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Diesel Conversions Convert gas to diesel, or convert to a 6.2/6.5/Duramax/Cummins/Navistar/Isuzu/Perkins/Detroit/or ... diesel engine. Go here to see completed projects, works in progress, share your conversion or ask the experts.

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  #1  
Old 10-22-2009, 11:20 PM
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Default 97 3500hd DURAMAX CONVERSION

Alright guys im finally goin to do a conversion to my truck. My truck is a 97 3500hd 4x4 with a 6.5 diesel in it. I bought the truck about 3 months ago from a eletric company in az. where it had a bucket body on it. I replaced it with 9ft hillsboro bed on it. Well the 6.5 finally crapped out so im goin to try to throw this lb7 in it.
here a pic of the truck
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File Type: jpg white dually 3 2.jpg (96.4 KB, 286 views)
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  #2  
Old 10-22-2009, 11:37 PM
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heres sum more pics
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File Type: jpg white dually 5 1.jpg (72.1 KB, 84 views)
File Type: jpg white dually 6 1.jpg (46.1 KB, 81 views)
File Type: jpg white dually 4 1.jpg (70.8 KB, 84 views)
File Type: jpg duramax engine 1 2.jpg (59.9 KB, 87 views)
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  #3  
Old 10-23-2009, 09:21 AM
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That should be a nice swap when your done. You can refer back to my post for my swap as I did my 95 and tried to get some good pictures up. And if you have any specific questions feel free to ask. There are several ways to go about this swap, I highly reccomend planning out your swap as best as possible before you begin to set the DURAMAX in there. Many of the aspects of the swap are much easier with the engine out like wiring and such.
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1995 GMC 2500 SUBURBAN powered by 01 DURAMAX/ALLISON, 3.42 gears, 261 T-case
Trans has a mild build with ALOT of help from MIKE L. which included ALTO's for C1-C4 and a PI ML converter
DIAMONDEYE 4" exhaust with a CORSA muffler, AFE stage 1 dry filter, EFILIVE, KENNEDY single pump and pump rub kit.
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Old 10-23-2009, 09:39 PM
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Well i bought the conversion guide on here and it helped a bunch. I already got the motor mounts done. Im using my 4l80e tranny becasue the truck as a speacial t-case and i couldn't apapt it to my allison. I hope i can build it enought to handle the duramax. Im goin to use a stand alone controller for the transmisson. I don't know how to you used the duramax intercooler bc i put it agianst the core support and it looks like it wont work.
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Old 10-24-2009, 11:25 AM
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I would strongly reccomend using the ALLISON, the 4L80E doesn't stand a chance against the DURAMAX. Even the 4L85E with the hardened planetarys and such isn't holding up very well behind the van's at 250HP and 460 torque. If you must use it then I suggest getting ahold of MIKE L of INGLEWOOD TRANSMISSIONS and never using 4th gear for any towing of ANY kind. 4th gear is the downfall of the 4L80/85E series of transmissions. There are several options out there for transfer cases as well that you can mate up to the ALLISON, or you could get SUNCOAST to make you one of there billet rear housings that will mate up to whatever transfer case you want them to make it for. Also for a trans controller I would consider going with the T42 style they used in the vans as you will need a TCM that can transmit the J1939 messages over the can bus from the ECM,TCM and FICM if you want to go that route. Some have tried running the manual trans calibration with the stand-alone but have had problems with the idle in gear not behaving right as the ECM will raise the RPM's at idle when it senses a load. An auto calibration in the ECM will be looking for the TCM signal or else it won't let the engine go over 2000 RPM's. I think you can run an early 01 ECM operating system, cannot verify if this won't be plagued with power problems due to all of the safeties built in.

I did ALOT of homework on mine before I ever even considered getting my donor, and there is ALOT to consider if you want it all to interact properly.
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1995 GMC 2500 SUBURBAN powered by 01 DURAMAX/ALLISON, 3.42 gears, 261 T-case
Trans has a mild build with ALOT of help from MIKE L. which included ALTO's for C1-C4 and a PI ML converter
DIAMONDEYE 4" exhaust with a CORSA muffler, AFE stage 1 dry filter, EFILIVE, KENNEDY single pump and pump rub kit.
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Old 10-24-2009, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 85chevyk30 View Post
Well i bought the conversion guide on here and it helped a bunch. I already got the motor mounts done. Im using my 4l80e tranny becasue the truck as a speacial t-case and i couldn't apapt it to my allison. I hope i can build it enought to handle the duramax. Im goin to use a stand alone controller for the transmisson. I don't know how to you used the duramax intercooler bc i put it agianst the core support and it looks like it wont work.
Like what was suggested earlier, I would also recommend using the Allison if you have access to one. Then you can use the newer NV261/263 transfer case and you could use all of the aftermarket power mods available for the engine.

The intercooler installation can be and has been done successfully, as shown in the Conversion Guide. No problems in the 5+ years since I did mine. I know of a couple C/K conversion projects that didn't use an intercooler at all. The engine will work without one, but it limits power, which might not be a problem if you use the 4L80 and keep the power moderate.

Jim
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Old 10-24-2009, 08:20 PM
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The duramax motor is a 01. I have talked to these guys at www.transmissoncenter.net and they swear they can build a 4l80e to handle 1200 horsepower. My duramax is goin to have 20 over injectors and 2.6 bd turbo.
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Old 10-24-2009, 08:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 85chevyk30 View Post
The duramax motor is a 01. I have talked to these guys at www.transmissoncenter.net and they swear they can build a 4l80e to handle 1200 horsepower. My duramax is goin to have 20 over injectors and 2.6 bd turbo.

Those guys don't exactly have a good reputation for building what they advertise, many an unhappy customer with them in the diesel world. A 4L80E will surviv in a car in 1st-3rd, but WILL self destruct in 4th if you give it any power. The guy in ORLANDO FL with the 9 second quarter mile DURAMAX MUSTANG is running a 4L80E tranny, but even he will admit that it cannot hold in OD for anything more than steady cruising. The BUICK GRAND NATIONAL with a DURAMAX is backed by a 4L85E built my MIKE L., but you won't catch him in OD doing anything more than steady cruising. In a truck at even stock power levels the 4L80E will NOT hold, and even with a full on build capable of holding 1200HP it won't take more than about 500 torque in OD which a DURAMAX will make stock no problems.

It's your money, but I would strongly caution against it. You already have the HD truck, why not give it a true HD driveline. I know lotsofmiles(a member on McRats forum) has a DURAMAX van and can obliterate a 4L80E with just tuning in his LLY van and is currently in the process of swapping in an 06 ALLISON as he is tired of tranny problems. And I know pussow(the guy on EBAY who sells the conversion CD on EBAY) also got rid of his 4L80E as it couldn't hold up to his 06 van motor(250HP version). Just remember this when you make your decision, most tranny shops advertise HP numbers that there tranny can hold. But who cares? It's a diesel, so torque is the number you have to concern yourself with. Hence why a 700R4 can be built up to hold up to some pretty high HP small block chevies(550HP+), but even a stock 165HP 6.2L will eventually kill it even built.
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1995 GMC 2500 SUBURBAN powered by 01 DURAMAX/ALLISON, 3.42 gears, 261 T-case
Trans has a mild build with ALOT of help from MIKE L. which included ALTO's for C1-C4 and a PI ML converter
DIAMONDEYE 4" exhaust with a CORSA muffler, AFE stage 1 dry filter, EFILIVE, KENNEDY single pump and pump rub kit.
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  #9  
Old 10-24-2009, 09:07 PM
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well i gotta use my 4l80e. Becasue i already sold my allison like a dummy . Can this mike L build my tranny to hold the power and i know from the start that i couldn't beat on this truck till i get a allison in it. but i have to get it down b/c i ran a landscaping and snow removal business and its one of my plow trucks.
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Old 10-24-2009, 11:00 PM
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Mike L is one of the best there is at building trannies, he is in California though. He's currently working on trying to get a 4L80E to hold up behind a DURAMAX, but has not met with much success. If you have to run the 4L80E, then I would definately say forget about any power adders and actually consider de-tuning it some. I know you don't want to hear it, but now is the time to do the ALLISON, it is alot cheaper to do the job once than it is to do it twice. Call and talk to Mike L., he can be a little short with people if you act like you know it all, but normally if you call and talk to him later in the afternoon I have found he can talk your ear off. And you will learn more in 15 minutes on the phone with him about transmissions, than most builders could ever hope to learn.
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1995 GMC 2500 SUBURBAN powered by 01 DURAMAX/ALLISON, 3.42 gears, 261 T-case
Trans has a mild build with ALOT of help from MIKE L. which included ALTO's for C1-C4 and a PI ML converter
DIAMONDEYE 4" exhaust with a CORSA muffler, AFE stage 1 dry filter, EFILIVE, KENNEDY single pump and pump rub kit.
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