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Old 11-30-2022, 03:24 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Rear engine donor

I have a 1964 Dodge School bus. Looking at upgrading the entire drivetrain and running gear. I have a lead on a possible rear engine bus with a Cummins 8.3. Just wanted to confirm that a rear engine/trans combo could be swapped around to a front engine set up. I know the fan/radiator combo would need to be switched and most likely other things. Any thoughts or input? Thanks!

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Old 11-30-2022, 03:26 PM   #2
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Here is a picture of the bus
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Old 11-30-2022, 03:53 PM   #3
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Yes, they can be swapped to a front engine. Good luck with fitting an 8.3 in your bus though. At nearly 4 foot tall and over 4 foot long it's very likely that it's going to stick up through the hood and into the cab.
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Old 11-30-2022, 04:34 PM   #4
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Yeah, AFAIK the only difference in a front engine versus rear engine is the drive axle itself. So if you're getting a donor engine and transmission I see no problems with it coming from a RE pusher. As Booyah points out that good luck fitting it in that donor recipient! Apart from physical dimensions you'll also likely need to beef up the front suspension just to carry the weighty powerplant.
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Old 11-30-2022, 08:27 PM   #5
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Yah that was going to be my next question. How much physically bigger is the 8.3 compared to the 5.9? I have a Cummins in my 63 Crewcab and I know that was a little tight. Thanks guys for all the info.
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Old 12-01-2022, 09:06 AM   #6
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Year: 1992
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Engine: 5.9 Cummins
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8.3 is 12" longer.

Its 6" to 12" taller.

Around 1500 lbs dry weight. 5.9 is 1,000 lbs.

Torque is more than double of a 5.9.
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Old 12-01-2022, 09:58 AM   #7
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Holy hell! I didnít realize it was that much bigger. Iíve been trying to find a side by side comparison of the 2 with no luck. Maybe I just stick with the P-pump 12 valve I already haveÖ
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Old 12-02-2022, 10:45 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slicknapier View Post
Holy hell! I didnít realize it was that much bigger. Iíve been trying to find a side by side comparison of the 2 with no luck. Maybe I just stick with the P-pump 12 valve I already haveÖ



Yes, they are large. I saw a thread on a diesel website a couple of decades ago. The guy dropped an 8.3 into a 95 Ford F350 truck. BTW a 12 vale drops in with no firewall mods to that truck. The 8.3 the rear cylinder was at the passenger side front edge of the dash with all engine front accessories installed. Needless to say, that guy opened a massive can of worms. He did finish it and get it driving, not to long after that he disappeared from the site. So, I never got to hear how it drove, if he thought all the time and money was worth it for his usage.
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Old 12-02-2022, 03:40 PM   #9
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I guess this solidifies my plan to just keep the 12 valve and find an Allison 643. Thanks for all the advice.
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Old 12-02-2022, 09:29 PM   #10
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Too bad, just think of it, not losing a single MPH climbing the steepest grades.
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Old 12-02-2022, 10:02 PM   #11
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I’m guessing 4-500 Hp should do the trick!!
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Old 12-03-2022, 07:25 AM   #12
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you can pump a 5.9 up to more than do the job of moving that short bus (even with a trailer) up the mountains..



dont use an MT643.. go with a lower rear gear and a double overdrive like a 6 speed "Built" allison 1000.. gives you a 0.61 OD so if you run a low rear gear you can pull a house on the hills and still keep the RPMs down on the flats
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Old 12-03-2022, 08:32 AM   #13
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That would be ideal. Still not 100% on the trans. Was just trying to stay all mechanical.
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Old 12-03-2022, 07:07 PM   #14
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I did something similar and to fit a longer taller engine I lifted the bus 5 inches and lowered the engine. Get a tape measure out and spend lots of time figuring out how it will all fit. More power is worth more effort.
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Old 12-04-2022, 10:17 AM   #15
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That would be cool, but I don't want it to be a monster truck. I actually want to lower it a little bit.
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Old 12-04-2022, 11:05 AM   #16
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Year: 1992
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Engine: 5.9 Cummins
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I have driven a 643 truck before. The first three gears are spaced good. The top gears have some holes in the gear spread a 5.9 might not like.

Like cadillackid said. The allision 2000 might be a better choice.
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Old 12-04-2022, 12:27 PM   #17
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I like the Allison 1000/2000 option, but it looks like the get pricey for the electronics. Iíll start doing more research
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Old 12-07-2022, 05:26 PM   #18
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A Beast

Iíve always wanted to try a bigger engine too. Did the old Dodge have a 362? Or was it the 318? Your other concerns will be the drivetrain not being up to snuff to accept twice the torque snd the front suspension and maybe even those old 20Ē rims!. Also donít forget that if you get the ol girl up to 70 too often youíll have to slow her down more too. Brakes on the Dodge were hardly anything to wish for. Still fun to try.
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Old 12-07-2022, 09:34 PM   #19
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5.9 would be a good choice. Why an automatic? lot of good choices in manuals if you want to stay all mechanical.


As far as turning up the power, yes you can but on long grades you will need to watch egts. I found on my Dodge trucks with the 5.9 I could not stay in the power without getting to high of egt. Exhaust gas temp. This is why I am not putting the 5.9 in my bus, just pushing the limit to much. I am a bit bigger then yours, and pull trailers a lot.
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Old 12-07-2022, 09:40 PM   #20
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my EGTs run up too in my 7.3 unless I back out of it a bit or keep my RPMs high... intercooler has a ton to do with it.. my intercooler cant keep up in summer temperatures.. but in winter I can run it about as hard as i want and not end up with EGTs above 1200..



I personally dont care for all the shifting involved in driving a manual esp in town where i end up driving my bus.. I like an auto.. but ronnie is right you have very precise control.. and can do a better job at keeping the emgine in its happy place with a manual..
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