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I don't have a diesel yet but am researching the possibilities of installing a diesel into my 50 Chevy 3/4 ton pickup. At first I was thinking of a 4-53T DD, and may go back to that. Someone on another board suggested a 4BT Cummins due to wider availability and maybe more transmission options. So that's why I'm here: to learn about Cummins. Anybody on here done/doing a swap in a 47-54 Chevy/GMC pickup? Thanks for any helpful suggestions, hints, tips or warnings. Thanks. :)
 

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Old iron ,
Glad to here some one likes the old iron,You'll have more choices with the 4b or 6b.

Ask any question that you have,we help each other out and we trade and sell parts to each other as well.

The plans for me down the road is a 49-53 Chevy Coe CTD tow rig.I hope to start some time next year .

Thanks
CrewCab59
 

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I love the 47 to 54 body style. I prefer the short bed 1/2 tons though.
One of the big questions in my mind is what are you going to do with the suspension? Stock? Those old dropped axle trucks don't ride or drive the best. Late model GM suspensions are to wide unless you narrow the sub. There is a followning putting those bodies on S-10 chassis but that isn't strong enough for the diesel. MII suspension is readily available for them if you want it low. If you went with the tubular A arms and heavy springs that might work.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
stock

Right now I am keeping the straight axle with plans to add 2 leaves to each side. I do have some concerns about the wheel bearings since the originals are ball and no tapered roller bearings are readily available. Prolly could use power steering too. I'm estimating an increase in engine weight of about 600# over the cast-iron stovebolt 6. I want to be able to haul and pull a heavy load so I'm going to keep the 4.57 rear end but I think I'll need a HD 5-speed/ OD transmission.
Thanks.
 

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IFS DB front clip?

Isn't is a common hot rod swap to put in a front frame clip out of a camaro or volare with disc brakes and the wishbone ifs?
Do you plan on some sound isulation? You will be hearing a little more than the whistle of the old sixbanger!
 

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It is a GM-corporate sometimes called a 10-bolt because it has a 10-bolt cover. Yes it is a front loader with removeable third member. Chevy used the same basic rear axle in 3/4-tons from 46-72 with very few changes.
 

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Have you considered just putting your body on a P20 van frame? It looks similar to the 55-59 3/4 & one ton GMC chassis. I can give you pictures of a P20 frame if you need them
 

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I don't have a diesel yet but am researching the possibilities of installing a diesel into my 50 Chevy 3/4 ton pickup. At first I was thinking of a 4-53T DD, and may go back to that. Someone on another board suggested a 4BT Cummins due to wider availability and maybe more transmission options. So that's why I'm here: to learn about Cummins. Anybody on here done/doing a swap in a 47-54 Chevy/GMC pickup? Thanks for any helpful suggestions, hints, tips or warnings. Thanks. :)
Forget the 4-53, a 3-53 weighs over 1000 pounds so the 4-53 is going to weigh 1300 pounds or better. A 4BT would be a lot better.
Is the truck 8-lug? My '51 F-2 was. If it is, a late-model Dana 60 with 3.54 or even 3.08 gears is ideal, you'll still want an overdrive though. This doesn't seem like an off-road project so you don't need that much gearing. See this guide and remember the stock 4BT is governed to about 2500 RPM.
There is a trick to install the '73-'87 Chevy front suspension into these trucks, I don't recall all the details but it drops out as an assembly from the donor truck and bolts into the '47-'55S1 trucks. I think it might have to be narrowed a bit, but it'll give you semi-modern disk brakes, power steering, IFS, etc.

CD
 

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There is a trick to install the '73-'87 Chevy front suspension into these trucks, I don't recall all the details but it drops out as an assembly from the donor truck and bolts into the '47-'55S1 trucks. I think it might have to be narrowed a bit, but it'll give you semi-modern disk brakes, power steering, IFS, etc.

CD
That front suspension is way to wide for the truck. It even causes tire clearance problems on the '60s trucks. The metric GM cars are the best but there width is still to wide. These trucks with front subframes normally have front tire to fender clearance problems. If using a subframe you need to narrow the subs width. By the time you reconstruct the core support, narrow the subframe, figure out where the centerline of the axle is so you get the sub in the right place it just isn't worth the time and effort. The best option is one of the MII street rod suspensions. These can be had with heavy springs. The rod shops won't know what a 4BT is so the best bet is to tell them is is a big block chevy with all the power accessories so you get the heavy springs. The MII suspensions are as strong as the GM subs. If you go that way make sure you get a setup without the front strut rods. That is the weak link on the MII setup. The strut rod bracket WILL break off the frame, it doesn't matter how well it's welded. Naturally you would want to get the biggest brakes available, but I wouldn't get one of the aftermarket brake setups. Get one that uses a factory caliper and rotor.
There is a new dropped axle available for this truck also. It lowers the front suspension. I don't know what is used for steering and brakes with it.
Thats my 2 cents.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Availability

How available are these motors (4BT)? Where should I look? What kinds/types/makes/models of vehicles had them? Thanks! ;)
 

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hello, again

Been away for awhile; too many irons in the fire. Still interested in a diesel swap in my 50 Chevy. I have since learned about the hundreds of step/box vans being sold by Frito-Lay and others with 4BT's in them, some with SM-465 4-speeds. I haven't had much time available to play with the old truck lately. Maybe I'll get back to it soon. ;)
Merry Christmas :)
 

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I have a 48 Chevy with a 4-53T. Not quite done yet, but still working on it.

For your 3/4 ton a 3-53 would be a better fit, less weight, and shorter.

I have talked to a guy with a 4BT in a 1 ton, he says it's almost bolt in, and used the original front mount. I have not seen it in person.

Have you seen this forum? http://www.stovebolt.com/ a great place for help with your Chevy.

There are pictures of my truck on the link below.

Grigg
 

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thanks

Thanks Grigg
I am Frank50 from Stovebolt. Still researching a diesel re-power for my Chevy. I found a 3-53 in a generator set next door to where I work. Haven't even priced. I'm not sure if that will give me what I want. Anyway, I appreciate you sharing your knowledge and experience. Good luck with your 48 2-Ton. :D
 

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I thought you sounded familiar..
Is your next step deciding on an engine then?

I would not even mess with a Detroit without the turbo, it's just not worth it when you can have the turbo and more power.
But it's not easy to just bolt a turbo on... Well, it is easy, but to do it right about every internal engine part except for the crank needs to be changed., pistons, rods, oil pump, liners, cam shaft, oil pickup, and a few other parts.
So, if you do decide to go Detroit, find a true turbocharged engine from the factory.

Grigg
 
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