How to swap a Cum­mins into a Ford Su­per Duty

Ultimate Diesel Builder's Guide - - Contents -

We all know that, in gen­eral, diesel en­gines are far more pow­er­ful and re­li­able than their gas-burn­ing coun­ter­parts. To do a tough job that re­quires power and re­li­a­bil­ity, most peo­ple rely on a diesel engine. But what hap­pens when that very same diesel engine that you grow to rely on lets you down not just once, but over and over again? In the case of the much-ma­ligned Ford 6.0L Power Stroke, many own­ers have faced that very ques­tion—what to do?

A few years ago, the own­ers of Ja­cob’s Tow­ing in Murfrees­boro, Ten­nessee, were fac­ing that sit­u­a­tion with their 2005 Ford F-550 roll­back tow truck. Af­ter sev­eral dealer ser­vice visits for var­i­ous 6.0L engine-re­lated prob­lems, the tow truck, with a lit­tle over 100,000 miles on the odome­ter, fi­nally had a cat­a­strophic fail­ure. Then they took the rig to the crew at Beans Diesel Per­for­mance in nearby Wood­bury, Tenn., that di­ag­nosed the prob­lem as a failed lifter that dam­aged the cam and oil pump. The engine would re­quire a com­plete re­build, but is it a wise busi­ness de­ci­sion to re­build an engine you’ve al­ready had sev­eral prob­lems with? For Ja­cob’s the an­swer was no, they needed a more re­li­able diesel pow­er­plant and wanted more power at the same time. The so­lu­tion was to re­move the 6.0L Ford V8 and swap it out for a 5.9L Cum­mins I6.

We fol­lowed along as the ex­perts at Beans Diesel Per­for­mance re­moved the in­op­er­a­tive 6.0L from the big F-550 and re­placed it with a 60,000-mile, 5.9L Cum­mins from a donor 2006 Dodge Ram. While the team at Beans no longer per­forms diesel swaps in-house, they are still a wealth of in­for­ma­tion on Cum­mins swaps and carry the com­po­nents needed to re­place an ail­ing Power Stroke with a re­li­able Cum­mins to com­plete your own Fummins project. The chas­sis-cab F-550 is the same ba­sic truck as any other F-250/F-350 from the cab for­ward, so this swap is sim­i­lar to what you’d see on your truck. The team at Beans chose to lift the cab off the chas­sis to make it eas­ier for our pho­tog­ra­phy and al­low them to get the old engine out and po­si­tion the new one eas­ier. While it is not nec­es­sary to lift the cab, it sure can make things eas­ier if you have ac­cess to a lift or hoist to safely lift and lower it.

Due to space lim­i­ta­tions, we won’t be able to show each and ev­ery step of the in­tri­cate swap process, but we will cover the ba­sics and the ma­jor steps in­volved in con­vert­ing your Ford to a Fummins. We’ll cover the re­moval and much of the prepa­ra­tions that go into mak­ing the con­ver­sion a suc­cess and the process of get­ting the Cum­mins into the Ford chas­sis and mak­ing it work.

To keep this ar­ti­cle from tak­ing up the en­tire mag­a­zine we sim­pli­fied the engine and trans­mis­sion wiring de­tails to a few pho­tos since it takes ex­pe­ri­enced elec­tri­cal en­gi­neers to in­ter­face the fac­tory har­nesses and com­put­ers with­out let­ting the magic smoke out of the boxes. If you are an elec­tri­cal en­gi­neer and you plan to tackle this as­pect of the swap your­self, you know what you are get­ting your­self into. If you aren’t, save your­self the heartache and ag­gra­va­tion and take the truck to some­one ex­pe­ri­enced in this type of work to have the sys­tems wired and in­te­grated or pur­chase a mod­i­fied har­ness from a diesel swap spe­cial­ists.

Of course, swap­ping one diesel engine for an­other from a to­tally dif­fer­ent man­u­fac­turer is no mi­nor un­der­tak­ing and there­fore should not be at­tempted by in­ex­pe­ri­enced or un­qual­i­fied home me­chan­ics. Yes, it is very pos­si­ble for a DIYER to per­form a swap of this na­ture—we’ve seen suc­cess­ful home trans­plants—but if you don’t have the skills and the equip­ment nec­es­sary have a pro do it for you. You’ll be happy you did. Also, for those of you who choose to tackle a project like this your­self, re­mem­ber to prac­tice safe shop tech­niques. Fol­low along to see what makes a Fummins tick. UDBG

This unas­sum­ing Ford is go­ing to get an in­jec­tion of Cum­mins power.

14 and 15Paul Pearson re­moves the mo­tor mount bolts on each side of the engine and then re­moves the long bolts se­cur­ing the trans­mis­sion to the engine. At this point they also re­move the trans­mis­sion in­spec­tion cover and re­move the torque con­verter bolts se­cur­ing it to the flex­plate.

07 and 08Ad­di­tion­ally, the power steer­ing pump needs to be re­moved from the engine along with the other hoses and lines men­tioned above. Jack Grubb also re­moved both bat­ter­ies and the bat­tery ca­bles from the truck, as well as the fan shroud from the ra­di­a­tor.

13With the cab out of the way it is easy for the team to re­move the large fan-clutch assem­bly from the front of the 6.0L engine.

12 Af­ter ver­i­fy­ing that all is clear, the team con­tin­ues to lift the cab up and off the chas­sis.

11The BDP crew uses a two-post lift to raise the cab off the chas­sis while pay­ing very close at­ten­tion to the engine bay to make sure that none of the hoses, lines, ca­bles or har­nesses are snagged while sep­a­rat­ing the body from the chas­sis. It is also a good idea to keep a close eye on the process to make sure that noth­ing was left con­nected that needs to be dis­con­nected.

10Jonathan Jones uses a long ex­ten­sion with a ratchet and socket to reach the bolts se­cur­ing the core sup­port to the chas­sis on each side of the ra­di­a­tor.

09BE­FORE lift­ing the cab from the chas­sis, the BDP team re­moves the body mount­ing bolts by lift­ing the car­pet at the cor­ners and re­mov­ing the front cov­ers to ac­cess the bolts.

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