Offroad Trailblazers and Envoys

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

Dumping ground for offroad Trailblazer or Envoy general discussion.

by bartonmd » Mon May 03, 2010 8:49 am

Wow, where to start...

For the record, for everybody else...

- The Cummins 4BT is the inline 4 version of the 6BT in the Dodge trucks. Cummins is not Dodge, and is not owned by Dodge. The 6BT also goes in all kinds of ag equipment.

- The 4BT wiring is nothing... I mean literaly nothing... Most of them that you run across are all mechanical like my '90 Dodge CTD, and just require an on/off switch to the pump solenoid, alternator wire, and starter wires (and grid heaters, if you live somewhere cold)


About the project...

- 4BT is your best bet, by far, with a D44 front end... The BONE STOCK 3/4-ton Dodges came with a Dana 60 front end to support the 1500# 6BT (Your stock engine weighs ~500#, as does any truck engine with a D44 under it..., and even the 4BT weighs ~750#), and a Dana 70 rear end for the torque (and towing/hauling capacity)… A D44F/D60R would PROBABLY survive a 4BT if you didn't go crazy with the fuel, but be careful with all that torque, all that weight, and a locker… Don't expect either to be as fast as your stock 4.2L I6, though, unless you fuel and run the piss out of them...

- Our frame is going to require a ton of reinforcement for either, but you would basically have to build a frame over our frame to hold the 6BT, at 3x the weight of the stock engine. The 4BT is still heavier than the stock engine, but reinforcements would probably be doable...

- You will want to put a different (non-computer controlled) Automatic, or better yet, a manual trans, behind the 4BT, and I'd run a 205 behind it... A regular 205 should be plenty strong.

- Good luck keeping the ABS if the axle didn't come from an ABS-equipt vehicle... The reluctors are at the wheels in the front, and I think with your year, you just have one at the rear output of the t-case. Even if you do have reluctors in the front hubs, You've got to put a reluctor on the output of the trans, with the correct number of teeth such that the computer gets the ratio of pulses that it's looking for… That is if the BCM (body control module) doesn't freak the hell out because it's not getting any information from the PCM… This is doable, but you'd have to literally build an ABS system from the ground up, and then calibrate it, which is much harder than it sounds…

- Steering: One thing you'll DEFINITELY have to watch about the steering setup with a car/truck recirculating ball box is; trucks and most full sized cars have a frame that's made for a recirculating ball box, and is much thicker than our frame… Even on the trucks, especially with larger than stock tires or off roading, the steering boxes are known to crack the frame… you're going to have to do some serious reinforcment to keep the frame alive with a steering box mounted to it… The other opion is fully hydro steering… It's not street legal much of anywhere, but it saves some fab on the frame, and keeps you from having strange steering angles while flexing…

Mike
Last edited by bartonmd on Mon May 03, 2010 9:25 am, edited 2 times in total.
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by HARDTRAILZ » Mon May 03, 2010 9:02 am

Zero wrote: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!



I have seen plenty of them done. Not illegal around here. Canada and Kalifornia have some funny laws, but if it runs and drives, you can pretty much plate it and run it around here.

FWIW..My truck is technically illegal by IN law due to changing bumper height, but they would not hassle me if I tossed full width axles and 40's under it.
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by bartonmd » Mon May 03, 2010 9:14 am

HARDTRAILZ wrote:
Zero wrote: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!



I have seen plenty of them done. Not illegal around here. Canada and Kalifornia have some funny laws, but if it runs and drives, you can pretty much plate it and run it around here.

FWIW..My truck is technically illegal by IN law due to changing bumper height, but they would not hassle me if I tossed full width axles and 40's under it.


That's exactly what I was going ot say... I know it's illegal on the PRC (People's Republik of Californistan), but I don't know of anywhere else it's illegal...

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by bartonmd » Mon May 03, 2010 9:16 am

Also, as mentioned, fuel tank will probably need to be changed... no in-tank fuel pump needed, plus possible material difference, though the fuel hard lines will be OK...

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by JACOBS1504 » Mon May 03, 2010 9:36 pm

thanks bartonmd n others for very helpful information on this conversion! keep it coming cus i still wanna do this someday jus looks like its gonna have to wait for now because of the cost and time it will take!!!!

i completey understand where all yal are coming from on your opinions, i have thought about this more and more and think i am going to put another stock 4.2L in for now and just regear the stock front n rear so it'l pull itself strong with the 285's n ifs lift i added a while back!

will hold on to this trailblazer maybe do my dream diesel n straightaxle swaps to it down the road someday!

though would like more info. on putting the trailblazer ss motor n my 02' 4wd tb with mark mc lift!!! might do that if its work n cost is not much more than doing another 4.2L replacement!!

thanks guys
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by bartonmd » Mon May 03, 2010 9:49 pm

Do the 4.2... The SS/5.3 V8 swap hasn't been done yet, because the whole wiring and ECM system is different, as well as the trans mount crossmember, engine mounts, and drive shaft length... All this, and it's only a few grand difference between the I6 and the 5.3 models...

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by JACOBS1504 » Mon May 03, 2010 9:56 pm

bartonmd wrote:Do the 4.2... The SS/5.3 V8 swap hasn't been done yet, because the whole wiring and ECM system is different, as well as the trans mount crossmember, engine mounts, and drive shaft length... All this, and it's only a few grand difference between the I6 and the 5.3 models...

Mike


looks like the tb ss motor would take more than i thought! thanks
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by JACOBS1504 » Mon May 03, 2010 9:58 pm

anyone know what gearing for front n rear will be best to pull the 285 nitto at's and 16" moto metals i have with the mark mc lift???
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by The Roadie » Mon May 03, 2010 10:15 pm

285 and 16" are only 2 of the 3 numbers needed to define a tire's diameter. But if you're rock crawling, you'll want the 4.10s. Settle for the 3.72. And shun the 3.43.
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by HARDTRAILZ » Mon May 03, 2010 11:09 pm

My 305-65-17 "33ish" are just fine with 3.73 intake exhaust and tune. Were ok before the minor power mods, but great now.
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by lil_freak_66 » Tue May 04, 2010 1:07 am

i think diesel would be sweet!

somebody mentioned a 5.3 or 6.0 swap from a 4.2 never being done before,it has(check trailvoy)

engine swaps are generally legal and very common in offroad vehicles as well as street trucks,and sports cars.

ive seen our 4.2 put into jeep wranglers,ive seen the same engine put into a supra.

idk if trailblazer body would fit onto bronco rolling chassis,you'd have to take some close looks.
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by bartonmd » Tue May 04, 2010 7:30 am

lil_freak_66 wrote:i think diesel would be sweet!

somebody mentioned a 5.3 or 6.0 swap from a 4.2 never being done before,it has(check trailvoy)

engine swaps are generally legal and very common in offroad vehicles as well as street trucks,and sports cars.

ive seen our 4.2 put into jeep wranglers,ive seen the same engine put into a supra.

idk if trailblazer body would fit onto bronco rolling chassis,you'd have to take some close looks.


There were a couple people talking about it, but I don't know that anybody's actually done it yet?? Most of them just sell it and by a V8 model...

The SAS guy in northern IN put a 350 in one, but it's carb'd, and not tied into the computer...

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by MrSmithsTB » Tue May 04, 2010 10:41 am

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zf2P8W6wKoQ

Engine conversion has been done. The same principal could be applied to an off road counterpart. Albeit expensive, it would be awesome.
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by Zero » Tue May 04, 2010 10:44 am

i was thinking, for the gas tank, just get a nice fuel cell, and an external pump and filter for easy maintenance.
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by irishboy02 » Tue May 04, 2010 10:55 am

MrSmithsTB wrote:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zf2P8W6wKoQ

Engine conversion has been done. The same principal could be applied to an off road counterpart. Albeit expensive, it would be awesome.



:drool3:
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by bartonmd » Tue May 04, 2010 10:59 am

MrSmithsTB wrote:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zf2P8W6wKoQ

Engine conversion has been done. The same principal could be applied to an off road counterpart. Albeit expensive, it would be awesome.


Wow, I hadn't seen that! Nice of him to show stuff that wasn't paint... like how he did the conversion and what all ended up being involved... Either way, though, it's more time, work, and money than it's worth to just trade for a V8 model...


Also, Zero, the older Cummins engines have a mechanical lift pump on the side of the engine, that feeds the filter that's also on the side of the engine, so it would just need a fuel cell, but no pump or filter...

ETA: See the lift pump (center, silver) and filter?
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by Regulator1175 » Tue May 04, 2010 11:49 am

MrSmithsTB wrote:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zf2P8W6wKoQ

Engine conversion has been done. The same principal could be applied to an off road counterpart. Albeit expensive, it would be awesome.


:drool3: :awesome: :drool:

That is pretty impressive. I am interested to see what the price tag for all that was. I am not a fan of the orange though, maybe if it was more of the burnt orange that Chevy is using over the last few years, but that is just a bit to bright for my tastes.
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by mikekey » Fri Jul 12, 2013 1:22 pm

Guess this never happened, huh.
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by drburke » Fri Jul 12, 2013 2:05 pm

I wish it would have. It's a dirty secret of mine that I want to swap a 4bt in it. I've been steadily researching this subject extensively over the past few months, and it looks like it will work. There was a guy on 4btswaps that put one in on his Z71 Tahoe, 05' I think. He kept everything stock, using his stock computers. In the end, everything worked as it should have: tach, speedo, engine temp, etc. He had to relocate some things, but it worked. I say this because I would think if it works in a Tahoe completely, it could work on ours just as much, technicality wise.

One thing we have going for our platform is the length of our 4.2. The 4bt is deep as well, so we wouldn't have to worry about that as some have. I've tried comparing the weights, but I can't seem to find a solid number on our engine. Either way, do a SAS, 4l80e, injectors, upgraded turbo and a few other things, and it would work great. Hell, someone could even swap a 5 speed from a Ford into it with some fab. Seeing as how we have a floor shifter stock, it could look rather clean as well.
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by RyansTBLS » Fri Jul 12, 2013 2:08 pm

the 2013 tb has a duramax 3.5L I think. Just not sold in the US, not sure about the axle though. :scratch:
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