Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 11-20-2005, 08:33 PM   #1
RivetAddict
 
swebster's Avatar
 
1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Louisville , Kentucky
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,861
Images: 4
6.2 Turbo Diesel Conversion Anyone?

So I'm minding my own business today at the local Borders Bookstore when I see on the cover of DIESELPOWER Magazine, "6.2L Makeover, Tweak that Tired Engine into Stump-Pulling Perfection!" Always one to pick up some cheap info from a $4 magazine I buy it, take it home and read the article.

Boy, was that a mistake! They describe, at a very high level mind you, how they took an old 6.2L out of a tired 82 C1500, rebuilt the motor and the injector pump and added a brand new Banks Sidewinder Turbo Kit and delivered an amazing TD engine for not a lot of money. The numbers quoted in the article were amazing:

Stock@ 2800rpm 130hp, 240ft-lbs
Now@ 1800rpm 208hp, 350ft-lbs
Now@ 2800rpm 248hp, 405ft-lbs

Total cost, including the rebuild, the Banks kit and exhaust and the donor truck: $4500!

To quote my good friends at Visa: "Spending the rest of your day trying to figure out how to shoe-horn something like this into a 345 - Priceless."

They did mention it's better to look for a later model (90+) donor engine with the serpentine belt as they have better heads, and some other do-dads that make the conversion cheaper, easier and deliver better power than the 82. They ended up spending about $1500 "upgrading" the 82 to the newer components.

Apparently, this is a pretty popular powerplant conversion in diesel circles....I was instantly captivated and have been searching ebay and trucktrader looking at old school buses and bread vans all afternoon. Maybe I'm just need a fun winter project. Maybe we could talk Rich into making this the next conversion project for ASLife? I smell sponsorship!

Anyway, just thought I would pass this along so you guys can give me the 100 reason why I would not want to keep dreaming about this idea. Or, maybe you can just dream along with me.
__________________

__________________
Steven Webster
1986 Airstream 345 Classic Motorhome
AIR 1760
swebster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2005, 08:50 PM   #2
Rivet Monster
 
wahoonc's Avatar

 
1975 31' Sovereign
1980 31' Excella II
Sprung Leak , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 7,174
Images: 40
Steven,
Been right there with ya...except I was looking at stuffing a Durmax in a 72 rust free Suburban...found the 'burb in AZ, rare factory dual air, 3/4t optioned out, with a toasted 454. In a salvage yard not too far from my house a rolled 2500 with the duramax/allison...we were going to make GM history...but my financial consultant (wife) talked me out of it...I bet I could have done it for under $12k

Aaron
__________________

__________________
....so many Airstreams....so little time...
WBCCI #XXXX AIR #2495
Why are we in this basket...and where are we going
wahoonc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2005, 09:01 PM   #3
Well Preserved

 
1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 20,192
As you requseted, reasons not to:

Extremely noisy
Even heavier than the 7.4
You will have to replace the transmission also
Will you have to change the rear axle?
Where will you find a radiator?
You may have to change the drive shaft.
If you think your MoHo is a slug, wait until you get a diesel.
__________________
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
Terry
overlander63 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2005, 09:05 PM   #4
Well Preserved

 
1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 20,192
And now, reasons you may want to:

Better fuel economy
More torque
Better reliability
No ignition system
Tends to run cooler
__________________
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
Terry
overlander63 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2005, 10:35 PM   #5
Rivet Master
 
3Ms75Argosy's Avatar
 
1975 Argosy 26
1963 24' Tradewind
Seattle , Washington
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 2,341
Images: 7
Not too crazy....

I've been debating the cost of stuffing a Cummins under the hood of my 1 ton Dodge Van ('94). I just wish it came this way from the factory. Again, I LOVE the idea of the Sprinter, just wish it had a bit more guts.

I say go for it Steven. But, a voice from my engine swap days (I swapped a built 5.7L 350 into my Chevy Astro to sub for the toast 4.3L v6). It always takes longer, and costs more then you think. What kind of electrical brain box conversion would it take.... and check into that tranny question as well.

I think you may feel more power off the line from the diesel's torque, and mountain passes would be even better! I think the numbers for the diesel are better than your 454, and think of the gas mileage as well.

That would be a different kind of Vintage Thunder. I say go for it!
Marc
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN1380.JPG
Views:	165
Size:	51.0 KB
ID:	16532   Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN1192.JPG
Views:	124
Size:	39.4 KB
ID:	16533  

Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN1277.JPG
Views:	163
Size:	49.2 KB
ID:	16534  
__________________
3Ms75Argosy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2005, 10:44 PM   #6
RivetAddict
 
swebster's Avatar
 
1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Louisville , Kentucky
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,861
Images: 4
Still dreaming.....
__________________
Steven Webster
1986 Airstream 345 Classic Motorhome
AIR 1760
swebster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-20-2005, 10:58 PM   #7
2 Rivet Member
 
1985 34.5' Airstream 345
Marietta , Georgia
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 53
Send a message via MSN to 85/345
Find two of those engines and I'll do it with you. I have been dreaming about this since the day I bought mine, the current engine leaks more oil than the Exxon Valdez (not sure if I spelled that right). I definitely am in need of a new engine. I'm trying to figure out how I can stuff a Duramax diesel in there.

There is one major downside to this and that's the generator. I would either have to buy one that runs on diesel or install a small tank somewher that I could put gasoline in. I wonder if there's a way that the generator could run on LP.

Oh well time for me to start dreaming again.
__________________
85/345 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2005, 04:12 AM   #8
Rivet Monster
 
wahoonc's Avatar

 
1975 31' Sovereign
1980 31' Excella II
Sprung Leak , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 7,174
Images: 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by 85/345

There is one major downside to this and that's the generator. I would either have to buy one that runs on diesel or install a small tank somewher that I could put gasoline in. I wonder if there's a way that the generator could run on LP.

Oh well time for me to start dreaming again.
All viable options. Many of the smaller diesel powered Moho's use an LP generator (typically the ones based on the sprinter chassis) The older Bluebird Wanderlodges had a gasoline powered gennie with a separate tank.

Aaron
__________________
....so many Airstreams....so little time...
WBCCI #XXXX AIR #2495
Why are we in this basket...and where are we going
wahoonc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2005, 07:40 AM   #9
Aluminut
 
Silvertwinkie's Avatar
 
2004 25' Safari
. , Illinois
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 10,334
Aaron,

A Duramax Burb isn't so crazy...though I know you were talking an older Burb, check this new(er) on out....it too got me thinking:

http://www.fourwheeler.com/featuredv...0407_suburban/

As for putting a 6.2L into a MOHO. I would agree with what's been posted here so far as to why and why not. As for the why not, whatever you do, isn't just going to be the engine, it's a whole drivetrain thing....and from what I've heard, the 6.2L isn't that great of an engine (flame suit on).

If I were gonna entertain it, I would be thinking about Duramax/Allision first, then work my way down the food chain....I mean if you are gonna try to shoehorn a diesel into it, why not the best one made. It will cost far more than the $4500 you said, but this would most likely be the last engine this MOHO would ever see.
__________________
Silvertwinkie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2005, 08:00 AM   #10
1 Rivet Member
 
1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Rives Junction , Michigan
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 12
I have been wanting to do one of these conversions, but for some unknown reason my loving wife keeps asking me to prove the cost benefit!

Using my latest, and only travel in the '86 345, I averaged between 7 and 8 mpg, say 7.5 mpg. Assusming that the diesel would average 12 mpg, then it becomes dependent on distance traveled and relative costs of fuel.

At current rates ($2.10 - gas, $2.60 diesel) ,and repayment within 50,000 miles, then I would need to make the conversion for less then $3,167 assuming all other operating costs are the same. If fuel was the same price of $2.60 gas/diesel, then the available savings would be $6,500. If the projected near term high is $3.50 then savings would be $8,700.

Based on this comparison I can not provide the boss a appropriate cost justification, and guarantee completing the conversion within the target price. Even the stroy about diesel being safer does not seem to help, BUT I really want to do it anyway!!!

Greg
__________________
Greg Reed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2005, 09:02 AM   #11
Rivet Master
 
Coastalview's Avatar
 
2002 27' Safari
Carmel-by-the-Sea , California
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,387
Images: 14
Send a message via AIM to Coastalview Send a message via Yahoo to Coastalview
I'd go with the early 5.9 liter 12 valve cummins motor, found in the late 80's, to early 90's Dodge piockups. Basic design, simple electronic's, cheaper maintenance. Basically, the same configuration and size of the Izuzu turbo diesel found in the factory equipt. models, but with higher torgue figures. I'm a Ford guy, but the V8 turbo diesel isn't what I'd stick in for a conversion. Jeff
__________________
AIR: 649
TAC: CA-40
Northern California Airstreamers
Coastalview is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2005, 09:15 AM   #12
RivetAddict
 
swebster's Avatar
 
1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Louisville , Kentucky
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,861
Images: 4
Cost benefit? We don't need no stinkin' cost benefit. We just want to say "450 ft-lbs of torque and 12.4 mpg" at the next forum rally. Do you need more benefit than that?

Seriously, like others, I've throught about a diesel in the 345 more than once. Cummins, Isuzu, Duramax, etc.

What appeals to me about the 6.2 is that it came in the P30 chassis. So with the right donor a lot of little parts, brackets, etc would be there for you. Yes, it's heavy, yes it's a dog (stock) but something about the junkyard, parts swap, underdog engine has some shade tree appeal to me.

Can't talk, gotta chase an old ambulance
__________________
Steven Webster
1986 Airstream 345 Classic Motorhome
AIR 1760
swebster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2005, 09:46 AM   #13
Rivet Master
 
Chaplain Kent's Avatar
 
1994 30' Excella
Currently Looking...
Milwaukee , Wisconsin
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,934
My diesel Chummy has a propane gen set, runs like a top. It does require valve adjustem,ents more often than the gas operated engines but propane is cheaper, I think?
I am getting 15MPG with my diesel and no complaints with power. I climb up and down with no loss of speed. Once I set the cruise control it stays at that speed. Someday, I hope, I will be using bio-diesel at a savings over gasoline and then really smiling.
I say go for it, gasoline engines are for the Flintstones enter into the 21st century.
__________________
Chaplain Kent
2015 Coachman Freedom Express 19RBS, Chummy IV- Ford Excursion- 7.3 Turbo-diesel
Chaplain Kent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2005, 09:54 AM   #14
Aluminut
 
Silvertwinkie's Avatar
 
2004 25' Safari
. , Illinois
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 10,334
Quote:
Originally Posted by swebster
Cost benefit? We don't need no stinkin' cost benefit. We just want to say "450 ft-lbs of torque and 12.4 mpg" at the next forum rally. Do you need more benefit than that?
I knew there was a reason I liked you Steve....I mean you and I both have the Tim Allen mentality. Why give it only 25 more horespower when for just a bit more, you can get 200 horses out of it.

I did the same darn thing with the Impala before I realized I had already put $3k into it and really needed to look for a bigger house, with a basement and a larger garage to put a lift in the garage to keep on with it and a basement to keep all my future plans and parts in place, and out of the wife's field of vision....one of those don't ask, don't tell type things.
__________________

__________________
Silvertwinkie is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Diesel tow vehicle-tips? maxandgeorgia Tow Vehicles 27 08-27-2006 11:28 PM
repower 310 Turbo joepospisil Mechanics Corner - Engines, Transmission & More... 10 11-07-2003 08:33 AM
1981 Airstream Excella Diesel dienst1 Airstream Motorhome Forums 6 10-02-2003 05:45 PM
Isuzu Turbo Diesel stuart1 Mechanics Corner - Engines, Transmission & More... 0 10-28-2002 02:23 PM
Ford Diesel RV Puller 3 axle FrankR Tow Vehicles 0 05-03-2002 07:47 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:20 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.