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Thread: 95 SUBURBAN to a 01 DURAMAX/ALLISON

  1. #1
    FRANKENBURBAN THEFERMANATOR's Avatar
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    Default 95 SUBURBAN to a 01 DURAMAX/ALLISON

    Well I guess I'll start this thread off with my adventure.

    Progress has been slow as I have too many irons in the fire, but this is where I'm at now. I have my SUBURBAN with the engine, trans, and transfer case pulled out. I also got my 01 donor's powertrain pulled out.

    Here's my donor after I drove her into the shop. The radiator and intercooler were trashed from it's wreck, but you'd be surprised at how well a heater core can cool an engine.


    This was after the first afternoon of about 2 1/2 hours with my nephew helping me. He's trying to learn more about cars than what his playstation has taught him.


    Took all of the harness's out without cutting.

    On the second afternoon it was just me, so I was able to work without teaching. Took about 3 hours to have her out and the donor rolled out.



    It wasn't actually as bad as I thought it would be to pull the engine and tranny out together. It's one HEAVY SOB, but came out fairly easily. The worst part was realizing while the engine was hanging on the hoist that the front diff had to drop down an inch to slide the engine out in order to clear the oil pan.

    I'm still up in the air as to wether or not to transfer the cluster and BCM over. The only things I see that I will lose that really matter is the tranny temp guage and the tow/haul switch. I already have an older QUADZILLA digital guage for the tranny, and BRAYDEN at FLEECE can write me a custom TCM OS that will allow me to use tow/haul without the BCM. The WIF light can simply be tapped into the sensors output as it is just a magnetic on off switch that grounds a circuit. The wait to start light and check engine light already have there own drivers coming out of the ECM, so they can be wired directly to my existing cluster. The 01 ECM appears to have the correct ABS seperate output and a speedo output, so I should be able to elimnate my VSSB.

    I'm sure I'll run into many obstacles along the way, but so far it hasn't been that bad. The ALLISON measures just 1" longer than my 4L80E, and the LB7 block has dual bolt patterns that will accept my old engine mounts. I'm going to do a test fit in the next few days to see if the mounts line up or not in the SUBURBAN, but if my measurements are correct the DMAX is actually not as long as the 6.5 I pulled out. And the fact that they moved #1 over to the passenger side on the DMAX should allow ample room for the downpipe to fit in.

    It also turns out that there is a converted 99 C2500 SUBURBAN in VALRICO that has a 01 DURAMAX ALLISON in it. His is a 2 wheel drive, but he said it was a pretty easy swap. His was a 6.5 to start with as well, VS the one the dieselpage did where they started with a 88 1500 gasser. I'm probably being overly optimistic, but I don't want to burn myself out early on in this big of a project.

    And here is the recipient just before the 6.5 was pulled.
    WHO SAYS YOU CAN'T HAVE IT ALL, JUST BUILD IT

    1995 GMC 2500 SUBURBAN powered by 01 DURAMAX/ALLISON, little of this, a little of that,
    DIAMONDEYE 4" exhaust, CORSA muffler, AFE stage 1 dry filter, custom tuning by me, KENNEDY single pump and pump rub kit.


  2. #2
    LeroyDiesel.com Burning oil's Avatar
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    Thats very cool. How much do you think you have in it so far?
    I did a Cummins 6bt in a 96. It was pretty reasonable. Thinking about doing it again in the other 96.
    Leroy.
    www.leroydiesel.com <<< CLICK
    We sell pmd extension cables and the FS PMD or the new Stanadyne PMD with available 7 year warranty.Turbo Boost Bolts and lots of 6.5 turbo diesel parts. Check out the web site.
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    1 ton, crew cab, 6.5 diesel w/DB2 4911 IP. srw.
    1994 2wd Suburban.

  3. #3
    Cruises comfortably at 140... Unit453's Avatar
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    I think this is a cool project and I look forward to seeing it in person, or maybe getting a chance to actually help out with it sometime.
    Nick

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  4. #4
    FRANKENBURBAN THEFERMANATOR's Avatar
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    I've already got too much money into it. A swap like this I believe you have to do more so for the one of a kind factor than for a fiscal reason. The 6.5 I had was nice when it ran, but it was always something in it needing attention. Then the tranny went which had been done right before I bought it with a GM SRTA that had about 20K on it. This was the last straw for me, so I was actually going to do a CUMMINS. Then I got a chance to hear a 12 vlave again and remember just how noisy they are(when I was 20 it didn't bother me, now I can't stand it), so the DMAX made the most sense. I need to start making a checklist as all of the details of this swap are starting to get overwelming and all just running together. Right now I'm ANXIOUSLY awaiting the release of the AUTOCAL from EFILIVE so I can get TONY to send me the tunes we were talking about. I figure by the time I get it in and the tranny and engine done it should be out.

    And this is the thread from the page that started me in this direction. He took a 99 C2500 and dropped in an 01. I know mine will be a bit more work being a 4X4, but should still be doable. He is also just down the road from me a short ways in VALRICO, so I'm waiting to get ahold of him so I can go see his and maybe see some of the problems I will encounter and how to get around them.
    http://www.thedieselpageforums.com/t...ad.php?t=27851
    WHO SAYS YOU CAN'T HAVE IT ALL, JUST BUILD IT

    1995 GMC 2500 SUBURBAN powered by 01 DURAMAX/ALLISON, little of this, a little of that,
    DIAMONDEYE 4" exhaust, CORSA muffler, AFE stage 1 dry filter, custom tuning by me, KENNEDY single pump and pump rub kit.


  5. #5
    LeroyDiesel.com Burning oil's Avatar
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    I know exactly what you mean. I was just tring to get some idea. I know there could be a huge difference in cost depending on how you come up with the parts. If its not much of a cost difference I would rather have the Dmax also. But, the Cummins is so easy and you can tame the noise with a muffler.
    Leroy.
    www.leroydiesel.com <<< CLICK
    We sell pmd extension cables and the FS PMD or the new Stanadyne PMD with available 7 year warranty.Turbo Boost Bolts and lots of 6.5 turbo diesel parts. Check out the web site.
    Be sure to update your signature with products you bought from me.
    1 ton, crew cab, 6.5 diesel w/DB2 4911 IP. srw.
    1994 2wd Suburban.

  6. #6

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    That will be sweet when you get it done! Keep up the good work!
    Marty

    2010 Chevrolet Tahoe LT

    1993 Chevrolet C3500 Crew Cab Dually, 2WD, NV4500. GM-8 with Turbo Master, 4" exhaust with 2 1/4 crossover, Walbro FRC-10-2, and pre-lift pump filter. Auto Meter Phantom fuel pressure, EGT, Boost, Transmission, and Rear Differential Gauges. Mag-Hytec rear diff cover. Filter-Mag RA365 on oil filter. PTW Battery Cable Kit. Fumoto Oil Valve. Feed The Beast Mod. K47!

    1995 Lance 990 Extended Cab(Under Construction!)


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    FRANKENBURBAN THEFERMANATOR's Avatar
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    I ended up paying $6K for the donor truck, but hoping to get some back when I part out the leather interior, axles, harness's, and doors. I looked at several donors, but what some people called complete were cut up junk to me. This one drove onto my trailer under it's own power and sounded solid, so I got it.
    WHO SAYS YOU CAN'T HAVE IT ALL, JUST BUILD IT

    1995 GMC 2500 SUBURBAN powered by 01 DURAMAX/ALLISON, little of this, a little of that,
    DIAMONDEYE 4" exhaust, CORSA muffler, AFE stage 1 dry filter, custom tuning by me, KENNEDY single pump and pump rub kit.


  8. #8
    Registered User Golddigger's Avatar
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    I am so jealous! I have a '99 sub 1500 that I haven't even licensed this year since the tags expired! But I haven't been able to convince the wifey that it should be " A Project."
    Judge all you want, Just keep the verdict to YOURSELF
    [/B]!SRW CLUB MEMBER #5


    SOLD!2005 Chevy Crew Cab Long bed 3500 SRW, 5" Straight pipe, blocked EGR, hollow kitty, Ranchhand grill guard, Custom headache rack, Custom center jumpseat(removed huge console)



  9. #9
    I welcome everyone...not just Penguins! DEERE3594's Avatar
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    Good luck with your build!
    -Justin
    2004 Monte Carlo 3400 v6
    2002 8.1/Allison K3500 standard cab dually
    2002 6.0/4L80 2500HD Ext cab long bed
    BUY AMERICAN OR BYE BYE AMERICA!
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  10. #10
    FRANKENBURBAN THEFERMANATOR's Avatar
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    Well I worked on it again today and made a little progress. Here is the SUBURBAN stripped down and ready for some test fits.


    Here's trial fit #1.


    Here's trial fit #5 after several attempts of finding what had to be dropped and cut. Ended up having to remove the front differential, cutting the corner off of the passenger side engine mount pad on the frame, remove the bumper, and drop the steering linkage down.


    Here's #7 where I actually got it somewhat close to where it should sit.


    And on the 9th try I got it somewhat mocked in and was able to do some test fitting and clearance checking.


    Should be plenty of room to move the radiator back and put the intercooler up there as I have over 4 inches of clearance between the fan and radiator.


    Unfortunately it looks like I will either have to lift the body 2 inches, OR hammer out the tranny tunnel a bit, possibly switch over to the electric shift transfer case as the shift linkage is RIGHT against the tranny, cut part of the oil pan out and make a notch in it in the front to clear the steering linkage, hammer part of the oil pan in by the differential mounts, and do some more clearancing on the mount pads as to gain some clearance between the block and mount pads. This is a TIGHT fit, but looks doable. The hood will also be tight down to the engine at the compressor it looks like. I was able to get the transmission crossmember and mount in, but the tranny is touching the trans tunnel as it sits now. I'll try and get some more pics of how it fits tommorrow, after 7 hours of putting the engine in and out I was WHIPPED!
    WHO SAYS YOU CAN'T HAVE IT ALL, JUST BUILD IT

    1995 GMC 2500 SUBURBAN powered by 01 DURAMAX/ALLISON, little of this, a little of that,
    DIAMONDEYE 4" exhaust, CORSA muffler, AFE stage 1 dry filter, custom tuning by me, KENNEDY single pump and pump rub kit.


  11. #11
    Registered User
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    nice project.

    looks like you got a healthy drivetrain too!

    bet you can part that donor truck out and it will pay for itself.

    keep the pics comin...
    #2) 94 Camaro-(L33 5.3L/4L80E) LS1 intake/243 heads/aluminum block
    Hptuners+me, LC1 wideband
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    UMI suspension/TCI trans controller, M+H Radials

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  12. #12

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    When they mount the duramax in newer suburban's they give the body a 2 inch lift. Over on the dieselplace their is a man called tdiguy that is doing videos of a swap to a newer suburban. Last time I checked he was going to do one in a smaller vehicle. I have not checked in a while, i do not like it over there anymore.

    Wish you luck!
    Marty

    2010 Chevrolet Tahoe LT

    1993 Chevrolet C3500 Crew Cab Dually, 2WD, NV4500. GM-8 with Turbo Master, 4" exhaust with 2 1/4 crossover, Walbro FRC-10-2, and pre-lift pump filter. Auto Meter Phantom fuel pressure, EGT, Boost, Transmission, and Rear Differential Gauges. Mag-Hytec rear diff cover. Filter-Mag RA365 on oil filter. PTW Battery Cable Kit. Fumoto Oil Valve. Feed The Beast Mod. K47!

    1995 Lance 990 Extended Cab(Under Construction!)


    Veterans of America Club, member #13.

  13. #13
    FRANKENBURBAN THEFERMANATOR's Avatar
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    Yep I've read the TDIGUY's post's, I've also tried to PM him(he doesn't answer them I've found). His feeling on the old body style is that it isn't a good conversion platform and it would need to much work. He did a EXCALADE recently, but is still trying to work out some bugs with it from the conversion. I sent him some diag sheets last week, but haven't heard back from him. The one that the dieselpage did a few years back has no body lift though, and the one in my link above doesn't either. So I'm hoping to be able to do the same. I also think that the LB7 was built so that it could fit into the older GMT-400 chassis as the mysterious dent in the drivers side manifold that serves no purpose on the GMT-800's and 900's is in the PERFECT spot for my steering shaft.
    WHO SAYS YOU CAN'T HAVE IT ALL, JUST BUILD IT

    1995 GMC 2500 SUBURBAN powered by 01 DURAMAX/ALLISON, little of this, a little of that,
    DIAMONDEYE 4" exhaust, CORSA muffler, AFE stage 1 dry filter, custom tuning by me, KENNEDY single pump and pump rub kit.


  14. #14

    Default

    OK, Just trying to help you out.

    You seem to know more about this than anybody else I know.

    Wish I was closer, it would be fun to watch and help!
    Marty

    2010 Chevrolet Tahoe LT

    1993 Chevrolet C3500 Crew Cab Dually, 2WD, NV4500. GM-8 with Turbo Master, 4" exhaust with 2 1/4 crossover, Walbro FRC-10-2, and pre-lift pump filter. Auto Meter Phantom fuel pressure, EGT, Boost, Transmission, and Rear Differential Gauges. Mag-Hytec rear diff cover. Filter-Mag RA365 on oil filter. PTW Battery Cable Kit. Fumoto Oil Valve. Feed The Beast Mod. K47!

    1995 Lance 990 Extended Cab(Under Construction!)


    Veterans of America Club, member #13.

  15. #15
    FRANKENBURBAN THEFERMANATOR's Avatar
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    Well I've spent a few more hours on it in the last few days. Progress has been next to nothing really, but I have worked out a few bugs and fitment issues that I was concerned with. I ended up moving the engine forward until the crossmember was bolted into the holes it was for the 4L80E, and putting the trans mount just slightly back from as far forward as it could sit in the crossmember. This unfortunately cut my clearance with the radiator down from 4. 1/2" to about 2". I wanted to move the engine as far back as possible, but it caused clearance issues with the oil pan and steering intermediate shaft. Also it was going to make fabricating engine mounts BEYOND a PITA! I also ordered in Jim Bigleys conversion guide from the page, and I am going to use the foundation of his mount templates for mine. My engine will actually be about a 1/2" furthur forward than his conversion, but at this point many things are revealed.

    At this point in time there is NO DOUBT in my mind that the DURAMAX was designed to fit into the older GMT-400 platform. The ALLISON 1000 is another story. With about 5 minutes with a 3lb BFH the transmission now has about a 1/2" of clearance all around, and will have more before I'm done. The indent in the drivers manifold matches the intermediate steering shaft almost dead on. And the oil pan has a clearance spot in it that matches the steering nearly perfectly once you remove the plastic coating from it. Also by sliding the engine forward a 1/2" and lowering it down over the pan notch, it lowered the engine down and the fan shroud lines up almost perfectly center. And by using a 95 mount instead of the 01 on the trans, it brought my pinion and engine angles to within a 1/2 of a degree of each other so shimming shouldn't be required.

    I'll have to rework the radiator core support a bit to work with the DMAX intercooler and retain an external trans cooler. The pages truck uses the radiator only in there conversion, and modified the condenser to slide it forward. I plan on cutting the fan shroud and sliding the radiator back an inch and gutting the center of the core support and sliding the intercooler in there.

    The electrical appears to be pretty straigght forward as the 6.5 and DMAX use almost the same engine fuses and amperages. I will have to add an IGNITION 1 relay and the ECMPRV 15A and INJ B 25A for the FICM, as well as a 15 A fuse for the fuel heater. The rest are already there, and most of the wiring colors are the same between the 2. I will also have to add in another A/C relay as the 01 ECM looks for a ground from the HVAC controller, but the 95-00 controller in a 6.5 truck sends a 12V+ to engage the A/C. The APPS out of the 01 will not fit into my 95, but my 95 WILL interchange to the 01 ECM as they are both wired and work the same(just a different base with a stronger spring in it).

    Now for some pictures.
    Steering after grinding the coating off the front of the pan and smoothing the ribs down a bit. Provided an extra 3/8" clearance by cleaning it up, and a total of almost an inch after moving it forward with this cleaning.



    Heres the steering shaft.


    Lots of room between the turbo and firewall for the insulating mat.



    And a few shots of the ALLISON nestled down in there nice and snuggly. I need to get a pic showing how close the shift rod is the case, it misses it by about a 1/4".

    WHO SAYS YOU CAN'T HAVE IT ALL, JUST BUILD IT

    1995 GMC 2500 SUBURBAN powered by 01 DURAMAX/ALLISON, little of this, a little of that,
    DIAMONDEYE 4" exhaust, CORSA muffler, AFE stage 1 dry filter, custom tuning by me, KENNEDY single pump and pump rub kit.


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