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Offline rcampbell

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Turbocharging gas V6??
« on: October 20, 2014, 12:29:58 PM »
I want to take on a half-ton build project, probably of an older chevy. I do have a 4L80E and transfer case I can use, but I thought it might be cool to look at using a turbo'd V6 instead of a V8. I figured if Ford can pull it off, why not :)

My question though, is what would be a good V6 for a starting point. By "good" I mean, strong enough to withstand trailer towing and offroading while turbocharged. Would a 4.3 fit the bill, or another engine? Maybe the 3.8 used in the Turbo Grand National?

Offline Flyin6

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Re: Turbocharging gas V6??
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2014, 02:03:18 PM »
Well for towing, why not install a 4BT Cummins. The 135HP version can be turned up to 400 ft lbs and would easily fetch mid 20's mileage.
Plus it's a million mile motor which was always meant to be boosted

But if a gasser is you hearts desire, then I think the late V6 truck engine might deserve a look, followed by the 4.3.

Although either sports hyper-neutetic or whatever those quality cast pistons are called. They would be borderline turbo safe but only to low boost levels, and thinking about pulling a long grade under heavy boost...err, not so sure...

So by the time you made the motor strong enough and figured everything out, you'd likely be cubic dollars past a simple 4BT transplant...
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Offline rcampbell

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Re: Turbocharging gas V6??
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2014, 03:54:17 PM »
It's funny you should mention that, I've lusted after a 4BT for a while. Here's how it usually goes:

"Oh man, those 4BT's are sweet, I should look them up on the net and see what they cost"
"Hmmm...not cheap, but they are a quality piece and they are rugged as heck"
...
"Hey look, I can get a 6BT for cheaper, bet those could tow more too...."
"Could I put a 6bt, in a half ton? Hmm might as well get a 3/4 ton...ok, might as well get an old Dodge....."

Hahaha and them I'm back at square one. I don't really *need* a 3/4 ton. I would like to be able to town my 6000lb camper without worrying, which the 4BT could do, albeit slowly.

Not sure about the supply of 4bt's in the US, but I really don't come across them too often around here...in "America's hat", as the robot proofing question asks me :)

Offline Flyin6

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Re: Turbocharging gas V6??
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2014, 09:53:43 PM »
Stop the do-loop craziness!

Let me explain...just don't go there. Settle in on a concept and execute

Here's a possible recipe I actually saw done. Take a "second Gen" chebby truck, 87-90 something which you can pick up with a song. Install a 14 bolt and D60 front. Drop in your 4BT and 4l80 and be done with it. The guy who did it near here gets 25+ MPG and it is a cool looking setup.

Use it like a 1/2 ton but realize that it has a temporary 3/4 ton duty cycle. Enjoy the fuel mileage and know that you can tow most anything.

If you need more power, then do the typical Cummins mods. I think you can turn those motors up safely to around 400HP and 800 ft/lbs
« Last Edit: October 20, 2014, 09:54:36 PM by Flyin6 »
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Offline rcampbell

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Re: Turbocharging gas V6??
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2014, 04:36:29 PM »
Yeah I think that' solid advice. Can definitely find of of those truck somewhere. Any good sources for a solid axle swap? A side project for this is to build and program my own transmission controller (as shown here: http://www.msgpio.com/manuals/mshift/4L60e.html). Would definitely be a fun project, and have a nice little Toyota Tacoma TRD I drive daily anyway, so I won't need to rush since I'm not depending on the project truck to get to work. Now...to find the motor. Any good sources south of my border that might ship one up?

Offline Flyin6

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Re: Turbocharging gas V6??
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2014, 08:21:44 PM »
Well, 14 bolts are everywhere, easy to find, not so expensive

The Dana 60's are different. Being a very desirable axle, they command a good price. Obviously the older king pin axles are the strongest (And most expensive) and for your 4BT, I'd think I consider a bypass on a KP Axle

Which leads you to the later unit bearing Dana 60's out of the Dodge Cummins trucks. Being a left drop they fit with a bunch more transfer cases then the rarer right drop like what is in my Square Dodge truck.

I've seen both front and rear axles out of a 2500/3500 dodge sell all day for less than a grand and sometimes half that.

Just pay attention to the gear ratio, try to get a limited slip and if you like them rear disc brakes. Me, the drums actually stop better and they never wear out, but they are not cool...
Anyhow, score those axles and a Transfer case, right drop 205 would be the bomb, then bolt it together and get someone to build some drive shafts and enjoy a truck that will out perform any 1/2 ton on the road today.
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Offline rcampbell

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Re: Turbocharging gas V6??
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2014, 08:02:43 AM »
I've actually come across a '94 K2500 with 6.5TD. I've always thought the 4BT could make as much or more power as those 6.5 engines, but do it far more reliably. Now obviously, this truck would have a IFS, but would already have a 14 bolt rear. Maybe this would be a good way to go?

Offline EL TATE

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Re: Turbocharging gas V6??
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2014, 10:31:53 AM »
Well, 14 bolts are everywhere, easy to find, not so expensive

The Dana 60's are different. Being a very desirable axle, they command a good price. Obviously the older king pin axles are the strongest (And most expensive) and for your 4BT, I'd think I consider a bypass on a KP Axle

Which leads you to the later unit bearing Dana 60's out of the Dodge Cummins trucks. Being a left drop they fit with a bunch more transfer cases then the rarer right drop like what is in my Square Dodge truck.

I've seen both front and rear axles out of a 2500/3500 dodge sell all day for less than a grand and sometimes half that.

Just pay attention to the gear ratio, try to get a limited slip and if you like them rear disc brakes. Me, the drums actually stop better and they never wear out, but they are not cool...
Anyhow, score those axles and a Transfer case, right drop 205 would be the bomb, then bolt it together and get someone to build some drive shafts and enjoy a truck that will out perform any 1/2 ton on the road today.

Yukon makes a unit bearing eliminator kit for the 94-99 dodge d60 front end. changes it back to 93 and older era spindles, locking hubs, chromoly axles etc. Very very nice piece. A little on the spendy side, but I know a guy ::) much stronger than the unit bearing type, easy to repair down the road with simple inner and outer Timken bearings vs often hard to source unit bearings. Heck, for 30$ or so one could have backup bearings for both sides sitting in the glove box. 2-3mpg gains and the front end livens up immensely. Now if we only could come up with a set for the chevy...
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: Turbocharging gas V6??
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2014, 08:12:31 PM »
I've actually come across a '94 K2500 with 6.5TD. I've always thought the 4BT could make as much or more power as those 6.5 engines, but do it far more reliably. Now obviously, this truck would have a IFS, but would already have a 14 bolt rear. Maybe this would be a good way to go?
Be a great starting point!
surprisingly, the 4BT will not be a weight savings to speak of...Figure it is only 2 cylinders less that the big 6BT which weighs in at a hefty 985 dressed, that little 7BT is going to come in close to 700 I'd venture to guess.

What Tate mentioned is something to keep in mind for that late Dodge Dana 60. I think he's talking about their free-spin kit that adds regular manual hubs with standard bearings and a lot of simplicity.
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Offline JR

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Re: Turbocharging gas V6??
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2014, 12:07:27 AM »
Great idea, plus you would be smog exempt in every state right off the bat!!

That 2500 would have the 9.5 front to. You may want to check the rear though as many of those came with a 14 bolt semi (9.25), not a 14 bolt full float (10.5).
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