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Old 08-10-2019, 04:12 PM   #1
Drewbee
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Duramax swap?

Has anyone swapped a duramax into these trucks? Iím not seeing any on the search except for the smaller trucks.
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Old 08-10-2019, 08:28 PM   #2
Pvmt-Pndr
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Re: Duramax swap?

A duramax isn't usually a common swap, Cummins is the go to for almost anyone wanting to go diesel for the simplicity of it.

Physically I don't see a problem stuffing a duramax in my truck. Money is the thing that would rule it out for most people. For the price of a diesel (newer diesel anyway) for most people doesn't make economical sense. Sure they make a lot more power, sure they pull better but at the same time instead of paying all that money up front most can pocket it and go with a gasser. Not too many people that I see are daily driving a 50 year old or so truck. Given how often they're driven let's say you have to put $200 extra in gas vs a diesel a year.

Just throwing out random numbers here. A Dmax swap at bare minimum is going to cost $5k plus all the other things you'll need so I'd add $3k for random. An 8.1 can be had for $2k and no need to swap much of anything for another $1k ish. So roughly $8k vs $3k. It makes a lot of sense to save the roughly $5k and just put a little more in the fuel tank and live with a bb being a little more thirsty.

Don't think I wouldn't do it in a heartbeat if I was in your shoes though!
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Old 08-10-2019, 08:49 PM   #3
Drewbee
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Re: Duramax swap?

Yeah looks like if I want to go this route, I may not exactly be the first but Iíd still be sort of a trailblazer. I have the cummins already, a nv4500 and np205. Call me a purist, but I think itís be much better with a Chevy engine in there. However itíll depend somewhat on the cost. Iíve thought about rebuilding the cummins and refreshing the nv4500. I got both of those for less than 2k which I think could be sold for more.

These 12vcummins engines are so mechanical and easy to put together if you can pay attention to what youíre doing. The duramax is a different animal...Iím always cautious when I walk into the unknown.
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Old 08-11-2019, 02:49 AM   #4
AJC
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Re: Duramax swap?

If you are going to do it a lb7 is probably the easiest/cheapest. Factory the lb7 made 300hp and 500tq. They don't have an egr or much of anything in terms of emissions. (except for California models) Around here you can pick up one needing injectors for like $2000. The Allison is good for over 300,000 miles but avoid a truck with a tune as its a quick way to kill one. I'm not saying don't tune it, but generally a tuned truck was beat on harder. Doing the injectors is not that bad and can be done for just under $1500. So for $3500 you can have a complete truck to take parts from. Then just sell off the rest.

Now what are you putting it in?
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Old 08-11-2019, 01:11 PM   #5
Drewbee
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Re: Duramax swap?

AJC,

Iím in the dreaming and planning stage right now. However, Iíd love to build a 1972 crew cab K50 similar to the one rtech fabrications did, but instead of cummins, nv4500, and np205, Iíd like to do a lbz duramax, Allison trans, and np205.

I have the axles, bed, and cab. If I buy a c50 Iíd have the chassis and the second cab. Iíd need some suburban doors to set the front and then Iíd have four other doors to make the back two doors. The tricky part of all of this is the pillar between the front and back doors.

Iíd also want to make a lot of it look stock with some minor modern updates such as interior, audio, and drivetrain.

Dreaming big I know but I donít want to spend 70k on a new diesel when I could build me one and never need a new diesel. Also, itíd haul anything I ever throw at it. He most Iíd haul is a fifth wheel with a tractor, or bobcat.
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Old 08-12-2019, 01:24 AM   #6
AJC
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Re: Duramax swap?

Drewbee, a lbz is nice but you are going to pay a premium for one. The money saved on a lb7 or lly could be put towards performance mods. With sporting mods the stock lb7 and lly is good till about 500hp flywheel then you need to start worrying. The stock allison is good to 400hp. Also stick to the factory transfer case and find a driver side drop front axle. It will be one less thing to worry about vs adapters and changing input shafts.

Most crew cabs builds seem to be a truck cab and a suburban. Some also make adding the 4th door look easy.

I think you will find the cost is going to add up quickly. Have you ever taken on a project like this? Do you have the tools to do it? I'm not trying to be discouraging, but is a big task that takes time and money.

Also if you don't need the latest and greatest creature comforts or the biggest engine numbers there is no need to spend 70k on a truck.
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Old 08-12-2019, 07:38 AM   #7
Drewbee
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Re: Duramax swap?

Thanks AJC,

I understand itís a big undertaking and I know I donít have to go spend 70k on a new truck. I have a 2005 cummins that works great and only slightly over 200k that Iíve replaced all the worn points so it should last for awhile. However, for me if I were going to spend my money, Iíd rather spend it on this than a new truck.

As for the work, the mechanical side doesnít bother me, the bodywork will be different but I think my metal fabrication side from things for the railroad would help. Also, have some good buddies that worked in auto body for years that want to help.

As for the tools, I have about everything and if I donít, I got a welder, or I can go to work and make it on the lathe and/or mill.

I know itís crazy, but I think respecting that itís crazy letís me go in with the right mindset knowing I may have to do certain things over and over until I get it the way I want and that I will probably never get what I have in it back out.

Thanks for shooting straight.
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Old 08-12-2019, 07:59 AM   #8
Pvmt-Pndr
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Re: Duramax swap?

If you maintain that mind set through out the whole build then you'll have no problems.
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Old 08-12-2019, 04:42 PM   #9
txagincali
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Re: Duramax swap?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drewbee View Post
Has anyone swapped a duramax into these trucks? Iím not seeing any on the search except for the smaller trucks.
Yup!

Well not me personally, but I am swapping an LB7 into a C50 but with a Suburban chassis.

I was just like you about a year ago after the Duke started making its rounds and set out and bought my C50 and Cummins. Then after really looking at it with a measuring tape, that engine was a bit too long and the front clip was a bit too short for my liking and me second guess my decisions. They are able to fit, but the engine would need to be dropped down and the cab slightly elevated prior to fairly extensive firewall mods.

So I opted to go the DMax/Allison route. Scored a hellacious deal on a whole truck which needed 1 bank of injectors but am about even on it with after selling the bed. I bought a chassis off of a guy who just built a gnarly C50 with Duramax/Allison setup but its slammed on a G30 van chassis. Check out @Driftersgarage on IG.

I guess I need to start my build thread so that it doesn't look like you've got all these original ideas first! Haha
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1969 GMC C10 Pickup SWB Stepside (heart transplant)
1969 Chevy C50 Fire Truck converted to Utility Truck being built into Pickup Truck (newest addition, accumulating spare parts)
1972 GMC K5 Blazer 4x4 (sporadically being worked on, accumulating parts)
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Old 08-13-2019, 07:34 AM   #10
Drewbee
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Re: Duramax swap?

HA! Go for it TX! That would be a good way for me to learn as I go. Are you doing a suburban body as well for the b pillar?

Right now that's my biggest hurdle, as I don't want to mess up a good suburban body that someone could use for a cool suburban build - I'd love to have one myself, but that's a different topic.

Also don't worry about the ideas, I got plenty of them floating around
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Old 11-17-2019, 08:02 PM   #11
GPSFAB
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Re: Duramax swap?

Call me crazy, but has anyone thought of or has done a body swap with a later model c4500 or c5500 duramax truck? The frames are about the same width, you get modern steering, suspension, brakes and drivetrain. Whatís everyoneís thoughts on that?
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Old 11-17-2019, 11:28 PM   #12
Killer Bee
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Re: Duramax swap?

I was kicking the idea around but decided to wait until I retire for more time and real estate to work with..

from the few days of phone calls I was not finding much in the way of direct swap help, especially for a K..

if you're going for it, may be worth an inquiry to see if this sold yet, good luck!

07 LBZ Duramax 6 speed Allison
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