Archive for March, 2012

Now that the 3rd segment of Kustom Truck converts a 1988 Pete 379 to meet the California Air Resources Board compliance through the year 2023 is complete, let’s show what was done.  In the 3rd part we dedicated it solely to the Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) integration into the chassis since this is such a major part of the project.  Not taking anything away from the engine conversion cause that was a huge hurdle to overcome in itself.  To complete the engine swap to include plumbing and wiring took roughly a weeks worth of labor, no small task.  The most labor intensive was obviously the wiring since the chassis came with a mechanical engine and had to be converted to accept an electronic motor that the cab was able to communicate with for all the necessary engine monitoring functions.  With that said it’s time to detail how the DPF was installed and take you through the process.

First things first a mounting location had to be chosen to house the DPF.  Where to put the large filter assembly that’s roughly 45″ in length? The passenger side step box …

We chose to custom build a step box that would be located on the passenger side of the cab, just below the door and replace the existing factory box.  The inlet comes in the front side of box through 7″ hole

The back side of the new step box was left open so we have easy access to the DPF filter as well as heat transfer and to provide an easy outlet so we can tie back into the factory exhaust system.

Once Kustom Truck bolted the step box back into the existing location of the old box it was time for a mock up of the DPF to make certain fitment and dimensions were adequate with no clearance issues

Now that the custom step box along with the DPF filter are in place it’s time to get to work on plumbing and piping to get the exhaust from the engine and out the exhaust pipes.  The turbo down pipe was first, the pipe runs down the inside of the frame rail and exits just behind the rear leaf spring hanger.

After some carefully placed bends the pipe was ready to be welded up and attached to the inlet of the DPF filter located inside the step box.

The DPF is bolted into place, the plumbing is complete, all exhaust has been custom bent and hooked up

Here is a shot from under the cab so you can see the DPF mounted in the box from the backside.

There was some custom pipe bending that had to take place in order for the DPF outlet to hook up to the factory Y-Pipe in order to make the exhaust fully functional

And finally a few shots of how the project looked once the lid was installed back on the step box.

Only one more phase of the project is left, Part 4.  In the final stage Kustom Truck will show you the conversion as a completed project, only a few loose ends still need to be tied up before we start the truck and take it on the test drive.

Now that is how a DPF should look! Stay tuned Part 4 will come early next week ….

Since 2003 as a result of the unreliability of the current production Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) engines in feed mixer trucks, many of the feedlots and dairymen have gone to tractor pull-behind mixer bodies instead of truck mounted mixer bodies.  Kustom Truck solved that uncertainty by offering a feed mixer truck up-fitted with pre 2002 EPA Cummins or Caterpillar engines, which do not require DPF or SCR.  The end product is a feed mixer truck with proven reliability and performance.

A customer recently contacted Kustom Truck with an inquiry to build a current production feed mixer truck with a pre-02 emission engine.  The customer selected a 2012 Western Star 4800 series rolling glider kit truck with a 20M FA, 52M RA, 52M Hendrickson HN suspension, and a 3/8 steel double steel frame.  They also decided on the CAT C-12, 430HP 99 EPA certified CAT engine, and a fuller 9LL transmission all interfaced into the chassis with new parts.  Was it possible, could Kustom Truck complete the project and have a chassis that met or exceeded factory level quality, offer comparable OEM warranties, while providing superior performance and reliability to a new factory production unit?  Follow along as we complete the project.

The 2012 Western Star rolling glider chassis has just been delivered ..

First things first, the hood and cooling package need to be removed so we can get to work.  The radiator has been sent out to be re-cored to a 8 fin per inch feedlot style core that will be easier to clean and trap less debris as a result of the environment the truck will operate in.

All glider kit trucks come with what is referred to as a Kit Box, in the kit box contains the miscellaneous parts that are supposed to be what’s needed to finish the build (minus the drive train components) … Key word here is supposed to be

A 2000 EPA CAT C-12 factory reman was the engine of choice for this build.  The engine is rated at 435 HP @ 1650 torque rating and since it’s a factory reman, it’s backed with a 2 year unlimited hours, parts, labor and towing CAT registered warranty serial number specific in the purchaser’s name.  The warranty is valid through any authorized CAT dealer in North America.

The CAT C-12 on the floor of the shop that has been up-fitted with the peripherals (starter, alternator, fan hub, ac compressor, ect) prior to be bolted in the chassis.  The RTO-16909ALL transmission has also been bolted to the back of the engine along with a new 1650 lb clutch.

The fan that you see mounted is a Flexxair Variable Pitch, in the dairy environment with radiator clogging such an issue the customer opted for a self cleaning fan that automatically reverses the blade pitch to purge the cooling system.

In the final phase of the 2012 Glider Kit Truck build we will show the engine bolted in the chassis, drive lines installed, the engine compartment plumbed, all piping installed and a finished product.  Stay tuned for Part 2 ….

Time for the second installment of Kustom Truck converts an 88′ Pete 379 to meet CARB compliance through 2023 to run in the state of California.  In Part 1 we detailed how the truck showed up with a mechanical B model CAT engine and the tear down process.  Now it’s time to show the freshly painted Cummins ISX installed in the chassis as well as the Kustom Electronic Engine Control Harness being installed so the engine can communicate with the cab to allow electronic control of the engine instead of mechanical “rods and switching functions”.

The Cummins ISX after the first coat of paint prior to being up fitted with any peripherals

Once paint was completed it’s time to up-fit the engine with the associated peripherals, alternator, starter, ac pump, fan hub, filters, elbows, engine control harness, ect …

The transmission is ready to be installed on the back of the engine now that it’s been plumbed and yoke installed

The Cummins ISX has now been bolted in the chassis and the fun begins.  All the plumbing and electronic interface into a chassis that was originally set up for a mechanical engine will take place

The wiring in the dash needed to be cleaned up prior to the new Kustom Electronic Engine Control Harness being installed.  This particular dash took a little more work than usual since the existing wiring was in such poor condition.

In order for the engine and cab to communicate electronically rather than mechanically with levers and rods a new engine control harness was required, the addition of the Kustom Electronic Engine Control Harness was installed in order to facilitate communication.

A new set of dash panels were used on the job since the old panels were in such poor condition.  The Speedometer and Tachometer were replaced with electronic gauges so the engine could be monitored properly.

As a Kustom option the customer (Galindo Construction) opted to have the Kustom Water Manifold installed which is mounted to the frame on the passenger side.

In order to handle the increased heat rejection that the new Cummins ISX puts out a new cooling package had to be installed.  The radiator was increased from a 3 row to a 5 row core, as well as a new Charge Air Cooler and AC Condenser.  The new package increased the cooling capacity by about 40%

Now that the radiator, charge air cooler and a/c condenser has been placed in the chassis the rest of the engine plumbing will start coming together quickly.

Part 3 will be completed soon, stay tuned in for the next installment of Converting an 88′ Pete 379 to meet CARB Compliance through 2023 ….

Galindo Construction based out of Walnut Grove, California came to Kustom Truck with a dilemma.  The California Air Resources Board (CARB) recently passed regulations making pre 07′ EPA engines non compliant to run in the state of California.  Since Galindo Construction had a 88′ Peterbilt 379 they either replace the truck (which was in great mechanical working condition) or find a way to upgrade to meet current CARB compliance.  One phone call to Kustom Truck and the problem was solved; upgrade the engine to meet current CARB requirements, better yet meet CARB requirements through 2023.

The 88′ Peterbilt 379 Extended hood came to us with a 3406B model CAT Engine that met CARB compliance through January of 2012.  Behind the CAT engine sat a Fuller RTO-14613 transmission.  Galindo Construction opted for a 07′ platform Cummins ISX with a DPF Filter system rated at 475 HP @ 1650 Torque that would meet CARB compliance though 2023.  Since the old transmission was no longer within torque spec there was also a transmission upgrade in store for the old Pete, a Fuller RTLO-18918B would do the trick.

The Galindo job shows up with the 3406B model CAT engine that was no longer compliant in the state of California … time for an upgrade!

First up is to get the cooling package removed, disconnect all the hoses and lines, drain the necessary fluids and get the engine ready to be pulled

Time to get that old iron outta there and get the engine compartment cleaned up …. Notice the passenger side step box, this is where the KPI DPF interface will be installed in Part 3

Now that the engine compartment has been cleaned up, time for the project to start gong back together

The customer wanted the engine to match the paint code of the red on his truck … so the Cummins ISX was stripped to get ready for a repaint

Stay Tune for Part 2 where we will be installing the 07′ EPA Cummins ISX

Kustom Truck Offers Alternative to a Current Production Factory Truck When Considering Purchase of a New Feed Mixer Truck.

Kustom Truck is the premier feed mixer truck builder specializing in current production rolling glider chassis from Peterbilt, Western Star, and Freightliner, up-fit with pre 2002 EPA engines and choice of either automated or manual transmissions interfaced into the chassis with all new parts. The engine and transmission are factory OEM remanufactured and carry registered warranties through any authorized dealer in North America and Canada.

Since 2003, as a result of the unreliability of the current production engines in a feed mixer truck, many of the feedlots and dairyman have gone to tractor pull-behind mixers bodies instead of truck mount mixer bodies. Kustom Truck has solved this uncertainty by offering feed mixer truck up-fitted with pre 2002 EPA Cummins and Caterpillar engines, which do not require DPF or SCR. A pre 2002 engine has significantly reduced heat rejection requirements when compared to current production engines, which once again offers the end user a chassis with proven reliability and performance that used to be available in a truck mounted feed mixer truck application.

Kustom Truck has a long term established working relationship with most of the feed body manufacturers in North America (Supreme International, Roto-Mix, Lowen Welding, ect) and is capable of helping the customer provide a chassis that meets the unique requirements of the feed body manufacturers. With over 15 years of experience in building and up-fitting glider kits, Kustom Truck has developed significant knowledge to help the customer provide a truck that is spec’d properly and built for the application to insure a smooth install once the chassis is delivered to the feed body manufacturer for installation.

A typical base model feed mixer truck would include a 108 to 114 inch BBC cab, a 20K front axle, a double steel frame with FREPTO provision, 46K rear axle (7:17 ratio) on a vocational heavy duty spring suspension, a ISM Cummins 400 HP engine and a Fuller RTO-14708LL transmission. These options can be upgraded to a Caterpillar C-12 435 HP engine, an Allison HD-4560 RDS transmission, heavier rear differentials and suspension, RETPO provisions, auxiliary transmission, feed lot core radiator, and a reversing fan.

All warranties are registered serial number specific with the appropriate OEM (Freightliner, Western Star, Peterbilt, Cummins, Fuller, Caterpillar, Allison, etc.) in the purchasers name valid through any authorized dealer in North America.

Kustom Truck Inc. is a ISO 9001:2008 certified company, and considered an industry leader in up-fitting and building glider kits. Kustom Truck Inc has over 15 years of experience to rely on for knowledge, expertise, and efficiency when it comes to building a quality product that exceeds the quality and workmanship of a factory truck. To insure that you are sourcing one of the most reliable feed mixer truck available in the market place, take a look at the Kustom Truck option for your next feed mixer truck chassis. For more information visit or call 888.564.8890.

Kustom Harness Products has introduced a full line of electronic interface wire harness products for Caterpillar®, Cummins®, Detroit®, Eaton Fuller®, and Allison® that make a HD truck engine conversion or transmission swaps and installations a reality.

Kustom Harness Products builds custom engine monitoring station and dash assemblies to provide complete control and monitoring of one or more engines. This type of design is well suited for portable power generation stations, pump stations, oil field equipment and other applications that require start up and monitoring of the engines from a common remote location. The dash panels provide for the installation of gauges, controls, switches, lighting and other engine monitoring and control functions. All design options include harnessing, sensors, gauges, lighting and switches pre-wired and built to customer specifications for true plug and play installation.

“We purchased a complete dash panel and 3406E Caterpillar electronic engine including the wire harness interface for a late 1960’s B70 Euclid haul truck that came from the factory OEM with a mechanical 12v71 Detroit. The engine and dash panel hookup was 100% drop in plug and play as advertised,” said Andy Wolfe of SKW, a division of ASRC Construction Holding Co. based out of Alaska. Mr. Wolfe continued, “This project would have taken our shop weeks of labor without the dash panel and wire harness from Kustom™ Harness Products, they make the installation process so easy we just recently completed our 7th conversion using their Kustom™ Harness Products package”

Kustom Harness Products offers a complete installation kit for 1994-2010 CAT, Cummins or Detroit electronic engines and Gen 3 and Gen 4 Allison & Fuller automated transmissions. All installation conversion kits include an engine or transmission harness, cab harness, all required sensors, indicator lights, switches, feature labels, detailed installation diagram, and tech support line for guidance during installation. All of the Kustom™ Harness Products harness packages are built to the OEM’s recommendations for electronic engine control and transmission control. The benefit to this design is that all future diagnostics and troubleshooting is supported by the engine or transmission OEM’s service and support literature.
Some engine family swaps are similar in control and when applicable Kustom™ Harness Products offers harness modifications or adapters. Modifications and adapter conversions need to be evaluated on a case by case basis, but are both cost effective and require minimal labor to install.

Kustom Products Inc. is an ISO 9001:2008 certified company that specializes in the design, engineering and manufacturing of OEM quality engine and transmission conversion/installation packages for Caterpillar®, Cummins®, Detroit Diesel® and Allison®. Kustom Harness Products also specializes in the design and manufacturing of complex multi-engine control and harness packages that offer central control of automated engines and transmissions from a central or consolidated engine monitoring station or control panel. Kustom™ Harness Products offers a solution for all electronic interfaces, whether you are performing a simple OEM level repower solution to meet EPA emission requirements, have a desire for an engine or transmission upgrade or conversion, or a complex OEM level complete plug and play harness and engine monitoring package. Kustom™ Harness Products can simplify the installation process with the best quality products available in the market. For more information visit or call 888.564.8890.

Kustom Harness Products is a division of Kustom Products Inc

Kustom™ Truck, Inc. is the first and only company to provide complete drive train and interface parts packages specifically for glider kit assemblies. There is more to building a truck than simply ordering the chassis from your dealer and sourcing an engine/trans combination. Kustom™ Truck has over 200 glider truck builds and 15 years experience to rely on for expertise to fill the holes the OEM left out.

Kustom™ Truck announces the release of drive train packages specific for glider truck chassis complete with the interface components that are not included with your purchase from the factory. The knowledge that has been gained by Kustom™ Truck in the past 15 years of building over 200 glider trucks has provided the foundation to develop a program for the do-it-yourselfer looking to build a glider truck. Kustom™ Truck can answer the questions regarding compatibility of the drive train and the desired chassis.

Currently there are only two OEM’s that build a glider truck, Peterbilt and Daimler Trucks North America. Depending on which chassis is chosen, the list of parts needed to complete the build can vary greatly. For example, starting with the engine a few common items not supplied are the starter, alternator, belt tensioner, idlers and fan hub as well as the associated bracketry. Depending on the OEM the transmission kit may be missing the shift lever components, the clutch linkage kit or the vehicle speed sensor at the back of the transmission. There is also no main driveline, carrier bearing or u-Joints supplied, not to mention the lack of batteries and cables. A Glider truck is far from complete regardless of the OEM that’s chosen, beside the obvious engine and transmission that will need to be supplied, there is an entire list of up-fit components that need to be sourced as well. Kustom™ Trucks innovative new drive train packages address the items mentioned above as well the other various items NOT supplied with the kit.

The Kustom™ Truck packages include factory re-man engines and transmissions from Caterpillar, Cummins, Detroit, Fuller, and Allison. All of the components offered in the Kustom™ Truck packages are supported through and warranties registered with the existing OEM dealer network of the engine and transmission manufactures. Once the customer receives the package from Kustom™ Truck, the engine and transmission are ready to drop into the chassis and the interface parts make for a true plug and play installation. Assembling a glider truck has never been easier. The Kustom™ Truck drive train packages are the latest innovation in the glider kit market.

Kustom Truck Inc,  an ISO 9001:2008 certified company, is the industry leader in up-fitting and building glider kits. Kustom™ Truck has over 15 years of experience and over 200 glider truck built to draw on for knowledge, expertise, and efficiency when it comes to building a quality product that exceeds the quality and workmanship of a factory truck. Kustom™ Truck can offer the best quality OEM re-man components, the correct interface & trim out parts and knowledgeable tech support available in the market today. For more information visit or call 888.564.8890