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Hello all thank you for having me on the site!!
I am wanting to swap a diesel into my ford explorer which currently has the 4.0L SOHC engine and 5R55E Automatic transmission from which iv'e read will not hold up to a diesel due to low end torque. I am at a toss up between putting in a 4BT cummins ,TDI or a v2203 kubota. It would be used as a Daily driver with occasional towing not exceeding 5,000 lbs. Any help and or suggestions are welcome and much appreciated, also which transmission should I use? Can I keep my 5R55E and just build it up?? or should I use a different Transmission (Automatic only please). Please no negative comments,

Thank you all in Advance for Any advice or suggestions.
 

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V2203di ( I am a bit biased) and a 6r80 6speed with our newest adapter and a US shift controller for the 6r80. Or hold out another couple months and go a 10r80 when US shift releases that controller.

VW would work well but electronics aren’t everyone’s favorite game but they can pack some power in that little package.

4bt is to big/ heavy for my experience and needs lots of other components upgraded
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Ok Thank you, What all would it take to swap in the v2203? Could I get enough power out of it to occasionally tow up to 5,000 lbs? Also would I be able to run used WMO and WVO? Also if at all possible I want to keep it 4WD. Would the 6R80 or 10R80 allow for that?
 

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I am at a toss up between putting in a 4BT cummins ,TDI or a v2203 kubota.
To your list, I would add the 5- and 6-clynder Mercedes.

I also think now would be a good time to Google around for Explorer build threads...see what others have already done...and, the issues they encountered.

Last, I'd take the 4BT off your list. Tall and heavy will add considerably to the cost or difficulty.

Roy
 

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The 4BT has been done in Explorers and Rangers, which have the same engine bay. I rode in a 4BT Ranger that was hopped up a little and it went pretty well. But it really is too big, or more accurately, too heavy.

One of the best Explorer swaps I've seen on here is a Cummins 3.3L.

I've ridden in a 1.9L VW swapped 4Runner and it was a dog. I don't think he had it tuned right though.

I started to do a 3.9L Isuzu swap in an Explorer. It fit well and is a little lighter than the 4BT. In the end that vehicle no longer made sense for my usage. It's now going into a half ton.

The Kubota makes a lot of sense to me for a stockish Explorer now and I'd probably start there if it was me.
 

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You have quite a few options on engines and transmissions. At the top of the list would be a Cummins R2.8. Brand new engine, probably won't find a used one, and a bit on the expensive side. You might spend $12,000-15,000 for the engine and install parts. Not a cheap option. Next in the Cummins line would be the 4bt 3.3 L engine. Not so common in swaps but could be done. The most common one on the forum has been the 4bt 3.9. A lot more optional equipment available for that engine. Down side on that one is weight. Weighs around 750 lbs but has been done fairly often in you size vehicle. In the same league is the ISBe 3.9 which is all computer controlled and a bit more complex to install. As far as Ford transmissions go, the one you have wouldn't be suitable. Either an E4OD or 4R100 would be more suitable. Those came behind Ford diesels and can be adapted to the Cummins. Both are computer controlled so you'd need an outboard controller. Doing an automatic behind a diesel is never the cheapest avenue. The vast majority of swaps you'll find on the forum are manual transmissions. If an automatic is desired most tend to use the Dodge automatics that came behind the Cummins. We have few using the GM 4L80e, one of the Fords, and a few Allison 1000. The Mercedes 5 or 6 cylinders have been mentioned. They could be done. They are a somewhat different animal compared to a Cummins. They are usually higher revving engines with less torque. Same goes for the VW TDI. Kubota is mainly a tractor engine but can be adapted to highway use. The main issue with some of the smaller, light weight diesels might be your towing. That could also depend on whether you're on flat ground or hills. Now if you wanted to do a somewhat wild swap, you could search for a wrecked Nissan Titan that has the 5.0 L Cummins V8. That one has 310 HP and would make your Explorer into a rocket sled. There's a used engine, transmission, and transfer case on ebay for $9,000. Not cheap but one can dream.
 

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Swaps like this take lots of time and fabrication skills. If you stuff a small diesel in a mid size vehicle there is always hurdles. Gearing, tire size and transmission can make or break a build like this.

WMO and WVO are best on IDI motors due to injector nozzle holes being larger.

A IDI is going to be 10-15% less efficient over the DI

planning on towing means you need to get the gearing choices even better in my opinion.
That is one reason I suggested the 6r80 and 10r80. More gears keeps the engine in its torque band.

the 6r80 and 10r80 are from the f150. Can be had in a 4wd option. I am making a custom adapter to bolt up to a old school np205 for my sons s10 but I know ADvanced adapters makes adapters for them





Ok Thank you, What all would it take to swap in the v2203? Could I get enough power out of it to occasionally tow up to 5,000 lbs? Also would I be able to run used WMO and WVO? Also if at all possible I want to keep it 4WD. Would the 6R80 or 10R80 allow for that?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Swaps like this take lots of time and fabrication skills. If you stuff a small diesel in a mid size vehicle there is always hurdles. Gearing, tire size and transmission can make or break a build like this.

WMO and WVO are best on IDI motors due to injector nozzle holes being larger.

A IDI is going to be 10-15% less efficient over the DI

planning on towing means you need to get the gearing choices even better in my opinion.
That is one reason I suggested the 6r80 and 10r80. More gears keeps the engine in its torque band.

the 6r80 and 10r80 are from the f150. Can be had in a 4wd option. I am making a custom adapter to bolt up to a old school np205 for my sons s10 but I know ADvanced adapters makes adapters for them
Ok, what would be the best turbo and is there bigger injectors I can put in for more power?
 

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I do not know of anyone that has “maxed” out injectors or pump yet. I plan to on my build for my sons SAS s10.

we make just 100hp /250+ ft lbs to the wheels at 1800 thru a 5 speed. Basicly the same power as a stock ve pump 4bt.



Ok, what would be the best turbo and is there bigger injectors I can put in for more power?
 

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I have a 2002 Ranger and did the VW TDI ALH with an AX15 out of a Dakota swap on. I bought the adapter from EVguy's company to go to the Dodge/Jeep 4.0L bolt bellhousing. I chose that, rather than going straight to the 4.0 or 3.0 Ford because of the ability to run a larger clutch and flywheel.

The engine has a vnt17 turbo and bigger injectors and with the Malone stage 4 tune should be at about the most power I can get without new rods etc.

I used the wiring information posted over at TDIclub mostly from Greengeeker to modify the donor car's harness (03 Jetta automatic) and while it wasn't easy, it worked out. Ford likes to totally change the positions of wires in connectors frequently and that makes you have to dig into the wiring manuals deeper. Oddly enough, the Clymer manual will get to most of the way on the VW side.

All that being said, The truck runs like a scalded cat, the gauges all work, and it looks pretty much stock and it freaks people out seeing the "turbo diesel" badges and then seeing an engine painted Cat yellow in the bay. I have passed 30K miles on the conversion.
 

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I have a 2002 Ranger and did the VW TDI ALH with an AX15 out of a Dakota swap on. I bought the adapter from EVguy's company to go to the Dodge/Jeep 4.0L bolt bellhousing. I chose that, rather than going straight to the 4.0 or 3.0 Ford because of the ability to run a larger clutch and flywheel.

The engine has a vnt17 turbo and bigger injectors and with the Malone stage 4 tune should be at about the most power I can get without new rods etc.

I used the wiring information posted over at TDIclub mostly from Greengeeker to modify the donor car's harness (03 Jetta automatic) and while it wasn't easy, it worked out. Ford likes to totally change the positions of wires in connectors frequently and that makes you have to dig into the wiring manuals deeper. Oddly enough, the Clymer manual will get to most of the way on the VW side.

All that being said, The truck runs like a scalded cat, the gauges all work, and it looks pretty much stock and it freaks people out seeing the "turbo diesel" badges and then seeing an engine painted Cat yellow in the bay. I have passed 30K miles on the conversion.

Cool. Got a build thread? How about a pic of the motor in the truck?

Roy
 
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