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Old 01-30-2011, 01:55 PM   #1
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1981 28' Airstream 280
Arvada , Colorado
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Duramax Allison retrofit

Anyone need install help with a Duramax I have just completed the task and information is current in the brain housing group.
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Old 01-30-2011, 03:32 PM   #2
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Question I've got a few questions...

First, if you don't mind me asking, how much did it cost? Next up why? What were you replacing? The original Isuzu TD? Was it (or the tranny) toasted? How did it fit and how much did you have to retrofit? And of course we want pictures! Love to see a view from the doghouse. Last but not least, wow!!!
Thanks,
Ken
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Old 01-31-2011, 09:31 AM   #3
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Cost is hard to relate since I did all the work myself,but not cheap because used or total loss trucks with the Diesel package bring rain. I would say 8k but the labor is insane. I have pictures posted and will post more. I just completed the chevy dash install this weekend. The AS was in horrible condintion pretty much I only purchased it for the shell. I gave 5k and overpaid but you do not argue with trailer trash crack heads in the barrio of Reno with 6k cash in your pocket. It had a gas engine 454, being a long time Mechanic and shop owner I can tell you if your going to keep these on the road you had better upgrade to the most efficient power train possible and carburators are not the answer. The fit was extremely tight within 1/16 inch and I had as many hours doing measurments as the actual install. The Cummings would be a better choice and although noisy can generate plenty of power and very reliable reason being the straight six is upright and not as wide as the DM, I have heard that it is possible to buy adapter plates for the Allison and people who make harnesses for whatever you desire which would help mating that trans with a Cummings. The Inter cooler of the DM is the real problem and you need to use every part of the power train for function and reliability, it's size makes it hell to install in the AS if you notice in the pictures how much I had to shift everything right to get a good fit, when you shift anything you better be ready to do a lot of Mod's, good new's is it will fit but finding someone to do it for you would be slim. I have a mechanical shop here in Co and it took me working weekends roughly 6 months, oh and building a dog house is no easy feat that will not interfere with the turbo,gas pedal and list goes on.
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Old 01-31-2011, 04:39 PM   #4
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Rollman - looked through your pics - what an amazing mechanical feat - impressive transplant! Best wishes with the project!

Steve
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Old 01-31-2011, 06:54 PM   #5
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Wow. It looks like somebody drove my truck through my motorhome. Amazing work Rollman.
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Old 02-12-2011, 11:07 PM   #6
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This was something that I was thinking about doing, but think I will put the Dmax that I have in the truck and put the 8.1 and Allison in the 310. Both Dmax and 8.1 are 2001 units. The extra work to fit the inter-cooler and cost to switch the genset to propane or diesel, just out of the budget! Should be able to fit the 8.1 in with out to much modifications. Just need to find a parking brake unit for the back of the Allison!
Great job on the swap
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Old 02-15-2011, 12:15 PM   #7
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I feel stupid asking... but I could not see where the thread is...
Please post a link?
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Old 02-15-2011, 09:35 PM   #8
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Look at Rollman's Photo Gallery. It's more of a photo thread!
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Old 07-11-2013, 05:30 PM   #9
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What an awesome thing. i still miss my 280 and wish I has the funds and ability to do a Cummins or duramax swap in one. Wow.
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Old 07-11-2013, 06:39 PM   #10
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COOL! Do you call that a diesel puller?
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Old 07-16-2013, 05:28 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALANSD View Post
What an awesome thing. i still miss my 280 and wish I has the funds and ability to do a Cummins or duramax swap in one. Wow.
Some day I will find a rear bedroom 28 and mate it with a 2011+ F350 diesel 4x4 drivetrain. As much as I like the rear engine diesel, there some advantages of having the engine up front. Lots of dust for the engine to deal with in the rear. Having a 1000 lb block of metal between you the idiots on the road ain't a bad thing either. The new Ford diesels are also very quiet.
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