Cummins-Swapped 1978 Ford F-250 Crew Cab

Vintage crew cabs seem to be very popular right now, especially Ford. In the last couple of years, they have started to command strong prices with nice examples bringing $40K+. This one is from 1978 and can be found here on eBay with a current bid of $25,000 and the reserve hasn’t been met yet. Located in Nixa, Missouri, the truck is ready for the whole family to have fun with!

While some Ford purists will scoff at the engine choice, it’s hard to beat a 5.9L Cummins. The crew cab body was transplanted onto a 1993 Dodge Ram 1-ton 4×4 chassis. The Cummins Turbo Diesel is backed by a 5-speed manual transmission. Speaking of the transmission, it was rebuilt at the time of the swap along with a new clutch.

Like the outside, the interior has been refreshed. New carpet, dash pad, and window felts are in place. The seller says the seats have been recovered at some point and are in good condition. There’s a photo of the rear seat and it looks just as good as the front. The ad says it will need a radio and the AC doesn’t work, hopefully, they are easy fixes.

The truck has been repainted with an awesome black base coat. Over the top lies a set of one-off reflective vinyl graphics in the classic “free-wheeling” color scheme. New wheels and tires round out the exterior which is a very handsome package. Overall, this seems like a fun ride that could be used as a hot rod hauler, cruiser, or camper. How would you use it?

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  1. Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

    Oh my gosh, anyone out there that follows my posts know that my favorite saying is “put a Cummins in it”, and someone finally listened! I would grow my mullet back out, put on my Members Only jacket, crank up Foreigners greatest hits on my Bluetooth speaker, and drive this baby all day long…….

  2. Howard A Member

    Hope all you “Cummins swap” folks are happy,,BLASPHEMY,,,I say. I’m not a fan of diesel anything in a passenger vehicle, Ford made plenty of stout gas motors, thirsty, but stout, and I feel, the shortcomings of a diesel don’t make a swap like this justified. Diesel, until recently, is more than gas, winter woes, noisy, smelly, gas motors are just more civilized. When introduced, these 4 door pickups had a small following. Who would have thought, this is what America wanted, or more accurately, settled for, in the future.

    • AZVanMan

      I was right there with you, Howard A, UNTIL Dodge dropped the 5.9 Cummins into their old pickup line. Instantly the best pickup motor for hauling and pulling on the market. Torque, good fuel mileage and reliability in one. Definitely a waste if all you do is commute and shop, and millions use their diesels for just that today. Those that push the limits on their trucks know that no gas engine can compare, for the most part.

    • 1-MAC

      Today’s 4 door pickup is a luxury car in half ton version. V-8 rear drive, full frame ,easy to get in and out. What car has that today?

    • geomechs geomechs Member

      Yes, I’m in the same crowd. If I would’ve done any swapping it would have been the engine ONLY. And IF I was to use a Cummins 5.9 it would’ve been a ‘94-early ‘98 with the P7100 injection pump. The VE pump is okay but you’re limited to 180 hp before you turn the insides of the pump into a pile of rubble. Yes I know that there are those who claim 400 hp with a VE. I won’t argue with you; if you’re getting 400 hp, fine. Swapping a frame, especially to this vintage of Ford is something I would’ve have done either as Ford has one of the toughest 3/4 ton 4×4 frames around. But it wasn’t my truck so the owner/vendor has every right to do what he wants. What I see looks well done and someone is bound to be happy with it so let it be…

  3. Stangalang

    Personally I like the 7.3 Ford but won’t knock the Cummins they are both tough as nails and take upgrades easily..this is a nice build and kudos to the guy or guys turning the wrenches (did y’all get that..knock…diesel…lol) beautiful truck

  4. Dusty Stalz

    Technically they didn’t put a Cummins in it, they put a Ford body on a Dodge chassis. The Cummins was already there.

    • DayDreamBeliever Member

      All Dodge underneath.

    • norm bissonnette

      Cummins makes the engine . Dodge makes that cute little ram head for the hood…..

      • Dusty Stalz

        Thanks for clearing that up haha.

    • MBorst

      And everyone knows that Dodge tranny’s SUCK !!! I also have friends that have had a multitude of suspensions wearing out early on. From shocks to lead springs. While my 96f350 still bares The original tuff springs with over 500,000 miles on them all while hauling a gvw of 24-26,000 lbs !

  5. Neal

    I grew up in the 70’s and still drool over that generation of Ford trucks, especially in that color scheme.
    Might like those graphics better over dark brown metallic, but that is beautiful! I wonder how well they have matched up the instrumentation and electronica with the original interior? If I were dropping $ on a rig, this would be a cool one. Although I’d still rather have a Scout Traveler.

  6. Mitchell Member

    Now someone do a Powerstroke-swapped Dodge crew cab pickup

    • AMCFAN

      That would be a waste of a Dodge truck for sure

  7. John

    If you’re going to ask big money for a 42-year old ford,…At least change that
    dirty ass crunched up in-take filter before taking pics…!!!

  8. Maynard Reed Jr

    nice truck but not impressed. my cousin has a extended cab longbed that still on the Ford frame. he built all that brackets to fit the cummins and five speed transmission and transfer from the dodge truck. all the dodge cooling and charge air cooler in behind the factory 76 grill. all the ford gauges work as the they should. and his truck still has factory paint.

  9. Douglas Threlfall Member

    I’m not going to weigh in on the Cummins diesel swap. That up for debate-The PowerStroke/DuraMax/Cummins argument will go on long after we’re all gone. But it’s a really cool body on a junk Dodge chassis. The front ends instantly wears out-everything, ball joints, bushings, steering linkage, sway bar bushings & end links before you’re 1/4 way through your giant payment book. I do really like that body style and kudos for doing that super cool “Free Wheeling” graphics job on a crew cab. Usually they are only seen on the regular cab pick ups and Broncos. Dodges constantly break springs, destroy universal joints and don’t even talk to me about their transmissions… What does Chrysler transmissions and the country of Sweden have in common??? They’re both mostly neutral!!!

  10. Car Jockey

    Hello it’s 2020 not 1975 Diesel’s are more the norm in Passenger trucks than gas especially in 3/4 and 1 tons they are quiet better running and starting and more efficient then gas. Are you talking about a 1984 Ford F250 with a International non turbo Diesel then I would agree fast forward 30 years.

  11. chrlsful

    I agree, put it in the ford. But also w/the allison matched to it.
    This is not a mall crawler but a dolled up hauler (5th wheel in the p/u bed). A period correct Air Sream (31 ft Sovereign T or D) seems about right for the next purchase. THAT’s mah kinda retirement (Alsaka to Baja & around again till perm. park anywhere along that coast). Ahhhh…

  12. Karl

    The International 7.3 that went into Ford’s was a very good engine and I am sure not saying that Cummins isn’t the are likely the BEST diesel engine. As far as the ram pickups go they finally cured all their transmission woes and there were many, I do have to chuckle at how they fixed their problems, they now run GM Allison automatics HHmm guess Dodge fixed their problems!

  13. TimM

    I have a 7.3 liter navastar diesel in both my F-350 daily driver pickup and my F-550 dump truck my 350 has a Banks turbo kit on it and I smoke all the guys in my town with there Cummings 6 cylinder motors!!! I certainly would have put a 7.3 in this if it were mine!! Especially cause I wouldn’t want to drive a Fododge around!!! To each his own!!!


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