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Cummins First Gen Build Thread (no really)


410Fortune

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wait..... your trying to do this without a body lift?

Woweeeeeeeeee!!
You might want to consider a 2-3" body lift to help fit that monster under and inside the sheet metal
 


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Kiliona

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How much you want for the RH?

I'll PM you, have to think about it haha.

wait..... your trying to do this without a body lift?

Not "without" a body lift, but I was hoping to get away with 1-2" rather then 2-4". I'm definitely willing to go higher if needed but lower's better. I'll know exactly as soon as I get the drivetrain situated in the frame!
 




410Fortune

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2" is a good goal
The 3" lift requires mods to the steering shaft, brake lines, radiator support, and more, whereas with a 2" your just going to "stretch" things a bit :)
 




Kiliona

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Update

I was able to get the body off the frame! This will allow me to one, fab up all the custom mounts and things I will need, two do any frame reinforcements I decide I need, and three get the entire drivetrain mocked up. Or at least, once it will once I find a bellhousing and transfer case for this, can't find one anywhere near me on craigslist or in any junkyards and may have to turn to advance adapters for a bellhousing (~$400, feels like a ripoff for a bellhousing).

Let's look at what it took to do this in a garage. Note: I wouldn't really recommend doing this, it's kind of a pain in the butt, but if you were to do it it would be MUCH easier to just stick a cherry picker on either end then to do what I did.

There are two bolts that mount the front radiator support part of the body to the frame, however since I cut this out I had already removed these. I did go ahead and undo the bolt on the steering shaft, remove the brake lines (flare nut wrench really helps here) and removed any remaining electrical in the front.

1605578498112.png


Next was undoing the parking brake which unfortunately requires working under the dash - I hate working under dashes. I found it was easiest to pull some pressure on the back side with vice grips and then and grab a pick to depress the 3 tabs on piece inside the car.

Drivers side footwell, inside
1605578779127.png


outside
1605578839031.png


Next was the filler neck, but since this used to be a parts car apparently I had cut the filler tube with a sawzall to replace the neck on the green one, so that was already done for me 😅. I believe its 4 bolts or so under the fuel door to remove it properly. I'm hoping the gas tank isn't TOO full of bugs and rats, but 1 I have an extra fuel tank if needed and 2 I need to give it a rinse anyways since it will be filled with diesel eventually 💨 (that's fun to say).
1605579323713.png


As for body bolts they're in the passenger/driver footwells, behind the driver/passenger seats, behind the rear seats underneath the flap in the back, and under the carpet on the very rear. Including the 2 for the rad support this is 10 total body bolts. However, I didn't actually realize this and on my first pass missed the ones behind the rear seats :banghead: more on that later.

Driver/passenger footwells
1605579323413.png


Behind the driver/passenger seats
1605579386895.png


In the trunk (ignore the mess, I'm keeping all the parts from the front end in here, running out of space in my small garage haha).
1605579516037.png


NOTE: NOT SHOWN 2 bolts under the rad support and 2 more bolts behind the rear seats. Don't forget any like I did!

I then removed the rear bumper so I could get at the rear easier (bumpers attached to the frame, needed access to rig-up the body). There are two of these brackets I'm holding up in this picture and then 2 license plate light bulbs. NOTE: the bolts on these brackets have serrations similar to a wheel stud, once you get the nut off don't try just prying them out you'll bend the bracket like I did. Instead spin the nut back on a couple threads and hammer these brackets out, they won't come out otherwise (the nut protects the threads for when you reassemble it).
1605580941359.png


Next I had a bit of a faux pas. I was trying to figure out how to lift BOTH the front and rear at the same time and got the idea to put a shaft in the spot in the back of the car that you use to lower down your rear tire and then jack up on it with the floor jack. So I took an old axle shaft I had laying around and turned down the tip of it on my lathe

IMG_7961.jpg


Was going to rig it up like follows (ignore that the frames already missing, took this picture after the fact).
IMG_7962.jpg


However I realized quickly there would be no way to ever get the floor jack high enough so I wouldn't be able to jack up both sides and pull the body off the frame sidways like I had imagined. Instead I'd have to use the cherry picker, pick up the rear and set it on something tall, then pick up the front and roll the frame out from underneath rather then roll the body off the frame by supporting it with a cherry picker and jack. Since I had to pickup the rear with the cherry picker anyways I just rigged up a strap to hook to. NOTE, if you're doing this don't do it how I did, borrow a second cherry picker and pickup each side with a cherry picker and roll the cherry pickers + bodys to get the body off the frame. that would be MUCH easier then having to pick up each side 30 times to progressively stack taller stacks underneath it.

Anyways here's how I rigged the back rather then using the axle shaft (again pardon the time travel, frames already gone in this pic).
1605580941645.jpeg


and I rigged up the front like this:
1605581355636.png


I started jacking up the rear with the cherry picker but realized something was wrong when I noticed the rear tires were no longer touching the ground... Impressive little cherry picker! Also, this proves that my rear rigging was plenty strong enough haha. Can't tell in the pic but I could spin the rear tire, it was in the air :banghead: (can see me spin the tire in the video at 9:20).
1605582070892.png


I figured out the issue was that I didn't realize there were the 2 body bolts behind the rear seats, so I needed to pull those. Once I got those out it worked fine!

My basic plan was to pick up the back and set it down on something tall enough that the frame could roll out from underneath, then move the cherry picker to the front and pickup the front. I used a stack of tires on each side plus I took apart the second to top shelf on my pallet racks and used the beam to go from one side of the car to the other (I originally tried using a 2x6 but it deflected way too much). You can see all the cummins parts from this shelf scattered all over the garage after I had to do this haha.

1605582118788.png


The issue was that I couldn't just pickup the back once, stack 3 tires, and set it down all in one go since the angle of the body was way too harsh and unsafe, it would have slid off. Instead I had to pickup the back, stack a couple tires, set it down, pick the front, raise the jackstand, set it down, then repeat on the rear with more tires and blocks until I finally got it high enough. This took forever and was a wee bit sketchy which is why I recommend just using two cherry pickers, could do it all in one go. Another unforeseen consequence was every time I set the back down the car rolled forward a couple inches so by the end the front was literally sitting on my workbench. Good thing I WAY overbuilt that bench.
1605582304053.png


Eventually I got it high enough(ish) and was finally able to roll the frame out. At least sort of, I DID have to let all the air out of the front tires and pry with a crowbar a touch to get the front of the frame to finally limbo under the beam.
1605582438633.png


Apparently I've exceeded the maximum number of attachments... Maybe this is explorerforum telling me I'm being way too verbose xD haha apologies, let me know if this is excessive. Until told otherwise though, continuing the update in the next post!
 




Kiliona

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Update (continued)

1605582940662.png


After getting the frame out I was able to set the body down on a couple small carts, and I can pickup the rear with the cherry picker in order to roll it around (you can see the trans sitting on the ground in this pic, had to steal its cart for the body so now it'll be a pain to move). An added bonus is that the frame is light enough now I can easily jackup one side or the other with the floor jack to shimmy it over when I need to move it.

1605583066018.png


Now that everythings situation I wanted to point out a small problem I had. Earlier I had unscrewed the steering shaft and just assumed it'd slide apart when I jacked up the front of the car. Unfortunately this wasn't the case it got caught up which actually tore the rag joint so I'm going to need a new steering shaft for this. I would just take the one out of the green explorer but I imagine with that thing having 250k+ miles its steering shaft rag joints aren't in much better shape.
1605583216023.png



Well that's everything! My garage is an absolute disaster after all this, but I guess that's how to remove a body in a garage. BTW I don't think this would be possible if I had anything overhead at all (like the overhead door rails, luckily my garage was long enough to roll the car away from those), nor if I had left the engine in since with the engine in I would have had to jack the body up an additionally 30" or so and the garage just isn't tall enough. Maybe I could have removed all the suspension to get it low enough, but removing the engine is probably the best way to go. Now that the frames separated the real work can begin. I still need to find a bellhousing and transfer case but now I can start making all the mounts, restoring and modding the frame, etc. Hopefully I'll have a rolling explorer frame with a full cummins drivetrain in it in the next couple months and then its just fitting the body back on after that.

As always here's all this junk in vlog form if you're interested in all my GF's comments on this project and such haha. Let me know if you have any input! A lot of the project is still unknown, but like I said now the real work begins where I can start answering all those unknowns.
 




Kiliona

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Also small technical note if anyone can help me out, on each of my posts there's some pictures dangling at the bottom that I didn't mean to put there (should have just been in line with the text). I've tried editing the post and deleting them but they just come back. Anyone know why there's extra pictures at the bottom of each of my posts?

You uploaded more pictures than you used in your post. The extras auto post at the end of your thread if you didn't use them. I deleted the extra pictures from the attached files area.

EDIT: Thank you! I must be double posting some of the pictures on accident or perhaps hitting attach instead of just pasting in line or something, I'll pay more attention when attaching.
 




1991 sploder

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Also small technical note if anyone can help me out, on each of my posts there's some pictures dangling at the bottom that I didn't mean to put there (should have just been in line with the text). I've tried editing the post and deleting them but they just come back. Anyone know why there's extra pictures at the bottom of each of my posts?
Hey no pictures... Just wondering I'm thinking this could be done with a cowl hood and some cutting under the hood denting firewall ECT... Also a frame with the Cummins now that u got the body off.. That stock frame is going to need alot of custom work. Might be easier to get a frame and hack it and box it in
 




410Fortune

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Wicked good show!!
 




yostyexplorer94

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Very good video showing body removal with minimal equipment. Looking forward to future videos.
 




ryboj

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Now this is good stuff right here..... some of my two favorite mechanical things going together. A first gen explorer and a cummins. ;)

With that thing being so lightweight, you'll be able to keep the 6BT build extremely budget friendly. Optimizing factory will be where it's at with just some simple bolt-ons and a few screw adjustments of the pump.... love it.
 




Kiliona

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Now this is good stuff right here..... some of my two favorite mechanical things going together. A first gen explorer and a cummins. ;)

With that thing being so lightweight, you'll be able to keep the 6BT build extremely budget friendly. Optimizing factory will be where it's at with just some simple bolt-ons and a few screw adjustments of the pump.... love it.

Exactly! That was one of the biggest reasons I wanted to go with the 6bt over something else, it makes as much power and torque as I'd ever need basically stock and all the other stock drivetrain components should be able to handle it as well (transmission, transfer case, etc). I'm actually hoping in the end it might be somewhat reliable given that I won't be asking anything in the drivetrain to do anything it wasn't designed to do. Also this obviously isn't the point of the build but my 4.0 got like 13 mpg's. With a 12 valve, manual transmission, and a "light" explorer I'm hoping for 20+ (that is unless I decide to start screwing with the 6bt haha).

My plans in the short term are a higher governor spring and some maintenance items of course (KDP, valve lash, gaskets, filters), and if I ever get restless I can always take a look at that fuel plate!
 




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Exactly! That was one of the biggest reasons I wanted to go with the 6bt over something else, it makes as much power and torque as I'd ever need basically stock and all the other stock drivetrain components should be able to handle it as well (transmission, transfer case, etc). I'm actually hoping in the end it might be somewhat reliable given that I won't be asking anything in the drivetrain to do anything it wasn't designed to do. Also this obviously isn't the point of the build but my 4.0 got like 13 mpg's. With a 12 valve, manual transmission, and a "light" explorer I'm hoping for 20+ (that is unless I decide to start screwing with the 6bt haha).

My plans in the short term are a higher governor spring and some maintenance items of course (KDP, valve lash, gaskets, filters), and if I ever get restless I can always take a look at that fuel plate!

With my relatively original stock build (just 4k GSK, boost elbow, stock HX35, filter, 4" TB, advanced timing) and simply turned up and a billet trans, was pulling 25mpg going down highway at 65-70mpg with AC on, 3.55 gears, 2wd RC in my '95. Think this thing is 5500 dry or so. You should be able to eeck out 26-30mpg. (around 21mpg now fully built)
 




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Kiliona

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Also...if you're thinking about 50 TTB beams, these guys have a pretty slick setup maybe you can mimic for load and performance capability. Stage 1 Dana 50 TTB Front Leaf Spring Delete Kit / F250 & F350 | Solo Motorsports
Ooh, good info! I've looked into it a bit more and it looks like dana 50 stuff might be a little narrower on one side then dana 44 (or is that just on vans? TTB info is hard to find!). I should be going to a upull today or monday for drivetrain parts so I'll bring a measuring tape and find some TTB fords and compare widths and mounting points and all that jazz. I think the dream front end would either be a dana 50 with coils or a dana 44 with dana 50 outers (to get the 8 lugs to match the dream rear of a dana 70).

Part sourcing has been a bit of a nightmare so far, I guess around me people snatchup diesel parts QUICK, so right now I'm still concentrating on getting the drivetrain fully sorted (transfer case, bellhousing) before I make the decision of if I do only the engine swap now to get it running and do axles later, or just do axles and drivetrain all at once now. I keep saying this but I should know soon haha. I guess this would go quicker if I'd just bite the bullet and buy everything new, but what's the fun in that? ;)

EDIT/CORRECTION: I just realized the way I said something is wrong, must have been tired. I didn't mean to imply you can bolt dana 50 knuckles on a dana 44 to get 8 lugs, you have to bolt up GMC parts to get the dana 44 to 8 lug as seen in the following thred.
 








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How did I miss this thread. Subscribing.

The OP obviously has some fabrication skills. I looked at that D50 leaf spring delete kit. $2655 seems steep. Its not like they had to do a whole lot of design to create it, all they had to do was copy the radius arm TTB. You could source/build your own kit for much less.
Ford-F250-Stage-2-Leaf-Spring-Delete_Kit-9-1.jpg
 




Kiliona

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How did I miss this thread. Subscribing.

The OP obviously has some fabrication skills. I looked at that D50 leaf spring delete kit. $2655 seems steep. Its not like they had to do a whole lot of design to create it, all they had to do was copy the radius arm TTB. You could source/build your own kit for much less.

Well thank you haha. I was thinking that when he mentioned the kit but didn't want to say anything, the link is useful information because it shows me what I'd need to make it work, but you are correct I would make it myself I wouldn't buy the kit. Still glad for the link though!
 




Kiliona

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I got back from the junkyard today with pictures of different TTB setups, but still no transfer case :banghead:. I thought I'd post what I found in case anyone had any input since there's been some front end talk. I measured the drivers side beam, passenger side beam, and overall width between the brake backing plates on my dana 35, a dana 44 and a dana 50. Seems the dana 44 is really just a bigger dana 35 (with a slightly longer passenger side beam), but the dana 50 has a weird stubby driver side member (shorter then both the other setups). Just to recap my options on the front would be to swap in dana 44 and then throw GMC 3/4 ton knuckles and spindles on it to get to 8 lug, or run the leaf spring dana 50 but fabricate my own coil spring perches and radius arm mounts in order to stay on coils.

94 Explorer, dana 35 (stock)
1605918643153.png


81 bronco dana 44. Same as f150's that I saw. Notice the coils. 5 lug.
1605918672700.png


97 f250 with dana 50 (all the TTB dana 50's have leafs). 8 lug
1605918734133.png


AxleWidth (backing plate to backing plate)Increase from stock
Ford 8.8 (rear stock)52 ½”0”
Dana 35 TTB (front stock)52”0”
Dana 70 (parts truck rear axle)59”6 ½”
Dana 44 TTB (f150/bronco front)58 ½”6 ½”
Dana 50 TTB (f250/full size front)60”8”
Note that if I run the dana 70 rear then I keep the same relative front to rear track width if I run the dana 44, if I run the dana 50 I gain more front track width then I gain in the rear by 1 1/2". Ultimately not too much of a difference though.

One thing the note, on the dana 44 driver member is 1 1/2" longer then the explorers, but the passenger member is 4 1/4" longer. This means the mounts would have a similar relative position EXCEPT the passenger mount would move 3" to the outside of the car. This mount was actually sort of in the way of the oil pan a bit anyways so it moving might give me a little more room to fit the cummins.
1605918889601.png


Basically it looks like the dana 44 would be the easiest option. The minuses are obviously 1, that it isn't as strong as a dana 50, and 2, would need to modify it to get 8 lugs. The downside of the dana 50, besides needing more custom fab work to switch it to coils (not too big a deal), is that the driver side member mount position is way different (like on the bottom of the engine crossmember instead of the side of it) and the driver side member is very short - short enough in fact I think I would LOSE wheel travel compared to stock.. no good.

Those are my thoughts on different TTB options so far. Anyone know how tough dana 44's are? Where are the weak points? If they're in the knuckles and bearings that might be good since I'd need to swap in 3/4 or 1 ton outers. Any thoughts on a dana 50 on coils?
 




Kiliona

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Oh I almost forgot, the radius arms between the dana 35 and dana 44 are almost the same length, only difference really is where the shock mounts it looks like. Not too worried about making the radius arms work. The dana 50 obviously doesn't have radius arms since it is leafsprung from the factory, so I would fab up a way to use mine if I ended up using a dana 50.
 


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BKennedy

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I was going to ask you about the cross member interfering with the engine, but you already answered that. Would it be easier for you to swap in a solid axle for the front, or are you set on using a TTB? Mine is a radius arm based swap. Its more stable than it ever was on the highway, and flexes like crazy off-road. I use it for every type of off-roading except mud, I hate mud. You can build a engine cross member around the engine. A D60 or HD D44 would give you the correct bolt pattern, and there are hundreds of swaps listed in the Offroad Projects forum to guide you.
 




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