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Would it be correct to say that flywheel housing and governor are two critical factors when searching for a suitable engine for a vehicle swap? If so, would it be best to avoid industrial engines, or is it simple to replace governor and flywheel housing with a limiting speed/SAE #X? I’d like to get my hands on a 3-53 that’s closer to running condition as I slowly work on my 6v53. There are some on eBay that seem like decent deals, but I’m cautious about making large purchases without knowing enough. I apologize if this question has been answered in the past. Thanks, Charlie in Vancouver.
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
Would it be correct to say that flywheel housing and governor are two critical factors when searching for a suitable engine for a vehicle swap? If so, would it be best to avoid industrial engines, or is it simple to replace governor and flywheel housing with a limiting speed/SAE #X? I’d like to get my hands on a 3-53 that’s closer to running condition as I slowly work on my 6v53. There are some on eBay that seem like decent deals, but I’m cautious about making large purchases without knowing enough. I apologize if this question has been answered in the past. Thanks, Charlie in Vancouver.
Yes it's better to try and find the engine you want than one that needs a lot of parts. The best detroit for a swap is one that's already set up with the right governor and flywheel housing. The governor to get for auto use is D.W.L.S and either a #2 or #3 flywheel housing. If you can find a Gama goat 353, they came with automotive style flywheel housings so you could bolt up automotive 4-5 speeds etc. There are a couple different companies that make adapters to fit newer trans up to #1,2,3 housings so there's a lot of options. There's a lot of info in the Detroit section at the top of the page in the sticky section. What do you plan on putting the 353 in?
 

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Thanks A310! Would it be safe to say that a 5037 (F/W-vehicle,) and right hand rotation (-5xxx,6xxx,7xxx,8xxx) would fall into the category of having a DWLS governor and SAE #1-3 housing? Or, are there unusable variations within those model numbers. I’ve been enjoying reading the stickies. Lots of great info. My first goal is to get a hold of a running or close to running 3-53 so I can learn the engine. Then I’d like to swap it into my existing ‘94 F150 or, if that’s too much for her, then a 3/4 ton. No need to tow anything, just make some runs to get gravel or Home Depot. Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
Thanks A310! Would it be safe to say that a 5037 (F/W-vehicle,) and right hand rotation (-5xxx,6xxx,7xxx,8xxx) would fall into the category of having a DWLS governor and SAE #1-3 housing? Or, are there unusable variations within those model numbers. I’ve been enjoying reading the stickies. Lots of great info. My first goal is to get a hold of a running or close to running 3-53 so I can learn the engine. Then I’d like to swap it into my existing ‘94 F150 or, if that’s too much for her, then a 3/4 ton. No need to tow anything, just make some runs to get gravel or Home Depot. Thanks again.
Your welcome and yes you're correct. Here's a great site that covers a lot of information on Detroit's and one I used in choosing my engine for a swap. https://www.powerlinecomponents.com/literature/detroit_diesel/il53_model_chart.htm

Also a great source is the 2 volume service manual that covers the 53 series in detail. The 353 should be a great fit for your 94 F150, but you might want to consider finding a 353T as it would move your truck around much better. I'm swapping a 4-53T into my 2009 Ford F350 as we speak and really enjoying the experience. I've made pretty much everything for the build, so the costs have been low, but the hours of fabrication are high.:) I'm about 3-4 months away from completion.:)

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Motor vehicle Vehicle Engine Auto part Automotive engine part
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
I had 2 Gama goats engine last fall I sold and I had one couple years ago so they are still out there
True, I've stopped looking for parts now as I no longer have any room for more engines.:) They do come up from time to time and at the right price as well. I just picked up 2 blowers and a bunch of Detroit parts from an old Detroit mechanic, and will go get some more when my truck is done. His son works in a machine shop and said I could grab a rebuilt 353 block that never got used, but like I'll wait on that one. Thinking of repowering my 1965 Allis Chalmers forklift with a 353.:)
 

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Outstanding! I’ll take my time looking for a suitable 353(preferably 353t as recommended.) I initially thought about a 4bt and although they’re great, they just don’t do it for me like a Detroit does. I’ve got the pdf version of the manual which is very helpful. I’m interested to see how seamlessly your transmission bolts to the housing on your 3-53. Doesn’t look like any adapter required. That’s a neat looking build.
 

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The one I bought last fall it was on eBay for 500.00 it was a remand it was only 60 miles away from me They had a buy it now on it when I went to pick it up I ask him if he had any other detroit diesel parts I bought another one but they sold the head off it I paided 300.00 for that one I sold both to a guy
 

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I'm still here and I am a member of but not that active in the Detroit Enthusiast page too, just trying to soak up as much information as I can.
I dabbled in the Detroit section here on 4BTswaps a few years back when I was looking to put a 4-53T into a Dodge Carryall, but I ended up going with an ISB170 and Allison 1k for the "daily driveability sake"... Well, I still had the Detroit itch so when another Carryall showed up on my radar, I decided to grab it, and in luck for me was a DIRT cheap 4-53 en-route to where the Carryall was. The stars aligned and both are now in my possession but tucked away at the moment. Since then, a set of axles have fallen in my lap along with a freshly rebuilt Road Ranger RT610 10 Speed with the correct size bell to match my 4-53 flywheel housing. Doing some digging around I found the RT to RTO610 overdrive conversion kit and have that squirreled away with the transmission. The plan for the build is a WWII bomber themed truck. I'll run some large Michelins or MVTs on it with 20" MRAP wheels. The axles are 2-1/2 ton GM H110s from the early '50s so they have the shallower 6.17 gears. The project is still in the parts collection phase but I've got a lot of good stuff already. I'm almost finished up with the ISB170 Carryall, have to help my wife with her Airstream for a bit, but then I'll get to this truck. Honestly, its probably still about 3 years out at the speed of things lately. I have a garage addition in the works right now too. The truck has a really cool known history. It served in Brisbane Australia with the 13th Bomb Squadron servicing B-17s and B-25s from '42 to '45 and then was brought back to NC to work for a bit. I have found original markings under the paint and all the numbers match on the truck. Downside is that someone started a "restoration" on it and cut out a bunch of sheet metal, and lost a bunch of mechanical parts so it is not complete in that sense but that will keep the angry purists off of me for not "restoring" it back to original. Instead I am keeping it mostly as it is but making it mechanically functional.
 

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Thought I would post a pic of the LN8000 I'm currently slowly working on.
6V53, RT6610, R170 Rockwell single speed rear. So to be fitted with a 16ft tray top.

 

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Well, I brought home what I think is a decent 3-53 out of an International S-8 skidder. I am over the moon and I can’t wait to fire it up. It’s not totally what I was looking for, but it’s not seized, everything under rocker cover looks good and was ALLEGEDLY rebuilt not long before being put into storage. It is a 5033-5001 from early seventies and has, an SAE #3 flywheel housing, but a SW-VS governor. In preparation for start up, I’m going replace the primary and secondary fuel filter, oil filter and change the oil with 40 weight oil. I would like to hook up an oil pressure gauge. Would anyone suggest a particular location for oil pressure sensing? Thanks

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Discussion Starter · #55 ·
Well, I brought home what I think is a decent 3-53 out of an International S-8 skidder. I am over the moon and I can’t wait to fire it up. It’s not totally what I was looking for, but it’s not seized, everything under rocker cover looks good and was ALLEGEDLY rebuilt not long before being put into storage. It is a 5033-5001 from early seventies and has, an SAE #3 flywheel housing, but a SW-VS governor. In preparation for start up, I’m going replace the primary and secondary fuel filter, oil filter and change the oil with 40 weight oil. I would like to hook up an oil pressure gauge. Would anyone suggest a particular location for oil pressure sensing? Thanks

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Great news, You can usually get an oil port on the oil filter housing and if you don't have one there you can find many on your block. Have a look in your manual under lubrication section and it will list all the points to get oil pressure. Before you start the engine make sure to pull the valve cover and make sure all the rack and injectors move freely.
 

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Thanks A310! I will definitely make sure I’m ready to take control via the rack during start to prevent things getting too exciting. I made sure the rack was free when I was inspecting. For the life of me I couldn’t find that picture of the oil ports in the manual, although I’d seen it before, so thanks for the picture!
 

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Doesn't look like there is too much activity here.
Yeah, this forum averaged half a dozen or more posts a day 5 years ago, then a few of the more active members moved on and it has been in decline ever since. Once in a while someone will ask a question on how to put a Detroit in a chevy pick-up, but I don't know anything about them! bounce Seriously, I know several have been built, have you checked the sticky of build threads.
I've got a project involving a 6v53T going into a hot rod truck, (47 Autocar COE) but progress is slow and I have to build most of the truck before the engine work starts. Probably a year away yet!
 

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Doesn't look like there is too much activity here.
Yeah, this forum averaged half a dozen or more posts a day 5 years ago, then a few of the more active members moved on and it has been in decline ever since. Once in a while someone will ask a question on how to put a Detroit in a chevy pick-up, but I don't know anything about them!
Seriously, I know several have been built, have you checked the sticky of build threads.
I've got a project involving a 6v53T going into a hot rod truck, (47 Autocar COE) but progress is slow and I have to build most of the truck before the engine work starts. Probably a year away yet!
Thanks for your reply Steve, at least someone is listening. You're COE project sounds great!
 
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