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View Poll Results: Do you think people would buy a diesel-powered 60s American Classic?
Yes, they'd be lining up to pay $8k or more 9 17.65%
Sure, there'd be a few people interested in paying $6k-8k 15 29.41%
Good luck, I'm sure someone would pay $4k-6k 10 19.61%
It's your dream, but you might be alone on this one 17 33.33%
Voters: 51. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-27-2011, 07:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Diesel Swaps into 50s/60s Classics

Hey all, new to the forum.

I'm considering swapping diesel engines into 50s or 60s American cars and was referred to a post on this forum by someone over at the Benzworld.org forums, particularly to the V8 6.5L diesel Corvette thread.

My dream car is a diesel '66 or '67 Mercury Comet, but I'm also considering the profit potential of converting these classics and selling them.

I was originally considering swapping a Mercedes OM617 3.0L turbo engine and transmission, but was told that the 6.2 and 6.5L Detroit diesels might be direct bolt-ons to the older GM transmissions. Since they're V8's they also would fit better into the engine bay. The mpg's reported on the vette are also much higher than I expected.

What do people think of doing such a swap?

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Old 12-29-2011, 09:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't see classic car guys wanting diesels. They're usually more interested in factory correct engines and gas power. Also, speed is usually more important than fuel economy. It might be worth asking around to people in the classic car community before you invest any money into this.

Not to say you shouldn't do this, but I've been attending summer car shows multiple times a week for a few years and have not seen a single diesel conversion.
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Old 12-29-2011, 09:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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People have that kind of money these days?
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Old 12-29-2011, 10:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I don't think the idea is crazy, but I also can't see there being a lot of interest, for reasons Sven elaborated on.

I'd be happy if I could just buy a modern diesel Japanese car.
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Old 12-29-2011, 10:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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As far as classic car guys being interested in the "correct" engines, the midwest guys at least seem to want to stick a 350 Chevy into everything from a Radio Flyer wagon to a school bus.
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Old 12-29-2011, 11:32 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lacolocho View Post

but was told that the 6.2 and 6.5L Detroit diesels might be direct bolt-ons to the older GM transmissions. Since they're V8's they also would fit better into the engine bay.
The 6.2L and 6.5L share the same transmission bolt pattern as the small block and big block chevy. The chevy diesels and SBC, BBC all share the same motor mounts too.

What else do you want to know about the 6.2 and 6.5 diesels?
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Old 12-29-2011, 11:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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the 6.2 and 6.5 are not very good diesels in the grand scheme of things. In particular, the 6.5 computer controlled engine is a HORRIBLE candidate for a swap.

If you want to do a diesel swap, do a Kubota or Perkins swap into a small car. Use Kennedy for the adapters.
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Old 12-29-2011, 11:54 PM   #8 (permalink)
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If some one were to swap a 6.5L they likely would not use the electronic controlled injector pump.
The early 6.5L and all 6.2L injector pumps would be the best choise. The stanadine 4911 pump was the best all mechanical pump they made, it is most favored for 6.5 and 6.2 build ups.
The 6.2 and 6.5 engine have 2 main serries of pumps DB2 (mechanical) and DB4 (electronic problem child). The DB4 serries system should be avoided at all costs.
The 4911 pump is DB2 serries.
I do not have the 4911 pump in my 6.5L, I have the other less notable DB2 serries pump, but it gets me around. In almost 6 year I have never had a problem with my DB2 pump.
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Old 12-30-2011, 02:09 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Wow, thanks for all the info

This would actually potentially be part of a larger non-profit org, so if it was we'd be doing swaps from vehicles that were donated. Getting a Chevy or GMC diesel pickup donated is pretty possible, especially the older 6.2L.

The market would be less "the classic car guys" than someone looking to switch over to diesel for its fuel efficiency and run on biofuels (like all the folks driving Mercedes diesels out here on the west coast), but wanting to drive something a little more interesting. Maybe $7k or $8k is a little optimistic for a sedan.

Good to know about the IP difference. Were the DB2 and DB4 pumps used on different model years? Or do I just have to look at the engine and see if it's electronic in order to find out?

Quote:
The 6.2L and 6.5L share the same transmission bolt pattern as the small block and big block chevy. The chevy diesels and SBC, BBC all share the same motor mounts too.

What else do you want to know about the 6.2 and 6.5 diesels?
This is great to know. Do you know what vehicles use the SBC/LBC tranny and motor mount bolt patterns? Is it all GMs? (Chevy, Buick, Pontiac, Cadillac, Oldsmobile)
Do you know how the gearing would work mating those old transmissions to the 6.2L/6.5L?
Do you think 35+mpg could be expected?
And, as a more personal interest, would those transmissions be able to handle heavy towing?
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Old 12-30-2011, 02:42 AM   #10 (permalink)
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If you were to put a frightliner diesel engine in a pickup truck then I could see a market there, but people who want old cars that are shinny and new want something slick and impressive, building classic cars as electric would almost be more practical, but not.
I think the frightliner vans have a 2.5l turbo diesel engine in them, so it seems like it could fit in a wide range of vehicles, a ford ranger with it would be impressive as a tow vehicle.

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