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Took the van to the Belvoir hobby shop to change the oil today.
It almost fits.
I didn't get a shot of how close it was to the overhead lights.









This is behind the oil pan, basically under the torque converter looking diagonally forward at the left engine mount, which is just above center



The same with a flash:



This is looking straight forward where the front driveshaft would have to go



The same with a flash:



This is forward of the axle centerline. The steering linkage is top right, the Duramax oil pan is out of frame to the left.



A slightly different angle



The same with a flash



Closer view of the left engine mount from the same angle
The bolt-in crossmember across the bottom of this image will have to go. It may be replaced by the stock AWD crossmember I showed above, which will be located further back.
The flat surface above the bolt-in crossmember, which has two studs for mounting the mount bracket will have to be cut away. That means that those two studs will no longer be there and that end of the flange for that bracket will be cut away as well. There are two more studs holding that bracket down, but I wouldn't want to run it with just two.
So that means I'm going to have to make a new version of the bracket that supports the engine mount. The rubber mount in the middle and the metal legs that attach to the block are all one unit, which is specific to the vans.
I guess I need to look at how the Duramax is mounted in pickup trucks.



This is just behind the bolt-in crossmember, looking directly left and up at the engine mount



This is directly below the lower control arm rear pivot. It shows that a LOT of the control arm pocket can be cut away to make clearance for the diff snout.
Of course that also means cutting away one or both of the remaining studs that attach the engine mount bracket to this stamping...
Oddly the remaining structure would end up looking a LOT like the control arm pocket on the AWD van frame...




From RockAuto:

This is the van left engine mount:



This is the truck left engine mount:



They look extremely similar, but the van unit is taller. This may make the truck mount easier to use, as it will raise the mount and give me:
-More clearance for the diff
-More space in which to package my replacement mount support bracket.
 

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the pickup frame has much more elevation to the forward section of the frame where it turns up to allow more clearance for the IFS differential, that's one of the main limiting factors of the van frame and why dropping the differential down (creating some "lift") is necessary if you don't want the oil pan setting right on the diff housing..
 

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I'm expecting things to be tight. From just eyeballing the situation, it looks like 3 of the four frame studs that anchor the left engine mount bracket to the frame will have to be cut away. I'll get a frame section sometime soon and start cutting to fit the diff. I'm also thinking that building a new drag link for better diff clearance is an option to keep in my back pocket.
 

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I'm expecting things to be tight. From just eyeballing the situation, it looks like 3 of the four frame studs that anchor the left engine mount bracket to the frame will have to be cut away. I'll get a frame section sometime soon and start cutting to fit the diff. I'm also thinking that building a new drag link for better diff clearance is an option to keep in my back pocket.
you will basically have to build a new driverside motor mount or very heavily modify what is there...Art ran into this when he put a duramax in a 6.0L quigley rolling chassis. He had to shave some of the ribs/casting fins on the differential to get minimal clearance in a few spots IIRC...dropping the diff just 1" would have opened up a lot of that.
 

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you will basically have to build a new driverside motor mount or very heavily modify what is there...Art ran into this when he put a duramax in a 6.0L quigley rolling chassis. He had to shave some of the ribs/casting fins on the differential to get minimal clearance in a few spots IIRC...dropping the diff just 1" would have opened up a lot of that.
Can you link his thread? I was looking through the threads I'm following and I'm not sure I've seen it, actually. You're the one who did the SAS and installed the Duramax/Allison in the high top, right?

It just so happens that using the pickup truck mount, as I suggested, should move the mount up by just over an inch. The connection point will also get closer to the block. That combined with the need to cut away 3/4 of the studs will require completely redesigning the bracket that goes between the mount and the frame. If that's what's required to make the space, that's what's required to make the space.

However... it's starting to look like remaking that bracket is one of only a few actually complicated aspects of the swap. Everything else just seems like fit/futz operations to make sure there's enough clearance in the right places, without cutting away more than necessary.
 

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Can you link his thread? I was looking through the threads I'm following and I'm not sure I've seen it, actually. You're the one who did the SAS and installed the Duramax/Allison in the high top, right?

It just so happens that using the pickup truck mount, as I suggested, should move the mount up by just over an inch. The connection point will also get closer to the block. That combined with the need to cut away 3/4 of the studs will require completely redesigning the bracket that goes between the mount and the frame. If that's what's required to make the space, that's what's required to make the space.

However... it's starting to look like remaking that bracket is one of only a few actually complicated aspects of the swap. Everything else just seems like fit/futz operations to make sure there's enough clearance in the right places, without cutting away more than necessary.
making/locating the differential mounting system will be the most complex fabrication job
 

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i don't see how this can be as hard as you think.
Len (LCAC_Man) has actually done the job and he is a very skilled fabricator so I highly recommend you listen to his thoughts/suggestions.
 
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as many guys as I've heard say they were going to build their own IFS 4x4 express...not one of them has done it...I've seen many who found a quigley rolling chassis and body swapped and a couple that took a quigley modified frame and cut the parts off of it and used them...but not one that has done it from scratch. starting with 1500 awd chassis may save some work but in the end, the tiny 1/2 front diff mounting system won't work for the 3/4ton 9.25" diff so those parts will have to be either remade or heavily modified...that larger diff will also eat up all the space where the 1/2 steering rack resides...it's much more work than you would think...that was a major factor in me going with a solid front axle for my conversion.. if you want to look at someone who actually took on building there own 9.25" GM 4x4 IFS mounting system(with rack and pinion steering) go to the van section of the expedition portal website, there is a guy there that designed, built and installed it in a T1 Sprinter van..he swapped the rear axle out to the GM 10.5" as well...really thoughtful work.
 

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Noted,and thanks.
But remember you don't know me.
Well I look forward to you showing us how it will be not that difficult.

Sent from my XT1710-02 using Tapatalk
 
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The thread will be posted over on wanderlodgeowersgroup.com
I'm not going to post over here again,except for the link to WOG.
 

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The thread will be posted over on wanderlodgeowersgroup.com
I'm not going to post over here again,except for the link to WOG.
why would you post an express van 4x4 conversion on the Wanderlodge site? It's a great site; I'm a member there and love wanderlodges/vintage motorhomes, but I don't see the relationship?
 

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well because i own the WOG and theres a bunch of gearheads on WOG.
they now me and they know whats possible at my shop.
my name is Randy Dupree
 

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i don't see how this can be as hard as you think.
There's not much space there. I had always assumed that GM went with the 7.25" front in the half ton vans for cost reasons, but it might have been because that's what they felt they had room for.
The diff won't fit until the space is available, so making the space available is the hard part.

If you want to use a 5" pickup truck suspension lift kit, you should be able to bolt a 4WD 2500/3500 van together with almost no cutting, because that's what it takes to get the diff low enough that it won't run into anything... but not everyone wants a 5" lift.

as many guys as I've heard say they were going to build their own IFS 4x4 express...not one of them has done it...I've seen many who found a quigley rolling chassis and body swapped and a couple that took a quigley modified frame and cut the parts off of it and used them...but not one that has done it from scratch. starting with 1500 awd chassis may save some work but in the end, the tiny 1/2 front diff mounting system won't work for the 3/4ton 9.25" diff so those parts will have to be either remade or heavily modified...that larger diff will also eat up all the space where the 1/2 steering rack resides...it's much more work than you would think...that was a major factor in me going with a solid front axle for my conversion.. if you want to look at someone who actually took on building there own 9.25" GM 4x4 IFS mounting system(with rack and pinion steering) go to the van section of the expedition portal website, there is a guy there that designed, built and installed it in a T1 Sprinter van..he swapped the rear axle out to the GM 10.5" as well...really thoughtful work.
I've read your thread... you put a huge amount of work into that build.
Do you have a link to Artementy's thread? I'm trying to look through stuff, but this forum can't search for threads he started, only posts he made--at least that I can see how to search. He posted a pic from it in this thread, even.
 

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Here is the end result of the 2006 Duramax 4x4 van I built a few months ago, using a 2006 Duramax van and a 2007 Quigley 4.8 gas van chassis. Several modifications were needed to clear the engine oil pan to front differential, and 1" and 0.75" body pucks at the first two rows of body mounts to clear the doghouse.

View attachment 636961
Can you link the build thread for this?
Thanks!
 

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well because i own the WOG and theres a bunch of gearheads on WOG.
they now me and they know whats possible at my shop.
my name is Randy Dupree
Randy, gotcha, you've got a huge information resource there on WOG, I use the 3208 cat section a lot to support my Foretravel Grand Villa Motorhome. That coach will eventually morph into a Cummins ISL powered rig..
 

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Can you link the build thread for this?
Thanks!
I don't think Art posted a thread on that build, he and I shared a bunch of txt messages and I was visiting his yard down in National City when he was building it. He ended up making the same type drivers side motor mount as I did with a Ruffstuff Specialties leaf spring hangar/mount combo.
639638
 

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why would you post an express van 4x4 conversion on the Wanderlodge site? It's a great site; I'm a member there and love wanderlodges/vintage motorhomes, but I don't see the relationship?
If he’s posting it there and linking it here, he was just trying to generate site traffic
 
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why would you post an express van 4x4 conversion on the Wanderlodge site? It's a great site; I'm a member there and love wanderlodges/vintage motorhomes, but I don't see the relationship?
To bad, if he actually does it it would be nice to see.
 
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