Diesel World - - Diesel Engine Swaps -

an eye on your sus­pen­sion and steer­ing and make sure they can both sup­port the weight of a diesel and clear the en­gine it­self. The les­son here is to keep an eye out for what you might need at this junc­ture so you’re not stuck for weeks wait­ing on parts.

STEP SEVEN: Cut­ting, Trim­ming & Weld­ing

With an en­gine and trans­mis­sion mounted and the chas­sis and sus­pen­sion re­in­forced there’s still a ways to go, and this is of­ten the most time-con­sum­ing part. Un­less you’re just will­ing to chop up your en­tire car (say, a rat rod), it would prob­a­bly be nice to have things like a dash­board, fire­wall, in­ner fend­ers, trunk and the rest of your sheet metal. Un­less you’re shoot­ing for a swap into a sim­i­larly large truck, much of the sheet metal on your ve­hi­cle will need trim­ming or mas­sag­ing. The fire­wall may need to be moved back, the core sup­port mod­i­fied, or the hood may need a hole cut into it. On the inside, the ped­als and steer­ing col­umn may not line up any­more, or the trans­mis­sion tun­nel could re­quire some re­hash­ing if a large trans­mis­sion like an Al­li­son 1000 is be­ing used. There’s also gauges and gauge place­ment to think about, un­less you want a lot of stuff zip-tied to other stuff.

 The rear sus­pen­sion doesn’t have to be su­per com­pli­cated for it to work. Many choose to go a sim­ple leaf spring route, which han­dles power just fine.

 Body swaps are another com­mon form of swap. This Blazer ac­tu­ally isn’t all Blazer, but rather a Blazer body on a short­ened Dodge Ram chas­sis. This meant the fac­tory en­gine, trans­mis­sion and axle were all parts de­signed to work with a diesel en­gine.

 Any spare space you have in a diesel swap can be an as­set. Here, Mike Racke uses the big fend­ers on his ’55 panel van to hide the fac­tory Duramax com­puter.

 A non-truck rear end can be made to work, but it’s usu­ally not cheap, es­pe­cially with slicks. Ex­pect a fab­ri­cated hous­ing rear like this to run up­wards of $3,000.

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