Shared March 21, 2018
My 1973 Chevy C30 Crew Cab Dually is unique for several reasons; first off, it appeared on several episodes of Roadkill. It's also unique because its a 3+3 Crew Cab fitted with an aftermarket ramp in place of the original truck bed by a company called Hodges Custom Haulers in Benton, Kentucky. Lastly, with the powerhouse 454ci V8 engine, TH400 three-speed automatic transmission and 4.11 gears in the rear axle, this truck has achieved a whopping 6 mpg when towing. It also won't break 45 mph going up a 6 percent grade and it tends to overheat. In short, as much as I love this truck it's gotta change its ways.
Enter the guys from Power Driven Diesel and Diesel Conversion Specialists. After searching high and low for 2wd Square Body Chevy truck conversion diesel swap parts and noodling the pros and cons of various diesel engines and suitable transmissions, I decided to use a set of DCS engine mounts to swap in a 12 Valve Cummins inline six-cylinder diesel engine and then build my own mount for a 47RH automatic overdrive transmission.
I also brought in a couple of experts from Power Driven Diesel to hop up my used Cummins before we stuffed it into the Ramp Truck. Together we o-ringed the engine block, changed the head gasket, upgraded the valve springs and pushrods, re-timed the injection pump, swapped in larger fuel injectors, fixed the dreaded death pin inside the timing cover, and installed a beefy new transmission. Did I mention we also installed a compound set of turbos that will make 60-plus psi of boost and over 650 hp??
Now it is possible to installed the Cummins 12V into '73-
'87 Chevy trucks (and '73-'91 Suburbans) without cutting the firewall if you move the crossmember and engine mounts, unbolt the hood, replace the stock power brake booster with a hydroboost unit, and drop the engine straight down from the sky without the transmission bolted to it. You also have to forgo the original engine-driven fan and install an electric unit and hope for the best. I wanted to make servicing the truck easier and maximize the efficiency of the cooling system so I chose to leave the factory mounting points intact, keep the factory radiator, shroud and fan from my Dodge donor truck, and instead I cut open the firewall and transmission tunnel to make the engine, trans and exhaust piping fit. Not everyone will go this route but it was the right one for me.
In Part 1 we'll cover the mods and cutting of the truck. Later on in Part 2 we'll go over make the truck function again and then road test the beast. Thanks for watching. If you'd like more info and videos about cool swap parts and upgrades then please visit
Power Driven Diesel's page https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpco...
and Diesel Conversion Specialist' page: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUo0...
You can also visit their web pages at:
and if you want some cool Finnegan Speed and Marine gear then please visit https://www.fsmgarage.com
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