A K5 Cummins Conversion: The saga continues... - Page 3 - Dodge Cummins Diesel Forum
Cummins Conversions - Shop Talk - Tools - Fabrication Discussion Of Cummins Conversion Projects, Tools , Tool Boxes , Garages , Shops , Fabrication ect...NO ADVERTISING

 4Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #25 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-07-2017, 01:45 AM Thread Starter
Diesel Freak
 
MaxPF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Stupid Hot Urban Sprawl, AZ
Posts: 869
Thanks: 47
Thanked 121 Times in 91 Posts
iTrader Score: 0 reviews
But wait! There's more! Another item on the to-do list for the New Year was new tires.

I had originally intended on running the same 37" BFG KO2's that Todd is running on his Jeep. However, perusal of the reviews on this tire revealed a disturbing trend; it seems they wear rapidly when they are on a heavy vehicle. I had already noticed the weight on the front end of my truck has not been kind to the 35" KO's I was running, and I most certainly did not want to pay $1500 for tires that would only last 20,000 miles.

A buddy of mine with a Cummins-swapped old-school Suburban had the same issues with KO's and ended up switching to Toyo M55's. The M55's are designed for heavy trucks that routinely run down unpaved roads, so they are tough and designed to wear well. My buddy has been running them for over three years and has nothing but praise, so I was sold. Sadly, the biggest size available is 33" and I want 37's So, I did some more looking. As it turns out, Toyo's sister company Nitto recently introduced a new tire geared toward the same type of use as the M55. It is called the Exo Grappler AWT, and unlike the M55 it is available in a 37" version. 37x13.5x17 to be exact, so it is an inch wider than the typical 37" radial. It's E load rated, and guys running them on 3/4 and 1 ton trucks report 30,000+ miles with plenty of tread left. And, they only cost $15 more per tire vs the BFG's. Sounds good to me, so I had Discount order a set of four. They arrived in due course, and looked better in person than on Nitto's web page:



Mounted on my H2 rims:





Like the KO2's, the Exo's are severe snow service rated, which will come in handy during those December hunts when a snow storm rolls in:



Here's the tread:



And finally, installed on the truck:



So far I have put about 100 miles on them, and they are night and day compared the the 35" KO's they replaced. They are responsive, and despite their E load rating they soak up the road bumps better than the BFG's they replaced. They are also smoooooth, which I attribute both to the quality of the tire and the 10oz of Dynabeads in each tire instead of conventional balancing. It will be interesting to get them off-road and see how they work and how they wear, but so far I like 'em a lot.

One side benefit is that the 37" tire actually improves my gearing. The engine seems happier cruising down the freeway, and I no longer need 5th gear on the surface streets. It will be interesting to see if/how much my fuel economy is impacted by the new rubber.

MaxPF is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #26 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-07-2017, 01:52 AM Thread Starter
Diesel Freak
 
MaxPF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Stupid Hot Urban Sprawl, AZ
Posts: 869
Thanks: 47
Thanked 121 Times in 91 Posts
iTrader Score: 0 reviews
It started out so simple; one of the straps retaining my rear u-joint had light between the strap and the u-joint cap. I have been chasing an intermittent bump-induced driveshaft vibe for months now, so I figured I may as well check out/fix the strap to make sure the cap isn't walking around in the yoke. Easy job, which should have taken no more than 30 minutes.

You want to know how to make God laugh? Tell Him your plans

So I pull the bolts retaining the straps. Now, having had them on and off a few times, and using Loctite each time, means the threads were gummed up. No biggie, I had a 6mm tap hot and ready to go. Oops... turns out they are 8mm, not 6. And I don't have an 8mm tap (mental note: add 8mm tap to my next MSC order). Fortunately, I DO have a set of Snap-On thread chasers, so I'm still in business. I throw the straps and bolts in a paint mixing cup and add a little acetone to degrease and de-Loctite the parts, then I crawl under the truck with the thread chaser and a 1/4" drive ratchet. I get about half way in, and I can feel the thread chaser getting mired in the goo. I back it out, clean it off, and run it back in. It's still gooey, so I lean on it a bit. Did I mention I'm using a 1/4" drive ratchet? There's only so much torque a mere mortal can apply to a 1/4" drive ratchet, and it ain't much. One moment I'm removing Loctite goo, and the next moment the ratchet suddenly spins really easy. Didn't even make a sound, just twisted the shank of the Snap-On thread chaser clean off. Using a 1/4" drive ratchet. Did I mention that part? Now, I have seen my share of broken $#!t, so I noticed two things. Snap-On's Sooper-Dooper thread chasers are maybe grade 8. They felt more like grade 5 when it broke. They are definitely not any kind of tool steel. Second, the shank could have been much larger. It was only maybe 1/4" diameter or so.

So there I sat, junk in one hand and a broken thread chaser in the other. And, of course, the rest of the chaser stuck in the yoke, which is firmly bolted to the pinion in my rear axle. Swell. Imake a phone call to my buddy Todd, who just happens to own a machine shop, and after a bout of laughter on his end he says that there are no jobs set up on the manual mill. Cool beans, I'm in business! I figure I will pop the yoke off, drill out the busted thread chaser, and while I'm at it I will machine the yoke to use u-bolts instead of the crappy straps. I bust out the 1/2" drive impact and a suitable socket buzz the yoke nut off, and try to slide the yoke off the pinion. It doesn't budge. I get on it with a plastic-faced hammer and it still doesn't move. Interference-fit splines. Swell.

Not a problem, I figure. My rear axle happens to be an AAM 14BFF, which has a drop-out pinion support. I zap out the 6 bolts holding the pinion support, tap it with the plastic hammer, and it slides right out. I jump in a borrowed beater and make haste to the shop. Ended up having to use a press to get the yoke off the pinion. Oh yeah, this will be a ball of laughs to re-assemble. I put that out of my mind as I examine the off seal arrangement AAM uses on these later model axles. Apparently, they really, REALLY don't want them to leak. I press off the dust cap and something that looks like a thick speedi-sleeve with an integral outer seal so I can machine the yoke. A carbide drill bit made quick work out of the broken thread chaser, after which I drilled out the holes to .394" for the 3/8" u-bolts. Then another half-hour of machining with a .750" end mill and the yoke was ready to go.

Now comes the fun part. I go to put it back together only to find out that the outer pinion bearing doesn't want to slip over the pinion shaft. WTF?!?! I fuss with it some more, and bigger than $#!t I manage to pop the garter spring off the seal WTF, is Mercury in retrograde or something? Of course, there is no way to re-install the spring with the seal in place, so I say eff it and remove the seal. At least now I can remove the outer pinion bearing from the support assembly and see what the deal is. Simple answer: it is a light PRESS FIT onto the pinion shaft! By this time I am swearing a littany of curses at the engineer who took a perfectly good design (the original GM 14BFF) and decided to "improve" upon it.

Since I don't have a shop manual for this new "improved" 14b, experience tells me that I will have to heat the bearing to 250°F and slip it down until it seats against the crush sleeve, then install the new seal, then heat the yoke to 250°F and tap it in place against the bearing. Then I can install the new nut and set preload. Nice. Now all I need is a new seal, since I destroyed the old one removing it. At least they don't appear to be too expensive.

EDIT: Looks like my memory was faulty. According to my 1991 shop manual,the 14b axles have always had press-fit outer pinion bearings. It was every but as much fun to assemble as I hoped it would be.

Cliff notes for those who have assembled D60' and D70's, 10b's and 14bsf's; if you think the crush sleeves on these axles are a bish to compress, you haven't had the pleasure of working on a 14bff. Now granted, Snap-On air impacts are a bit weak-sauce compared to an Ingersoll-Rand unit, but mine (1/2" drive) has always been able to crush D60, D70, 10b, and 14bsf sleeves. The brand new sleeve in the 14bff just laughed at it. I ended up having to break out the 3/4" long-handle ratchet with a cheater bar and reef on it for a half hour to get it crushed to the specified preload. This thing was a stone bich that I have no desire to repeat. IF I have to do another one in the future I guarantee I will pre-crush the sleeve in a press to within .020" of final length to safe a lot of grief. Or, borrow a 3/4" drive impact.

Anyway, got it running now. I'm hoping it fixes the vibe problem, but I'm not holding my breath...
MaxPF is offline  
post #27 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-08-2017, 03:21 AM
Newbie
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 2
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
iTrader Score: 0 reviews
Man this has been an emotional ride. You sir are a showman, gotta see how the story ends now...

Sent from my XT1080 using Tapatalk
kodeeblue1 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #28 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-08-2017, 03:37 PM
Cummins Fanatic
 
Payton_CrewCab's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Lufkin Texas
Posts: 152
Thanks: 0
Thanked 12 Times in 12 Posts
Garage
iTrader Score: 0 reviews
Haha I've enjoyed reading this thread! You've got a lot of hard work and time tied up in this beast I'm ready to see it finished and see how it performs!
Payton_CrewCab is offline  
post #29 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 03:10 AM Thread Starter
Diesel Freak
 
MaxPF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Stupid Hot Urban Sprawl, AZ
Posts: 869
Thanks: 47
Thanked 121 Times in 91 Posts
iTrader Score: 0 reviews
Quote:
Originally Posted by Payton_CrewCab View Post
Haha I've enjoyed reading this thread! You've got a lot of hard work and time tied up in this beast I'm ready to see it finished and see how it performs!
Finished? Projects like this are NEVER finished

As for how it performs, I have been driving it for a little over a year. It runs like a scalded cat when I get on it. When I'm just cruising it's as smooth as a well-oiled Singer sewing machine.
MaxPF is offline  
post #30 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 03:15 AM
Newbie
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 2
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
iTrader Score: 0 reviews
Did you get the setup finished for the HVAC system that fits completely under the dash? Cause I'm very interested in that...

Sent from my XT1080 using Tapatalk
kodeeblue1 is offline  
post #31 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 04:34 AM Thread Starter
Diesel Freak
 
MaxPF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Stupid Hot Urban Sprawl, AZ
Posts: 869
Thanks: 47
Thanked 121 Times in 91 Posts
iTrader Score: 0 reviews
Quote:
Originally Posted by kodeeblue1 View Post
Did you get the setup finished for the HVAC system that fits completely under the dash? Cause I'm very interested in that...
It's in progress
MaxPF is offline  
post #32 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 05:59 AM Thread Starter
Diesel Freak
 
MaxPF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Stupid Hot Urban Sprawl, AZ
Posts: 869
Thanks: 47
Thanked 121 Times in 91 Posts
iTrader Score: 0 reviews
Back when I replaced my pitiful Zoner alternator with a real alternator, I also mentioned that I had removed my AC blower/evaporator stuff from the engine compartment as well as the stock under-dash AC crap. This is getting replaced with a system that will fit entirely under the dash. Of course, I could have bought a system from Classic Air or Vintage air, but that wouldn't have been any fun. Besides, I wasn't really happy with their stuff. That being the case, I elected to roll my own.

One of the things I didn't care for with the Classic and Vintage systems was the meager evaporator size of these units. I got an evaporator from a mid-2000's Navistar application that was the right size, but needed some plumbing mods. I cut off most of the suction pipe and un-brazed the distributor tubes from the core, and then after much measuring and thinking I built an aluminum skeleton for the evap housing:





This part fits where the glove compartment resides, with the side with the beveled edge going against the firewall. It will be entirely enclosed with ABS. The blower will blow the air into the back perpendicular to the flow through the core. The air will then flow 90° through the core before changing direction 90° again and flowing out through the side. This will be easier to see once the enclosure is completed. At that point the air will enter a separate, attached enclosure that will house the heater core and the various doors and duct outlets.

Because I wanted the engine bay as free of clutter as possible AND I wanted my AC to be as efficient as possible, I chose to use a thermal expansion valve (TXV) instead of a simple orifice tube. This eliminates the accumulator, which would have to go under the hood on the firewall, and provides actual refrigerant control. Back in the good ol' days, automotive TXV's were made by outfits like Parker and Alco, who also made TXV's for stationary AC and refrigeration. However, they were simple, rudimentary designs built to a price point. Nowandays, all automotive TXV's are made in China, and the quality and reliability has gone down. While they get the basic job done, they tend to be quite variable from sample to sample and they usually "hunt" badly at low evaporator load (i.e. when the blower is on low speed), alternating between starving and flooding the evaporator. Sometimes the flooding is severe enough that liquid refrigerant makes it back to the compressor. At high loads they often run somewhat starved, with resulting high superheat and less than stellar vent temps. Knowing this, I chose to use a real AC/refrigeration TXV from an American manufacturer.

The distributor that came on this coil was designed for an automotive TXV with an o-ring sealed output, while the Sporlan TXV I am using has SAE flare fittings. That combined with the fact that the stock distributor was in the wrong physical location for my needs and not easy to relocate is why I removed it and it;s tubes. Because there are so many different configurations of distributors they are not something that HVACR wholesalers typically stock. Fortunately, I found a seller of surplus NOS parts that had a distributor from a Rheem R-22 heat pump of a suitable size with suitable feed tubes already brazed on, and it was cheap. When I got it, it turned out that the distributor was a Sporlan branded part. Cool! The feed tubes were 3/16", which are a bit smallish for an R-134a system, but the Sporlan software tool showed the pressure drop to be acceptable for my overall system design. I went ahead and brazed a 1/2" SAE flare fitting to the distributor inlet for attachment to the valve. Here's the TXV and distributor assembly, ready to be brazed/assembled onto the evaporator once I figure out exactly where I want to put it:



When I pulled the OE HVAC unit out of my truck I salvaged the heater core from it. I had replaced it several years ago, and because I rigorously maintain my cooling system it was still in excellent shape. Well, excellent shape other than the somewhat crushed tubes that happened while I was trying to remove the heater hoses Still, the tubes are easy enough to straighten out if I so choose. I also got a new all-aluminum heater core. I am still undecided as to which core I want to use. The aluminum core is obviously more restrictive to airflow compared to the copper/brass unit, while the copper/brass unit has the disadvantage when it comes to transferring the Cummins' meager engine heat to the air flowing through it. If I was running a gas engine with a 195° thermostat the choice would be easy, but with the Cummins' 180° thermostat and limited waste heat production I am leaning toward the aluminum jobbie.



Finally, there is the blower. Here, the choice of manufacturer was easy. In the pic below you can see two blowers. The smaller one is the one that Classic and Vintage use in their units. The big sumb***h is the one I am going to use! I figure I have the space to fit it, and I can always limit the speed of the big blower whereas I can't add more speed to the small one. Plus, for a given airflow the bigger blower is quieter.





That's it for now. Stay tuned as the AC-from-scratch adventure continues!
MaxPF is offline  
post #33 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 02:52 AM Thread Starter
Diesel Freak
 
MaxPF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Stupid Hot Urban Sprawl, AZ
Posts: 869
Thanks: 47
Thanked 121 Times in 91 Posts
iTrader Score: 0 reviews
Still working on the evaporator housing. I made a few mods to the initial design. I found that mounting the evaporator at a slight angle gave an increase in room behind the evaporator for the expansion valve without reducing the outlet area, which is A Good Thing™:



Here's a view of the firewall side. On the bottom, which is actually the left side if you were viewing it installed in the cab, you can see the outlet extension. This is what the housing containing the heater core and distribution doors will slide onto:



Top view. You can see that I already have ABS glued to the front and right side:



This is a view looking into the outlet extension. The face of the evaporator on the right is the outlet. The end of the evaporator will be covered by more ABS and will be on the inlet side. The little blue caps cover the open tubes where the three distributor tubes will eventually be brazed. The black crud in the corner welds is where I dipped the tungsten into the weld puddle because I was welding by sense of smell at that point I have discovered that welding is a perishable skill. If you don't do it often you lose the muscle memory and your skills deteriorate. Unfortunately, so does your eyesight as you age. My welding skills, especially on aluminum, used to be MUCH better than they are now.



This is the right side. The square hole is where the blower blows into the housing:



What it looks like with the blower in place:





I now reached the point where I needed to glue two more ABS panels on before I can proceed further, so as of tonight it is sitting with panels clamped in place letting the adhesive fully cure overnight:





This is the adhesive I am using. The place I buy from has a good assortment of products by 3M, Norton, and SEM. Of the products, this one was recommended by the manufacturers literature for bonding metal to metal, metal to plastic, and plastic to plastic. It's a 2-part urethane adhesive. It's not as strong as the epoxies, but the epoxies weren't recommended for use on plastic:



After I glued the first panel on and let it cure overnight I tried to rip the glued seam apart and it just laughed at me, so I think it is strong enough for an AC housing I also got a tube of moisture-curing urethane seam sealer for sealing gaps and especially for sealing the condensate tray. It's half the price fo the two-part urethane adhesive and thicker. I don't want air leaks, and I really don't want a condensate leak!

That's it for now. Stay tuned for the next exiting episode!
MaxPF is offline  
post #34 of 49 (permalink) Old 03-31-2017, 02:24 AM Thread Starter
Diesel Freak
 
MaxPF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Stupid Hot Urban Sprawl, AZ
Posts: 869
Thanks: 47
Thanked 121 Times in 91 Posts
iTrader Score: 0 reviews
So the AC is still a work in progress. I wanted the adjustment stem on the TXV to be accessible without having to remove a bunch of crap and without mounting the TXV in the engine bay. I decided to mount the TXV with the adjustment stem poking through the bottom of the housing. I had to drill a hole for both the stem cover/body of the valve as well as the inlet fitting. This is what I ended up with:







This mounting arrangement does have the drawback that the liquid line will also exit the housing, but I will be able to make a tight u-bend and send it back up the firewall-side. Since there is a roughly 1" gap between the back of the housing and the firewall for sound insulation running the liquid line up the back of the housing presents no issues.

The next thing to do was fit the distributor/tubes and route them into the evaporator. This started with running the tubes along the bottom, then making a few judicious bends to turn them up toward the top inlet:



Then more bending and head scratching to fit the tubes into their respective circuits in the evaporator. In order for the distributor to work properly the tubes to each circuit must be equal length, so the tubes going into the lower circuits have to make u-turns and head downwards to their respective inlets. Once I got it all fitted, I hooked up my CO2 bottle, started a slow flow of purge gas, and started brazing the tubes in. I got the second one brazed up when I realized no gas was flowing. A quick check of the gauge showed my Co2 bottle was flat I had to load it up, schlep over to the welding supply joint, and get a refilled bottle just so I could braze up the last tube. But I gotter done, and here is the result:





Here's an underside view of the finished product:



The cap covering the adjustment stem will be readily accessible but safe from being hit by errant feet. You can also see the condensate sump that I was able to mold into the bottom cover. Unfortunately, the back side of the sump got a bot thin and a couple holes developed. Rather than try to make another one (this was already attempt #2) I sealed up the holes with the urethane adhesive. I still need to drill a hole in the sump and install a suitable drain fitting. That will be a post for another day.
MaxPF is offline  
post #35 of 49 (permalink) Old 04-01-2017, 10:55 AM
IAFF Local 11
 
ffdino's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: IOWA
Posts: 574
Thanks: 143
Thanked 54 Times in 44 Posts
iTrader Score: 0 reviews
Your skill set is praise worthy Where have you amassed this wealth of knowledge? What an incredible build buddy Keep up the good work, also get to that body work, I about cried when I saw the before and after pictures, then again a clean K5 doesn't exist in the rust belt. Keep it up!!

2014 Mega Cab Laramie 3500....Bone Stock
Sold:2006 Mega Cab Laramie BMS 100's, 5" TBE, Smarty SSR, Back Country 2.0, Full Deavers, Carli Sway Bar, Carli Ball Joints, Synergy Steering, Metalcloaks, Double Standards on 37's.
ffdino is offline  
post #36 of 49 (permalink) Old 04-02-2017, 06:14 AM Thread Starter
Diesel Freak
 
MaxPF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Stupid Hot Urban Sprawl, AZ
Posts: 869
Thanks: 47
Thanked 121 Times in 91 Posts
iTrader Score: 0 reviews
Quote:
Originally Posted by ffdino View Post
Your skill set is praise worthy Where have you amassed this wealth of knowledge?
I don't know if my knowledge or skills are that impressive. I have seen some really amazing builds that dwarf anything I have ever come up with. As far as amassing knowledge, well, I've been doing this stuff for a long time and have had several careers ranging from refrigeration/HVAC tech to semiconductor test/validation to Solaris and Linux system admin to machinist to fabricator. Some I went to school for, other stuff I learned by apprenticeship or just dug in to the books and learned how to do it myself.

Quote:
What an incredible build buddy Keep up the good work, also get to that body work, I about cried when I saw the before and after pictures, then again a clean K5 doesn't exist in the rust belt. Keep it up!!
The body work will get done after the interior, which comes after a bunch of other stuff. IOW, it will be a couple years probably.
MaxPF is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to MaxPF For This Useful Post:
tnpete (04-16-2017)
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Dodge Cummins Diesel Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome