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Diesel Scout upgrade

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  • Diesel Scout upgrade

    I'm replacing the 3.3L Nissan diesel in my 1980 Scout II.

    I'm keeping the T-19 transmission and Dana 300 t-case (probably keeping the 3.54 gears), running on 33" tires.

    between my two scouts, I've blown 5 of these engines (various reasons, from bolts falling off a connecting rod in one case to blowing a hole through the side of the block in another), so I decided to think hard before putting another engine of the same type in the truck. I finally decided to go with the R2.8

    compared to the Nissan's 101HP (when new, almost 40 years ago), the R2.8 should be an incredible improvement. I just want to have it live for a while.

  • #2
    Welcome!! I look forward to hearing more from you. I Have used your site and information plenty with the sd33t.


    • #3
      I was in the same boat with an SD33, but I made the switch to Cummins power in my Scout before the R2.8 was available. Our Cummins Scout is done. We love it, Now we are Building an R2.8 Commando.

      Your Diesel Scout uses an SAE #4 flywheel housing. So, at least that is standardized. The Scout has a really unique mechanical clutch mechanism. I considered keeping that as you plan to do, but I'm happy I didn't. We used an NV4500 with a Jeep Dana30 behind. It wasn't hard at all to convert to a hydraulic clutch. I'm also glad we converted to hydroboost brakes.

      We offset our new engine to the driver side, so there would be enough room to pass the exhaust between the transfercase and the frame rail. Your exhaust currently exists on the driver side.


      • #4
        I converted this truck to hydroboost several years ago (my scout traveler is still vacuum boost, but I wrecked one of my blazers, so I'll pull the hydroboost off of that before I scrap it)

        so far it looks like there's lots of room for the exhaust, and it looks like it would be reasonable to turn it over to the drivers side (going under the back of the engine) if needed.

        I've drafted up the adapter I think I need in onshape (free registration)

        it looks like 3" flange to flange. The only hard part is sourcing a steel tube 14.5" OD, 1/4" wall.

        I've been playing with different transmission combos for years (that's why I built the performance calculator at ) and it doesn't seem like it would be worth the several thousand dollars to switch the transmission and t-case. Yes it gives me an overdrive, but with 3.54 gears I'm not sure how much I would be able to use it.

        It seems that something like that would be worth looking at as part of a project to change my axle gears, install lockers, etc. That will probably be a $5-7K project.
        R2.8 to Scout T-19 bell housing adapter


        • #5
          I think it was your performance calculator that influenced my decision to ditch the Nissan motor. That, and my experience with hard starts, no power, and lots of blue smoke. Cummins torque is the only way to go. Our Scout is still running 4.10 gears. The 4bt won't run as many RPMs as the 2.8, so overdrive was mandatory for us. I do miss how smooth that T-19 clicked into gear.


          • #6
            re: T-19 shifting, I had my clutch linkage fall apart on one trip and didn't bother to fix it for about 6 months (starting in 1st, stopping the engine as traffic stopped, and double-clutching for shifts) :-)


            • #7
              Any progress?


              • #8
                nothing yet. I'm still trying to find someone to make the bellhousing adapter and haven't gotten any info from cummins aboutthe accessory bracket.

                I want to set it up with a more powerful alternator (and/or engine driven generator), a york AC compressor setup as an on-board air compressor, and a sandean AC compressor for the AC.
                The good news is that I have about a foot between where the stock radiator sits and the front of the engine, so lots of room to fit things.


                • #9
                  Phoenix Casting & Machine in Juniata, Nebraska makes rings to convert between SAE patterns. They also do some custom casting. Also, Chad McKinney has been making a lot of different Cummins bellhousings.

                  Axis Industries sells a 200 amp alternator for the R2.8.


                  • #10
                    I believe the 200 amp alternator is a OE part number but I’ll have to search around for it


                    • #11
                      I called Phoenix casting and spoke with Bill, he understands what I'm trying to do and should be getting me a price in a couple days. I was impressed by his understanding and discussion on what could be done.