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Old 11-05-2006, 09:50 PM   #29
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Pictures of Wayne's Cummins Powered 345!

As mentioned, Wayne was kind enough to spend this afternoon with Brian and I while we poured over his 345. As a bonus Rob came up in his 345 to join us. Between the general gabbing, "how does yours work" Q&A, interior shows and general running appreciation for these beauties we learned a lot and made some great new friends. Brian is still driving back to Atlanta as we speak and I'm sure will add to this thread as soon as he recovers from some serious road warrior time.

I'll try and post more tomorrow about this conversion but want to get started with some basic observations and a few pics.

The one thing that struck me the most was how "factory" this installation appeared to everyone. If you didn't know better, the conversion looked as if it came from JC with that Cummins installed.

The Cummins/Allison drivetrain made for a powerful combination. We drove Wayne's 345 down the highway to lunch and with the cruise set to 70 it barely notices any rises or falls in the road...it just stayed at 70.

Cabin noise was noticably different than a gasser. Louder, but not by much, more of a lower tone rumble. Kind of like a school bus. Noise became less of an issue at speed but all agreed some additional sound deadening would be a good idea since there wasn't any added to the doghouse for this installation.

Once we got into the details things actually appear to be very simply engineered. No crazy mounts or cobbed together radiator connections. This commercial engine looked right at home in the bay and in fact fit perfectly.

Items like the hydraulic jack resevoir were simple relocated to convienant places. The Kohler generator was fed from an additional 40 gal tank with it's own fill door, the radiator came out of the donor and the hydroboost was re-used for brakes and steering.

Once I get my notes together I'll post more details. For now here are some pics.

Nice neat installation
Ton of room...we were amazed at the clearances
Motor mount
Three 345s together (RobFike, swebster, Wayne_Olson)
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Old 11-05-2006, 09:55 PM   #30
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More photos

"BIG" exhaust hints at something special under there
Motor mounts, looks as if they are pretty simple eared brackets that pickup the original mounts
Three in a row.
Crossmember clearance - no issues
Another angle on the motor mount
Aux gas tank behind propane tank for genny
Hydraulic resevoir relocated to drivers side fender
Clean radiator and cooler installation
Dodge pickup as comparison. This is the same engine that was in the 345
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Old 11-05-2006, 10:06 PM   #31
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Transmission Clearance is good. Could not get to tranny mount so I'm hoping Brian got these
Drivers side motor mount (shot from wheel well looking aft)
Oil pan clearance
Radiator overflow
Cooling and air intake
Fan shroud
Alternator installation
Left side wiring harness
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Old 11-05-2006, 10:11 PM   #32
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Comparison P30 Mounts

Of course Wayne has an "extra" 1988 P30 chassis hanging around so we got these comparison photos:

Drivers Motor Mount
Passenger Motor Mount
Front Suspension
Cross Member
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Old 11-05-2006, 10:20 PM   #33
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We covered a lot today and my head is still spinning so more to follow. For now I'm headed to bed and will be dreaming of diesel engines.

Oh, one more thing. I got to drive it back from lunch. It was definately a different feel than my gasser. It starts with a touch of the key...I mean not even a full crank and it's running. We never got over 180 degrees even at 70mph and with the cruise control set at 65 it glided over small hills and over passes with no noticable lugging or even a change in engine noise or load.

Power delivery was noticably different. I drove it with a light foot but I noticed when Wayne was driving it accelerated quickly and kept on going as it shifted through the gears. It held about 2000 rpm at 65.
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Old 11-06-2006, 11:03 AM   #34
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Diesel conversions

These are beautiful!!

Best,

R
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Old 11-06-2006, 11:32 AM   #35
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It looks like that motor was made to fit in there. The pictures are awesome, and tell so much about the story. It looks like the dipstick is even routed to the front. I'm thinking it's the little things like the dipstick that make for a lot of details to work out.

I don't know what's more impressive, the motor swap, or actually getting 3 Classics of identical vintage together for a picture. That one pic with the fronts of the 3 is pretty cool. Even the wipers are all in the same spot.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne Olson
There was some modification to the front cross member in order to aid installation however nothing drastic.
Was the modification to the front crossmember the motor mounts or was there something esle?

My uncle has a 1st gen Dodge Cummins PU truck, and you can't even have a conversation next to it while it's running. My biggest fear about the early Dodge Cummins motors is the noise. But I guess you don't really sit around idling a motorhome - you don't have to drive it to work every day and wake up the neighbors, and you don't have to shut it down in a drive thru. An early non-electronic motor would be so much easier to use as a conversion motor - and cheaper! (I'm just thinking out loud here)

I'd bet the resale value would go up at least $10k and if you needed a new motor anyway, there's the other $5k. That's not even counting the fuel savings.
Let's make some assumptions:
10,000 miles/yr.
Gas = $2.50/gal.
Diesel = $3.00/gal. (at worst it's about $.50 more than Gas)
Gas MoHo = 6mpg (my 280 gets 7-8 w/454 60k mi.)
Diesel MoHo = 12mpg (I've heard of 14-16)

$4167/yr to fuel a gasser.
$2500/yr to fuel a Diesel
$1667 less per yr.
If a diesel re-power cost $16,000 (not considering resale or replacing your motor anyway (or every 100k mi)) you'd pay off your investment in 10yrs.

I bet diesel and gas will both cost equal in 5-10 yrs, and it will probably be more like $4.50 gal. At $4.50/gal you save $3750/yr in fuel and the conversion pays itself off in 4.3 yrs.

Good Stuff!!!

-Kevin
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Old 11-06-2006, 11:40 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swebster
Seems like you can do an older (pre-electronic) cummins conversion based on a dodge donor truck.

Of course the 6.5 GMs are plentiful as well. I'm going up there with Cummins on the brain and Brian is going with Duramax so we should all have a lot to talk about.
Excuse my ignorance but why does one want to avoid the electronic versions? What are the functions, dis-advantages and benefits of the electronics?
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Old 11-06-2006, 12:36 PM   #37
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Quote:
I don't know what's more impressive, the motor swap, or actually getting 3 Classics of identical vintage together for a picture. That one pic with the fronts of the 3 is pretty cool. Even the wipers are all in the same spot.
Kevin - it was pretty cool that we all got three 345s together. Only Brian (85/345) was without his 345 (he had to make due coming up in mine) but there are four 345s owned among the group. Rob and Wayne both have side queen bedrooms, Brian has rear twins and mine was a east-west queen until I redid the back room.

Quote:
Was the modification to the front crossmember the motor mounts or was there something esle?
There did not seem to be any modifications at all to the front cross member. The oil pan on the engine sat about 1.5 inches away from the crossmember. The engine mount looked fabricated but simple. The mounts looked like they bolted up to the original bolt patterns on the crossmember but moved the engine about an inch aft and slightly higher up. I have some more pictures to post on the mounts.

Quote:
Excuse my ignorance but why does one want to avoid the electronic versions? What are the functions, dis-advantages and benefits of the electronics?
Guy - Not sure. I understand the newer engines run cleaner and are quieter and the engine and tranny "talk" to each other via the electronics.

My personal opinion on this has to do with a preference for mechanical over electronic for troublshooting and DIY engineering. I think you might be able to mate alternative trannys to the older engines and think you'll find lowers prices on older donor vehicles.

For some reason the $2500 donor school bus seems to appeal to me given I'm an El Cheapo/K.I.S.S. guy and I just know the number of "little things" required for this conversion that you'll only figure out once you begin.

If anyone else know more about this question please chime in.

The Cummins in the 345 was a non intercooled commercial/industrial version. Could have come from any number of places including school buses, dump trucks, etc. When compared to the Dodge truck engine. things like the turbo position and intake air charge rounting were entirely difference. Apparantly the manifold can be mounted either way (exhaust exiting up or down) so you have some options on turbo position. On the Dodge it was down and then fed the intercooler, came up the other side and to the intake. On the 345 is was up and ran over the valve covers to the intake.
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Old 11-06-2006, 12:50 PM   #38
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Quote:
My uncle has a 1st gen Dodge Cummins PU truck, and you can't even have a conversation next to it while it's running. My biggest fear about the early Dodge Cummins motors is the noise.
It was louder on the inside, again a different pitch and tone but louder. You could still talk to each other fine, but maybe with slightly raised voices whereas in my gasser on the way home, Brian and I talked about the day with normal "car" voices.

I definately think additional sound proofing would solve this.

I did stay outside when Wayne moved his around his driveway and it was actually quieter outside than both Rob and my gassers. Very muffled exhaust note and the engine rumble was not really noticable.
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Old 11-06-2006, 04:49 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guy99
Excuse my ignorance but why does one want to avoid the electronic versions? What are the functions, dis-advantages and benefits of the electronics?
These are exactly the things I'm trying to figure out right now. I happen to know alot about the 1st gen. 12 Valve motors because I drove a garbage truck for 7 years with one in it. (previous life) I had to wear ear plugs every day to work around that motor.

Like Steven states, the motor talks to the tranny. Also, all the dashborard instruments are electronic, not mechanical, and the people I've talked to about it say it's quite a task making a different tranny work, and another task to make any dashboard work. I'm sure there's aftermarket clocks that would work, but it might get expensive. I know there's some other stuff like fuel pump pressures that have to be super accurate. And everything has a wire attached to it. In comparison, the older motors are just plain simple; power, fuel and you're off and running.

-KM
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Old 11-06-2006, 06:40 PM   #40
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As Wayne and John put it; one wire, a ground and a fuel line and she'll run. I like the sound of that.
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Old 11-06-2006, 07:19 PM   #41
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I've been thinking about a diesel re-power for a while. I have, however, read a little about the truly serious health effects of dirty diesels so if I do it I would want a 'clean' implmentation. It would be a different matter if biodiesel was a viable option for someone who drives a lot (44,000 miles in 29 months). But the availability is not great enough.

So I remain on the fence, looking for a way to convert to a clean diesel solution.
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Old 11-06-2006, 07:44 PM   #42
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Guy, if you can manage the engine swap bio-diesel is easy. Why not brew your own?
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