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Discussion Starter #1
Calling any ZF6 swap experts! I am not sure if this is the right place for this thread because it's mostly ZF6 swap inquiry but this forum appears to have most of the Duramax Suburban threads.

As the title says, I picked up a 2004 2500 Suburban a couple months back and just picked up a 2005 LLY/ZF6 truck for the donor. I am dead set on the ZF6.

I know there are tons of threads and info about the Duramax swap into the Suburban, so I will keep researching that part before asking any questions, it seems somewhat straightforward.

The part I will definitely need help brainstorming is the ZF6 part. I am hoping maybe I can get the attention of some folks who did ZF6 swaps in loaded pickups that will have some of the same issues (at least with electronic tcase).

As far as physical/mechanical logistics, I am not too worried. I will be getting rid of the power adjust pedals and swapping all pedals from the donor in. I will also put in the manual steering column. As far as routing the shifter, I am not worried about that now either, I have seen that has been done before.

The plan is to maintain as many of the Suburban features as possible, here are some of the things I am worried about:

1. The Autotrac transfer case: reading a thread about a ZF6 swap in an Avalanche tells me an input shaft swap is necessary if I want to keep the tcase. Do I need to keep the TCM in the Burb and leave it in neutral to be able to shift into 4lo or can EFIlive tune that out and I can remove the TCM altogether? What about the Auto 4wd? Something tells me thats probably also tied into the TCM. If it really isn't feasible, I guess I can go the NP263 route and lose the auto 4wd (I definitely will not be doing a manual shift tcase).

2. Cruise control: Again, I am assuming this is tied to the TCM. Is there any difference between cruise control in an auto and manual? Can tuning overcome this or do I need to swap cruise control components from the donor?

3. Autoride: I read in the owner's manual that the Autoride is also tied to Tow/Haul mode. Obviously I will not have Tow/Haul mode, will the Autoride still function properly without it? Could I wire a manual "tow/haul" switch that allows autoride to recognize hauling a load and make the necessary adjustments (I am assuming it just stiffens up the rear suspension?)

From what I have read it looks like I should get a subscription to alldatadiy right? Any other resources that might help me?

I would like to get rid of the TCM if possible just to keep the swap clean but if I have to keep it to maintain these features I will. The Suburban has a 8.1L/4L85E now.

Thanks in advance for any guidance you guys can offer!

One last question, what is the advantage of doing the reverse rake body lift versus a standard 2" body lift?

-Vance
 

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sorry i cant help but this sounds like a cool project
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That's alright thanks though! I realize I am kind of treading in unknown waters here....
 

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have you found any more info on making this work?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Unfortunately not! I think I may post in the ZF6 section so that I might get the attention of folks who did swaps in loaded trucks.

At this point I think I am going to ditch the Autotrac transfer case as some internet research reveals they aren't the strongest units. I will be going the NP263XHD route. As for the other things, I have not learned anything yet ha.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Resurrecting this thread from the dead for some help!

While I started the conversion three years ago, it is still not done! Moving/new job/working on my other vehicles has gotten in the way.

I have gotten back on this project and I am nearing the end. The LLY and ZF6 are in the Burb and ready to test fire. I have everything wired up on the engine, but I do not have the front end on, so no radiator, intercooler, intake, etc. I want to test fire the engine before I put everything back together since I had to do some top end work on the engine.

I replaced the cluster with a manual trans cluster and had it programmed to the burb VIN. Currently have the 261 manual tcase installed, I will likely keep it and convert the burb to manual 4x4 shift.

I have gotten to the point where I can get the engine to turn over, but it will not start. Only code showing right now is P0612, will this FICM code prevent the engine from starting?

I swear I can smell fuel while cranking so I think I am good there.

I read through some of the recent posts in the brotherhood thread about wiring the #5 EDU relay with a separate circuit. I pulled C2-E6 and tied it to the relay #85, and ran hot battery power to relay #86. When I did that, I still got code 612, and added P090 and P105, no start.

From the reading I can see I need to run a wire to the cluster for the glow plug light. I haven't done that yet but it seems the glow plugs are coming on using a test light.

Any thoughts? Should I swap in another FICM? This one did sit for three years, but protected. I do remember dropping it on the floor once when I moved.

Does it have to do with not having everything hooked up yet like the MAF sensor?

Thanks for any help! As a reminder the burb is a 2004 and the donor was a 2005.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Update on this build and needing help!

I have it running, and took it for a very short test drive over the weekend.

I have read in many other build threads that the VIN of the ECM needs to match the VIN of the BCM. Right now, mine does not, but I am not getting a security light?

I am getting service warnings for air bags, 4wd system, ABS, etc. Is the mismatched VIN the cause of this?

I am guessing the manual trans has to do with some of this, at least the 4wd system message. The cluster is programmed to the Burb VIN but is a diesel manual cluster. Speedometer/tach and all gauges are working (except fuel).

Dome lights are working correctly, I have not tried locks yet. But windows, and the auto retract seat are working. All exterior lights are working with the exception of DRL and reverse, which I know are trans related and will have to investigate.

How do I get the ECM VIN to match the Burb? I thought I did the relearn correctly since the security light is gone and the truck will start and run.

Thanks!
 

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The 4wd light is expected but I'm curious as to what the ABS and Air bag codes are. Does the 4wd switch wire inside or does it wire into the transfer case harness. I know the abs and 4wd are tied together. Did you get the ABS/EBCM module from the donor.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I have not changed any modules. There was a some sort of module on the firewall of the burb that I removed, but I was thinking it was for the accelerator pedal? I will have to get a picture of it when I get home.

I am using the suburban fuse box as well. The entire engine and transmission/transfer case harness was removed and replaced with the one from the LLY/ZF6 donor. The I do still have the auto 4wd switch in place and the associated module under the dash, because I was thinking of keeping auto 4wd or electronic transfer case, but I believe I'm gonna go manual on the transfer case.

Is there any way to see exactly what codes are causing the dash messages about ABS and air bags? It's not showing any dash lights, except the SES.
 

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The air bag light could be caused by the lack of a clock spring in the steering column?
The abs is probably not seeing a wheel speed sensor or something, is what I'm thinking.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Interesting on the steering column, what is the clock spring for? I did pull the column out so I could unbolt the shifting mechanism. There is one small two wire harness unplugged when I got done, which matches my factory zf6 truck (green wires). I also painstakingly swapped in the manual ignition switch and changed the lock cylinders to use the factory burb key. I did that because manual ignition switches have a lock button to release the key, or at least that I have noticed.

I guess I could double check all wiring to make sure wheel speed sensors are all plugged in and yellow airbag connectors as well. Is the ABS tied to the auto 4wd system? Like I said the speedometer is working but I know that comes from the transfer case speed sensor, whereas the ABS would read speed at the wheels.
 

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Did you use the Suburban core support harness or the truck harness. I believe the Sub harness has 2 airbag sensors where the trucks only have 1.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yes I used the Suburban core support harness, and you are correct, I noticed that when I reassembled it all. I used the truck core support, but put two sensors on like the suburban and they are both plugged in.

Over the weekend I confirmed these are all working:
- Dome lights and shutting off
- Radio (although just tried FM, no advanced functions like CD etc.)
- All gauges in the dash (fuel is not accurate I am sure) including tach and speedo
- Mirror functions (temp/compass)
- Locks and chimes, key fob works, won't lock doors with key in ignition
- Power seats

Here is what is not working:
- Steering wheel controls
- Cruise control (I figured that to be the case, trans related)
- Rear radio speakers (may be unrelated, the Suburban has been taken apart so long I don't remember if they worked in the first place)


I can connect to the OBD2 port and read engine codes. It also allows me to read the VIN in the ECM, which is still the truck VIN. Doesn't this need to be the burb VIN?

Could I have somehow accidentally changed the VIN of the BCM to the truck VIN?

At this point I can't find any harnesses unplugged. When I was doing some testing, I unplugged the ABS module on the frame, and the ABS light came on. When plugged back in, it went out. After driving 3-4 miles, the light came back on.

I am assuming these are BCM codes, is there a way to read those or only at the dealer?
 

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I think with the airbag and steering wheel controls not working, it could be the clockspring behind the steering wheel. I had to replace mine because the wires inside it got stretched too long and broke (kid spun the steering wheel around a bunch when I had the steering column shaft under the hood disconnected). Everything was plugged in, but the clockspring internally was broken...
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Oh that makes sense! I will check that. I don't think I ever spun the wheel enough to break it but that doesn't necessarily mean it didn't happen. I did have the column off with the wheel on it.

Does the clock spring control automatic off on the turn signals? Because those are working fine, or seem to be.

EDIT: Does the horn run through the clock spring? Because the horn is working.
 

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I believe the horn has it's own contact.

Here's a random youtube video. Scroll to about 3:20
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Oh good call I didn't think about that with the separate wiring. I will attempt to get the wheel off and check the clock spring. I know I struggled before to get it off so I pulled the column with it.

Did you have to take the clock spring apart to tell it was bad?

Thanks!
 

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I think you can use an ohmmeter to check if the wires have continuity from one side of it to the other.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Kriesel, I checked the continuity on the clock spring last night and I believe you may have been right! After finally figuring out a way to get a puller on the wheel I got it off and double checked. I could not get any ohm reading from either the air bag pigtails or steering wheel control pigtail to the large connector beside the column.

I had a junk column in the garage I checked and was able to get readings between the air bag pigtails and large connector. Of course it did not have steering wheel controls, so I bought a new OEM harness last night.

It's a shame to get the OEM clock spring you have to buy the whole column harness, or at least that is what I was able to find. And it sure isn't cheap!

Batteries are unhooked and since this won't arrive until early next week I won't be able to diagnose any of my other electrical issues until this is fixed.

Thanks again, I will update on the results.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Hey guys I thought I updated this thread on Monday but I guess I didn't.

The SIR coil worked! Install was easy and both the ABS and airbag lights are gone!

Only messages left are service 4wd, low coolant and check engine light. We took it for a short drive (~8 miles) and no lights have popped up yet. I filled it up for the first time and had issues with the pump shutting off, which seems to be common with these conversions. I even have a diesel filler neck installed, but stock fill hoses to the tanks.

One odd issue I had was after moving it around in the driveway Monday night, it wouldn't restart right away. It would start and immediately shut off. Tried the next day and it started and ran fine. Almost like it was starved for fuel. Could I have overfilled it? Is there a fuel pressure (vacuum really) sensor incoming to the CP3 I can pick up with a CTS monitor? I used the stock sending unit but installed an aftermarket pickup tube/draw straw.

Cruise control isn't working but I have been looking at diagrams from alldata. Cruise control runs right to the ECM via C202 and C100 on the diesel, but on the burb diagram it shows running through the throttle actuator module, which I am sure is the module I removed from the firewall. On swaps with the Allison, does the cruise work right out of the box?

Thanks again, making progress!
 
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