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Detroit diesel
#1363627 Fri Jun 05 2020 06:46 PM
Joined: Oct 2019
Posts: 227
T
Tony292 Offline OP
Shop Shark
Has anyone successfully transplanted a Detroit diesel in their 1940-46 truck? I was thinking about using a gama goat engine which is a Detroit 3-53 and sm420. While I have the measurements of the engine I’m not sure if it will fit. Length = 33, width =27, and height 39. Seems like a lot but checking the engine bay it looks like o could easily move the radiator forward a few inches and the width of 27 wouldn’t fit between the frame rails, but the max width on a 3-53 isn’t down low, it’s mid block where the blower is.


Anywho, if anyone had swapped in a Detroit already, I’d love to see pics of it!!

Re: Detroit diesel
Tony292 #1363628 Fri Jun 05 2020 06:55 PM
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 39
J
PA OUTLAW
l had a friend that put a 353 in 1970 chevy wow!!! could rattle the windows in the neighbor hood ill see if he has any pictures of it

Re: Detroit diesel
Tony292 #1363630 Fri Jun 05 2020 07:19 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 20,614
H
Boltergeist
With an approximate usable RPM range of 1750-2150, you're going to need a lot more gears than that SM 420 has. Better add a 3 speed Brownie to give you 12 forward speeds, and do a lot of dumbbell curls with your right arm- - - - -you'll be "rowing it with the shift levers"!
Jerry


The murder victim was drowned in a bathtub full of Rice Krispies and milk.
The coroner blamed the crime on a cereal killer!

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!
Re: Detroit diesel
Hotrod Lincoln #1363632 Fri Jun 05 2020 07:42 PM
Joined: Oct 2019
Posts: 227
T
Tony292 Offline OP
Shop Shark
The 53 series has more rpm Range than that, it goes up to 2800 RPM.

Re: Detroit diesel
Tony292 #1363634 Fri Jun 05 2020 07:58 PM
Joined: Oct 2019
Posts: 227
T
Tony292 Offline OP
Shop Shark
Also the engine I’m talking about is the 3-53 from a. Gama goat. The gama goat came with an sm420 trans and it’s max speed rating was 56 mph with a 5.57 gear ratio on 9x20 tires.

My plan would be 5.43 gears and a ranger torque splitter overdrive (28%), with 8.25x20 tires.

Re: Detroit diesel
Tony292 #1363682 Sat Jun 06 2020 12:31 PM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 95
A
ASU Offline
Shop Shark
The 3-53 was rated at 101 HP. new. I drove a 1970 3/4 ton GMC with a 3-73 and a SM420 in it. One of the most underpowered, slow trucks I have ever driven. It needed 6 inches of body lift to close the hood. Be prepared to do A LOT of work to make it fit. The detroit "power band" is fairly small, they don't "lug down " well. If you are looking for "slow and loud" then go for it.

Re: Detroit diesel
Tony292 #1363704 Sat Jun 06 2020 03:04 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 3,547
E
Shop Shark
Tony,

At least look for a T engine, since you plan on 20" tires, do you have a 1.5 ton truck you plan on using. Will be pretty gutless on Hills. A 4-53T is too big for your engine compartment.

Ed

Attached Files
IMG_0830.JPG (444.66 KB, 134 downloads)

'37 GMC T-18 w/ DD 4-53T, RTO-610, 6231 aux., '95 GMC running gear, full disc brakes, power steering, 22.5 wheels and tires.
'47 GMC 1 ton w/ 302, NP-540, 4wd, full width Blazer front axle.
'54 GMC 630 w/ 503 gasser, 5 speed, ex fire truck, shortened WB 4', install 8' bed.
Re: Detroit diesel
EdPruss #1363758 Sun Jun 07 2020 12:17 AM
Joined: Oct 2019
Posts: 227
T
Tony292 Offline OP
Shop Shark
That’s what I was thinking. Doing the measurement and comparing to Kline measurements, it looks like only the 3-53 will fit and just barely. It’s hard to find a 3-53T, so I’ll probably do a 3-53N and just add the turbo parts later as I find them.

Re: Detroit diesel
ASU #1363762 Sun Jun 07 2020 12:41 AM
Joined: Oct 2019
Posts: 227
T
Tony292 Offline OP
Shop Shark
I doubt it could get any slower than the current 216... Detroit’s are easy to turn up the power...

Re: Detroit diesel
Tony292 #1363912 Mon Jun 08 2020 12:31 AM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 1,922
F
Shop Shark
Grigg on here did a 4-53T conversation in A-D 2-ton Truck. Others have done it. Search these forums. Also there are some YouTube videos of diesel conversions in old GM trucks. Maybe that will be useful.


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