Questions: FJ60 6BT Cummins NV4500

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Hey Mud! Although I'm new to the forum, I'm a longtime lurker and Toyota truck enthusiast! I've been cruising the Classifieds, Craigslist, Autotrader, etc. for a rust-free FJ60 to do a 6BT/NV4500 swap into.

I just have a couple of questions.

1. Is a SOA required to fit the 6BT? - All of the builds I have seen used a SOA to fit the 6BT motor. Is a SOA required? Or could you use a 2" body lift and a 3" suspension lift to clear the oil pan?



86 fj60 with 35s without doing spring over

2. Is there any particular shop you would recommend to do a 6BT/NV4500 swap into an FJ60? Preferably one that has done them before and has a great reputation for service. Right now I am looking at Home Classic Cruisers and Home - Proffitt's Resurrection Land Cruisers.

Here's some FJ60 6BT porn for your trouble. Thanks to Mud members Elbert, jakerudy, 1TallTXn, and cumminscruiser for sharing their build threads and knowledge!!!


FJ-60 diesel conversion


She's Cummin' along nicely





Reserected FJ60
 
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Proffitts does top notch work.
Everything I have seen them do is very nicely done.

Call them and talk with them through what you want and they can give you an idea of the necessity of the SOA, price, etc.
 

gregnash

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4BT/6BT require SOA from everything I have read, you would need to confirm with a shop that has done them.
Other options on here for Cruiser Shops to do the swap.

@NCFJ and his shop Hardline Fabrications (North Carolina)
@torfab and his shop TorFab (Washington State)
@orangefj45 and his shop Valley Hybrid (stockton, Ca)
 
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Proffitts does top notch work.
Everything I have seen them do is very nicely done.

Call them and talk with them through what you want and they can give you an idea of the necessity of the SOA, price, etc.
Agreed, that's what I have seen as well - Proffitt's does top notch work. I have spoken with Jeremiah at Proffitt's. For this post, I was trying to get some independent 3rd party feedback. Thx!

4BT/6BT require SOA from everything I have read, you would need to confirm with a shop that has done them.
Other options on here for Cruiser Shops to do the swap.

@NCFJ and his shop Hardline Fabrications (North Carolina)
@torfab and his shop TorFab (Washington State)
@orangefj45 and his shop Valley Hybrid (stockton, Ca)
Awesome, thanks for the help!
 

NCFJ

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Thanks for the recommendation, however I do not currently do diesel swaps. Perhaps when the Cummins 2.8 is released. No interest in any other Diesels to this point.
 
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Thanks for the recommendation, however I do not currently do diesel swaps. Perhaps when the Cummins 2.8 is released. No interest in any other Diesels to this point.
Roger that. Thanks for letting me know!
 
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Micah gave me the option of a lift kit or SOA. We ended up deciding SOA was the better option with 2 extra springs up front and 1 added to the back. Another option is to modify the oil pan with a little less lift. At first mine seemed higher than I wanted but I've gotten used to it. The running boards do make climbing in easier, especially for the wife.

Classic Cruisers is great. They were honest with me through the conversion and Micah is a craftsman. Can't recommend them enough. The last time I talked to Micah he said he is backed up with 6BT conversions for awhile since word has gotten out about what he can do. Mine was his first 60, he had done a couple of 80's before. When I picked up my 60 they mentioned plans of putting a 6BT in a 40 and Micah loved my 60 so much he was talking about doing one for himself to replace his 6BT FJ80.

I had a couple of minor bugs to work out after I drove it home but Micah and Brandon made it right. Considering the project I didn't consider it an issue at all.

Be prepared to pop the hood often. Had a kid approach me at Dollar General this morning and he just couldn't get over it. Everyone that has looked at the install has been impressed and the most common comment is that is looks like it came from the factory that way.
 
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Micah gave me the option of a lift kit or SOA. We ended up deciding SOA was the better option with 2 extra springs up front and 1 added to the back.
What made you decide to go SOA as opposed to the lift kit option?

Classic Cruisers is great. They were honest with me through the conversion and Micah is a craftsman. Can't recommend them enough. The last time I talked to Micah he said he is backed up with 6BT conversions for awhile since word has gotten out about what he can do. Mine was his first 60, he had done a couple of 80's before. When I picked up my 60 they mentioned plans of putting a 6BT in a 40 and Micah loved my 60 so much he was talking about doing one for himself to replace his 6BT FJ80.
That's understandable, your FJ60 is awesome! I already wanted a FJ60 with a 6BT/NV4500 swap, but your build thread sealed the deal for me.

I had a couple of minor bugs to work out after I drove it home but Micah and Brandon made it right. Considering the project I didn't consider it an issue at all.
What bugs did you have to work out?

Be prepared to pop the hood often. Had a kid approach me at Dollar General this morning and he just couldn't get over it. Everyone that has looked at the install has been impressed and the most common comment is that is looks like it came from the factory that way.
That's exactly what I am looking for - an FJ60 6BT/NV4500 swap that looks and performs "like it came from the factory that way."

If you had to do it all over again, is there anything you wish you had done differently? Is there anything you're really glad you did during the build? Would you recommend Micah and Classic Cruisers for a 6BT/NV4500 swap?

Thanks again for all of your help. You have a really awesome Cruiser!!!
 
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Micah originally thought he could pull it off with a 2 - 3" lift. After more measurements he saw it wouldn't work and a 5" lift was going to cost more than SOA with no real gain given the weight of the 6BT.

The bugs:

1: Micah wired the starter solenoid and grid heater through one solenoid. It started fine several times and then developed a voltage drop that would sometimes not engage the starter. I jumped the wire to the starter for a week or so until Micah sent me a new relay, starter, and wiring instructions which fixed it and no problems since.

2: An A/C hose blew apart on the high side at a crimp fitting. Scared the hell out of the wife as she was climbing in it the moment it blew so it was pretty funny once I realized what happened. They had charged the system on the high side with a pump and didn't leave a way to charge it on the suction side. Micah asked me to send the suction line back and they put a port on the suction side at no cost. I worked in the HVAC industry for years so no big deal to recharge the system.

3: My factory voltage gauge isn't accurate. I've used a test meter to compare and it is the factory gauge - not the install. With everything on that I can run (fan, wipers, rear defroster, etc.) the factory gauge shows about 10V but the test meter shows 14V so I am sure there is no problem once I tested everything. The tach is accurate unless I have lights & wipers on and turn on the blinkers - then the tach will drop in time with the blinkers. I don't think this is any fault of Classic Cruisers but Micah is sending me some parts to see if I can fix it.

Other than that it has been completely reliable. I would not hesitate to drive it anywhere.

Would I do it differently? No. It is a beast and goes everywhere I need. I don't go hardcore off road but where I live some of our roads are close to hard core and I farm so it goes through various fields.

I may have gotten obnoxious with the BFG MT tires but I figured once I was in that deep why not? My Dodge was falling apart around the engine and the odometer had stopped working a couple of years ago so the engine had less that 200K on it before the swap but not sure how many miles. Micah replaced the seals & gaskets but that was all it needed.

I took bit of a risk as a guinea pig for Micah's first 60 and don't regret anything. This 60 is awesome. All the power you could ever want and 20 - 22 mpg.

My turbo is aftermarket and does reduce lag quite a bit but it does whine more than the factory turbo. The performance improvement is worth the whine.

My experience with Classic Cruisers was all you can hope for. Brandon runs an honest business and Micah's work is superb.
 
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Figure on $15k or so depending on any other needed repairs. I had the engine which saved some cash but my front end needed a rebuild and my fuel tank was a rust bucket.
That is sorta what I budgeted in my mind. The cost of the SOA conversion and suspension prep work alone has to be pretty expensive. Plus the actual engine and transmission swap itself.

I've told myself that I'm just going to limit the build to only what is necessary to get the 6BT/NV4500 swapped and the truck back on the road. But I may add fabricating a long-range fuel tank to the build. It would be awesome to have 50 gallons of diesel at 20 mpg, and be able to go from Austin to Colorado on one tank of fuel!
 
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That is sorta what I budgeted in my mind. The cost of the SOA conversion and suspension prep work alone has to be pretty expensive. Plus the actual engine and transmission swap itself.

I've told myself that I'm just going to limit the build to only what is necessary to get the 6BT/NV4500 swapped and the truck back on the road. But I may add fabricating a long-range fuel tank to the build. It would be awesome to have 50 gallons of diesel at 20 mpg, and be able to go from Austin to Colorado on one tank of fuel!
I drove from Dodge City, KS to Joplin, MO without stopping against a strong wind. About 350 miles and all my bladder could take. I talked with Brandon about a bigger fuel tank and they just didn't think it was worth the cost. 400 miles is possible with the stock tank but that is pushing it.

If I run it hard (75 - 80 mph) MPG is 18 - 20. Normal driving is 20 - 22.

I picked up a couple of NV4500's locally for under $500 each. Cost of them seems to depend on where you are.
 
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I drove from Dodge City, KS to Joplin, MO without stopping against a strong wind. About 350 miles and all my bladder could take. I talked with Brandon about a bigger fuel tank and they just didn't think it was worth the cost. 400 miles is possible with the stock tank but that is pushing it.

If I run it hard (75 - 80 mph) MPG is 18 - 20. Normal driving is 20 - 22.

I picked up a couple of NV4500's locally for under $500 each. Cost of them seems to depend on where you are.
So is it still a 12v system or 24v?
 
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So is it still a 12v system or 24v?
I'm not sure if your question refers to valves or volts but the answer is 12 either way. The 6BT is stock except for the aftermarket turbo. The original turbo was blowing by oil and could have been rebuilt but Micah recommended the upgrade to reduce lag which it definitely does.
 
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So is it still a 12v system or 24v?
I'm not sure if your question refers to valves or volts but the answer is 12 either way. The 6BT is stock except for the aftermarket turbo. The original turbo was blowing by oil and could have been rebuilt but Micah recommended the upgrade to reduce lag which it definitely does.
Yeah, it can get really confusing since the abbreviation for "valves" and "volts" is the same. Plus, there are "12" and "24" systems for both. I know I had trouble when I first started researching diesel swaps.

Dodge introduced the the 5.9 liter Cummins in their trucks in 1989. Those trucks had 12 valves. Then, in 1998 they upgraded the 5.9 liter Cummins to 24 valves.

Most road-going cars/trucks use a 12-volt system to operate the starter, lights, and electronic accessories (including most road-going Dodge Cummins trucks). But some foreign, military, and industrial applications utilize a 24-volt system. So when you start talking about swapping in diesel engines, especially from industrial applications, it can get really confusing!!!

To answer your question, jakerudy used a 1991 3/4 ton Dodge 6BT/NV4500 as his donor vehicle. His Cummins swapped FJ60 has a 12-valve, 12-volt 5.9 liter Cummins engine. Hope that helps others!
 
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Yeah, it can get really confusing since the abbreviation for "valves" and "volts" is the same. Plus, there are "12" and "24" systems for both. I know I had trouble when I first started researching diesel swaps.

Dodge introduced the the 5.9 liter Cummins in their trucks in 1989. Those trucks had 12 valves. Then, in 1998 they upgraded the 5.9 liter Cummins to 24 valves.

Most road-going cars/trucks use a 12-volt system to operate the starter, lights, and electronic accessories (including most road-going Dodge Cummins trucks). But some foreign, military, and industrial applications utilize a 24-volt system. So when you start talking about swapping in diesel engines, especially from industrial applications, it can get really confusing!!!

To answer your question, jakerudy used a 1991 3/4 ton Dodge 6BT/NV4500 as his donor vehicle. His Cummins swapped FJ60 has a 12-valve, 12-volt 5.9 liter Cummins engine. Hope that helps others!
I have a '01 Dodge with the 24 valve Cummins and while I prefer it's torque curve when pulling a trailer I prefer the simplicity of the 12 valve. In the FJ60 and with the aftermarket turbo I would rather have the 12 valve.

My donor truck had a Getrag 5 speed. The NV4500 came out of a late '90's Dodge and is a stronger transmission. Also I don't think there is an adaptor available for the Getrag to the 60 transfer case.
 
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I have a '01 Dodge with the 24 valve Cummins and while I prefer it's torque curve when pulling a trailer I prefer the simplicity of the 12 valve. In the FJ60 and with the aftermarket turbo I would rather have the 12 valve.

My donor truck had a Getrag 5 speed. The NV4500 came out of a late '90's Dodge and is a stronger transmission. Also I don't think there is an adaptor available for the Getrag to the 60 transfer case.
Just to be clear, you're saying that in addition to the 12-valve Cummins in your FJ60, you also have a 2001 Dodge with a 24-valve engine, right?
 
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