Chevy 1988-1999 4x4 with IFS

Posted by Diesel Conversion on Oct 15th 2020

Fitment of the Cummins engine is tight but results in a great conversion because you get to keep your IFS. 

  • Keep IFS ride quality
  • No Body Lift Required
  • Electric Cooling Fans
  • Water-to-Air Intercooler
  • Keep cruise control
  • Factory instrument cluster works- Gas and Diesel

The space from the firewall to core support is limited.  You may be able to run the mechanical cooling fan but it will require a body or suspension lift and additional fabrication work.


Modern, electronically controlled transmissions are better suited for conversions than the automatics transmissions of yesteryear due to shift control, overdrive, and torque converter lookup.  The electronic controlled transmissions (4L60 & 4L80) do not require replacement valve-body, kick-down linkages, etc. it simply plug & play.  A throttle position sensor is required when using a electronically controlled transmission.  Please click HERE for detail specific information about transmission control modules.


  • Found in 1500 Truck, Yukon, Tahoe, and Suburban
  • Has beneficial overdrive
  • Lock Up torque converter
  • Electronically controlled
  • Up to 4 stored transmission “tunes” for towing, hauling, off-road, burnout, etc.
  • Requires a throttle position sensor


  • Found in 2500, 3500 Truck and Suburban
  • Stronger than 4L60E
  • Lock Up torque converter
  • Electronically controlled
  • Up to 4 stored transmission “tunes” for towing, hauling, offroad, burnout, etc.
  • Requires a throttle position sensor



Manual transmissions standard in this era of truck do not make a good conversion transmission due to lack of overdrive and small clutch options. Now is the time to upgrade.

NV 4500

 GM uses a small 12” clutch (not 13” like Dodge NV4500)

  • 95+ GM NV4500 can swap to a Dodge bellhousing, input shaft, bearing, race & seal. This can now use the OEM Dodge adapter plate.
  • 95 and earlier GM NV4500 have a different bolt pattern on the transmission case. These transmissions won’t accept the Dodge bellhousing.


  • Requires DCS adapter plate and flex plate combination for automatic transmissions
  • OEM quality connection from Cummins engine to GM transmission
  • Uses 2003 Ford 6.0L diesel starter to avoid bellhousing modification
  • Manufactured with 6061 Aircraft Quality Aluminum


  • Uses Dodge Compressor
  • Avoids cutting / notching of the frame to retain A/C
  • Requires A/C line crimping
  • Moves A/C compressor above the water pump inlet
  • Includes brackets to  use GM alternator (can we list type of alternator?)
  • Includes tensioner, 8 rib pulley for alternator, and serpentine belt


  • 3 Piece Manifold
  • Better air flow
  • Resists cracking
  • Keeps factory waste gate- Can use DCS waste gate for lower profile and better fitment


We recommend using the Dakota Digital DSL 1-E to provide the tachometer signal to the instrument cluster.


  • Bolt in replacement
  • Brand new isolator for superior vibration dampening & longevity
  • No body lift


If you have ever done a custom conversion before you are no stranger to the fact there are lots of small details that need to be worked through. Because the way we have done the conversion may differ completely from your build this can be a challenge to provide a detail specific list of each and every part. We’ll do our best to summarize.

Intercooler - We used water-to- air cooler as the space in front of the grill was limited (typically 1988+). This would also include the tubes, clamps, silicone boots, water pump, heat exchanger, and reservoir.

Electric fans - We typically don’t recommend using electric fans but they are a necessity for this build without additional modifications. You may prefer one brand over another. Just remember to measure depth before purchasing.

Exhaust work - A stock Dodge downpipe can provide for a good start. Your local exhaust shop is a fine resource too.

Throttle Cable - Dodge stock throttle cable. We used a 454 gas pedal from an earlier GM truck to pull the cable.

Throttle Position Sensor- We used the Dodge TPS which mounts onto the throttle linkages on the injection pump