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Discussion Starter #1
Picked up a high mileage 99 F550 recently, knowing that it would either need some work, or a new engine. The truck had some serious running issues, lack of power, etc.

Diagnosed the issue to be a fueling issue, likely related to a failing fuel tank. Fortunately I had a fuel tank leftover from a 95 International School Bus that I was able to mount to the bed of the truck. Truck has been running strong since. Still has an up-pipe leak and one dead glow-plug. Going to fix the up-pipe with new donuts and replace the glow plugs, then drive it until I get all the parts together for the conversion and some time in the schedule to make it happen.

Truck is in great shape, interior is clean, it's an XLT so it's got some creature comforts. I added some side steps (for the wife), 2003 lights, tow hooks, a new stereo, did the foil mod to the door lock actuators, and just driving it now.





















Used a VDO fuel sender, which reads the same OHMs as the factory sender, so the gauge reads properly. Also put a Racor pre-pump filter/water separator in.

Enough of that...

I recently purchased a DT360 and an Eaton FS5106A, and am starting the planning stages for the conversion. This is far from my first engine swap, I own a business that makes swap kits for Nissans, but this has me more excited than I've been in a long time. Still on the lookout for a 3.07:1 S135 center section, since this trans has a deep reduction first and no OD. With the 3.07 I'll have nearly the same reduction in first as I currently have in L with the 4:88's, and I'll have a better overall reduction cruising, for better economy.

While I'm waiting for the yard to pull the engine and trans, I've been studying Poopy's build, and making some plans. I designed my engine mounts, at least a preliminary design, will finalize once I get the engine here and take more measurements.

Unlike Poopy's 08, the 99 has a leaf sprung monobeam and a straight frame up front, so I should have a bit more clearance to work with. I plan on machining the mounts off of the DT's flywheel housing to give more cab clearance, and using the SAE bolt circle to mount the motor.

As they say, pictures are worth a thousand words, so I'll stop talking.












That's what I've got for now. Engine should be ready for pickup in a few weeks, I'll post pics when I get it home.
 

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Wow you have all the fancy stuff! Should be an awesome project!
Haha, years and years of collecting different tools for different jobs. My day job is an Engineer. so I go nerd from time to time.

I'm very excited about this project! I'll keep this updated with as much detail as possible.
 

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Well, I spent a lot of time searching for different steering wheel swap options for the early Super Duties, and nearly every thread I found talked about swapping in steering wheels with more controls, but the same overall design as the stock wheel. I found the stock wheel uncomfortable and ugly in my 99, and being a bit of a DIY guy, I decided to do something about it.

First step was to figure out what other vehicles used the same spline design as the early SDs. Then, look at some wheels and see which ones looked nice.

After a bit of research, I decided to purchase a 2004 Explorer wheel with airbag, clockspring, and pigtails for a whopping $100 shipped off of eBay. This wheel has the same spline design as the SD, but a much more modern look and a more comfortable feel.

I was hoping that the buttons on the wheel would function in the same way as the SD buttons, and I would simply need to splice the correct wires to make it all work. Unfortunately it was nowhere near that simple, but I did figure it out, and I wanted to share what I learned with the community.

I ended up opting to use the stock clockspring and wire the 04 buttons into the 99 plug. It was the easiest route, as you'll see below.

First, I want to explain how the stock buttons work on the early Super Duties.



As you can see in this diagram, the Light Blue/Black Stripe (LB/BK) wire is linked with both the GY/RD and DB wires through the cruise switches. Now in my truck, the GY/RD wire was actually Green/Orange. This wire simply goes to a chassis ground. When you push the buttons, this is what is transmitted through the LB/BK wire:

Coast - 120 Ohm resistance
Set/Accel - 680 Ohm resistance
Resume - 2200 Ohm resistance
Off - Direct to Ground
On - 12V Positive

Unfortunately, the 2004 Explorer, while having all the same buttons, operates very differently.



The cruise buttons are all linked together in the Explorer, and pushing any once button interacts with the others providing different resistances. Every function corresponds to a different resistance.

Coast - 300 Ohm resistance
Set/Accel - 600 (300+300 in series) Ohm resistance
Resume - 1110 (300+300+510 in series) Ohm resistance
Off - Direct to Ground
On - 2110 (300+300+510+1k in series) Ohm resistance

Additionally, there is a 2.2k resistor that is always in the mix, so when nothing is being pressed, the output is the sum of all resistors in series, and when any one button is pressed, the 2.2k resistor acts in parallel.

Ok, all that sounds real complex and scary, so lets look at the actual Explorer switches. Each one has 4 wires going into it. A Green/Orange (Ground), a LightBlue/Black (Signal), a Red/Black (Illumination +), and a White/Red (Connects the two switches together).

Lets take the Coast/Set/Res switch all on it's lonesome. If you disassemble the switch you get this...

Pop the buttons off:


Remove the rubber insulator:


Remove the two T9 Torx screws and remove circuit:


There are 4 resistors in this image. Three for the cruise circuits, and one for the LEDs. I threw a multimeter on the LB/BK and GN/OR pins on the switch and started pressing buttons. If you pressed Coast, the output was 300 ohms, Set, 600 ohms, and Resume, 1100 ohms. Since the switch wasn't connected to the On/Off switch, the 2.2k resistor was taken out of the circuit.

Well then I did some simple math... Look at the list above for what the 99 cruise switch does:

Coast - 120 Ohm resistance
Set/Accel - 680 Ohm resistance
Resume - 2200 Ohm resistance

So I mapped the resistors on the Explorer Switch:



I made a guess that the 300 Ohm resistor on the bottom was for the coast function, and the one in the middle was for the set function. I was right... I replaced the resistors with the following values. FYI, these resistors were all available at Radio Shack and are 1/8 Watt.



Now when you push each of the buttons on this switch, you get the resistances that the 99 wants!

Coast - 120 Ohm resistance
Set/Accel - 680 (120 + 560 in series) Ohm resistance
Resume - 2180 (120 + 560 + 1500 in series) Ohm resistance (close enough to 2200)

With that squared away, it was on to the On/Off switch.

This proved much more challenging.

This is the On/Off disassembled



The first thing I did was removing the 2.2k resistor that was always in parallel with the circuit. I then removed the 1k resistor that was in series when the On button was pressed and replaced it with a direct connection.



This resulted in the LB/BK wire being connected to ground (GN/OR) when the Off button is pressed (what we want) and the White/Red wire being connected to ground (GN/OR) when the On button is pressed (not what we want)

We need to get the LB/BK wire to see 12V when the On button is pressed. First, we needed to sever the connection between the White/Red button and ground. This was accomplished by drilling through the trace at this point:



Now when the On button is pushed, the White/Red wire connects to nothing. We want to connect this wire to the LB/BK wire when pressed, so we can supply 12V to the White/Red wire and give 12V to the LB/BK wire when the On button is pressed.

I accomplished this by soldering a jumper wire on the backside of the switch between these two traces:





The front of the board looks all melty because I applied heat to the front side of the trace to solder the wire on the back, that way the plastic on the back didn't melt into my joint.

Now when the Off button is pressed, the LB/BK wire sees ground, and when the On button is pressed, the LB/BK wire connects to the White/Red wire. The last step is to notch the switch body to allow this wire to pass on the back side:






At this point you're probably thinking this is way too much work, but in reality I'm about 2 hours in at this point.



Now for the final wiring. I cut the clockspring connector off of the 99 button harness, and connected it to the 2004 button harness. I cut the 2004 Harness White/Red wire that connected the two switches together right at the Coast/Set/Resume switch since the two switches don't need to be connected together anymore. That wire will now go to 12V. Here are the connections...

99 Gray/Red to 2004 Red/Black - Illumination
99 Black to Nothing (this was a dedicated illumination ground, the 2004 LEDs share the switch ground)
99 Blue to 2004 White/Red AND Orange (12V to On button Switch and 12V to Horn Switch)
99 Green/Orange to 2004 Green/Orange
99 LightBlue/Black to 2004 LightBlue/Black



That takes care of the wiring, now lets talk about physically mounting the steering wheel.

Yes, the spline pattern is the same, but it is clocked differently. 90* off actually. So when the 04 wheel is installed, it is 90* turned to the left. This makes the 99 clockspring connectors try to come through the bottom of the 04 steering wheel frame. This seems bad, but it is actually ideal. With some simple modification to the 04 wheel, it can be made to fit easily.

I'll let the pictures do the talking, and for those without a bridgeport, just use a die grinder or angle grinder, this is just aluminum.





Test fit:


Trim the plastic:




Reinstall the plastic:




Install the wheel:


Install the buttons:



Ok, the wheel is mounted and the switches wired. The horn is the same plug and plugs right in.

Last, the airbag. The Explorer uses a two-stage airbag. Essentially the bag has two explosive charges in it. One fires for low speed impacts, both fire for high speed impacts. I wired the 99 trigger to the low speed bag charge. Some may opt to wire it to both, some may opt to not wire it at all. I'll leave this up to you and your philosophical choices.



Finished Product:




I recentered the steering wheel through adjusting the tie-rod. Road tested, all buttons work, illumination works, and no airbag light. If I get in an accident, I'll let you know if the airbag went off or not.

In my opinion it is a nice update to the truck and well worth the effort.
 

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Thats good stuff right there. Hopefully u update the looks inside & out too that way u have a stunning truck
 

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Discussion Starter #12

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Holy flashback! Mines smokes a lot on startup now, I would look into at least doing valve seals and maybe check the turbo seal.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I have a spare 466 that I am considering take the pump, injectors, and turbo from, having them gone through and throwing them onto this motor. Additionally, an in-frame overhaul kit is less than $1100, and I'd essentially have a new engine. Just trying to work out a decent timeline to get this project done.

The motor is such a bear to move that I really don't want to have to pull it twice unless absolutely necessary. I know I could do the rebuild in chassis, but it would be so much easier on the stand.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Well, it finally begins. I know this update is long overdue, but I promise things will move much quicker from this point on.

Here is the DT pretty much as I got it, first start on an engine stand to verify what I'm working with. This was about 5 months ago.

DTA360 Start on Engine Stand - YouTube

Since then I've done a lot of research, and changed plans a little.

I'm no longer going to run the Eaton non-OD trans. I just ordered a Carson ZF6 adapter plate, flywheel, and twin disk setup rated for 1200lb-ft of torque. Running the ZF 6 will help with clearance issues, I won't have to regear the rear end, and my existing clutch hydraulics setup will work as-is. I'm on a bit of a time crunch with this one, so I want to remove as many variables as possible at this point.

I know I'm going to convert to a serpentine setup. I had some parts off of a NGD DT466 at the shop, and behold, the serp idler pulley from the 466 bolts to the 360 water pump, just need to enlarge the mounting holes.

I then attempted to mount the 466 crank pulley, and while it would physically fit, it put the serp drive too close to the timing cover, the belt literally couldn't even be run anywhere.

After more research, I found out the newest EGR DT466's have two piece crank pulleys. The hub bolts on separate from the damper/pulley. So I bought one of there setups and gave it a try. It too put the belt way too close to the timing cover, but I can now make a spacer to move the pulley 1.800" outboard, and it will line up perfectly with the water pump pulley. I made some temporary spacers that are in these pics to get the spacing right. I've got a 6" diameter hunk of 6061 on it's way to make the final piece. I get to use my favorite tool, the lathe!









Here are the part numbers for those crank pulley parts if anyone else wants to do the same someday.





I bought a POR-15 engine kit and painted the engine today.

After being degreased and prepped.






Believe it or not, one paint kit was enough for this monster engine. Finished product!









I know, it's not international blue, it's Chrysler blue, but it was the closest I could get and I didn't want red or black.


The injection pump isn't painted because it's going to get pulled and one of three things is going to happen:

- Send the A-pump to to Schied(sp?) diesel and have them turn it up as high as those pumps go, which they said would be about 285HP.
- Send my spare DT466 P-pump to them and have a new cam put in it to make it spin the right direction, and have them turn it up to the 350-400HP range.
- Buy a Carson dodge P-pump adapter and run one of those.

I also have a set of DT466 injectors I'm going to send out to get worked a bit.


Also contemplating a compound turbo setup, an HT3B under the stock turbo... undecided on that at this point.



Anyway, will be tearing the 7.3 out of my truck next weekend and getting started on this. More updates to come!
 

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I'm watching this thread intently. I have a DTA360 in my garage, but no chassis to put it in, yet.
Just to clarify, are you saying that a DT466 pump turns the opposite direction? I've seen that question answered both yes and no online, but no one seemed to be absolutely certain. I had been wondering about using an MW pump from a 466.

Dean
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I know for a fact that the P-pump off of a 93-96 NGD DT466 spins the opposite way from the A-pump that is on my DT360. This is confirmed by Hypermax, Columbus Diesel, and Schied.

The older pre-NGD DT466 MW pumps may be interchangeable, but I am not sure.

From everything I've read, the MW pump is the least desirable of the three options, so I'm not sure if you really want to go that route.
 
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