Diesel World - - Diesel Engine Swaps -

STEP TEN: The Test Drive!

It’s run­ning! You’ve done the nec­es­sary wiring, en­gine and trans­mis­sion mount­ing, and your body and frame look sort of all right. Now the fun and im­por­tant part be­gins. Check for all types of leaks (fluid and air), have pres­sure gauges on ev­ery­thing you can (oil, fuel, even trans­mis­sion), and most im­por­tantly take your time! It’s easy to get in and just blast down the street in a ve­hi­cle that will start and run, but we’ve seen more prob­lems arise on test drives than any­where else. Here it also helps to have a buddy to check ev­ery­thing with you and then fol­low you around when you hit the road. There’s no worse feel­ing than hav­ing to walk back af­ter your newly com­pleted project breaks down a few blocks from home.

We hope you en­joyed our swap guide­lines, and that they at least got you think­ing about new and ex­cit­ing as­pects of tak­ing a diesel swap from dream to real­ity. There will be plenty of awe­some ex­am­ples here on these pages, so don’t be afraid to study in de­tail each owner’s project and see how well they fol­lowed our ten steps to suc­cess!

 Sand drag Jeeps and mud rails can be ideal for diesel swaps. They’re light, usu­ally four-wheeldrive, and have plenty of space for a diesel. The South Bend Clutch mud rail is one great ex­am­ple, and with a ni­trous-fed, com­pound-tur­bocharged 4bt Cummins...

 En­gine height and hood clear­ance are things that need to be con­sid­ered when per­form­ing a diesel swap. This triple-turbo Nova owned by Russ Wul­len­waber needed an enor­mous cowl hood to clear the en­gine pack­age, which was fine since it was a drag car.

 Do you even need an en­gine swap? Ve­hi­cles like this old square-body 7.3L-pow­ered Ford can be ideal can­di­dates for swaps to newer en­gines, but that all de­pends on how much power you seek. Want 500 hp? The 7.3L is prob­a­bly fine. Need 1,500 hp? Prob­a­bly...

 Swaps are more and more pop­u­lar these days, and there’s no bet­ter ex­am­ple than Scott Bird­sall’s 5.9L com­mon-rail-pow­ered Ford F1, which has been in nu­mer­ous mag­a­zines and broke the In­ter­net with more than 10 mil­lion video views.

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