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Old 05-16-2008, 07:28 PM   #1
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gas to diesel

Can anybody help me. I am putting a 1990 chevy 6.2 diesel out of an ambulance .Into my 1982 31ft excella.One of the main problems I have come across is the 6.2 diesel has a PCM engine management system.I did not realize this until the engine was on its way out .This is new to me,and am not sure how to connect this to the 454 wiring harness or how to make adjustments to run it in the Airstream as this is heavier than the original vehicle. So any information on how it goes together would be well appreciated.Thanks Norman



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Old 05-16-2008, 09:16 PM   #2
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You will need to use the harness from the ambulance, along with the ECM.
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Old 05-17-2008, 12:24 AM   #3
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Congratulations on taking on impossible task. As overlander said, you need to get all electronic engine controls from the donor vehicle to make it work.
I used to own older motorhome that was converted to diesel by PO. Going thru it I was amazed noticing how much it was involved. Even older Pace Arrow had bulletproof frame, the front suspension needed upgrade and wheels as well. Than lower rpm diesel with original transmission would not go faster than 50 mph. The auxiliary 3-speed transmission was added. So having automatic and than manual transmission with no clutch made for some trick on gear changing, but doable. Than changing generator to propane, than......
Good luck on your project.
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Old 07-04-2008, 06:45 PM   #4
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I'm very interested in your project as well. I have a 6.5 Turbo Diesel Suburban that I just love and considered converting my 325 at some point with one. In a factory training manual I bought on Ebay it listed this engine for up to 15,000 GVW which I think I exceed. I should know the GVW, but I don't.

You may even need the speedometer and other accessories from the ambulance to make it all talk together.

Keep me up to date on it.
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Old 07-04-2008, 07:06 PM   #5
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I once put a Ford 5L V8 in a 1976 AMC Pacer (AVATAR). Wiring was not that difficult as I had wiring diagrams from the 1984 Mustang that the engine came from and the 1976 Pacer where the engine was going. Was fairly easy to use the two wiring diagrams to create "the new one".
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Old 10-02-2008, 01:34 PM   #6
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Unfortunately my project of swapping my chevy 454 gas engine to diesel has come to a stop because the mechanic who said he could do it. Has panicked as the airstream has a brake on the prop shaft and he has,nt got the confidence to proceed so unfortunately I am looking for a mechanic who is capable of the job.Unfortunately in England there are lots of people who can't walk there talk.So at present I have an A\S with the engine out and a diesel Chevrolet ambulance with the engine out.Am looking for a mechanic who is capable of doing the job will keep you informed of the progress
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Old 10-02-2008, 02:25 PM   #7
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Boy, you Brits sure like to spend money! Everything everyone says is correct, plus the
dash will have to be modified to handle the pyrometer & boost gauge & the air shut-off.
Trans will not work unless springs are modified; not sure you can get any of those
anymore. A Allison trans is a option, congrats on wining the national lottery.
Honestly, I'd throw the 454 back in and have some fun traveling; it would take
a lifetime of fuel savings to amortize the expense of the change-over. Was just
looking at your pics; check the rear end, looks like you've got "sag of the bag",
air, that is.
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Old 10-02-2008, 02:45 PM   #8
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Would love to put the 454 back in unfortunately someone blew it up on the boat ,when I shipped it from the U.S.A so the original engine has a piston through the side of the block.Chevy 454s are not so plentiful in the U.K an engine in the U.K. is about $8000 that is why I was going diesel the engine was only $1800 but maybe that was a mistake hindsight is great
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Old 10-02-2008, 02:56 PM   #9
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Wow, talk about being caught between a rock and a hard place.

I see a couple of options open to you. One would be to order a crate 454 engine from the U.S. and have it shipped over. That would pretty much solve all mechanical issues for you. The other option is to find a suitable transmission in the U.S. and have it shipped. Even though the 454 is heavier than the transmission I would think shipping would be about the same for either one. I think you're paying for space more than weight when it comes to crates like that.

Personally I'd proceed with the installation of the diesel and look for a transmission while work is progressing.

Good luck!

Brad
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Old 10-02-2008, 03:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkahler View Post
Wow, talk about being caught between a rock and a hard place.
I'd get a "short block" since only the bottom end is blown unless there are
other issues. The more I think about this, the more nuts it becomes.
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Old 10-02-2008, 03:10 PM   #11
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I have the complete vehicle it was a running chevy ambulance with a 6.2 diesel transmission and all.The problem is finding a mechanic who can do the job I checked on Airstream forums and there is information on doing the transplant even to upgrading the transmission but finding a mechanic in england who can do the job is the problem
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Old 10-02-2008, 03:26 PM   #12
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finding a mechanic in england who can do the job is the problem
Ho ho; finding a mechanic over here would be the same problem. I am a
mechanic with forty years of experience, have had our mo/ho 24 years:
I KNOW these rigs! If you handed me your checkbook and said, "do it",
I'd pass.
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Old 10-02-2008, 04:21 PM   #13
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Look into getting an old Mechanical Injection Pump from an older 6.2 and forget the harness. All you will need then is an ignition on signal from the ignition switch to turn the pump on and off. The plumbing to the injectors is the same.

You may be able to get some help from the guys on
Diesel Place - Duramax Diesel Discussion Forums

There is a section on there for the 6.2

One thing I would do is to replace the mechanical fuel pump, if so equipped, with a Carter electric pump cut into the fuel line on the frame. The mechanical pump is the lowest point in the fuel system and collects all the water in the lower chamber of the pump.

The Gear Vendors Splitter makes a great addition to the 6.2 is installed as an over drive. I think the gear box is made in England so if you could find one and just buy the adapter from GV you will love it. I towed a 34 ft. with a 6.2

The reason I suggest the GV is the 700R4 trans does not like to pull heavy loads, my 8,900 lbs. trailer, in OD. But with a splitter you would be drive in 3rd over at road speeds. What is your total weight compared to the ambulance?
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Old 10-02-2008, 05:01 PM   #14
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One thing I would do is to replace the mechanical fuel pump, if so equipped, with a Carter electric pump cut into the fuel line on the frame. The mechanical pump is the lowest point in the fuel system and collects all the water in the lower chamber of the pump.?
Not on my Isuzu; the fuel pump and fuel pressure regulator are high on the
frame, the filter is low on the wheelwell. Many people have tried electric fuel
pumps with the Isuzu: work not.
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