New guy with van addiction

the_engineers

New member
Dec 24, 2016
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Lincoln, NE
So, I've been working on fabbing a new trans crossmember. It's a little rough, but it works. The hole on the left side is clearance for the shifter cable.




On a side note, the layout of the transmission end of the shifter cable for the Allison is completely different than the cable end for the 4L85E. Luckily, the whole thing doesn't have to be swapped as the break where the body section and the frame section meet appears to be identical. I had an extra cable, so I got a chance to disassemble on the bench. Not fun, but not impossible...
 

LCAC_Man

Member
Aug 27, 2017
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Is the reason for the height to keep the same pinion elevation as the 4l80e had?
Just curious why you didn't just lower the rear of the allison and leave the floor uncut?
 

the_engineers

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Dec 24, 2016
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Lincoln, NE
I wanted to keep the same driveline angle...right now I'm tipped back about 3-4 degrees. If I had tilted it to clear the floor, it probably would have been closer to 10 degrees down.
 

LCAC_Man

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Aug 27, 2017
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gotcha...I haven't put my cutaway cab on yet to see where mine falls. Hopefully between the extra angle and small body lift I'll clear it completely..
 

LCAC_Man

Member
Aug 27, 2017
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If you can re-route the fuel lines, it'll buy you another inch or so...
I'm thinking about cutting and flaring the input fuel tubes on the engine and just coming off them with a 90dg fitting to get them out of the way. I already got rid of the egr completely and cut and capped the up tube. I still will need to customize the dipstick tube and buy some fore/aft clearance with it as well.
 

ShopSpecialties

Active member
Jun 4, 2008
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Grass Range, Montana
I'm thinking about cutting and flaring the input fuel tubes on the engine and just coming off them with a 90dg fitting to get them out of the way. I already got rid of the egr completely and cut and capped the up tube. I still will need to customize the dipstick tube and buy some fore/aft clearance with it as well.

Have you checked Vulcan Performance for fittings ? They have a wide selection of quick connect fittings that might save you from having to cut/flare the fuel lines. I used some for when I did a little line re-routing and they worked great.
 

LCAC_Man

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Aug 27, 2017
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Have you checked Vulcan Performance for fittings ? They have a wide selection of quick connect fittings that might save you from having to cut/flare the fuel lines. I used some for when I did a little line re-routing and they worked great.
I'll check them out...thanks for the lead!
 

the_engineers

New member
Dec 24, 2016
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Lincoln, NE
Crossmember is pretty close to finished. I'll take the plate for the trans mount to work on Monday and have our machinist slot the holes. Once it's together, I'm planning to have it powdercoated when I have my up- and downpipes ceramic coated.


Also picked up a drive shaft with a carrier bearing. Next task will be to start locating the crossmember for that. Can anyone post a pic of the stock truck carrier bearing mount?
 

LCAC_Man

Member
Aug 27, 2017
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I cut down/mocked up my rear driveshaft today. I used/modified the 2 piece driveshaft and carrier mount from my cutaway van and just cut down the front half (for mock up purposes only).
I'll get it retubed and balanced later.
 

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the_engineers

New member
Dec 24, 2016
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Lincoln, NE
A lot of non-picture progress. Front half of the driveshaft is at the shop getting cut down. Parts ordered for various issues, etc.

Also, my exhaust showed up. Len posted a link to the eBay auction on his thread on another forum. 4" Magnaflow stainless downpipe back for $170, shipped.
 

LCAC_Man

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Aug 27, 2017
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Glad to see that link helped out...it is a killer deal on that system. I'm on travel this weekend and have guest in town for T-Giving so no progress for me for two weeks.
 

LCAC_Man

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Aug 27, 2017
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Looks good...and the more pics the better; the express/savana van community has a lot of catching up to do with Ford E-series when it comes to builds/mods.
 

the_engineers

New member
Dec 24, 2016
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Lincoln, NE
Been working on ideas for the trans cooling. The factory van radiator is limited to 3/8" lines while the Allison gets 1/2" lines. The truck radiator is 7" taller, so that's out.

My idea right now is to come off the Allison with JIC-10 (slightly less than 1/2" ID) and split into 2 JIC-6 (slightly more than 5/16" ID).

One side would follow the traditional radiator to aux cooler path. The other side would run straight to a 2nd aux cooler. I've got a Hayden oil thermostat to keep things in the 170 degree range.



Thoughts?
 

LCAC_Man

Member
Aug 27, 2017
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I think that given the cold winters you get where you are that using the radiator cooler is a good idea, I don't think the thermostat would be necessary though, it's just another part that can fail. I'd try it without the thermostat first and if its a problem when really cold just use a winter cover up front (would probably need it to help keep the coolant up to temp anyways).
I'm not going to use my rad cooler at all, I don't travel where it's that cold and if I did I'd just block the front off a bit if it ever became an issue.
I don't run a radiator cooler in my motorhome either and it's never been an issue.
 

the_engineers

New member
Dec 24, 2016
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Lincoln, NE
Up and down pipes are ceramic-coated and wrapped. Transmission crossmember and carrier bearing brackets are headed to powdercoat on Monday. I ordered my trans coolers on Friday, so I should be able to start working on brackets and lines next week.

 

LCAC_Man

Member
Aug 27, 2017
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I was going to say "perfect time to do the rear main seal" but I remembered you said you were going to pull this apart and do studs/gaskets...just as easy to do it then..
 

racrx7

New member
Oct 20, 2017
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Following both this and Len’s build closely. I also purchased the Magnaflow exhaust from epay . Will be installing that this weekend. Did the late model LML drivers side exhaust manifold, Magnaflow down pipe, and Rudy’s performance HD up pipes today.