Diesel World - - Diesel Engine Swaps -

such a resur­gence in early 12-valve Cummins swaps. If you’re not a com­puter per­son, your other op­tion is a body swap (an old body on a new frame and pow­er­train) or buy­ing your way out of the prob­lem with a diesel-swap har­ness. Duramax har­nesses are prob­a­bly the most pop­u­lar, but if a $1,000-plus price tag (plus a donor har­ness) scares you, then it might be time to re-think things. Trans­mis­sions like the 4R100, 47RE and Al­li­son 1000 also re­quire quite a bit of elec­tri­cal work, which is why many folks choose to go with a man­ual trans­mis­sion swap or an early non-elec­tron­i­cally con­trolled 47RH Dodge trans­mis­sion.

STEP FOUR: Sourc­ing a Donor En­gine & Trans­mis­sion

There are a cou­ple ways to buy an en­gine and trans­mis­sion for your diesel swap: the easy way and the hard way. By far the eas­i­est way is to get a com­plete donor ve­hi­cle that’s been wrecked or needs work. You’re not go­ing to use the body (we’re guess­ing), so a wrecked ve­hi­cle is usu­ally the cheap­est. The hard way is to try and get an en­gine and trans­mis­sion separate from the ve­hi­cle, which is usu­ally mar­keted as some sort of deal. This is by far the harder route to take, as many swaps can re­quire wiring, link­ages, pumps, adapters, starters and a wide va­ri­ety of parts that can all be used from a donor ve­hi­cle. Un­less you have a big bank ac­count and aren’t wor­ried about a $50,000 swap cost, we’d start with a donor.

STEP FIVE: Time for Re­in­force­ments—frame, Body & Sus­pen­sion

Diesels are torque mon­sters. While a full-blown race car might make 1,000 lb-ft of torque, that num­ber can be ac­com­plished with a stock or near-stock diesel. This twist­ing force can play havoc on your swap ve­hi­cle’s chas­sis, which can bend or crack un­der the strain. The same can go for sus­pen­sion pieces, which will crum­ple un­der the weight of most diesels. Even the body can be

 The in­ge­nu­ity of your swap is lim­ited only by your imag­i­na­tion. Jody Mol­lett’s ’70 D200 is a great ex­am­ple of this, hav­ing two 5.9L Cummins en­gines shoe­horned into the same truck!  Jeeps and lifted 4x4s can be good swap can­di­dates thanks to plenty...

 We wouldn’t ex­pect any­one to try a swap like this 6.7L Power Stroke swapped drag­ster with­out some se­ri­ous knowl­edge of com­put­ers and wiring. While the fact that it’s in a drag­ster makes pack­ag­ing eas­ier, it’s still a lot of work.

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