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78 Ford F350 Isuzu 6BD1T

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78 Ford F350 Isuzu 6BD1T

  #1  
Old 06-03-2014, 04:04 PM
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Default 78 Ford F350 Isuzu 6BD1T

Before I got bogged down with other projects, I agreed to help my friend do some work to his truck, getting it ready for being a daily driver.

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It's a 1978 Ford F350 that he bought a couple years back with an Isuzu 6BD1T already installed. He daily drove it for a while, and it worked pretty well, but had a lot of little issues caused by neglect and some shoddy craftsmanship on the conversion.

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Initially, the plan was to replace the bad radiator, and fix the power steering, but we all know how that goes...

The power steering was a very badly scabbed together bracket using the Ford pump, and had a large notch torched out of the frame to barely clear the filler neck, which was mostly sideways, and without enough room to actually get the cap on. There had apparently been other iterations of the bracket, as two of the bolts were broke off in the block that didn't line up with anything on this version.

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I extracted the broken bolts, and fabricated a bracket for the Saginaw pump that I had used on my Jeep out of some 1/2" steel plate that I had on hand. It shouldn't have any issues coming apart or breaking bolts!

You can also see the torched frame in this picture...

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In front of the radiator was actually a pretty nice transmission cooler, which unfortunately was connected with a hardware store nightmare of plumbing fittings and tubing. The bottom radiator connection is on the opposite side from the outlet on the engine, and it utilized a long flexible hose spliced together, and loosely slung under the pulleys to cross over. The heater was also terrible and would barely get warm. I'm going to flush the core, but I found the likely culprit as both the heater lines come from the exact same place in the water neck, with no pressure differential to create flow. I'm still working on the plumbing, and don't have any good pictures of this yet.

Another thing we noticed about the truck, was that it only seemed to build boost at the governor, and smoked like crazy on the bottom end without having much power. The EGTs never climbed above around 450*, even while climbing a pass with a camper on the back. The first very noticeable problem 'interesting' charge pipe that necked way down right off the turbo for the bend over the engine, and was connected with crumbling couplers. The next problem being the exhaust, which comes off the turbo in what looks like 2.5". Then after several feet splits into much smaller dual exhaust to connect to the stock exhaust system. The thermocouple was WAY down in this Y! (a lot of this)

When I disconnected the charge tube, I noticed that the compressor housing was loose, freely clunking from side to side, but the bolts were tight. After removing the housing, I found that it appeared to be missing an o-ring or gasket to bring it into proper tolerance. The turbo otherwise seems to be in good shape with no noticeable play or wear. By the tag, I would guess that it has very low operating hours since rebuild. I ordered appropriate o-rings, but lacking a groove, they didn't fit, so I made a gasket and used some copper RTV to be sure it was secure. It's nice and tight now!

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The air filter was questionable, but it should have plenty of flow now with the BHAF that he bought!

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There's still a lot of work to do to the wiring, brake lines, exhaust, gauges, and just a ton of little bits and pieces, but it sounds a lot worse than it actually is. I've contemplated fixing the frame, but it's ahead of the suspension mounts, and would be a bear to get to with the engine mounted. Another thought has been to drop the engine and C6 transmission into a truck in better shape, probably a 4x4, but his budget is very limited.
 
  #2  
Old 06-06-2014, 01:32 AM
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Interesting conversion. It is an engine I've considered previously since it is very similar in size (and power potential) to a VE Cummins 6BT.

I would be be looking at a 4wd and manual trans (w/OD) conversion. Probably one step at a time to keep costs manageable.
 
  #3  
Old 06-10-2014, 04:39 PM
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hi good project hows the project going?
 
  #4  
Old 06-12-2014, 02:52 PM
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Mostly waiting on parts and looking for some right now. He has the rest of the intake parts ordered.

The major challenges of the moment are figuring out what to do about the coolant bypass hose, and the hose between the block and road draft breather assembly. Most parts are available being the same as the ones used on the 4BD1T, but these are different. The bypass hose is a really tight greater than 90* bend, and the breather hose has different size ends, and multiple bends in a short run. I haven't found any source for 6BD1 specific parts yet other than whatever is posted on ebay...
 
  #5  
Old 06-12-2014, 03:18 PM
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We deal with non-OE engine plumbing at work all the time. Make up the complicated stuff with threaded fittings, or soldered copper. Then connect hoses to that.
 
  #6  
Old 06-18-2014, 06:58 PM
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Holly Smokes!! Your not gonna believe it but I have that exact truck!! (except for the Xmsn, I'm running a Allison auto) Here I thought I was all alone!! Do you have any history on it?
 
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Last edited by Rotor407; 06-18-2014 at 07:03 PM.
  #7  
Old 06-19-2014, 01:24 AM
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And I thought stuffing a MF engine in my 87 was gonna be a bitch .... WOW...
Rotor407, Yours is a clean install ... did you do it ?
 
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Old 06-19-2014, 02:10 AM
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Wish I could claim it but the story I was told from the second owner was that there was a motor coach company in Washington called Beaverton motor coaches that would take your new pickup and custom build it to match and handle their custom 5th wheels. Unfortunately the trailer was sold before I got the truck. I would love more information. Ive been searching 2 years now and the 78 above is the closest iv seen to mine.
 
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  #9  
Old 06-19-2014, 02:16 AM
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Rotor407 - Wow, that's a gorgeous truck!

This conversion isn't nearly as clean, and doesn't have the trick interior. My friend bought it from a guy in Port Angeles a few years ago. I don't think the guy had it for very long, and I'm not sure about the history before him. I have heard that there are a few running around here in WA though.

Where are you located?
 
  #10  
Old 06-19-2014, 02:26 AM
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Thanks, you've come along way on your friends!! I was lucky, less than 100000 miles and well cared for. I'm in Clarkston WA Ive heard rumor of a few around but never seen another and the problem is ,as I'm sure you've found, is PARTS and data. I have the original service manuals but I'm new to diesels.
 

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