at risk, as we know of one owner who ended up with a cracked windshield from flex under a full-throttle pull. Since diesel engines are fairly large, a decision is often made to box the frame or strengthen various areas, usually with the body off, except in the case of unibody vehicles. If racing is at all an option, a good roll cage is also a great way to stiffen a chassis for drag racing, rock crawling or sled pulling.
STEP SIX: Selecting Parts for the Transformation
So you have your engine, transmission and your swap vehicle ready to go. Now it’s just time to stuff everything in, right? Not so fast. Diesel swaps don’t often have “ready made” parts available and are often at the mercy of the builder for even a simple task like installing an engine and transmission. If you’re using a brand of engine and transmission that never came in the same vehicle (let’s say a Cummins with a 4L80E) make sure you have your engine-totransmission adapter ready, flexplate, and a converter that is spaced properly. Diesels can also be more difficult than other swaps at this point due to their height, complicated exhaust routing and requiring engine mounting solutions. Engine plates, which are commonly used in gas applications, are usually a no-no in any street-driven diesel, as the vibration from the engine can be horrendous. Keep an eye out for clearance issues, as everything from harmonic balancers to oil pans to the engine itself can be a problem. Keep
Many high-end sled pulling trucks aren’t swaps, but scratch-built. If this is the case, you can build the engine, chassis and drivetrain you want without having to worry about space constraints. Price? If you have to ask...
Modern diesels can be very industrial-looking, but that doesn’t mean you can’t clean the engine bay up a bit. Bill Cielo’s ’58 Duramax-powered Apache truck has had the computer and all the wiring moved down to the floorboard, which gives it a very...
Weight is one of the main reason for many swaps. It would take a 6,000-pound truck at least 2,000 horsepower to go just as fast as this dragster can with a mere 800 hp.