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Old 09-22-2013, 08:17 PM   #1
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6.7L Cummins conversion project

Before we ever got our van, my longer term vision for our family adventure rig included a Cummins under the hood. I was going to wait a while before doing this conversion but what the heck, let's do this!!

Here are the details:
-2013 E-350 EB with Quadvan 4x4 Conversion
-2013 High Output 6.7L (370hp, 800ft-lb... Got this from a truck damaged in transit to dealer...12 miles on it when it was dismantled).
-'06-up Allison 6-speed. I'll be converting the bell housing to the SAE #3 unit and using an adapter ring and associated parts from Howard's Allison Conversions. This set up is shorter than the Destroked adapter with the GM bellhousing. It is also cheaper. That's plan A. I haven't found the trans yet but I am ready to jump on a fair deal. Plan B is to use a 68RFE or Aisin out of a Ram truck if I have to. As disappointing as it may be to a lot of people, I am not going to consider a manual trans. No disrespect to the manual...I just don't want one.
-NV271 transfer case. (already have the parts needed to mate to Allison)

I have quite a few of the parts rounded up already (except for the trans and exhaust pieces) and I'll be starting the tear down relatively soon. A few upgrades to the shop have to happen first, the most important of which is a lift. I'm thinking the easiest way to do some of this work is to pull the body off the frame.

The engine


An extra wiring harness to cut up


Obviously the biggest issue with this swap is the electronics integration. There isn't exactly a lot of information online about the new Cummins ECM (a CM2350B) but I have a couple potential connections to the right people to talk to about it (fingers crossed). The second (rather significant) challenge is the trans controller. An off the shelf stand alone controller for the Allison 6-speed doesn't exist but a couple folks on another forum have been able to get a combination of controls parts to work pretty well. If its been done before, it can be done again, right?

Between now and the time I start pulling the existing drivetrain, I'll be gathering parts and information....and I can tell you without a doubt there is a lot of information to be gathered.

I'll for sure be taking a lot of pictures during the swap and I'm the sharing type so if there is any particular bit of information you'd like me to expand on, don't hesitate to ask.

One could argue that this swap will never "pencil out"...and they'd be right. The ROI is tough if not impossible to justify. But life would be boring if we all lived by accounting rules, wouldn't it?
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Old 09-22-2013, 10:04 PM   #2
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Re: 6.7L Cummins conversion project

Wow! Wow! Wow!

Even my wife will be reading this thread!

Wow!

Dream! Dream! Dream!

Very cool!

Can't wait to see more.

Jim
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Old 09-22-2013, 10:10 PM   #3
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Re: 6.7L Cummins conversion project

Are you sure you can't find a standalone Allison controller? The Allison controller in the F650 is stand alone and only gets speed and shift selector info through can bus.
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Old 09-22-2013, 10:46 PM   #4
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Re: 6.7L Cummins conversion project

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Originally Posted by carringb
Are you sure you can't find a standalone Allison controller? The Allison controller in the F650 is stand alone and only gets speed and shift selector info through can bus.
You're right....maybe I should clarify. There isn't an off the shelf "light duty truck" stand alone controller that has the ability to use the Tap-shift (manual gear selection) and Tow/Haul mode functions as in the GM trucks, not to mention a shift strategy for 4WD low. You can run the Medium Duty controller but it shifts like a GM truck in tow/haul mode and may or may not work so well in 4WD low.

Full functionality has been achieved using a combination of GM and other brand components but it requires some tuning to get things right. Which basically means it will take some time and patience.... or a pile of cash... maybe all three.

I don't want to leave any functionality on the table if it's already been done and it isn't that complicated.
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Old 10-05-2013, 06:20 PM   #5
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Re: 6.7L Cummins conversion project

Though I don't have a bunch of pictures, I have been making progress on this project. I've got quite a few parts to round up before I can really start tearing into the van so for at least the next month or two, most of what I'm doing is trying to score deals on some of the higher priced stuff. I've found some really good deals on Ebay and through some wrecking yard contacts but not everything is available all at once. I get what I can when I can...

I'd say I'm about 85% of the way there with the parts... keeping my eyes open for deals day and night!
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Old 10-08-2013, 04:49 AM   #6
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Re: 6.7L Cummins conversion project

Quote:
Originally Posted by mgmetalworks
But life would be boring if we all lived by accounting rules, wouldn't it?
'Twould indeed be boring as !

From examples of your work not to mention creativity if this swap and integration can be done you're the one who'll do it!

Hope to see your progress as it goes along.
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Old 10-09-2013, 06:42 PM   #7
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Re: 6.7L Cummins conversion project

Thanks! I hope it is a fun show to follow for you all.

I found a website with all of the wiring diagrams and connector pin-outs (finally) for the Cummins. Pretty cool too because you can input a VIN# and it will show the pertinent diagrams for all of the options on that vehicle. The engine I got had an auto trans but since I'm planning on using an Allison with a stand-alone controller, I want to wire up the engine like it is from a manual rig (I don't want the ECM searching for or sending signals to the TCM that isn't there). Easy enough, I found a VIN from a truck online that matched the options I wanted, input that into the search tool and up popped the wiring diagrams and all the connector info. So after looking at info for one of the two 96 pin connectors on the ECM (the one that will interface with the body harness), I found that there are only 5 wires I don't yet know what to do with. To me, that's good news. I was thinking it was going to be a lot more.

On the Ford side of the equation, I've been looking through the wiring diagrams and identifying things that will need to be tied into. Not too bad at this point. I'm glad I found an extra harness though! That will make things so much easier!

My 2-post lift shows up on Friday so the next phase of the Cummins project comes after I get the lift installed. Of course I can't get too far without a transmission... still looking for a deal. I'm trying to figure out a way to take the one out of my dad's truck without him noticing.
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Old 10-10-2013, 08:21 AM   #8
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Re: 6.7L Cummins conversion project

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Originally Posted by mgmetalworks
Thanks! I hope it is a fun show to follow for you all.

.......cut........
It definitely will be for me, and wish you much luck and success.

A while back I briefly looked at installing a much smaller Cummins inline six in my van but could find so little information on the engine and related swaps that I talked myself out of it half way through research. Itís nice to see guys push through the difficulties to get what they want.

This thread should be very interesting and informative. I'm particularly interested to see how much room you'll have with the bigger engine.
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Old 10-10-2013, 03:58 PM   #9
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Re: 6.7L Cummins conversion project

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Originally Posted by Chance

It definitely will be for me, and wish you much luck and success.

A while back I briefly looked at installing a much smaller Cummins inline six in my van but could find so little information on the engine and related swaps that I talked myself out of it half way through research. Itís nice to see guys push through the difficulties to get what they want.

This thread should be very interesting and informative. I'm particularly interested to see how much room you'll have with the bigger engine.
Thanks! Glad to have you following along! I have been frustrated by the lack of information too. I consider myself to be really good at finding information on the internet and so far I haven't seen a picture of a newer van with a 6.7L sitting in it. There are a few pics of old vans with 5.9L's in them but nothing as new as I'm working on. If someone has done this before, they're staying quiet about it for some reason. I'm hoping I can be the first to have the whole thing documented for the world to see. I might not be the first to do it but I'd like to be the first to share the experience. My timeline for completion is relatively quick for this reason (And because I'd rather just rip the bandaid off all in one shot (meaning paying for it all at once) rather than bleed out slowly over several years).

The 6.0L/torqueshift combo isn't exactly a small package. That engine is wide the whole length of the block whereas the Cummins is wide in just a few spots, and not necessarily on both sides. The turbo is a wide spot for instance but on the other side it isn't that bad. I think I can get the whole drivetrain low enough in the frame that height won't be an issue so the spots to keep an eye on are the A/C-Heater box and the brake booster (which I plan to convert to hydroboost to gain a little room anyway).

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Old 10-10-2013, 07:27 PM   #10
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Re: 6.7L Cummins conversion project

Quote:
Originally Posted by mgmetalworks
Thanks! Glad to have you following along! I have been frustrated by the lack of information too. I consider myself to be really good at finding information on the internet and so far I haven't seen a picture of a newer van with a 6.7L sitting in it.

.........cut............
I was researching information on the 4.2 liter I6 engine and there is very little to find anywhere -- much less than 5.9L or 6.7L. I initially thought it would be an easier fit but couldn't determine that for certain. Engine weight and power ratings were just right for what I wanted but beyond that I couldn't find any useful details.
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