Small Displacement Diesel Swap Options?

Discussion in 'Engine Performance + Maintenance' started by LoCascio_Inc, Aug 17, 2019.

Car Parts
  1. LoCascio_Inc

    LoCascio_Inc Newbie

    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    6
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2018
    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    Fred Williams from Dirt Every Day recently did a video reviewing a Quigley 4x4 2500 Express van with the new 2.8 Duramax & 8 speed automatic . He seemed very impressed with it's ability to move a 3/4 ton van and this made me wonder if other smaller displacement diesel swaps have ended up in the GMT400 platform. Particularly into 3/4 tons.

    Considering how simply "adequate" my thirsty 350 is, I've always had an interest in a diesel repower for my 98 K2500. A setup prioritized for reliability and fuel economy with just enough power to be reliable as a camping/kayaking and domestic-use truck.
     
  2. Supercharged111

    Supercharged111 I'm Awesome

    Age:
    36
    Messages:
    3,364
    Likes Received:
    1,361
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2015
    Compared to a stock 350, I imagine such a swap would do quite well. I think most of us would rather fill the tank than foot the bill for a powertrain swap that costs more than the truck. That's why I have blowers on both trucks. Cheap cost of entry and still making great torque. Just have to keep filling up, but if you're empty then the fuel impact of the blower is not noticed at all. Gotta love the cool factor of a powertrain swap though.
     
  3. Schurkey

    Schurkey I'm Awesome

    Messages:
    915
    Likes Received:
    372
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2018
    Location:
    The Seasonally Frozen Wastelands
    Diesel powertrain swap?
    1. All resale value of the vehicle is gone.
    2. Don't even think about emissions compliance.
     
    slowburb likes this.
  4. JSlezak83

    JSlezak83 I'm Awesome

    Messages:
    135
    Likes Received:
    87
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2019
    Location:
    RI
    What about an Isuzu 4HE1 from an NPR? People throw HX35s on them and make good power. I doubt the Aisin trans would fit, but maybe a Dodge NV4500 might work easily enough.
     
  5. Gibson

    Gibson OBS Enthusiast

    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    23
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2018
    Location:
    oregon
    I always wanted to take a squarebody and put a 4-53T Jimmy in it,,.
     
  6. 454cid

    454cid Sooper Pooper

    Messages:
    2,240
    Likes Received:
    421
    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2010
    Location:
    The 26th State
    Or 4BD1T, or a 4BT Cummins. The Cummins will have the most aftermarket swap support.
     
  7. JSlezak83

    JSlezak83 I'm Awesome

    Messages:
    135
    Likes Received:
    87
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2019
    Location:
    RI
    A square body with a compound Detroit would be amazing. Nothing better than hearing one screaming with a Jake.
     
  8. nickthehick78

    nickthehick78 I'm Awesome
    1. Northeast Members

    Age:
    36
    Messages:
    530
    Likes Received:
    94
    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    Location:
    Weatherford, TEXAS
    sounds like you need to sell yours and just buy another gmt400 with the 6.5 turbo diesel. it would meet all your needs of what you said you are looking for. there are guys out there getting great fuel mileage with them.
     
    TheAutumnWind likes this.
  9. 454cid

    454cid Sooper Pooper

    Messages:
    2,240
    Likes Received:
    421
    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2010
    Location:
    The 26th State
    Any of the engines mentioned are much better than a 6.5L. The only thing the 6.5 has going for it is factory installation, in my opinion.
     
    Trenton likes this.
  10. LoCascio_Inc

    LoCascio_Inc Newbie

    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    6
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2018
    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    I've always wondered about the Isuzu diesels in box trucks and work vehicles and why they aren't more popular swaps for full-size trucks.

    Here's some context for my ambitions for a smaller diesel swap:
    • Minus gas, my toy K2500 has put me back less than $2k to purchase, repair, and maintain since acquiring last summer.
    • The previous owner's rebuild of the current 350 is of very questionable quality and it runs and leaks terribly even after troubleshooting and tune-ups.
    • The current junkyard 4L80 I slapped in it is performing worse and worse by the day.
    • All in all, the truck is producing 8-10 MPG, dismal power, and is a ticking time bomb for reliability.
    With those things in mind, sinking additional funds into an engine/trans swap would be a fun and welcomed project for me. I very rarely tow anything substantial and would really like to broaden my camping/kayaking radius.
     
    TheAutumnWind likes this.

Share This Page