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Markheliops' Ward La France diesel conversion


TooTallMike

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Markheliops has finally seen sense and is letting us fit a diesel into his WLF to replace the nasty little pertol lump they came with. For this conversion we are opting to install a 210HP Cummins 6BT which is a 5.9l turbo intercooled lump. Tony NOS found us a suitable engine still fitted in an 18 tonne ERF truck in a yard near him and we went up there to remove it and acquire as the necessary ancillaries at the same time. We were amazed to find that the truck we were cutting up was a 51 plate which had been condemned due to its having a rotten cab! Having seen the engine fire up first turn without a puff of smoke, we set to with the gas axe. Within half an hour the engine was in the trailer. We also collected the radiator/intercooler pack, a stainless silencer and some mild steel exhaust pipe, all the fuel piping back to the tank, an SAE3 manual flywheel and all sorts of other useful bits and pieces. We had already obtained an SAE3 flywheel housing elsewhere.

Quality loading t.jpg

Choosing compone

Engine prior to

And then it was g.jpg

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Once home the engine was striped of all the unnecessary bits like air stop control, air throttle, heater hoses (who needs those eh Mark?), electric oil pressure and temperature senders, remote oil filler, SAE2 flywheel and flywheel housing, 24V starter and alternator, and power steering pump.

 

Then it was steam cleaned to bring it back to lovely Cummins yellow after which the sump was reversed (including extending the pick-up pipe), SAE3 flywheel housing and flywheel were fitted, rear engine mounts modified and fitted, 12V starter and aternator fitted incl. custom alternator bracket, various blanking plates and plugs added. Then it was steam cleaned again and is now awaiting the clutch assy, fuel and oil filters, pilot bearing (ChrisG - I'll be in touch...) and of course one of my NOS gearboxes. We started to strip the spare transfer box today but the two 57mm drive flange nuts defeated us and will have to be undone with a big buzz gun elsewehere.

Ready to install .jpg

Ready to install .jpg

Ready to install .jpg

Ready to install .jpg

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Tony - it had done 300,000kms which in truck terms is no problem as fleet motors are usually regularly maintained. The oil was clean and as I say no smoke from cold is always a good sign. These Cummins are direct injection so you can tell a lot about condition just by how one starts from cold. This was good and had a nice crisp note. There is next to no play in the turbo. I forgot to say the engine was built in 1999.

 

Chris - I couldn't possibly comment...

 

Mark - thanks - I'm changing the stress/life balance and hoping to have a bit more time to report here on our engineering exploits.

 

- Mike

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Ah - perhaps you do get what you pay for!

 

To get the most benefit of the engine's high H.P. rating requires charge air cooling. Normally the air core would be in front of the water core in a truck installation (?). But in order to keep the truck's original looks we were playing with the idea of using the original WLF radiator as the air-to-air core, with a high efficiency slim-line water radiatoir hidden behind. Only drawback being extra £££!

 

What does the ERF radiator pack look like? Can you use any of it?

 

 

Another idea was to modify the radiator top/bottom tanks to allow say 20% of the core for air and 80% for water. But how would a conventional water core compare to a (presumably higher efficiency) air to air core when used in this way?

 

Of course the engine may well give a good enough output without air cooling and without smoking too much through overfuelling. But can anyone think of any other :banana: ways to cool the charge air without spoiling the front end looks?

 

That's the mechanics well on the way to being sorted Mark - great move, and I guess a practical necessity if you are going to road her hard. How about letting Boyd Coddington have a go at that M1A1 styling next? But of course that would be the M1 series 1 - 4, wouldn't it? :cool2:

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Thinking about this idea more, I've no idea what air pressures are involved - the charge air must be highly compressed by the turbocharger (maybe 20 - 30 psi?), perhaps higher than a conventional water matrix could withstand (typically work at 12 - 15 psi?). So these ideas may be a non-starter?

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hi mike,

i thought mark ran his petrol lump on reclaimed petrol like i do, cant see the logic of putting in a diesel and having to pay for fuel when the reclaimed petrol is free (well mine is) :-D

 

i see mark is not posting on here :laugh:......yet

 

regards

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Oh bother - I understand from TTM the problem of installing an intercooler is more one for the older style trucks (pic is of series 4) where the radiator sits very snugly within the contoured radiator cowl at the front end of the bonnet. Mark's truck, an M1A1, uses a rectangular radiator which sits 'under' the front of the bonnet - so they've got it a bit easier......

 

Hopefully all other aspects of the conversion should apply to both models (at least I'm banking on it!).

M6,WLF 008..jpg

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This looks like it's going to be a very interesting installation Mike, fitting a Cummins :thumbsup: is probably the single most effective thing that can be done to any petrol military wrecker (that is not in a museum, or Daisy) in order to maximise enjoyment and maintain the grin factor :-D

 

Good choice Mark

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fitting a Cummins :thumbsup: is probably the single most effective thing that can be done to any petrol military wrecker

 

if someone asked you that a few years ago,.......they would have got chapter and verse of how wonderful a petrol lump is :-D......how times change eh bernie

 

regards

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Chris - do you remember those transfer box bearings you found me once before? We now need another two sets along with various seals etc.! I'll be in touch very soon...

- MG

 

Bother ( or some other expression) only threw the list away last month But I know what some were

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Thanks for the votes of confidence from everyone. We'd better make a good job of this then!

Tony has touched on the technical aspects of installing the intercooler: we removed the complete radiator/intercooler assembly from the ERF and were pleasantly surprised to discover that it is only 10mm wider than the existing WLF radiator surround. We are sure a little judicious modification of one or the other will allow it to fit. We'll get the engine in the hole first and then it'll have to fit one way or the other. I'm going to meet Mark at his yard tomorrow evening after work to do some measuring and discuss the plan of attack.

- MG

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How about mounting the intercooler horizontally above the engine? Subject to space of course. My Cummins has lots of clearance between rocker cover and bonnet.

Not commonly seen, in fact the only vehicle I can think of with that arrangement is the Mitsubishi Shogun / L200. A horizontal intercooler is more efficient than vertical when standing or only moving slowly.

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