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Old 01-24-2006, 10:02 AM   #1
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Isuzu Engine critique

Re: 6BDI or 6BGC1-T engines. Please give you likes and dislikes. How is the power on these engines. I was told a C6 Ford automatic wouldn't have enough gears to do the job. How do they do with the TH-400. What vehicles had a C6 with this engine. thanks.
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Old 01-24-2006, 10:49 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Versatile
Re: 6BDI or 6BGC1-T engines. Please give you likes and dislikes.....
You did not state what the intended use of the engine was, but since you're here in the Forum I assume the question relates to an Airstream MoHo.

I looked very hard at all options for re-motoring my 345 a couple of years ago -

The Isuzu 6BG series engines (396 cubic inches) seem to weigh in at about 1080 lbs (some more, some less), the Chevy "Big Block" engines (454 cubic inches +) weigh about 680 lbs - again, some more (or less) than others.

Generally speaking, you are looking at a 400 lb weight penalty to go with the Isuzu unit.

I quickly discounted a diesel re-engine option on my unit due to the fact that the 345 was very close to being overweight on the front axle when it left the factory - you may want to get some actual weights on your particular vehicle situation prior to investing any money.

Just a thought.
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Old 01-24-2006, 11:07 AM   #3
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Not knocking the Isuzu as it is quite reliable, but the cost of maintenance would outweigh the savings on gas if any. The only thing you might gain is longevity as compared with the 454, but then again the Chevy will do lots of mileage with the right maintenance, and a little bit of luck.
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Old 01-24-2006, 11:56 AM   #4
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Okay. We have a 345 with the Isuzu Diesel. I have no idea what ALANSD means by maintainence costs. It does take more oil to change oil yes, but I only need change it every 10,000 miles so the cost per mile vs gas engines for oil is a lot less. There are no spark plugs to change, or points or condensers or ect.
There is no other maintainence unless something breaks, and the engine is very reliable. I have rebuilt the alternator, but that has nothing to do with the engine.
As far as power goes, I have been at red lights beside gas powered units and on the green accelerated normally and was surprised that I walked away from them. I tow a full sized car,(have for years), and usually can't tell the car is there except for the rear view tv.
Our transmission is an Allison 4-sp. It handles the engine very well.
As far aw weight goes, all the tanks are in the rear along with the bed room and storage. What additional weight would you load on the front axle anyway.
We love our unit and think the engine is great. I get on good days 16mpg. If I tow it drops to 10-12 mpg.
Our engine is a 6bd4 with the improved crank and pistons that were introduced in 1985. It also has a factory installed turbo-charger.
I would answer any other questions you might have.
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Old 01-25-2006, 09:26 AM   #5
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I have a new Isuzu 6bdti engine. Manufactured in 2003 and installed in 2004. We have put on a little over 20,000 miles on this new engine and have found it to be more than satisfactory. There is adequate power for our 28' motor home, excellent acceleration, and the engine is very quiet. The required maintenance is an oil change at 10,000 miles! So even though that costs me $100.00 the maintenance cost is better than a gasser that requires tune ups and more frequent oil changes. I average 15MPG regardless of road conditions or what I am carrying or towing. I had a block heater installed and so far have had no problems starting the engine in the wintertime. As of now I have yet to use the glow plugs or had a need to use them for starting.
I would be happy to answer any other questions you have pertaining to this engine.
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Old 01-25-2006, 09:43 AM   #6
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Did you replace a diesel engine or gas engine and what transmission are you using. I am curious what the changes are from the 6bd4 to the 6bdti? I am also curious what the engine cost although that may be too personal.
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Old 01-25-2006, 11:11 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the info and input. I am researching the idea of installing one in my Ford Bronco. The weight seems to be the only drawback so far other than bellhousing /transmission issues. Thoughts?
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Old 01-25-2006, 03:01 PM   #8
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The Chevrolet Dura-max is actually an Isuzu v8. I would check that out for sure. That seems to be a nice engine and quiet too.
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Old 01-26-2006, 06:43 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cooperhawk
Did you replace a diesel engine or gas engine and what transmission are you using. I am curious what the changes are from the 6bd4 to the 6bdti? I am also curious what the engine cost although that may be too personal.
"

The engine was replaced due to a mechanic using a wrong oil filter on the original engine. The insurance co. paid the bill. The cost was almost $20,000. I believe the only difference in the 6bd4 and the 6bdti is the numbering. T stands for turbo or factory installed. The transmission is the same as what AS put in and I am not certain what it is. I know there are significant technical changes between the two engines and I should have paid more attention when the mechanic excitedly explained them to me. What I have experienced is the quietness, acceleration, winter starting, lack of diesel odor. I know I am experiencing more wonderful things that I do not realize but that is what engines are supposed to do, operate quietly and make no noise.
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Old 01-26-2006, 07:36 AM   #10
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Wow. That mechanic really did you a favor. I don't suppose you thought so at the time. I understand that my tutbo was factory installed as well.
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Old 02-03-2006, 08:25 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaplain Kent
I believe the only difference in the 6bd4 and the 6bdti is the numbering. T stands for turbo or factory installed.
In most diesel nomenclature, the "T" stands for Turbo, and the "I" stands for Intercooled. This is a kind of "air radiator" that cools the air before it enters the engine. An engine can hold more cool air than hot air, because, of course, cool air takes up less space. Your new engine may or may not have an intercooler, as it was a replacement. An intercooler looks like a radiator in the air intake hose.
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Old 03-18-2006, 09:20 AM   #12
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I ran mine in a F250 4wd with dana 44 front axle and Clark 285 trans. It held up quite well but had a tremendous appetite for universal joints.My current plan is to run it in my 3/4 ton Club Wagon with an auto trans which should relieve some strain on them,but will still upgrade to larger yokes.I'm sure that I will also need air bags in the front coils.Tom
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Old 03-18-2006, 10:06 AM   #13
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Nscaler, what mileage did you get in the F250?
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Old 03-19-2006, 02:12 PM   #14
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Jim, with a fully loaded service body I weighed in at 7800 pounds. 4:11 gearing gave me a top speed of about 72 MPH ang 19 MPG all year long regardless of what was hooked to it! Tom
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Old 07-11-2006, 09:30 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, 10:40 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, 12:26 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.
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Old 09-10-2006, 02:30 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, 07:22 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, 07:26 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.
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