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Old 07-11-2006, 10:30 AM   #15
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It's 1130est and really need to talk about Isuzu diesel alternator problem. Can you call Jim at 877-275-4462. Thanks,Dorothy
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Old 08-24-2006, 11:40 AM   #16
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re Versatile

I too have heard the legend of the Turbo 400 , but after a year of talking and emails , I still can't find one to mate with my 6BDI. Do they share a grave yard with elephants? I may have to do a hydraulic clutch release conversion and I don't see my wife driving it willingly!!!
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Old 09-10-2006, 01:26 PM   #17
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I have a 1990 34 foot A/S MoHo with Chevy gas motor. How practical is it to convert it to a diesel? If it can be converted, what diesel engine is recommended. I spoke to my car mechanic he said to put in a Cummin. But reading the forum it sounds like Isuzu is the way to go. What other vehicles use Isuzu engine that can be fitted in an Airstream? Does the tranny needs to be replaced too? Any tip will be appreciated. Thanks.
Ed
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Old 09-10-2006, 03:30 PM   #18
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Ed,
This topic comes up from time to time on these forums. Airstream produced a number of diesel powered motorhomes as an option to the 454. This was primarily becuase the Chevy P30 Chassis was available with the Isuzu engine.

People on the forum swear by them and the newer the engine the better (turbo models are far better). The advantage to an Isuzu swap would be the availability of parts (from NAPA, etc.) for things like engine mounts, radiators, etc. Another engine would require fabrication and modification to make it all work. Additionally, it's a supported configuration as a factory chassis so mechanics would understand what they were looking at.

Having said that, many people like the concept of a Cummins swap for the pure power available from the engine and while some have done it, there is no real documentation on the process and parts list required for the swap.

Items such as adapter plates, engine mounts, rear end gearing ratios, front suspension (a Cummins is heavy), transmission, electrical, fuel pumps, generator (propane convesion or diesel replacement), etc all need to be considered. So it's not exactly like a 454 to 502 conversion.

I plan to replace my 454 with a diesel engine when my current powerplant finally give up the ghost. But I also plan to keep using the motorhome for as long as possible (it already has 195,000 miles on the coach). I've looked at the Cummins, the Isuzu and the Chevy 6.2 and 6.5 as viable options. I change my mind often and imagine I'll trip on a donor truck someday (Dodge pickup, delivery truck, ambulance, school bus) and that will become my swap vehicle.

If you plan to keep your motorhome for a long time and use it regularly (> 15,000 miles a year) then a diesel conversion might make sense. But if you are only putting 5000 miles a year on it and plan to upgrade or trade in a few years than it might not make sense for you.

Like almost everything Airstream - it comes down to personal needs, usage, and ultimately - choice.
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Old 09-14-2006, 08:22 AM   #19
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Does any one have any tips about pros and cons on Detroit Diesl 6v92 motor? I've been told that they only last for 600 hours and then need ring job every 600 hours, is it true? It does'nt make any sense.
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Old 09-14-2006, 08:26 AM   #20
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Thanks Steve for your info on gas to diesel conversion. I will use my MH for less than 2000 miles a year so I guess I'll stick to the original 454. Great tips. God bless.
Ed
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Old 09-14-2006, 09:24 AM   #21
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Quote:
Does any one have any tips about pros and cons on Detroit Diesl 6v92 motor? I've been told that they only last for 600 hours and then need ring job every 600 hours, is it true? It does'nt make any sense.
Silvercloud
The Detroits are commonly found in older MCI (Greyhound)buses and city buses. They are commercial heavy duty motors with long life expectancy when maintained properly. They are also setup as pushers (rear engine) are incredibly heavy and require enormous fans, radiator, accessories, transmission, etc.

Not something that would fit inside an Airstream motorhome shell.

The best way to aquire a detroit powered motorhome would be to purchase one in a bus shell or converted "over the road" MCI. (The city buses are geared differently)
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Old 05-02-2007, 08:29 AM   #22
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Question on the Isuzu

There appears to be 2 transmissions that came on the Isuzu diesel. The 3 speed GM and the 4 speed Allison. I am considering purchasing a 28 foot Excella which the owner says was built in 1979 and titled for the first time in '82. He says he has 68,000 miles and has had the transmission replaced which was and is a 3 speed GM transmission. Does this sound right?Would someone please respond that has knowledge of this dilemna . I really would like to purchase it.
Would the engine in'79 be inferior to engines to the '80's? Thank you
Would the 79 engine have a turbo as did the ones in the 80's.
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Old 05-02-2007, 09:17 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigerpaw
There appears to be 2 transmissions that came on the Isuzu diesel. The 3 speed GM and the 4 speed Allison. I am considering purchasing a 28 foot Excella which the owner says was built in 1979 and titled for the first time in '82. He says he has 68,000 miles and has had the transmission replaced which was and is a 3 speed GM transmission. Does this sound right?Would someone please respond that has knowledge of this dilemna . I really would like to purchase it.
Would the engine in'79 be inferior to engines to the '80's? Thank you
Would the 79 engine have a turbo as did the ones in the 80's.
The Isuzu was not an option in 1979, are you sure it is not an 89? As far as transmission go, the Allison is much more desirable than the turbo 400, there is an extra gear, and with only a little maintenance, they can last over 300,000 miles. A friend and former employer has an Isuzu FSR box truck, with the 6bdti and Allison, when I turned maintenance back over to him when I left, it had 299,900 miles on the original engine and transmission, it now has over 360,000 on it, still on the original drivetrain. This is on a 1997 model truck.
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Old 05-02-2007, 10:09 AM   #24
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Hi guys. This mat be a bit off but I own a 78 Ford F-250 pick up. It has a 1980 Isuzu 6bb1 deisel in it with a New Process 5spd trans. This truck has been around the country twice and back and forth to arizona multiple times when my dad owned it. Other than bi-yearly oil changes and filters it has been trouble free. It could use a turbo and an overdrive but as is it gets aprox. 20mpg and cruises at 65mph all day long. If I had my druthers I would definetly look at the dura max. A few friends own them and love them. Hope this helps
Brian
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Old 05-02-2007, 10:13 AM   #25
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Rats

Lots of fishermen on this thread...

Diesels are looking better every year.
One from a new pick ups in a V8 layout would be nice.
Tech articals about diesels state that a diesel is not finished until it is turobocharged...and intercooling is like a breath of fresh air.

Those Detroits...6v91 are really interesting engines...
2-stroke diesels!
All four valves are for exhaust...and they can crank up backwards.
I ran one coast to coast for years...no big differance in maintenance between it and other brands.
They do have instant torque right off the line with a supercharger instead of turbo.

I'll stick with my 454 as being familar with it helps with my peace of mind, and it hauls!
Pulling up to a Autozone or NAPA, and knowing they stock most everything I could need, is a real world comfort.

Cost to go diesel is not justifiable....yet.
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Old 01-20-2008, 10:29 AM   #26
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I have a 1983 31ft Airstream motorhome it has thrown a piston through side of block .
Does the 6bd4 bolt strait on the existing transmission can anybody tell me what problems I am going to encounter .Don't hold back .Can I use the same radiator ?Will the power steering pump be interchangeable with doing this transplant? What would be the easiest diesel engine to fit,or would I be better fitting a later Japanese engine.I don,t want to much major juggling to get it all to marry up.Any advice would be much appreciated.Has anybody done this swap.Thanks for your help Norman
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