Sunday, June 24, 2012

Picked Up My New Cummins Engine

About 2 months while searching Craig's list I found a fairly local guy selling a 12v Cummins 6bt for a very reasonable price. after a few emails I drove the 20 minutes to his house to have a look. It turns out that they guy was an ex mechanic for FedEx and new Cummins engine especially the 6BT very well. he also had a small dodge truck wrecking yard in the back of his house which supported his hobby of rebuilding 90's era dodge pickups he bought at auction. It turns out  the motor I went to see Had 32K original miles and was coming out of a 1993 dodge 3500 which was used as a yard truck for a local trailer and equipment rental place that went out of business. When I got to the house I was told that for the price of the engine I could have anything I want from the truck and since the truck was complete minus the cab that meant everything. I got the Getrag 5speed manual trans, the turbo, intercooler, radiator, complete air-conditioning  system. power steering pump alternator , starter..... Well you get the picture. After seeing the engine run (it started right up and sounded beautiful) I gave him a Deposit. Paul asked that I give him a week or two to disassemble everything and get it drained and ready to transport. Well here it is 2 months later (Paul had the engine ready when he said he would but our schedules kept us from finalizing the deal) and I picked up the motor and all the parts today. The trip was not without drama though. The loading of the engine and all the other bits went fine and after charging the dead battery, the 69 started right up and drove surprisingly well on the highway. What I didn't realize was that the alternator wasn't charging and when I got to Paul's house I couldn't restart the truck once I'd shut it off. We jumped my truck off Paul's 98 dodge and I decided to leave her running. I knew that the battery would eventually not be able to even power the ignition system but I was hoping to get packed up and back to my shop before that happened. Well not only did it quit sooner than that, leaving the truck idling was a big mistake. As I was tying down the Cummins and all the bits in the back I heard the truck die. Thinking that was that, I turned off the ignition and went back to tying down the cargo. Paul had commercial sized battery charger up at the up at the house so I was sure that we could charge the battery enough to get me back to my shop after we finished with the motor and bits. As I was standing in the bed of my truck I looked through the cab and noticed that the paint in the center of the hood was starting to bubble. In fact I was watching it bubble up in front of my eyes. A few seconds later black smoke started coming out from under the hood near the firewall. Holy S**T FIRE! I jumped out of the bed and luckily I was wearing heavy leather gloves that allowed me to reach under the hood and undo the latch. Throwing the hood open I found the aftermarket air cleaner and carburetor completely engulfed in flames. I ran the 50 feet over to where Paul was cutting that transmission cross member off the old frame and half yelled asking him if he had a fire extinguisher. Puzzled for a moment I pointed to my truck and after seeing the black smoke now pouring from under my open hood he exclaimed that he had one in the house and ran to go get it. I ran back to the front of the truck and managed to swat the wing nut holding the completely flaming air cleaner loose with my gloved hand. Once the nut was off I reached in and with one yank threw the burning air cleaner clear from my truck on the gravel driveway. The carb was still burning and I grabbed an old tee shirt that was on the seat of my cab and tried to smother the flames. It sort have worked but it wouldn't completely cover the carb and as soon as I moved the tee shirt a little the flames would come right back. I was afraid of the shirt starting to burn or absorbing any gas and making the fire bigger and my gloves were starting to get very hot. Luckily Paul arrived with a small fire extinguisher and with the shirt covering  the throat of the carb a quick blast from the extinguisher doused the flames. Of course now the paint on my hood was F**Ked up and the engine bay was covered in white powder but the flames were gone. I was pretty sure that despite a fire that burned a couple of spark plug wire everything else was fine. I kludged  together working sparkplug wires from some old ones Paul had lying around and after reinstalling the newly charged battery the truck started right up. We blew off as much of the bicarbonate as possible and after closing the hood I was on my way. Luckily the trip home was all highway so even if the cooling system was marginal, so long as I didn't hit traffic I was sure I was going to be fine. Traffic was very light and I was able to do 60mph practically all the way back to my shop. Here she's going to sit for a while I figure out where and how I'm going to start. stay tuned.
Whats left of the air Cleaner

Engines Don't look good in White!

There was already a black spot like this when I first got the truck.Now I know why. The last owner didn't tell me the carb like to spontaneously ignite. Would have been nice to know. 

I'll sand this and paint it Flat Black.

Posted by Picasa