Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Mod to the Cross Brace

In order to get the Getrag 5 Speed trans that is currently attached to my Cummins 5.9 I had to cut the cross brace that is riveted to the frame rails right where the steering box is bolted. 1 minute with the plasma cutter and we had a notch. Once the engine and trans are in place there is plenty of clearance but notching the cross member was easier than cutting the rivets and bolting the whole thing back in. Fill pieces were cut and about 3 minutes with the mig welder and everything was good to go.

Monday, September 10, 2012

This May Be Eaiser Then We Thought

We are just having great luck with this swap and things are looking easier and easier. The transmission clears the Aux fuel tank with plenty of room, and here you can see that the radiator from the Dodge 3500 that gave us its motor fits perfectly into the 69 ford radiator support with no modifications and in the stock location. There will be 2 mounts that will have to be made but they will be just 2 pieces of 2” angle iron with holes drilled in them to fit the rubber bushings on top of the radiator. They can be bolted to the radiator support with all of 15min of work. And it gets better. The Dodge intercooler and air conditioning condenser will similarly fit perfectly right in front of the radiator. There is also plenty of room between the engine and the radiator for a big electric fan. And there should be no clearance problems for the front grille and the a/c condenser. Likewise the sheet metal of the transmission tunnel only has to have the shift lever hole opened about 2” to the rear to accommodate the new transmission shifter. There’s still a lot of work to be done but this is a lot less difficult than it could have been and is even easier than we anticipated.

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Measuring for the New Motor Mounts

The bolt in transmission brace from the old 4 speed isn’t useful for anything here so it’s out. There is a riveted in brace that looks like it braces the frame at the steering box against forces induced by the steering arms against the wheels. We had to cut a notch in that to allow the Getrag trans to clear, but other than that everything seems to fit in with plenty of clearance. The oil pan clears the main frame cross member by about 1-1/2”, and the rear most valve cover is about 1” from the firewall. Even the bell housing clears well. I got new motor mounts (pillow blocks) and it looks as though we can mount one of those directly to the cross member with a 3/16” reinforcing plate that we will weld onto the cross member to help spread the load. This may just be precautionary. But because the pillow blocks mount with only one ½” threaded mount and are usually bolted to towers that bolt to the frame with 3 or 4 bolts I think it is therefore smart to spread the load a bit. The mount on the driver side will be more elaborate but still very simple.
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