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Old 02-16-2008, 05:35 PM   #29
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Engine is in. Head is on, valves adjusted, Exhaust brake and exhaust installed.
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1979 AIRSTREAM EXCELLA / DRIVER CONTROLLED AIRBAGS IN REAR / BUFFED / HEAT DISSIPATING WHITE PAINTED ROOF / 2500 WATT INVERTER / KUBOTA DIESEL 5.5KW GENSET / ((((CUMMINS)))) TURBO DIESEL / 14CM TURBO HOUSING WITH PACBRAKE EXHAUST BRAKE / 4" EXHAUST WITH 5" EXAHAUST TIP / 16 MPG
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Old 02-16-2008, 05:58 PM   #30
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saluda , Virginia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outofcontrol
I have been waiting for this for 2yrs now. so much talk, and someone is actually going to do it. I'm so excited, I can hardly contain myself. Take too many pictures. Every time I do a project like this I always end up not having enough pictures. I have about 200 questions, but here's just a few:

1.Are you in Virginia? Why did you go all the way to Phx for tranny work? Something special?
2.What aftermarket Tq converter are you using?
3.Did you rebuild the donor motor? How many miles? How much?
4.Are you going to turn up the power on the motor? (1991= 190hp?)
5.Do you have a gas genset? What are the plans there?
6.Are you using the old power steering/brake booster set up?
7.Do you have ideas for cruise control?
8.Where are you going to put the cold air charge cooler (intercooler)?
9.Are the gauges on the dash going to work?
10.Have you fitted the doghouse yet? Any clearance issues so far?

That's only 10 questions, but it will get me started.

take your time answering me, I hope you have time to entertain us all, but I'm sure there's a ton of fans of what you're doing.

-Kevin
1. phoenix had the best deal on ebay
2. phoenix uses larger diameter upgraded trq converter
3. I reconditioned the head, cyls still had cross hatches, 235k miles literally not broken in yet.
4. 1991 = 160 hp/400 lbs trq. I will turn up if necessary. mileage only concern
5. I use a Honda 3000eu inverter on the back receiver hitch cargo platform when I need a genset. I run the high amp alternator and 2500 watt inverter instead of genset when air is needed enroute. diesel gensets just are too heavy, too loud and not worth the money in my opinion.
6. I'm using the power steering pump on the Cummins to power the brake booster and the power steering on the motorhome. In the pictures you will see that i have combined the brake booster and power steering return lines into 1 tee, then back to the pump. The pressure side lines bolt right up.
7. no cruise control thoughts yet, but they have aftermarket kits i will investigate.
8. intercooler will mount just behind the grill, no big deal here.
9. oil press, water temp sensors screw right into the cummins. tach will work with kit from Dakota Digital (counts teeth on flywheel. interfaces with small computer and coverts signal to power stock tach.) chevy speedo cable screws right into 47rh tranny. will have to buy correction gear to adjust speed readout. also installed boost, pyrometer, trans temp and fuel press gauges.
10. only issue with doghouse is that it bumps the exhaust brake. will have to cut it away a little.

additionally, I am using the original air conditioning condenser for a huge transmission oil cooler
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1979 AIRSTREAM EXCELLA / DRIVER CONTROLLED AIRBAGS IN REAR / BUFFED / HEAT DISSIPATING WHITE PAINTED ROOF / 2500 WATT INVERTER / KUBOTA DIESEL 5.5KW GENSET / ((((CUMMINS)))) TURBO DIESEL / 14CM TURBO HOUSING WITH PACBRAKE EXHAUST BRAKE / 4" EXHAUST WITH 5" EXAHAUST TIP / 16 MPG
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Old 02-16-2008, 06:06 PM   #31
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GWB

This would make a great article for the AirstreamArticles section.

Much appreciate your sharing this. Lots of fun playing armchair mechanic.

Barry
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Old 02-16-2008, 06:11 PM   #32
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1979 28' Airstream Excella 28
saluda , Virginia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimGolden
Really cool project. But, I have one of the same questions as Kevin. Do you think the '91 Cummins will have enough power as-is? Or are you going to hot rod it? My dad has a '99 Ram with the Cummins. I think his is rated at like 215 or 230hp or so with about 420 ft-lbs. He's pulling a Holiday Rambler 5er and it's not powerful enough. My '04 has 305hp and 555 ft-lbs and it's a night and day difference. Are you going to upgrade the turbo? I know you can do a lot to those Cummins to really ramp them up. A friend of mine has a 12V engine in his '99, but he's modified it and is making about the same power as my newer 24v one. And he didn't get radical. Just curious. That's a big ol' motorhome you have. Cool project though. Keep up the great work!
stock 454 in my rig has 380 lbs of trq, so 400 lbs from the cummins will be more than enough. I will turn up the 'Full power adjustment screw' until EGT is running high. I did put the 14cm turbo housing on to increase mid range and increase low end spool up. remember, this is only a 28ft motorhome and only about 11k lbs. much less than the combined weight of your friend's truck and the holiday rambler
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Old 02-16-2008, 06:18 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwbaker
stock 454 in my rig has 380 lbs of trq, so 400 lbs from the cummins will be more than enough. I will turn up the 'Full power adjustment screw' until EGT is running high.
When I worked in a tractor/irrigation engine shop in the Texas panhandle, our instructions for turning up the pump was to put the engine on the dyno and up the flow till the EGT was 1,300 degrees Fahrenheit. I always stopped at 1,250.
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Old 02-16-2008, 06:21 PM   #34
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yes i agree. full power should yield 1250 pre turbo
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1979 AIRSTREAM EXCELLA / DRIVER CONTROLLED AIRBAGS IN REAR / BUFFED / HEAT DISSIPATING WHITE PAINTED ROOF / 2500 WATT INVERTER / KUBOTA DIESEL 5.5KW GENSET / ((((CUMMINS)))) TURBO DIESEL / 14CM TURBO HOUSING WITH PACBRAKE EXHAUST BRAKE / 4" EXHAUST WITH 5" EXAHAUST TIP / 16 MPG
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Old 02-16-2008, 06:29 PM   #35
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Interesting thread, thanks for posting.
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Old 02-16-2008, 07:02 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwbaker
yes i agree. full power should yield 1250 pre turbo
Good point. I neglected to say that we put our temp probe in the exhaust manifold before the turbo.
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Old 02-17-2008, 01:18 AM   #37
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Awesome!

Wow! you have done so much already! thanks for answering all my questions- you have given me so much confidence to start this on my own. I especially like the high resolution pics!
I have more questions when you have the time:
1. I saw the plate on the 454 for a picker, but how did you set the 6BT without the head? is the 6BT the same weight as the 454? ~200lbs+?
2. did you have to move a crossmember right under the front of the motor?
3. have you had any unforseen obstacles yet? it looks like everthing is going according to plan!

YOU are the MAN! thanks again for sharing your project with us!

4. are you a mechanic by trade? hobby?
5. are you keeping track of expenses? do you have a budget?
6. what do you expect for mpg at 55mph?
7. what's this? (see attached pic)

Sorry I have so many questions. I've rebuilt 1 car motor, about 5 motorcycle motors, and done minor repairs on a Cummins, but it's by no means my profession or even my hobby. I've emailed about 10 people that have done this swap, but never even one picture of proof - I can't thank you enough for entertaining me/us here.

-Kevin

"Horsepower sells cars, but torque wins races." -Enzo Ferrari
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Old 02-17-2008, 06:40 AM   #38
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One heck of a job, well thought out and executed. I am truely impressed!
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Old 02-17-2008, 07:24 AM   #39
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1979 28' Airstream Excella 28
saluda , Virginia
Join Date: Apr 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outofcontrol
Wow! you have done so much already! thanks for answering all my questions- you have given me so much confidence to start this on my own. I especially like the high resolution pics!
I have more questions when you have the time:
1. I saw the plate on the 454 for a picker, but how did you set the 6BT without the head? is the 6BT the same weight as the 454? ~200lbs+?
2. did you have to move a crossmember right under the front of the motor?
3. have you had any unforseen obstacles yet? it looks like everthing is going according to plan!

YOU are the MAN! thanks again for sharing your project with us!

4. are you a mechanic by trade? hobby?
5. are you keeping track of expenses? do you have a budget?
6. what do you expect for mpg at 55mph?
7. what's this? (see attached pic)

Sorry I have so many questions. I've rebuilt 1 car motor, about 5 motorcycle motors, and done minor repairs on a Cummins, but it's by no means my profession or even my hobby. I've emailed about 10 people that have done this swap, but never even one picture of proof - I can't thank you enough for entertaining me/us here.

-Kevin

"Horsepower sells cars, but torque wins races." -Enzo Ferrari
1. Had to run a nylon strap around the engine and through the chain hole on the cherry picker. cummins is 1100lbs / 454 is 750lbs
2. moved the front crossmember forward about 2 inches, but after I located the tranny rear mount, I realized that I probably did not need to move the crossmember.
3. Unforseen obstacles: I had to totally remove the doghouse once the head was on so I could drop the pushrods in. didnt see that one coming. Also, I waited over a month for those stupid motor mounts from ACD engines in SLC, Utah, but they did not work. They are only for the chevy transmission setup as the adapter plate for the chevy has the cummins tilted off to one side. I tried to modify them, but to no avail. So what you see is the mounts I scarfed and modded out of the dodge. I cant say enough about the importance of buying a donor truck for all these little ankle biters.
4. I'm a helicopter pilot by trade, but I grew up on a dairy farm in NY and have been swapping engines and turning wrenches my whole life. I am also an aircraft airframe and powerplant certified mechanic. When I get out of the service, I would love to start getting some diesel certifications just so I could start digging into these cummins engines a little deeper (I.E. inj pumps etc.)
5.original budget was 7k, but I'm estimating 9k in the end with everything. I could have easily kept under 7k if I would have reused some things, but I just could not help it.
6. My goal is 15MPG @ 55MPH. I will turn screws and adjust tranny shift points to try for this goal.
7. That picture is the vacuum control switch that controls the exhaust brake. The big silver cylinder on the right side of the engine is the vacuum cylinder that actuates the brake.

Keep the questions coming. The reason I started this thread was to share all this stuff. It took me about a year to scarf the info I needed to do this swap. It shouldnt take any of you that long, just shoot me a private email, and we'll exchange ph #'s to get down to the nitty gritty.
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Old 02-17-2008, 10:45 AM   #40
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GW, did your original budget include the cost of the donor vehicle or was the budget $7000 + donor vehicle?

I'm very impressed with the progres you've been making. We currently have no plans to convert to a Cummins, however the first time our 12,000 mile 454 starts experiencing problems we'll start looking for a donor vehicle .

Considering the difference between the weight of the engines are you planning on replacing the front springs with uprated ones?

By all means keep the photos and details coming!

Thanks,

Brad
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Old 02-17-2008, 02:49 PM   #41
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1979 28' Airstream Excella 28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkahler
GW, did your original budget include the cost of the donor vehicle or was the budget $7000 + donor vehicle?

I'm very impressed with the progres you've been making. We currently have no plans to convert to a Cummins, however the first time our 12,000 mile 454 starts experiencing problems we'll start looking for a donor vehicle .

Considering the difference between the weight of the engines are you planning on replacing the front springs with uprated ones?

By all means keep the photos and details coming!

Thanks,

Brad
7k included the cost of the donor

If the front sags too much, I think I will replace the front springs with airbags just like the back. That way I can control the front end from the cab just like I control the rear end.
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Old 02-17-2008, 03:25 PM   #42
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2-17-08 updates

Today, I installed the injectors, injector lines and return lines, mounted the radiator, intercooler and intercooler piping. I bought the piping kit on ebay for 89.00 all aluminum and its all pre bent stuff. It worked out great. I needed 2 1/2 inch piping, and thats one of the common sizes that the tuner guys use. I had to move the radiator forward about 4 inches. Luckily, there are already holes there, so I just had to enlarge them with the drill. No worries, worked out great.
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