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.