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Old 11-12-2013, 10:19 AM   #11
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Re: Cummins 5.0L V8 for Nissan and commercial applications

I would think that with the relatively large fleet of ambulances and similar high-$$ converted vehicles running the Ford 6.0 that there would be a good retrofit market for this setup if it was more or less a drop-in. Whenever a vehicle's conversion is worth exponentially more than the base vehicle, it makes economic sense to repower, etc.
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Old 11-12-2013, 11:41 AM   #12
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Re: Cummins 5.0L V8 for Nissan and commercial applications

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Originally Posted by BrianW
I would think that with the relatively large fleet of ambulances and similar high-$$ converted vehicles running the Ford 6.0 that there would be a good retrofit market for this setup if it was more or less a drop-in. Whenever a vehicle's conversion is worth exponentially more than the base vehicle, it makes economic sense to repower, etc.
If I can find that market, I'll quit my day job in a second and focus my business on doing these swaps! I'd love to work on this stuff all day!

I think a "drop-in ready" solution for something like a 7.3 or 6.0 van is a great idea but it certainly won't be cheap if you're getting a brand new engine directly from Cummins. If the whole swap could be done for $10k I think you'd see a long line of people but it would be more like $20k so that narrows down the field quite a bit.
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Old 11-12-2013, 12:02 PM   #13
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Re: Cummins 5.0L V8 for Nissan and commercial applications

Every time I've looked at the economics of an engine swap in order to justify it on fuel cost savings it has turned out to not even be close. That's why I decided to keep what I have for now and buy what I really want already done by the factory.

For example, RVs normally get very little use; but let's assume a large Class A with a Ford 6.8 liter V10 that gets 7 MPG and is driven 7,000 miles a year (have seen reports that actual industry average is under 5,000 miles per year). That would burn 1,000 gallons per year. At $3.50/gallon for gasoline, that would be "about" $3,500 per year in fuel.

If we were to replace that engine with a diesel to get 10 MPG (almost 50 percent MPG improvement) then it would burn 700 gallons per year. At $4/gallon, that's in the range of $2,800 per year.

A savings of $700 per year doesn't pay for much of an engine swap. Likewise, I looked at downsizing my V10 van to a 4.6 liter V8 because it could be done much less expensive. Even then a 17 percent fuel economy improvement didn't justify hardly any cost at all. If a person drove 50,000 to 100,000 miles a year it would be different, but at typical RV mileage there would be little market for engine swap upgrades. As much as I'd love to make one work, the numbers just don't support it.
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Old 11-12-2013, 01:06 PM   #14
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Re: Cummins 5.0L V8 for Nissan and commercial applications

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....As much as I'd love to make one work, the numbers just don't support it.
I hear what you're sayin'. It doesn't pencil out very well no matter how you do the math. But so what? Why does it have to pencil out? Do it for fun.
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Old 11-12-2013, 01:15 PM   #15
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Re: Cummins 5.0L V8 for Nissan and commercial applications

It also depends on the engines track record and where you take it. For my purpose (and I understand the subject points to on road vehicles for the most part) being stranded in the middle of BFE and paying for extraction or a mechanic to come on site in the backcountry to do the repair can be very very costly. Although an engine swap is probably not worth the cost to have somebody do it for me, spending about 10K to bullet proof my 6.0 as best as possible is probably realistic. If I knew I could do an engine swap for a reasonable cost and have something that has a good track record and is serviceable in the field I'd think about it.
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Old 11-12-2013, 01:43 PM   #16
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Re: Cummins 5.0L V8 for Nissan and commercial applications

I can't say exactly why, but think the more upgrades the "average" person does to a vehicle the less reliable it will become. I realize that many upgrades are done primarily to extend a vehicle's capabilities in order to do more than it could from factory, and that that in itself will cause more failures due to higher driving demands, but if a person wants greatest reliability, it's probably best to leave things alone and just service the vehicle as often as practical/needed.

Granted my needs are mostly going down a highway at reasonable speeds to maximize fuel economy and not rock crawling in the middle of nowhere. That could change things for the "non-average" driver.
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Old 11-12-2013, 03:48 PM   #17
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Re: Cummins 5.0L V8 for Nissan and commercial applications

I think you can do a swap and maintain a level of reliability and serviceability that would be as good if not better than an untouched factory drivetrain. It just takes attention to detail and planning.

The E-series is about as simple as it gets so integrating a different drivetrain doesn't pose a lot of risk to the overall reliability. Meaning you shouldn't be at any more risk of reliability problems than what the drivetrain came from.
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Old 11-12-2013, 04:41 PM   #18
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Re: Cummins 5.0L V8 for Nissan and commercial applications

Quote:
Originally Posted by mgmetalworks
I think you can do a swap and maintain a level of reliability and serviceability that would be as good if not better than an untouched factory drivetrain. It just takes attention to detail and planning.

The E-series is about as simple as it gets so integrating a different drivetrain doesn't pose a lot of risk to the overall reliability. Meaning you shouldn't be at any more risk of reliability problems than what the drivetrain came from.
Sorry for being a skeptic, but I don't think even perfect planning and execution can prevent possible side affect from doing a motor swap. Even minor body changes can have a big affect on what's going on under the hood, and there's been times I've felt like Chrysler's Guinea pig with the 6.7L. Twice. Nothing like a shop queen work-truck to make my appreciate my V10!

That said... I look forward to the results!!!
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Old 11-12-2013, 05:54 PM   #19
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Re: Cummins 5.0L V8 for Nissan and commercial applications

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Originally Posted by carringb

Sorry for being a skeptic, but I don't think even perfect planning and execution can prevent possible side affect from doing a motor swap. Even minor body changes can have a big affect on what's going on under the hood, and there's been times I've felt like Chrysler's Guinea pig with the 6.7L. Twice. Nothing like a shop queen work-truck to make my appreciate my V10!

That said... I look forward to the results!!!
Remove the POS wrapper that surrounds the 6.7L and you might not have many problems with it. Hahaha!

You can be a skeptic and I understand why you would be too. A swap like I'm doing is certainly prone to a number of gotchas if you're not doing your homework. I don't think the van will be any more prone to failure just because it is a vehicle that was altered though.

I realize that I'm simplifying things here quite a bit but really an engine is just an engine and a chassis is just a chassis. My 5.4L has a crank that spins around, it has rods, pistons, valves... fuel goes in, fire goes boom, crankshaft spins transmission, trans spins driveshafts and I move down the road. The 6.7L has a crank, rods, pistons, valves.. fuel goes in, fire goes boom....yada yada yada... The theory is the same, the execution is just different.

The E-series is simple from an electronics standpoint. The CAN module network in the van isn't that dependent on the engine controls either. In fact, the PCM can be eliminated altogether if you add in a module that communicates some basic info about VIN and vehicle speed to keep the other modules happy.

The Ram truck however is an absolute cluster-f of modules and wiring. There is so much crap inside a 2013 Ram truck that I can only imagine the repair bills people will have when they go in for even basic stuff. It is ridiculous... But when you strip away all of the junk and just get right down to what the engine needs to run, you're looking at about a dozen fused powers (battery+ power, some keyed ignition power), one big ground cable and another dozen sensor signals. The ONLY caveat to that is I'm making the assumption that I will be able to defeat the security immobilizer module...which right now I am 95% confident I have a solution for.

So you take a simple van, insert an engine that is designed to be pretty much self-contained, add on a trans that doesn't need a lot of integration with the van and you've got something that won't be any more complicated than a 6.0L...probably even less so.

So aside from your experience with the Ram truck, why be skeptical? Is it because of the electronics?

I see that you're local carringb. Stop by the shop and check things out. This winter things will get rolling pretty good.
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Old 11-12-2013, 09:01 PM   #20
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Re: Cummins 5.0L V8 for Nissan and commercial applications

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Originally Posted by mgmetalworks
.....cut......

I realize that I'm simplifying things here quite a bit but really an engine is just an engine and a chassis is just a chassis. My 5.4L has a crank that spins around, it has rods, pistons, valves... fuel goes in, fire goes boom, crankshaft spins transmission, trans spins driveshafts and I move down the road. The 6.7L has a crank, rods, pistons, valves.. fuel goes in, fire goes boom....yada yada yada... The theory is the same, the execution is just different.

......cut.......
I think that the things that usually bite us in the @$$ are the ones we didn't know we didn't know.

I agree most of an engine swap should be straight forward, but in my experience some times things (as in problems or issues) come up that we didn't even anticipate. Things we didn't know that could come up. And I'm not limiting this to engine swaps but building/fabrication in general.

There has to be a reason why auto engineers test new vehicles and/or combinations of powertrains with different bodies for 100,000s of miles to find out what can go wrong. If it were always straight forward there would not be a need. And even then lots of problems get through.

I'd worry a little about the extra weight of the diesel being a lot more than the engine it replaces. Also the much higher torque. And whether noise and/or vibration caused by some unexpected resonance could make the project hard to live with. I can probably think of a dozen things to worry about that can't be predicted with any accuracy until it is tried. And that's the risk building any one-off-a-kind carries.

Having experienced many of these unexpected problems myself, I think it's great to take risks to get exactly what we want even if it doesn't make financial sense. I wish you success.
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