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Thumpmeister

2004.5 CR in E450 Motorhome

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Are people still active in this forum?  posted this in the Cummins Forum, and on the 4btswaps forum, but I would really like to have some local info and support, maybe some input on where to go or who to talk to for resources? I've waded through a lot of other forums that have documented similar swaps, found one on Pirate 4x4 that was helpful, but I wanted to see if anyone here might be able to help.

Here's the VERY basics. I want to take the entire drivetrain (engine, tranny, transfer case, intercooler, cooling system, etc.) out of a 2004.5 with a 48RE and a electric shift transfer case, and put it in a 2004 E450 Bigfoot Motorhome with the boat anchor V10.

 

Now, I know it CAN be done, I just want to know what kind of nightmare I'm in for. I've read many different E Series conversions, and have talked to MGMETALWORKS in Oregon about his 6.7 his dropped in an E350. Also, I plan to eventually convert the motorhome into a 4x4 using the UJoint Offroad conversion. It looks like the Dodge transfer case output shaft and the SuperDuty front axle have the front drive shaft on the drivers side. Plus, I made sure that the Dodge I picked up has the electronic shift transfer case, so no having to hog a hole in the floor of the motorhome for the shifter.

Here's what I know so far. Diesel Conversion Specialists sell motor mounts, but thats about it. I think they also said I can send both the wiring harnesses off to them so I can have them work together. Other than that though, a lot will be custom, including the rear tranny and transfer case mounts, drive shaft, etc.

I also plan to do a very mild build. I installed a set of 30% over injectors in my other truck, an early 04 with an NV5600, and it made a pretty good difference. I plan to do the same here, but I also plan on installing a 2nd gen manifold kit so getting the downpipe in will be easier, and hopefully not run into the doghouse. I don't plan on doing any other motor mods; my goal is RELIABILITY and FUEL MILEAGE.

Along with that, I need to rebuild the tranny to match. My early 04 is the NV5600, so working on the 48RE is pretty foreign to me. I need to find out what I need to make it reliable, and able to take the weight of the motorhome. Also, where in WA could I take to get it rebuilt and NOT cost a fortune.

My biggest hangups right now are all the ancillary components; power steeting, brakes, A/C, cruise control, and the BIGGEST part, which will be the wiring to make it all work together in the Ford Chassis. Would I be better to try to use the factory dodge harness, or use standalone harnesses for the engine and tranny? And if I do that, will I still be able to get all the other factory Ford stuff to work? Since this IS a motorhome, I plan to be travelling a lot in the summer. Meaning that cruise control and A/C are going to be a big deal. Will it be difficult to get all that working together?

 

Here's a link to the 4btswaps thread, and has a couple pics, since the NWBombers forum has a very small limit on the size of photos: https://www.4btswaps.com/threads/2004-5-6bt-into-ford-e450.109328/#post-1069627

I haven't started the swap yet, at this point I'm acquiring as much info as I can before I make the leap. I've wrenched on Dodge Diesel's for years, but have never done a swap. Is this going to be a nightmare? All suggestions are appreciated! Thanks!!!

 

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One place I would start is Destroked.com, they have a ton of Cummins into Ford related parts. Mike at Diesel Outfitters also now rebuilds 48RE's. With 30% over injectors you are going to need more air going in, so a bigger turbo is going to be needed, and proper programming... EFI Live is worth the added cost. I would also talk to Mike about the 4X4 conversion, he may or may not be willing to take on that conversion, but I know he has done a SAS on a few rigs. 

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I've actually scrounged around online quite a bit at this point, but you're actually the second person to recommend Diesel Outfitters in Arlington.  Maybe I'll give him a call, pick his brain a bit.

 

I've also chatted with the guys at Destroked, only to find out they don't really do vans.  I also chatted with one person at Diesel Conversion Specialists, and found out they DO vans, but they don't have much in the way of parts, mostly just because its not a super popular conversion.  However, they do have motor mounts, and a couple other parts, from what I could tell from the guy I talked to.  Which is a good start, more than where I'm at now.

 

Mostly I'm just trying to find some local resources, and see who might be willing to help.  I'll try Mike at Diesel Outfitters too, maybe he'll have some good info.

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I know a guy in Canada, he would just bring the parts and pieces together and weld up what was needed :)

Seriously though, sounds like a great project. It is the Achille's heel of all the Class C's, no good diesel option.

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On ‎7‎/‎26‎/‎2020 at 1:11 PM, megacabcummins said:

One place I would start is Destroked.com, they have a ton of Cummins into Ford related parts. Mike at Diesel Outfitters also now rebuilds 48RE's. With 30% over injectors you are going to need more air going in, so a bigger turbo is going to be needed, and proper programming... EFI Live is worth the added cost. I would also talk to Mike about the 4X4 conversion, he may or may not be willing to take on that conversion, but I know he has done a SAS on a few rigs. 

EFI Live not available for that year.

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And to continue the bad new, getting a 48RE to hold that power and weight is going to cost and I don't know what you consider a fortune but I would budget 7500 to 9500 depending on the hard parts you choose to upgrade.

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6 hours ago, megacabcummins said:

Mine didn't cost near that much... Just sayin.

Your what didn't cost that much?

 

How much was it with what?  To vague here??? :help:

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3 hours ago, C Paul Go said:

Your what didn't cost that much?

 

How much was it with what?  To vague here??? :help:

His transmission, I cant remember what he bought but we installed it at my place. Complete unit shipped with converter just sent the core back

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8 minutes ago, HOSS said:

His transmission, I cant remember what he bought but we installed it at my place. Complete unit shipped with converter just sent the core back

Still need Price and What was inside. If it included 3 Billet shafts or not. You know comparing Apples to Apples.

 

I think the numbers I posted are pretty accurate for the two builders I would use. And the hard parts cost. Converter, valve body and shafts add up quick.  

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I got mine for $5100 with a billet converter, billet input and output, Gorend internals, I didn't ask for a billet intermediate because my stock trans ran for so long we didn't feel it was necessary. That was the same price I was quoted from Northstate WITHOUT billet parts. Even with an intermediate which is $1200 and shipping it's still cheaper than what you stated. I went with this trans because I know for a fact what it would hold up to since I have seen first hand the guys on DTX running in the desert, a few run the sled pull series in California and quite a few drag race, not to mention a few pull some seriously heavy loads for a living. No failures that I know of, quite a few also run Randy's transmission. I only know two people running Mikes transmission, you're one of them.

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On 7/27/2020 at 7:46 PM, Thumpmeister said:

I've actually scrounged around online quite a bit at this point, but you're actually the second person to recommend Diesel Outfitters in Arlington.  Maybe I'll give him a call, pick his brain a bit.

 

I've also chatted with the guys at Destroked, only to find out they don't really do vans.  I also chatted with one person at Diesel Conversion Specialists, and found out they DO vans, but they don't have much in the way of parts, mostly just because its not a super popular conversion.  However, they do have motor mounts, and a couple other parts, from what I could tell from the guy I talked to.  Which is a good start, more than where I'm at now.

 

Mostly I'm just trying to find some local resources, and see who might be willing to help.  I'll try Mike at Diesel Outfitters too, maybe he'll have some good info.


Hey nice to see you’re still around. 

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Hey Mike!!!  Yeah, long time man, still around!  Always trying something weird, like this current project.  Sold the Scotty Motorhome a few years ago, tried a Winnebago View, really liked the size, but ended up towing a trailer everywhere I went.

 

In response to swapping the frame, your comment got me thinking...  First the frame swap, but that wouldn't work, or even come close; the frames are WAY different, not to mention the E450 chassis the motorhome sits on really is significantly thicker, larger, and definitely longer.

 

Then I started thinking, what if I just swapped the front, pretty much from the cab forward?  That's really what I want, is everything from the cab forward.  Then that would require cutting the chassis on each rig, and mending them together.  At that point, I figured that the engine swap would still be a better option.  I think having to mend two frames together, then cutting the cab to fit the motorhome coach, and sealing it all up so it doesn't leak would end up being more work than the drivetrain swap.  Then again, the wiring might lend me to think otherwise when the time comes.

 

I was hoping to get the tranny done for around $3000.  I don't need a high horsepower sled puller application, I just need something that will hold up to the weight and just a little higher power than stock.  I've heard of guys getting it done for around that much, but that was a little while ago, and didn't know if anyone might have any connections to a local tranny builder or shop who does diesel builds like this.

 

Thanks guys!!!

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Pat's guy is some of the lowest Prices I've heard. I'm not even sure you can get a stock build for 3K anymore. Stock isn't going to hold long in your application.  One power adder on a truck is all they handle and you are going to be much more weight than a truck.

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Paul's right, I stretched my time with my transmission for as long as I could when it was stock. A gear swap helped, but the internals still didn't like the added power and the 37's, probably didn't like the idiot behind the wheel either. A stage 1 build from Randy's Transmissions is about $3600, more if you get a billet flex plate which I would highly recommend, does not have billet shafts but does have billet parts. A BD stage 1 is also about the same price. Another option is a builders kit and do all the work yourself. You end up with a higher end stronger transmission than if you had someone else do the work. I considered this option, but I just didn't have the room to do it. 

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On 7/30/2020 at 8:42 PM, megacabcummins said:

I got mine for $5100 with a billet converter, billet input and output, Gorend internals, I didn't ask for a billet intermediate because my stock trans ran for so long we didn't feel it was necessary. That was the same price I was quoted from Northstate WITHOUT billet parts. Even with an intermediate which is $1200 and shipping it's still cheaper than what you stated. I went with this trans because I know for a fact what it would hold up to since I have seen first hand the guys on DTX running in the desert, a few run the sled pull series in California and quite a few drag race, not to mention a few pull some seriously heavy loads for a living. No failures that I know of, quite a few also run Randy's transmission. I only know two people running Mikes transmission, you're one of them.

 

I had one of Mikes transmissions in my 2001, a couple of years ago. Maybe three now and it is doing well. Then again, the truck only has DD2 injectors and a little more turbo.

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