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Diesel Conversions Convert gas to diesel, or convert to a 6.2/6.5/Duramax/Cummins/Navistar/Isuzu/Perkins/Detroit/or ... diesel engine. Go here to see completed projects, works in progress, share your conversion or ask the experts.

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  #1  
Old 06-04-2007, 02:09 PM
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Arrow 6.2/6.5 Diesel Conversions - The High Points



6.2/6.5 Diesel Conversions - The High Points

By Jim Bigley

A few key points to remember:
  1. The GM 6.2L and 6.5L diesel engines share the very same bellhousing configuration and bolt pattern with all Chevy and GMC V-8 gasoline engines.
  2. The GM 6.2L and 6.5L diesel engines share the very same motor mount configuration with all Chevy and GMC V-8 gasoline engines.
  3. The GM 6.2L and 6.5L diesel engines are about 200 or so lbs heavier than a gasoline 350 V-8. The bare longblock weighs just over 700 lbs.
  4. The GM 6.2L and 6.5L diesel engines are dimensionally identical, and nearly every bolt-on component on either engine will interchange with the other.
  5. A conversion from gas to diesel will require a hydraulic brake booster, diesel starter, larger diesel radiator, all engine driven accessory brackets, and fan assemblies. Your A/C compressor and power steering pump might work with the correct diesel brackets.
  6. The automatic transmission torque converter should be changed to one rated for diesel operation. The stall rpm of a gas converter will be above the 1700-2000 rpm torque peak of the diesel. We suggest modifying the transmission governor setting to upshift at an rpm below the engine's governed rpm of 3300-3600 (if non-electronic transmission). An overdrive transmission is recommended. Low gearing, no overdrive and higher freeway speeds make the diesel engine hard to live with. Best fuel economy is possible when running the engine at about 1800-2000 rpm at your chosen cruise speed.
For anyone considering a swap, I'd recommend buying a diesel donor vehicle, swap all the parts in both directions, then sell the donor. This will result in the best and least expensive conversion. Buying all the diesel-related components usually puts the cost out of reach for most people. Older diesel trucks and Suburbans with body or other cosmetic problems are usually pretty affordable. TDP

Copyright 2007 by The Diesel Page
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Old 02-04-2008, 06:37 AM
mmusmanno mmusmanno is offline
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would a diesel van make an ok donor for an 83 k10 gas to diesel swap, or should it really be a truck or suburban? if the van is cheap enough, I can still buy some of the diesel parts new and still make the project reasonable. thoughts? thanks.
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Old 07-10-2008, 12:16 PM
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anything new to add ??
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Old 07-25-2008, 03:29 PM
stuntdoublejoe stuntdoublejoe is offline
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I have a towing special suburban I am going to swap a diesel into. My question is can I use the stock radiator? I know the diesel needs a better one then gas but the towing special has a better radiator for bigger loads. Would this work for the diesel or would it still not be enough.
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Old 07-25-2008, 03:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stuntdoublejoe View Post
I have a towing special suburban I am going to swap a diesel into. My question is can I use the stock radiator? I know the diesel needs a better one then gas but the towing special has a better radiator for bigger loads. Would this work for the diesel or would it still not be enough.
if it was mine i'd try it,,,but know where to get a upgrade if it didn't cut it
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Old 07-28-2008, 08:58 PM
stuntdoublejoe stuntdoublejoe is offline
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What problems would I come across using the turbo 400. I don't go on the highway much so not having an overdrive isn't much of a problem, and I've heard it runs on a vacuum and if thats true how much would a vacuum pump cost? Also how would I go about changing the governor for the diesel
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Old 07-28-2008, 10:14 PM
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The van diesel engine and various other components would work for a pickup or Suburban installation. There may be a couple minor items that'll need to be changed, but overall, most accessory items would work fine. For example the oil dipstick, oil fill pipe, throttle & cruise cables are different between the two applications.

The gas big-block equipped Suburbans and trucks received the same larger radiator as the diesel - at least they were the same physical size, so I'd try it. If the Suburban was equipped with a 350 gas, it'll need another radiator.

A non-OD automatic worked just fine back in the days of the 55-mph speed limits - the first 9 years of my GM diesel experience was during the days of 55.... Nowadays, you just can't comfortably run at freeway speeds without an OD. Plus, when I upgraded to an OD automatic, I saw an immediate 6-mpg increase.

GM produced vacuum pumps and a VRV (Vacuum Regulator Valve), that was bolted to the side of the fuel injection pump, to simulate manifold vacuum on a gas engine. The VRV allowed a TH400 (or TH350) to function and shift normally behind a 6.2 diesel.

Jim
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Old 07-29-2008, 10:11 PM
stuntdoublejoe stuntdoublejoe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by More Power View Post
GM produced vacuum pumps and a VRV (Vacuum Regulator Valve), that was bolted to the side of the fuel injection pump, to simulate manifold vacuum on a gas engine. The VRV allowed a TH400 (or TH350) to function and shift normally behind a 6.2 diesel.

Jim
How much would a vacuum pump and VRV cost me? I can get a 700r4 or a 4L80 for about $500. Would this be a better option because I am on a very tight budget and already have the engine and brake booster.
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Old 07-30-2008, 12:43 AM
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The 700R4 can be built to shift without electric/electronic control - that's what I did for my 6.2L diesel. Still, the 700 would require a throttle-valve (TV) cable and bracket. A 4L80-E would require a TCM, harness, engine speed sensor and TPS (figure about $1k beyond the cost of the trans).

If on a tight budget, and if you wanted to use a TH400, you could post an ad in the classified ad section for a VRV/vac pump. Buying used would be less expensive than new.

Jim
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Old 07-30-2008, 06:00 AM
convert2diesel convert2diesel is offline
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Jim:

What method did you use for locking up the 700? When I was building the Buick, the only thing that was available would only give me lock up in fourth. As I tow with the car, it is important that I have lock up in third. Currently use a switch on the dash that does work but would love to find a way to do it without having to remember to work the switch.

Bill
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91 Buick Roadmaster/Avant 6.2 NA conversion (gone but not forgotten)
89 GMC 2500 6.2 NA (now just an engine on the bench
94 Cadillac Fleetwood (new diesel victim)
08 Aerolight 23TT
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