TheRebel wrote:I think your build is inspiring me to go the same direction with my build. How much do you think you have into the new drivetrain so far? I’m only asking because I’m 20 and want to set realistic goals for myself haha.
Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I think Adventure gave some good advice. I will save you all from reading this giant wall of text: Unless you have lots of help and or money and skills, I would just do a small resto/rebuild with a Vortec... many of these diesel builds start, very few finish.
Much of the cost depends on how much time you have to look for stuff and how much you can do yourself. If you have all day to horsetrade on Craigslist and eBay you can get things for less, but either way you are looking at some coin. The little things will KILL you. Remember that and buy in bulk. Buy a whole vehicle instead of an engine, etc. You can always horse-trade parts if you have ones to trade. I either have time or money, but never both-- so the build kinda reflects whichever I had at the time I made a purchase decision. Your's will reflect your realities and they will not be the same, no two are.
Investigate legalities in your neck of the woods. I would not have paid what I did for the '67 had I known what I know about diesel laws. I got the '65 for less anyway and have EPA exemption since it is older than '66. Understand there is NO WAY this build is going to happen (properly) cheaper than a junkyard Vortec swap. It is going to be much more expensive.
As Adventure said, if you go the diesel route, you are looking at acquiring a full drive-line and axles:
1. Engine ($2700, $500ish for the better high-altitude turbo, $500-600 for various things: KDP, pop testing, advance timing, 4000 RPM valve springs, flipping the oil intake and pan, etc). If you go the 4bt route you will realistically need an overhaul on a used motor. I got lucky, only 75000 on the truck. Keep in mind I still need a new AC/alternator bracket, AC system, and am still having the mechanic modify an exhaust manifold to work with the new turbo. So I am not done yet... Oh, the radiator was $300. The old stock inner cooler is being reused. I still need an alternator as 105 amps is not gonna cut it in the long run, that is more money. The steering pump and motor are installed from a used Ford for a few hundred in parts, a hydroboost brake unit needs to be acquired still, etc.
2. Transmission: I went with a 5-ZF 4x4 manual. Got lucky here and found a totally new ZF5 warranty trans from an old Ford dealer. I think I am in that for 2000 altogether, and that is probably a steal for basically a brand-new trans. Still need a master clutch cylinder.
3. Transfercase: I went heavy and overbuild here, $900 for the 205 rebuilt by ORD. You can rebuild one yourself for much less, but you need to have the time to horse trade for one and then rebuild it. I bought the ORD magnum doubler for it. Not sure what that costs nowdays, but it ain't cheap... a cool $1000 if I remember. You can look it up on Off Road Design's site.
4. Front Axle: Got a Ford Dana 60 off a 78-79 Snowfighter/F350. It was $1350 and I had to ship it. Then I had it rebuilt, trimmed, and ARM locker, cro-mo's and the goodies installed. I think that was another 1600.
5. Rear Axle. Got taken for a ride on a Chevy 14bolt that was off a van. Ate the cost of that, don't remember what it was. Got a better deal with the LetzRoll on a 14bolt of the correct size that had factory disk brakes for $450ish. Don't think they call them 14-bolts anymore (AAM 8.5), but that is what it is. Trimmed its rear too, locked it and put the goodies in it. Probably 1600 altogether.
6. Wheels. Got a "deal" on blem wheels that had some scratches. They would have had scratches anyway if I took them offroad. They were not cheap and I don't remember what I have into them, but it is not insignificant. Still need lug-nuts and good ones are not cheap: 5 wheels will probably be $360 for the good McGuards... these little things will kill you. $400 here, $300 there... you can have 10k just in that kinda stuff, realistically.
6. Beefing frame: Have not finished this yet. Got a drop cradle under the motor. Then I am looking to roll cage into the frame. I have been toying with the idea of a partial exo-skeleton for simplicity in design (looks like a roof rack and the a-pillars will be easier to deal with), but I hate exo's. I am using the cage for the majority of my frame strengthening and just adding some bracing in the middle and rear. I have no idea what the final cost will be, but it is certainly lower if you can do quality work yourself. To clear your motor you might need a possible body lift, a drop cradle, or both. More little $$$$ outlays.
7. Fuel tank mods. You want that diesel fuel pump to fit and pump right? More cash $$$.
The cheapest approach is to buy a truck and swap everything in. This is a smart way to go, except for one thing-- the 6bt and larger diesel truck engines are really too much for this thing to wheel with. You can do it, but you have a front heavy high center of gravity vehicle. It is great for towing, or burning rubber on the road-- not so great when it flops over on its side on the first substantial trail obstacle.
The smaller diesel's are more cash and harder to find. The Cummin's 2.8 and larger crate motors are crazy expensive, but if money was no object-- I would have bought one. Don't buy anything made by Vitto Mitori (Fix It Again Tony / Dodge CRD diesels). They are a crap sandwich. Owned one, not recommended for anything but a boat anchor. Also, the Chevy 6.x old motors are dog slow and underpowered unless you build them with a better turbo, still not a great choice in my opinion. Go with the big C, the Duramax/Isuzu, a bullet-proofed Powerstroke, a MB engine-- or really--- just put a gasser in it and be done with it.