Offroad Trailblazers and Envoys

02' 4wd TB 4BT cummins swap & straight axle

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by JACOBS1504 » Fri Apr 30, 2010 5:46 pm

okay i have an 02' 4wd TB. the motor decided to let a bearing go in the bottom end and it is shot!!! needs a motor. have approximately 120k miles on this sole d.d. of mine the last maybe 5-10k of which only had any modifcations which are the mark mc lift and 285 nitto at's on 16" moto metal wheels.

i could just put the same motor back in and leave it like it is and i just may to take the cheap easy way out! but this thing is weak is hell with that motor and i have not trusted it going far for the past like 50k miles probably. not to mention the electrical nightmares with this, not going in 4wd alot especially.

this vehicle is only used to bum around town and to work and back. furthest i take it is maybe couple hours RARELY!
i am wanting to put a 4bt cummins diesel in it. and i want to straight axle it with full width axles front and rear probly spring over just to be easiest and cheapest! this way it would be great and strong offroad but dailydrivable get 20+mpg on 35+ size tires and be reliable as hell with a 4bt cummins!

i have a friend who will sale me his built 8 lug dana 44 front and dana 60 rear all with disk brakes and 4.88 gears exct... for $1000.00

i have found alotta 80k mile 4bt's for around $3000.00 80k miles on a 4bt is like 5k miles!!

obviously have to cut out factory suspension and mount spring mounts to put the fullwidth axles under it with spring over! as well figure out steering. and for the 4bt cummins swap obviously would have to fabricate motor mounts and install all its accessories in the engine compartment. question is what do i have to do about transmission, transfercase, and obviously electronics. i'd like to keep ABS for it to still be dailydriver that i extreme wheel too if i want.

i live in very small rural town in N.C. mountails not worried about emission inspection exct... gettin it tagged and on road wont be a problem here.

really would appreciate the help pn this one guys!!
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by irishboy02 » Fri Apr 30, 2010 6:27 pm

Can you even fit a 4bt in our engine compartment? Do you really want to put dodge into a chevy?

Your obvi going to need a new trans too. Our Trans wont bolt up to that. Which calls for a new transfer case too. I dont think our TC will hold up trying to put cummings power down to a d60.

Thats going to be alot more work that just the 3k for parts. Goodluck and keep us posted.
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by JACOBS1504 » Fri Apr 30, 2010 6:55 pm

its a cummins 4bt im talking about not 6bt found in the ram 2500/3500 this is the 3.9 4 cylinder cummins not 5.9 6 cylinder.

it makes great power fuel economy and reliable as hell!!! its commonly found in small box trucks like frito lay trucks and what not! tons of guys put them n jeeps n wat not!

from what i understand so far the 4l60e trans found in the 4wd tb's works great with the 4bt cummins jus needs adapter plate i belive n couple other small mod's not sure about t-case yet!

to do any kinda motorswap in tb it has to be straight axled up front due to the driveshaft thru pan on the factory i6 being the tall motor makes oilpan run into the ifs! i wanted to straight axle it anyways! i just trying to gather info. on best way to straight axle it and swap in 4bt and do it asap too. i'd like to keep all the nice new age computer controlled stuff but if i cant im fine with making it like an old jeep! hardwire in lights gauges n stereo. ac/heat if possible in be good to go!
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by irishboy02 » Fri Apr 30, 2010 8:09 pm

Well enough talking, get to work!!

Now im kinda interested
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by MrSmithsTB » Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:13 pm

I smell epicness of EPIC proportions if there is any follow through to this. SAS if a no brainer. DO IT! Better than the Cummins, find an SS motor and throw that in :friday: A lot less work and a lot more power than our silly little motors.
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by JACOBS1504 » Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:57 pm

im really wantin to do diesel! nothin better than the fue economy, reliability and stock power and power to be had with diesel!

i understood the ss motor wouldnt work because it was for 2wd not 4wd and that the wiring system would still be different
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by irishboy02 » Fri Apr 30, 2010 10:06 pm

SS's are available in both RWD and AWD, AWD being all wheel drive. All Wheel Drive is the same concept/parts as a 4wd system, just always active/functioning. I dont see any reason at all why the LS2 wouldnt work.

Just my $.02
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by JACOBS1504 » Fri Apr 30, 2010 10:34 pm

im gettin pretty set on the 4bt learin alot on 4btswaps forum! really trying to figure out more about how strong factory rear axle is in the 4wd tb? and what smaller solid front axle to use? rather than go with the big full width dana 44/dana 60 setup! will be cheaper and alot easier on drivetrain(could use stock 4L60E transmission with some mods and maybe stock "electric shift" transfercase) wit smaller axles! hopin the factory rear axle is pretty strong so dont have to replace it could really help out cost just getting front axle keeping stock rear axle, trans, and t-case. really tring to find out info. on suspension setup to use both front and rear!

thanks for the help so far guys! im hopin to really make this happen and soon cus the tb is down for the count!
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by JACOBS1504 » Fri Apr 30, 2010 10:38 pm

oh the ss motors are available in AWD too. so another words the tb would then become only AWD? or could i still have selectable 2WD, AWD, 4HI, 4LO? what about trans and t-case mounting up to it?? also what about the wiring system with the ss motor swap is it the same as factory 4wd tb wiring system or what changes are needed?
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by HARDTRAILZ » Sat May 01, 2010 12:31 am

If you can do the diesel and wiring, that really is the hard part for what you want. Tranny and TC should be ok if you dont beat on it with the diesel torque. the rear would be simple if you slap some leaf springs in. Way simpler than our setup and alleviates the control arm issues of our stock set-up with bigger than 33's clearing.

The dana 44 is fine for both ends. a 60 of course would be stronger and better. I am sitting on a 44 for the front from a scout. To keep it simple and keep the stock rearend, but you probably have the better plan of changing suspension if you want 35's or over. I have a full size 44 and 14 bolt that would be pretty simple to swap in with all leaf springs.

What are you wanting to do for a front suspension? If you are cool with leaf springs, your budget will be more reasonable.

For steering I am looking at a box from a fullsize chevy car...impala or something and a basic crossover setup, nothing complicated, just simple.

My truck works almost too well do do a 2 to 5 grand swap for a solid front axle. I kind of wish i was in your position that I HAD to do something big anyway.

For what it sounds like you are wanting...I would do it simple first...leaf springs front and back///FYI we have spring over, but not leafs like spring over typically refers to///...basic steering like an older staight axle chevy or a crossover setup...whatever motor you want, I would go diesel before i wasted my time with an ss...The wiring and abs is out of my realm, but as you said...hardwire and make it work, then you can try to wire the rest back in.
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by MrSmithsTB » Sat May 01, 2010 1:43 am

To answer your SS question; AWD has nothing to do with the motor. The motor swap would be simply that, a motor swap. You would have to replace some of the wiring but a lot of the stock wiring could be reused. May need to beef the trans up a little. Everything else concerning transfer case and axles would remain the same. The only tricky part electrically may come into play when setting u[ the 4WD. Even then you could program the comp to recognize it as a 2WD and ditch the electronic switch for actual shifters. With the diesel, you would have a lot of custom wiring to worry about. New computer, gauges, etc. Either way it is going to be a large undertaking and a spectacular site when finished. Once you have the idea in your head, you need to do as much planning as possible and still expect to be unprepared for everything that will hit you. This is something that has yet to be realistically done to our platform, so there is nobody to tell you what to expect.
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by Trail X » Sat May 01, 2010 9:49 am

The diesel is going to be a real PITA, especially if you want to keep the same transmission, the 4l60e. The 4l60e in our truck is controlled by the PCM, which also controls the engine. You'd want to find a mechanical-controlled 4L60 if you wanted to keep the same transmission. Inreality, your best bet if you want diesel is to find a cummins that is already mated to a transmission... try to find one who's powertrain control computers and wiring is intact. Then just shimmy the whole package (trans and engine) into the TB. Otherwise your programming and electrical mess will be a friggin nightmare.
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by Philberto » Sat May 01, 2010 10:12 am

Everybody here makes fine points regarding the difficulty of the setup. That said, DO IT! This is the same setup I want once I'm out of kalifornia. I've also considered the 3 l tdi from the rovers and the crd motor in the lib///y and grand cherokee. Just some other options to consider.
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by JACOBS1504 » Sat May 01, 2010 1:10 pm

well my friend has what is left of his 460 dynohp bronco 2 street legal offroad toy and is willing to hook me up on it cus he has it sittin in someone elses shop due to him not havin room n needs it GONE

this is a rolling chassis including frame, a rear dana 60 fullwidth, and front dana 44 fullwidth drivers drop differential, both have 4.88 gears limited slip lockers exct.. the works, even nice disk brake conversion with nice stainless braided flex lines. badass driveshafts from high angle driveline, a built and beefed C6 transmission with small block ford bellhousing pattern can probly get adapter for it to fit cummins, custom NP205 transfercase with even a custom handbrake e-brake on it! suspension setup is f-150 radius arms and a track bar (3link setup) with coils up front, heavy enough to hold up diesel and high enough for 35's-37's. leaf spurng rear with longer shackles and shocks, no blocks!

this drivetrain/suspension is guarenteed to handle cummins diesel hp/trq weather i use big 5.9 6bt 6 cyl cummins or 3.9 4bt 4 cylinder cummins! all of it for $1800.00 or $2500.00 with 5 39.5x15x16 superswaper trxus sts tires with only 1000 miles on them!

so could convert this entire drivetrain suspension off that chassis to thetrailblazer just cutting and some fabwork and welding which we are capable of and have good plasma cutter and welder!

what yal think?? do this setup and straight wire power windows, lights gauges stereo, and ac/heat if possible

any downfalls to this plan?? how streetable it'l be like this just back n forth to work n around town n to trails
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by madmanvillain » Sat May 01, 2010 1:33 pm

why not swap your tb body onto the rolling frame?
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by JACOBS1504 » Sat May 01, 2010 3:26 pm

tha would make this a way easier swap!!! idk that a trailblazer can be fitted to a bronco 2 frame? if it was jus a matter of moving around body mounts and whatnot then i'd say it'd be doable! but if i'd have to hack up the trailblazer floorpanels beyond usable then idk that it'd work.

man if i could just mount the trailblazer body to that bronco 2 chassis wit such a strong drivetrain and suspension thats already tried and true to work together then man i'd be set!! just get a adapter to mount C6 trans with ford 350 small block bellhousing to 3.9 4bt cummins engine!

if this can be done i will start now!!
Last edited by JACOBS1504 on Sat May 01, 2010 3:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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by MrSmithsTB » Sat May 01, 2010 3:29 pm

JACOBS1504 wrote:well my friend has what is left of his 460 dynohp bronco 2 street legal offroad toy and is willing to hook me up on it cus he has it sittin in someone elses shop due to him not havin room n needs it GONE

this is a rolling chassis including frame, a rear dana 60 fullwidth, and front dana 44 fullwidth drivers drop differential, both have 4.88 gears limited slip lockers exct.. the works, even nice disk brake conversion with nice stainless braided flex lines. badass driveshafts from high angle driveline, a built and beefed C6 transmission with small block ford bellhousing pattern can probly get adapter for it to fit cummins, custom NP205 transfercase with even a custom handbrake e-brake on it! suspension setup is f-150 radius arms and a track bar (3link setup) with coils up front, heavy enough to hold up diesel and high enough for 35's-37's. leaf spurng rear with longer shackles and shocks, no blocks!

this drivetrain/suspension is guarenteed to handle cummins diesel hp/trq weather i use big 5.9 6bt 6 cyl cummins or 3.9 4bt 4 cylinder cummins! all of it for $1800.00 or $2500.00 with 5 39.5x15x16 superswaper trxus sts tires with only 1000 miles on them!

so could convert this entire drivetrain suspension off that chassis to thetrailblazer just cutting and some fabwork and welding which we are capable of and have good plasma cutter and welder!

what yal think?? do this setup and straight wire power windows, lights gauges stereo, and ac/heat if possible

any downfalls to this plan?? how streetable it'l be like this just back n forth to work n around town n to trails


Do it, man. If you are willing to put in the work I think it will be awesome. I would personally want to stuff a small block V8, but that is just my personal preference. Something about the sound of those things gets me. You seem to have the knowledge to troubleshoot and the willingness to try something new. I can't wait to see what you come up with. That's an impressive list of parts on the donor truck and should mate up well with your TB.
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by fishsticks » Sat May 01, 2010 4:22 pm

JACOBS1504 wrote:any downfalls to this plan?? how streetable it'l be like this just back n forth to work n around town n to trails


Streetable is all in the mind of the driver.

I've met people who think solid motor mounts, header mufflers and a roll cage are streetable. When I was unmarried and in my 20's I agreed with them.
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by Trail X » Mon May 03, 2010 8:03 am

Another component you need to think about is the gas tank. Can you use the standard TB gasoline tank for diesel? Will the pump work right? I'm not really knowledgeable here, but I figured I'd bring it up.
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by Zero » Mon May 03, 2010 8:35 am

1. it is illegal to put a diesel engine in a car that doesnt come with a deisel option. and no the tanki and pump will not work with diesel. The gaskets and other things are made of a different material. You can see this theory in gas cans. There are different cans for fuel and gas, and different liners, and rubber gaskets in each.


To be honest, if you want any reliability, and a minimal problem with the law.....do a ss engine swap. or get the 5.3 and make it a stroker!
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