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  • detroit diesel or cummins 4bt?

    So right now I am deciding which route to go for my 89 GW diesel swap.
    I have 2 viable options considering I am building this rig to be moderately economical and keeping my budget in mind.... I have option #1 that is a 93 stepvan, 4bt/t19. runs, drives the whole 9. 80K on the set-up. Comes with the wiring harness, linkage, p30 mounts, etc. The other would be a detroit diesel 3-53 mated to a AT545. This is just for the motor and the trans. I would have to fab up the mounts, linkage, wiring etc etc.I am finding out the specs and details of the detroit on monday. All I know is that it came out of an old gamma goat.

    Now I know having a whole donor truck is key, but the price of the detroit would leave me with about $2k more to fill in all of the holes. I am going to be using a divorced np205 regardless of motor/trans choice so thats not being taken into consideration.

    So basically I am asking for your guys opinions on what I should do. I know with the stepvan I could recycle the frame and aluminum body and make a good chunk of money back. I know about the cummins, but my experience/knowledge of the detroit is pretty limited(read REALLY limited).
    Any one with experience with either of these motors? any input would be awesome. Thanks.

  • #2
    Why would you want to put a 159ci 3 cyl in your Wag? It is only rated at 109hp. I would go with the 4BT.
    Last edited by Chevelleguy; 03-08-2008, 07:52 PM.
    David "If all else fails, read the instructions."
    83 Wag Lt,BJ's 6"lift,360/727/Pinned229,D44/trac-lok,AMC20/lock-right,35/12.50 Baja MTZ,Pro-Jection EFI.
    10$ NP229 fix http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showthread.php?t=2520

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Chevelleguy
      Why would you want to put a 159ci 3 cyl in your Wag? It is only rated at 109hp. I would go with the 4BT.
      The 4bt is rated at 105-130 hp stock. Thats relatively the same range. Its all about the torque for me with the diesels.

      Comment


      • #4
        I understand the torque aspect. But also, isn't the Detroit a 50 year old design, very heavy, and loud? I would think the 4BT would be much easier to find parts and accessories for. And from what I have read, the Gama Goats were not considered very reliable. How are the 3 cyl Detroits on vibration? The F3L Deutz deisels that we have in our rental fleet are know for somewhat high vibration, causing problems like breakage of throttle linkage and V-belt guards.
        Last edited by Chevelleguy; 03-08-2008, 08:51 PM.
        David "If all else fails, read the instructions."
        83 Wag Lt,BJ's 6"lift,360/727/Pinned229,D44/trac-lok,AMC20/lock-right,35/12.50 Baja MTZ,Pro-Jection EFI.
        10$ NP229 fix http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showthread.php?t=2520

        Comment


        • #5
          What kinda mileage to you expect from the 4bt? Why not just step up to the 6bt?
          *** I am collecting pics and info on any factory Jeep Dually trucks from the J-Series at the new Jeep Dually Registry.
          ***I can set you up with hydroboost for your brakes: http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showthread.php?t=106056

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Elliott
            What kinda mileage to you expect from the 4bt? Why not just step up to the 6bt?
            I am looking for around 24-27 area,(Hopefully). The main reason I am not stepping up to the 6bt is weight. I am already going to be packing on the pounds with axles, so I figured a 4bt would keep the weight out of the ridiculous area and allow me good fuel economy. I also just love the sound .

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by chemijeeper
              All I know is that it came out of an old gamma goat.
              I've ridden in a Gama Goat while I was in the Army and they are extremely loud.
              The driver is required to wear hearing protection!
              There would not enough sound proofing material that you could install in the cab of a FSJ or large enough muffler build to quiet that thing.
              Also, AFAIK, small 2 cycle Detroit Diesel have not been built for a while and so I am unsure of the parts availability for these things.
              They do share a lot of parts with their larger 53 series cousins, like the 6V53.
              Also, there is much more support for the Cummins 4BT.
              Meaning, if you need help and want to ask a question, there are places to go to seek that help,
              like www.4BTSwaps.com and http://cummins-conversion.com
              I would not know what to go for help with a small DD.
              Also, there are plenty of documented modification a person can do to increase the performance of a 4BT, but at the expense of fuel economy.
              I know it have been hotly debated here about how much power a 4BT can make, but I personally believe a person can realistic make 200HP

              Also, that Allison 545 is not something that I would brag about.
              It is large heavy and does not have overdrive.
              Fourth gear is 1:1.
              It would be an okay tranny if you planning to do some very serious towing.
              Check this out about the Allison 545:
              http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showthread.php?t=70102
              Bryan Smith
              2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited
              - 75th Anniversary Edition - 1941 Trim Package - Recon Green
              1986 Jeep J20
              - Super clean rig from the AZ/CA state line
              1982 Jeep J10
              - Has become a Long Term Project.
              1981 Jeep J20
              - Commercial flat bed - Lost in a Divorce --gone
              1987 Jeep J20 Pioneer
              - Former Rick Bielec aka Ricbee plow rig. Major rust!! --gone

              IFSJA Member #1933 Joined November 30, 2001

              Originally posted by Jayrodoh
              ...but if it works, I wouldn't touch it.
              Originally posted by Lindel
              Best laid plans, yada yada yada...

              Comment


              • #8
                Go 4bt. The 545 trans is a monster, super heavy. My brother is building a 4bt offroad truck right now. You can easily get an adaptor to go to a Chevy bolt pattern turbo 400 trans if you want.
                1979 Widetrack Cherokee, 1984 Grand Wagoneer, 1985 Grand Wagoneer, 1973 J4000, 1982 Mustang GT, 1999 Chevy C2500 xcab, 2001 Chevy Van, 2000 Ford Expedition, 1989 F250 plow and 1951 Desoto Deluxe

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Smith
                  I've ridden in a Gama Goat while I was in the Army and they are extremely loud.
                  The driver is required to wear hearing protection!
                  X2.

                  I say 4BT, the biggest reason I went for it was overall motor weight, tranny choices, and MPG. The 4BT and the 6BT are the same on the back and mostly on the front of both motors. I also love the fact that it's a proven swap that has been performed in countless vehicles across the US with lots of tech help on several sites.

                  Also something to think about between swaping in a 6BT and the 4BT. The 6BT weighs as much as a 4BT dry and your 360 together. All that weight on the front of your frame, plus a winch and bumper.

                  I don't know what the other motor weighs but I can bet it's more that the 4BT.

                  If you haven't yet, check out these sites www.4btswaps.com , http://messages.jeep2diesel.org/ , and my 4BT conversion in a GW http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showt...t=1988+cummins
                  Last edited by COLOFIREMAN; 03-09-2008, 08:15 AM.
                  Jason in the Mountains
                  1978 J10 LB,OE 4-speed,4:10's,4BBl,and just 85K(daily driver)
                  1988 Grand Waggy 8" lift 35" A/T's (under construction)
                  1984 CJ7 12" lift 39" Iroks 1 tons
                  1979 Cherokee Super Chief (under construction )
                  1974 J-10 LB Buick 455 BB 4" lift 33" BFG tires
                  1973 J-4800 LB plow truck 7" lift 255/85/16 LT Truxs MT's

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Chevelleguy
                    I understand the torque aspect. But also, isn't the Detroit a 50 year old design, very heavy, and loud? I would think the 4BT would be much easier to find parts and accessories for. And from what I have read, the Gama Goats were not considered very reliable. How are the 3 cyl Detroits on vibration? The F3L Deutz deisels that we have in our rental fleet are know for somewhat high vibration, causing problems like breakage of throttle linkage and V-belt guards.
                    I am not familiar with the detroits as far as vibration, but the 4bt is known for a decent amount of vibration. Whether the 3-53 vibrates more or less, I do not know.

                    And yes the 3-53 hasn't been produced since the 70's, but thats not necessarily a reason to write it off. Not saying I came into this discussion with an answer already in my head, I just like playing devil's advocate.

                    Hopefully someone will be able to chime in regarding the detroits reliability.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The PIG Smith]I've ridden in a Gama Goat while I was in the Army and they are extremely loud.
                      The driver is required to wear hearing protection!
                      There would not enough sound proofing material that you could install in the cab of a FSJ or large enough muffler build to quiet that thing.
                      Is this louder than a 4bt? I know that these aren't quiet engines either! Kind of off topic, but how was riding in the gama goat? I would love to hear more about it. Looks like a pretty wild vehicle.

                      Also, AFAIK, small 2 cycle Detroit Diesel have not been built for a while and so I am unsure of the parts availability for these things.
                      They do share a lot of parts with their larger 53 series cousins, like the 6V53.
                      This is exactly why I started this post. I know there are rebuild kits out there, but the replacement parts sector falls flat on its face( from what I can find.)

                      Also, there is much more support for the Cummins 4BT.
                      Meaning, if you need help and want to ask a question, there are places to go to seek that help,
                      like www.4BTSwaps.com and http://cummins-conversion.com
                      I would not know what to go for help with a small DD.
                      Also, there are plenty of documented modification a person can do to increase the performance of a 4BT, but at the expense of fuel economy.
                      I know it have been hotly debated here about how much power a 4BT can make, but I personally believe a person can realistic make 200HP
                      I have followed 4btswaps.com religiously but the other site is a new one for me. Thanks! I have read about 4bts making upwards of 450-500hp, but the reliability of those rigs are in question(ie. drag set-ups)

                      Also, that Allison 545 is not something that I would brag about.
                      It is large heavy and does not have overdrive.
                      Fourth gear is 1:1.
                      It would be an okay tranny if you planning to do some very serious towing.
                      Check this out about the Allison 545:
                      http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showthread.php?t=70102
                      Yeah I have no experience with the allison, and to be honest I just immediately thought good things because of the whole "Allison" stigma. But just for laughs, how heavy is heavy?

                      Thanks again for all of the great responses guys.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by trellis8
                        Go 4bt. The 545 trans is a monster, super heavy. My brother is building a 4bt offroad truck right now. You can easily get an adaptor to go to a Chevy bolt pattern turbo 400 trans if you want.
                        Another chalk mark for the AT545 being an overweight behemoth. Got it. I wouldn't be running a Turbo 400 if I went with the 4bt, I would run the t19 that already is mated to it.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by COLOFIREMAN
                          X2.

                          I say 4BT, the biggest reason I went for it was overall motor weight, tranny choices, and MPG. The 4BT and the 6BT are the same on the back and mostly on the front of both motors. I also love the fact that it's a proven swap that has been performed in countless vehicles across the US with lots of tech help on several sites.
                          Yeah I have read that the 4bt is just 2/3 of a 6bt. I have been leaning towards the 4bt after reading all of the responses, I just figured I could throw it out there and see what people alot smarter than me think.


                          Also something to think about between swaping in a 6BT and the 4BT. The 6BT weighs as much as a 4BT dry and your 360 together. All that weight on the front of your frame, plus a winch and bumper.
                          A guy in the UK swapped a 6bt into a fullsize Cherokee, but that was after much beefing up of the frame,axles etc. I never had any plans to use a 6bt because its such a heavy SOB. The 4bt is heavy as it is!

                          I don't know what the other motor weighs but I can bet it's more that the 4BT.
                          The 3-53 weighs in at 965#.

                          If you haven't yet, check out these sites www.4btswaps.com , http://messages.jeep2diesel.org/ , and my 4BT conversion in a GW http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showt...t=1988+cummins
                          I have been following your build up threads over here as well as on 4btswaps.com, but thanks for the new site to look over! I am looking forward to seeing how you tackle the motor mount problem( so its easier for me!! )

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I plan to use the factory mounts that came with the motor. The mount is made of 1/2 plate. I measured the frames and the van is 2.5 inches wider than the FSJ's frame. The mounts easily have that mush extra between the oil damper and place where it mounts to the frame. It's kinda like cutting a loaf of bread.
                            Jason in the Mountains
                            1978 J10 LB,OE 4-speed,4:10's,4BBl,and just 85K(daily driver)
                            1988 Grand Waggy 8" lift 35" A/T's (under construction)
                            1984 CJ7 12" lift 39" Iroks 1 tons
                            1979 Cherokee Super Chief (under construction )
                            1974 J-10 LB Buick 455 BB 4" lift 33" BFG tires
                            1973 J-4800 LB plow truck 7" lift 255/85/16 LT Truxs MT's

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              If you're considering a Detroit, why not a 4-53? Do a Google, there are some pickup swaps with that engine. Uses the same head as the common 8-53. Fairly compact as compared to the 71 series. Weighs in at 1100 lbs. There are adapters to get the Detroit SAE bell housing pattern to the GM. Outrageous exhaust note...
                              ___________________________
                              J10 - Body channel (3 inch drop @ front); dechromed; shaved side parking lights, antenna, and hood trim bar. Ford mirrors, roll pans, side exhaust, 16 inch wheels, custom dash, new interior, Edelbrocked 360, HEI, T18/208 (J20), rear disk brakes, goose neck and bumper hitches.

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