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detroit engines 6v-53, 3-71, what transmissions?

Discussion in '1982-Present GM Diesel' started by Backroads, Aug 4, 2008.

  1. Backroads

    Backroads 1/2 ton status

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    What transmissions bolt up to a 6v-53 or 3-71 detroits? Is there an adaptor to mate them to a chevy transmission? I've seen pics of few conversions. There are some videos on youtube also, there is 79 ford wrecker with a 6v-53 plowing snow, it sounds mean! Also vids of a 60's gm pickup with a 3-71.
     
  2. smalltruckbigcid

    smalltruckbigcid 1/2 ton status

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    Arampi is doing a swap like this. The bell housing is called SAE round pattern. From there they get sized by number IIRC like num 1 num2 and so on.

    There are some problems with this idea. Its not cheap to do unless you have the RUNNING engine already. Second they ain't light, Arampi's swap is using the aluminum block 4-71 so he'll save some weight but...its still cubic dollars. The easiest tranny's will be spicers's or New Process's out of farm trucks. A 5 speed direct drive (no OD) will weigh about 250 and cost under 500 I think. The condition of it will vary as will the cost to repair, think $$ to $$$$
     
  3. Backroads

    Backroads 1/2 ton status

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    I had a chance to buy a BIG GMC truck (C80?)with a 6v-53, not sure of the transmission. It was running and driving, he wanted less than $1000. I had no where to put it though, and at the time I really wasnt sure if was something I could have used. Too late now.
     
  4. smalltruckbigcid

    smalltruckbigcid 1/2 ton status

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    An option for the diesel that might be easier or cheaper is a 4BT cummins from a bread truck. Some of those came with a TH-400 transmission. Thats right the t400 we know and love, it does require an adapter but they show up on ebay from time to time. The others use a 4speed. But the easiest way is to get a complete truck and strip the parts and sell the scrap. Many of them have aluminum bodies so the scrap price is very good.
     
  5. ARAMP1

    ARAMP1 Aviator Extraordinaire Premium Member

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    It's actually fairly simple to hook a SM465 up to an in line 53 series engine. You just need to get a GM bellhousing for it. (It's simple to get the parts for that is. I've never done it personally but know a few that have with no problems.) The V-53 series and the 71 series however will use an SAE series bellhousing as Smalltruckbigcid noted. Most road application Detroits came with the SAE #2 size. The main problem is that these engines don't like to rev, so any transmission without an overdrive really maxes your top speed out pretty slow. There's also issues with pilot bearing sizes,etc. Currently, I have a 13 speed roadranger for mine, but I'm not sure I'm going to use it. There's a company called phoenix casting that make transmission adapters for big engines. I was thinking about using a NP4500 or even a Tremec TR-4050 which is a beafier heavier duty 5 speed overdrive with similar gear ratios.
     
  6. Backroads

    Backroads 1/2 ton status

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    I'm going to start visiting big truck junk yards to see what I can find. There a few around here. The 4bt cummins looks like the most simple swap for now, but I would like to do a big detroit one day.
     

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