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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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Old 12-13-2014, 10:30 PM
biker_mechanic biker_mechanic is offline
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Virginia
Posts: 1
Default school me on DD 2 stroke conversions

just weighing in on my options, I am a novice on diesel engines, always wanted to mess with them, but never really have done much, did a little work in the 80's on the olds 350 diesel & gas conversion, & a few things for friends, as well as a friend rig, who is a truck driver, just basic stuff. or welding when he broke stuff.

anyway I have a 1980 GMC 1 ton dually I used to drive, but engine messed up a few years ago, and I parked it, & now I have decided to pull it out of retirement & looking at my options, the truck has a 350 in it, however it left a trail of smoke where ever it went from rings being worn out, being reason I parked it. it has a granny gear 4 speed & I forget the rear gear around 4:1 the body is decent, & bed looks like from a 1950s wrecker, quite heavy duty.

I have a line on a couple small blocks, & a 454 big block, but 1 friend made comment why not convert it to diesel & I started looking at the net & have seen so many videos, & I love the sound of the DD 2 strokes, thats why I am here trying to learn & see if this is right for me, or do I just stay with gas. better fuel mileage would be a definate plus. the 350 got 10 to 12 mpg, thats it 10 loaded, & 12 empty.

mainly truck will be used to haul either firewood, gravel, or a car trailer as needed, but I may overload it with gravel, lol. I did when I was using it with gas, 2 to 2 1/2 tons, but it does have alot of extra springs in the rear, I only haul gravel to use on my driveway, my driveway is 1/4 mile & I havent put any on it since I took this off the road, & its past due, lol.

I did some trading last year & picked up an old 1985 Freightliner, I traded a junk but running sportster with cracked engine case even for, it has a 350 cummins & 13 speed fuller, truck was in sad shape, but ran, I was planning to scrap the rig out to make a little extra cash, but was also thinking if the tranny would work that would be cool, the bike wasnt worth much in such sad shape. maybe $1,000 to $1,500 max, & figured the rig would make me more money except for time to strip it/

I dont have any knowledge if that tranny would work? or be suitable? or stay with the 4 speed? or? if I remember correctly some of the old GMC V6 of the 1960s had adapters from the round belhousing to adapt to modern style tranny? mid 60's when fitted to automatics?

from what I have seen & read in last couple days, I think I may be interested in the 4-53T unless there is another good candidate. my biggest problem is cash flow, or lack of, no idea where to find one for sale either whether a runner, or something to rebuild, & with a quality repair manual I can rebuild anything if I have the right tools to use, unless it doesnt take special tools? I have a huge selection of mechanic tools to work on most cars trucks & Harleys from the 40's to 90's no modern computer diagnostic stuff though

I am no novice to building engines, but never a diesel, I have built thousands of gas engines over the last 30 years, I can do fabrication work, plus any welding to make it fit, just not sure what I may be getting myself into, I do not mind loud engines as I have rode loud Harleys nearly 30 years, traveled alot of the USA with, & even though my current Harley has mufflers, its still quite loud!
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Old 02-07-2016, 04:50 PM
Liftgate Liftgate is offline
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: So. Cal. USA
Posts: 96
Default 4-53 detroit

HI. Name is Greg and I just read your post about detroit diesel engines. Years ago I built a 4-53 engine and had never done that before. I bought a service manual and read and reread it. I got a torn apart engine from a guy in utah and bought parts for it and put it together. I made some mistakes and learned from them. YOu can too. There are some special tools you need but not many. An injector adjusting tool is one. Check your computer for engines. There is a guy on another website named Grigg and he is on the 4bt swaps website. He is the go-to guy for info on detroit diesel stuff. Leids detroit diesel in New York(I think) is also a good source. Grigg is in Virginia so he could be close to you. You can do it.
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