MG Metalworks Van Build

TrevorK

New member
You know, at first I didn't recognize your spring perch/shock mount brackets. I thought the raised spring perch was something new. That and the low angle shots of your rear axle made me think that your rear spring perches looked like lift blocks. It had me thinking that you had raised the suspension beyond the height of your standard kit. My fault.

How much would you estimate that you gained in the weight of your drivetrain? Like you said, you might add spacers up front... I'm guessing if you do it would be to adjust for the weight of that engine.

It would be a shame to keep such a sweet van out of the dirt and mud, but it does look pretty spectacular right now. At least you are getting some good high-res shots of it while it's clean. That's good desktop background material right there.
 

mgmetalworks

Explorer
You know, at first I didn't recognize your spring perch/shock mount brackets. I thought the raised spring perch was something new. That and the low angle shots of your rear axle made me think that your rear spring perches looked like lift blocks. It had me thinking that you had raised the suspension beyond the height of your standard kit. My fault.

How much would you estimate that you gained in the weight of your drivetrain? Like you said, you might add spacers up front... I'm guessing if you do it would be to adjust for the weight of that engine.

It would be a shame to keep such a sweet van out of the dirt and mud, but it does look pretty spectacular right now. At least you are getting some good high-res shots of it while it's clean. That's good desktop background material right there.
The Cummins isn't much heavier than a fully dressed 7.3L. The big difference is the Allison. It is something like 450lbs-ish. More than a 4R100 or 5R110W anyway. I've done what I can to keep from adding a lot of weight.
 

mgmetalworks

Explorer
For those of you who are curious about the wiring...

Stock harness on the left. The harness on the right has the Cummins and Allison wiring integrated into the van's Battery Junction Box. Tons of work but zero butt connectors!! I started out with a new harness (part number from a van without RSC so I could swap to a simplified ABS module), stripped away all of the 5.4L wiring I didn't need then I re-purposed each open circuit to work with the Cummins and Allison circuits. I also made sure to run all of the wiring needed for the ESOF t-case through the firewall grommet so I wouldn't have to open up more holes. Next time I do this it will be much easier...



Once it was all wrapped, I stuffed it into place. Things are going together quickly in the front but just as I get one thing done, I find something else to address. Example, the banjo fitting on the power steering pump is leaking. Of course it is super accessible. I guess it's better access now vs. when it is all together.

 

mgmetalworks

Explorer
Here's a shot of the engine bay just before the radiator goes in...



It's going together really well but here and there I have some clearance issues to sort out, hoses and wires to move...little things. I'm going to pressure test the radiator (since I've done so much cutting and welding on it) before that goes in but really that's the last difficult thing to fit in there and get tightened down. Then it's power up time!
 

mgmetalworks

Explorer
While y'all have been talking about snorkels, I got everything in the engine compartment sorted out and started up the Cummins last night. By no means am I finished but she is alive!!! What a radical difference in sound and torquey-ness vs the 5.4L that came out of the van...

video coming soon.
 

chet6.7

Explorer
Cool,I wish I could afford to hire you.
I like the sound a Cummins makes starting and the vibration the rotating mass makes on shutdown.
 

mgmetalworks

Explorer
"Where's the video you promised MG? You said there would be a video of the Cummins running..."

Well... if the universe wasn't fighting me at every step, I'd get a video posted.

-First it was a power steering fluid leak. The pump return inlet fitting was cracked.
-Fixed it, no more leak.
-Oh wait, what is that? Power steering fluid!? ******!
-Fitting on steering box now leaking. Wasn't loose, but wasn't tight either.
-O-ring breaks when fitting torqued... Awesome.
-Disassemble, make huge oily mess, reassemble with new O-ring.
-Leak is now classified as a seep... ugh...
-New substance dripping down on my hand as I fix steering leak. Smells like diesel.
-Yep... fuel. But where?
-Inlet fitting...check
-High pressure fitting...check
-Fuel control actuator...check
-Oh there it is... seepage between the two-piece housing of the CP3 (high pressure pump...common problem after a bit of internet sleuthing).
-Decision point... remove the front end of the van to get pump out and go through the seals now or run the engine a bit, re-torque the housing and see if the seal re-hydrates itself...engine only has 12 miles on it after all. Could the o-ring really be all dried out??? ugh^2

This project is making me earn every last triumph. It does runs great despite the little things keeping me from moving forward. It is kind of funny that the most complicated things have been the smoothest and stuff like a power steering fitting take so much effort to get fixed.
 
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