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Old 08-15-2011, 01:38 PM
Mudbull Mudbull is offline
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Mudbull-68 Gladiator diesel build-need help deciding things...

Hello everyone, This is my first post, but i have a feeling ill be on here a lot from now on! Over the past couple months ive been looking around for a unique, affordable truck that i can use as a daily driver, for offroading, and hauling stuff. A couple weeks ago i didnt even know that kaiser ever made jeeps-let alone a truck. From the beginning i knew i wanted to do a diesel swap, a Kaiser gladiator came up on craigslist at the right time so i bought it. Its a six cylinder, 4spd, 4x4 at the moment with basically no floors, no rocker panels, and no bed. But for $500 you cant lose rite!




Here you can see how nonexistant the rocker panels are. The picture of the interior is decieving- the floor is gone, what you are seeing is a thin sheet of aluminum, with sheet metal screws holding it in.


Now, i would love your guys' opinions, help, and expertise...
As far as the engine goes, im hoping to find a good cummins 5.9 for around $1000 or a GM 6.2 for less. Would i be able to (or want to) adapt the transmission and transfer case (T18? and dana 20 correct?) to either engine easily?

With either engine would it be O.K. to run the stock dana 44 in the front with light/medium duty offroading? I plan on adding a dana 60 in back no matter what.

I want to run ~37" tires, Ive seen the chevy 63" springs are a common swap on here for the rear. To get ~6" lift do they need to be lift springs or just stock? Also, what springs can i use for the front (63" chevys also?)-im not afraid of modifying the frame, extending the rails, etc...

Finally, i dont believe that truck bed is factory, and its so far gone, i dont think its worth patching...has anyone retrofitted a bed from a different truck without major resizing (like from an f150, silverado...)?

Thanks guys for looking and all of your help...maybe one day i can return the favor!

EDIT: Added better quality pictures. 8/21/11

Last edited by Mudbull : 08-21-2011 at 06:52 PM.
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  #2  
Old 08-15-2011, 03:31 PM
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uglyjeep uglyjeep is offline
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I can tell you that a 6.2 can be dropped in front of a Jeep t-18 with minimal problems using an adapter that advance adapters sells. I can't say for sure on yours though - a 6 cyl. trans has a different length input shaft and adapter than a v-8 version. As far as engine choice, that's all based on personal choice and what you can find. Doubtless, this will turn into another Cummins vs. 6.2/6.5 debate.

BTW- that does apper to be a factory thriftside, which is very popular with many here (myself included). Not a common find.
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The eternal project -'88 6.2 diesel, '75 cherokee chassis, t-18 & dana 20, & WT dana 44's, front lock right, '67 j-3000 cab ('75 dash & pedals, '67 column, "leather" astro bench), '3? IH bed, 32" mtr's
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  #3  
Old 08-15-2011, 04:59 PM
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Gambler68 Gambler68 is offline
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If you want to see a 68 J3000 get transformed into something along what you're thinking of, click the link in my signature line.

The bed is factory. If the skirting (the fenders and panels that come off) aren't too beat up, you can sell them for rather good money. Now..that bed is SO simple, you may actually want to fix it..I was planning on lining the inside with 3/4" marine grade plywood, bolted through the metal. It is really flimsy. Or make a flatbed for it.

You are going to want to ditch the D44s front and rear. And think hard about those skinny 2" springs in the front with a heavy diesel motor. You're going to want to strengthen the frame..the 60s era ones are very very flexy. FSJ frames in general are considered flexy.

Basically you're looking at completely gutting the entire driveline, brake system, electronics, and stuffing in everything from a newer diesel truck. Go for it!

With my project, I did a 3/4 ton conversion, kept the burly old Kaiser 327, T18 and D20. Used a 73 Jeep Dana 60 and a 74.5 GM HD44. Ditching the front 2" post mount springs and going to put in 77 Wagoneer spring mounts and 2.5" FSJ springs SOA on the HD44 and figure out a shackle flip or blocks for the post mount rear.
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Old 08-15-2011, 07:31 PM
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lobie lobie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mudbull


Now, i would love your guys' opinions, help, and expertise...
As far as the engine goes, im hoping to find a good cummins 5.9 for around $1000 or a GM 6.2 for less. Would i be able to (or want to) adapt the transmission and transfer case (T18? and dana 20 correct?) to either engine easily?

With either engine would it be O.K. to run the stock dana 44 in the front with light/medium duty offroading? I plan on adding a dana 60 in back no matter what.

I want to run ~37" tires, Ive seen the chevy 63" springs are a common swap on here for the rear. To get ~6" lift do they need to be lift springs or just stock? Also, what springs can i use for the front (63" chevys also?)-im not afraid of modifying the frame, extending the rails, etc...


Welcome to the board.

Don't take this the wrong way but the 6.2 and 5.9 cummins are not even comparable. I have nothing against the 6.2 but it is more comparable to a gas engine. Also you are going to have a hard time finding a good 5.9 for $1000. The 6.2 will cost a lot less to do the swap and less fab work. You may also want to consider a 4bt. They can be pricey too. Do some research and check out 4btswaps.com. There is lots of info on there and they have a whole section dedicated to different trannys on cummins engines. I say go for the cummins if you can afford it and do the work.
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Old 08-16-2011, 01:19 AM
Mudbull Mudbull is offline
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Thanks guys for the welcome, and advice.

I hadnt seen any trucks with that bed as i browsed some pics, maybe im just not that attentive...Ill have to take a better look at the bed i guess, the fenders seem good, the floor is nonexistant though (previous owner just laid 1/8" steel plate over top the whole thing).

I know a heavy diesel's going to need more support then those little leaf springs, but i was assuming maybe some 3/4 ton GM spring may work? I am on pretty tight budget without cutting too many corners if there's an acceptable non-custom leaf that can take the fronts weight. I only paid $500 for the truck, I'd hate to pay that for springs if I didn't have to haha...

Ive been looking into different diesel engines for a bit now...im well aware comparing the cummins to the 6.2 GM is like comparing apples to oranges, but those two seem the most readily available, easy to retrofit, and affordable (kind of). Either engine would fit my needs, its mostly just going to be a daily driver. But for a bit more initial investment, i feel the cummins is the better route, and the way i want to go...I'll just have to see the deals that are out there when the time and money are rite. I have found a few cummins locally for $1000, $1200, and $1500. So now i need to figure out what transmission to use, buy everything and build it haha...

EDIT/UPDATE: Ive been going back and forth in my head the past few days about whether i need a cummins or not. I found a few donor 2 and 4wd cummins trucks for around $2000, with that should be the transmission, engine, and at least rear axle (thats cheaper than i was thinking even for the 6.2L setup plan). Im back at college now, so i will only have long weekends to work on the truck. Im hoping to get all the rust repair done in 2/3 months, and have a donor purchased shortly after to start building everything up...

Last edited by Mudbull : 08-20-2011 at 02:26 PM.
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  #6  
Old 08-23-2011, 10:37 PM
Mudbull Mudbull is offline
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Hey guys, I put up a few better pictures of the truck that my dad sent me now that its at our shop. I plan on heading down this weekend to either to take out the engine/trans/transfer case and work on the interior, or take off the bed/diff and start working on rust.

About twice a day ive been looking on craigslist for deals...doing this has only made my diesel choices worse, and ive become more indecisive:
I found a couple parts trucks with running 6bts/5spds for good prices, if those are there when im ready for them, ill jump on it...but if i cant find a decent cummins i started looking at alternatives...

Like i said before the GM 6.2/6.5 would suit me, but im getting scared away by the lack of aftermarket support for them-not that i need anything more than stock, but im sure some of you know, its never enough. I found a bunch of dirt cheap ford 6.9/7.3 diesels that have caught my attention. Ive done some searches, but why would this not be as popular of a swap as the GM 6.2/6.5?

I understand that the fords heavier than the GM, but from what ive seen theyre ~400lbs lighter than a cummins. From the initial searches, ive seen guys running 7.3 IDI's on ~20psi which is waay more than you could a GM...and unlike GM's you can also find "900hp" IDI's. the ford also seems to have cheaper transmission options (even the T-19) than a nv4500 or conversion plates for a cummins. Since the ford is a v8, it should also take up less lenght then the cummins (more rad/intercooler room). So what am i missing? I hate fords, but the way i see it rite now, the 6.9/7.3 non-powerstroke is hard to beat for a swap to get best bang for your buck...anyone mind setting me straight? haha
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Old 08-24-2011, 06:50 AM
rocklaurence rocklaurence is offline
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Hey that Jeep looks like one on Florida CL? In regard to the Ford, they're FAT! My understanding is they're a lot wider than the others and are hard to fit.
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Old 08-24-2011, 08:00 AM
Mudbull Mudbull is offline
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That would be the one on CL, i was fortunate enough for it to be local in Ft. Myers too. I would assume that it would be the width that would be the issue on the 7.3, but with slightly more than a 4" stroke, i cant imagine the deck hieght being much more than a sbc, the heads dont seem huge either...id be willing to modify the inner fenders if necessary.

But i guess i need more dimensions, and opinions on the engine before i committed...I found a ford website that said that BBF's are basically the same external dimension, the 7.3's also weight close to 1000lbs fully dressed btw

Last edited by Mudbull : 08-24-2011 at 09:43 AM.
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Old 06-18-2012, 08:23 PM
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nc wagoneer nc wagoneer is offline
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When I get around to it i plan on going 6.2 just cuz its cheap to do and I don't have much money. But if you have the $$$ go for the 5.9!!!
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Old 06-18-2012, 08:36 PM
Mudbull Mudbull is offline
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That was my strategy too, but it turns out sometimes you can get lucky on these cummins rams if you keep your eyes peeled. It really is easier and cheaper to buy a whole donor too. In the end depending on what you intend to do with it either would be more then enough fun!!
With that being said, i got to drive my friends 1000lb-ft cummins a few blocks this weekend (previous owner blew up a couple dana 70's with it..that much torque). I have to say i was planning on a stock turbo with light modding but the speed, sound, and torque is infectious haha...
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Old 10-06-2012, 05:35 PM
Mudbull Mudbull is offline
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Finally got my car done and have gotten a chance to start on the kaiser!! heres what we got done today, got a lot of metal work to do before it can get dropped on the frame...



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Old 10-06-2012, 06:56 PM
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Resbum Resbum is offline
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Cool beans. I'm glad for you that you're able to get back to this.
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"What year is my truck?... Which part?" Build thread- http://www.fsjnetwork.com/forum/view...p=18290#p18290
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Old 10-07-2012, 09:13 PM
Mudbull Mudbull is offline
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Thanks! me too! its been a long time coming, but im hoping to make this project as quick as possible, bodywork being the biggest issue....I almost hydrolocked my engine in my car today after a medium sized storm and some huge drainage issues (i have at most 4" ground clearance, and was forced to go through 10"+ of water). So i want to get the kaiser on the road ASAP..maybe even lift it some more haha...
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Old 08-15-2016, 09:19 AM
Ronaldwag Ronaldwag is offline
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Mudbull 68 Gladiator diesel build need help deciding things

Hello all, I need to remove the speedo from my 1982 rabbit caddy pickup. I have removed the dash cover by taking off the light knob and cold start knob and the dash is very exposed. I cannot figure out how to get the speedo through the opening in the dash. The opening in the dash seems too small no matter how much I jiggle the speedo and also the speedo has a big ridge on the top that gets in the way of pulling it out. Help?
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