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Discussion Starter #1
I read through a lot of posts on this message board and several others and was surprised by the lack of threads on transplanting a Powerstroke into older trucks. I was equally surprised by the generalized impression that the Powerstroke platform is too difficult to transplant because of all the wires, sensors and electronics.

I’m in the process of transplanting a 97 engine/transmission combo into a 58 Chevy 60 series and figured I’d document some of it along the way. I have the engine prepped and ready to be pulled so I made a short video to show where I’m at and some of my next steps. The video is 22 minutes of me blabbering about some of the basics. Sorry, no refunds on the time you waste listening to me :smirk:

97 Powerstroke Engine Swap - YouTube
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Got the engine crossmember all fabbed up. I cut the old crossmember out of the donor truck (best done with a plasma cutter) and sliced it down the center the long way to narrow it up. I cut a new front sections from 1/4" plate and added some gussets on the ends to stiffen it up. I'm very pleased with the end result. The engine fit in alot better than I expected it would. I did have to cut a section from the original front crossmember to allow space for the front of the oil pan, but that's the only chassis mod!. Nice having a scrap truck section from the junk yard to do all my "trial and error" on.
 

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I for one would love to say "thank you" for actually showing how easy it is to swap a PSD into whatever you want. I never knew it could be as easy as this...
 

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My pleasure. I'm actually surprised at how easy it's going so far. I had set a 460 EFI in there last year and it was a tougher fit; had to fab an entirely new engine crossmember becasue of the way the gas engine mounts.

I'm working on mounting the clutch pedal and master cylinder now. Probably going to fab a complete pedal assembly to include the brake pedal. I'm contemplating adding a hydroboost as a brake system upgrade, but need to do a little more research first.
 

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After much adjusting, realigning and rebuilding 2 times I have the pedal assembly built and installed. The only thing I'm not pleased with is having to divorce the booster rod from the brake pedal but there's no other way to do it; so to compensate I went overkill on the material thicknesses. The pedal box is all 3/16 plate, the tube the brake pedal parts attach to is also 3/16 wall and the components that make up the brake pedal levers is 5/16. I "sistered" another lever alongside the brake pedal, welding it to the tube and the original booster rod pin and made 2 levers to push the booster rod.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Here’s the latest update: Finishing up a box/bracket that holds all the electrical and electronics. I’m really happy with the way it turned out, considering there wasn’t much planning; rather I just started building and this is what I turned out. It mounts in the spot where the battery tray was and uses all four bolts that were for the tray. I built a water proof box for the PCM with a hole at the bottom that acts as both a breather and an outlet for the PCM chip cable. The back of the box (not installed yet) has a vent hole at the top with a hood to prevent water from entering. The IDM bolts to the box and the extended bracket holds the fuse box and engine harness connector. On top of the box I mounted the MAP sensor.

Next up is building a tray to hold the 2 batteries. I’m planning to mount the batteries under the cab, on the passenger side. Rough measurements indicate they’ll fit.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Got the down pipe made.... only took 3 trys LOL I'm an absolute novice at pipe work. I made a bracket to support the pipe from sway since it's being routed under the transmission to exit on the drivers side. I'll be bolting a PTO onto the transmission on the passenger side. The ends of the bracket are intentionally close to the bolts to allow some flexability in the rubber that connects them.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Progress update and my findings on how to make it fit:

The 7.3L is a WIDE and TALL motor that completely fills the engine compartment on the mid 50’s Chevy trucks, but it does fit in there. The original engine cross member will need a couple modifications to allow clearance for the front of the oil pan and harmonic balancer, plus a couple other things. The cross member needs to stay since it’s a structural component of the frame. See one of the pics on this post for the mods I did, they include: oil pan cut out, recess for harmonic balancer, cut out for the lower radiator hose and two cuts for radiator clearance.

There’s little room for a radiator so I went the custom built route versus fooling around with the original radiator. The radiator I designed is 24” wide by 36” tall and drops below the original engine cross member where it can meet the lower radiator hose. At 24” wide it fits the original radiator support and uses the original 6 bolts for attachment. The only modification needed on the radiator support (yet to be done) is cutting two small pieces from the top (one on each side) to allow space for the top tank. I’ll post more on this when I make this modification.

The original transmission cross member needs to be removed and discarded and a new cross member made for the ZF5 or E4OD. I have some reservation with removing it since it’s clearly a structural component that connects the left/right frame rails at the spring perch mounts, but there’s no way to keep it in there. Making a replacement “bridge” isn’t practical because of the size of the new transmission. The new cross member will mount much more rearward, so it doesn’t really do the job of the original member. However, an additional cross member is being added for the engine, so it “somewhat” offsets the removal of the original transmission cross member.

Depending on your steering setup (original box versus custom power steering) the engine will need to be placed about .75” off center to the passenger side. I’m keeping the original steering box, so I set the engine off center. If you’re working on a pickup chassis (I have a medium duty chassis) then you have several commercially available options for changing the steering and the suspension. In my case, I have none. If you remove the steering box and go with an “outboard box” then you can set the engine dead center. Also note, placing the engine off center gives room for the power steering pump to clear the inner fender. Placing the engine dead center will require some “massaging” of the inner fender to make clearance.

The other challenge with engine placement is leaving clearance at the firewall for the exhaust down pipe. I found a little firewall massaging with the 4lb hammer is required to “set” the clearance needed. I went with a custom built down pipe, but I did try a commercially available pipe first and found it fits fine with the light firewall massaging. The good news is there’s plenty of room for the up pipes and turbo because of the deep recess already in the cab.
Lastly, you will likely run into issues with clearance between the bottom of the oil pan (rear sump area) and the top of the axle. This is not an issue with the medium duty chassis since it sits very high compared to a pickup truck. If you’re working on a 4x4 truck and have it lifted then it won’t be an issue either, but if you’re working on a “slammed” 2wd you’ll have to convert the suspension to an A-frame style.

More to come as I make progress and get past the next step.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Here are two pics showing how the lower radiator hose will work. The hose used is the original hose, just cut short at the coupler for the degauss bottle. This made for an easy and somewhat elegant solution.
 

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No big updates despite lots of effort. I’ve been working at it fairly steadily over the last couple weeks and made good progress but it’s all in small details. Engine and transmission have been placed and bolted in. The down pipe I made was a little too tight so I cut it up and made a new one (pics coming soon). The firewall “massaging” turned into a beating but worked out well. I shuffled the engine a little further back and more towards the passenger side (off center) which is why the down pipe needed rebuilding and the extra firewall work was necessary. Just for grins here’s a couple pics of the “before and after” engines and the firewall work.
 

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I have several items “in progress” and can’t seem to bring any single one to completion. I started the fuel system this week and have good enough progress to post so here are some pictures of where I’m at. I plan to pull the tank this weekend and give it the Por 15 restoration treatment so final connections will wait until that’s completed.

I made a simple bracket to mount the pump to the frame and another simple bracket for the filters. I abandoned the front steel lines because there’s no space to access that area (lower front of engine) after the body is set down on the frame. Instead, I made a new pair of steel lines to exit under the turbo, down the center of the transmission bell housing and off each side of the transmission case. Passenger side line will be the supply and the driver’s side is the return to the tank. I made a pair of matching brackets to bolt onto the transmission to support the lines as they transition to rubber lines over to the frame. I had some left over fiberglass sleeve from another project so I used it here since the lines pass under the hottest part of the turbo. Albeit, the new lines pose an issue if I want to remove the transmission for service, but I’ll deal with that when/if the time ever comes.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks guys. The up pipes are IH that I picked up second hand. I cleaned them and had them ceramic coated along with the exhaust housing and outlet.
 

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"I read through a lot of posts on this message board and several others and was surprised by the lack of threads on transplanting a Powerstroke into older trucks."...

That's because people don't usually choose a PSD for a transplant, usually it's a Cummins. There's a whole industry built around transplanting Cummins into other vehicles, primarily other trucks (like dead powerstrokes).

The other thing is if you want to put a diesel engine from the late 90's into a vehicle why a 7.3L? It makes no power and there's not much you can do about that.

A better choice would be a 12V Cummins. Dead simple, huge aftermarket and power potential is almost unlimited.

To each there own I guess, just not sure why you would choose that engine.
 

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I should be clear, I'm not trying to be a downer, I think it's cool that people experiment with all kinds of things, even unconventional. I have a fairly heavily modified truck myself that makes people scratch their heads.

I'm just genuinely wondering why you would put a PSD into anything to be honest! Generally people take PSD's out, not put them in other vehicles.
 
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