Dodge 440 to 5.9 Cummins Diesel conversion

Started by Wantawinnie, October 16, 2012, 12:28 AM

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Well, 98 miles on it and so far so good. Time to get back to the interior renovation soon.


Thanks for all the encouragement through this conversion. I am afraid that I look forward more to driving it than camping in it. lol

A few more odds and ends and it is back to the interior renovation......


Congratulations !! :)ThmbUp  When you make your first trip be on the look out for Hmmmm I never gave that a thought Gremlins  Good Luck  Frank :)clap
"The Journey is the REWARD !"
Member of 15 years. We will always remember you, Frank.


Right on.  Congrats on your continuing success.



Outstanding!!!  Once you get the brakes dialed in and take it for a long drive, we can't wait to hear what you are getting for gas mileage!  (or diesel!)

Kev and Patti, the furry kids, our 1981 Ford F-100 Custom tow vehicle, and our 1995 Itasca Suncruiser Diesel Pusher.


I've been following this thread and all I can say is WOW!!!  Congrats on the success, GREAT JOB!!!

All I can add is, when ya commin to do mine?   ;)



The first test drive is done!

Re-engineered my kick down linkage a little and it shifts nice now. The brakes are working better but still need to be checked out before any serious trips.

With that stuff done it was finally time for a drive. The transmission shifts firmly and the aftermarket converter responds nicely. 1st gear shift is around 15-20mph, 2nd gear shift is 30-35mph, and 3rd gear(drive) is maxed out at 50mph. Manually shifting the factory overdrive at about 45mph seems to be about right but it will work fine at lower speeds too. 60 MPH is just about right in overdrive and it doesn't feel underpowered or sluggish.

I had a little trouble getting power to the gear vendor on my first 2 test drives so it wasn't used. Figured out the power issue on the 3rd run and it worked great. The gear vendor electronics shift it into overdrive automatically or you can shut it off and go manual if you want. For speeds up to 55mph the electronic shifts are perfect and the gear vendor overdrive feels right in the diesels powerband. Only got a little driving with this gear but I think that it is going to be used a lot for hill climbing.

The factory overdrive and gear vendor worked well together and should be a good interstate or level highway gear.

Temperatures were in the low 70's today and the engine ran in the 170-180 range the whole time, transmission pan temps on the road varied between 150-180 with hill climbing. Turbo boost was maxed at about 23psi on the hills and varied between 5-15psi cruising. There really was no diesel smoke that I could see in the mirror and overall I am happy with the power. I could play with the pump a little and probably gain some power but it feels good as is for now.

The noise level is not bad in the rig. The exhaust has a nice deep tone and you can hear the turbo whistle but, I like that. This swap was a lot of work and today made it all worth it.


I was gonna say sounds like a throttle pressure issue to me.....ya beat me to it.
We call our coach "Charlie Brown"


I think the kickdown linkage needs to be loosened up some, at least that is a starting point. It is running sweet otherwise.


  • Marvel Mystery Oil  D:oH! :)rotflmao


Got the tranny up to temp today and it needed 2 more quarts of fluid. Then I took a little cruise around the block. It didn't want to shift out of first right away for some reason. On the last straight section coming back to the shop it finally shifted out of low and it was like getting shot out of a cannon. I think it is going to be fine powerwise. I will have to check on the shifting delay. The trans has been sitting dry for a couple years so maybe something was just sticky.


I did exactly the same thing Lefty did.  Got a nice gash for it.  I cut back the pipe a bit and put a stainless-steel tip on it which extended out maybe an inch or so from the edge of the rig.  I specifically chose one with rounded in edges!
1969 D22, 2 x 1974 D24 Indians, 1977 27' Itasca


Quoteor maybe big dual stacks LOL

Now thats an image thats hard to get out of your mind.    Hm?    Just make sure you place anti-burn protection around them   ;)


The tip sticks out about 2" from the body. I will see how it goes as I just used pieces that were free to build the exhaust. I will probably get some type of tip for it down the road to spruce it up some.(or maybe big dual stacks LOL)


My only suggestion would be to possible change the current tip out on the exhaust with a down tip to reduce the potential for sooting on the side of the motorhome :)
Follow along with me as I full-time the Redneck Way in [url=http://


Excellent job!!
What I want to see is the look you get the first time you take it to a quik oil place.. and the techs there try to look up the filters for a 1973 Winnebago that came with a diesel. That should be a good laugh.

I will point out 1 minor detail that I would change. In your walkaround, I noticed the exhaust pipe sticks out a few inches. Mine was like that, and I gashed my leg wide open on it one day.. I then cut it off so it was flush with the side of the coach... I still have a scar from it.  Just a suggestion.
Other than that I can't say anything but positive things about it. The rig is absolutely gorgeous, and you've done an outstanding job engineering the swap so it not only fits.. but looks surprisingly factory installed as well.
I reserve the right to reject your reality and substitute my own...


Yep, I used a 195 on 185 off switch and then put a manual toggle on the ground side to turn it on and off if needed.


Thanks, I'll snap the measurements, then grab a couple, at those prices they're definitely worth it. 

I assume you custom wired up a thermostatic switch to turn them on and off on yer bago, correct?
Follow along with me as I full-time the Redneck Way in [url=http://


Thanks guys!

Redneck - I got the fans, transmission cooler, and all the silicone boots from these guys. The fans seem to be fine for the price but the free mounting kit was no good. The pins were very brittle and snapped off. I ended up buying some from a parts store for a few bucks.


Hey, where'd you get the fans on yer radiator at?  I've been plotting adding a pair to my truck to augment the engine driven fan.  The problem I'm running into is the radiator cools down too well and subsequently, at low speed, not enough air is being pulled through to properly cool the big tranny cooler in the center of the sandwich (Only place I could fit it), so I need to add a couple fans I can actuate manually to boost air flow to keep the tranny temp as cool as possible when grade pulling :).

Follow along with me as I full-time the Redneck Way in [url=http://

M & J

M & J


Outstanding!  I can't wait for the road test!

:)clap :)clap :)clap :)clap :)clap

Kev and Patti, the furry kids, our 1981 Ford F-100 Custom tow vehicle, and our 1995 Itasca Suncruiser Diesel Pusher.


Amazing job.  Congratulations on the fine engineering and workmanship. 


Here are some Youtube videos. The quality isn't the best as I was using my phone.

Walk around while the Cummins was running.

Starting it up and using the pull stop cable to shut it down. You can hear the electric fans running after the engine stops.

Running with the engine cover off.

This one with the engine cover on shows the noise reduction compared to the previous videos. I haven't done any sound deadening and there is no carpet yet so it should get a little better.