AF: Cummins 6BT into B250/350 Van? | Allpar Forums
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Cummins 6BT into B250/350 Van?

Discussion in 'Vans' started by PlymouthShelbyCuda86, Apr 9, 2014.

  1. PlymouthShelbyCuda86

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2010
    Messages:
    63
    Likes:
    1
    Has anyone toyed with the idea of shoehorning a Cummins 6BT diesel engine into a Dodge Ram B250 or B350 series van (pre-1998)?

    A few 1978-1/2 and 1979 Dodge Vans (and the D/W-series pickups) were optioned with the Chrysler/Mitsubishi CI-655-100 (6DR5), a 4.0L straight-six non-turbo diesel engine. But I wonder if the Cummins, at nearly 2 liters stronger and with the turbo, would be able to fit into such a doghouse?

    ~Ben
     
  2. ImperialCrown

    ImperialCrown Moderator
    Level III Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2008
    Messages:
    20,945
    Likes:
    4,164
  3. dieseldodge01

    dieseldodge01 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    24
    Likes:
    2
    It might fit, however the weight would be the problem. A 6bt is about 1000lbs, a 318 is 5-600lbs. You would need heavier front springs to handle the weight. I am not sure how the springs are on the vans, if they had as heavy springs as the 3/4 trucks did. If you wanted a diesel in a van, the 4bt might be a better idea. Similar weight to a V-8, can be pushed to 300hp and would fit in the van with room to spare.
     
  4. PlymouthShelbyCuda86

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2010
    Messages:
    63
    Likes:
    1
    Interestingly, Tony Capanna, Sr. (1921-2001) experimented with diesels in the early to mid 1970s. One notable conversion he tried was the use of the Chrysler/Nissan CN4-33 diesel engine into a Dodge Dart.

    Diesel experimentation vs gas had been tested by the government once. For example, in New York City a fleet of 62 Dodge taxi cabs were repowered with the CN6-33 diesel. Tests showed that it bested the Slant Six by almost twice (18-19 mpg for the CN6-33 as opposed to just 8.5-9.5 mpg for the Slant Six). Dr. Richard Thaler was in charge of this project, which was funded by the UMTA (now FTA).

    ~Ben
     
  5. tazdevil

    tazdevil Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    Messages:
    560
    Likes:
    61
    Me thinks the torque exceeds the capacity of the unit body frame, as well as a weight issue. Don't forget, the first generation Dodge pickups with Cummins had many cab sheet metal failures from the torque. The rear of the cabs cracked open near the bottom.
     
  6. CNT900

    CNT900 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Messages:
    251
    Likes:
    127
    I wouldn't try it, even a B-350 would likely not be strong enough. On top of that, it would make for a very miserable vehicle to live with. If I wanted a diesel Dodge van, I would swap in a GM 6.5L non-turbo diesel.
     
  7. Bearhawke

    Bearhawke Things happen for a reason

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2003
    Messages:
    13,888
    Likes:
    524
    I have to agree there. But if a person was 'ballsy' enough to try the 5.7L Cummins swap into a B series van; def start with a 300/350 and install the HD suspension as used under the Class C motorhomes, I'm pretty sure that non 'dually' (SRW) front rotors/spindles were available to make it a bolt on operation. Springs: the 1993 down D series pickup with the Cummins will fit on there along with the HD shocks. Too; the 400-440 were factory options in B series vans 1976-79 and, those motors were rather heavy. Note I'm guessing the 1 Ton B series vans had stronger unibodies than the 5 luggers; if not, simply install the D300/350 chassis parts and matching HD 8 lug 3:54 rear end.

    As for actually getting that monster in under the doghouse area and making up motor mounts, etc.; good luck. Hint: I'd run an AT to avoid dealing with shifter/clutch issues.
     
  8. Jerry Simcik

    Jerry Simcik Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2012
    Messages:
    3,622
    Likes:
    1,160
    I'd love to swap a Cummins into the last gen of the Ram Vans, (Late 90s, early 2000s.) so if you feel like trying, I say go for it!

    You may need to reinforce some things, though, and I'd get a 3/4-ton at the very least, if not a 1-ton.

    A possible route would be to put the Van's body on a truck's chassis. That would eliminate a lot of the concerns with strength. It would likely be easier to modify the van's "frame" to site over the truck's chassis than it would be to modify/strengthen the van itself.

    Another alternative would be to graft the rear end of a van to the rear of a pickup cab. (Think Chevy Suburban or Ford Excursion.)

    JMO.
     
    Bearhawke likes this.
  9. dyslexic teddybear

    dyslexic teddybear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Messages:
    628
    Likes:
    307
    IIRC.......this was discussed on another forum I am on......a couple of years ago......2 big issues.

    Weight of the engine, about 1150-1200 lbs. dressed........a ton van would be the logical place to start. But that's a LOTTA weight over the front. Pick-ups do it.......but they are not unibody.....really heavy-duty sub-frame style connectors might be an answer.

    The 3 galleon oil pan.......huge interference with the cross member. The dash just isn't high enough, or the doghouse long enough. Bottom of dash/cowl area looks untouchable......so complete custom cross member.......pan might still end up too low......

    Plus......fitting a rather large radiator......if your not seriously towing, you can likely leave out the aftercooler. custom VERY much longer doghouse, trans isn't exactly small either......dual batteries in the back to help the weight balance......rear axle, Cummins start with a Dana 70.....a 60 might live, if your careful......

    This is not an easy swap.

    Therefore it'd be supercool.

    Seriously, I'd like to see it done.
     
  10. TheMan

    TheMan What color are the clouds in your world?
    Level III Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2002
    Messages:
    13,506
    Likes:
    5,002
    IIRC there was one or 2 built at JTE when I was there. Ask member JTE if he remembers those mules.
     
  11. Bearhawke

    Bearhawke Things happen for a reason

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2003
    Messages:
    13,888
    Likes:
    524
    Considering that someone took a 1985 down Dodge Crew Cab and did the Cummins swap; that may be the way to go. Note that this was evidently a first class conversion job in many ways. Too; for the 'SUV' look; maybe a 1993 down Ramcharger back half grafted onto said Crew Cab with frame modifications as needed. Such a 'Frankenstein' would be realistic to use as a daily driver since about 98% of the parts involved would be Mopar. :)
     
  12. Jerry Simcik

    Jerry Simcik Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2012
    Messages:
    3,622
    Likes:
    1,160
  13. pt006

    pt006 Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2014
    Messages:
    1,291
    Likes:
    502
    Cuda 86; I agree with others, the engine is just too much for the chassis. The new 3.0 diesel would be a nice fit or a diesel from a mercedes sphincter van should work.

    Plan B: install big speakers in the back, play a tape of a cummins (or a locomotive), leave the back doors half open, and burn some oily rags to get that 'ole diesel feelin'.
     
  14. wtxiceman

    wtxiceman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2009
    Messages:
    1,293
    Likes:
    1,348
  15. PlymouthShelbyCuda86

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2010
    Messages:
    63
    Likes:
    1
    I wonder if the length of the Cummins 6BT combined with the A727 TorqueFlite automatic (if it was still available that late) would be a factor?

    ~Ben
     

Share This Page

Loading...
 We are not affiliated with FCA. We make no claims regarding validity or accuracy of information or advice. Copyright © VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.