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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all. This is my first post here. I've got a 1951 International L110 (half ton) truck project. I'm planning to junk the stock straight six and crashbox for a different drivetrain. I'm looking to make a 100% reliable daily driver out of the truck, and a 4BT/NV3500 combo looks damn near perfect. Obviously, this would be an expensive swap, and my question is this:

How reliable are these used (180,000 mile) step van engines versus paying through the nose for a rebuilt/warrantied engine? An optimistic goal for me is to assemble a drivetrain good for 100,000 miles. In general, how much solid service can I expect out of a used engine?
 

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All bearings, rings, seals and taking the parts to a machine shop to have them tanked, the block berry honed and the crank polished will run you under $600.

This route means you have to have the tools and knowhow to disassemble and assemble the engine, but they are pretty simple.

If you want the assurance everything is spot on inside then this is the best route to go. At 180K you may find everything is perfect inside, you may also find the oil was never changed and the bearings and cam are beat up.

This doesn't include injectors or pump work. These could add another $1000+ to your cost depending on thier condition and who does the work, if you do anything with them at all.
 

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I just cleaned mine up, changed some gaskets and painted it. I'm gunna see just how many miles I can get out of it without a rebuild! I did have to change the head gasket before I put the motor in and the cylinder walls looked brand new!!!
 

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I've successfully rebuilt several gasoline engines, so going through the basic engine block myself is do-able. I've never worked on a diesel or turbo engine before, so I guess I'm a little intimidated by those aspects. I just don't have experience troubleshooting the pump, injectors, and turbo.

Maybe a good plan would be to rebuild the block, get'er installed and troubleshoot those systems on a running vehicle? I guess if I save $1000 or more it would be worth it. As long as I don't have to pull the motor to fix something after-the-fact, I don't mind a little work under the hood to get things running solid.
 

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You'd probably have better luck with a ragged out 4bt than the 3500 tranny. A 4bt that has spent its life in a breadvan did nothing more than haul bags of air while set at the weakest settings possible. You wouldnt believe how de-tuned those things are, Ive been through several and they are all guttless in the van but after a screwdriver and some sockets its crankin some power.

The hardest day that 4bt had is by far nowhere near its mechanical threshold. So most will be in great shape minus the basic seals and gaskets.

As far as what I said about the tranny, the stock input torque on that tranny is 300 ft lbs, if its an HD3500 its 340......already flirting with exceeding its specs before even turning the 4b up.
 

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Do the B series engines have replaceable cylinder liners? Or for a proper rebuild do you have to have it bored?

Grigg
 

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Ooops - I meant an NV4500.

I'll probably leave the motor pretty de-tuned though. Not so much for durability, but simple milage. I'm not building a tow vehicle, or a rock crawler. Actually, that's the big selling point for me on these engines, the fact that I can chug around all day and get decent economy.

Of course if I get one, there inevitably will be some point where I turn it up just to see what it will do. After that point, it might be hard to go back.
 

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Do the B series engines have replaceable cylinder liners? Or for a proper rebuild do you have to have it bored?

Grigg
Rebore, no liners for a standard overhaul. Repair sleeves available for damaged bores but I have never seen one installed.
 

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NV4500.....sweet! That binder is in GREAT shape. Good luck with the build.
 

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Oh Boy another Binder pilot!!bounce Us guys need to stick together. Your in the right place to learn about the 4bt swap. Im doing the same thing to a 64 IHC C900. It will be a daily driver/ road tripper. Another good source for IHC info is Binder Bulletin. If this is your first IH you need to know that your life has just become a scavenger hunt. LOL.:dustin:
 

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My 4BT was perfect at 180K, for what its worth. The $15 Harbor Freight diesel compression tester comes with an adapter for the Cummins (even though it is not listed). I am replacing my head gasket as there are some mild cooland and oil leaks and regasketing, but I won't have the time and labor and cost of a rebuild into it. Maybe $500 versus say $1500 or so... I am comfortable driving a bottom end with 180K with perfect compression... I know that it seated and ran right and no possibly rebuild issues, though rebuilds are not tough and typically last just fine...
 

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Yes, this is my first Binder. I've been trolling both the Binder Bulletin and OldIHC for information and ideas. Looks like parts are tough to find and expensive. I hate to scrap the stock motor, but after pricing out rebuild parts, I decided it's just not worth it. There virtually no upgrades for the engine, and I'd like to build something capable of more than 55mph.

I love the truck though, especially since it's not a Chevy or Ford (no offence intended to anyone.) I just like the fact that, when I'm done, I'll have a really unique vehicle.
 

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I'd like to build something capable of more than 55mph.
What are your plans for better brakes and faster gears/overdrive so you can go faster and do it safely?

Grigg
 

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If you take the time to rebuild the engine would it be worthwhile to have all of the rotating parts be balanced out?
 

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For brakes: disks up front for sure. I'm possibly going to swap in a subframe with an IFS/disk brake setup from another vehicle (So it's certain I'll have some Ford or Chevy in there somewhere). I'm still researching that one, but it looks like a Chevy C10 or Ford Aerostar have some potential. I've got a few more trips to the junkyard ahead before I decide.

Also, with the gearing, I still need to crunch the numbers. I've seen several gearing discussions here in this forum, along with some gearing spreadsheets, I just haven't done the dirty work yet.

I'll have the body off of the frame at some point in the proccess, and I'm thinking I can fit an under-the-floorboard power brake booster and larger diameter master cylender at that time.

I've got a ton of research and planning ahead of me. In the meantime, I've got about a years-worth of body work to keep me going while I get a complete plan togeather.
 

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Sounds like a plan.

You should probably use a hydrobooster for the brakes. I have had good luck with them, and they do fit very nicely under the floor.

Have you considered keeping a straight front axle and not doing the whole clip thing?

Take a look at my pictures on the link below, I have put disc brakes under few old trucks, and Hydroboosters.

Grigg
 

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Oh Boy another Binder pilot!!bounce Us guys need to stick together.
Ain't that the truth! bounce

Chad, if you read my signature you will see that I did the same thing as you are contemplating, just with a slightly newer International. As far as being reliable, I pulled my 87,000 mile 4BTA from the breadvan, pressure washed it, and put it in my truck. That was over 10,000 miles ago, and at least 50% of that 10K has been interstate miles pulling a 20' trailer (combined truck/trailer weight empty - 9200lbs., been as heavy as 13,700 lbs. loaded) at 65-70mph. In those first 10,000 miles, I have had zero breakdowns or repairs; I just found a leaky injector line a couple of days ago that I am going to have to call my first engine repair. Good luck, and welcome to the board!
 

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Wow, thanks everyone for the advice and encouragement. I'm feeling allot more confident about doing this knowing there's a great bunch of people to help if I get stuck. I don't think I'd even consider this swap if there wasn't a knowledge base to fall back on.
 

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Chad,
That is a super solid truck. I wish I could find one like that here in the rust belt. I have built some rust buckets before and I always swear that it is worth spending 3 times as much and buying a better starter vehicle. I nearly bought one like yours before I bought my Chevy. I wish I would have now. I like the body styles on those!
You need to be very concerned about front suspension width if you are considering a subframe swap. I am not sure of the width of the IH trucks but I suppose they are close to the Ford/GM trucks of the year. The late model suspensions are just to wide. I am building a '62 Chevy PU. I have it on a '84 frame. The front and rear track width is borderline to wide. I am using GM rally truck wheels. The fronts are 15 x 6.5 from a van. The rear are 15 x 8 from a truck. I have a stepside bed. I am going to have to widen my rear fenders about an inch to clear the tires.
I am a street rodder and have built several rods. I really like the MII front suspensions. It sounds like they would be weak but they are tough if you buy a nice aftermarket crossmember and lower A arms with the rod removed and a true A setup. Springs are available for heavy weight vehicles. Because of the added weight of the 4bt I have located my engine as far back as possible in the engine bay. I had to put a recess in the firewall for exhaust clearance.
Good luck!
 
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