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Old 12-27-2010, 10:22 AM
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gas to diesel conversion

My '95 Chevy K1500 has a 305 W/ NV3500 5spd.. trans will eventually need rebuilt sometime in the future, and I plan to find an NV-4500 instead.. and I would like a diesel also.. I know the 6.2 and 6.5's bolt in, but I'm not really sure what to look for or what would need done.. lots of these chevys in my area are out of service due to broken frames. my truck has a very solid frame so it's worth doing stuff to.. I'v seen diesel 2wd's go for $500 with bad frames

I'v heard that a mechanical engine would be easiest rather than an electronic. am I right in thinking that all 6.2's are mechanical? what needs to be done? providing I have say a 1990 C3500 donor truck with a 6.2L and automatic trans? I actually know where there is a '90 C3500 w/ 6.2 for $500

I know Chevy put diesels in the 1500HD's and the 1500 frame is the same as the 2500 frame. I arleady have the 9.5" 14 bolt, and could get the HD1500 front end stuff pretty easy, as it's just a 6 lug version of the 2500

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Old 12-27-2010, 10:52 AM
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Don't take this as gospel since its been a while for me...

I would go mechanical. The 6.5 is not too tough to adapt but the electronics aren't the most robust.

I often thought the best thing would be to use a 6.5 block and turbo with 6.2 mechanicals. That way you get the turbo and the larger displacement without the electronics.

They are excellent solid engines, I think you'll be happy as long as you don't want a hot-rod

My concern is the NV3500. They're only marginal at stock torque levels, but a diesel might chew it up fast. Consider an SM465 or something beefier.
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Old 12-27-2010, 01:09 PM
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There are mechanical 6.5s but there weren't too many made. 92 was the first year for the 6.5 and they were mechanical in 92 and 93. 94+ was electronic. However any year engine should work you will just have to change injector pumps. The 6.2 pump will work but if i remember right it doesn't put out as much fuel.

You can use the 6.5 manifolds on a 6.2 and the turbo as well.

I would also stick to a 96 or earlier engine. 97+ added some oil squirters in the block to cool the pistons but they also weakened the block. They may also be responsible for cracking/busting pistons. This may be some of the reason why some people absolutely hate the 6.5s. Personally I love my 6.5, its at 270,000 miles, never had any major work, and I still get in it and drive it cross country any time i feel like it. I drive it ever day as well.
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Old 12-27-2010, 01:56 PM
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Skip the GM diesels unless you get a Duramax. For me, I would get a Cummins. They make alot of noise but they are bulletproof.
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Old 12-27-2010, 02:02 PM
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there is a ton of support for many different cummins swaps
2wd dodges arn't that hard to come by for kinda cheap
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Old 12-27-2010, 02:19 PM
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I wouldn't even consider a Cummins/Duramax/Power Stroke swap UNLESS you are looking to win races or truck pulls. It is absolutely unnecessary.

There is NOTHING wrong with a 6.2/6.5 when it comes to wanting decent power (i said decent, not race winning power), reliability/longevity (if cared for), mileage, and CHEAPNESS. Also ease of swapping in.

The 6.2/6.5 is also cheaper to repair should it ever be necessary.

I get the feeling the OP is looking for cheap and ease of installation. A Cummins is not the answer. I think its like 800 dollars for a kit to put a Cummins in a Chevy and put the Chevy transmission up to it. Not to mention the engine itself (not cheap) and then hooking it all up.

a 6.2/6.5 will drop right in and hook up in place of a gas engine, probably have to add a switch for the glow plugs but thats about it.

I get 20+ mpg in my big boxy suburban even after nearly 300,000 miles. It does all the work i need it to do as well (even with 3.42 gears). My only complaint is the stupid electronics (mainly the computer cutting the fuel rate when it sees the IAT too high - which is ultimately due to GMs lack of use of an intercooler)
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Old 12-27-2010, 02:24 PM
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can't touch a Dodge Cummings around me cheap. trucks that are beat are still a few k even for just non road legal plow trucks..

as for the transmission. I would get an NV-4500 which is the stronger transmission used in 3/4 and 1 tons, even behind the diesels .. I don't want a hotrod, just more torque, and going from 160hp ( 305 ) to 185/190hp ( 350 ) doesn't seem like a good enough gain, even tho that's less work.. not sure what it would take to put a 454 in it, but those year 454's are pretty anemic too
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Old 12-27-2010, 02:30 PM
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Around here a Cummins truck goes for 4-5k even beat up. The engine alone will set you back 1500-2000 well used.

The 6.5 turbo will only get you 190hp as well, stock, but almost 400 ft lb torque (more than a 454 from the 70s) and you can turn up the pump and should be able to get about 500ft lb from it and 250-275hp.
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Old 12-27-2010, 02:34 PM
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Also a Vortec 454 has more hp and torque both than a stock 6.5, But the 6.5 will get you better mileage and you can turn up the boost and fuel on it to get more performance than the 454. Just have to be sensible about it, dont crank it all up as far as it will go and call it good.
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Old 12-27-2010, 02:46 PM
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yea, I don't want to 'cheap out', but I find nothing wrong with putting an engine in that the Factory put in simmilar trucks.. looks like I will find a 6.2 or '92-'93 6.5.. I knew the HP was low on the 6.5, but I know the torque is much higher.. I'm getting 17 MPG right now with the 305, it would be nice if it was higher.
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Old 12-27-2010, 02:51 PM
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I have pulled race car trailers all over Creation. You could not give me a 6.2/6.5 GM truck. I have had both. The Cummins 24V is a great engine. The old 7.3 Ford is also a great puller.

The Duramx is what I have now, as I am a GM fan, but I would not own one if I had to pay for the maintenance/repair. I also have a 02 Cummins with 300k on it, most every mile pulling a 14,000lb trailer, and have never done any engine repairs.

For me, I would not want to do all the work and be disappointed.
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Old 12-27-2010, 07:35 PM
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You couldnt give me a dodge, cummins or not. Ill push a 6.2/6.5 before id drive a dodge with anything in it. My 6.5 has been awesome and id love to have another one.

It seems that some people hate them and some love them. I was on the job the other day and it came up that I had nearly 300k on my truck (96 3/4 ton suburban 6.5LT) and he said I was lucky to have 300k on it because he had several of those trucks when they were newer and he couldnt get 50k out of them. Said they had several new engines put in them under warranty and when the warranty ran out he put gas engines in them. But he also said he had a guy that he worked for that would ONLY use the 6.5s because he said they were the best trucks he'd ever had.

And this happens alot, some people have great luck with them (like me) and some have bad luck. I think it depends on how you take care of them? I dont know. I also think it depends on the year like i said above. The 350 diesel was crap when it came out but by the time they discontinued it, ive heard that it was a pretty good little engine.
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Old 12-27-2010, 08:10 PM
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hey

sounds like every one helped you with the engine and bolting one up .
mechanical would be the way to go i'm not sure about the chevy engines but the cummins like most diesel engines are heavy it seems everyone is over looking that you will need heavier springs and my bet is you would go through ball joints like crazy .
and have you looked at oil pan clearance diesels usually have big oil pans ?
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Old 12-27-2010, 08:14 PM
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The 6.5 is heavy but not as heavy as most other diesels. Also the 6.5 oil pan only holds about 7 quarts, which is unlike about any other diesel out there. A 95 truck is built for a 6.2/6.5 so fitting it in there wont be any issue.
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Old 12-27-2010, 08:22 PM
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GM factory installed 6.5's into some 1500HD's. they do have a heavy duty front suspension and the springs are most likely different.. the swap for the engine itself would be as easy as bolting it in... and everything from the front differential to the heavy duty front end parts are a direct bolt in, and that stuff can even come from a 2500 as that is what 1500HD is, just 3/4 ton suspension and a 9.5" 14 bolt rear end ( which I have ).. essentially the 1500HD is the same as the 2500LD ( 2500 with 9.5" rear and 6 lug instead of 8 ), I'm only lacking the 3/4 ton leaf springs.. there would be nothing custom with a 6.2/6.5 swap.
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