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Gas to Diesel Conversion

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by willyswanter, Jul 9, 2003.

  1. willyswanter

    willyswanter 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Ok, I'm in the final planning stages of my vortec 454 to cummins conversion here... I've called CARB, DMV, Referee, etc and get different answers from all of them... My truck is a 96 and I want to install a 2003 HO Cummins from a 2003 Ram into it.

    I've heard that I cannot use anything but a GM offered engine, that I can use the dodge engine but with a dodge tranny, that I can use the dodge engine with a gm tranny, etc. I can't get a straight confirmed answer. I would like to run the Cummins, relatively stock with my 4l80e auto behind it, and yes it will be completely built, but most likely I'll buy a JET model setup for 800 ft/lbs.

    So, what exactly are the laws for California? I'm assuming once I get the swap done, I have to have it inspected then I get a Diesel title issued for the truck? And that would end my every two year smog checks correct? Also, I'm aware that all smog equipment from donor vehicle must be transfered to new vehicle, what exactly is this on a Diesel? Do they have cats, etc?

    Thanks in advance for the info, I'm desperate since I have found an engine for a great price but don't want to buy it and find out I can't use it
     
  2. zakk

    zakk 1/2 ton status

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    how will they be able to tell a CTD from a Duramax?
     
  3. zakk

    zakk 1/2 ton status

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    p.s. who has dibs on the Vortec 454? i might be interested /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
     
  4. willyswanter

    willyswanter 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    It's getting rebuilt and going in the camaro /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
     
  5. jhrody

    jhrody 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    how will they be able to tell a CTD from a Duramax?

    [/ QUOTE ]
    the Duramax is a V8. The CTD is a I6.
     
  6. jhrody

    jhrody 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Ok, I'm in the final planning stages of my vortec 454 to cummins conversion here... I've called CARB, DMV, Referee, etc and get different answers from all of them... My truck is a 96 and I want to install a 2003 HO Cummins from a 2003 Ram into it.

    I've heard that I cannot use anything but a GM offered engine, that I can use the dodge engine but with a dodge tranny, that I can use the dodge engine with a gm tranny, etc. I can't get a straight confirmed answer. I would like to run the Cummins, relatively stock with my 4l80e auto behind it, and yes it will be completely built, but most likely I'll buy a JET model setup for 800 ft/lbs.

    So, what exactly are the laws for California? I'm assuming once I get the swap done, I have to have it inspected then I get a Diesel title issued for the truck? And that would end my every two year smog checks correct? Also, I'm aware that all smog equipment from donor vehicle must be transfered to new vehicle, what exactly is this on a Diesel? Do they have cats, etc?

    Thanks in advance for the info, I'm desperate since I have found an engine for a great price but don't want to buy it and find out I can't use it


    [/ QUOTE ]

    As far as I know, Cali engine swap laws say you can use any engine you want as long as it is the same model year or newer than your chassis. I have never hear of anything against a different make of engine as long as all the smog stuff from the donor engine gets transferred with it. After all, the Duramax engine is technically an Isuzu engine, Chevy is breaking the law if that was the case. I do know that alot of modern diesels have a device similar to a cat converter. I cannot remember the name of it, but it works the same way. Starting in about 1999 most diesels were mandated to lower polltion levels. Most diesel makers increased the fuel pressure to the injectors to help with pollution. Upwards of 20000psi in some of them. Not sure what the concept is, but it helps the pollution readings. Diesels produce oxides of nitrogen and sulfer for the most part.
     
  7. Paxx

    Paxx 1/2 ton status

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    So Jason what happened to going with the 12 valve Cummins? I seem to remember hearing you say "the 24 valves are unrealiable hunks of iron in my books" somewhere down the line. /forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif
     
  8. willyswanter

    willyswanter 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    I did, but I like the 2003 HO models /forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif But my grandfathers 99 is a pos /forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif

    But now after speaking with a few people it looks like I'm back to a 96,97, or 98 12 valve again...
     
  9. Bubba Ray Boudreaux

    Bubba Ray Boudreaux 1 ton status

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    As far as I know, no smog for diesels since the exhaust will destroy the sniff machine.
     
  10. 4X4HIGH

    4X4HIGH 1 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Mercedes has developed a way to smog test diesel engines quite a few years ago and is just now making the break through into the smog world. Pretty soon diesel will no longer be smog exempt. Just something to look forward too.
     
  11. Suburbanite

    Suburbanite Registered Member

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    I think you'd be better off with a '96-'97 Cummins 12V. From what I've read all that's reqd to get it running once it's installed is 2 wires, in other words it's almost totally mechinal & compared to a '98.5-up 24V electronic nightmare is a piece of cake to get running. They can also be BOMBed to produce some pretty outrageous TQ #'s. There are some folks with engines producing over 1000 lbft of torque! Don't expect the engine to last very long at those levels tho.

    Another option you might want to consider since it's purportedly quieter is an Isuzu 6BD1T. Here are some links with info on Isuzu diesels:

    http://www.off-road.com/tlc/faq.txt (page sometimes doesn't load)
    http://www.collegeinternetsolutions.com/cisautoweb/dtlc/comparecummins.html

    Good luck.
     
  12. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    They've been testing diesels here for years.
     
  13. BlackDog714

    BlackDog714 1/2 ton status

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    Yeah, but the only thing they test in Seattle is for opacity. They dont actually test for the emisions output
     
  14. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    But that still means its not smog exempt. *Used* to be at the very beginning of emissions testing.

    So swapping to a diesel to get a diesel is fine, but buying a diesel so you can swap a gas engine into it is risky if you live in an emissions area that doesn't yet test diesels.
     
  15. willyswanter

    willyswanter 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Well here they are planning on changing the smog laws so in a year or so all diesels will be tested. And if you have a pre-2003 year you have to buy the retrofit kit for your diesel which is around a grand /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif That is why I was wantin the 2003, it already had the smog junk on it and was ready to go. I could care less if I have to go get it smog checked or not, I just want a freakin diesel, I tow alot...
     
  16. K30CJ

    K30CJ 1/2 ton status

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    The Cummins would make a great swap. You'll love it for towing and mpg. Sorry you have to deal with the CA laws. /forums/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif My choice would be a 96-98.5 12 valve. The injection pumps on those things can make some big HP/torque from the little 5.9 liter six, and it'll hold up just fine. The drivetrain is what you'll have to worry about./forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif My Cummins is putting 606 lb. ft. to the wheels with just a couple free tweaks.
     
  17. u2slow

    u2slow 1/2 ton status

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    Around here you can get around smog laws a number of ways in varying degrees.

    1. Wheelbase. If you can convince the technician your truck is a fulltime 4wd and has a wheelbase exceeding 125" - it won't fit on their special 4wd dyno. Idle test only.

    2. Studded tires. Between certain months you may run studded tires around here. Studded tires aren't safe to run on a dyno. Idle test only.

    3. Licensed GVW. If you license your vehicle above 5001kg (~11,000lbs) you are smog exempt.

    4. Usage territory. Licensing fees and smog requirements are ascertained on a territorial basis. Population centers have the highest fees and require smog checking. Rural areas have lower fees and no smog checking. Prove your vehicle is used only out in the boonies or strictly for vacationing (no fixed area) and you become smog exempt.

    5. Vintage plates. I think the vehicle has to be 40-50 years old and original condition. Smog exempt.

    6. Collector plates. 25 years old (or 15 years and limited production) and original condition. Initial smog test, otherwise smog exempt.

    7. Motorhomes. If 3500kg (7700lbs) or greater net weight - smog exempt.

    I realize I'm Canadian and smog laws aren't applied equally north and south of our border. Just throwing some tidbits out there - maybe it applies elsewhere as well. /forums/images/graemlins/thinking.gif

    Overall, vehicle specifics are glossed with our testing. I've told them I've installed a larger engine a few times in different trucks; they punch the info into their computers and carry on... A nieghbour of mine got his '52 IH pickup tested even though it had an '86 Ford 6.9L diesel in it. I can only assume they tested it as an '86 Ford pickup.
     
  18. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    I just insured a car in "Territory 'Z'" to get around air-scare. They asked if I work out of province to which I replied "Occassionally". Then they asked if I worked all over BC, so I answered "Occasionally" once more and that was it. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    Territory 'Z' is for those that travel all over for their work. It's pretty vaguely worded, so I kept my answers deliberately vague.

    Rene
     
  19. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    I dont wanna hear complaints from you guys!

    When exactly were your passenger cars *required* to have catalytic converters?

    IIRC, even some of your 80's cars didn't have them.

    I'm just playing around, but aren't your emissions systems a lot "newer" than what we've been dealing with? (AIR since the 60's, Converters and EGR from the 70's)
     
  20. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    Cats and stuff made their debut here in '75, A.I.R pumps go further back than that. '68 was about the beginning for the most primitive emissions devices...

    Light trucks followed a few years later than passenger cars, but I think the same was the case in the U.S.

    As far as I know Canada was no easier on emissions junk than the U.S. they just went along with whatever you guys were doing.

    Rene
     

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