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Old 08-09-2009, 12:31 PM
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spacemanspiff spacemanspiff is offline
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I have a fairly new kubota. On a public road with at steep hill I have to downshift to climb the hill. Yes I doesn't use much fuel but you have to gear it down to have power. It will only go 13MPH. No way you could do 50MPH in a heavier truck. My tractor is only 46 HP, but the same applies to my 100HP CAT backhoe.
Old 08-09-2009, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by spacemanspiff View Post
I have a fairly new kubota. On a public road with at steep hill I have to downshift to climb the hill. Yes I doesn't use much fuel but you have to gear it down to have power. It will only go 13MPH. No way you could do 50MPH in a heavier truck. My tractor is only 46 HP, but the same applies to my 100HP CAT backhoe.

your tractor is heavier than any 1/2 ton truck.

tractors are geared for pulling, working, not top speed.
Old 08-09-2009, 12:38 PM
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Yes but at 13 MPH an High gear it will not go up a hill.

It weighs less that my f150 that it pull it with. My f150 has 300HP an can pull more that my tractor can at high speed. You need horse power to go 70MPH. At least more than 46.
Old 08-09-2009, 12:41 PM
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If you gear something down enough a rat in a round cage can pull the space shuttle. You just won't see it moving it will be going so slow.
Old 08-23-2009, 01:46 AM
WYOmegaMan WYOmegaMan is offline
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ok, first of all, the 4bt/4bta cummins is NOT the small version of the cummins that is in the dodges today. Those are not 6.5L like was said a few posts back, they are 6.7L and are not my favorite motor. They have not gone over as well as expected, and the early production ones are ticking time bombs. Many recalls/TSB's on these for bad pistons/pins, turbos, DPF problems, etc. etc.

The 4bt/4bta IS the 4cyl version of the 5.9L "6bt/6bta" cummins motor used from 1989 to 2007-ish. Same idea as how a 4.3L is a shortened chevy 350. They are mostly the mechanical injection style, although there are some computer controlled models out there. Not sure if there was ever a common rail version. the number designates the cylinders, "b" is the block type, "t" designates turbo equipped, "a" designates intercooler equipped. The 6 cylinder models are easy to find in all 3 injections configurations. The 12 valve mechanical injected motor is the easiest swap. The common rail is on a standalone ECU, much like new corvette motors, etc. so it is not too hard to swap either, and the common rail runs like a scalded ape if you tweak it a bit. The 24 valve is known to get awesome mileage, but they are NOT an easy swap because of the amount of wiring involved.

Cummins swaps are the best light/medium deisel swaps IMHO. The 4bt is a great little powerplant, and the 6bt can be made to churn out impressive numbers. The mechanical versions have only a few wires to hook up and you are on the road. basically a power wire to the pump, and the ignition key stuff. These are some of the easiest swaps to perform.

The 4bt is an excellent choice for swapping into jeeps, light pickups, SUV's, Box trucks, etc. Many of them can be had at low prices by buying a "bread truck" at auction that is equipped with a 4bt. Some have th-400 autos, some have nv-4500 manuals. Fed ex trucks, frito lay trucks, etc. typically were retrofitted or ordered with the 4bta until recent newer models. The 5.9 is still out there in gensets, utility trucks, pumps/compressors, aircraft tugs, all kinds of stuff. Dodge should have kept it under the hood.

Keep in mind that diesels, especially in tractors, are meant to overcome their lack of horsepower and RPM's by sheer brute torque. My diesel ram virtually never exceeds 2500 rpm, and that's if I drive 90mph. Sane speeds put me at about 1700 rpm @ 70mph. Idle is 600-800 depending on load from a/c or alternator. Not too shabby in my mind. My v-6 explorer is pushing 2600 to run at the speed limit, with overdrive...

WHY? my gear ratio was selected for this purpose. IF you gear it right, you can use that 50hp tractor motor and retain functional highway speeds. It's not just your axle gears either, it's transmissions too. I choose the 5 speed for mine, but there is a 6 spd out there for the cummins too. I'd like to put a gear vendors splitter on my rig so I can have 10 gears. This is why semi's have so many gears. You can fly down the road, with a huge load, at fairly low rpm's, IF you have enough gears to make that old thing we call "mechanical advantage" your slave.

I see no reason why swapping in a tractor diesel means you have an unsafe or gutless vehicle. It might take you a minute to get there, but you can get up to a good clip if your gears are right, and stay there all day long. Remember, tractors trade the rpm's and top speed for brute pulling power by going with insane gearing and/or by using high pressure hydraulics to make sh*t-tons of pulling power. Turbos, water/methanol injection, propane injection, intercoolers, injectors, all these things can be modified or swapped to influence power and mileage. Turbos and intercoolers make so much difference in both power and mileage it's not even funny. If you don't believe me, go rent an old Uhaul truck with the non turbo 6.9 or IDI ford diesel in it. Gutless wonder, at 8mpg.

The light duty truck, SUV, or car would be the opposite of a tractor for this guy's "economy vehicle" setup. If this is your commuter car, you don't need the power to pull 10 tons of hay. You can use high ratio gears to keep your speeds up while your engine does very little work. My guess is that the half ton trucks in the video had 3.73:1 or 3.54:1 gears anyway, since these seem to be a Ford favorite for increasing mpg. I run the 3.54:1 in my diesel truck, and I get 24mpg highway while pushing 35"s mud tires around... in a truck that weighs 8k pounds and could pull your house out from under you if I stand on the skinny pedal. Best of both worlds in my opinion. Sacrifice that killer power for mileage if it's a commuter, not a work truck. It CAN be done easily. Run some 3.31:1 or eve 2.72:1 gears with a small displacement diesel motor, and you could get awesome mileage while running just off idle.

This "shadetree" guy is right on par me thinks, I'd like to see more small-med diesel swaps, especially running on straight WVO or biodiesel made from reclaimed WVO.

Last edited by WYOmegaMan; 08-23-2009 at 01:59 AM..
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Old 08-23-2009, 01:53 AM
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BCW's got it right. I'm running a 6BTA in a Suburban, but if I wasn't towing a 4BTA would have done fine. Plenty of vehicles with low HP numbers work quite well in the real world, not to mention that HP numbers are basically always fudged by manufacturers, and people are usually shocked when they actually find out their 350 horsepower HemiDemiLumpsicle is actually dumping a whole 74 ponies into the dirt........
Old 08-23-2009, 02:08 AM
WYOmegaMan WYOmegaMan is offline
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The venerable Carol Shelby once said "horsepower is great, but torque wins races". Make that torque work for you slowly and with great force, or quickly and with great efficiency. ALL in how you build it!

The 4bt probably wont be quite as efficient as the small tractor motors, but you can get close... all while using the same readily available and easy to get turbos, injectors, clutches, pumps, etc. as it's big brother... and it will make more raw power to play with.

While a tuned up 6bta slaughters dodge automatic transmissions frequently, the 4bta can use a th400 (or 4l80e if you want OD, and you DO if you can get it) or the nv-3550, 4500, or 5600 (or getrag G6). You can also adapt allison medium duty automatics (#4 bellhousing for 4bt/6bt engines), the allison out of a duramax truck (with suncoast adapter parts), and semi or military truck manual transmissions with lots of gears in them.
Old 08-23-2009, 12:09 PM
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btw- increasing your tire size can effectively change your gear ratio as well, if you can't get what you need out of your axles or don't want to swap gears. I've been up close with a few cummins trucks and with a couple of 4bts. Any small diesel with mechanical injection is a fairly easy swap if you can fabricate, and if you can find the right bellhousing/transmission combo for what you want to build. Often less expensive than swapping in a hi-power gasoline crate motor.

A ram-jet 350 id $5300... a good running 4bt is about half that, or way less if you get a good deal, especially on a whole bread truck. Get one with the transmission you want in it and save money that way. You can run a divorced t-case, or swap the tailshaft for a 4wd version.

Last edited by WYOmegaMan; 08-23-2009 at 12:14 PM..
Old 08-26-2009, 09:31 PM
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Also, I wonder about the legality of this (emissions standards and passing DEQ come to mind).
Whut emissions standards? We don't need no steenkin' emissions standards here!
Old 11-27-2009, 04:16 AM
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Tractor engines will work in over the road trucks and cars I think you would need to run overdrive trannys and high gear ratios in the rearend you could also adjust your engine RPM slightly higher and as far as power run a turbo. I bought the book from shadetree but was not impressed with the discription of the build it was more like a long intro that should have been free on the site. Then sell the how-to step by step in book format.
Old 11-27-2009, 06:20 AM
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A quick note on HP. Take a look at the HP spec's of your pick up. Mine is 365HP sounds great??? But when you look at the RPM that HP is measured at it's at 6000RPM!!!!! Outrageous!!! How often does your pick up truck engine hit 6 grand?? I hope not often if you want it to last for any length of time. Auto engines are not designed to run at there max HP rated speeds! If you were to hold your engine at this RPM on a dynamo I would give it maybe an hour or so before it either over heats or blows out the bottom end. How much HP do you think your pick up has at it's average RPM?? I would say about a 1/3 of rated at best. Probably closer to a 1/4 of rated. Now tractor engines are considered industrial engines. These engines are rated at there working HP. If your tractor is rated at 60HP at 2000 RPM you can run that engine at that RPM and HP all day and all night for years!! Don't forget industrial engines cost much more than auto engines. Price out a 500HP Cat engine for a Kenworth. I haven't priced one in the last 10 years so I'll have a guess it would be worth about 35 grand just for the engine!! Don't forget you can run this engine at its rated HP for a million miles or so before overhaul is needed then your good for another million! Try this with your auto engine?? No way. Industrial engines are built to a whole different quality standard and there HP is real HP and not the hyped up numbers used in the auto world for sales purposes.
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Old 11-27-2009, 10:40 AM
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Going the other way. We had a MAssey Ferguson 510 combine when I was a kid. The power unit was a Chevy 327. The only difference aside from hardened valves.was the cam. The engine was cammed for max HP at about 2200 rpms. And it was governed. When the combine went to hell we kept the engine. We swapped out the cam and put it in my brother's Silverado. Had we left the old cam the valves would have floated at any more than a high idle.
The Chevy 366, Ford 352 and later the 360 are popular for tractor engines. The problem is the more cylinders you got the less torque. You would really have to gear down.
Old 11-27-2009, 10:44 AM
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My son had an Isuzu diesel in a Chevy Luv. THe Isuzu was designed as a stationary engine. I think it put out 55 hp. It moved the truck along at probably 70 mph if you had a good long run and your leg didn't get too sore holding the pedal to the floor. It was a 4x4 and got about 32 mpg. He sold it last week for a good price.
Old 11-27-2009, 10:51 AM
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Now that is just fandamtastic. I like that idea. only problem is price of tractor motors ain't cheap.
But it just goes to show:


and what did old Will have to say about this:
" America is a nation that conceives many odd inventions for getting somewhere but it can think of nothing to do once it gets there."
Will Rogers
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