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Old 07-14-2013, 11:52 PM   #1
84chevyguyid
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86 chevy crew cab 12 valve swap

I been working on my project for a year, been collecting pieces for several years. Thought I would share what I have so far. I started out with an 86 chevy 2 wheel drive crew cab long box. It was a diesel but the engine and trans were gone when I bought it, which saved me some work disassembling it.
I got a bus with a p pumped 12 valve in it that provided me with a motor and lots of other little trinkets to use on the truck. I pulled the front clip and the bed then had to remove the 2 wheel drive front suspension and mount up front springs. I used 1/2 ton chevy rear springs on the front. On the back I got some 4x4 chevy spring brackets and remounted the stock rear springs. I picked up a pair of axles from a 1990 dodge one ton with the 3.54 gears and got them mounted to the chevy frame, then it was time for the first test fit. More to follow...
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Old 07-17-2013, 12:13 AM   #2
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Re: 86 chevy crew cab 12 valve swap

I pulled the cab last fall and rolled it into the shop so I could tinker through the winter. The bus motor I am using is set up with an air compressor and power steering and I decided to keep the setup instead of going with the pickup setup. I am going to have air bags front and rear so the factory air compressor will work nice for that, also nice to have air to blow up 4 wheeler tires, ect. I built my own frame brackets using the second gen motor mounts. I had to make a custom mount for the driver side as the power steering pump wouldnt clear the stock mount. The frame brackets are welded in but the crossmember tying them together unbolts. I was going to use a 4l80e trans behind the motor but ended up going with an allison 6 speedout of an 06 duramax instead. I bought my adapter stuff from Destroked. The oil pan on the cummins was a front sump and I was able to reuse it by turning it around and getting a new pickup tube for a rear sump application. After I got the engine and trans mounts finished I tore the engine down to the short block and replaced all the gaskets and seals on it so hopefully it wont leak oil. I took the head in and had it redone and added 60lb valve springs to it. I put 4000 governor springs in the pump and bumped the timing to 15 degrees and did the killer dowel pin fix while I had the front cover off. Then it got a new paint job after reassembly.
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Old 07-17-2013, 11:50 AM   #3
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Re: 86 chevy crew cab 12 valve swap

6 speed Allison nice!! Subbed
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Old 07-18-2013, 10:37 PM   #4
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Re: 86 chevy crew cab 12 valve swap

I have lots of pics but it says they are too big. Havent had that problem on other forums posting pics. Dont know how to resize them. I read the faq section on pics but I am still confused...
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Old 07-19-2013, 03:15 PM   #5
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Re: 86 chevy crew cab 12 valve swap

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Originally Posted by 84chevyguyid View Post
I have lots of pics but it says they are too big. Havent had that problem on other forums posting pics. Dont know how to resize them. I read the faq section on pics but I am still confused...
I load all of my pictures up on google (picasaweb.google.com), but there are lots of other sites like Flicker and others that you can use. Then I use the "Insert Images" button and just copy the links of the pictures.
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Old 11-30-2013, 07:46 PM   #6
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Re: 86 chevy crew cab 12 valve swap

Havent worked on the truck for awhile but here are some photos that I never got to download earlier. The frame is mostly ready for the cab. I got the heater system pulled and the wiring pulled, need to finish removing the steering column and the hydro booster then I can take it over to get blasted and undercoated then the cab should be ready to set back on the frame. One thing thats slowed my progress is I got my left knee replaced the first of oct then did the right one a week ago. Kinda takes the wind outta your sails for awhile. Still like to get the cab on before it snows and freezes up but I am living on borrowed time now.
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Old 12-02-2013, 09:22 PM   #7
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Re: 86 chevy crew cab 12 valve swap

Nice truck you're building here! I wish you a speedy recovery with your knee replacements! What tcase did you go with behind the allison? Is it an older GM RH drop 241 with an inputshaft swap? I have a 5 speed 1000 series I'd like to put in something, but the $1800 controller Destroked sells is my stopping point.
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Old 12-03-2013, 12:03 AM   #8
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Re: 86 chevy crew cab 12 valve swap

Thanks for the encouragement! I did use a 241 with a swapped input to fit the ally. Yeah the 1800 dollar price tag sucks, building something like this is not cheap for sure. I have an excel spread sheet with all the parts and services on it with price estimates. After I buy and or accomplish each item, I move it across into the "finished" column and adjust the price to what it actually was. I am into this thing 10 grand so far with an estimated 8 grand left to go. This is with me doing as much work as I can myself. Scary!!
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Old 12-03-2013, 06:52 PM   #9
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Re: 86 chevy crew cab 12 valve swap

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Thanks for the encouragement! I did use a 241 with a swapped input to fit the ally. Yeah the 1800 dollar price tag sucks, building something like this is not cheap for sure. I have an excel spread sheet with all the parts and services on it with price estimates. After I buy and or accomplish each item, I move it across into the "finished" column and adjust the price to what it actually was. I am into this thing 10 grand so far with an estimated 8 grand left to go. This is with me doing as much work as I can myself. Scary!!
I hear ya on the cost man! Everyone who starts thinking about a swap thinks their cheap. You start adding prices up and look out. I thought about using a GM 241 in my Longhorn but wasn't sure how it'd hold up.
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Old 12-03-2013, 09:43 PM   #10
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Re: 86 chevy crew cab 12 valve swap

I had that discussion with my buddy that manages a transmission shop. We both decided that for what I am using it for, that it should work fine. The swapped input shaft for example is out of the newer transfer cases that came stock behind the duramax/allison setup and when you are running in 2 high or even 4 high, the torque is basically running through the input/output shaft anyway. If I were abusing it pulling, mudding, or something like that then a guy would want the newer box but for daily driving and a little towing I think it will work just fine. I would like to post my excel sheet on here but not sure how to do that. Would be interesting for people to see.
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Old 12-04-2013, 11:51 AM   #11
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Re: 86 chevy crew cab 12 valve swap

Cool build and I would love to see your cost break-down.
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Old 12-04-2013, 07:11 PM   #12
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Re: 86 chevy crew cab 12 valve swap

Ugh... I don't even want to see my own cost break-down.
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Old 12-05-2013, 11:52 AM   #13
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Re: 86 chevy crew cab 12 valve swap

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Ugh... I don't even want to see my own cost break-down.
x2 I gave up on my list long ago.
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Old 12-05-2013, 08:17 PM   #14
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Re: 86 chevy crew cab 12 valve swap

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x2 I gave up on my list long ago.
X3 I quit adding things up on the Longhorn at $15k about 2 years ago. I figured i'm beter off not knowing because then my wife will really be pissed. I kept real good track on the Excursion until I got near $10k and stopped.
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Old 12-05-2013, 11:25 PM   #15
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Re: 86 chevy crew cab 12 valve swap

How would I post an excel file on here? Can I copy and paste it and save it as a jpeg or something? I usually dont keep track of my projects but where this one is starting from the ground up I decided to make a shopping list so I always knew the answer to "whats next". I buy some parts and work on it then when I go as far as I can I scrounge up more money and keep going. I am trying to keep it reasonable but at the same time build it the way I want. I hope when I get it finished I will have a very nice truck with a classic look to it and it will be simple to work on and economical to buy parts for. I'm tired of all the electronic stuff that you have to plug a computer into it to do anything with it. And it seems like with anything electronic you can just add another zero on the price of the parts too. One exception on this project is the allison trans. I decided from the beginning that I wanted an auto and the ally 6 speed looked like the ultimate auto trans. I hope that decision doesnt come back and bite me in the butt. I like to tinker and projects like this are stress relievers for me. Its fun to meet and overcome all the different little obstacles that you run into as you assemble things.
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Old 12-06-2013, 03:08 PM   #16
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Re: 86 chevy crew cab 12 valve swap

Quote:
Originally Posted by 84chevyguyid View Post
How would I post an excel file on here? Can I copy and paste it and save it as a jpeg or something? I usually dont keep track of my projects but where this one is starting from the ground up I decided to make a shopping list so I always knew the answer to "whats next". I buy some parts and work on it then when I go as far as I can I scrounge up more money and keep going. I am trying to keep it reasonable but at the same time build it the way I want. I hope when I get it finished I will have a very nice truck with a classic look to it and it will be simple to work on and economical to buy parts for. I'm tired of all the electronic stuff that you have to plug a computer into it to do anything with it. And it seems like with anything electronic you can just add another zero on the price of the parts too. One exception on this project is the allison trans. I decided from the beginning that I wanted an auto and the ally 6 speed looked like the ultimate auto trans. I hope that decision doesnt come back and bite me in the butt. I like to tinker and projects like this are stress relievers for me. Its fun to meet and overcome all the different little obstacles that you run into as you assemble things.
When you post a message, there's an option to Attach Files, but looking at it, it doesn't show that .xls is a valid extension. I think that the easiest way to do it is to just copy the excel spreadsheet, and copy the test into a post.
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Old 12-06-2013, 04:26 PM   #17
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Re: 86 chevy crew cab 12 valve swap

I think I figured it out, saved a copy as a pdf file. Now when somebody asks what it costs to do a cummins swap you guys can refer them to what mine is costing me.
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Last edited by 84chevyguyid; 12-06-2013 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 12-07-2013, 07:01 PM   #18
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Re: 86 chevy crew cab 12 valve swap

Cool list! Thanks.
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Old 12-09-2013, 05:26 PM   #19
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Re: 86 chevy crew cab 12 valve swap

On your list I saw where you got EFI Live. Are you going to try to tune the trans through your controller with EFI Live?
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Old 12-09-2013, 07:39 PM   #20
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Re: 86 chevy crew cab 12 valve swap

Actually I haven't decided which way I am going with a controller yet. There are a few guys that are using a GM trans module from an 06 avalanche with an 8.1 motor and the ally 6 speed, then they are reprogramming it to work with the cummins then tweaking it with efi live. Another route is using a medium duty application allison controller but with that route, you don't get the tow/haul or the tap a shift functions and I don't believe you can use efi live with the allison system. I still have some time before I have to make that decision, hoping stuff for the 6 speeds gets a little more refined when I get to that point. Its amazing how fast things add up though huh? When I started my project I figured ten grand would come close to puttin it together, boy was I wrong. When I first started, I just wanted to throw the motor in the truck with a 4l80e trans I had kicking around and drive it but its hard to tear something that far apart and not do a nice job putting it back together. I dont want a show truck for sure but I want it to look nice and be reliable. Its a case of "while I'm at it"....
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Old 12-10-2013, 12:42 AM   #21
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Re: 86 chevy crew cab 12 valve swap

Awesome build! I love the way that 86 is two toned. You don't see many like that and those colors look nice while retaining that retro look at the same time. Are you keeping that scheme?

The costs are adding up but it sure looks like you are doing it right and it will be a heck of a truck when its done!
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Old 12-10-2013, 05:36 AM   #22
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Re: 86 chevy crew cab 12 valve swap

Nice build!
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Old 12-10-2013, 04:11 PM   #23
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Re: 86 chevy crew cab 12 valve swap

Quote:
Originally Posted by 84chevyguyid View Post
Actually I haven't decided which way I am going with a controller yet. There are a few guys that are using a GM trans module from an 06 avalanche with an 8.1 motor and the ally 6 speed, then they are reprogramming it to work with the cummins then tweaking it with efi live. Another route is using a medium duty application allison controller but with that route, you don't get the tow/haul or the tap a shift functions and I don't believe you can use efi live with the allison system. I still have some time before I have to make that decision, hoping stuff for the 6 speeds gets a little more refined when I get to that point. Its amazing how fast things add up though huh? When I started my project I figured ten grand would come close to puttin it together, boy was I wrong. When I first started, I just wanted to throw the motor in the truck with a 4l80e trans I had kicking around and drive it but its hard to tear something that far apart and not do a nice job putting it back together. I dont want a show truck for sure but I want it to look nice and be reliable. Its a case of "while I'm at it"....
I have an allison PCM and a partial harness I thought about using. Just unsure as of yet. Mine is only a 5 speed as well. I just don't like the idea of building a truck, using the a1000, and then hating it because I can't tune it without a trip to allison 20 times until it's right. Or, spend $1800 for Scott's controller. Too much money.
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Old 12-10-2013, 10:02 PM   #24
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Re: 86 chevy crew cab 12 valve swap

keeping a tally! HECK no. besides, half my cost is in horse trading and i dont know how you put that in the list... eh Ryan? i would probably blow an o-ring if i had actually added up the amount i spent on mine. and then if i tried to factor in how much it would cost if i had to actually pay for some of the fabrication...

Love the truck, ive been building a crew cab square in my mind for years.
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Old 12-14-2013, 07:19 PM   #25
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Re: 86 chevy crew cab 12 valve swap

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