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Old 10-04-2019, 11:05 AM   #1
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06 E-350 6.7 Cummins + Allison

Wanted to start a thread for the beginning of what I hope is a pretty fantastic project, starting from an interesting base. I know the wife and I are both pretty stoked.

The backstory is that I started my search for an E-350 about a year ago. Doing my due diligence on the drivetrain options, I landed on a V10 van. I had originally wanted turbo diesel but the 7.3s are aging (and $$) and I wasn't a fan of having a 4 speed trans again, and the 6.0s are well...6.0s. Bought a cherry 2005 V10 van with a Camburg kit on it out of SoCal, loved it, wasn't planning on upgrading, and had purchased a radius arm coil spring conversion kit to do over the next winter.

Fast forward 7 months and a local auto enthusiast group member chimed in on a FB page stating that they had a weird 4x4 van they wanted to sell that had a Cummins swap so I decided to go check it out. Turns out it was a youth group that inherited this van from a guy who built it out for use on his ranch, went bankrupt, and then donated everything including his land to this group. They didn't use it, knew almost nothing about it, and just wanted it gone.

The first thing they showed me were receipts for over $45k from Destroked, a local shop specializing in Cummins swaps. In 2013 it got a 0 mile 6.7 Cummins engine + built up 6 speed Allison transmission, EGR and DPF removed, and Borg Warner turbo to replace the factory Holset. It uses a factory 6.0 intercooler. They are using a 2008 wiring harness to run the engine to sidestep the need for CAN bus. The trans is largely standalone, getting only a TPS and speed input.

The 4x4 appears to originally be from Advanced, but someone has massaged it with some Alcan springs and unknown yellow shocks. It's running the NV271 transfer case at least. Front is a high pinion 60 from the looks of it and the rear is a semi-floater.

The interior is a little spartan and rough from starting life as a school bus/shuttle, then acting as a snow cat (the PO that did the conversion used it on his ranch with Mattracks attached), then to a group of folks that aren't exactly mechanically inclined. The chassis has 96k on it. The youth group has put 6k miles on it in the 5.5 years they have owned it. The PO only put about 4k on it after the conversion in the year before he went bankrupt. So the engine/trans have about 10k miles on them at this point.

My plans are to sort out the interior starting with the dash, swap the front end to coil spring, get rid of the 20" rims to run some actual rubber, and then slowly build out a minimalist camper interior with a focus on mtb'ing, backcountry skiing, and some overland style trips. At some point we'll also either be pulling dirt bikes, a side by side, or a crawler, but that part of the budget comes after we finish building out our basement.

Current known issues are that the 4-5 shift needs a recalibration (appt set with Destroked to address), the intake air heater doesn't have an indicator light on the dash, the a/c is inop (but was confirmed working after the swap), the battery is mounted inside of the cab by the passenger rear door and needs relocated, there's a pinhole leak in a coolant hose running to the rear heater, and there is some light surface rust that I'll wire wheel when I do the front axle work. It's also not 100% clear to me if the rear blower assembly a/c lines running to it our not so I need to dive further into that. It's not the usual rear unit as this was built out as a shuttle.

Initial pic attached. More to come this weekend as we are moving into our house + garage (finally). The room in the engine bay is awesome, more than any of the V shaped motors. Also, driving a van with 370hp/800lb-ft is rather intoxicating, and that's just the factory tune.
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Old 10-04-2019, 11:21 AM   #2
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That should be an awesome adventure, but the issues to be resolved shows that these swaps are not for the faint of heart, and not for those without deep pockets. Nice find!




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Old 10-04-2019, 12:53 PM   #3
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That should be an awesome adventure, but the issues to be resolved shows that these swaps are not for the faint of heart, and not for those without deep pockets. Nice find!


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The issues he's listed are less of a big deal than any of the 6.0 woes one could have....

b. rock, if Destroked isn't able to do anything about the trans tuning, contact Jason at transmissiontuner.com. With just a simple data file, he can sort out most any shifting issues. All over email (with EFI Live).
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Old 10-04-2019, 01:21 PM   #4
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Yes, agreed. I'd 100% rather have someone adjust a shift on a trans based on a sensor input and recharge the a/c circuit than most anything with a 6.0.

The 'to do' list is pretty minor compared to what's already done at least from my point of view. The front end swap will likely take the longest but really everything else in place and I have a garage to do it in over the winter. I would agree that it's suited someone fairly mechanically inclined, but I'd also argue that so is the entire off road/4x4 van hobby.
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Old 10-04-2019, 05:02 PM   #5
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Old 10-05-2019, 06:16 AM   #6
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The issues he's listed are less of a big deal than any of the 6.0 woes one could have....
True dat!

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Me too---having read MG's odyssey into this swap it'll be interesting seeing how this one is addressed.

Wishing nothing but good fortune on this project b.rock!
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Old 10-08-2019, 09:19 AM   #7
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Sorry - was hoping to get pics but turns out moving takes more time than I anticipated (who would have guessed?). Anyway, hooked up a trailer and loaded it up with garage stuff, I'm ballparking in the 4k weight range total. I live at 8500' and all of our stuff was stored around 5500'. This thing pulls like a freight train, it's almost comical. Boost was ranging from 12-16 psi on the long hill outside of town. However even doing 3 trips back and forth it only used a little over a 1/4 tank of fuel. Pretty impressed with that as well.

However I was doing the math on the current axle ratios as I suspect those were swapped out during the 4x4 conversion. I'm turning just under 2k rpm at 65 mph with 33s. As best I can figure, that means 4.88s in the diffs, with the 6th gear on the trans being 0.614:1. Will definitely be changing that when I do the 2013 front axle swap although I'm aware we'll lose a little bit of acceleration. Will also be jumping up to 35s at that point in time, and with 3.73s that puts the rpm at 1750 at 80 mph, or 4.10 would net 1930. 80 is a pretty standard cruise speed out here so that's what I'm using as a target.
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Old 10-08-2019, 01:01 PM   #8
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I went with 4.10s for our Cummins van. The math worked out better than 3.73s and there's more than enough power to not need a lower gear. 4.88s is silly...must have been because of the intended use for guy who built it.
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Old 10-08-2019, 01:10 PM   #9
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Yes, he was using it on a ranch that was pretty steep supposedly, and used mattracks for the 1 winter he had it. 1st gear in low range is nice and creepy crawly, but we need the highway gearing. 4.10s also leave room on the table for 37s if we ever get that crazy.
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Old 10-08-2019, 03:27 PM   #10
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However I was doing the math on the current axle ratios as I suspect those were swapped out during the 4x4 conversion. I'm turning just under 2k rpm at 65 mph with 33s. As best I can figure, that means 4.88s in the diffs, with the 6th gear on the trans being 0.614:1.
It's quite likely the Maxtrac's worked better with really deep gears, there has to be a ton of HP loss when running those. Same with a snow plow. It's easy to determine exactly what gears you have, simply turn one wheel two rotations while observing the drive shaft. If it turns 4.1 turns, you have 4.10s, 4.8 turns = 4.88s
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