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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 05-07-2008, 08:19 PM
btmurph btmurph is offline
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 18
Default 6.5L in a 1970 Chevy C-10

Hi all, I'm converting my 1970 Chevy C-10 pickup from a 350 to a 6.5L.

The "before" shot

First a little history:

My grandfather and my 2 great uncles owned a construction company. In 1970 each brother got a new truck. The company ordered the trucks from Chevrolet and payed for the truck and things like a heavy duty suspension and a heavy duty radiator and power steering. My grandpa payed a little extra for the overstuffed bench seat.
Fast forward to today. The truck currently has 309K miles on the odometer (actually it reads 09K, anybody want to buy a 1970 with only 9,000 miles? ) and I've put about 120K of those miles on it! The cab shows it's age for sure:

Yes, that's a bbq meat air freshener hanging from the rear view mirror (don't ask). About 3 months ago the 350 went south and with the way fuel prices have been going I wanted to convert to diesel with the eventual aim of running straight veggie oil. For now I'll be running biodiesel as my friend and I can buy it in bulk for roughly $3.50 a gallon delivered to his or my warehouse space (#2 is about $4.60 a gallon here currently in the SF Bay Area).

This will be an ongoing thread until I'm "finished."
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Old 05-07-2008, 08:30 PM
btmurph btmurph is offline
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 18
Default more "before"

A few more "before" shots:

The "old" 350

So the lesson here folks is DON"T BUY ENGINES FROM KRAGEN!!! I had problems with this motor after about 10K miles and after 60K I'm getting rid of it.

This time the problem was in the heads which I can't blame on Kragen, I guess, as they were Edelbrock Performer RPM's:

What killed the motor this time and for all time!

I guess pieces of valve banging around is bad.
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Old 05-07-2008, 08:52 PM
btmurph btmurph is offline
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 18
Default Conversion begins!

So first off I pulled off the front clip and disconnected everything from the old motor. A sawzall was handy for the old exhaust!

Next, the old motor comes out... did you disconnect the driveshaft?

By the way, I don't care what people say, I think those "coolant drain ports" in the block are there to make hex keys round! (ask me why I think this!)

The old motor out! I don't know if you can see this, but the front motor mounts were probably the originals! (Okay, probably not, but they REALLY looked like it. I could kill the "mechanic" who put this motor in!)

As this setup has a 3 on the tree tranny (converted to floor shift by me) I dumped the driveshaft along with the motor. The tranny will be replaced by an SM420 and I might be installing a divorced Rockwell 221 t-case when things go back in (if there's enough $$$), but that's another thread.

40 year-old dirt and grease, YUM! Luckily I have a pressure washer and a few different cleaning agents!

And now the new stuff can begin!
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Old 05-07-2008, 09:20 PM
btmurph btmurph is offline
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 18
Default The new motor

So I ordered my motor from someone online @

Tom Sanders was great to talk with and convinced me to get a rebuilt motor rather than a used motor (which he sells also, DOD Humvee takeouts I believe that he inspects and tests and repairs). If you want to know more check out his website. Pricing seems to be very reasonable.

So here's the motor delivered:

Notice those cool Humvee headers!

So for most of you, you can include the automatic tranny flexplate that Tom would have put on my motor, but I'm keeping a manual tranny in my truck and had Tom leave it off.

You can barely see the rear of the crank in this shot I took of the block casting number.

I ordered a LUK single piece flywheel and clutch from Rye Valley Gear. LUK part numbers:
flywheel: LFW201
clutch: 04-087

Check out their site, it took me a while to find these parts online:

The new flywheel installed

And the new clutch!

A word of advice: The flywheel doesn't include fasteners and neither does the clutch! The clutch did include a new needle bearing pilot bearing, a new throwout bearing, and the alignment tool. They are both HEAVY! You have been warned! I bought the flywheel bolt kit and the grade 8 clutch mounting bolts from NAPA, along with most of my supplies for this swap for that matter.
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Old 05-07-2008, 09:41 PM
btmurph btmurph is offline
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 18
Default New throttle

So I then realized I had a linkage throttle and I REALLY want to keep a somewhat stock look to my truck (no Lokar pedals or pedals that look like an aluminum footprint, thanks!) and the new motor requires a cable setup. Lucky for me, in '71 Chevy converted to a cable throttle and one can do a very easy and nice job if you've got a drill press and some files.

$24 scored me the accelerator assembly out of a 71 or 72 pickup and I was even able to use some of the bracketry to make my new retainer plate.
here's the build thread:

the above forum also has sections for other chevy pickups from '47 to present so if you have some questions about your other chevy truck (that classic hot rod pickup that wins awards, doesn't everyone have one? I sure wish I did! ) they are a great resource!
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Old 05-08-2008, 08:05 AM
trbankii's Avatar
trbankii trbankii is offline
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: South Central Pennsylvania, USA
Posts: 2,513

Welcome to the board - looks like a great project!
94 GMC 6.5TD K1500 4L80E 2-Door Yukon SLE 216K
93 Chevrolet 6.5TD K2500HD NV4500 Std. Cab Longbed 184K
85 Toyota 22R RN60 4x4 Std. Cab Shortbed 178K (Currently retired for rebuild)
Diesel Page Member #2423
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Old 05-08-2008, 09:12 AM
More Power's Avatar
More Power More Power is offline
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Big Sky Country
Posts: 10,267

Cool project! Thanks for posting.

The block casting number indicates this is a 6.2L block with a 2-piece rear main seal. GM switched to a bronze pilot bearing in the 90's, which appears to have a little more longevity.

Keep us posted..

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Old 05-08-2008, 08:51 PM
btmurph btmurph is offline
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 18

yeah, but the new pilot bearing's already installed... <sigh> I guess I'll just get 200K miles out of it instead of 300K.

Thanks guys, I'll be posting a few more pics soon (next couple of days) and if all goes well and the creek don't rise I'll be trial fitting the motor this Sunday
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Old 07-28-2008, 08:41 AM
jimmydean jimmydean is offline
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1

I am doing nearly the same thing, only using an '88 6.2 into a '71 C10.
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Old 08-04-2008, 01:14 AM
COMP COMP is offline
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: So IN.
Posts: 15

any update pics or info ??
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