looking to covert to diesel - Diesel Truck Forum - TheDieselGarage.com
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-03-2013, 01:40 AM Thread Starter
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looking to covert to diesel

Hi, Ive got a 78' F250, auto trans, 4x4, with a 460 gas hog that won't pass smog. Rather than putting a valve job in it and still getting 5 mpg, I thought why not convert to diesel. So I'm looking for an 87-93 International 7.3 liter IDI engine. A complete vehicle would be ok if the price is right and location is Northern California. Can anyone help? Thanks, much appreciated.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-03-2013, 03:06 AM
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I wish you good luck, but trying to find a 35 year old engine that is in good shape may pose a problem.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-04-2013, 02:44 PM Thread Starter
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I was afraid of that. I was thinking a complete vehicle, so I'll have things like the fuel tank, etc. included. It needs to mount to my stock automatic trans and motor mounts. An 87-93 F250 with a 7.3 liter IDI engine is what I need, I think. Could some one please advise me if I'm barking up the right tree?

I know what you're thinking, just get a different truck. But this is the company truck that has been with the business since 1978 and it's outlasted everyone including the owner. It's got the company name on it and is recognized all over town as a icon. The truck represents a business that just won't quit, is reliable and you get the idea.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-04-2013, 04:07 PM
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I have a 94 dodge with a 5.9 and 5 speed. Drop me a PM if you are interested.

In my opinion the easiest way and least expensive would be to find a drivable truck and part out what you have. But we tend to become attached for different reasons to things, and just don't want to part with them. Example I have a 1965 riding lawn mower, I bought it new and while my 2010 Cub does a much better job I still keep the old thing (just to have around).

If you just want to keep the old girl around you can look at some of the conversions listed here. They are a lot of work, if you want to do it right.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-04-2013, 10:50 PM
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Why not just overhaul the 460.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-05-2013, 06:02 AM Thread Starter
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I could rebuild it but it gets horrible fuel mileage, and it must pass a smog check every 2 years. I could spend nearly as much to rebuild it as it would be to put a diesel motor in it. In California the seller is responsible for passing smog, so I could give it away which I don't want to do. I could scrap a good truck which I don't want to do. It is becoming a collectible model. I get a few comments on it once in awhile. Nothing like my old Chevy's though. I think making it a diesel would only increase the value, barely, to what I'll have in it. But there comes a point where collectible vehicles no longer go down in value. I'm close to that in my eyes.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-05-2013, 07:44 PM
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IMHO if you are looking for mileage.... you might look into the Cummins 4bt swap.

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-05-2013, 11:29 PM
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A real collector is looking for a vehicle just the way it rolled of the assembly line. And preferably with most options available.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-05-2013, 11:42 PM Thread Starter
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I'm finding a few leads out there, mileage ranging from 150k to 300k
My thoughts are if the modifications done make an improvement in the functionality, a collector won't mind so much. Not too many collectors scoopin up vehicles that get 5mpg.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-07-2013, 02:28 PM Thread Starter
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The more I learn about my original 6.6 400 cid small block, the more I'm considering a valve job (new Edelbrock heads). There are limited aftermarket performance parts available for this motor (mostly stuff that interchanges with the 351 motor). The deciding factor would be, can it still pass smog and can I improve fuel economy? Otherwise going diesel would be a good alternative with a complete donor vehicle. At the very least I'll save the original motor and build it later. Any suggestions?
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