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Old 06-14-2017, 10:09 AM
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Clifford's Big Red Build Thread

Hi all,

The plans are starting to come together for the Cummins swap but I keep coming up with other items that need work or I want changed. Figured I’d start a build thread to house it all. The kids named the X Clifford when I first got it. So, here goes:

During the research period for my Cummins swap I came across this forum and really enjoy spending time reading about other ideas and mods to do for the X. From there, it sort of bloomed into this giant list that I have neither the time or money to do all of. So I’m trying to come up with a definitive list of mods/updates/fixes that I can actually manage getting done in the time I’ve allotted for myself. So, in no particular order, here are the items that this build thread will consist of:

Cummins swap with a ’94 p-pump bus engine (engine to be rebuilt as well during this process)
NV4500 transmission with PTO coolers, short shift tower, and using existing NP273 transfer case (with the goal of keeping my electronically controlled 4WD)
Driveshaft modification for the above
Powerstop brakes and steel braided lines
Update the trailer hitch to a Class V (not settled on this yet)
New springs – I haven’t settled on the actual method or springs but likely I’ll go to a local spring shop and have them make me “X Codes” that are the same dimensionally as the factory X springs. In other words, I want the same ride and height but with higher carrying capacity (if that's possible)
Remove and grease front hubs (needle bearing and sealed bearing)
New u-joints for every shaft I touch
New shocks (likely stick with the KYB monomax I currently have and dependent on spring selection)
Mechanical pillar gauges (EGT, ECT, EOT, Boost)
Rear clips for seat backs instead of the Velcro
Soundproofing the entire inside
Sandblasting and undercoating/painting entire vehicle undercarriage
Sandblast and paint bumpers/grill/running boards black (maybe)
Remove cladding
Front and rear differential fluid changes with new rear cover (not settled on the cover yet)
Door rust fix (front doors, the others seem to be fine so far)
New touchscreen radio (had a Pioneer that had known issues (found out after the fact) and they wont touch it – not sure what direction yet)
Toolbox for the rear - planning on making a wood box to fill the back cargo area, roughly 6-8" high, 2 drawers with full extension slides


I think that’s it so far….we’ll see if I add to this list over time. Why a cummins swap you ask? Well, with 264000+ on the clock right now, it’s time. The 6.0 has treated me VERY well so far and I have only one complaint: towing. Just got back from a camping trip to the UP. ~1400 miles of fighting. We were loaded pretty heavy as far as “Stuff”, but well under the maximum towing capacity of the vehicle. I’d say (guessing) that we were right around 8000 pounds total trailer weight. With the AC on, I could barely hit 60mph on flat ground (so everybody cooked in the car). EGT’s were consistently over 1000 and temperature hit 225 at one point. I also want the reliability of the Cummins. If I build it correctly and don’t try and throw a ton of HP and Torque at it, it should last me a good long time. Manual transmission is because I want one. I’ve looked that the 6 speed varieties and just can't justify the extra expense for the extra gear in the middle (I may eat those words one day). The other main reason, is just to do it. It’ll be a good project to do with my dad and there’s not that many of those left. I’m also keeping the factory gauge cluster working completely, with cruise control as well.

As I do this build, I’ll document all the trials and tribulations (as I know there will be) and costs to do as well (at least what I pay for each item and where I get it) with the goal of helping someone else out as I’ve been helped by this group of folks.

Last edited by EXSwap; 06-14-2017 at 10:11 AM. Reason: Added an item already. SMH.
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Old 06-14-2017, 11:14 AM
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I'll watch this build! Good luck
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Old 06-14-2017, 11:47 AM
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Looking forward to plenty of pics.
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Old 06-19-2017, 12:00 PM
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Did a little spitballing on the leaf spring question this weekend...and generated more questions. Surprise!

I took pictures of the codes stamped into the leaf springs on the truck and tried to find out what those mean (only to find out by reading that it's basically a fruitless search). Then I looked at the door tag to see that I have (supposedly) code DG springs. Then I got smart and looked through the tech folder to see what I could find. All sorts of info in there, but nothing definitive on the "DG" codes as far as weight capacity (that I saw). If I'm reading the information correctly, I have "D" code springs on the front, and "G" code springs on the back. So then, I googled and found a chart/identification on SD Truck Springs and it seems that the front leaf springs for all years are listed at 1,980 pounds per spring (3,960 per pair) and the rear "DG" code for 2000-2003 are 2,275 pounds per spring (4,550 per pair). So, simple question is:

Am I correct in identifying what "should" be the spring codes and their corresponding weight capacity?

I say "should" because who knows what actually happened to the X before I purchased it. On another note, my overloads are missing the stopper/bumper on them, so I'll be finding and replacing that ASAP. Hopefully I'm using the correct terminology. I'll be heading over to the spring shop this week to see what sort of price they'll give me on custom replacements (and post up what they say).
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Old 06-19-2017, 12:08 PM
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Call Junior at ATS, he just hooked me up with a set of springs for my conversion front and rear. That dressed Cummins weighs about 1200-1300 lbs.
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Old 06-19-2017, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Oldguyfl View Post
Call Junior at ATS, he just hooked me up with a set of springs for my conversion front and rear. That dressed Cummins weighs about 1200-1300 lbs.
I'll give him a shout as well...thanks!

I'll gain a little bit of that weight back with the NV4500, but not much...the weights I had were:

6.0 - ~965 pounds
Cummins - ~1500 pounds
5R110 - ~350 pounds
NV4500 - ~195 pounds

New springs are in my future for sure.
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Old 06-20-2017, 07:16 AM
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I never realized that an I6 Cummins weighs 1.5 times a 6.0 V8
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Old 06-20-2017, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by wizkid00104 View Post
I never realized that an I6 Cummins weighs 1.5 times a 6.0 V8
Actually, I was a bit off...according to Cummins, the dry weight is 1,100 pounds. Still a heavy little bugger
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Old 06-25-2017, 05:11 PM
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Saturday project was lubing the front hubs. I'm pretty sure I am/was on borrowed time with those. Overall not a bad job, but I'm pretty sure I'll b getting myself one of those zerk fittings y'all have floating around. I purchased a needle extension for my grease gun and it worked, but not great. I also took the opportunity to re-lube my slide pins on the front calipers.

The steps I followed were:

1. Chock rear wheels, jack up one side, support with jack stands and remove wheel.
2. Remove caliper and hang on the top of the shock with a short piece of wire.


3. Remove caliper bracket and set aside.
4. Remove rotor and set aside.
5. Clean all the grime, rust, etc. from the top of the hub with a wire brush. Not all will come off, but I got the majority.



6. GENTLY bend up the portion of the dust guard that sits over the ABS sensor.
7. Clean the area thoroughly. I used a combination of wire brush, flat head screw driver, and a small eyeglass type screwdriver to get in all the tight spots. Air to blow away all the particles and dust.
8. Remove the allen head screw holding the ABS sensor in place. It was fairly tight and seized in there so I took a small punch, set it on the head, and smacked it couple times with a hammer. Loosened it nicely.
9. Repeat step 7.
10. I used a pair of channel locks on the square head portion of the ABS sensor to rotate it back and forth a few times. Spray with WD and keep working it by rotating it to loosen everything up. Clean the area again.



11. Slide a flat screwdriver under where the allen bolt goes through.
12. GENTLY wok the screwdriver up and down while pulling up/rocking the head of the ABS sensor. This can take some time, but of you take your time, it'll come out without breaking. I broke the first one and now I have an ABS sensor to replace. Second one came out just fine. Clean off the sensor and inspect the o-rings. Mine had 2.





13. Insert the needle end of the grease gun onto the hole and give it a few pumps. Rotate hub. I never gave mine more than 3 pumps at a time. I repeated this until I could feel more resistance in the hub.
14. I cleaned any excess grease out of the hole and replaced the sensor.
15. Bend the dust guard back over the ABS sensor.
16. Slide rotor on.
17. Replace the caliper bracket
18. Replace caliper.
19. Put the wheel on.

Before I put the brakes back together, I cleaned up the slide pins, lubricated with antiseize and put it all back together. A word of caution: Don't get any on your brakes and it doesn't take much of that stuff. This is the first time I've tried antisieze in this application, so we'll see how it lasts. I'll be replacing my brakes with a powerstop system in the fall, so I'll know by then how it holds up.

The hardest part of this in my mind is getting those ABS sensors out without breaking them. I didn't use WD on the first one and went after it too hard and it broke. the second one came out relatively easily, but it took a bit of patience and time. Also, I ended up placing the first caliper on twisted, but because I took pictures for my super awesome write-up, I was able to go back when it didn't look right. I used a non-moly heavy duty grease from Lucas.

So, I guess I get to deal with no ABS for a bit until I get it changed out. My kids say I drive like a grandpa so shouldn't be a problem.

More pictures:




Grease gun attachment





Here's how I kept the sensor up and out of the way while greasing/rotating.
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Old 08-21-2017, 10:31 AM
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And so it begins.....

Picked up my trans this weekend for the 12V swap. Managed to find this online and drove a couple hours to go get it. I'll tear it down and rebuild it with the HD 1 3/8" input shaft and possibly a new output shaft for my 273 transfer case. Not exactly sure what that'll be yet. May have to change the transfer case input gear. I'll start keeping track of costs now that I have a few pieces. So far, here's what I have with the prices I paid:

1994 230HP 12V out of a tour bus: $800
NV4500: $350

Total: $1150

I'll keep updating the total as I go so Y'all can see what this swap cost me. My goal is to keep it as cheap as possible while maintaining a "factory" look. We'll see how that goes.




I believe this is an early GM version, which will have the better ratio in 5th gear. It has the chevy input shaft best I can tell. Rebuild forthcoming!!



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Old 08-21-2017, 10:40 AM
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AAAnndd this happened...



Driving in today and distracted by all the crap I have to get done this week and bumped a lady on the highway. Nothing major, but dang. I'm blaming it on the eclipse....and I guess I'll get to making that custom bumper waaayyy ahead of when I planned. Not fun, but everyone was OK....well, except her car...it's not so OK...






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Old 08-21-2017, 10:44 AM
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Old 08-21-2017, 10:56 AM
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So pretty....and some good ideas to build one. Though, $400 for the base model ins't bad and may be worth my time in the long run.
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Old 08-21-2017, 01:10 PM
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I think it is. You can modify as you please, but the general shape is there. You'll be in for quite lot of money anyway buying steel and you don't have to go through the major pain of cutting all of it.
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Old 08-24-2017, 11:08 AM
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Picked up the needed adapter plate for the 12V with the NV4500. Cost update:

Trans adapter plate (used on CL): $150

Total to date: $1300

Now all I need is the dang bell housing.

More to come!
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