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.