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12valve/nv4500 into 79’ K30

Discussion in 'Diesel 6.2, Conversions Cummins, etc.' started by Lu Blunt, Mar 8, 2021.

  1. Lu Blunt

    Lu Blunt Full Access Member

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    Truck Year:
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    Truck Model:
    K30
    Engine Size:
    350ci
    Last spring I had planned to big block swap my 79’ k30. Ended up loosing my job in April so I put the swap on hold for a bit. Things are doing better now and decided to invest $10-$15k on a new motor n 5 speed. I have another k30 crewcab that’s factory big block, so I’d rather not build the same truck twice. Decided on a 94-98 12 valve Cummins. I’ve done a lot of research that last 6 months and now that I have the money ready I took the old dually to a good 4x4 shop for a quote on the swap. I can do mechanical work but no shop or lift or welder. Talking on the phone I was quoted $12-15k and scheduled a day for them to inspect the truck. This is the quote I was given at the shop. What do you guys think?

    2DA64236-0FC5-4720-A38C-0B03ACECDB13.jpeg
     
  2. TheFishBox

    TheFishBox Full Access Member

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    5,600 bucks for a 12 valve that seems outrageous for an old loud diesel. But 60 hours worth of labor seems pretty reasonable to get all of that done.
     
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  3. Catbox

    Catbox Full Access Member

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    Over the summer here we had a Squarebody meet up.
    There was a 17 year old kid with a 12valve in his truck that he did the work himself to install it.
    It looked great and functioned perfectly.

    My thought is that you are going to be the one to drive the thing.
    So if and when it breaks down on you, you will be the one to do the roadside repairs.

    I would do as much of the work as you can yourself so you and your truck are one...

    Save the cash you spend on the shop to buy the stuff you need to do the work.
    Lifts aren't that much outlay anymore.
     
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  4. Bextreme04

    Bextreme04 Full Access Member

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    There is no F-in way I would spend that kind of cash for a 12-valve swap. That's completely bonkers. $5600 for a used Cummins is crazy, not to mention $600 for dual batteries??? You can get the second battery tray from LMC, its not like it needs to be a custom setup. $440 for a radiator?????
     
  5. Bextreme04

    Bextreme04 Full Access Member

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    I'll be about $5,000 into mine when I'm done, and that will be fully fuel injected 454/4L80E/NP205, everything fully rebuilt and upgraded... with dual batteries, engine bay fuse block, dual electric fans, and a massive 454 4-core radiator. Suspension will be upgraded to a Tuff Country EZ-ride 4" front springs, ORD shackle flip, 63" rear springs, ORD sway bar disconnects, 14BFF rebuild with Yukon Grizzly locker, and a bunch of other stuff.

    I can't even fathom how a used 93 Cummins could possibly cost that much. For $5k I would expect engine/trans together. Why would you need a custom crossmember? Can't they just use the Chevy NV4500 mounts and move the stock crossmember where it needs to be?
     
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  6. Crispy

    Crispy Full Access Member

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    There are some pretty bright red flags for me.

    For the amount of money you are spending at the shop I would expect to see more details on parts being used. (year of donor truck, 12v engines vary in power year over year, part numbers or at least brand name or power level of hard parts). I can get a cheapo clutch from rock auto and mark it up.

    Engine price i way high. Is this just the engine? New gaskets/seals? KDP, injectors, other go fast stuff?

    Battery kit price is high, or possibly under explained. Using high end AGM batteries, premium isolator, etc? Still it can be done for considerably less even with a shop markup.

    What does he mean by fuel pump assembly? Reman p-pumps are 1200+, lift pumps are around 250, and for in tank you just need a draw straw. If you wanted to pump it you could.

    Rear mounted tanks cost a couple of hundred bux tops and can be sourced from a Square Body Suburban and are 40 gallons.

    Radiator and intercooler can be new stock replacements from either 1st or 2nd gen rams. Minimal cutting is required and factory AC can be retained.

    Some aspects of the quote seem fine, some of the pricing seems bonkers. Is this a custom shop or a regular shop?
     
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  7. Lu Blunt

    Lu Blunt Full Access Member

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    I also thought $5,600 was alittle high for a used 12valve. I asked about rear main, gov spring, valve springs etc to make the cummins more driveable as was told all that would be on top of the $23k. CPP sells low mile take outs for $4,495
    https://cppdiesel.com/cummins-12v-6bt-takeout-engines-conversion-ready/

    70 hrs labor isnt bad considering debossGarage quotes it around 60 hrs with trans swap. But I did not know shop rate was $125.
    https://engineswapdepot.com/?p=11604

    I figured $10k for engine and install plus $5k for hd trans, clutch, tcase adaptor and install. That’s what we talked on the phone too but when I said the written quote was $10k above what he said on the phone he acted like he didn’t remember what the phone convo was.

    I think chipping away at the work myself untill I can’t go any further is a good idea.

    Rad and intercooler I’m not sure on exact parts he quoted me for. What I don’t understand is how they charge for the high end off the shelf conversion part and then say the need to custom build it.

    Says custom exhaust but didn’t ask what I wanted for exhaust or list parts. Says steering mods but the truck already has ord crossover psc upgrades frame reinforced. Says labor for custom crossmember. I have read the stock trans crossmember can be reused. And the shop wanted to make mounts and crossmember and frame boxing. $650 for a 40 gal suburban fuel tank. Not sure whats so special about that fuel tank. Use the $450 mechanical to hydro clutch conversion but charge labor to build custom clutch assembly?
    http://www.tennesseedieselpower.com/product/hydraulic-clutch-kit/
    How hard is the kit to install?

    same for batteries, $600 for kit but still need to build custom battery system?

    Says full suspension install. I’ve done brake lines, shackles, hangers, leafs, literally every bushing on the truck. Just need front leafs swapped for the heavier engine. I would like Alcan springs but not sure what size lift is needed to clear their crossmember.

    I’ll talk to a couple other shops and see what they say. I think with the forums help I can do a some of the work like remove old engine, burb fuel tank, dual batteries, leaf springs, maybe intercooler.

    482C4BC8-26D4-46B8-84A7-ADA6CE2C7651.jpeg
     
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  8. eskimomann209

    eskimomann209 Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Those prices look to be about the markup I see in my area. Literally the reason I do my own work and have done so since my first brake quote in high school.
    The quote for my 98 c1500 to get new brakes, rotors and drums came out to 900 bucks. I said yeah right ....
    They tend to swear they use better parts but Ac Delco is Ac Delco.
    I’d source my own engine and trans and maybe still have em do the swap.
    My guess is some markup comes from them paying for all that shit outta pocket plus the odds and ends that might be missing.
     
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  9. Vbb199

    Vbb199 B-rate Hillbilly Customs

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    I like the idea of spending 8-15k on a well built big block larger than 500 ci, and just saying the hell with noisey diesels.... but what do i know lol
     
  10. SquareRoot

    SquareRoot Full Access Member

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    LOL.
     
  11. Lu Blunt

    Lu Blunt Full Access Member

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    Engine Size:
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    Do you have a link to a crate motor you would recommend?

    I wanted to big block swap the truck but after getting another k30 crew with factory 454/sm465 ac/tilt I decided itd be cool to build the 79’ into something different. Big block would be an easier swap. Here’s a pic of the 84 k30

    565B7278-0723-46CE-AC90-7B9CF645E27D.jpeg
     
  12. Vbb199

    Vbb199 B-rate Hillbilly Customs

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    A GM crate motor would be cool.
    Or blueprint engine motors.
     
  13. Dmack

    Dmack Full Access Member

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    We needed a new engine in a car at work years ago. Local shop that we used quotes $4100 for a sbc (just the engine, no labor). I told our lot guy that was high and to call and see what the local chevy dealer wanted for a new factory long block. They say $2400. He says "great, can we order one?". The dealership says sure and asks who it is for. When he says , they say that the shop first referenced already ordered that one for our car. When he asked the cost, they said the same , $2400.

    When he called the local shop and asked why they were adding $1700 to the price of the engine, they said they always add $$ on when they order parts. Ok, but $1700!!! Needless to say, we didn't use that shop anymore.
     

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