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View Full Version : Cost to have a 4bt put in a 93 GMC



MToney
03-03-2004, 08:56 PM
What would the cost be to put a 4bt in a 1993 GMC extended cab 4x4? Truck is an automatic that my wife drives, the 350 in it is getting tired and the extended warrenty runs out soon. It will probably need done in the next year or so. The truck is never offroad, just takes her to work and deals with the heavy snow here in Erie, PA. I have no idea how to do all the conversion work so I would be paying someone to do it from me. Minimal down time is important as it takes 2 vehicles in our family to get around. Thanks Mike.

DKarvwnaris
03-04-2004, 03:25 AM
Since you are looking to have it done completely by someone else, also on a timely basis, you will most likely be approaching the $10,000. 00 mark or better. Sounds like you should just have a GM goodwrench crate motor put in the truck and leave it stock.

Most cummins conversions are easily over 100 hrs of labor. 4bt's are no exception and usually will result in the truck having a shake alot at low idle, unless you are lucky enough to find to a counter balnced 4b block, not common in the bread truck pul outs. If you are planning to repower your wifes truck, you may be better off using a 6bt if you are dead set on doing this. They are in abundance much more than the 4bt will be. If you are planning to use the stock automatic, it will have to reworked to shift at the correct rpm range for the cummins motors no matter if you use the 4b or 6b.

In all honesty, if you are looking to have this a quick turn around and rely on it daily for commuting right after, I would not do this. There are almost always adjustments needed, especially when dealing with a automatic tranny repower.

Last time I checked on a 4b pull out in good running condition with low miles, it was around $2500. 00 and it ended up needing injector pump work shortly after getting it up and running in the new vehicle.

Most cummins conversions are a labor of love and not cheap. The savings comes in doing it yourself.

MikeN
03-04-2004, 01:36 PM
I'm in the process of doing this same swap on an '89 Chevy. If I would have stayed with the automatic already in the truck, I think I could have pulled it off for under $4000. Since I am also swapping in a NV-4500, its going to cost me a bunch more.



I'm doing all the work myself. I don't know what it would cost to have somebody else do it, but a good rule of thumb is about double what the parts cost.



I drive 200 miles per day, so I am hoping to recover some of my cost in lower fuel expense. My truck with the 350 gets about 16-17mpg, I'm hoping I can get 30 mpg with the 4bt.

Snow man
03-04-2004, 02:00 PM
Mike,if you cant do this swap yourself,at least 80% of it,you are better off selling the GMC and buying a used Dodge /Cummins.

DKarvwnaris
03-04-2004, 03:34 PM
Originally posted by MikeN

If I would have stayed with the automatic already in the truck, I think I could have pulled it off for under $4000. Since I am also swapping in a NV-4500, its going to cost me a bunch more.



I'm doing all the work myself. I don't know what it would cost to have somebody else do it, but a good rule of thumb is about double what the parts cost.



I drive 200 miles per day, so I am hoping to recover some of my cost in lower fuel expense. My truck with the 350 gets about 16-17mpg, I'm hoping I can get 30 mpg with the 4bt. [/B]



Your mileage with the 350 seems strangely high, I have at best gotten 14 with most GM trucks I have had. Then again, I have not owned a 2wd truck with the exception of my wife's 99 mazda in over 12 years. If you're really getting that kind of mileage, you may want to consider leaving the truck alone and just maintain it. Most 4bt conversions I have done have been for off roaders or



Mileage will be better just by getting rid of the automatic. Using the stock automatic will require having it reworked for different rpm shift points anyways, hardly worth it for a 700r4. Even the turbo 400's are a questionable transmission for daily driving. Most p-30 panel vans were equipped with the manual tranny's for a reason.



Swapping in the NV-4500 will benefit you in the long run, especially if you buy a brand new one for reliability. You'll have an overdrive that will keep your highway rpm's down. You can easily refit the truck with a stock clutch pedal assembly.



Going by previous friends/customers with the 4bt's in their GM pickups, You should expect at least 25 mpg or better.



Doing all the work yourself is one of the best way to keep costs down as long as you research parts needed and don't find out half way through you can't get something to fit. That's when the budget goes out the door. Do it yourself conversions are also a good way to go insane when you have problems as you have no else to blame. I don't know your abilities so please don't take this wrong. It is really frustrating when you spend weeks with your truck in pieces and then find out you need outside help to finish something, which will usually require more money spent as they have to go through all your work and make sure it is right, or worse start over. If its a daily driver, can you be without for a month? I have had the most repetitive conversions take that long thanks to outside work such as driveshaft work, exhaust shops, or tranny shops reworking automatics to shift right, etc. This is not a deterence, just a point that planning and research is critical before you begin.



Snowman has a very, very, valid point. It is what I tell most friends and customers doing the conversion for mpg. The only times I usually agree to gm conversions or ford's is when the folks have a crew cab and can't afford a brand new dodge, or don't have faith in the newer 24 valves like me. Extended cabs are a waste of money as I can pick up a late model dodge ext cab for under $10,000 now.

MToney
03-04-2004, 07:31 PM
The current plan is to limp the truck along for the next couple of years, In 2007 she hopes to upgrade to a 12v cummins ext cab or quad cab. I prefer the 12v with the inline injection pump for its simplicity, we are not upgrading for extra power or anything, just the longitivity of the diesel and lack of emmsions inspections every year, the cost of my inspection is $10. 00, hers is 35. I grew up on the farm so working on the basics on the 12v is second nature. I could handle the conversion with the proper tools, welder and a indoor shop, all things that I dont have access to currently. Cheers Mike

DKarvwnaris
03-05-2004, 10:05 AM
Mtoney,

Sounds like you would be much better getting rid of the truck now rather than later. Dodges are pretty cheap if you go for the older units. The only thing nursing a truck along is going to do is nickel and dime you to death. If you want longevity or a decent 12 valve truck, I would locate one now rather than later when it will have even more miles in someone elses hands.

I have had a few repowers of my own because I didn't want to own a dodge, the cost was never a financially sound idea. It was a need to have a crew cab pick up and in protest of Lee Iacocca's destruction of the Jeep. After picking up a 93 ext cab for a work truck in the spring of 2002, I changed my feelings towards Chryslers chassis's. We then purchased a 1996 ext cab with 180,000 on it in the fall of 2002. It has been one of the best and most trouble free trucks I have owned from day one. 12 valves are by far the most reliable, bar none. Anything that only needs one wire to run it is in my list of favorites.