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Old 09-06-2017, 09:56 AM   #1 (permalink)
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4BT Cummins swap, looking for advice

Hey guys, new to the forum. I've had my mind set for a while on doing a 4bt swap as well as a 4x4 conversion on my 1998 Cherokee. I'm fully aware this is no small task, so I've been doing a lot of research. However I havent had the chance to talk with anyone who has done a diesel swap in a jeep or any other kind of motor swap for that matter. So here I am, hoping to have a few questions answered.

I'll try to keep this quick, so here goes. What transmission and tcase would be best to go behind the 4bt? I've been told that cam and springs in the 4bt would net me serious power(obviously), but sense the jeep is so light already, would the extra power even be necessary or would I have more than enough power as is? I'm also assuming the unibody will have to be reinforced? And finally, I was thinking Dana 60 axles front and rear, overkill or no?

At this point I'm looking to gauge the anount of work and more importantly how much $$$ its going to cost me to do the conversion. Any feedback I can get from you guys is apreciated, thanks??
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Old 09-06-2017, 11:41 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I put a 4BT in my YJ. Went with 1 tons and a NV4500 behind the motor. I am in the process of 3 linking the front of my 88 commence which will be followed with a 4bt/nv4500 as well. I plated my frame on 3 sides in the engine bay and 2 sides from the cab back. While I don't know if the plating was completely necessary I imagine it will be greatly beneficial, especially for how cheap you can pick kits up for.

Do you already have the motor?
My spending so far.

comanche $250
4bt $3000
D60/ 10.5 $500
41" 30% tires $300
T&M reinforcements $400
3 link components $900
dif covers $300
SOA rear kit $100

Need
Drive shafts
Interior
Paint
Electrical (all of it)

It can be done for relatively cheap if your a craigslist king like me, but to do it in a timely manner it can get quite expensive.
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Old 09-06-2017, 02:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I put a 4BT in my YJ. Went with 1 tons and a NV4500 behind the motor. I am in the process of 3 linking the front of my 88 commence which will be followed with a 4bt/nv4500 as well. I plated my frame on 3 sides in the engine bay and 2 sides from the cab back. While I don't know if the plating was completely necessary I imagine it will be greatly beneficial, especially for how cheap you can pick kits up for.

Do you already have the motor?
My spending so far.

comanche $250
4bt $3000
D60/ 10.5 $500
41" 30% tires $300
T&M reinforcements $400
3 link components $900
dif covers $300
SOA rear kit $100

Need
Drive shafts
Interior
Paint
Electrical (all of it)

It can be done for relatively cheap if your a craigslist king like me, but to do it in a timely manner it can get quite expensive.
No motor as of yet, I've been keeping my eye on Craigslist and Ebay for a "cheap" one to pop up. I'm hoping I can find one that needs a rebuild and maybe I'll use that as an excuse for cam and springs. Was your motor in running condition when you bought it? Is 3000 a fair price for those motors?

A buddy of mine is parting out his mud truck and I'm probably going to buy his dana 60s with hydrosteer for 800. How could I not take that, right? But other than the axles that I've yet to jump on, I have no leads on anything yet.
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Old 09-11-2017, 12:14 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I bought my motor with 0 miles on it! $3000 is a good price for a used one, an amazing price for a new one!
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Old 09-22-2017, 05:21 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Sorry just needed 1 more post, so I can actually see
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Old 10-02-2017, 10:24 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Hey guys, new to the forum. I've had my mind set for a while on doing a 4bt swap as well as a 4x4 conversion on my 1998 Cherokee. I'm fully aware this is no small task, so I've been doing a lot of research. However I havent had the chance to talk with anyone who has done a diesel swap in a jeep or any other kind of motor swap for that matter. So here I am, hoping to have a few questions answered.
Alright, I haven't done a 4BT swap into a Cherokee. I have done a 6BT swap into a Dakota, so maybe my suggestions will be applicable. Anything is possible and the engine you picked is one of the most swapped engines in existence. However, you have a few unique challenges to consider. The Chero is built on a unitized chassis and was designed to accept and support engines of certain size, weight and horsepower. A 4BT is compact enough to fit, but it weighs more than a big block Chevy and puts out enough torque to twist up a light frame. I would recommend reenforcing the unitized chassis. This could be accomplished by welding in a full, triangulated roll cage tied into the existing chassis, and possibly including a subframe. A subframe can also provide suspension mount points for tons.

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I'll try to keep this quick, so here goes. What transmission and tease would be best to go behind the 4bt?
That depends on your desire and use. A 4BT can accept a number of transmissions from auto to stick. You can mount various GM, Ford or Chrysler transmissions to them, or if you want bigger, you can do Allison, Clarks, Eaton-Fuller, Roadranger etc. (But you'll have to run a divorced t-case to go with those) A 4BT typically comes with a SAE #2 bell pattern, and GM, Ford and Chrysler made transmissions which use/have that pattern. There are also a few adapters available. T-case will depend on what side your diff will be on, on your front axle and what will bolt up to the transmission you select. However if you want to take out all the guess work, you can simply go with a Dodge 47RH, with NP241HD thats found behind the 6BT or V10 then run either a Ford or Dodge Dana 60 front axle

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I've been told that cam and springs in the 4bt would net me serious power(obviously), but sense the jeep is so light already, would the extra power even be necessary or would I have more than enough power as is?
The 4BT (and 6BT) are easy to turn up. But it also depends on which injector pump comes on the engine. The most common version of 4BT will come with whats known as a VE injector pump. Theres some free power hidden in them and a few cheap performance upgrades, enough to double the HP and TQ, but that injector pump is limited to how much it can be turned up. The more desirable versions will come with a P-pump. Those are capable of a lot more power, but they are harder to find because they are in very high demand and there were fewer of them made available. If all you can find is a VE, don't turn it down, the power they can produce is still pretty respectable and will be more than enough to push a Chero.

A cam isn't really necessary, unless you're gunning for really big power (only possible with a P-pump engine) Most of the power upgrades for a 4BT will be found in the injectors, injector pump and turbo.

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I'm also assuming the unibody will have to be reinforced? And finally, I was thinking Dana 60 axles front and rear, overkill or no?
I would reenforce. And, depending on tire size and terrain, I would likely go with 60s front and rear. You could do a smaller pair of axles, like a Dana 44 and some 1/2 ton rear, and those axles will support the weight, but for piece of mind, 60s would be better

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At this point I'm looking to gauge the anount of work and more importantly how much $$$ its going to cost me to do the conversion. Any feedback I can get from you guys is apreciated, thanks??
Honestly, it's not going to be cheap. If money is a huge concern, this isn't for you. 4BTs are in great demand which means the price for them is on the higher side. If you're really lucky, you might be able to purchase a used bread truck (GM P30) that has a running 4BT in it, for a good price (but don't count on it.)

Besides the engine, you'll also need to buy an entire (Cummins/Diesel specific) drivetrain. And then, you'll have to reenforce the chassis to carry the weight and survive the torque load. This can cost several thousands of $$$, even if you do most of the work yourself. I'm not trying to discourage you, just know what you're getting yourself into.

There might be a few ways to cut some of the costs. One way is if you aren't set on using only a Cummins. There are a few diesels out there that maybe a better "fit" for your Chero. For example, if you look around, you might be able to find a used Mitsubishi diesel (once offered in the D50 Ram) They don't have as much power as a 4BT, but they are significantly lighter and produce a little less torque. (But excel in fuel economy) This will reduce the amount of work, such as less need to reenforce the chassis and less need for 60s.

Other diesels to consider; Look for Isuzu diesels, such as those found on Chevy LUV and small 1980s Isuzu pick-ups. VW had a small diesel in the 80s Rabbit and has a turbo diesel in the new Beetle. (Theres a blog showing a Beetle turbo diesel swap in a Dakota somewhere) If you look around, theres also a small diesel built by VM Motari (that engine was used in the diesel Jeep Liberty) If you don't mind a V8, theres still plenty of 6.2/6.5 GM diesels out there, that can probably be picked up for cheap (The engines weren't popular or desirable but can push a Chero, easily with twice the economy)

If you must have a Cummins, (and your wallet is pretty thick) theres a new 2.8 crate engine now available. It's lighter than the older 4BT but with more power….If thats not enough (and if you can get your hands on one) Theres also a new 5.0 liter V8 crate engine (The same being offered in the Nissan Titan XD)

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Old 01-09-2018, 04:21 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Like said above a 4bt you can use about any trans, turbo 400, 700r4, any manual trans.

You can even go with a 4l60 or 47re, E-transcontrol make a easy to use standalone controller for them. I used one in my Blazer build.
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Old 06-18-2018, 07:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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do a VW TDI swap instead, way cheaper and lighter with more power than a 4bt
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Old 06-18-2018, 08:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
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When buying a motor, watchout for 2 cunts chad something from ohio or indiana and robert cowan, theyve screwed a fuck ton of people over subosedly "new andgood running" take outs.

There is at least 1 build on here (maybe above poster)

Yes you will need to build the piss out of the body, not just for hp but jeeze almighty they are some ratteling bastard motors at idle
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Old 06-19-2018, 08:05 AM   #10 (permalink)
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You can talk to Kevin at Axis Industries, He did a 4bt in his wrangler and his business is cummins motor swaps. You can also find his jeep "jeffery the jeep" on facebook and instagram. They also have a buddy that but a 3 liter cummins out of a skid steer and it was a better build that did not smoke like an old freight train.
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Old 06-19-2018, 10:26 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Not into giving advice, but I can say I wouldn't do it, and I'm betting that you will understand why when you are about halfway thru, IF you make it that far .


Rigs with frames and room are mo betta .
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Old 06-19-2018, 09:50 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I've swapped a few diesels into S10's so I'll weigh in. I've put a 6.5td in a solid axle S10, a Duramax in a solid axle S10 and a 3.3 Cummins in a stock ifs Zr2 S10.

The 6.5 and the Duramax required hundreds and hundreds of hours to fit and wire in to the truck and a substantial amount of work/time/money to get the little truck to handle the weight of either engine and these little trucks actually have a frame. Then you've got the power aspect of it, the lightly tuned Duramax puts out over 400hp and 800ft/lbs of torque. It's one thing to get a light duty rig to accept the extra weight, it's totally another to get it to actually live with the amount of torque engines like the Duramax and 4bt are really capable of, especially if you intend to use said torque. Putting the engine in it is absolutely nothing compared to making it last.

Now for the 3.3. It required a little Fab work to mount some SBC motor mounts in it. It weights about what a SBC does. It required an adapter to hook it to the nv3500 5 speed that came in the truck and we moved the condenser forward a little and swapped in an aluminum aftermarket radiator with an electric fan. After a minor amount of pump tweaking it runs about like the 4.3 did, but in a mostly town and back road driving scenario with short 5 mile long highway runs mixed in it gets right around 29mpg when driven spirited. This truck took very little effort compared to the other swaps and is a joy to drive, it just won't smoke the locked 37's at 45mph like the one with the Duramax will. However, the truck with the Duramax musters 16-18mpg at best.

As another reference, a buddy has an S10 built very similar to the Duramax truck but with a 4bt feeding a zf 5 speed feeding a US Gear overdrive unit that I've followed on 3000+ mile trips with the Duramax truck and the mileage difference averages 5-6 better in his with the same axles and tire size.

Figure out why you're wanting a diesel in it first. Is it for the power or the 72mpg internet 4bt's get or is it because you just want one and then plan accordingly. If you're after "different" and or mileage seek out a smaller one than a 4bt. If it's for power, plan on serious chassis mods or it will not last. Lastly, it you go with a 4 banger diesel look in to hydraulic motor mounts, trust me in this one. The truck with the 4bt will shake your teeth lose at idle, it's horrible. The 3.3 is far better, but still horrible compared to either V8 diesel swap.

The one I wish I had saved for an 2wd S10 was an '88 Mitsubishi Fuso 3.3 TD that was in a box truck I used to have. It was very peppy, very efficient, was 118hp bone stock, completely mechanical and was as small as the 3.3 Cummins.
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Old 04-05-2019, 12:44 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Like said above a 4bt you can use about any trans, turbo 400, 700r4, any manual trans.

You can even go with a 4l60 or 47re, E-transcontrol make a easy to use standalone controller for them. I used one in my Blazer build.
4bt's have been known to eat even built 700R4's. The torque hitting so few times per rev = hard on transmissions. Plus, you are talking about building it up.

If you want to go automatic, 2 transmissions that I have a good deal of personal experience behind a 4bt are the:

Turbo 400. I ran Coan built units in delivery vans and had 0 failures (one had over 500,000 miles!

46/47RH. I have had this in a Crown Vic, WJ and YJ...also going in my current Ramcharger build.

Both hold up VERY well.
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Old 04-05-2019, 12:48 PM   #14 (permalink)
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What transmission and tcase would be best to go behind the 4bt? I've been told that cam and springs in the 4bt would net me serious power(obviously), but sense the jeep is so light already, would the extra power even be necessary or would I have more than enough power as is? I'm also assuming the unibody will have to be reinforced? And finally, I was thinking Dana 60 axles front and rear, overkill or no?
Trans and T-case...continue your research. Auto or Manual?

D60's are glorious overkill if going with small tires and driving on the road. To keep budget more manageable...do an 8.8 swap.

I would certainly reinforce your unibody around the motor mounts...proper fish plates and be sure to only stitch them and plug weld them. Make them longer than you think they many need to be...I generally have plated the entire frame in the past, but that is BC I am generally fabbing a 4 link as well.

As to the power...start stock and build to taste. Plenty of torque "out of the box".
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Old 04-05-2019, 01:34 PM   #15 (permalink)
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do a VW TDI swap instead, way cheaper and lighter with more power than a 4bt
Yes, actually anything would be better than a 4bt for a cherocar.

AHU, 1KZ, VM 2.8, anything. A 4bt is a wet dream swap glorified by the internet. No one putting that much time and effort in a 4bt will admit it was stupid.
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Old 04-12-2019, 08:07 AM   #16 (permalink)
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A 4bt is a wet dream swap glorified by the internet. No one putting that much time and effort in a 4bt will admit it was stupid.
This.
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Old 04-12-2019, 08:18 AM   #17 (permalink)
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cummins

love my c 10 3.3 5 speed cummins 30 mpg daily driven
https://youtu.be/EV9HhjCuZ_o
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Old 04-12-2019, 08:22 AM   #18 (permalink)
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do a VW TDI swap instead, way cheaper and lighter with more power than a 4bt
How much power/torque does a TDI have? Kind of hard to believe that statement. Maybe if you keep stock turbo. (Who does that)

I love my 4BT, but not saying something else might be better for you. I like no electronics.

I have to say the prices shot up right after I bought mine. I never see them cheap anymore.

To the OP, check "4BT Swaps". Lots of info there.
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Old 04-13-2019, 10:30 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Yes, actually anything would be better than a 4bt for a cherocar.

AHU, 1KZ, VM 2.8, anything. A 4bt is a wet dream swap glorified by the internet. No one putting that much time and effort in a 4bt will admit it was stupid.
exactly, the new autism is on the FB groups from 19yr old kids saying do a 6pt swap...... ya just stuff 1,000lb of motor up front, it will be sooooooo amazing hahahahaha
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Old 04-13-2019, 10:38 PM   #20 (permalink)
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How much power/torque does a TDI have? Kind of hard to believe that statement. Maybe if you keep stock turbo. (Who does that)

I love my 4BT, but not saying something else might be better for you. I like no electronics.

I have to say the prices shot up right after I bought mine. I never see them cheap anymore.

To the OP, check "4BT Swaps". Lots of info there.
the best motor most say is the ALH (2003) since it's very simple and doesn't have any chronic issues like some other modles tend to have, some computer but not too much. tune ans straight 2.5" exhaust will get you the same wheel TQ and almost HP as a stock 4.0, add in better injectors and you're over a stock 4.0.

stock 2003 jetta and 2000 XJ have basically the same curb weight however the stock TDI is dumbed down, like sau Steven hawking in 8th grade algebra.

using stock WV KKK turbo off the 1.8t and a stock 5.76 cummins turbo in a compound set up 250 wheel HP and 350 wheel TQ is possible and isn't pushing the motor too hard.

the bubba rednecks want to think the cummins is the best motor ever and "muh only 2 wire hook up ain't got no time for dem German computers to fuck up only MERICA stuff on muh rig" crap causes people to spend more to get less. some do a good job so not all of them are that case. with a TDI just buy an entire car for 1k or so, either crashed, roached out, blown trans, shit like that then pull it yourself. motor, harness, ecu, radiator, IC system, sensors, everything you need to put the motor into a vehicle so nothing is custom other than mounts, exhaust and IC system.
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Old 04-13-2019, 10:44 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Every one thinks "oh, 4cyl? It's small, so it'll work good in a small rig"

It's not a small engine, it's just shorter than the 6bt.

Still a tall, heavy sob.

Ober ratededest engine swap ever

2jz that thing and make real power!
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Old 04-14-2019, 08:43 AM   #22 (permalink)
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the best motor most say is the ALH (2003) since it's very simple and doesn't have any chronic issues like some other modles tend to have, some computer but not too much. tune ans straight 2.5" exhaust will get you the same wheel TQ and almost HP as a stock 4.0, add in better injectors and you're over a stock 4.0.

stock 2003 jetta and 2000 XJ have basically the same curb weight however the stock TDI is dumbed down, like sau Steven hawking in 8th grade algebra.

using stock WV KKK turbo off the 1.8t and a stock 5.76 cummins turbo in a compound set up 250 wheel HP and 350 wheel TQ is possible and isn't pushing the motor too hard.

the bubba rednecks want to think the cummins is the best motor ever and "muh only 2 wire hook up ain't got no time for dem German computers to fuck up only MERICA stuff on muh rig" crap causes people to spend more to get less. some do a good job so not all of them are that case. with a TDI just buy an entire car for 1k or so, either crashed, roached out, blown trans, shit like that then pull it yourself. motor, harness, ecu, radiator, IC system, sensors, everything you need to put the motor into a vehicle so nothing is custom other than mounts, exhaust and IC system.
Sounds interesting. I like TDI's. I almost bought one from a friend. (It was nice, not for a swap.)

I agree a 4BT is not for everyone. It's a big heavy engine. For my project, it was perfect because I wanted the simple, reliable, old school, millitary charm. I will say, without proof, the Cummins will out last the TDI and most other diesels. (Have you ever seen the pic of a Cummins con rod next to a Chevy diesel con rod?) I believe this one of the reasons it so popular. There's lots of bread/chip trucks that are trashed with good 4BT's in em. You don't see that many TDI's that are trashed unless the motor is bad too.

One thing the Cummins has going for it is aftermarket support. You can adapt it to most trans. Not sure about the TDI.

I'm kind of an anti computer guy. I recognize that my Bronco runs better than my old carborator Beetle, I hate how it can just quit and there's nothing to rig like the old days and make it go. (Nail file the points) There's also the idea that it can be shut down by an EMP gun. The cops will have them soon and it won't be long till your average "road rage" asshole will have them. Lol.
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Old 04-14-2019, 10:36 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Sounds interesting. I like TDI's. I almost bought one from a friend. (It was nice, not for a swap.)

I agree a 4BT is not for everyone. It's a big heavy engine. For my project, it was perfect because I wanted the simple, reliable, old school, millitary charm. I will say, without proof, the Cummins will out last the TDI and most other diesels. (Have you ever seen the pic of a Cummins con rod next to a Chevy diesel con rod?) I believe this one of the reasons it so popular. There's lots of bread/chip trucks that are trashed with good 4BT's in em. You don't see that many TDI's that are trashed unless the motor is bad too.

One thing the Cummins has going for it is aftermarket support. You can adapt it to most trans. Not sure about the TDI.

I'm kind of an anti computer guy. I recognize that my Bronco runs better than my old carborator Beetle, I hate how it can just quit and there's nothing to rig like the old days and make it go. (Nail file the points) There's also the idea that it can be shut down by an EMP gun. The cops will have them soon and it won't be long till your average "road rage" asshole will have them. Lol.
Dont listen to this guy. He has absolutely no comprehension outside "muh cummings".
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Old 04-14-2019, 11:06 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Dont listen to this guy. He has absolutely no comprehension outside "muh cummings".
That’s exacy who I described above. “Muh carb vehicle runs best cuz compooters can brake”. Connecting rod size has nothing to do with this unless you are going for massive HP/TQ, but a stock 4bt lasts so long because they are huge and have a terrible power to displacement ratio.


Any motor will last so long as is taken care of and not abused. If you look you can find a lot of 300k+ or even 500k vehicles. Hell my parents bought a 94 V6 5spd Dodge Dakota new, went 219,xxx miles on the factory clutch. Frame rotted out before anything else went in the driveline.
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Old 04-15-2019, 06:39 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by sardo_67 View Post
That’s exacy who I described above. “Muh carb vehicle runs best cuz compooters can brake”. Connecting rod size has nothing to do with this unless you are going for massive HP/TQ, but a stock 4bt lasts so long because they are huge and have a terrible power to displacement ratio.


Any motor will last so long as is taken care of and not abused. If you look you can find a lot of 300k+ or even 500k vehicles. Hell my parents bought a 94 V6 5spd Dodge Dakota new, went 219,xxx miles on the factory clutch. Frame rotted out before anything else went in the driveline.
Um, you need to read (and understand) what I wrote again. I said my Bronco runs better than the carb. (The Bronco is EFI)

There are lots of 300K vehicals among the ones that quit at 150K, but there are lots of million mile Cummins among the ones that quit at 400K They are doing something right.

I don't have anything against the TDI. I think it's a good motor. Might be better for the OP. I might even consider it for my next project. But to suggest that a Cummins is not a good motor is a bit short sighted.
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