-97 300 six frame stands if your truck doesn't have them= $10 from U-pullit
Power steering/vacuum pump= $200 evilbay
New belt, hoses, misc= $200

That's a good recipe for 30 MPG in an 80-97 F-150 2wd for under $3000
Say, Dustin, once again a tranny I'm not familiar with. If the info is already here on the forum then disregard, otherwise I'm curious what they were used in and if you have experience with them behind a Cummins? Thanks...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
397 Posts
The Cummins 4BT in stock trim in good condition will outlast 3-4 gasoline engines in similar useage....
Devil's advocate:

I've owned and friends of mine have owned v8 gassers in trucks that went 200K+ miles and were still passing emissions testing without the engines(or heads) being rebuilt.

Perhaps this is an extreme example but a friend has 1995 F150 powered by a 351W with 215K miles on it. It has the original injectors, pump, spark plugs, plug wires, cap, rotor, O2 sensors, fuel filter, etc. All he has ever done is change the oil/filter and air filter. This truck is an extra cab, long bed with a full cap and ladder rack that's loaded down for his job in construction and driven many miles pulling trailers so it has not led an easy life either(will be on the 3rd E4OD trans here shortly).

How long does the fuel system(IP, injectors) last on a 4BT?

Why is it not unusual to find Cummins recons in the stepvans being surplussed?

I know diesels 'last' longer. They should. Compare piston speeds, valve opening rates, etc to gasoline engines and it makes sense(parts can be heavier without detriment and they move less and at slower speeds). I feel their superior longevity over gasoline engines is often inflated. Ie, low ball a gassers life span, and take max life span for the diesel when comparing.

On the noise issue, after driving around all day, the quiet after engine shutdown is very welcome to me, and that's with a gasoline engine. With a diesel it's incredible how fatiguing the noise is. But I'm not the young pup I used to be and I actually prefer a quiet vehicle, even a truck. Diesel engines' noise is the main complaint I have with them.

Ken
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,391 Posts
I'm getting to where I cannot even remember what it was like or if I ever actually was a young pup...?

That may have been a slight exagerration, probably better said as outlast 2 or 3 gassers. Depends on the brand too, but many are about all in at 150,000. I watch the Cummins ads on various websites and it's extremely rare to ever see one with a rebuilt engine, unless somebody tweaked it to the limits then blew it up or melted pistions with super high EGT's. I'm sure it happens, but I personally cannot remember one single Cummins 4BT or 6BT being rebuilt, unless it was hotrodded pretty hard.

From what I have read the Bosch VE pump lasts a few hundred thou miles. There's probably more engines out there that need inectors than get them, but yes, they need replacement. Compare that cost to ignition components, plugs, coils, wires, ignition modules, distributors, computers etc. over a gasser's lifetime, especially with a separate coil for each plug! Man, what a scam. A set of reman'd Cummins injectors is about $250 or so, and no electronic components except fuel valve. Rebuilt VE pump from $450 to $650. So maybe $700-$800 in parts in 500,000 miles, maybe? Fuel injected gassers need pumps and injectors way more often than that.

Another consideration: Cummins 4BT & 6BT are built of the finest materials and components available pretty much regardless of cost. I know of at least one automaker who uses cost as the bottom line for what goes in their vehicles, low bidder only and hopefully it will survive until the 1 or 2 year warranty is up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
A real cookbook.....Thanks

4BT with small block ford adapter and motor mounts= APPX $2000 or less
Ford M5R2 close ratio 5 speed= $200
80-97 300 six frame stands if your truck doesn't have them= $10 from U-pullit
Power steering/vacuum pump= $200 evilbay
New belt, hoses, misc= $200

That's a good recipe for 30 MPG in an 80-97 F-150 2wd for under $3000

Honestly, the 90's Ford 4BT swaps I've done have been rather quiet in the cab even with the cheez rubber mounts used. The exhaust noise with full 3" exhaust was a lot louder than the engine noise inside.

There is no cutting or modifying of anything for this. The only clearance issue is removing the rear 4BT lifting bracket from the head to clear the firewall and you can either beat in the firewall an inch above the rearmost valve cover for clearance to remove it or for the super easy method just remove the rear two injector lines when you need to adjust the valves and the rocker cover comes right off without any firewall modification.
We have a piece of equipment deliver from Mexico here in the plant and while unloading I hear one of the drivers conversation about buying a used 4bt to install it on a small bus... and I said .....What ?...:idea: .Can you run a bus with a 4 bt?.... a four cylinder ? He answer yes....

There have to be something going on here in USA about excessive fuel consumption and it is hurting my family's future I just can't go happily any more driving a vehicle that consume 640 dollars a month on fuel....

Check this out ....Converto Dexel Monterrey Mexico (5281) 81310200....Re manufactured isb 4bt engines 3800 dlrs....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
397 Posts
Would the owners of the stepvan fleets that were converted have used recons instead of new when the conversions were done? I only ask this because I've seen recons mentioned as what came in some of the stepvans more than a time or two. A quick search on this site alone yielded 5 different users with reconned 4BT.

So why the recons in stepvans? Was it replacing engines that really should've been repaired in frame, were they actually in need of recon, or were they recon when originally installed during a conversion? I realize #1 and #2 are not verifiable, but perhaps #3 could be.

Ken
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
4,164 Posts
In the beginning Frito-Lay started with new Cummins conversions. Most retained the four speed transmissions. As time progressed and due to the fact a lot of the drivers only knew how to drive automatics the vans were changed over to automatics. This was done on routine scheduled vehicle rebuilds by an outside contractor. The cost was over $8,000 per unit which included a replacement engine, transmission overhaul, chassis inspection and repair, and paintwork and decals. It was easier and quicker for them to have a replacement power unit on hand and ready to drop in than messing around with trying to do an inframe overhaul that would come with a Cummins approved warranty. You have to keep in mind also the fact that the speedometers were reset at each rebuild. I have one of the vans with a recon engine. The reason it appears to have been surplussed is a problem with a roof that rattles and leaks water. The current trend is to replace the fleet with six cylinder Ford vans because of the difference in replacement costs of the Ford engine vs the Cummins. They can get a fleet replacement cost on the Ford sixes and replace three of them compared to one Cummins engine.
My information is from one of Frito's area mechanics who I had long and interesting discussions with when I was looking at some local vans.

I also have had gasoline engines go over 200,000 miles without any problems.
But I would bet if you took one of those trucks you were talking about when it was at 100,000 miles and hooked an eighteen foot enclosed trail behind it and dropped it off at FritoLay and told them to use it and maintain it you would probably have never seen 150,000 miles on it. It's all in the maintenance and driver care that lets it go over 200,000 miles.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,203 Posts
My 360 had 220k on it when it came out of the durango, still running! I would like to see 400k+ on this chassis :D If the rest of the thing doesn't fall apart by then of course...

There's no reason in my mind that the 4bt won't last close to its' 500k mile service life. Dodge trucks fall apart long before the engines go. My buiddy put one in his Bronco with 300k miles or so, he then put an upgrade turbo/fuel plate/etc on it and hasn't had problems with it yet...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
397 Posts
Anyone know the B10/B50 life ratings that Cummins gives for the 4BT?(I don't mean to beat a dead horse here)

BobS, thanks for you informative response. It does elude to these recons being installed due to issues other than the engines themselves(the transmission being the factor requiring service).

Ken
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,462 Posts
The M5R2 5 speed is Fords light duty mazda built 5 speed used from 1989 to present day in F-150's, Bronco's and T-bird super coupes. The M5R2 holds up fine behind a 105 horse 4BT in a 5000 pound truck.

The 4BT's fail in stepvans regularly, but seams that's due to pretty severe abuse and neglect.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
What is the gear ratios of the M5R2 and is it the same thing as the Mazda/Toyo Kogyo trans? I had a salvage yard tell me it was today, but I was under the impression that the Mazda/Toyo/Kogyo was a much smaller trans used in the Ford Ranger and Mazda P.U.s. Remember "Its not what you know, its what you know that aint so." (I say that a lot).
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top