Center mount turbo swap on non center mount turbo engine. The "struggle bus"

jackson76550

New member
116
1
0
Location
sealy tx
Center mount turbo swap on non center mount turbo engine. The "struggle bus"

Recently named this truck the struggle bus. And its been the pain in my ass the past few weeks. Purchased as a non runner, it was clean, complete and overhauled in 04. I had high hopes and took the risk. I have had great luck with my past 2 non running trucks. I knew about 10 seconds after hooking up the batteries that this engine had low/no compression. So i pulled the passenger side head. Toast! 3 pistons melted and cylinder walls damaged. Looks like it was overheated pretty good. No big deal and had a 6.5 from a suburban a couple days later. As im tearing off all the non hmmwv accessories i think, man it would be cool to have a turbo on this thing. To ebay i go! Turbo parts are cheap so i buy them up.... then I realized the heads are different.... so i buy them.... then a doghouse.... air intake....etc

while waiting on parts i throw the 6.5 in the truck without the turbo and head on down the road for my first test drive and alternator does not charge and the right front caliper is stuck. So i replace the front calipers, add a gm (cheaper) alternator and hit the road.... and it begins to run hot, so i unplug the fan solenoid and it cools down, i get home and see the water pump leaks a bit. In diagnosing the fan i find the thermostatic switch for the fan a closed circuit no matter the temp, also during diagnosis the fan would stay on.... power and ground was ok at the solenoid. So back to ebay. Installed the water pump, fan parts and hoped the son of a bitch would begin cooperating. It finally did, truck drove great, rode great, stopped great, runs cool and looks cool.

So i decide to tear it apart and add all the turbo stuff. And thats where it gets tricky. Very first thing i did was drill the block for the turbo feed and drain, i did this first in case it did not work i didnt waste much time. With some carefull drilling and knowing the depth of the holes thanks to the original engine i got to practice on, i went for it. Grease on the bit to catch as many chips as possible. When i struck oil on the feed side i used the magnet through the oil sender hole to clean anything that fell in..... there was very little, then cranked the engine over to flush it out. The drain was just straight down and straightforward. All looked well so i replaced the cylinder heads and bolted on the turbo. I made a gasket from the rubbery paper fel pro bulk gasket material. Then i fired it up and crossed my fingers. No leaks! So i turned up the fuel, finished installing the intake and everything else. Ran for hours, still no leaks. As a temporary solution for the mechanical modulator on the trans i pulled the cable about halfway out and
Vice gripped it in place. I may find a more permanent solution that does just this because the shift points are perfect, in my opinion.

So after driving it a while im pretty pleased with it, no leaks of any kind from my home made gasket, doesn't overheat.... all is well.

Pictures up next
 

jackson76550

New member
116
1
0
Location
sealy tx
Other things i had to change or modify were...
oil dipstick
trans dipstick
oil sender location
wire harness modification
i just built a 3" downpipe to connect to factory exhaust
modulator for trans, it is still a 3l80 or th400... depends what mood you are in.
Had to trim the body a bit for the downpipe, the drivers manifold is very close to the body

it was a real pain to get the upper part of the intake on, a body lift may not be a bad idea.
im sure i have forgotten a few things
 

orgnal

Member
284
1
18
Location
Denver, CO
Recently named this truck the struggle bus. And its been the pain in my ass the past few weeks. Purchased as a non runner, it was clean, complete and overhauled in 04. I had high hopes and took the risk. I have had great luck with my past 2 non running trucks. I knew about 10 seconds after hooking up the batteries that this engine had low/no compression. So i pulled the passenger side head. Toast! 3 pistons melted and cylinder walls damaged. Looks like it was overheated pretty good. No big deal and had a 6.5 from a suburban a couple days later. As im tearing off all the non hmmwv accessories i think, man it would be cool to have a turbo on this thing. To ebay i go! Turbo parts are cheap so i buy them up.... then I realized the heads are different.... so i buy them.... then a doghouse.... air intake....etc

while waiting on parts i throw the 6.5 in the truck without the turbo and head on down the road for my first test drive and alternator does not charge and the right front caliper is stuck. So i replace the front calipers, add a gm (cheaper) alternator and hit the road.... and it begins to run hot, so i unplug the fan solenoid and it cools down, i get home and see the water pump leaks a bit. In diagnosing the fan i find the thermostatic switch for the fan a closed circuit no matter the temp, also during diagnosis the fan would stay on.... power and ground was ok at the solenoid. So back to ebay. Installed the water pump, fan parts and hoped the son of a bitch would begin cooperating. It finally did, truck drove great, rode great, stopped great, runs cool and looks cool.

So i decide to tear it apart and add all the turbo stuff. And thats where it gets tricky. Very first thing i did was drill the block for the turbo feed and drain, i did this first in case it did not work i didnt waste much time. With some carefull drilling and knowing the depth of the holes thanks to the original engine i got to practice on, i went for it. Grease on the bit to catch as many chips as possible. When i struck oil on the feed side i used the magnet through the oil sender hole to clean anything that fell in..... there was very little, then cranked the engine over to flush it out. The drain was just straight down and straightforward. All looked well so i replaced the cylinder heads and bolted on the turbo. I made a gasket from the rubbery paper fel pro bulk gasket material. Then i fired it up and crossed my fingers. No leaks! So i turned up the fuel, finished installing the intake and everything else. Ran for hours, still no leaks. As a temporary solution for the mechanical modulator on the trans i pulled the cable about halfway out and
Vice gripped it in place. I may find a more permanent solution that does just this because the shift points are perfect, in my opinion.

So after driving it a while im pretty pleased with it, no leaks of any kind from my home made gasket, doesn't overheat.... all is well.

Pictures up next
Awesome work! Congratulations!

McReddy
 
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