Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hi, I have a Third Gen 2002 Ram 3500 4x4 with an 8 liter v10 in it. It is a low mileage truck and I have been wanting to convert it into a diesel for a while now. It only has 93,000 miles on it and is well maintained. I was wondering what all I would have to do to convert this truck into a diesel, and how much it would cost. I have been messing around with the idea for a while now, but I now have some free time to change the engine if I have the money. Please help me find about how much it would cost to do this, thank you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, Benji...The truck sounds solid and worth keeping.  I have a 2005 Ram 3500 we purchased new with the 5.9L Cummins and 48RE transmission.  Which transmission do you have?  Is this an automatic (4-speed/overdrive) or a manual transmission?  That would impact the cost of conversion to a diesel. 

Glad to comment once you describe the rest of the powertrain and chassis.  Is this a DRW or SRW model?   Wheelbase length?

Moses

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My truck has a 4 speed auto transmission with DRW in the back. The wheelbase is 160.5 because it's the quad cab version. Thank you for replying

On 4/26/2017 at 3:22 PM, Moses Ludel said:

Hi, Benji...The truck sounds solid and worth keeping.  I have a 2005 Ram 3500 we purchased new with the 5.9L Cummins and 48RE transmission.  Which transmission do you have?  Is this an automatic (4-speed/overdrive) or a manual transmission?  That would impact the cost of conversion to a diesel. 

Glad to comment once you describe the rest of the powertrain and chassis.  Is this a DRW or SRW model?   Wheelbase length?

Moses

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Benji...This is strictly my opinion, but the 47RE transmission (4-speed overdrive) in your truck has enough difficulty functioning with a gasoline V-8, let alone the V-10 or a 5.9L Cummins engine.  We have a local friend who just reached the rebuild cycle with his '03 Cummins dually/47RE transmission model 4x4.  This is a pattern saga.  Some take the RE transmissions to the rebuild limit as did our member Megatron (see his posts), others opt for an Allison conversion.

As an automatic transmission builder, I am drawn to the Allison transmission conversion.  This is not far-fetched for Cummins ISB engines, as UPS ran 12-valve Cummins 5.9L  powered vans with the Allison attached.

We bought our '05 model 3500 Ram 4x4 Quad Cab new in October 2004, and I've been very kind to its 48RE transmission.  I did the Sonnax upgrades that you will find in an article at the magazine (search under "Sonnax"), other than that, the transmission has seen only timely fluid and filter changes and a band adjustment.  I'm at 158K miles without a rebuild or any signs of trouble, apparently a record of sorts for these transmissions.  As an ex-heavy equipment operator and automatic transmission professional, I protect this transmission and converter as much as possible during each shift, whether loaded or unloaded!

I do plan to research the Allison conversion further.  If you're considering a Cummins ISB diesel conversion, you should look into this, too.  Cost of the engine and transmission swap would be substantial...An alternative would be selling your V-10 truck at current hot market prices then buying a Cummins powered Ram.  I would recommend 2007.5 or newer with the five-speed or six-speed automatics.  Better yet if you like a stick, consider the NP5600 or rugged G56 Mercedes 6-speed manual transmission available in later model Ram/Cummins trucks.

My thoughts...

Moses

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

would it at all be possible to get a scrapped cummings of around the same year and pull the parts from that? it was an idea i came upon, would that be compatible to the truck I have now?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of course that's an option.  Lots of work, though, including the chassis electrical and fuel supply system differences.  Your engine uses a PCM, the Cummins has its own ECU with wiring harness, you'd need to make the two systems compatible.  Your VIN number currently is for a V-10 gasoline engine.  You're changing the powertrain to a diesel.  Not sure whether you have emissions inspection requirements, but that's an issue, too.  You would need to re-certify the truck as diesel powered.  In most states, this requires a referee station to confirm that you meet all of the diesel chassis and engine requirements.  Some states might make the conversion into a gasoline chassis difficult to achieve.

This could be a lot of work.  You need to consider the engine mounts, the cooling system differences, the adapter from the engine to the 47RE, the correct torque converter, the starter and alternator for the diesel, the wiring harness for the diesel engine bay and transmission interface.  If you have electrical experience, mating the chassis electrical would be less of a challenge but still lots of work.

You're on the right track with the idea of lining up a donor vehicle for comparison.  Keep both chassis within view when considering the swap.  Any fuel tank or fuel filler differences need to be addressed.  EVAP emissions need attention.  There is much more involved than just the engine swap.  Again, see my earlier comments from yesterday about the overall limitations of the 47RE automatic transmission behind a Cummins diesel.

Before tackling this project, do some shopping for a very clean 2004-2007 Dodge Ram 3500 with the 5.9L HO Cummins diesel and either a manual NV5600/G56 or 48RE transmission. (Consider a later 6.7L with the updated 65RFE 5-speed automatic transmission if the price is right.)  See what your 2002 V-10 model is worth, and consider getting top dollar for your truck.  You might find that you can accomplish what you want without spinning a wrench.

Moses

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thank you, Moses. I will give it a thought about what I should do. Your help has been greatly appreciated and I will keep it in mind when deciding what to do. Once again, Thank you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're welcome, Benji!  Let us know what you find out there in Dodge Ram 3500 4x4 truck values.  Please use us as a sounding board if you're looking at a particular model or equipment and have questions...

Moses

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Benji, another thing to consider is where you live. I know that in the states, especially in some states, a gas to diesel conversion wont allow it to pass emissions, mainly since, with a PCM/ECM swap, the vin in the donor PCM wont match the window sticker or registration sticker, and in many states, especially those that do emissions testing, like here in N.Y., that is an automatic inspection fail (that way, you cant just swap any ECM/PCM from the scrap yard into your vehicle, without paying for reprogramming).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
UA-25687387-1