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ramchargerjay
04-06-2014, 08:07 PM
I'm about to start converting an 88 Centurion Bronco from a 351 with a C6 to a Powerstroke with an E4OD. Are there any threads here about a similar project? Any suggestions? Advice? Thanks.

Polarburg
04-07-2014, 05:31 AM
I did one on my 92 that had a 460 it's a bolt in swap but you will need a donor truck for sure . I don't have pics of this portion of my resto cause all was lost on I phone when it died because I wasn't smart enough to set up a I.cLoud backup account , live and learn . Any question ask!

ramchargerjay
04-07-2014, 07:12 AM
What I'm mostly wondering about is wiring and making gauges and cruise control work putting a third generation engine and trans in a second generation truck. I do have an entire parts truck. Also wondering if the fire wall was different for clearance issues. The Bronco is a half ton and I'm putting the axles under it as well.

Polarburg
04-07-2014, 08:29 AM
You will have to change the dash board. All the wiring,the ECM and idm , under hood fuse panel , diesel radiator support,and you will have to use the donor steering Column because of the over drive cancel on shifter . The firewall should be the same as a F series ,the frame is another story. Not sure if holes are there for the diesel mount plates seeing there wasn't a diesel in that chassis . It might sound overwhelming to do but it's not bad .

Traveler
04-07-2014, 10:15 AM
Do you want to keep the '88 dash?
Polarburg is right with everything he said.

The engine should bolt right in. Build your own crossmember for the trans or transfercase, modify the one from the donor. You might consider a body lift, not much, just like 1". It will make a world of difference in clearance at the back of the engine.

We are planning on doing this to a 1986 four door bronco, but I completely intend on keeping the '86 factory gauges and dash.
If you are not keeping the '88 dash then I am not going into detail on how to do it.

If you are keeping the '88 front clip, then you will have to build or modify the '88 radiator support, which isn't bad, just cut the bottom of the donor radiator support and install it on the '88 radiator support.

You can use the '88 column, easier to swap to newer column, but if you want to use the old one you can put an OD switch on the dash.
The gear selector will not have the extra slot for the extra gear on the trans, but who needs it?
The '88 cruise switches will work, you just have to track the wires down from the '88 column and splice them into the donor computer.

ramchargerjay
04-07-2014, 10:41 AM
I would prefer to keep everything original inside as much as possible. The Bronco has a tan and blue interior and the donor truck is grey. If I do change the dash and column will the 92-96 bolt right in? I do plan on putting the engine cross member from the donor truck into the Bronco so the Powerstroke bolts right in and it will help clear the Dana 60.

Polarburg
04-07-2014, 11:09 AM
The column will bolt in , there is no way to not to change the dash , or to say the lest the instrument cluster , the cluster does more then house gauges . Transmission control runs through it from PSoM . All the wiring from the diesel would be different from the earlier dash , in a nutshell if would be hacked trying to do it that way and any future potential buyer would run after looking under the dash . The dash can be painted with vinyl paint , one coat brand I used to paint my dash worked excellent this swap is a matter of I bolting it from one and transfer it in the other the. Replug it in. However I can't say everything from that generation is the same as the next. But probably not much

Polarburg
04-07-2014, 11:32 AM
Also the cruise control needs to have a PCM that was in a truck with cruise option , the master cylinder with the switch in the end of it . the harnesses all have the cancel wire in there I think it's green . I've looked Into this for my truck to use the cruise

ramchargerjay
04-07-2014, 12:56 PM
Another thing I'm wondering whether or not the ttb Dana 44 will hold up to the weight of the Powerstroke. Obviously I will need beefier springs.

Polarburg
04-07-2014, 02:36 PM
I would do a straight axle under it. The difference in weight from a gas engine in that chassis has to be 5-6 hundred pounds . Not including rad support,rad , trans cooler .dual batteries etc though you were planning on a axle swap? You will need to do rear for vss signal

ramchargerjay
04-07-2014, 02:46 PM
I was just for the weight concern, but the person I am doing the swap for wants it kept lower, if possible, for his 5'2" fiance.

Traveler
04-08-2014, 10:12 AM
Another thing I'm wondering whether or not the ttb Dana 44 will hold up to the weight of the Powerstroke. Obviously I will need beefier springs.

It will but it won't last long. It will be constantly putting ball joints, bushings and bearings in it.
You can put a Dana 50 up front from a 3/4 ton, but converting to leaf spring will kill the turning radius.
Solid axle is the nicest, but I see why you want to keep it lower.
You can get fancy and modify the Dana 50 to work with radius rods and coils springs.
End result they will be happiest with a solid axle.

Traveler
04-08-2014, 10:52 AM
The column will bolt in , there is no way to not to change the dash , or to say the lest the instrument cluster , the cluster does more then house gauges . Transmission control runs through it from PSoM . All the wiring from the diesel would be different from the earlier dash , in a nutshell if would be hacked trying to do it that way and any future potential buyer would run after looking under the dash .

I agree most of that is true. First though, for myself, there will not be any interested buyers, my kids will have to deal with it when I am gone. Ram charger jay is doing it for someone else and so that is a consideration. Whether they need to get it fixed later or want to sell it.

The '91 and older dashes are just stupid, you add the sensors onto the engine to run the coolant temp and oil pressure. If needed you change the tailhousing on the transfercase to run a cable for the speedo.
As far as the original cluster, all you need is the circuit boards off it. Get a little black project box from radio shack and install then in there. Wire your cruise switches into it. You can keep the odometer for programming.
Yep it is a hack, but then again the whole truck was a hack from the day it was born. LOL

Polarburg
04-09-2014, 02:57 PM
I agree most of that is true. First though, for myself, there will not be any interested buyers, my kids will have to deal with it when I am gone. Ram charger jay is doing it for someone else and so that is a consideration. Whether they need to get it fixed later or want to sell it.

The '91 and older dashes are just stupid, you add the sensors onto the engine to run the coolant temp and oil pressure. If needed you change the tailhousing on the transfercase to run a cable for the speedo.
As far as the original cluster, all you need is the circuit boards off it. Get a little black project box from radio shack and install then in there. Wire your cruise switches into it. You can keep the odometer for programming.
Yep it is a hack, but then again the whole truck was a hack from the day it was born. LOL
Ok I get what you mean ,essentially have two engine and dash harnesses or try to dissect with cut and splicing .whew that would be some major work . All is doable . there still would be oneed for speed signal for motor to run good and transmission shifts and od lockup to work right .

Traveler
04-09-2014, 04:33 PM
Yep still have to swap the rear end to get the VSS, or buy an transmitter adapter.

It sounds bad trying to combine the two but really You have two separate systems, the only cross breeding would be cruise control and Tach if you wanted one, The OD button would have to be added, you would want one with a light that can flash or add an indicator light for the OD. You could use an '88 era correct glow plug light, and WIF light if you wanted. The original check engine light in the dash can be used, the 4x4 light is probably the same just different connectors. The PCM would need the brake switch input.

There is probably more wires than that.

Beyond that, you have to recognize each part, the engine/trans and the truck as separate components. Like, what would it take to run this engine if I had it out on a skid and wanted to start it, figure that out and make that list of wires. Then what would it take to keep everything functioning on the truck. Make that list.
You have to sit down with both wiring diagrams and figure where you are going to pull what information, or run separate.
It is labor intensive, not cost effective at all. It is a product of love. I love my 1986 dash, I love the PSD/E4OD. After you feel you have fully considered the project then it is just like a remote car starter. Focus on one wire at a time, one connection at a time. Complete it and move on. Take notes, so you can go back and trouble shoot because it will not work like you planned it the first time.

As always the wiring job is the weak point. If you cut any corners and don't make a good diagram it will be a nightmare for yourself and the owners in the future.
I would never recommend it to anyone unless they are keeping the vehicle for themselves and have the ability to repair it.

colobronco
04-10-2014, 05:11 PM
I'm wondering how that half ton frame will hold up to the engine and bigger axles? Or even towing with all the extra torque.
maybe better to adjust the frame of the powerstroke and set your body on it?

Traveler
04-11-2014, 07:57 AM
If you were going to do heavy towing on a regular basis, then yes you should swap frames out. For most people though, light, or rare towing. It will not be an issue.

Think about it like this, How many miles do you expect to get out of it? Even if you say you will keep it for ever, will you put 100K on it? 200K? 50K?
Anything would hold up to 100K, 200K + you would probably be better off to swap frames.
Also depends on where you live and what you started with. In the rust belt, no matter what frame you use it will need attention.

As just a daily driver the frame is just fine.

ramchargerjay
04-11-2014, 09:08 AM
The rust is a reason I would not swap frames. The Bronco is completely rust free from Texas, whereas the F350 parts truck has been a work truck in Michigan its whole life and is too rusty. That's a big reason we decided to find something to use the parts for, it was too rusty to be worth rebuilding the trans, but other than that it was mechanically great. Just over 200k. Any suggestions on a way to strengthen the half ton frame? At most it may haul a boat or fourwheeler trailer once in a while. Other than that it will just be driven. What exactly is difference between the half ton and one ton frames?

Traveler
04-11-2014, 01:42 PM
You could box the frame in all the way back and weld the cross members in place.

The amount of steel in the frame, crumple zones, that type of thing are built into the half ton.
There are plenty of people that overload their 1/2 tons and run them that way for years and never have a problem.

jenny_gr
04-28-2014, 01:45 AM
You could box the frame in all the way back and weld the cross members in place.
The amount of steel in the frame, crumple zones, that type of thing are built into the half ton.
There are plenty of people that overload their 1/2 tons and run them that way for years and never have a problem.
I tend to agree and am the one of those who do this for years :)