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Old 12-25-2018, 03:55 PM   #1
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1979 28' Airstream Excella 28
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Duramax Allision Conversion 79 Airstream

I am embarking on putting a 2007 Duramax Engine in my 79 Airstream MoHo. Chevrolet engine came out of out of a 2006 Chevy 2500HD. It is a Duramax LBZ 6.6L rated at 360 horsepower and 650 Lb-Ft of torque from the factory. Mated up to it is the automatic Allison 1000 6 speed automatic heavy duty transmission. This engine and transmission combination has 92,582 miles. The VIN indicated it was in a wreck from the Carfax and not a flood job. This combination is perfect for anything that needs MAXIMUM torque! I currently have a Big Block Chevy with turbo 400 transmission and gear vendor. I want more torque and dependability without having to work the drive train since I pull a full size car trailer also to most car events that I go to. I am starting this adventure in January and will share it here in the forum. If you know anyone who has done this let me know. I have already worked out the details such as finding the donor in Ohio being shipped to California, it is LBZ 6.6L Engine 360 HP 650 LB-FT. The Allison 1000 6 speed automatic HD transmission is good for 250000 miles if you treat it right and do not overheat it. Flashed ECM – VATS removed so it a 4 wire hook up and everything should work. It came with the driveshaft which I will shorten and merge with what I have now. OBD2/DLC connector (wired up and ready to be used to tune). This is important since I have to smog this unit in California, yes I do and its crazy. Stand-Alone wiring harness again is set up for a 4 wire hook up. Fuel Pump (pre-wired for ease of installation). I will need to add a booster pump in the tank since its so far back and this is made aftermarket, about $1000 complete. It comes with Radiator, Intercooler, Cooling Fans (pre-wired for ease of installation) that I have to work out since this is a turbo model diesel. The challenge starts.
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Old 12-25-2018, 04:18 PM   #2
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You bet it's going to be a challenge; others have tried and met big problems with false sensor readings shutting down the engine, or sending it into limp home mode every 50 miles; and then having to reboot and clear codes.

I'll take the simplicity of my 12 valve Cummins/ Allison I'm putting into my Argosy over your Duramax anyday.

Good luck with the project, and I'll keep suscribing to this thread.

Cheers
Sidekick Tony
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Old 12-25-2018, 06:47 PM   #3
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1987 34.5' Airstream 345
Menomonee Falls , Wisconsin
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Hey,
If I didn't have a new trans in this unit, I may have considered going diesel.
You know, a duramax Allison is a great combo. Bulletproof, powerful, and it's got a good reputation in the feild. But that's an awful lot of work adapting it into an AS. The cummins is simple Don't know if you can put an Allison on it, but that would be a great combo. I had a cummins in my dodge. It finally was broke in at 38 K miles. 18.7 mpg .
Are you happy with your gear vender overdrive. I'd be interested in it, if your looking to sell..
The only real advantage I can see going diesel is the mileage, and longevity. They use twice the oil, they re louder, fuel price is pretty close to gas, and they're a lot more expensive to fix. The cool factor does come into play here,
If I had a line on a cummins Allison combo, and had to do what I did with my AS, I may very well have gone diesel. It's a toss up. But I love diesals, the sound, the smell of the smoke, Rollin coal is very cool. DJ
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Old 12-29-2018, 11:45 AM   #4
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1986 34.5' Airstream 345
choctaw , Oklahoma
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I looked at the duramax for my 345. I got a cd with the way to get rid of the codes. Looked all the way and decided on the 12V Cummins. I do have the Allison T1000 6 speed behind it. With the 2 overdrives of the Allison didn't need to regear the rear end. Still working the bug out but get 10 mpg compered to 6-7 with the 454. Noise is ready no more than the gas'r... Just a different tune. I'm in the process of upgrading the turbo to one off a 24V Cummins a HE351 (I think). The new turbo is 2 3/4" and all my pumping is 3". So I wait for a 2 3/4" elbow to come from China so I can hook the air back up.
Right now between knee replacement that's not going well and more back fusing I'm stuck in the sitting position for a while longer.
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Old 12-29-2018, 01:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by choctawmel View Post
I looked at the duramax for my 345. I got a cd with the way to get rid of the codes. Looked all the way and decided on the 12V Cummins. I do have the Allison T1000 6 speed behind it. With the 2 overdrives of the Allison didn't need to regear the rear end. Still working the bug out but get 10 mpg compered to 6-7 with the 454. Noise is ready no more than the gas'r... Just a different tune. I'm in the process of upgrading the turbo to one off a 24V Cummins a HE351 (I think). The new turbo is 2 3/4" and all my pumping is 3". So I wait for a 2 3/4" elbow to come from China so I can hook the air back up.
Right now between knee replacement that's not going well and more back fusing I'm stuck in the sitting position for a while longer.
Jeez Mel, it's beginning to sound like you're going to have more replacement parts than your 345!

Here's to a speedy recovery so you can get back on your feet.

Brad
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